I thought it would be helpful to create a WordPress blogging resources page that you can come to for your blogging needs. I’ll add to it as I find more useful tools, so please check back. You may even want to bookmark it for your reference and convenience. Rebecca
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase. I’ve personally used each product myself and found them valuable for my business. If a product appeals to you, I’d appreciate it if you would use my link. If not, that’s fine. Enjoy!
- WordPress.org: The #1 Blog Publishing Platform and different than WordPress.com, which has limitations. WordPress.org is free to use. There are thousands of themes and plugins that will perform practically any function you can imagine. I use it exclusively. Simply purchase a hosting account. (Most are about $100 or less for the year) Then install WordPress using their one-click install program.
- StudioPress Themes: These are my favorite WordPress themes because they have clean code, excellent support, are attractive, and are functional. They’re powered by the Genesis Framework. I trust the integrity of StudioPress and all the themes are constantly updated for emerging technology. Whenever I have to work on a site that isn’t running Genesis StudioPress, I find it frustrating. There isn’t anything that compares or as reliable.
- Bluehost: I always recommend Bluehost to all my blog clients to set up their hosting account. It’s easy to use and isn’t cluttered with up-sells. Bluehost’s customer service is always outstanding. You can put an unlimited amount of domains on your account and have unlimited emails. Bluehost also integrates a service called Cloudflare that helps speed up your site and prevent hackers. I recommend Bluehost’s pro-backup system that costs about $20 per year. You never have to worry about restoring your site if something goes wrong. It’s well worth the small amount of money you pay for the service.
- MailChimp: MailChimp is an effective email marketing service that’s free for the first 2000 people on your list. They offer opt-in forms, broadcast emails, and RSS campaigns. For a small monthly fee, you can also add an autoresponder. The only issue with MailChimp is that they don’t allow you to put affiliate links in your email, but they have a great sense of humor.
- aweber – aweber has been around for years and has always been reliable and easy to configure as an email service. It is compatible with all email apps and offers customizable opt-in forms, autoresponder, RSS-driven campaigns, and follow-up messages.
- Optin Monster – Awesome optin pop-up boxes to build your email subscription list that is easy to format and install. It works as an app from a 3rd party site.
Social Media Marketing
- Milotree – Promote your social media profiles on your blog with MiloTree. An unobtrusive pop-up appears so people can follow you on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and your email list.
- Tailwind – The only Pinterest approved pin scheduler. It is an app that lets you pin at optimal times for the best engagement. It’s easy to use and you can also join Pinterest tribes to help you share your pins. You will also receive pin recommendations everytime you share on Pinterest.
- 40+ Genuine Places to Get Free Blog Content for Your Site – This page has excellent resources for bloggers looking to add or repurpose their content.
Videos and Screenshots
- TechSmith – Two tools I can’t be without are Camtasia for making amazing videos and Snagit for creating screenshots, editing photos, and recording short videos. It’s the best software out there and it’s easy to use. You can create videos in a snap on Camtasia and send them directly to YouTube, Vimeo, and other places as soon as you’re finished editing.
- Paypal: Whether you want to get paid (with a custom button) or you want to pay someone else, it’s essential to have a Paypal account. and it’s free to sign up. Be sure to upgrade to Premiere, which is also free.
- Freshbooks: I use Freshbooks to send out all my invoices. You can easily set it up to match your company’s branding and get paid using Paypal, or personal check. Send emails via email or snail mail. Freshbooks also tracks expenses. It’s perfect for a small business owner who wants cloud-based invoicing software that’s simple and attractive.
Images & Photos
- How to find free images for your blog – This is a good resource on how to learn the best ways to use images.
- Big Stock Photo – For licensed stock images I always go to Big Stock Photos. You can purchase a package of 25 images for $49 that you can use for blog posts or social media shares.
- Pixabay – Free images for bloggers.
- Fotosearch.com has an extensive collection of royalty-free stock photography, clipart, illustrations, and stock footage.
- MorgueFile – Also offers free images
- PicMonkey – Edit photos, resize them, and add text for free
- Canva – Create social media graphics using templates and images. It’s free to use. If you use their images as opposed to your own, you pay only $1.
- GoGraph Stock Photography – low-cost stock photography.
- Burst – Free stock photos powered by Shopify that can be used for commercial websites.
- Upsplash – Truly stunning free images, attribution not necessary.
Important for bloggers – Make sure to create a gravatar.com account and attach your headshot to your email. That way your photo will show up in comments, on guest posts, and other places on the Internet rather than a blank or weird avatar. It adds a personal touch and is essential for branding. Sign up for free with your WordPress.com account (also important even if you use self-hosted WordPress -which you should be using) because important plugins are powered by it.
If you are blogging you can sell products from other companies and earn an affiliate commission. It’s free to sign up for an affiliate program and you get paid when someone purchases a product you promote. These are some of my favorites.
How your site performs is important and will affect your Google ranking. Here is a great article on how to optimize your site for speed.
To learn how to blog or for blogging services, please contact me:
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