Blogging Resources and Recommendations

If you would like to start a blog of your own or simply looking to improve your current one, I’ve compiled a list of blogging resources that have helped me along the way.

The resources on this page are the ones I love and/or use myself.

When I first started even thinking about blogging I had a million questions. As a self-taught blogger I’ve spent countless research hours (articles, videos, tutorials,  eBooks, other blogs, and trial and error), and I’ve come across incredible resources that have made a huge impact in what I know today.

Trial and error is a big part of this. I’m hoping to help you get through some “trials” while avoiding some “errors”.

As my journey continues, I will be adding to this list. So please be sure to check back in often to see if there are any new ones that can benefit you.

* This page contains some affiliate links. Meaning that if you purchase their product by using the direct link, I receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you . HOWEVER, this list consist only of tools and resources I absolutely love and/or currently use myself. Thank you so much for your support!

LEARNING MATERIAL

How To Start a Blog in 10 Minutes: Step-by-Step Tutorial Using BlueHost– If you are looking to start a blog but have no idea where to begin, I’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial on how to start a blog in 10 minutes using BlueHost.

Start a Money Blog- FREE 7-Day email Course– If you are looking to start a blog (and make money from it), but have no idea where to begin, I’ve put together this FREE email course which will walk you through all the important aspects of starting a profitable and thriving blog and how to monetize it.

Building a Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook-This fantastic e-book written by Abby from Just a Girl and Her Blog is by far the best investment I’ve ever made. It is the most complete blogging guide I’ve come across since I started this journey.

Not only does it walk you step by step from choosing your domain, but it discusses other crucial aspects of blogging, such as networking, social media, important plugins,  working with affiliates, and so on. Whether you are a novice or an expert blogger, I guarantee you this e-book can help teach you a few things to help your blog be successful. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

You can choose to purchase the ebook only, without the course, for only a fraction of the cost. You can find it here at the end of the sales page.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing eCourse– To learn all there is to know about affiliate marketing and how to make money while you sleep, I wholeheartedly recommend Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing eCourse by Michelle Schroeder. This is by far the best investment you will make in your blog. It isn’t only one of the most reputable blogging courses, but it will give you the knowledge and tools to make your money back almost instantly, and then some.

Michelle currently makes $100,000+ a month from her blog, $50,000+ are strictly from affiliate commissions.

Alongside the info packed course, there are remarkable bonuses such as access to her Facebook Master Mind Group, FREE group couching sessions (2 Saturdays a month within the Facebook Group), her Pinterest Strategy Guide, and much more!

Check it out for yourself here and start earning today!

Pinteresting Strategies– You my friend, are going to want to take a look at this! Carly, founder of “Mommy on Purpose” and author of Pinteresting Strategies ebook, walks you through how she gets over 200k views a month though Pinterest and thousand of dollars in revenue, without using a Pin scheduler. Yes, you read that correctly. She teaches you her incredible successful manual pinning method in this book along with other great tips and strategies. Check it out for yourself, here.

BookBoss–  is the real deal course taking you from “not sure what to write about” to launching your eBook in 90 days also created by Abby Lawson. In just 90 short days you could be launching an eBook that will bring in recurring passive income for your blog for months and even years to come.

Blog by Number- How to Start a Mom Blog– In one year this mama was able to grow her blog from $0 to over $11,000 per month. From deciding your niche to monetizing your blog, she covers it all in this 143 page gem .This is seriously the most info packed eBook I’ve come across that I consider to be wayyy under-priced. Once you visit the sales page you’ll see what I mean. You get so much value and pay less than a dinner for two. The eCourse is an even better investment. For just a few more dollars you can get access to all the videos and bonuses.

Income Journey– This one goes out to all of the Income Report addicts out there. I know I am! (haha). In this eBook shes goes  into detail of what worked each month and how she earned an income from $o – $17,000 per month in her first year of blogging. An organized month by month compilation of her successes and failures to help you implement the same strategies and avoid the same mistakes.

Cracking the Code on the Amazon Associate’s Program- This info packed eBook written by Ashli Sweat walks you through how she makes $5,000/ month with Amazon affiliates and how you can do it too by following her tips and strategies.

The Knowtbook This is Amy Lynn Andrews’ personal digital notebook. As the name suggests, it’s where she save notes—things she’s learned from personal experience. It covers the topics she’s followed passionately for the last 13+ years like online business, social media, internet marketing, blogging and working from home.

Blogging Babe’s Handbook– In this eBook written by Krista, you’ll learn her “10 Commandments” for growing a thriving online community, making valuable connections, and earning a healthy chunk-of-change from your blog in the shortest amount of time possible.

The She Approach to Boosting Your Blog Traffic– This eBook written by Ana will help you boost your blog traffic by giving you actionable step-by-step SEO and social media strategies, tailored to your unique content. This book is for you if you are looking to learn the most practical growth hacks.

 

AFFILIATE PROGRAMS

Ultimate Bundles– (40% Commission)- This is one my favorite affiliate program. Here is why…The Ultimate Bundles  Team puts together a HUGE bundle of eBooks and eCourses for a specific subject (Blogging, Parenting, Health, etc.) and then sells that bundle at an enormous discount, usually 90-97% OFF its original price!!!

Not only will you receive 40% commission for every bundle you sell, BUT what’s more you also receive 40% off if you choose to buy it for yourself. BUT WAIT, there’s more… if you sell 5 or more of a particular bundle you get that bundle for FREE (if you already purchased it, they will refund you).

In addition, once you become an affiliate you will have access to their “affiliate center” where you will have access to your affiliate links, upcoming bundle calendar, banners, and ongoing FREE affiliate marketing training.

