It’s funny…I started this blog as a complete newbie to the blog world. I had been a Pinterest addict for a few months (this is back when Pinterest was BRAND new) and I just decided one day, as a New Year’s Resolution of sorts, that I wanted to start a blog. I didn’t do any research, I didn’t have any blogs I wanted to emulate, I just jumped in and learned along the way. Luckily my husband is a software engineer, so he was able to handle the tech side of things, but I did all of my learning about blogging as I was blogging.
That was over 5 years – and 8.5 million page views – ago. I’ve learned a LOT along the way. Blogging is so complicated…and yet, what it all boils down to is really quite simple. You have a message, and you want to get it out there to the world. You have to come up with and communicate the message yourself – only YOU know what you want to say and how you want to say it. But when it comes to getting it out there and SEEN by real live people, it gets a bit more challenging. That’s where most of these resources come in.
This is a list of my favorite blogging resources – tools that I use and that have been immensely helpful to me. There are affiliate links included in this list, but please know that my thoughts and opinions are completely honest and I am recommending them to you because I do personally use and find value in each of the services and tools on this list! If you are a blogger – or are thinking of becoming one – I hope you’ll find this helpful. And if you have other resources that YOU’VE found to be helpful, I hope you’ll leave them in a comment!
Host – Veerotech. There are SO many hosts out there, and it can be really hard to find one you’re happy with. (Especially because the worst ones out there have affiliate programs that pay an insane amount of money per sale, so unfortunately you’ll see them “recommended” in blog-world a lot…I won’t mention any names but it rhymes with Glue-host.) Luckily my husband, a software engineer, has basically taken over the tech management side of my blog so I don’t have to worry about it. He was very diligent in researching lots of different hosting companies, and so you can be sure that Veerotech has passed his extremely thorough vetting process! (One of his big requirements was finding a non-EIG company as most of those hosts have a reputation for terrible service.) Veerotech is on the smaller side but extremely affordable, very reliable, and provide great service. I don’t have a single complaint! (And in case you’re curious, I have my domain through Name.com.)
Email – ConvertKit. ConvertKit is a really terrific and powerful email service. I started out on MailChimp and that was fine for a basic email list and monthly newsletter, but as soon as I wanted to start segmenting my list and writing sales funnels for my eBooks, I knew that I needed a new service. ConvertKit does the automation sequences and subscriber tags SO well! I can add tags to my subscribers for just about anything – how they signed up, if they purchased a product, clicked a specific link in an email, etc – and then send emails to segments of my list based on those tags. I have been LOVING everything I can do with ConvertKit!!
Post & Social Media Scheduling – CoSchedule. This is a one-stop-shop for scheduling your blog posts and social media promotions. The best part about it is that you can drag and drop your blog posts around on the calendar, and your social media promotions are tied to the blog post – so you don’t have to go back and reschedule all your SM posts if you need to move a blog post around. I use it for my editorial calendar and for scheduling Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest promotions for each new post. It has a LOT more capabilities than that, too!
Ad Network – AdThrive. I started out with plain old Google AdSense, then switched to The Blogger Network (now called Monumetric) and was very happy with them, especially because I was earning 6x more than with AdSense! Once I hit the 100K page view threshold for AdThrive, though, I applied and was accepted, and my earnings nearly doubled right away! Their service is nothing short of amazing – friendly and super fast. If you’ve got over 100K page views per month, AdThrive is the way to go. Otherwise, I’ve heard good things about Mediavine.
Facebook Scheduling – Smarter Queue. I tried out Meet Edgar for about 6 months with my Facebook page, and while I loved the concept of a “library” of posts that you can schedule and keep recycling, the $50/month price tag was just more than I could justify. Then I discovered Smarter Queue! It’s essentially the same concept as Meet Edgar for less than half the price. Plus they have nifty features to search/schedule/share other content to your FB page. It will schedule for Twitter, too. I highly recommend it as a low maintenance Facebook scheduling option! You can get a 30 day FREE trial by using my link here.
OTHER BLOGGING RESOURCES AND TOOLS:
Blogging Handbook – Building a Framework. This eBook by my friend Abby Lawson really is the ultimate blogging handbook. It is an extremely thorough and comprehensive look at all-things-blogging…from the start-up basics all the way through setting up an email list, working with brands
Product Creation – Book Boss. Another amazing product by Abby Lawson and her husband Donnie, this is a really amazing eCourse all about creating and selling a product. You get walked through the ENTIRE process – from how to come up with a topic, to how to set aside time to write/create it, to how to launch the product, to how to maintain sales beyond the launch – and everything in between! There are tech tutorials, worksheets, and more. The content is comparable to a college level class in size, scope, and quality of instruction – though it’s very accessible to folks at any ability level. It is definitely a big investment, but considering you will be selling a product, you will recoup your cost over time. I highly recommend it.
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