My Recommended Blogging 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.

Become a Blogger Resources

These are resources that I (Leslie) have created to help you along on your blogging journey. As you will see, I tend to focus heavily on teaching you the "How to" of blogging as a business. Most of my resources are free. One is paid. Enjoy!


Last Updated: February 20th, 2019

Go From Idea 2 Blog

Make sure you do all the things you're supposed to do to maximize your email marketing success.  Click below to get access to my Drip Setup Checklist that will guide your through the process

A pretty cool spreadsheet I created to help you create and manage your content calendar

The podcast where I learn, you learn, we all learn about how to build an online business with a blog. If you're into learning (and having fun), you'll love this.

My premium training program where I hold your hand and walk you through the process of building a business with a blog.


My Ultimate Tutorial Series

Drip is the email marketing service that's at the core of how I run my business. Check out my Ultimate Drip Tutorial Series and discover why.

GetResponse is the email marketing service that I recommend for MOST bloggers - especially beginners. Check out my GetResponse Tutorial Series and discover why.

Website/WordPress Hosting

Siteground is the hosting company I recommend for hosting your blog. Up until recently, I'd been recommending Hostgator, but I've heard too many complaints about their customer service. Siteground has a great service record.

Email Marketing Services

I've said it before and I'll say it again - your email list is one of your most valuable assets as a blogger. These are the services I recommend:


Drip is the Email Marketing service I use currently and recommend especially for advanced bloggers who are focused on marketing automation. If you are just getting started, Drip may be a bit pricey. It starts at $49/month. It's worth it, but maybe unrealistic for beginners on a budget.


GetResponse is the email marketing service I recommend for anyone who's just getting started with their blog. I've used them for years, and love what they do. Over the last year, they have added a lot of advanced marketing automation features that narrow the gap between them and Drip. Also, if you use my link, you can build a list of up to 1,000 subscribers for as little as $13.50. You just can't beat that price.

Give Your Email List a Boost

Since we've already established that building your email list is important, here are the tools I recommend that can help you grow your list faster.


Thrive Leads is the WordPress plugin I use to create almost all of my opt in forms. From my popups to my sidebar forms, these are all created using this plugin. I like it because you build everything out in your WordPress admin area and there are so many options for creating very optimized forms.


Thrive Architect is the landing page builder I use on this site. It's a plugin created by Thrive Themes. It's a little technical to setup, but the result is beautiful. Fortunately, they have video tutorials to show you how to do everything. Also, you have the option to pay for the plugin outright without having a monthly recurring fee. I love avoiding recurring fees (because I'm cheap).


Leadpages is a great tool for easily creating Squeeze pages, Sales pages, Webinar Registration pages, etc. It's ridiculously easy to use. However, there's a monthly recurring fee and you have to leave your WordPress site in order to create the pages.

Accepting Payments

Didn't you say you wanted to make money with your blog? Well then you'll need a way to accept payments. Here are some payment processors that will help you do that.


PayPal is the easiest payment processor to get started with. Your customers can make payments without having to enter their credit card details.


Stripe is my payment processor of choice. Unlike PayPal, you need to integrate Stripe with another service to setup payments. However, you get the HUGE benefit of having your money deposited directly into your bank account within two days.


Gumro​​​​ad is what I used for selling my eBook when I ran my Biology Blog. It integrates with PayPal and handles the delivery of your product so that you don’t have to worry about it. If you want something easy for selling a digital product, it doesn't get much better than this.

Creating Courses or Membership Sites

One of the ways I (and many other bloggers) make money is by selling courses. I do this as a part of my Coaching Club. The following services allow you to create and sell your courses.


Thinkific is one of the easiest ways to create a course/membership site. If I were creating a course or membership site today, this is what I would be using. It runs separate from your WordPress installation, but it doesn't get any easier.


Amember 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. It's what I use for my Coaching Club. It integrates well with WordPress, allowing you to use a standard WordPress installation as your membership site or course. If you're not a technical person, I wouldn't recommend using it. However, if you are, it's extremely powerful and flexible.

Productivity

Wanna get stuff done? Of course you do. Here are some of the tools I use to be productive in my business.


Dropbox: If you save files of any kind to your computer, you want to make sure you have a solid backup system. I save all of my important files (and even the not-so-important ones) in Dropbox. This gives me access to everything I need from any device and provides a secure backup system so that even if my computer were to die, I'd be ok. And yes, this has happened before.


Dashlane: I use this for managing all my passwords (and sharing it with my outsourcers). If you aren't using a password manager, you are leaving yourself very vulnerable. Trust me - FIX THIS NOW!


Trello is what I used for selling my eBook when I ran my Biology Blog. It integrates with PayPal and handles the delivery of your product so that you don’t have to worry about it. If you want something easy for selling a digital product, it doesn't get much better than this.

Testing and Tracking


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

Podcasting


Audacity: Free audio recording software for recording your podcasts

Video

People always ask what I use for recording my screen. Well, here you go . . .


Screenflow: If you us a Mac, use this to record your screen. It's so easy to use, but still powerful.


Camtasia: If you have a PC, this is the best software for recording your screen. It's also available on Mac, but Screenflow is easier to use.

WordPress Plugins

These are the plugins that I use and recommend for just about every blogger.


WordPress SEO by Yoast: This plugin is NOT optional. If you have a WordPress-based blog/site, this is the first plugin you want to install. It helps you to optimize your blog for the search engines. If you like traffic, fall in love with this plugin. You're welcome.


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 WP Security: As your blog grows, it will become a target for hackers. This will help to protect you. 


Akismet: Allows you to create links that are easy to remember. I use this for affiliate links, or any links that are relatively complicated.

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