This page contains all of my must have blogging tools and recommendations. Since I started blogging back in 2009 I have used hundreds of different products and tools, and have learned many tricks along the way. I will continually update this list as I find new awesome resources, so bookmark this page and check back often. This post may contain affiliate links; however I only promote products I love, from companies I trust.
Blog and Website:
Bluehost (WordPress): WordPress is the #1 blogging platform, and Bluehost is my #1 recommended web hosting provider. I have used Bluehost since 2009 and have been very happy with my experience with them! You can easily purchase your domain name and web hosting from Bluehost, and they offer a “one click” WordPress installation. It doesn’t get any easier!
SiteGround: I have heard amazing things about SiteGround and their customer service is amazing. If you’re looking for a domain and web hosting, definitely check out SiteGround as well. Feel free to compare Bluehost and SiteGround to decide which service suits your needs better.
Wix and Weebly: Wix and Weebly are very similar platforms that offer hundreds of easy to use templates that you can customize for your blog or website. They both offer user friendly drag and drop design interfaces means you don’t have to understand web design or code at all and it’s completely “beginner” friendly. However, please please please do not use their “free” service. For a low annual rate, you can purchase one of their professional plans to get your own domain name and remove their annoying ads from your site. No one will take you seriously if you have a www.YourName.Wix.com address and promotional ads all over your website.
Google Analytics: Once you purchase your hosting service, sign up for a free Google Analytics account. The analytics are a priceless tool that allows you to see how many people visit your blog, your total page views, which posts are the most popular, how long they stayed on the site, etc. This is by far the best free resource out there for blogging.
Pretty Link Pro: If you are using Affiliate Marketing on your blog, I definitely recommend using Pretty Link Pro to create custom URL redirects instead of the long affiliate links. It gives your blog a cleaner, more professional look, and as a nice bonus you can see how many clicks each link is getting right from your WordPress dashboard.
Restored 316 Designs: This blog uses a Restored 316 child theme, and I absolutely love it! They offer beautiful designs that work in conjunction with the Genesis Theme from Studio Press. Click here to take this quiz to see which theme is best for your business.
Studio Press: Studio Press is one of the leading providers of blog themes, and their Genesis Framework is second to none.
Angie Makes: If you’re looking for a feminine blog theme, look no further! Angie Makes offers pretty designs that will make you swoon.
Elegant Themes: My previous two blogs, I used themes from Elegant Themes. They are super easy to customize and they have a great selection to choose from.
Template Monster: Seriously, they have an amazing array of themes to choose from! I could look at this site for hours!
Mojo Marketplace: This marketplace features blog themes and templates, as well as logos and graphics for your site.
Stock Photos & Photography
Haute Stock (formerly Haute Chocolate): Finally! Beautifully styled stock photos! When I found this photo collection, it was love at first sight. Most of the photos used on my blog are from Haute Stock, and I can’t recommend their photos enough. Seriously, check them out.
SC Stockshop: If you’re looking for gorgeously designed, feminine, and pretty styled photos, then take a look at SC Stock Shop. Their website makes it super easy to shop by color so you can match your brand colors to the perfect styled photos.
White Harte Design Co: If you’re looking for photos with more of a vintage touch, you will love White Harte Design Co.
TwigyPosts: I absolutely love the clean look and feel of these photos! With a huge selection, and incredibly reasonable prices, having a consistent brand image across your blog and social media platforms couldn’t be easier.
Minimography: Looking for free stock photos? This website has a huge library to choose from, with a clean minimal style.
PicMonkey: I use Pic Monkey all the time to easily edit photos and to create images for social media. The easy to use interface makes it ideal for everyone (no graphic design experience necessary), and at just $5 per month or just $39 for the whole year, it’s a must-have blogging tool.
Canva: This web-based design tool is similar to PicMonkey, yet includes many different features. You can easily integrate both systems into your workflow to create your own custom look.
