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Resources

I get a bunch of emails asking me about what I use for different aspects of my blog and my online business. To make it easier for everyone (myself included), I've decided to create this page that lists all of the resources I provide and those that I use. I hope you find this useful.

If you'd like to download this list as a pdf, go ahead and subscribe to my RSS feed and there is a download link at the bottom of each post.

Become A Blogger Resources

Other Blogging Resources

  • WordPress - This is the ONLY thing I recommend as a content management system. It allows you to set up a blog in seconds and is VERY powerful
  • Woothemes - An excellent site for getting premium WordPress themes, which make your blog look good
  • Elegant Themes - Another option for awesome premium WordPress themes.
  • Namecheap - If you’re going to have a website you will need to register a domain name. Namecheap is who I recommend for doing so.
  • Hostgator - This is the hosting company I recommend for hosting your blog. Inexpensive and good quality.

Become A Blogger Resources

Keyword Research

Accepting Payments

  • Paypal: The easiest payment processor to get started with.
  • E-Junkie: This is what I use for selling my eBook on my Biology Blog. It integrates with paypal and handles the delivery of your product so that you don’t have to worry about it. They also have a built in affiliate system
  • Clickbank: One of the largest marketplaces for digital goods. This is a great option for selling your products and having an af?liate program that they fully manage. They take care of ALL payments. Takes longer to get your money, but it’s relatively stress free.

Membership Site

  • OptimizePress: This wordpress theme is a must have for membership sites, sales pages and squeeze pages. It makes me look like I know what I’m doing ;)
  • Digital Access Pass: This wordpress plugin I use for managing become a blogger memberships. It is AWESOME and even has a built in af?liate program.

Customer Service

  • Desk.com - I use this to manage all of my incoming email. It’s free and REALLY helps you to manage email
  • Google Apps - I use this for my email accounts. It gives you Gmail functionality but branded to your domain name

Productivity

  • Evernote: The program I use for EVERYTHING I write. It allows me to access my documents from any computer, smartphone or portable device I can think of.
  • Lastpass: I use this for managing all my passwords (and sharing it with my outsourcers)

Outsourcing

  • Odesk: This is where I’ve found every outsourcer I currently use.
  • Basecamp: The project management system I use for managing all of my outsourcers
  • Wunderlist: The sharable To-Do list I used to use for managing all of the tasks I have my outsourcers use (I've replaced this with Basecamp now)

Testing and Tracking

  • Google Analytics: If you have ANY kind of blog/website, use this to track your traf?c stats. Free and powerful.

Podcasting

  • Audacity: Free recording software for recording your podcasts
  • Learn How To Podcast: Free Video training on how to start a professional Podcast, by Cliff Ravenscraft the Podcast Answer Man
  • Rode Podcaster Mic: High quality USB Mic. Plug it into your computer directly and record away
  • Plantronics USB Headset: Inexpensive alternative for recording podcasts

Video

  • Screenflow: The program I use for recording my screen, and for doing basic video editing.
  • Camtasia: Don’t use this one personally anymore, but if I used a PC, this is what I would use for recording my screen.
  • Keynote: It’s like powerpoint but MUCH better. It makes your presentations look AWESOME!

Social

  • Facebook Like Box: If you have a fan page, this allows you to add a like box to your blog
  • Facebook: No description necessary
  • Twitter: Once again, nothing needs to be said
  • Buffer App: Allows me to schedule Twitter and Facebook Posts

WordPress Plugins I use and recommend

  • Pretty Link: Allows you to create links that are easy to remember. I use this for affiliate links, or any links that are relatively complicated.
  • All In One SEO Pack: If you aren’t using a premium theme that has built in SEO features, this allows you to make sure your site is optimized for the search engines
  • Akismet: Unfortunately, the internet is littered with spammers. Akismet will help you eliminate spam comments.
  • Blubrry Powerpress: If you’re a podcaster, you want this plugin. It allows you to easily embed your podcast episodes into your blog posts. Don’t use anything else.
  • Digg Digg: A pretty neat social sharing plugin that I use on the Become A Blogger blog to have that vertical bar that allows people to share my stuff on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • Facebook Comments For WordPress: Since Facebook is such a part of everyone’s life, it’s good to be able to let people leave Facebook comments on your posts that show up on their timeline.
  • Google XML Sitemaps: This allows you to create an xml sitemap for your blog that is automatically updated when you post. Google uses this for indexing your site.
  • Genki Youtube Comments: Whenever I post a video on youtube, I embed it in a blog post. This plugin allows comments that people leave on youtube to show up on that post.
  • Smart Youtube Pro: Allows you to easily embed youtube videos into your blog posts.
  • Subscribe To Comments Reloaded: This allows people to subscribe to a post when they leave a comment, so that they get an email when there’s a follow-up comment.
  • WordPress Database Backup: Allows you to automatically backup your blog database. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • WpSpoiler: When I post transcripts to my blog, they are pretty long. I don’t want them to take up the entire post, so I use this plugin to hide it unless you click on a link. It still gets indexed in google, but it doesn’t make your blog posts EXTREMELY LONGGGGGG.
  • Cranky Ads: This is what I use to manage Banner ads on my Biology Blog. Allows me to charge people monthly for displaying ads on my site.
  • Downloads Manager: This is what I use for providing pdf downloads (and other ?les) on my biology blog when I want to actually keep track of the number of downloads.
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com: This is a suite of plugins that wordpress has created. I use it mostly for tracking stats in my admin dashboard, but there are other features.
  • Popup Domination: A very attractive popup that allows you to really increase your subscriber count faster.
  • Theme Test Drive: This is a cool plugin that allows you to test out different designs in the background without affecting the experience of your visitors.
  • Articles: This allows you to set a page on your blog that lists all the articles you choose