RESOURCES

Starting a blog is a lot of work.

But having the right resources at your fingertips will help ensure that it is success from the START! Below is a comprehensive list of the BEST tools and resources out there for your blog and/or online business. From hosting, to tools, to even the best courses out there!

Make sure to pin it so that you can come back to it later…

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, for my full disclosure click here.  


WEBSITE


Website Hosting Services:

FatCow – While you often only hear of Bluest, I like to think myself as a rebel and do my own thing. Created in 1998 they have grown focused on delivering the best value and customer service experience in Web hosting to the small business users. I never had an issue reaching anyone, they are SUPER nice and they always take care of anything that may arise. Plus, they are SUPER affordable and provide daily backup protection; for your entire account (if you have multiple sites) for just over $1 a month!

Siteground – If you need something little more robust this is the hosting service for you (once my renewal comes up with Fatcow I will be switching over). This is the hosting service that everyone from Bluehost is switching to because they are more reliable and offer a ton of features at their low monthly price. For more information check them out here.

Website Platform:

WordPress.org – WordPress started in 2003 and since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world. It is used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day.

Website Maintenance:

WP Radius – If you need help getting certain things set up on your WordPress website and you don’t have the time or the knowledge then the best place to get help is from WP Radius. They make as many changes as you need to your WordPress site for as low as $67. Use them for a month, use them for two, or use them forever! They are quick to respond and usually finish the request the same day I request it. They have always been a pleasure to work with and they take care of my site so I don’t have to. They even offer back up services so definitely take that into consideration.


WORDPRESS THEMES (Below are a few of my favorites):


Angie Makes – Gorgeous and affordable feminine themes, they even offer free ones! This is great because you can check them out first before committing.

Bluchic – An extensive collection of themes. Buy them separately or buy them all! Free themes available with subscription.

Designer Blogs – These are sleek looking and super affordable. They even have themes for blogger as low as $15!

A Prettier Web – User friendly themes with pre-made templates for pages and attention grabbing subscription boxes.

Creative Market – They aren’t just for images and fonts. They have so many affordable theme options, like Oleander.

Thrive Themes – The theme I am using for this site is Squared. One of the best things about Thrive themes is that they have great tutorials throughout your WordPress dashboard that you can follow as  you are setting things up – BRILLIANT! Plus they provide one of the best Plugins EVER, The Drag & Drop Content Builder that allows you to edit anything on your WP site via Drag & Drop. >>>>>BUT when you but the Thrive Landing Page Plugin you get the Drag & Drop Content Builder as well so you DON’T EVER need to invest in Leadpages because you can create amazing landing pages on your very own WordPress site that not only look great, but convert just as well. So even if none of the themes speak to you, you can still purchase the plugin!

Restored 316 Tickled Pink Child Theme – Restored 316 is a top source for professionally designed & premier Feminine WordPress Themes using the Genesis Framework. They have currently served over  10,000 happy customers.

Genesis Framework – This is a powerful type of WordPress theme which acts as a design, security, and SEO foundation for your website. It also “future-proofs” your site customizations, so there’s no hassle when it comes time to upgrade your software with one click.

A child theme is the pure design element that rests on top of the framework — the Tickled Pink I referred to above.

Related: The Best Feminine WordPress Themes and What to Consider Before You Buy


EMAIL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM


Convertkit – The best email management system, helps you manage emails lists and drip campaigns to increase reader trust, which directly increases sales when you launch a product or service. Easily tag your subscribers into different groups so that you can better manage your broadcasts. It integrates easily with Paypal and Stripe and you can track your customer purchases by a click of a button.

Mail chimp – If you don’t need a complicated system for your email subscription or just don’t have the budget for Convertkit at this time, your best option is Mailchimp. You can get up to 2,000 subscribers for FREE under their plans.

Opt-In Pages:

Thrive Themes – Landing Pages, Webinar Pages, Squeeze Pages (BEST option, BEST price)


VIDEO


Screencast-o-matic – If you area on a budget then, you should check them out. You can choose to record tutorial videos for FREE or for just $15 a year. Easy to use and they also offer video hosting services.

RECORDING EQUIPMENT

GoPro Silver – For recorded videos.

Logitech Webcam – For live broadcasts and webinars.

Blue Microphones Yeti – The ultimate professional USB microphone. 

