Recommended Blogging Tools and Resources for Bloggers

From the time I started this blog and still today, frequently I find myself answering the question about the Blogging tools I use and recommend for new bloggers.

As a result, I m creating this dedicated resource page so that everyone has easy access to them. In this list, I have shared all the tools and services you need for starting and growing your blog. Be it web hosting or plugins or social media schedulers this list has all the tools.

I have tried to briefly define the functionality and features of these tools. Feel free to bookmark this page as I will be updating this often

Blogging Platform

WordPress

WordPress powers 34.5% of the websites on the internet and that makes it the most popular and used CMS (Content Management System). It is based on PHP and My SQL and is open-source software that gives to the liberty to create any type of website you want.

The websites created on WordPress can be easily managed and customized based on your requirements. You need to be technically strong in order to start a blog or website with WordPress.

Often you will find people talking about WordPress.com which is very different from WordPress.org. Both the platforms are different. You can create a free blog with WordPress.com, but there are a lot of restrictions and on every step, you are required to pay for an upgrade.

We highly recommend you blog with WordPress.org and not WordPress.com

Recommended Read

Web Hosting

Bluehost

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Bluehost has been providing web hosting affordable web hosting solutions to new bloggers and web owners for over 15 years now. It hosts over 2 million websites and is one of the most established web hosting company.

Also, it has been on the WordPress recommended list of hosting providers for over 10 years which is a huge achievement.

With every Bluehost hosting plan, you get a free domain name for a year and a free SSL certificate. The hosting plans offered one of the least expensive, but provide value for money.

Bluehost provides great speed, 99.99% uptime, and 24/7 support even in the lower tier plans. I personally use Bluehost and highly recommend using it.

You may like to read – Bluehost Review

Siteground

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Siteground is a very popular hosting among bloggers these days. This company has suddenly taken over the market with a storm and it reports servicing over 1.8 million domains worldwide.

They have been in the market for over 15 years and their speed, security and customer support are what make Siteground a great choice for beginners.

Siteground is also on the WordPress web hosting recommendation list.

Every hosting plan on Siteground comes with

  1. Free SSL
  2. Free Site builder
  3. Email accounts
  4. Unmetered traffic

Domain Name

GoDaddy

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When it comes to buying domain names one of the pioneers in the industry is Godaddy. The company was established in 1997 and has a customer base of approx 18.5 million.

The first domain name I bought was from Godaddy and I still have a few with them.

A domain name can range from anywhere between $5 to $15 unless you want a premium domain. Frequently companies launch promotional offers that can further affect the price.

Namecheap

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Another popular domain name registrar is Namecheap. It manages over 11 million domains and that makes Namecheap one of the largest domain name registration company.

Namecheap has been in the market for nearly 20 years and offers web hosting services as well.

The cost of a domain name from Namecheap is also in the same range and pricing will vary depending on the deals and discounts offered.

WordPress Themes

Elegant Themes

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One of the biggest names in the WordPress theme and plugin industry is Elegant Themes. Elegant Themes has been in the business for over 10 years and have over 600k customers to date.

All the themes are fully responsive, comes with an advanced theme panel that makes the customization easy. You get access to a massive collection of pre-built themes that saves time. There is a huge selection of shortcodes available that will help you design your posts and pages and customer support is very helpful.

The best part about buying themes from Elegant themes is you can use it on any number of websites.

Also, it is important to know, when you invest in any of the Elegant Themes plans you are not just getting a single theme for that price rather you get access

  • to the full range of products which includes Divi, Extra, Bloom, and Monarch
  • 100’s of design layouts to jump-start your project
  • while you are a member you get regular updates
  • as mentioned above once purchased you can use it on multiple websites
  • 30 days money-back guarantee. No questions asked

Themeforest

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Themeforest is one of the largest marketplaces to buy and sell themes. It is a part of Envato Market which is collection themed marketplaces.

You can buy anything from themes to plugins to Photoshop elements and much more from various sites under the Envato market.

Think of a feature or multiple features you want on your website and you can find the theme. Themeforest being such a huge marketplace you can easily find a theme that you like.

The theme I’m using on this website is from Themeforest and I’m pretty satisfied as a customer.

GeneratePress

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If you are looking for a fast and SEO optimized theme, GeneratePress is what you should go for.

To date, GeneratePress has had

  • over 2 million downloads
  • 800+ 5 star reviews
  • 200k+ active websites
  •  50000+ happy customers

GeneratePress has been in the market for 5 years and has already left a huge imprint which is amazing.

