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.
Updated: March 16th, 2015
Become A Blogger Resources
Leslie's Top Picks
- Hostgator – hosting company I recommend for hosting your blog. Inexpensive and good quality with great service. Use coupon code becomeablogger for a 25% discount
- GetResponse – Email marketing service I recommend for building an email list. Check out my GetResponse Resource Center for more info.
- Elegant Themes – The site that I recommend for getting a great WordPress theme
- WP Curve – Technical support for all your WordPress issues at a ridiculously low price. Check out my WP Curve Review Video.
- LeadPages – A great resource for easily creating Squeeze pages, Sales pages, Webinar Registration pages, etc.
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 – Another excellent site for getting premium WordPress themes, which make your blog look good
- 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.
- Paypal: The easiest payment processor to get started with.
- Gumroad: 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.
- Square E-commerce: This is a free option for setting up an e-commerce store. You are only charged when you make a sale.
- Amember: This is probably one of the oldest membership site plugins in existence and as a result – it's the most stable one I've been able to find.
- 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)
- Upwork: This is where I’ve found every outsourcer I currently use.
- Trello: The project management system I use for managing my team.
Testing and Tracking
- Google Analytics: If you have ANY kind of blog/website, use this to track your traffic stats. Free and powerful.
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- WordPress SEO by Yoast: 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
- All In One WP Security: As your blog grows, it will become a target for hackers. This will help to protect you.
- CoSchedule: I use this plugin to schedule tweets for my posts before they are publish. It's AWESOME and saves me time.
- Akismet: Unfortunately, the internet is littered with spammers. Akismet will help you eliminate spam comments.
- Monarch: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Optin Monster: A very attractive popup that allows you to really increase your subscriber count faster.