Related: The Best Tools for Creating Videos for your Blog, eCourses and Webinars


SOCIAL MEDIA


Social Media Scheduler:

Later -A visual content marketing platform, that lets you aggregate and plan your content, grow your audience, and share your photos and videos.

Pinterest Scheduler

BoardBooster– Take your Pinterest boards to new heights with pin scheduling, board clean ups and strategic pinning. Free and paid options.

Buffer – Schedule your twitter posts and Facebook Group posts on autopilot. You can also connect other social media platforms like Facebook and now Instagram. Free and paid options both available.

Related: How to Post to 4 Social Media Profiles with Just One Click


IMAGE EDITING


Canva – My favorite place to create graphics for my blog such as pinnable images, headers, opt-ins. sidebar graphics etc. Free and Paid options

PicMonkey – Free and Paid options


STOCK PHOTOS AND FONTS


FREE and Paid Options for all of the following:

Kaboompics– Stock Photos

PicJumbo – Stock Photos

Creative Market  – Stock Photos, Fonts, Pre-made Logos and Themes

Feminine Stock Photos:

Right here! Get 10 free feminine stock images right now and get more every month.

And before I started my own stock photography business my two FAVES to go to were:

Ivorymix – Kayla has wonderful images with fun & bright colors!

Wonderfelle – Elle has beautiful feminine images perfect to up-level your Instagram strategy.


EBOOKS TO GROW YOUR BLOG/BIZ


5 Types of Blog Content That Will Boost Your Blog Traffic (FREE GUIDE) – This is from Abby @ Just a Girl and her blog. Check out her video and grab the freebie!

The Amazon Affiliate Ebook – This the THE book you want to get in order to become an Amazon affiliate pro!

How to make your first affiliate sale in 24 hours! – This book should be a bestseller because it really sells that much every month and for good reason. If you are new, struggling or wish to boost your affiliate sales, this book is perfect for you.

Related: 10 Ways to Make Money From Your Blog Now

The Blog Traffic Ebook – If you are struggling with gaining traffic to your blog, then check out The Blog Traffic Ebook where you will find a ton of information on how you can boost your pageviews.

How to Create Your Very Own Ebook – Thinking about creating an Ebook, but don’t know where to start? Then get this guide to help you from start to finish!


COURSES


 
Capture. Create. Conquer. – Want to take better pictures for your blog, but you don’t have an expensive camera? This online course by Kayla Butler of Ivorymix will show you everything you need to know about taking better pictures with your smart phone. You will never take horrible pictures again! The best part is the price! At only $18 you just can’t walk away!
Building a Framework – The Ultimate Start-Up Course for newer bloggers. Get everything you need to create a successful blog from the start. 
 
Find Your Tribe Online – Boost your online presence and triple your traffic with Jen Snyder’s course. Get access to hundreds of Pinterest group boards and strategies to find your people online. 
 
Learn Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers (no matter what niche) – Learn from the girl who makes 5 figures a month in affiliate marketing with a Home/DIY blog!
 
Flawless Funnels – Learn everything you need to know about creating profitable sales funnels for your blog/biz that run on autopilot. Elise just revamped her course and added a ton of information with new slides and guides. She is an exceptional teacher and it’s super easy to follow her strategies.
 
FB Ads for Beginners and Brilliant Pin Promotion – Learn from Brilliant Business mom, Beth Anne! Whether it’s FB ads, learning everything there is to know about Pinterest or succeeding at Pinterest, she has a course for you. Check them out here.

ANALYTICS


Crowdfire – Instagram & Twitter analytics. You are able to see followers/unfollowers. Set up and generate automatic responses to certain actions etc.

Squarelovin’– Instagram analytics. You are able to see followers, likes, engagement, and other Instagram data.

Google Analytics – Full review of your website traffic and data.


ONLINE STORAGE


Vimeo – Upload & host video files. Get embed links to share on your own pages. Maintain privacy settings. Free & paid options available.


MEMBERSHIP PLUGIN


Memberpress – WordPress plugin membership site. Easy to use. Can have monthly recurring memberships for certain areas on your website or allow access to ecourses & products through a single payment. Allows the ability for affiliate programs.


PAYMENTS


Paypal– The most common and easy to use payment solution. Create buttons and link to your site.

Stripe – Payment option that includes credit cards.


LINK SHORTENING


Bit.ly – Convert long links into short links for easy online sharing. You can get analytics for each link you create to measure clicks.

Resources for a Thriving Blog

 

Resources for a Thriving Blog