The theme is performance focused and is compatible with page builders. When we talk about performance the first thing that comes to mind is the size.

The default WordPress install with this theme is only 30kb which is very light.

As far as the customization are concerned, you can take control of the site layout, change color and typography and as mentioned above it is compatible with page builders and that gives you the freedom to customize the way you want.

Page Builders

Elementor

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With over 3 million active downloads, Elementor is one of the most popular page builders and I personally use it.

The best part about using drag and drop page builder is that you don’t have to worry about the code while designing the pages. Another important thing to know is you are creating designs visually.

This means while you are adding elements to the page, you can see how it will turn out. This makes the task so much easier.

If you are thinking about how the design will turn out on handheld devices, let me tell you designs created with Elementor are fully responsive and in case you want to see how it looks on mobile or tablets you can easily change the preview from desktop to mobile to tablet without having to leave the interface.

With Elementor you get to use 90+ widgets and create any type of element you need for your page. Be it buttons, forms, headings, columns, icons or anything else Elementor has the solution for everything.

Also, you get access to the Elementor library which contains 300+ pre-designed templates, pages and blocks that are fit for any industry and will make your job even easier.

With that said, what makes Elementor the best drag and drop page builder plugin for beginners is the ease of use and its pricing. It is a freemium plugin, which means both free and premium versions are available.

If you decide to go with the free version, you still get to use quite a lot of elements that will help you create a decent page.

Shortcode Ultimate

This is the plugin I often use to add various elements my posts. Be it buttons, column, rate cards, highlights or any other element that you want to add to your page to make it look better, Shortcode Ultimate is the answer to all your queries.

Shortcode Ultimate has over 7 million downloads, 800k+ active installs and has an average rating of 4.9 out of 5. Isn’t that amazing?

This plugin is very lightweight and easy to use. With just a click of a button, you can add elements to your pages and posts that will help you create attention-grabbing yet professional looking pages.

Shortcode Ultimate is free to download and comes with 50+ elements that you can use to enhance the functionality of your page.

Also, there are 3 premium add-ons available that you can use if needed to further extend the features of this plugin.

WordPress Caching

WP Rocket

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Site speed is one of the factors that heavily contribute to the user experience and for improving it you need a caching plugin.

When I started with this blog, I first tried the free caching plugins and let me tell you I’m glad I found WP Rocket. With over 140k users and rated 4.9 out of 5, WP Rocket is one of the best caching plugins in the market.

This plugin is very easy to use and the dashboard is beginner-friendly. Even if you are a non-technical, you will be able to easily configure the settings whereas free plugins are pretty confusing when it comes to configuring.

Also, WP Rocket takes care of a lot of other optimizations to improve the performance of your website.

With WP Rocket you get features such as

  • Page Caching
  • Cache Preloading
  • Sitemap Preloading
  • GZIP compression
  • Browser Caching
  • Database optimization
  • Google Font optimization
  • Lazy Load
  • Minification / Concatenation

and much more

Email Marketing

Mailerlite

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If you are a blogger or an online business owner, I’m sure you know how important is email marketing for your business.

Mailerlite is an email marketing tool that will help you with this. If you are new to the online world and are looking for affordable and easy to use solution, Mailerlite is the tool for you.

With Mailerlite you get features such as

  • Drag and Drop builder
  • Newsletter templates
  • Create landing pages, embedded forms, and popups
  • Subscriber management
  • Segmentation
  • Tagging
  • Personalization
  • Email automation
  • A/B split testing
  • Auto resend
  • RSS Campaign

and much more

The interface is very easy to use and you can set up your first campaign in no time. When it comes to pricing, it is free up to 1000 subscribers and 12000 emails/ month.

In case you have more than 1000 subscribers, the pricing is still reasonable. For further pricing details visit the official Mailerlite website.

ConvertKit

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When it comes to email marketing, ConvertKit is another powerful yet beginner-friendly tool.

If you are looking for a premium email marketing tool, then ConvertKit is for you.

With ConvertKit, you get features such as

  • RSS to Email
  • Create Email’s without having to worry about coding
  • Tagging
  • Email automation
  • A/B testing
  • Autoresponder follow-ups
  • Third-party integration including social media
  • Sign up forms
  • Segmentation
  • Subscriber management
  • Email delivery rate
  • Email tracking
  • Email and Chat support
  • Free migration

and much more. The ConvertKit feature list is extensive and you can check all the features on the ConvertKit website.

