Top 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.

Updated: November 19th, 2017

Become A Blogger Resources

Website/WordPress Hosting

  • Siteground: 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

  • Drip: 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. While you can get started for free, once you pass 100 subscribers, you will be paying $49/month. It's worth it, but maybe unrealistic for beginners on a budget.
  • GetResponse: This 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. 

WordPress Themes:

  • Thrive Themes: WordPress themes that are optimized for growing your email list. They feature all kinds of opt-in forms in important places for converting visitors into subscribers. This blog uses the Pressive theme from Thrive Themes.
  • Elegant Themes: This is another WordPress theme company I've used and love, especially their Divi theme. 

Landing Page Builders

  • LeadPages: A great resource 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.
  • Thrive Landing Pages: This 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).

Accepting Payments

  • Paypal: The easiest payment processor to get started with. Your customers can make payments without having to enter their credit card details.
  • Stripe: 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.
  • Gumroad: This is what I used 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.

Membership Site

  • Thinkific: 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: 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. 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

  • 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.
  • 1Password: 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: The project management system I use for managing my team. It's FREE for all the features I use and it's the best way I've found to increase my team's productivity. We even use it to manage our editorial calendar.

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 recording software for recording your podcasts
  • Audio Technica ATR2100-USB: An excellent microphone for podcasters. It's great because it's very affordable and offers both USB and XLR connections. In other words, you can plug it directly into your computer via USB and start recording. Or if you have a more advanced system with a mixer/audio interface, you can bring this workhorse right along with you.

Video

  • 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.

Social

  • 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.
  • Akismet: Unfortunately, the internet is littered with spammers. Akismet will help you eliminate spam comments.
  • 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.
  • Optin Monster: A very attractive popup that allows you to really increase your subscriber count faster.

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