When I first started blogging I was at a loss as to what blogging resources I should be using. Who had the best training, what ad networks should I apply for and even what plugins were the best to install? It was overwhelming. Some of what I learned, I learned through trial and error and some I was lucky enough to be befriended by a fellow blogger or two who pointed me in the right direction.
The great news about bloggers in general, is they are more than willing to share what works and what doesn’t and I’m no exception.
I created this resource page so you could visit and see the services, products, and companies that I use and those I know are valuable. This list will help you save money, possibly thousands of dollars! I won’t ever suggest anything that I haven’t verified and or personally used.
Come back again and again to find the resources you need to grow your passive income stream. As I find new resources that I like, I’ll add them here.
Blogging Resources For The Newbie Blogger
There is a multitude of hosting companies out there, and some of them are awful. I would stay away from a few folks like Go Daddy and Site 5. I had Site 5 when I first started blogging, and they were horrible. Anytime I had a problem their solution was a more costly upgrade. When I finally had no choice but to leave them because of terrible customer service and repeated crashing of my site, they refused to refund my remaining balance. They kept $500 of my money. Stay away from them!!
Here’s the hosting company I do recommend:
Blue Host – I’ve been using Blue Host for some time now, and I have to say they have great customer service. They are very responsive to anything and with the exception of one time, my site has never been down.
When you choose a program with them, and if you go with the WordPress hosting package, don’t opt in for the free Site Lock CDN. I had problems with them, and I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, chose Cloud Flare as your CDN.
Pixel Me Designs – I’ve been using Laura for my design work from the very beginning. She is super easy to work with and gets the job done super fast and at a reasonable price. I’ve recommended her to almost everyone who’s starting out. You won’t be disappointed working with Laura.
99 Designs – When you’re looking for a new logo, business card, flyer, Ebook cover – whatever design needs you have, 99 Designs is an excellent resource.
When it comes to plugins, there’re as many opinions as there are plugins to choose from. These are my particular favorites, but you might find others you like better. Here’s the list of my favorites.
Askimet – The best free spam filtering plugin out there. There’s no perfect spam blocker, Akismet does a pretty good job of keeping spam comments from being published to your blog. Every so often it goes through some underperforming as spam bots find new ways of getting through Akismet’s security. They typically come out with an update shortly after, and then performs as usual.
EWWW Image Optimizer – If you have a ton of images on your site you’ll want to make sure they are optimized and don’t slow down your site.
Broken Link Checker – Once a week activate this plugin and make sure you don’t have any broken links. Don’t leave this activated at all times as it will slow your site down.
Yoast SEO – The best tool for helping you master SEO. Not only are you learning SEO as you go but it even gives you an SEO rating for each post. One of the features of this plugin that it allows you to insert a custom image, and text/title for Facebook. These will then be pulled anytime someone shares your post to Facebook, which can significantly improve the reach of your post. Learn how to use the Facebook features with Yoast here.
Ultimate Nofollow – Nofollow links are a requirement for sponsored content unless you want to get in trouble with search engines. It can be a pain to go in and mess with the HTML of each post inserting the rel=nofollow tags in the correct places and let’s not even talk about how easy it is to forget to add the code. Ultimate Nofollow makes it easy by just adding a little box when you insert the links. Check the box and it will make the links nofollow for you. No more messing with code or forgetting!
Limit Login Attempts – If your site has ever been the victim of hackers you’ll know just how important this little plugin can be. It allows you to set how many times anyone can attempt to log into WordPress without becoming locked out for an extended period. We’ve all faced some pretty malicious hackers in our years of blogging, and this one has helped quite a bit!
Books and Training
I’m a firm believer in getting as much education and training you need to keep up with current trends and keep your business moving forward. If I could list all the books and courses I’ve taken in my life, we’d run out of space. But from time to time, I hit the nail on the head with a course, book or training that’s so fantastic I have to include it here. Check back often because I’m always taking courses and learning new stuff.
This was the first blog course I ever took, and it did nothing short of amazing things for my blog. You can read about my success but in a nutshell, it was the best money I ever spent on training! This is the training I recommend for the newbie blogger.
How To Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul – By Ruth Soukup
Full of great content by the same woman who brought us Elite Blog Academy. Good first read if you’re contemplating a blog but haven’t yet decided.
A good read for wanting to understand what goes into starting a blog.
One of my all time favorites. I loved this book so much I am now taking his course and will include this resource once I’m through it and can give you an honest assessment.
Pictures and Images
Nikon D 3200 – Nikon’s superior quality is unsurpassed to almost anything out there. An excellent camera for a new photographer with lots of room for growth.
50 mm Lens – A perfect lens for exceptional quality close up images.
Tripod – My favorite tripod and the one I’ve used for quite some time.
PicMonkey – The editing program I use to make all my photos look fantastic! Upgrade to the Royal version for all the incredible editing capabilities available through the Monkey!
I can’t say enough about these people. First, they are super helpful, but second they are truly committed to helping your revenue soar! You must be at 100,000 page views a month to be accepted into the network, but once you’re there – sign up and tell them I sent you!
Google Ad Sense A great place to start when just starting out.
Sovern Before I joined AdThrive, made the most money through this ad network.
Media Net If you’ve ever seen those blue bar ads on sites, including mine, then you know you’re looking at Media Net Ads. Good company to work with.
Amazon – Of course, the giant of all affiliates. Join, it’s worth it!
ePantry – They have a fantastic influencer program that helps you earn cash by introducing products to your readers.
Ebates – Start using Ebates then refer your readers to their program. Great way to make some extra income.
If you’re starting a blog, you’ll go nowhere fast without harnessing the power of Pinterest. Pinterest drives so much traffic to my site each month it’s insane, and it keeps growing! I use two pinning tools in conjunction with one another to make my pinning the most efficient it can be. Here’s what I recommend.
BoardBooster – Board Booster is going to revolutionize pinning and pinning strategy. Your first 100 pins are free and then after that they have different plans depending on how much you expect to pin. Great customer support too!
Tailwind – I also use Tailwind to pin some of my content. Why? Because it just works for me. Is it necessary? Not really. If you want to start with just one, I’d begin with Board Booster first and then see if you have a need to include Tailwind.
ViralTag – I have not personally used ViralTag, but a big blogging friend does and highly recommends it.
Email marking is the number one way you’ll drive revenue. Make sure you consider your options carefully when picking an email marketing platform.
Mail Chimp – If you’re just starting out and don’t have an email list, I recommend going with Mailchimp. You’re first 2000 subscribers are free, making it very economical for the person just starting out.
ConvertKit – I’ve outgrown Mailchimp and have heard so many wonderful things about ConvertKit that I’m investigating them as we speak. You’ll notice when I make the change over as my emails won’t be as fancy.
HelloBar – An excellent tool that converts more visitors to email subscribers.
Lead Pages – Lead pages is a wonderful conversion program that helps you make lead boxes, landing pages and other tools to convert visitors. If you buy ConvertKit, you don’t need Lead Pages. Lead pages does have a free version for those just starting out.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your personal or business goals.