Social Media

Social Snap

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Often you may have seen blogs with social media buttons that people can use to share content on social media platforms. You can add these buttons easily using a plugin called Social Snap.

This is the social share plugin we are using on this site. Social Snap is easy to use and lightweight WordPress plugin that allows you to add not only social share but follow buttons as well.

This plugin is available in both free and premium version and is packed with features such as

  • Visitors can share your content on over 30 social networks.
  • You can position social share buttons anywhere on your site for maximum engagement.
  • Social Snap allows you to customize button shapes, colors, animations and more.
  • You can also display social shares counts.
  • Using Social Snap, you can control how your posts look on social media
  • It also allows you to add social share buttons on images as well.
  • This plugin gives you access to advanced statistics. You can easily track engagements and stay up to date on how your posts are performing.

Having said that,

The list of features is endless and you can see the full feature list on Social Snap website

Tailwind

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When it comes to driving traffic to your website, Pinterest is considered as one of the best and reliable source. To generate traffic from Pinterest you have to pin regularly and this can be a tiring and boring process.

When I first started using Pinterest, I thought the pinning process is easy and it can be easily done daily. And one thing that never crossed was regular pinning is a time-consuming process and if the pins are scheduled every week I could invest that time somewhere else.

With that said, I do not want you to make the same mistake. For this reason, I highly recommend using Tailwind for regular pinning and scheduling.

It is the #1 Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and very popular among bloggers and small business owners.

With Tailwind you get features such as

  • Creating an editorial calendar and posting schedule using drag and drop based on engagement, traffic, and more such factors
  • Track repins, likes, comments, and traffic on pins
  • Discover your brand mentions
  • Create content based on new trends
  • Track growth
  • Identify which elements are working best for you

and much more. You can read in detail about all the features on the Tailwind website.

Tailwind is a lifesaver and must-have tool. I’m sure using it will boost your reach on Pinterest.

MissingLettr

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One of the biggest reason why many blogs fail to make it big is the lack of promotion. When you create good content you have already won half the battle.

However, the next half is distributing your content or promoting it to generate traffic. And let me tell you it is an intense process.

When it comes to blogging time is the biggest asset and there is never enough of it. You will always find yourself missing out on a few things as there is too much to do.

Promoting your content on social media may seem like a small process but in reality it is not. The process includes creating graphics, writing catchy titles and crafting descriptions that generates engagement. Now, doing all of this takes time.

And that is why many bloggers fail to maintain a social media schedule. This is where you need an automation tool.

MissingLettr is one such tool that can solve this problem. This tool uses AI and NLP (Natural Language Processing) to scan through your blog posts and automatically creates engaging social media campaigns using it.

Using this tool you can create and schedule posts for various social media platforms for months in advance. This means you can focus on creating more engaging content and leave the promotional part to the tool.

MissingLettr is a premium tool and pricing starts at $7/mo which is very reasonable. And using our special link you can get 50% off on any plan for first 3 months. Also, if you want to try this tool first there is a 14-day trial as well.

Youtube SEO

Tubebuddy

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If you are someone looking to start or grow a Youtube channel, Tubebuddy is the tool you need.

Tubebuddy is a browser extension certified by Youtube that integrates directly to your channel and helps you optimize and grow your channel.

Tubebuddy offers features such as

  • Advanced video embeds
  • Card templates
  • Emoji picker
  • Playlist action
  • Publish to Facebook
  • Creating a publishing schedule
  • Topic planner
  • Schedule video updates
  • Bulk processing of cards and end screens
  • Keyword exploring and rank tracking
  • Tag sorter
  • A/B testing
  • Channel valuation
  • Channelitics
  • Videolytics
  • Competitor scorecard

and many more. There are still several features and functionalities that I haven’t listed here and you can check them in detail on the Tubebuddy website.

SEO

SEMRush

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One of the biggest sources of traffic for any website is the search. To generate traffic from search engines the first thing you need to do is optimize your website so that it is user-friendly and easy to crawl for search engine bots.

Now, what if told you optimization will only take you halfway there.

SEO is not all about creating content and performing a little bit of optimization here and there. There is a lot more to it and to help you out with all that you need a reliable tool like SEMRush.

SEMRush is an All in one tool that not only allows you to perform audits on your website but also lets you spy on your competitors.

