Sharing the valuable blogging resources and tools I use for my blog and online business. These are tools I personally use to day and highly recommend – therefore feel free to ask questions in the comments.
This post contains affiliate links. Disclosure here. This means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
SETTING UP A BLOG
Siteground | Website Hosting. The main reason I use Siteground is for their customer service and strong technical skills to help me with anything. Their live chat is fast and the technicians will walk you through EVERYTHING. Pricing: Starts at $3.95 US a month for one website. Learn more about Siteground hosting here.
StudioPress | Genesis Framework. This is the technology behind your WordPress.org site. Many premium themes (including mine) run on the Genesis Framework. It’s SEO optimized, turnkey responsive designs for cross-browser compatibility, automatic updates, airtight security and more. If you purchase a premium theme from Pretty Darn Cute (above) or other reputable theme designers the majority is built on Genesis Framework which you need to purchase separately – Learn more here.
Elementor is a theme and page builder plugin. If you’re tired of the same look and feel on all the other blogs out there, and want to create something more unique without having to custom code everything, I highly recommend this plugin. I like the QUIN, and pair it with Elementor Pro for the best of both worlds (in fact, The Side Blogger is running on this exact combo!).
Feminine WordPress Themes
Bluchic themes are the perfect balance of beauty and simplicity. So you can easily create the beautiful website your business deserves. Building your dream website can be affordable and stress-free.
Website speed is important when it comes to retaining users and readers, and keeping them on your website longer. Nobody likes to deal with a slow website! Also, did you know that Google takes page speed into account when ranking? That’s where WP Engine – Speed Tool comes in. This plugin has all the features you need to optimize your site for speed and performance. Paired with a great hosting company such as SiteGround, this plugin is by far the best website optimization and caching plugin out there.
PIXELO-Best Design Resources for Designers and Web Professionals grab your freebies here
I’m of the mind that the less number of plugins you have, the better. That said, some plugins are essential for various reasons (performance, security, etc.) Below are some of my favorite plugins that I always install on my own sites as well as on my clients’ sites.
Anti-Spam – Detects spam and malicious comments and quarantines them. Free to use, and beats a paying plugin like Akismet by far and large.
Yoast SEO – A great plugin to insert metadata for pages and posts easily. It also polices SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, practices. While you should take its recommendations with a pinch of salt, it doesn’t hurt to take note of the suggestions.
Image Optimization by Optimole – Images is one of the biggest culprits for slowing down your site load time. I’ve tried a few image optimization plugins, and by far this is my favorite.
Edit Author Slug – When you click on a user, the link adds the user’s username as the slug. Which can be a huge security issue for most WordPress sites. Edit Author Slug helps you mask the username with a custom slug.
UpDraft Plus – Most hosting companies offer daily backups for either free or an additional cost (it’s a free feature on my preferred hosting company — SiteGround). However, I still prefer to have a backup plugin in place just because! Also, UpDraft Plus saves a backups file locally, so, if something unexpectedly goes wrong (during a plugin update for example), as long as you can access the WordPress dashboard, you can restore to a previous backup with just a click.
Great plugin that can detect media files that are not being linked anywhere on your site, and get rid of them with the click of a button. Useful plugin when you’ve had a blog for a while, assets have been switched around, and you’ve lost track of what’s linking where, and a bunch of unnecessary files is just sitting there on your media library. Use this plugin to do a bit of house-cleaning every month to keep your blog’s back-end clutter-free.
When you become a Pinterest Ninja student, you get EVERY SINGLE future update FOR FREE! Pinterest is a constantly changing platform, so updates are always being made!
And that update gets sent RIGHT to your inbox!
Pretty cool right?!
MAKING MONEY | AFFILIATE MARKETING PROGRAMS
If you are interested in sharing other bloggers ebooks or digital products SendOwl is a great place to start. This is a perfect strategy if you have taken a course or bought a digital product you love and you want to tell others about it (and get paid a commission to do so)! Even if you don’t write about the content in your blog you can share these products in blogging Facebook groups.
No matter what your blog content is about Ultimate Bundles will have amazing content for you to promote and make 40% commission on every sale. These bundles are essentially huge bundles of eBooks and other resources for a heavily discounted price. For example, a productivity bundle worth over $1500 (if you were to purchase each eBook separately) is sold for just $37 for a limited time.
MailerLite. This is the email marketing program I use for both of my websites. The account is free up to 1000 subscribers and after that, the pricing is very competitive. The email tools and setup of Mailerlite is also very easy to implement.
Share MailerLite with your friends and they’ll get a $20 credit when they sign up. If they end up upgrading, you’ll get a $20 credit too. Everybody wins!
Credits will automatically be applied to your MailerLite payment (up to 50% of the total cost). If your credits exceed this limit, they will be applied to the next payment.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULING TOOLS
Tailwind is an approved vendor for Pinterest and Instagram and the preferred choice to schedule content by most bloggers. You can start a free 30 pin trial and if you want to upgrade to the paid version (which I use) I have a $15 discount for you! Start your tailwind free trial or get $15 off Tailwind Plus (paid account).
Canva | Graphic Design Tool. No matter where you are in your graphic design experience, Canva is a fantastic tool that allows you to quickly create images for your blog posts and social media accounts. They have a free or a premium account called ‘Canva for Work’. I personally use Canva for Work as it allows me to save custom fonts, set up folders for my work, get access to premium fonts and images. Saying that the Canva free account is a great place to start.
Pinterest Templates. I offer a variety of Pinterest templates that give you a hand if you are looking to save time, need a little help designing high performing pins, or if you just want to release more Pins to Pinterest with new designs. Check out these 10 Feminine Pin Templates If you’d like to try some free Pinterest templates sign up here…