Check out one of these three Bundles so you can see it for yourself:

Work at Home Super Bundle (97% OFF), Parenting Super Bundle (98% OFF) , and Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle (93% OFF).

Ultimate Bundles is hands down the best win-win affiliate program for both yourself and your readers.

Sign up for a FREE account here.

For a detailed post on Ultimate Bundles Affiliate Program, click here.

Shareasale-(It’s an affiliate marketing network. You can create a FREE account and join over 4,000 popular companies offering their affiliate programs.

Some of the affiliates listed below are hosted by Shareasale, which means you would have to create a FREE account with them either way. They work with very popular brands such as Wayfair, Gymboree, Zulily, Shutterfly, Sears, etc. Whatever your niche, Shareasale has plenty to choose from and you don’t pay a penny.

WEBSITE SETUP

Bluehost– is the hosting company I use. Not only does it have fantastic reviews but is one of the most popular. They have great customer support and their site is very user-friendly. You can get a special discount by signing up under my link. For a  step-by-step tutorial on “How to Start a Blog in 10 minutes” using BlueHost, click here.

SiteGround– You might have also heard of SiteGround. It is another reputable and affordable hosting company. According to the reviews and comments of fellow bloggers, SiteGround is very reliable.

Genesis framework-I wanted a rock solid foundation for my site from the very beginning. It is best described as follows: “Genesis Frameworks empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Whether you’re a novice or advanced developer, Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go”- Genesis framework team. Think of Genesis as the car that drives your site, and a child theme as the paint and upgrades. They also have a great selection of  “Child Themes” to accommodate any budget.

StudioPress Themes– These dozens of clean and crisp themes are exclusively for WordPress. They are made from StudioPress, therefore only run on the Genesis Framework as well.

Restored 316 – This is the theme (design) I use for my blog. I love their themes and after looking through different ones, they caught my eye. The simplicity and elegance of their theme design speaks for itself. My theme is the Simply Charming Pro. Just as important as the content of your site/blog, so is the appearance.

EMAIL MARKETING 

ConverKit– It’s a powerhouse email marketing company, specifically built by bloggers, for bloggers. With the powerful and user friendly tools they’ve created, it gives you the power to earn more from your email list while keeping the human element in something as personal as email.

ConvertKit is my email marketing company and its worth every single penny. The minute I decided to take my email marketing serious, I switched from a free, limited, and confusing service provider to ConvertKit and it’s made all the difference in the world. You can read a detailed post on the power of great email marketing and my step-by-step strategy using ConvertKit here.

OptinMonster–  “Optinmonster is the best lead-generation plug-in for WordPress that allows you to create and integrate highly effective email sign-up forms for your website”. They offer multiple form types (floating bars, mobile responsive forms, sliding, sidebars, etc.), A/B Split Testing, exit intent technology, built-in analytics, and more.

I also use OptinMonster in conjunction with ConvertKit to maximize results.

MailChimp– Is a reputable email marketing website where you can create a FREE account for the first 2,000 subscribers.

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SERVICES

Tailwind– This is a pin scheduling service for Pinterest and Instagram. After doing my research, Tailwind got my vote. I signed up and that was it, I could’t live without it… haha. It allows for automatic pin scheduling throughout the day (or weeks), depending how far ahead you want to schedule.

Tailwind’s detailed analytics allow for smarter pinning, and their recommended “pinning time slots” based on your daily peak traffic is simply genius. You can also create “Tribes”. With this tool, you will be able to add your own content to a Tribe and have others view, schedule and share your content to their own audience. Win-win for everyone.

You can sign up today through my link and receive a FREE 1 month trial.

 SendOwl– allows you to sell digital goods online. It connects with the payment provider so you get paid and it automatically delivers the files to the buyers once payment has completed. It has great integrations such as ConvertKit and PayPal, and it allows for easy affiliate program sign-up from both the seller and the buyer.

PLUG-INS

Genesis simple hooks– If you are anything like me and coding isn’t your thing, this plug-in is a lifesaver. It allows you to add code to different areas of your blog without messing with your theme files. However, it is exclusively for those using the Genesis Framework.

Yoast SEO– I’m loving this plug-in. Allows you to edit your content’s meta data to increase your SEO. It also provides you with an analysis check list of each post regarding the readability and SEO of your content. It is a very user-friendly and powerful plug-in.

Akismet anti-spam– Protects your blog against spam and malicious log-in.

Google analytics– A powerful tool that provides you with the insights of your blog traffic. It offers detailed reports of your blog’s visitors and where they came from. I also use Jetpack site stats for comparison.

*Note: You can download all of these plug-ins and many more from your WordPress dashboard

GRAPHIC DESIGN

Canva-If you aren’t using Canva yet you are probably missing out. It’s a FREE app for image editing and graphic creation. It provides you with ready-to-use templates depending on the social media platform you want to use them for.

Creative Market– is an online marketplace which sells graphics, WordPress themes, stock photography, media kits, and other digital goods for use by web creatives. By creating a FREE account with Creative Market you get 6 FREE goodies a week which is great.

Most of my pins have a beautiful background stock image from a “15 Free Stock image bundle” I downloaded. Creative Market is my new addiction and I can’t get enough. When you have time take a look around so you can see all of the amazing products they carry.

Pixabay and Upsplash– These are the FREE stock photography websites which I am currently using. With their large selection of free images, you can definitely find what works for you.

I hope this was helpful to you.

Feel free to contact me with any questions and don’t forget to sign up for more helpful resources and blogging product discounts/ promotions sent straight to your inbox.