Want in on my go-to blogging tools?
If you’re building your own blogging business, you don’t wanna miss these. From photo editing, to email providers, to media kit templates, I’ve got you covered.
*Disclosure: Affiliate Links have been used on this page. I only ever recommend tools and products I actually use and love. Promise.
HOSTING & WEB PLATFORMS
WordPress – Use WordPress to create a beautiful and easy to manage site.
BlueHost – For the most reasonably priced hosting service around, you can’t beat BlueHost. Perfect if you are just starting your blog, or plan to keep it as a hobby. Eventually when your page views get high, you may need to consider switching hosts to handle the larger volume. Although I had good experience with BlueHost when I used them, I have heard a few stories from bloggers who haven’t loved the customer service. Click here for my step-by-step tutorial on setting up Bluehost.
You need a gorgeous theme to give your blog a “look”. You don’t need to have your site custom designed when there are such amazing premade themes out there! These are my fave theme shops:
- Restored 316* (especially looooooove these! and their customer support is fabulous)
- Eclair Designs*
- Dinosaur Stew*
- 17th Avenue
- Lovely Confetti
* –> shops I have personally purchased from
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULERS:
Tailwind – This is the BEST tool for Pinterest scheduling. You can batch upload, schedule out your pins, and find content to pin really easily with Tribes. It’s a Pinterest-approved scheduler, which means Pinterest won’t knock you for using it (like they might with other schedulers). Get a FREE MONTH of Tailwind here!
Later – I use Later.com for scheduling out my instagram posts. It’s easy to use, free for up to 30 posts a month, and I like that you can preview your grid!
GRAPHICS & FONTS
Creative Market – My absolute go-to spot for graphics and fonts. Be warned… if you’re anything like me, you are going to spend way too much time checking out all the amazing stuff people are selling over there! From graphic vectors to fonts to stock photos to backgrounds, you can find a ton of great stuff on Creative Market.
PHOTO & GRAPHIC DESIGN:
Canva – An amazing free photo editing tool. I can spend hours on Canva creating and creating – I love it. They make it easy with templates that are already sized for various purposes, like instagram, pinterest, eBook covers, etc. And using their ready-to-customize layout ideas make you look like a profesh graphic designer.
PicMonkey – I have the Royale version of PicMonkey (about $40 per year) and use this tool a ton. Even though I pay for Adobe Illustrator and also use Canva, I find PicMonkey really easy to edit photos and create graphics.
Haute Chocolate – Subscription based stock photography service. Really beautiful quality photos for those who have an ongoing need for lots of stock photos (particularly with an office/workplace theme).
Stocksy – Amazing selection of royalty free stock photos! You can find just about anything and everything.
Unsplash – Another incredible selection of royalty-free photos you can use. Gorgeous, gorgeous photography!
Mailerlite – If you don’t have a budget for an email service provider when you are first starting out, then you can absolutely get going with Mailerlite for free. Depending on your needs as you grow, you may want to move away from Mailerlite down the road, but it’s an awesome platform to get started on!
ConvertKit – Convertkit has amazing functionality for getting a lot more out of your list. You can tag your audience so that you know who is interest in what, create automatic sequences or sales funnels, create opt-in boxes and landing pages, has an RSS option, and so much more. You definitely get a lot for a reasonable price. Oh and it only counts subscribers ONCE (even if they opt in for more than one thing on your site), so you don’t ever double-pay.
ONLINE COURSE PLATFORM:
Teachery – If you are thinking of creating an online course, I LOVE Teachery. It’s not as well-known as some of the others out there, but the creator Jason Zook is a really cool, innovative dude. The platform is easy to navigate and setup, user-friendly for students, has tons of functionality, and they handle all the payment processing and back-end stuff really seamlessly. Plus Jason and his team offer unbelievable customer service. The best I have EVER seen!
Etsy – A great spot to get started with an online shop. It is so quick and easy to launch, they handle all back-end logistics and transactions, and there is a lot of built-in traffic since Etsy is the #1 online handmade marketplace. Use this link to get your first 40 listings FREE!
WooCommerce – If you are running a wordpress website (particularly if using a theme that is designed to integrate WooCommerce), then this FREE plugin allows you to start selling items on your own site!
Shopify – Great if you want to setup a standalone shop site. Very easy to navigate and get started. You don’t need to have any tech skills really, they hand-hold you along the way and make it incredibly easy! There is a monthly fee.
GumRoad – If you are selling digital products, GumRoad is perfect for processing transactions. The fees are reasonable and it’s easy to get setup.
MEDIA KIT TEMPLATES:
You need to have a stellar media kit to use as your sales tool when you reach out to brands. Instead of fumbling around trying to make one look good on your own (particularly if you don’t have great software like InDesign), use a template! They are so easy, don’t require special software, and usually cost less than $20. These are my faves:
- Blogger Kit Co – use coupon code GEMMA10 for 10% off!
- Graphicadi – use coupon code THESWEETESTDIGS for 10% off!
- Twelve Skip
- Chic Templates
- The Shine Design Studio
LEARNING & EDUCATION:
Melyssa Griffin, Pinfinite Growth – Learn to explode your followers and blog traffic using Pinterest! I took Melyssa’s course and had my first 100,000 blog visitor months once I implemented all of her strategies. You can watch a free webinar from her here!
BookBoss – Abby Lawson is a super successful blogger in the home decor and organization niche. Part of her monetization strategy has been to create and sell eBooks, and she has done really well with them! If you have ever thought of writing and selling your own eBook, I can absolutely recommend Abby’s course (which I have taken). It’s very comprehensive and helpful, with Abby taking you from start to finish.
Want to create your own SHOP for your blog?
We’ve gone over the tools you need here, but if you want to start a profitable business, you have to start selling your own products. It is incredibly EASY to create a custom line of products without the hassle and headache of inventory using a drop-ship manufacturing model. Click here and I’ll walk you through it, and send you my personal manufacturers list!!!