Ultimate Bloggers Toolkit

Bloggers require a lot of tools and resources to make life easier and make blogging more profitable. Below, I’d like to share the resources I personally use for all my blogging needs.

Side Note: The majority of the items below are free, but for some of the paid items I am using affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through them (at no extra cost to you). I am only recommending tools and resources I personally use and believe will benefit you. 

Blog Hosting, Management & Design

Bluehost Web Hosting – I have used Bluehost to host every single one of my websites since 2006. It is currently just $4.95 per month, can host an unlimited number of domains and requires just one click to install WordPress. It’s so easy that even I can do it!

WordPress – WordPress is without a doubt the easiest to use and yet still most advanced blogging platform. I wouldn’t dream of starting a new website without it. Oh, and it’s free!

Genesis Framework – Top blogs like CopyBlogger, ProBlogger and indeed this very blog you’re reading right now, are run on the Genesis Framework. Genesis is easy to use, easy to customize and is extremely SEO friendly. It also has a huge selection of Child Themes so you can pick a design that’s perfect for your blog. I use the Lifestyle Theme for this blog.

Aweber Email Management – From the very early days of your blog you need to be building an email list. The leading email list manager is Aweber and I strongly recommend them. Due to my lack of technological ability, I like simplicity and Aweber is very easy to use. Their customer service is also second to none. I had the slightest issue last year with my account that barely even affected me, I didn’t even bother telling their support, but Aweber had identified the issue and were going to refund my month’s payment. That’s how a business should be run!

Books & Blogging Training

ProBlogger: Secrets For Blogging Your Way To A Six Figure Income – I read this book in early 2011 (it’s been updated since) and it is the single biggest influencer on my blogging. Not necessarily because of the strategies it teaches, but because of the motivation it gave me. It presented a clear plan and really opened me up to the possibilities of becoming a full time blogger – and now, about 16 months later, I am a full time blogger.

The Four Hour Work Week – While not directly related to blogging, this book from Tim Ferris shares ideas on lifestyle design; that is, working less and earning more. It’s something that a lot of bloggers can learn from.

Crush It – The author, Gary Vaynerchuk, had a passion for wine. He took this passion and turned it into a multi-million dollar blogging empire. In this book, he shows you how he did it.

31 Days To Build A Better Blog – This is also from Darren Rowse from ProBlogger. This step by step guide gives you 31 activities that take just a small amount of time but that will make huge differences to the quality and profitability of your blog.

WordPress Plug-Ins

I use a number of plug-ins to help optimize my blog, help me make more money and save me time. Virtually all of the plug-ins I use are free. I’m not claiming that these plug-ins are the best available for the jobs they do, but they are the one’s I use and I’ve got no complaints about them.

Akismet – Prevents spam comments and comes as standard with your WordPress installation. You simply need to activate it.

Google Analytics For WordPress – Allows you to easily add my Google Analytics code and start tracking activity on your blog without any fiddling around.

Pin Button Attraction – This is perhaps my favorite plug-in of all and is responsible for a HUGE amount of extra traffic every month. Pin Button Attraction (which is a paid plug-in) takes just two minutes to set up and adds a neat little “Pin It” button WITHIN your images. This makes it super easy for your blog readers to submit your images to Pinterest and send you BIG traffic.

Really Simple Facebook Twitter Share Buttons – This is the most important plug-in of any that I use. It significantly increases the virality of my blog by allowing me to include a variety of social share buttons within my blog posts. Easy to customize and is one of my biggest traffic generators.

Social Media Widget – Allows you to place icons for your social properties (such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) in your blog sidebar.

Top Pinned Posts – This is a really clever little plug-in that I’ve just installed. It allows you to display your most Pinned posts in the blog sidebar. It’s a great way to get more Pins to posts that you know will spread like wildfire on Pinterest. The plug-in also enables you to see the total Pin count for all your posts in your WordPress Admin.

Tweet Old Post – This useful plug-in automatically and randomly shares blog posts from your archives at intervals set by you to your Twitter followers. I set mine to share random posts at four hour intervals so I can promote my content to my Twitter followers throughout the day – even while I sleep.

What Would Seth Godin Do – This plug-in distinguishes between new and returning visitors and allows you to display a customized message to each at the beginning of each blog post. Very useful for building your email list or growing your social following.

WP-Contact Form – Allows you to quickly and easily place contact forms onto your blog, such as on this page.

WP-Super Cache – This plug-in is a little confusing (for me anyway) but it is supposed to speed up your blog loading times – which Google regards as an important ranking factor. This useful post from TentBlogger helped me configure this plug-in.

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