Resources & tools to blog like a pro...

For some people, finding the best resources is a lot of fun, kind of like an online scavenger hunt. For others, it quickly leads to a feeling of overwhelm. If you are the first type of person, take a look and see what new treasures you can find. If you're the second type, take a deep breath and relax. I've done tons of research that will make your life a bit easier since I've done the grunt work for you. If you're looking for a specific resource or recommendation for something that I haven't included in this list, contact me any time and let me know. I'd love to help! :)

This page contains affiliate links, which means that if you buy something using one of the links below, I may earn a commission but it won't cost you anything extra. Want to learn more about how you can make money blogging with affiliate marketing? Read this: Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers - A Beginner's Guide.

Books for Entrepreneurs & Bloggers

I asked my favorite bloggers and entrepreneurs what books they recommend. You can see their their recommendations on this page. If you have a recommendation for me, I would love to hear what it is.

WordPress Tools & Plugins

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

To learn more about how to start a new blog and why you should use WordPress.org, read this blog post.

Yep! (But you'll need hosting and a domain.)

I love Siteground's 24/7 live chat support (a "must have" for me) and they are always willing to help with those technical tasks that aren’t so easy if you’re not a professional website developer. Affordable hosting with premium service.

No, but it's worth it. :)

My site is built on the Genesis framework. I love how easy my site is to maintain with custom post and page types (thanks to SkorichDesigns.com) that make updating things a snap.

No, but it's worth it. :)

I use SumoMe for my floating social share buttons - a must have if you want to make it easy for people to share your awesome content. Use one SumoMe app for free. Upgrade to the Pro version to use the full suite of SumoMe apps.

Use one app for free.

If you are using affiliate links at all, this is a great app to use for cloaking (i.e. hiding the long ugly affiliate links) and for tracking and analyzing click statistics. The WordPress plugin allows you to show your shortened links using your own domain name.

Yep!

This plugin helps you optimize your blog posts for SEO within WordPress.

Yep!

Know that site you love? Use WordPress Theme Detector to learn what theme and plugins the site is using.

Yep!

Website Page Builders

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

I built this page with Thrive page builder and it was easy to do. I also build my opt-in landing pages, confirmation pages and thank you pages with Thrive.

No, but it's worth it. :)

I chose Beaver Builder for my main website pages because Beaver Builder doesn't leave short codes behind.

Get started with the Beaver Builder Lite plugin for free.

Love checking out new tools, apps, plugins and tech? Check out this list of some of the best! #wordpress

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Domain Names

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

There are lots of domain name registrars, but I like Namecheap.com

No, but it's worth it. :)

I haven't used Google Domains yet, but I plan to try them out next time I need a new domain name because they include Whois privacy at no additional cost.

No, but it's worth it. :)

I love Namechk because when you search for an available domain name, it also shows you if the same name is available as a username on all the major web platforms, like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, PayPal and many more.

Yep!

Website Tools

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

GTmetrix is a free tool that analyzes your page's speed performance and tells you exactly what needs to be fixed to improve the speed of your site.

Yep!

Free tool for testing how good your website is, and what you can do to improve it. Check accessibility, SEO, social media, compliance and more.

Yep!

Get a free 5-minute video of a real person using your website or app.

Get started for free.

SEO & Keyword Research Tools

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

Cloud based and free premium SEO tool. Powerful long tail keyword research tool which returns long tail keywords for your seed keywords along with Search Volume, CPC and other important metrics.

Yep!

Find out what questions and queries people have by getting a free report of what they're searching for in Google and YouTube.

Yep!

Search and analyze millions of real-world questions with BloomBerry. This is from the folks at BuzzSumo, so you know it's good.

Yep!

Free tool from Neil Patel. If you want more search traffic all you have to do is follow the website analysis report. It will point out all of the SEO errors you need to fix. Requires you to opt-in to Neil's email list, but it you're a blogger or have a website and you're not already on his list, you should be. :)

Yep!

Digital market intelligence platform. Compare website traffic statistics & analytics. Easy to use, read and understand. Allows you to compare your site to other similar sites, competitors, etc.

