Blogging is an interesting career. It will open you the door to developing multiple skills on and off the computer. But, you need to realize you can’t be doing all the work for your blog. You need to take rest. You will have to go out and enjoy! You will have to spend time with your loved ones.
So, to save time in maintaining your blog and to be productive, I would recommend you to use some good tools and resources. They will cut your time consumption.
I have been blogging for almost 2 years and tried out various tools. Based on my experience, I will let you know some useful blogging tools and resources.
Affiliate Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. I will receive small commissions when you signup for those services. They don’t add you any cost but will help me in maintaining this website and improving services.
Nowadays, you have so many choices for choosing your Blogging Platform. There are coding experts, who create their own website with their own script. But for people like me, who don’t have so much of coding knowledge, we prefer, user-friendly blogging platforms with pre-built SEO features.
I would recommend you to choose, either of the two blogging platforms:
- WordPress – The software is free to download, but you will have to purchase a domain and hosting for this.
- Blogger – It is a completely free platform – hosted by Google
If you are creating a blog for business/brand, then you must have a domain for yourself. When you purchase a domain you will have to choose right domain extensions. Also, choose a suitable domain name.
There are some good domain registrars offering domains for a cheap price and good service.
If you have already purchased your domain from any other registrars and find their service is not good enough, then you can transfer your existing domain to these registrars.
If you are using WordPress, then the performance of your website depends a lot on your hosting. If your website is hosted on servers with poor resources, then your website will often go down.
Today, web hosting has become a good business that many new hosting companies emerge every month. But, you must keep in mind that, choosing a good web hosting is very very important.
I would recommend you to purchase hosting from any one of these three services:
- BlueHost – It is one of the officially recommended web hosting services by WordPress
- Hostgator – It is one of the most powerful web hosting services.
- Namecheap – Offers decent resources for a cheap price.
Blog Design / Themes:
I know it’s a cliche, but it is true.
First impression is the best impression
No matter, how good you write your topic, you won’t receive enough traffic, if you have a poor web design. Also, web design has got an effect on page speed. If you have an awkward site, your visitors won’t think about returning to your website again.
On the other hand, if you have a responsive blog design with very small page size, your readers would be very much comfortable with it and they would like to visit your website often.
No matter if you have a blogger blog / WordPress, you have thousands of themes to choose a suitable one at Themeforest.
For WordPress blogs, you have got two popular theme providers:
- StudioPress: Famous for their Genesis Framework
- Elegant Themes: Famous for their Divi Drag and Drop Builder.
It’s not that you must purchase a premium theme, you can even use a free theme, but the functionality will be limited.
Graphic Design Tools:
.. Pictures still speak the most universally understood language. – Walt Disney
Your images and your website’s graphic designs speak more than your content. New bloggers cannot afford to pay for graphic designers for each and every image. But, for simple designs, they can try out their own hands and get a good one.
I would recommend you to use any one of the below:
- Canva – Easy user interface for beginners.
- Gravit – I love this one and use it for most of my images on this site.
- Visme – Similar to Canva, but got some additional features like adding multimedia (audio, etc).
For creating a logo, you have special designer tools for that:
- DesignEVO – You can create a unique transparent logo for your brand/business for free
When you start your blog, you will have to start learning about Search Engines too. Because Search Engines will help you get regular traffic. So, you need to tune your blog for Search Engines.
Following tools will be useful in maintaining SEO and backlinks for your website.
- SEMRush – Best tool for keyword targetting. Worth for the money. Awesome features on free version too.
- Ahrefs – This is the best tool I have come across for maintaining backlinks and domain authority stats.
Email Marketing Tools and Services:
Right from day one when you create your blog, you must start email marketing. Some claim email marketing is dead. But, it’s not. If you use wisely, you can make loyal followers for your brand through email marketing. There are so many email marketing services and tools to capture leads.
I would recommend the following ones:
- VerticalResponse: Offers good features for free users. So, beginners can start learning here.
- SendInBlue: It’s a flexible email marketing for Beginners with advanced automation features.
- OptinMonster: A popular lead generation software with highly advanced methods, but a bit expensive. To get started with OptinMonster, my OptinMonster review would be a great use to you.
Social Media Management Tools:
It’s not so easy to manage various social media profiles individually. You need some management tools to manage all your social media accounts in a single dashboard.
I would recommend you to use:
- Buffer: I love using Buffer. You can schedule all your posts, check their performance and manage multiple accounts.There are many more similar tools available on the market. But, Buffer has a lifetime free account.
- TubeBuddy: This is for Youtube users. This tool will help you boost SEO of your Youtube videos.
Productivity Tools and Team Management:
I have tried out many productivity tools but still hasn’t seen the best one yet. But, still, I have got some useful ones.
- Evernote – You can use it for storing details, passwords, ideas etc
- Trello – Comes in handy, when you want to manage your team and their performance.
You have two popular ways to monetize your blog. One is by displaying advertisements and the other one is by affiliate marketing.
For displaying advertisements, I would recommend you to choose any one of the three ad networks:
- Google Adsense – Best ad network ever, but not so easy to get approval
- Media.net – This belongs to Yahoo and Bing Network. Similar to Google Adsense
- PropellerAds – Easy to get approval for beginners, but advertisement quality is not as high as the other two.
There are even more ad networks available in the market. They do mention instant payments with attractive ad values. You can try out them, but be careful. There are some scams too.
I have personally tested all the above three. They are safe and they pay in time. So, I would recommend you to choose any one of the above.
If you would like to start with affiliate marketing, I would recommend you to join all the three affiliate marketplaces.
- CJ – Formerly known as Commission Junction. They have got a lot of affiliate programs.
- ShareASale – This is little difficult to get approval. But, has got attractive affiliate programs than CJ.
- Cuelinks – It is a growing affiliate marketplace with attractive features. All you need to do is join their network and install their plugin. Unlike other marketplaces, you don’t need to get approval for individual programs.
Other Useful Tools:
Apart from these tools, you have some useful ones:
- Google Analytics – This is the best tool to analyze traffic stats for your website. This belongs to Google and its free to use.
- Google Search Console – This is the most important tool for you. Because, it will let you know, how Google sees your website.
- Grammarly – It comes as an extension and finds out grammatical errors in your post while typing.
- SnagIt – I use this software for capturing screenshots and editing those images
- Camtasia – It is the best software that I have ever come across for creating videos.
DId I miss out any useful tool? Let me know!