This tool is not limited to site audit and competitor analysis, you also get features such as

  • Position tracking and monitoring
  • Backlink Audit
  • Brand monitoring
  • Advertising research
  • Keyword research
  • Traffic analytics
  • Social media tracking
  • Social media posting
  • Organic traffic insights
  • Content analysis
  • PPC keyword tool
  • Ad builder

And much more. All these features make SEMRush a valuable and must-have tool. Learn more about SEMRush features.

Graphics

Stencil

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As you already know a webpage is nothing more than a block of text without images and no one likes it. Let’s be honest its boring.

Now, to bring life to a page you need to add images. On top of that, it cannot be your any regular photos. It has to be relevant, unique, tasteful and branded.

If you are new to the online world, this may be too much to ask for in case you do not have any prior designing experience.

And this is where you need an online graphic designing tool like Stencil. Using this, you can create professional looking graphics for your website and social media platforms in minutes.

With Stencil you get access to features like

  • 2.2 million+ royalty free “CCO” images.
  • 1075+ premade templates to speed up and ease the design process.
  • Collection of over 100000 quotes
  • 2 million + icons and graphics
  • Instant image resizing
  • Image scheduling from Stencil dashboard
  • Freedom to upload your own fonts and images
  • Easy to use addons for chrome, firefox and Safari
  • Social sharing and live previews for various platforms
  • Color picker
  • WordPress plugin to help create images without having to leave the dashboard

The list of features for this tool is extensive and you can see the complete list here.

Stencil offers both free and premium plans and I will suggest using the free plan first and then upgrading if required.

Canva

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Canva is one of the best image creation and editing tool online. When you start a blog or a website and have no experience in graphic designing or image editing, the task may seem daunting.

But with Canva you can create featured images, social media graphics and much more easily.

All you need to do is create a free account and select the type of graphic you want to create. Canva will give you all the tools such as images, icons, typography, background, shapes and much more to create your very own custom designs.

In case you are looking to save time, you get the option to choose from a variety of pre-designed templates that you can use in your projects.

Canva offers both free and premium plans. If you are just starting, the free account is more than enough for you.

Affiliate Marketing

ShareASale

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One of the best ways to make money online is affiliate marketing. If you don’t know about affiliate marketing, let me tell you briefly about it.

Affiliate marketing is the process by which you can make commissions by selling/ promoting third party products or services online.

ShareASale is a popular affiliate marketplace where you can find products that you can recommend and sell on your website.

ShareASale has been in the business for over 19 years and has a reputation for being fair and honest. It has 3900+ affiliate programs in 40 different categories that is why there are high chances for you to find the right products to promote.

When it comes to joining costs, anyone can join ShareASale for free and there are no requirements. If you haven’t created an account yet. What are you waiting for?

Affluent

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If you are into affiliate marketing, Affluent is a must-have tool. This tool is available for both Affiliate Marketers and Agencies.

However, I will be briefly explaining the Affiliate side of things here. For more details on Agencies you can visit the Affluent website.

Having said that,

If you are an affiliate marketer, I’m sure you have joined multiple affiliate programs and are promoting various products in your niche.

Keeping a track of all the earnings and clicks can be a little time-consuming and difficult. And that is why you need a tool like Affluent.

With this tool, all you have to do is create a free account and integrate it with Affiliate programs you have enrolled with.

The best part is Affluent is compatible with over 400 affiliate networks. Also, if you find a network that hasn’t been covered, you can let the Affluent team know about it and in return you will get a free month once the program is on the list.

Having said that,

Once you have connected, it will show you all the data from clicks to commissions to sales in under one roof.

This means you don’t have to visit every affiliate marketplace individually to track performance.

Affluent is a very useful tool and is a must-have if you want to up your affiliate marketing game.

In case you are wondering about the pricing, let me tell you Affluent is free to use for upto $5k commissions and you can connect 10 platforms. And in my experience, this is sufficient for anyone starting out.

Editing

Grammarly

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While writing any piece of content, 2 things that I constantly think about is

  • Correct Spellings
  • Perfect Grammar

And Grammarly helps me out with both of these. This is one tool that I have been using for over a year now and is an important part of my online life.

Grammarly is an application and a browser extension that will not only help you with communicating effectively but also helps you with checking plagiarism on various platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Microsoft Word and more

Grammarly offers both free and premium plans and in the beginning, just go with the free plan and later on if required, upgrade to a premium plan.

With that said, I hope you find these tools helpful in starting and growing your blog. Do let us know if you are using any of these tools. Also, tell us which are your go-to tools when it comes to blogging.

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