Tools I’ve used and recommend for bloggers.
If you are ready to upgrade to a premium WordPress theme, I would encourage you to check out the Genesis Framework and related child themes. I currently use is a modified version of Lifestyle Pro by Studio Press.
I started out using Bluehost shared hosting for my blog’s hosting. The rates are very affordable and I never had any problems with the service.
Currently I am using A Small Orange for my hosting. I have also had no problems with this service.
Namecheap – A lot of times a new hosting account will come with a free domain name for the first year. But if you need an additional URL, Namecheap has the best prices.
The Knowtbook by Amy Lynn Andrews – It’s not an ebook. It’s a constantly evolving, digital notebook filled with blogging notes from years and experience. If you want to pick Amy Lynn Andrew’s brain, she laid it all out in her Knowtbook.
How to Master Google Analytics From the Beginning by Dawn Aldridge (me!!!) – This book will tell you everything you need to know about setting up Google Analytics for the first time on a self-hosted WordPress blog, as well as customizing Google Analytics to meet your blogging needs.
Social Media Resources
Strategies Worth Sharing by Brittany Ann – She is the owner of EquippingGodlyWomen.com, and she grew her Facebook page organically from 2,000 fans to 100,000 fans in just 5 months. Her Facebook tips are pretty much algorithm proof because they focus on getting real engagement from your followers.
Board Booster – This is an easy way to schedule your Pinterest pins.
Gourmet Ads – If you have a food related blog, Gourmet Ads can provide paid ads for your site.
Share A Sale – Become an affiliate for companies spanning 40 categories. You are sure to find something that fits your niche that you can promote as an affiliate to make money for your site.
Rakuten Affiliate Network (formerly Linkshare)
Make Over Your Mornings – This is a 14-day online course by Crystal Paine designed to help you use your mornings well and live with more intention. I have previously worked through the course in May, right before my kids got out of school for summer break, and again in January after a busy holiday season when I felt like I needed to get back into a better routine. The cost of the course includes lifetime access to the materials, so you can re-visit the course as much as you want.
Make Over Your Evenings – This is another 14-day online course by Crystal Paine. It has a similar format to Make Over Your Mornings, but addresses using your evenings to set yourself up for good days.
Stitch Fix – Save time by having a stylist choose clothing for you. For a $20 styling fee, you decide what to buy and what to send back. Your styling fee will go toward your purchase.
Amazon Prime – Amazon Prime allows you to get free 2-day shipping on items shipped by Amazon. There are additional services like Prime TV and Prime Music. If you qualify, Amazon Prime Student is an even better deal.
Profitable Blogging for Beginners 4-Week Online Course by Blogelina – This is a great 1st course for beginners. The format allows you to connect with other new bloggers. In fact, I have met some of my best blogging friends through this course.
Elite Blog Academy by Ruth Soukup of Living Well Spending Less – When you have your blog set up and you are ready to build strategies to grow and monetize your blog successfully, Elite Blog Academy will help you. I joined EBA when it first opened in 2014. It offers lifetime membership, so as the course is upgraded, you get all the benefits. The course is about to begin EBA 3.0 and I can’t wait to see what has been added. The course only opens during limited windows of time, so it is best to get on the wait list right here to make sure you don’t miss your chance to get into this course.
Total Blogger to WordPress Transfer Package by Blogelina – I have not personally used this service, but I have worked with Blogelina and feel comfortable recommending this service. This is something a lot of bloggers ask about when they are ready to self-host their blogs.