Recommended Blogging Tools & Resources
Here’s a list of blogging tools & resources for online entrepreneurs and beginners alike.
Some are free, some will cost you the spare change you find in your couch cushions.
I’ve listed ones I personally use along with others that come highly recommended by influential bloggers.
As I come across new and useful tools for bloggers, I will be sure to add to these lists.
Recommended Blogging Tools & Resources – Table of Contents:
- Web Hosting
- Blog Themes/Design
- Graphic Design
- Keyword Research/SEO Marketing
- Social Media Marketing/Management
- Email Marketing
- Competition Research/Internet Marketing Tools
- Recommended WordPress Plugins
- Site Speed & Performance Testing Tools
- Blog Monetization
- Influential Bloggers & Resources
- Other Blogging Resources and Tools
For the past 10 years that I have tinkered with blogging, I have always used WordPress as the platform for my sites.
WordPress.org is the number 1 option for those who wish to make money with their blog – and is the blogging platform of choice for the majority of other successful and influential bloggers in cyberspace.
There are other platform that exist, including:
Why Choose WordPress – How WordPress Changed the Internet
Recommended Reading – Choosing a Blogging Platform
In today’s market, there are many hosting companies available for bloggers.
If you’re just starting out or have a smaller blog I highly recommend you check out SiteGround who has put together a Special Discount offer for JohnEEngle.com readers.
Click This Link to get 60% OFF the Regular Price.
SiteGround is the Most Cost-Effective – Officially Recommended by WordPress.org – with a customer satisfaction rating at 98% – Hosting for WordPress.
… and, is a great option for building your first website or blog.
I personally use SiteGround, because:
- SiteGround is Engineered for Speed, Built for Security, and Optimized for WordPress.
- Your site will run faster than most any other hosts (which is a BIG DEAL to Google).
- Their support agents are available 24/7 by Phone, Chat or Ticketing support.
There are cheaper hosting companies, but you won’t find anyone as trouble-free as SiteGround. Remember the old saying… “You Get What You Pay For!”
– I don’t know about you – but paying a few extra dollars per month to get a Frustration-Free and Trouble-Free website, along with a FREE Content Delivery Network (CDN), FREE eMail Accounts and FREE Daily Site Backups, is worth every penny!
Once you’ve reached over 10,000 visitors per month, you can consider upgrading, and SiteGround will scale with you, through the click of a button.
– Students – Scholars, Educators, and Organizations: Did you know that SiteGround is also available at a discounted price for Students. Use this Link to receive the $1.99 per month rate.
Don’t Miss Out – Click Here to Get Your 60% OFF Discount Coupon.
Recommended Reading: Learn more about How To Start a Blog in 5 EASY Steps using this step-by-step guide for beginners.
There are 1000’s of blog themes available for WordPress blogs. My only word of advice is to choose one that is updated regularly for holes in security as you do not want to get your blog hacked with a poorly designed template.
When I first started blogging in 2009, I decided to invest in a premium theme… one that I can learn, and grow with.
One of the greatest advantages of owning a premium theme is the support you get – if you need it.
On that note… let’s start with the Simplest Option: Elegant Themes.
Elegant Themes, Divi in particular, are the perfect package (The Ultimate Toolkit) to get your online business up and running. It’s the main reason they have become the most popular company building themes on the market, with 611,772 (Sept. 25th, 2019) paying customers… comes with a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee!
The bottom line: If you are wanting the most user-friendly solution that will last you for years, and doesn’t require the tech gene, then Elegant Themes is your ticket to Stardom.
Recommended Reading: Choosing a WordPress Theme
- PicMonkey – has the easy-to-use tools you need to create stunning social posts, cover photos, ads, and more. Its a useful tool for creating stunning, visual content for your blog.
- Canva – great for creating graphics for social media – this online graphic design tool is user-friendly and Free!
- 99designs – need some graphics, a logo or some other design element created by a pro? Check out the services offered by the thousands of designers at 99designs.
