I’ve received numerous emails recently, asking me what resources and tools I use to grow my blog. One of my awesome readers asked me if I could create a list of everything is use for my blog, whilst I also have to juggle my full time job, my friends and my family.
I know that I have already done a similar post (How to Grow Your Blog When You Have a Full Time Job), but in this post, I will discuss every single tool I use for my blog, not just to grow my blog, but to market it, design it and more.
So, here you go – Tools and Resources I use to Grow My Blog (and you should use too, for that matter).
When it comes to blogging, I always find it super interesting to see what other tools and resources bloggers use to make their blogs awesome. It’s a great resource for finding new and helpful tools I can use to grow my blog. Here’s a list of blogging resources I use on a daily basis to grow my blog and run my business.
Bluehost: Bluehost is possibly one of the best blog hosting platforms out there. Glamorous Glitter is hosted with them. They have some of the lowest prices (3.95/mo) and it is extremely easy and quick to get your WordPress site up and running.
Afrihost: Glamorous Glitter used to be hosted by Afrihost and I have always received really good service and support for them. Site speed with Afrishost is great and their customer services is excellent. Afrihost offers hosting from only R9 per month and free domain registration!
Godaddy: Godaddy is great for buying domain names for your blog.
Whilst you can design a theme yourself (if you have super awesome design skills, of course), there are numerous places where you can buy beautiful and responsive themes for your blog.
Restored316designs: No blog is complete without a stunning (and responsive) theme. Restored316’s themes are beautiful, easy to install and perfect for any blog genre. I love that their themes are feminine!
Akismet: Protect your blog from comment and trackback spam.
Pretty Link Lite: Create, shrink, re-direct, and track links from your website. This plugin makes it a breeze to manage affiliate links and track clicks.
W3 Total Cache: A website cacheing plugin used for enhancing the speed of your blog. It’s quite hard to figure it out, so ensure you have some help when you install this plugin.
Yoast SEO: This is a helpful plugin that allows you to manage the SEO for your blog posts. I used to be an SEO analyst and I used this tool EVERY SINGLE DAY! I cannot recommend this plugin enough!
Disqus Comment System: The Disqus comment system replaces your WordPress comment system with your comments hosted and powered by Disqus. It also adds a pretty little profile picture to everyone’s profile. I feel like this commenting system is more personal and more interactive.
Dropbox: I use Dropbox to send and share large files. With free and paid-for services, Dropbox is great for sharing files with your readers. I use Dropbox to share my printables and ebooks with you. I also use Dropbox to store reports, designs and images.
Google Drive: I cannot live without Google Drive. I store every single thing on there and I also use it for my editorial calendar, income and expenses tracker and more.
Hootsuite: Most of my social media posts are scheduled and I use Hootsuite to schedule it. I only use it to schedule my Facebook and Twitter posts. I use the free service and it works great for me, but there is paid-for options available.
BoardBooster: Most of my pins are also scheduled. Using BoardBooster, I can schedule my pins to appear on different boards at different times, so that I don’t spam my followers. It is also great for scheduling your pins to go out at times when Pinterest is most active. For just $5 per month, the growth I have seen is definitely worth it.
Madmimi: Madmimi is my email provider of choice! It’s easy to design your mails, you can schedule your mails and you can manage your subscriptions. They have a free service as well as paid-for options available.
PicMonkey: I don’t use any fancy tools to edit images on my blog. PicMonkey is a great graphic design tool. It is super easy to use, and they are constantly updating their options available. You can edit photos and create stunning collages. They also have a design feature, making it easy for you to design your own graphics. The service is mostly free to use, but you can upgrade to Royale and use everything!
Canva: This is my absolute favourite tool for creating my graphics and printables. There is a lot of pre-made templates and sizes available and I use it to create my Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest graphics. Most of the options on this site is free, but you can buy some features for only $1 each!
Rekita Nicole: Most of the lovely stock images on this blog comes from this site. They are absolutely free, you just need to credit back to this website when you use it.
Unsplash: I also love using Unsplash for a variety of FREE to use images. They have everything from nature to people to beautiful urban settings and much more! And once a month they add 10 more hi-res stock images for blogs.
Related: Free Stock Photos for Bloggers
Paypal: Take payments and make payments with online retailers. It’s never been easier. If you’re a South African resident, you can sign up for a FREE FNB online banking profile for you to easily transfer money between your Paypal account and your South African bank account.
BOOKS YOU SHOULD READ
Transform Your Blog In 7 Days: Transform Your Blog in 7 Days is my ebook aimed at enabling bloggers to transform their blog in just one week! Over the course of one week, you will receive easy tips and advice for transforming your blog into a better and more successful blog that you are proud of and that your readers will absolutely love.
How to Market Your Blog in 2016: It’s my blog, I am allowed to brag about my own work a little, right? Recently, I have launched my second ebook, How to Market Your Blog in 2016. In this ebook, I discuss the strategies I implemented in growing my blog, and I give step-by-step instructions on how you can use these strategies to grow your blog too! P.S. This ebook is available for pay what you want pricing! This means that you can pay anything between $1 and $100 for How to Market Your Blog in 2016.
Building a Framework by Abby Lawson (from $25)
I used this book when I first started blogging. It’s filled with great actionable steps to grow your blog and business.
Google Analytics: I use Google Analytics to keep track of my stats and to learn more about my readers and their online behaviour.
SlideShare: Great for learning new things. You can find slides (and courses) on any and every topic on SlideShare.
What other resources do you use to grow your blog? Let me know in the comment section below.
P.S. You can bookmark this page for future reference or you can purchase a PDF folder with all of this information ($1), right here.