*I may be affiliated with some of these recommendations, resources, and tools below. This means I will get a small commission if you purchase through my link.
Building Your Blog Foundation + Storing your Digital Assets
Beaver Builder – Beaver Builder is an easy-to-use website builder that helps you customize your website’s main pages like your home page, about page, contact page, resources page, etc. Your website will look less cookie-cutter and optimized to the way you want. If you just want a blog design, then you won’t need to use Beaver Builder. But if you want to build a website that caters to your needs, then you’ll want to look into this!
Bluehost – My favorite hosting service that hosts a few of my websites. They have good tech support whenever you need help whether it’s regarding a tech glitch or a hosting upgrade.
Dropbox – When you’re blogging, you’re going to have so many digital assets you want to keep organized. Dropbox starts with a free plan. You can use this to share across teams, host your content upgrades, or just store all your digital inventory. Trust me, you will have a lot and it can get out of hand (lol).
Ebates – Ebates is a cashback site and you get anywhere from 2-10% cash back if you purchase through their website. This is especially helpful if you buy tools from Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. often. A few percentages might not seem a lot, but it can add up. I recommend adding this link to your Bookmarks.
Google Drive – Google Drive is free to use and it’s become so invaluable that I use it both for my personal life and for work. Every rough draft of my blog posts, guest posts, or marketing plans are all written in my Google Drive.
Teachable – An easy-to-use to course or digital asset hosting service for your courses, membership sites, or e-books. They even come with a free plan!
WordPress – The content management system (CMS) I’ve been using for almost 10 years now. It’s plugins and customizability is enormous. It’s a one-click install if you’re using Bluehost as your hosting service provider.
Zapier – Eliminate the routine and automate some of your processes and systems with Zapier. It integrates with almost all major tech service providers from ConvertKit, WordPress, to Trello. You can automatically create a new Google doc every time you create a new card in Trello. Sounds like magic?
Getting More Traffic + Subscribers
ActiveCampaign – My favorite email service provider and I’ve tried Mailchimp (which I hated) and Mailerlite (which isn’t as robust). ActiveCampaign makes you feel like you’re the real deal and if you’re building your list, you need some place to store your contacts and fire out your automation sequences.
Facebook groups – There are groups for every interest group on Facebook. It’s a great place to get started, get nosy on what other people are up to, or get started with finding clients.
KW Finder – This is similar to Google Keyword Planner, but it dives deep into specific numbers and how many monthly searches per keyword. It also gives you suggested and similar keywords you want to target as other options for every keyword you search. Takes the time out of brainstorming? I think yes.
Pinterest – Pinterest is a powerhouse for driving traffic because like Google, it’s a search engine!
Popup Ally Pro – Want to build out your lead collection and marketing tool in-house instead of using something pricey like Leadpages? Popup Ally Pro is a plugin that helps you create embed forms and pop forms inside WordPress.
Quora – Quora is another powerhouse whether you want to learn from the most intelligent and experienced professionals or use it as a way to add value and then drive traffic back to your site. It’s also a great source to check out when you want to know what questions people are asking in your industry and then answering it in a blog post.
Planning for Domination
Trello – Some people swear by Asana, but Trello is the first planning tool I’ve used. I use it to keep and break down all the micro-tasks I need to do to get to each bigger goal. My social promotion, editorial calendar, and course creation to-do lists are all inside Trello.
XMind – It’s just hard to dive right into writing without ever planning. That’s like selling without knowing your value proposition. XMind lets you mind map and structures your blog posts before you dive into writing.
Writing Like a Ninja
Evernote – Evernote is a tool that you use to organize your notebooks and write your blog posts.
Hemingway App – I use Hemingway to edit all my blog post drafts for any passive voice or long sentences before copying and pasting it into WordPress. It’s free to use and while the name “app” may throw you off, it’s actually something you use on your desktop and not iPhone.
Designing Graphics + Producing Videos
Canva – Canva is my go-to tool for designing my pins and blog graphics. It’s free to use and 1000x faster and friendly to use than Photoshop.
iPhone – Don’t forget this baby. I use mine to film any face-to-face portions of any video.
Optimizilla – Use this handy dandy tool to compress your image files before uploading them to WordPress. Large files will decrease your website loading time, which can result in you losing traffic.
Screencast-o-matic – At $15/year, this screen recording tool is unbeatable! You can also use it to film webcam videos or share both your face and screen at the same time. It comes with its own base of mini editing tools, which is enough for the starter.
YouTube – Since YouTube is a search engine, you can use it to drive traffic to your website. Otherwise, the video itself can be a much more engaging medium to deliver your content when you’re ready to shine!