- Design Wizard– perfect for social media marketers, party planners and business owners – all tool features are available in the FREE subscription with more than 17,000 templates (10,000 free) and over 1.2 million images. This is an excellent alternative to Canva.
Keyword Research/SEO Marketing
Increase Your SEO Traffic for Better Google Rankings
Rankings, On-Page, Backlinks, and Reports – All in One, Internet Marketing Toolkit
SEO PowerSuite, by Link-Assistant, covers every step of an SEO campaign of any caliber, from rankings to on-page to backlinks. With its intuitive UI and a wealth of pro-level features, it’s a perfect fit for SEO newbies and experts alike.
SEO Powersuite is available for FREE… the product is so powerful that the folks there know you will eventually choose to upgrade to their more premium version.
The Ultimate WordPress SEO Plugin, Period!
Introducing a Brilliantly Designed, Time-Tested SEO WordPress Plugin That Will Skyrocket Your Website’s Search Engine Ranking Straight To The Stratosphere GUARANTEED! You Can Follow, or YOU CAN LEAD, It’s Your Choice!
SEOPressor – SEOPressor plugin gives you maximum SEO clarity on your WordPress sites with a host of customization & optimization features designed for controlling SEO with ease.
Social Media Marketing/Management
- AgoraPulse – harness your social media content and engagement with the easiest and most affordable social media management tool for teams and agencies.
- Buffer – save time managing social media for your business. Buffer makes it easy for businesses and marketing teams to schedule posts, analyze performance, and manage all their accounts in one place
- Sprout Social – a social media management software that will help you find, form and strengthen connections with the people who love your brand. These are tools for productivity and team management.
- Social Media Tools: A Complete List of 633 Tools (2019 Update). This is the largest and most comprehensive list of social media tools online.
- ConvertKit – built for bloggers, it’s recommended for beginner to intermediate bloggers.
- SumoMe – an email marketing tool that will help you collect email addresses through a variety of popup boxes, static bars, along with other innovative tools. Proven to grow your customers, audience and sales.
- Thrive Leads – 108,759 Enthusiastic Users Can’t Be Wrong… 108,759 customers have discovered the benefits of using conversion-boosting WordPress tools provided by Thrive Themes. We guarantee luxury-quality software and real life results. And our software delivers, over and over again.
- OptinMonster – a proven email capture tool that will instantly boost leads and grow revenue using the most powerful conversion optimization toolkit in the world.
Competition Research/Internet Marketing Tools
- Feedly – Feedly offers an easy way to aggregate all your blogging website feeds in one place. If you’re looking for a specific feed, such as your favorite blog, you can search by keyword, the website name, or the RSS feed address.
- BuzzSumo – analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. Find key influencers to promote your content. It’s a fantastic tool for analyzing how well content is being shared on your site or others.
- QuickSprout – learn how to grow your traffic, improve your website, and increase your conversions.
Recommended WordPress Plugins
My List of WordPress plugins that I personally use and swear by to help my blogging business succeed!
- Pretty Links – shrink, track and share any URL on the Internet from your WordPress website!
- Social Warfare – the Social plugin I use and swear by. This plugin will maximize your social shares and drive more traffic using the fastest and most intelligent share buttons on the market. It offers, calls to action via in-post click-to-tweets, popular posts widgets based on share popularity, link-shortening, Google Analytics and much, much more!
I personally use the Social Warfare paid version at $29 a year. It offers a ton more features than the free version. Two of the cool features: the plugin will place a “Pin” button over the top of every image inside your content, so when your reader hovers her mouse over it, she will be able to share your image to Pinterest! And, in addition to the extra social networks, you can also reactivate, track and display Twitter tweet counts! Follow the link to find out more.
- W3 Total Cache – the highest rated and most complete WordPress performance plugin. Dramatically improve the speed and user experience of your site. Add browser, page, object and database caching as well as minify and content delivery network (CDN) to WordPress.
