What makes blogging and creating websites so wonderful is that to make it a success you need a tool kit. An arsenal in your toolbox to help get your website on the right path and on to a profitable future. No one wants to start off on the wrong foot so here is my list of goodies that I use for all of my sites.
I host all of my domains through Namecheap and they’re good. I suggest buying your domain registration separate from your hosting, that way if you ever have to change hosts, they won’t hold your domain name hostage. And yes, that does happen, which is sad.
If you’re just starting out and need a budget solution for your hosting needs and I use and suggest Siteground. I host my new site along with my son’s blog on Siteground and I’ve been very pleased with their customer service.
For my larger site, where I’m seeing larger traffic and they’re my full-time businesses, I use Techsurgeons. They don’t have an affiliate program but I always recommend them to my clients and they have not been disappointed. Jay runs the show over there but he also has a team who helps him out.
I use Asana for all of my blogs to organize my time and stay on top of client work. It’s easy to use and you can organized items in a board list, see it in a Calendar view or as a list of tasks.
Ever want to save that awesome article you came across, enter Evernote. I use this to collect and store goodies I find online and it has been a life saver. I also use it to organize our homeschool finds.
Considering that Pinterest is my number 1 traffic driver, you need a scheduling tool to make it work for you. I love the interval pinning feature where I can schedule out my pins to all applicable group boards in a few clicks and even use the optimized time to do so. It’s well worth the money and I never forget what board I’m suppose to pin to anymore. Do you have trouble finding other people’s content to pin? Enter Tribes, you can network and add your pins while scheduling other people’s pins as well.
Yes, I use two schedulers. I use Boardbooster to loop my boards. It allows me to recycle content easily without having to touch it again for another month. It’s a huge time saver.
This is the tool I use to schedule Facebook and Twitter posts. You can repeat the post and even set an end date for seasonal posts. Very handy and I can find content easily by adding in my favorite blogs to share from and bam, I’m scheduled out for Facebook and Twitter.
You can’t get any social media love of your own if you don’t make it easy for others to share you content. Get this premium sharing plugin and you can set what image is pinned from your site and easily add in a custom description. It also includes the Pinterest hover button and the Click to Tweet option for inside your posts. It’s very versatile. Want to try it out? Download the free version to take it for a test drive before you buy.
I use this on my new site because I’m not ready to start paying for my newsletter just yet. It’s a wonderful tool for beginner’s and is free up to 1000 subscribers. You also get the ability to create automations which is usually a paid feature in other programs. You can also create landing pages and they allow you to segment their lists which are features that are lacking in other programs unless you pay.
I love me some email marketing and my go to tool for that is ActiveCampaign. I have a huge list on there that I can send them through a complex automation that allows tagging and segmentation. It also has an automation for cleaning up subscribers who are not engaged which I love because who wants to pay for subscribers who aren’t your loyal fans? It also integrates with a lot of other plugins which makes it my top choice for email marketing.
I’m in love with Leadboxes and they are the #1 way to grow your email list. Offer a freebie and make it easy peasy for subscribers to get on your list at the click of a button.
If you’re not ready to spring for Leadpages, enter Thrive Leads. You can deliver pdfs like Leadpages using a 3rd party email service which is a wonderfully frugal way to deliver email optins. Thrive leads is a one-time payment.
I’ve taken a lot of classes but these are the only ones worth mentioning
This was the first course I ever purchased and it has been updated and contains a huge library of info. It’s a wonderful way to come up with new content to write about on your website. After taking the course I can easily plan out my content calendar for the entire year, it’s a crazy resource. Anything from Melissa at Blog Clarity is brilliant.
If you’re struggling with your Pinterest game, you need this Pinterest course again from Blog Clarity, did I mention she’s kind of wonderful. She pairs up with another blogger who is killing Pinterest and as a team they’ve updated the course to reflect any new Pinterest updates/changes.
Kelly is a wonderful writer and she makes full-time income from her parenting blog on part-time hours. Hello, don’t we all want that. She goes through how to write your blog posts to capture your reader’s attention and turn them into raving fans. It’s the only course I’ve taken that talks about writing and this was one area where I needed help and she’s a great source.
Crystal and Kelli from Learn to Blog Hangouts have hundreds of hours of free blogging videos on Youtube. This is where I send all of my blogging newbie clients when they ask for suggestions. To use these courses, you have to ensure that you have Google Analytics installed on your blog for 3 months. The focus on Skyrocket your pageviews is GA and how to analyze the traffic you’re already getting. Dominate your search engines focuses on Google Webmaster Tools and is a huge resource to get your search traffic on the right track.
Blogging and Business Books
Ruth’s book How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul was the first blogging eBook that I purchased and it set me on the course from hobby blogger to business blogger. There’s a huge resource of beginning blogger websites and books but this one got me hooked on the idea of blogging as a business.
The book Ask gets you asking questions to your audience so that you know what services or products to offer them.
How to Write Copy That Sells is a system that will help get you sales and it’s a huge resource that I continue to look back on anytime I’m setting up sales pages or writing emails.
Launch – gives you step by step sequence and this book paired with the one above is all you need for an successful launch.
How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your SoulAsk: The Counterintuitive Online Method to Discover Exactly What Your Customers Want to Buy…Create a Mass of Raving Fans…and Take Any Business to the Next LevelHow to Write Copy That Sells: The Step-By-Step System for More Sales, to More Customers, More OftenLaunch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams
While this is a huge list, you don’t need it all right now. You need to decide where your focus will be for the next 3 months and see what tools can help you with that goal.