BEST RESOURCES FOR BLOGGERS
I created this recommendations sheet to share with you what I feel are the best resources for bloggers. These are the websites and products I use and love!
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below (because that's how smart biz moms roll), but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.
1. Site Ground– If you are serious about turning your blog into a business I highly recommend self hosting your blog. An inexpensive way to get started with this is through SiteGround, they have super affordable plans and their customer service is amazing. Of all of the hosting providers Site Ground is by far the best for reliability and service.
2. Wordpress - This is a great platform for your blog or website. There are many plugins you can use to optimize your users experience and track statistics.
3. Divi by Elegant Themes - This is my FAVORITE WordPress theme it is super user-friendly even if you are a new blogger.
Social Media Management/scheduling
1. Buffer - Batching your social media posts is one of the easiest ways to make your business more efficient. Buffer offers a free plan and you can schedule up to 10 posts at a time. I have the paid plan for $10 a month and can schedule up to 100 posts at a time. That is about one month of scheduling I can do all at once!
2. Post Planner - If you want some more advanced scheduling options like repeating your posts check out Post Planner. This is what I personally use and I love it. Post Planner’s “love” plan runs about $10 a month.
1. PicMonkey – Is a great way to edit your photos, add text, overlays ect. Their plans are $7.99/month or 3.99/month if you do their annual plan. This will really help your images pop!
2. Canva – Another great photo editing alternative. There are free and paid templates or you can create customized templates. I highly recommend giving Canva a try!
3. Creative Market – I am obsessed with Creative Market 😍. It is a collection of pretty much any creative design elements you can think of (fonts, stock photos, mock ups, blog templates, ect.) Purchasing a few items from Creative Market will really help your blog or business stand out. They also give away free items every week when you sign up for their email list!
Plus, once a month they sell a huge bundle for over 90% off. Click here to sign up for their list so you will be notified of the next bundle.
4. Free Stock Photos - Using stock photos can really enhance your brand and give you a more profession aesthetic. I did a round-up of my 20 favorite sources for Feminine Stock Photos here. Some additional free options are Pexels, PicJumbo, Death to Stock Photo and Pixabay.
5. PlaceIt - This is a great tool for creating mockups with ease. This is great for showcasing your digital products and can really jazz up your sales page.
1. ConvertKit - I wish that I had started with ConvertKit for my email in the first place! Their tagging and segmenting features make it so much easier to send targeted emails to your list. I have used ConvertKit for so many of my clients and it is absolutely fabulous. Plans start at $29 a month. This is one of the best investments you can make for your business.
2. Mailchimp - If you are just starting out and don't have a lot to spend Mailchimp has a free plan for your first 2,000 subscribers and for $10 you can upgrade to their pro plan for life saving features like e-mail automation.
3. SumoMe – This is a fabulous tool to have on your website to build traffic. You can use it for easy share buttons, building e-mail lists, creating pop-ups ect.
Course + Audio/visual
1. Teachable - I personally love and use Teachable to host my online courses. It is the host, payment processor, sales page, and affiliate manager all in one. I literally use Teachable in my business every day. To get a one month free trial of Teachable click here.
2. Blue Yeti Microphone - If you are creating a course you will most likely having some audio component for sharing information. While you can use your built in computer microphone, or the microphone on your headphones if you want a higher-quality sound, I highly recommend the Blue Yeti Microphone. It is super easy to set up and significantly will increase the quality of your audio.
3. Logitech C920 Webcam - If you are going to be recording video for your course (or doing Facebook lives, Youtube videos, etc.) you will want a camera with higher quality. The C920 is a great super easy to setup webcam that will help you those crisp images and will help your videos appear more professional.
4. Screencast-o-matic - If you are teaching technical tutorials where you will need to record your screen I use Screencast-o-matic, it is only $15 a year and has a ton of built in tools to help you create and edit awesome videos. You also can use this a video editing tool and record via your webcam for tutorials where you would be on screen.
5. PDF Escape - When creating a checklist or a worksheet do you ever wonder how the flip do those blogger make them fillable? It makes your PDF so much more convenient. Whether it is for a content upgrade or materials for your course your audience will appreciate being fillable #SaveTheTrees. PDF Escape is a free tool that let's you do all sorts of cool things like create fillable text boxes and add links to your PDF.
6. Deadline Funnel - This is one of my favorite tools of all and has massively helped me increase my revenue on my products. One of the challenges of having evergreen products is that they are always available to people don't feel the urgency to buy now. Deadline Funnel lets you set personalized timed funnels with expiring offers to help you capture that urgency and increase your sales. Usually, you can only get a 14-day trial, but for you I snagged a one-month free trial, you can check it out here.
Affiliate Programs For Bloggers
Amazon.com Associates is one of the biggest affiliate programs out there and with the widest variety of products. They sell absolutely anything from food to furniture. Since it is such a recognized site, your audience may feel more comfortable purchasing something from this website than the other less known companies.
Ultimate Bundles offers amazing bundles of digital products for an insanely low price. I recently purchased a bundle through them that had over $3,000 of courses, ebooks, and resources for only $97. The value of these bundles are insane and have a really high conversion rate.
The great thing about ShareASale is that although it is a popular site, many of the businesses in it are smaller so they don’t all absolutely require you to already have a ton of traffic. They are more open to start a business relationship with you. There are tons of awesome companies your can work with through this network. I highly recommend them!
If you have an audience in marketing, blogging, or online business you definitely need to check out Click Funnels. The founder Russell Brunson is seriously the funnels master and has tons of funnels and opt-ins you can share with your audience and once they are in there is a really high conversion rate. Plus, they actually have a really awesome training program on affiliate marketing that is free for their affiliates, so even if this type of program doesn't fit your niche, check it out for the free training!