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As a blogger, we end up using lots of tools. Some are pretty amazing and some are not. Just to separate out the good from not so good, I have compiled a list of “Best Blogging Resources”. These are the tools that people always want to know when they start a new blog. I highly recommend everyone to at least try and use these tools on their blog to run it efficiently and professionally.
If you are a blogger or planning to start one then use this page as a quick reference guide of blogging resources. I would recommend to use these tools and stand behind 100%. Hopefully, this list will be helpful as you move forward in your blogging journey.
I update this list as I come across new blogging resources or tools. So I would recommend bookmarking this page or visit it regularly.
Books To Read
Official WordPress Blog Guide For Beginners. This is my A-to-Z WordPress blogging guide for beginners. This book will help you to understand each and everything about – Building a blog on WordPress. This book is divided into multiple sections which will guide you through the step by step process of creating a blog website with all the necessary tools and services.
Crush it: I’m not a fan of reading books but one of my dear friends suggests me to read this. This year (2016) when my wife went to India for vacation, I finally read it. Few days after reading this book, I start DigitalHarpreet.Com and started working on things that I really like to do. The author of this book – Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. It’s a pretty awesome book for people who want to use the Internet to convert their dream into real online business.
Audible – Learning is something that no one should stop. Continuous learning is something that is very important to grow and move forward with confidence in life. If you want to keep learning then reading is the best option. Wise people always say – read as much as you can. But if you are a lazy reader like me then consider Audible. Here you can listen to all the great books in the audio format while you work out, drive, or before you go to sleep.
Blogging: 81 Free Tools for New Bloggers – 2016 – If you are in a real hurry and like to know the best blogging tools in the market right now then read This guide contains the most relevant free blogging tools as of 2016 which will help you to save time but most importantly money.
DigitalHarpreet blog is running on WordPress.org Platform. So my recommendation is pretty clear – WordPress.org. In the past, I have created a blog on Bloggers, WordPress.com as well. As a hobby blogger, my experience on those platforms was awesome. But If you are serious about blogging and have the desire to earn some money from a blog then WordPress.org is the option for you. It is also the blogging platform of choice for most of the bloggers today.
Without any doubt, the best web hosting provider for a new blog is Bluehost. Almost 90% of new blogs are currently hosted on Bluehost shared hosting. You must be wondering why? The reason is – Bluehost provides the cheapest web hosting with all the pro hosting features to smaller blogs. I highly recommend that If you have a blog that is currently in a growing stage then go with Bluehost.
BlueHost: WordPress has been recommending Bluehost for web hosting since 2005. With 1-click WordPress installation, 24/7 support, and a super affordable rate, Bluehost is a great option for building your first website or blog.
Learn More about – How to Start A Blog? A Step-by-Step Tutorial with Images.
There are tons of themes are available for WordPress Blogs. My only advice to you to choose a well designed, SEO optimized, responsive WordPress theme for your blog that undergoes updates regularly to make your blog in line with all the security updates. You do not want to choose a poorly designed blog template that can be hacked due to security holes. Here are a few good places that I believe are best for a WordPress blog. They have a huge collection of good design, the optimized and responsive themes that are highly recommended for people like you and me.
DigitalHarpreet blog is using the StudioPress Genesis Framework. See its demo and features here. Genesis theme
- StudioPress – Secure, quick, easy to build websites. Provide an added search engine optimized foundation to grow a new blog much faster than any other WordPress Theme.
- ThemeForest – It is a Marketplace where thousands of WordPress pro theme designers sell their themes.
- Thesis – They provide themes an easy option to design and customize a WordPress theme. The drag and drop feature makes it attractive to people who do not like to play technical coding.
Tools I use for Graphic Designing
- Pablo: It’s an awesome graphic designer tool from Buffer. You can add a Chrome extension of Pablo to your browser and then it will allow you to use any image on the web as a background to design your own graphic. It’s a web tool to design blog post graphics.
- Canva: This is an awesome design tool for someone like you and I can use it to create decent visuals for the blog posts. You can use Canva for creating graphics for any social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. Even you can also create awesome infographics using this app. The tool is absolutely free to use but if you need any specific image then you can get that in Canva in as low as $1.
- Pixteller – Another FREE tool to create engaging images, posters, banners, social media covers, greeting cards, or any design you want in seconds.
- PicMonkey – This tool can also help you in photo editing, graphic design, and creating a collage.
- Planoly – Planoly app and web dashboard enable users to manage their posts and content visually before posting it live on Instagram. With the clean design, users are able to drag and drop their photos and videos around to visually see how it will look like on their Instagram profile feed.
- 99designs – This is a paid tool for creating the awesome design, logo, email templates designs, business cards, brochure, landing page design, etc. If you want to have all these things designed like a pro then check out the services offered by thousands of designers at 99designs.
- DesingEvo – DesignEvo is a free online logo maker with 7000+ templates that anyone can use to bring to life a compelling, unique logo in minutes. This web-based custom logo builder enables you to create logos for free. It is quite a useful tool for independent professionals, small business owners, and startups that are looking to have their own logo but without having to pay expensive fees to professional graphic designers for the job. For premium logo’s, use 40% off coupon: DIGITALHARPREET03 at checkout.
Email Marketing Tools & Services
- MailChimp – The email marketing tool and lead capture tool that I use at Digital Harpreet blog. This tool is FREE to use. MailChimp’s Forever Free Plan gives you access to most MailChimp features but limits your total subscribers, as well as your daily and weekly sends. Keep up to2,000 subscribers across all lists in your account, and send up to 12,000 emails per month. In any 24-hour period, you can send up to 2,000 emails.
- Aweber – AWeber email marketing service is popular for its excellent autoresponders, live webinars, e-newsletter templates, and other e-mail related operations. It allows you to automate the communication by managing the subscriber lists and sending pre-formatted newsletters or e-mails to the target audience.
- GetResponse – GetResponse is another popular web service to create, send, and track analytics data for your newsletters. It has great usability and offers a lot of features. You can import contacts and add custom fields for them in your database, create newsletters using custom HTML code or beautiful built-in templates that can be modified as you want. You can create and send surveys, view detailed analytics and reports. It has multiple tools to create different types of newsletter subscription forms to insert them into your site.
- SumoMe – SumoMe is a modern web tool that helps you to increase your blog social engagement and drive a huge amount of traffic to your blog. It also helps you to collect visitors’ information like name, email address to grow your list. There are around 12+ tools that SumoMe provides you to try free. If you have a new blog then these tools will surely help you to grow fast. Highly recommended.
- OptinMoster – OptinMonster is the #1 lead generation and email list building tool. Our WordPress plugin allows you to create lightbox popups, floating footer bars, slide-ins, and other highly effective opt-in forms. OptinMonster also comes with a built-in A/B testing functionality, robust analytics, and powerful exit-intent technology.
These days there are multiple ways to monetize a blog. Few networks that might be good at the starting point include the following –
- Adsense: Google Ad Network is the first technique that you can utilize to monetize your blog by showing Google ads. You can read this for more information on “Google AdSense: Make Money Online.
- AdsOptimal: AdsOptimal is designed and optimized for mobile sites. This is the best way solution to monetize your website for mobile users. It provides multiple ways to integrate ads on your website using AdsOptimal. You can place online ads, page-level ads for mobile users, smart button ads, or video ads.
- Affiliate Network: ShareASale is one of the largest affiliate networks. The Shareasale platform has about 4,000 merchants listed, of which over one thousand of them are exclusive to them. ShareASale publishes a large amount of data on each of the offers they are running, these include:
- Earnings per Click
- Reversal Rates
- Average Sale Amount
- Average Commission