In this blog post you will find a list of all of the resources I use to run my blog and my business on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I have tried several hundreds of recommended resources and tools and some were amazing and others were… well… pretty meh… so in this list, I tried to break my resources and tools down into different categories and I only share products, plugins and services I 100% endorse (some are free and some are paid-for). And hopefully this list will help guide you through your blogging and biz journey.
Platform – WordPress.org. My blog is hosted at WordPress.org and I personally recommend it for anyone starting a blog. Even though it could be quite technical to start off with, once you get the hang of it, the world is your oyster. Literally. You can edit anything from the html to the css and make your blog or website completely yours. You can also download millions of plugins to take your blog and website to the next level.
Hosting – Afrihost. I host my blog with Afrihost. It is super affordable (I only pay R50 per month and the yearly admin fee) and I can honestly say that I have never experienced any issues. They client service team is extremely helpful and helped me move from wordpress.com to wordpress.org without any hassles. Great service, great team, great work.
Dropbox – I use Dropbox to host all of my important blog documents, freebies, printables, images, etc. It is FREE and easy to use and perfect for organising my online life.
Google Drive – Whenever I work on a collaboration, I use Google Drive. It is great for sharing documents between people and makes life so much easier when editing needs to be done. You can simply link it to your Google account and you are ready to go! File sharing made easy with Google Drive.
Etsy – I absolutely love, love, love Etsy. Not only did I purchase about 75% of my wedding designs from Etsy, but I also purchase my blog themes there too. It is an online space for crafters and designers and the service is amazing! What I love most about Etsy themes is that the designs are always different. I cannot stand all these blogs with the exact same look and feel. If you are like me and you are looking for something unique and beautiful, definitely check out Etsy.
Although I have many plugins I use, I swear by these two. The plugins you use will be different to each and every blogger, but you simply cannot blog without these two.
Akismet – I use Akismet to protect my blog from spam comments.
Yoast SEO – I cannot tell you how big my passion for SEO is. If you are a complete beginner (or an expert), you cannot blog without this plugin. It is SEO made easy, super simple to use and a pretty clever tool for helping your content rank in search engines. Don’t think about it. Just do it.
PayPal – I use PayPal for all of my payments I make through my blog and business.
SendOwl – All of my ebooks are hosted on SendOwl. It is a great payment processing and delivering option if you are selling digital goods.
Webfluential – Webfluential gives you the technology you need to turn your influence into a business. It connects brands to influential creators across the globe and allows you to create a media kit, create and send quotes, pitch your ideas to brands and collaborate on briefs. You can even gain insights to your influence. I love that there is a calculator that lets you know how much you can charge for your services.
Admarula – AdMarula is a South African-based specialist performance marketing network. They connect advertisers with approved publishers to increase online revenue using PPC, lead generation and revenue share campaigns. It is great for earning extra money with your blog.
Design – images, logos, etc
Creative Market – I purchased my blog logo and several other design elements through Creative Market. If you are not sure what Creative Market is, it is an online platform where creatives sell their stunning products. I never had any issues with creating an account and payment (I simply use my PayPal for payment) and received such great customer service from the team.
My logo is from the Ladyboss Premade Branding Logo Pack from Creative Market. This pack contains 258 pre-made logos in a stunning feminine style with quick and easy editing possibilities. I am obsessed!
Canva – I pretty much use Canva to create all of my blog graphics, and I even used it to create my first ever FREE ebook. It is free (with some paid-for options), is super duper easy to use and just absolutely perfect!
Free Design Resources – This tool will save your life! I have to admit that I am pretty much obsessed with this website! It has everything you need to design a stunning blog or website. AND EVERYTHING IS FREE!
Graphic Burger – I use this to create beautiful mockups of my products.
Magic Mockups – I use this to create beautiful mockups of my products.
Ivorymix– I recently came accross Ivorymix. Her images are absolutely stunning, feminine and just plain gorgeous. 90% of my blog graphics are from Ivorymix.
Unsplash – Another great free images resource for bloggers.
Building a Framework by Abby Dawson – Abby’s ebook changed the way I blog forever. Even though I was blogging for four years when I made the purchase, I learnt so much that I could apply to my blog. Truth is, some of the skills I learnt from this ebook was the tipping point in turning my blog into a successful business. So this is a must for any and all bloggers (and even small biz owners out there).
Blogger’s Guide to SEO – Yes, I am using this space to promote my ebooks. Why? Because I have so much faith and trust in my products and I just know how much it has helped other bloggers out there. The Blogger’s Guide to SEO is another must for bloggers looking to authentically grow their following and their traffic. In this ebook, I explain SEO in a super simple way and provide actionable tips and tools you can use to get your blog posts to rank in search engines.
Hootsuite – Because I also have a full time job, I cannot spend 10 – 15 hours each day on my blog. And therefore I make my life super easy by using Hootsuite to do all of the hard work for me. I schedule all my tweets and Facebook posts and I can rest assured that my content will go out when I planned for it to go live.
Board Booster – I am absolutely obsessed with Pinterest and Board Booster. With this tool, I spend 10 minutes each week on Pinterest and I still manage to double my followers every single month! You can schedule pins, loop it and manage pins, all in one place. (P.S. this is how I managed to grow my Pinterest views by 200%).
Editorial calendar – Another great tool I cannot live without is my editorial calendar. I keep track of all of my content, social media, ect by using an editorial calendar. I prefer to use an online calendar as I often work from different spaces and places and therefore it makes it super easy for me to see what needs to be done next. I use Google Drive to set up my editorial calendar.
Blogs I love
In this section, I am simply linking to my super favourite infopreneurs, course creators and bloggers of all time. I check-out their blogs daily and I always learn something new and something valuable from them. Definttly check them out if you are serious about building your blog, brand or business.
Disclaimer: This post contain some affiliate links, which means that I receive a small income when you use the services or products I recommend. I do however promise you that I will not endorse a product for the sake of income. I stand 100% all of these resources, tools, services and products.