I get asked a lot for tools and resources I use or would recommend to make the blogging + business life easier.
Unbelievably, a blog has multiple moving parts! And creating a business and/or blog involves a lot of hard work, time and effort to do it well.
To help you in your marketing efforts and to ramp up your blogging business, I’ve put together a list of tools and resources that will help you boost your creativity and make your blog even more amazing.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. I am recommending them because they are helpful and are businesses that I trust. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below!
Web Hosting Tools
To keep your site up and running, you need the right web hosting (with the right plan for your size of business). Here are two of my favorites:
Bluehost – If you’re a non-techy person, start with Bluehost. You’ll be able to setup a WordPress blog within 5 minutes using their one-click app. Plus they have great customer service – friendly + professional! Note: We walk you through the Bluehost set-up, step-by-step in How To Start A Blog here.
RochenHost – If you need complete control over your hosting infrastructure, RochenHost is for you. Their offering includes a 24/7 support team, managed backups and web application firewall protection, as standard. Your Marketing BFF is hosted with RochenHost.
Graphic Design + Editing Tools
These are some of my favorite tools to use to spruce up your blog! These will help you create and edit beautiful designs, graphics and photos for your site, marketing materials and social media platforms.
Photoshop – My favorite design software. I use this for photo-editing, and to create graphic designs for websites, logos and marketing materials.
Picmonkey – A great, free online photo editing tool for resizing images, designing and creating photo collages.
Canva – A non-graphic designer? No Adobe Photoshop? Canva is the tool for you! You can use this tool to make cover photos and fun photo collages or blog headers!
Piktochart – Want to turn your content into beautiful infographics? Free, easy to use and lots of cool customizable templates to choose from!
Myfonts – My #1 go-to for hot new fonts and/or unique fonts for my projects and my clients projects.
TinyPNG – A fabulous free online tool for compressing PNG files. This will help make your websites faster. Note: There’s also a $50 Photoshop plugin that’s available and lets you save hundreds on PNG files at once.
Stock Photography and Color Tools
Shutterstock – Quality stock photos, vectors, videos and music tracks you can purchase for your business and/or blog.
iStockphoto – Tons of royalty free photographs and vector artwork that you can use on your site. A resource I use with a number of my clients.
Unsplash – Looking for copyright free high-resolution stock photos for your blog posts? Check out Unsplash.
Design Seeds – One of my favorite color scheme sites! They pull color schemes from some gorgeous photographs.
ColourLovers – Looking for some color inspiration? There’s thousands of schemes to choose from and you can even create your own.
Content Creation Tools
Here are the tools and resources that will help you organize and generate content ideas, plus polish your content.
Evernote – An amazing organizer. You can use Evernote to store ideas, your to-do lists and create the first draft of your blog posts. Plus, you’ll be able to access your notes anywhere using your phone, tablet or desktop.
HemmingwayApp – This is an online app you can use to check your article/post before scheduling or hitting the publish button. This app will help you find hard to read sentences, common errors and word suggestions to make your writing even better!
Portent’s Title Generator – A free online tool for generating post titles for your next blog post. Place in your subject keyword(s) and see the title it generates.
A Sharing/Exchanging Large Files Tool
DropBox – When you have large files and photos that are too big to send via email, use Dropbox. You can easily share and exchange files with others and can even access your files anywhere using a phone, tablet or desktop.
Overnightprints – A great print company for business cards, postcards, brochures and rack cards. I use them myself – simply upload your files and they’ll print/ship.
Moo – Another great print company best known for their Mini and Luxe Cards.
Mailchimp – A free newsletter service (for up to 2000 subscribers)! I personally use them for all of Your Marketing BFF emails and they’re great!
Here are the tools that help me optimize my site for search engines.
WooRank – a free online tool that grades your marketing. It will tell you what you’re doing well, what to fix, and what to improve on the blog to increase your sites traffic.
Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress – a free plugin I use to analyze each blog post content. It really helps me to write better content and produce SEO rich posts.
Google Webmasters – Here’s where I check the health of my blog, submit sitemaps, determine error pages, security issues, see how I appear on Google search results and learn the top search queries and top pages.
Google Analytics – A must! The best tool I know for monitoring and analyzing your website traffic. You can track how many visitors you get per day, understand where your visitors are coming from, and what blog posts they’re reading.
Here are some of my favorite places to buy WordPress premium themes. All of these themes require the Genesis Framework.
Your Marketing BFF – Clean, modern design themes with a lot of customization options, and is my #1 favorite resource (of course)!
StudioPress (Genesis Framework) – The creators of the Genesis Framework is my 2nd favorite resource for premium themes. They have some of the best designers!
Restored 316 Designs – Beautiful, feminine WordPress Themes using the Genesis Framework.