It’s been a few months since I started this blog and thought I’d share some of the services and tools that have made my blogging world a little easier. (This page will be updated on a recurring basis.)
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Check out the full disclosure policy here.
I’ve been using Bluehost since I created my very first blog (R.I.P), which came at the recommendation of a friend. Since I had a positive experience with Bluehost, I continued to use their services when I created Miss Corporate Dropout.
In my experience, they’ve always provided me with reliable service and their customer service/technical support has been extremely helpful.
I’m not technical by any means, and whenever I have issues, their customer support always swoops in to help me out! When I’ve gotten stuck, they’ll even fix it for me. Now that’s what I called awesome customer support.
Plans start at only $3.95/mo.
I’m listing SiteGround as an alternative to Bluehost since I know many bloggers also love their hosting service.
From what I’ve heard from some of my blogger buddies, SiteGround also has great tech support and reliable service. It’s worthy of checking out.
Similar to Bluehost, plans also start at $3.95/mo
Managing Social Media
Tailwind is the new kid on the block that many bloggers are flocking to hang out with.
Why? Because Tailwind saves you valuable time and helps you increase traffic to your site. (and we all know that time is money.) Tailwind specializes in scheduling pins on Pinterest so that you don’t have to be strapped to your computer all day.
I primarily use Tailwind to schedule my pins to all of my Pinterest group boards twice per month.
I initially signed up for a free 30-day trial, and once I saw that I could schedule 3 weeks of pins in 1 hour, I was hooked.
When my trial ran out, I immediately signed up for a paid plan, which is not something I usually do. Yep, it’s that good.
Getting your readers to share your content is an important strategy to grow your following, and Social Warfare helps you do that. Here are some of the features that I love:
- Choose which image readers can pin for each blog post
- Customizable sharing buttons (I love the floating sharing button feature that I use on my blog!)
- Display of how many times your posts have been shared
- Customizable sidebar widget that shows your popular post (I’m using this feature as well, check it out on my right sidebar)
- Click to tweet quotes
- and much more
E-Mail Lists and Opt-ins
Most seasoned bloggers will tell you that building your e-mail list from the inception of your blog is super important. ConvertKit helps you do that.
Some of ConvertKit’s features include:
- Ability to create various opt-ins and landing pages to help gain subscribers
- Super easy integration with WordPress
- Customizable features so it matches your brand colors
- Segments e-mail list based on which opt-in they’ve signed up for
I’ve recently started using ConvertKit for some of my various freebies and have been pleased with the simple user interface.
If you have a blog, you should also be using some sort of cloud storage service where you can save your files, store site backups, and other important files.
Wouldn’t it suck if something happened to your blog and months worth of published content were wiped clean? With Dropbox, you can access all of your stored files regardless of what happens to your server.
Dropbox Basic plan is free and comes with 2GB of space. As a thank you for signing up through my affiliate link, you’ll get an extra 500 MB of storage.
Graphics & Photo Editing
Thanks to their simple interface, I’m able to create all of my social media graphics on PicMonkey.
I had zero graphic design experience when I started my blog and was worried that my graphics were going to look shoddy and amateurish. While I’m no graphic designer, I think my graphics look pretty damn decent for having no prior experience.
See Exhibit A:
PicMonkey gives you all the resources you need to make eye-catching graphics, which is essential to help grow your blog.
Sign up for a free basic account, and also get a free 7 day trial of the PicMonkey Premium plan.
If you write anything, then you need Grammarly.
Why? Grammarly makes sure that content is free from spelling mistakes and grammar errors.
I consider myself a decent writer and didn’t think I’d needed the help, but I was wrong! Among other mistakes, Grammarly has shown me that I’m a little too generous with commas. (Whoops!)
Have issues with the differences between lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re? Grammarly is going to be your best friend!
There are 2 options for you to choose:
- Free option: Super useful and even checks your web content if you download the Grammarly Chrome extension
- Premium option: After using the free version for several months, I upgraded to the Premium option based on the recommendation of several bloggers. So glad I did!
One of the ways to gain credibility as a blogger is to have error free content.
Stock photos, fonts, images
One of my faves!
Blogging can sometimes be expensive – with all the themes, hundreds of fonts, designs, etc… wouldn’t it be nice to get something for free?
Every Monday, Creative Market sends out their Free Goods of The Week. These goodies usually range from free fonts, graphics, textures, social media themes, and much more.
Join Creative Market to have these freebies sent to your inbox once a week! (They also have a large assortment of paid bundles you can peruse through as well.)
Analytics and SEO
Simply put, this is to go-to SEO plugin for any blogger.
If you want your site to rank in Google and bring in readers from organic searches (and you should), you need to download Yoast, ASAP.
Google Analytics is a free online tool that shows you graphical analytics on the performance of your site.
You can see trends in traffic, pinpoint your most popular posts, check the visitor behavior on your site, as well as many other reports!
There are hundreds of resources and products for bloggers floating around the web, and I’m sure most of them are pretty decent. The resources listed above are ones that I’ve personally used and have helped me tremendously, and I’m sure they’ll help you, too. Enjoy!
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