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 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.
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.
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):
StudioMommy – Hands down my favorite place to get WordPress themes! Both of my websites have themes from here. April is super helpful and she has the best priced themes out there! They are easy to install and look amazing!
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.
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.
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.
Thrive Themes – Landing Pages, Webinar Pages, Squeeze Pages (BEST option, BEST price)
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.
GoPro Silver – For recorded videos.
Logitech Webcam – For live broadcasts and webinars.
Blue Microphones Yeti – The ultimate professional USB microphone.
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.
BoardBooster– Take your Pinterest boards to new heights with pin scheduling, board clean ups and strategic pinning. Free and paid options.
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:
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.
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!
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.
Vimeo – Upload & host video files. Get embed links to share on your own pages. Maintain privacy settings. Free & paid options available.
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.
Paypal– The most common and easy to use payment solution. Create buttons and link to your site.
Stripe – Payment option that includes credit cards.
Bit.ly – Convert long links into short links for easy online sharing. You can get analytics for each link you create to measure clicks.