- WPForms Lite – beginner friendly WordPress contact form plugin. Uses a Drag & Drop form builder to create your WordPress forms.
- Wordfence Security Firewall & Malware Scan – Wordfence includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner that were built from the ground up to protect WordPress. Our Threat Defense Feed arms Wordfence with the newest firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP addresses it needs to keep your website safe.
- Yoast SEO – I used to use another SEO plugin, but have since moved to the Yoast Plugin and will never return to another. It’s the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress, including on-page content analysis, XML sitemaps and much more.
Site Speed & Performance – Online Testing Tools
- GTMetrix – Online Site Speed and Performance tool that offers suggestions for improving your page’s performance, summarizes the page’s components, displays statistics about the page, and provides tools for performance analysis.
- PingDom – An online Site Speed and Performance Tool to help you analyze your website load speed. This online tool is designed to help make your site faster by identifying what elements of your webpage loading time is fast, slow, too big, and so on – it’s a tool that will show you specific areas that are robbing your site’s loading speed and performance.
- WebSite Speed Test Tool – Check how fast your WordPress website will load with this free speed test tool. Similar to both GTMetrix and PingDom, this Speed Test tool will show you your sites load time, performance grade, page size and quantity of server requests. The tool will also give you PageSpeed & Performance suggestions.
- WordPress Website Security Scanner – This website security scanner will check any WordPress website for known malware and website errors.
- AdSense – Googles Ad network – one of the most widely used ways of making money for bloggers.
- Amazon Associates – make money recommending everyday products people buy from the biggest online store.
Influential Bloggers & Resources
- Neil Patel – if you want to learn more about digital marketing, SEO, conversion optimization, ecommerce or even how to generate more sales, Neil is your man!
- Marketing Profs – improve your marketing skills and become a better writer – filled with essential resources and in-depth training courses.
- Smart Blogger – cutting-edge marketing advice – how to get more readers, become an authority in your niche, and get the attention you deserve.
- HubSpot – from content marketing to lead generation, HubSpot will feed you with insights, ideas and inspiration to help you with your marketing efforts.
Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Examiner – whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram – discover how to best use social media marketing to connect with customers, generate awareness and increase sales.
- Social Media Today – will help you keep up with the latest news, tips and social media marketing trends.
- Twiends – Grow Your Audience on Twitter. Twiends extensive Twitter guide covers everything you need to know about how to get twitter followers. From setting up your account to running contests and twitter chats, it’s all there. Twiends will even show you how to use other promotion tools such as Twitter Ads.
- CopyBlogger – a great source for content creation – Words that Work for Smarter Digital Marketing and Sales.
- Content Marketing Institute – advancing the practice of content marketing through online education, print and in-person events.
- Meera Kothand – simple email marketing tips that work!
- Digital Marketer – a little of everything to include, email marketing, content marketing and SEO.
Search Engine Optimization
- BackLinko – is an SEO blog that focuses on actionable SEO tips, strategies and case studies.
- Ahrefs – will help you get better at SEO and marketing using detailed tutorials, case studies and opinion pieces from marketing practitioners and industry experts alike.
WordPress Site Speed & Performance
- Kinsta – A Beginner’s Guide to Website Speed Optimization. An in-depth website speed optimization guide that shows you how important it is to have a snappy website. DIY instructions and tricks to improve load times.
- Yoast – How to use a page speed test to optimize your WordPress website
- KeyCDN – Top 15 Free Website Speed Test Tools
Other Blogging Resources and Tools
- Genius Links – a great tool/resource for managing your affiliate links – particularly useful if you have a global audience and monetize with Amazon’s affiliate program.
- AppSumo Unlimited Images – The stock (image) market is soaring – StockUnlimited is an endless library of dazzling stock content as far as the eye can see.
- Google Analytics – a great free metrics/statistics program. It’s an industry standard, and you need to have it installed!
TO YOUR ONLINE SUCCESS,