Yep!

Writing Tools

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

Free headline analyzer that will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.

Yep!

Airstory is like Google Docs on steroids. If you want a writing tool with tons of features that's still fun to use, this is a great choice. And you export from Airstory and import directly into WordPress!

No, but it's worth it. :)

 I'm currently using the free version, but really want to upgrade. But even the free version is awesome for catching basic grammar mistakes.

Get started for free.

If you don't have Microsoft Word or Pages or you just like Google apps or your want to write in the cloud, you can't beat Google Docs.

Yep!

Email & Opt-Ins

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

To learn more about why I use and recommend MailerLite, read this blog post.

Yep! Totally free up to 1,000 subscribers.

WordPress lead generation plugin for a one-time fee with tons of options for about 20 bucks. No monthly fees.

No, but it's worth it. :)

Collect email address by offering your readers a PDF download of your blog posts in exchange for their email address. The easiest freebie content upgrade you'll ever create.

No, but it's worth it. :)

Overwhelmed trying to find the perfect blogging or biz tool? Relax, all the grunt work has been done for you! #blog

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Selling Online Courses & Digital Products

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

After considering platforms like Teachable and Thinkific, I chose ProductDyno, a flexible digital product delivery platform that takes care of user management, product delivery and payment integration.

No, but it's worth it. :)

Photos & Video

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

There are many terrific resources for stock photography to be used on blogs and social media, but the one that I always recommend first is IvoryMix. IvoryMix offers new free stock photos every month, bundles, and a monthly subscription option.

Get started for free.

Canva makes design simple for everyone. Create designs for web or print, blog graphics, social media graphics and more!

Get started for free.

Online photo editor. I use the free versions to crop and resize photos.

Yep!

Compress JPEG images and photos for displaying on web pages, sharing on social networks or sending by email.

Yep!

Compress PNG images and photos for displaying on web pages, sharing on social networks or sending by email.

Yep!

Make videos from your blog posts to post on social media!

Yep!

Loom is new to me, but I just received a video reply to an email I sent courtesy of loom. And it's free! Excited to try it out.

Yep!

Planners for Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

Looking for the perfect planner to get focused and help you success with your blog and business? Check out this post for 7 of my favorites! I would literally buy them all if it wasn't impractical. :)

Productivity

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

If you like spreadsheets, you will love Smartsheet. Like Excel on steroids. Add comments, attachments, hyperlinks, imbedded images. Create forms. Share your sheets and collaborate with others. See the same data in a grid view, a Gantt chart view, a card view or a calendar view. Amazing templates and online documentation.

No, but it's worth it. :)

If you want to use learn how to use Trello to manage your blog or business, take "Trello for Business" by Think Creative Collective. It'll be the best $29 you've ever spent on a course.

Get started for free.

You'll need a password for almost everything on this list. Enough said.

Get started for free.

Use SaneBox to tame your inbox and eliminate the email overwhelm and distractions. You train SaneBox to handle your inbox.

No, but it's worth it. :)

Chrome Extensions

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

Save directly to Pinterest from any web page.

Yep!

Awesome tool for taking and editing screen shots.

Yep!

Measure the space on a web page.

Yep!

Blogging and Online Marketing Courses

Check this out...

What it does & why I love it!

Can you get it for free?

Want advanced email marketing strategies? This is the only course you need!

No, but it's worth it. :)

Michelle makes over $100K per MONTH and a large part of that is from affiliate marketing on her blog. If you want to learn how to incorporate affiliate marketing into your blog, this is the course for you.

No, but it's worth it. :)

Step by step guide to start a blog for moms

No, but it's worth it. :)

Covers 3 solid traffic boosting strategies you can implement today to practically guarantee more traffic to your blog.

Yep!

Find your people, build your tribe, you grow your blog traffic--fast .

No, but it's worth it. :)

My friend McKinzie shares her Pinterest secrets with you. For free!

Yep!

Check out these awesome blogging resources -- MANY of them are even free! :) #entrepreneur

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