Canon Rebel T5: If you would prefer to take your own photos for your blog instead of using stock photos, make sure you have a nice camera. The Canon Rebel was the first camera I purchased, and I have used and loved all of my Canon products ever since. This is an excellent beginner DSLR camera, and this package includes everything you need to get started (camera, lens, camera bag, memory card, and much more!).
Canon 7D: The Canon 7D is the camera that I currently use for my own photos. It’s definitely more of a professional grade camera with more bells and whistles, and the photo quality is simply amazing. If you purchase the 7D, be sure to check out my two favorite lenses, the 50mm and the 24-105mm.
Logos & Visual Elements
48 Hours Logo: Are you in need of a custom designed logo, but don’t want to spend a fortune? Take a look at this wonderful company! With logo prices starting at just $29, you can have a professional look without the pricey investment.
Creative Market: Anything “visual” that you need, you can find it at Creative Market. From stock photos to graphic images, to templates and fonts, it’s all here.
Moo: Every business needs high-quality business cards, and I absolutely love Moo products! They offer business cards, postcards, stickers in a wide array of sizes and the quality is amazing. Click here to receive $15 off your first order!
Planners and Organizers
Business Planner by Restored 316: It has absolutely everything needed in order to keep your business organized! Don’t learn lessons the hard way by finding out too late that you’re unprepared for filing taxes or that your business isn’t profitable. By putting all your data in one place and keeping it organized, it will keep you on track to doing what you love, and your business on a path to success.
Design Aglow: If you want to stay organized and keep track of literally everything you need to do all in one place, you must check out The Big Picture Planner by Design Aglow, an essential planner for the creative entrepreneur. Meet your goals and stay on track every day, every week, and every month with this 430 page, gorgeously designed, annual planner.
Creating professionally designed emails and newsletters is super easy with ConvertKit or Aweber. These two companies cater to the blogging community and have great reviews from many top bloggers. Take a look at their services and see what they have to offer. It’s time to take your email marketing efforts to the next level!
Optin Monster: Don’t let viewers leave your site without subscribing to your email list. This great tool helps to convert abandoning viewers into subscribers and grabs their attention with perfectly timed pop-up windows.
Viglink and Skimlinks: Viglink and Skimlinks offer very similar services, so I suggest you check them both out and then sign up with one. With just one easy to install plugin, these services automatically monetize your blog by inserting links to products that you mention in your posts. You can easily generate revenue from your blog with no extra work on your part. With no cost to you, this one is a no-brainer.
Shareasale: While there are many affiliate marketing sites out there, Shareasale is my preferred choice. They have a huge selection of merchants that you can work with, an easy to use dashboard, and great customer service.
Tailwind: Most bloggers will agree that Pinterest drives a huge amount of traffic to their blogs. Tailwind makes it easy to schedule your pins in advance, pin to multiple boards, and track your analytics. This is a wonderful time saving tool!
Viraltag: Viraltag makes scheduling your posts to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tublr, and Linkedin a breeze! I can easily schedule an entire week’s worth of posts in less than an hour! It’s a huge timesaver and worth every single penny. Bonus: you can try it free for 14 days (no credit card required) and get a $15 credit simply by using this link! (Read my related blog post: Schedule Your Social Media Posts With Viraltag)
PromoRepublic: Create amazing social media content with just a few clicks with PromoRepublic! Now you can have professional marketing content, expertly designed templates, and gain full insight on how your social media posts are performing. This easy to use tool will save you so much time!
eCourses / eCommerce / Online Stores
Thinkific: Do you want to create, market and sell your own online eCourses? Say goodbye to technology headaches and hello to making money online with your very own eCourse. Thinkific makes it easy to create compelling content; no design or technical skills required!
Sendowl: Are you interested in selling ebooks online? Sendowl makes selling your digital products quick and easy, and you can even set up your own affiliate system to help market your products.
Printful: Design your own products, sell them in your own store, and then let Prinful print and ship the products directly to your customers. This user-friendly system integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce, Shopify, Etsy, and many other store platforms.
Shopify: Selling your products with Shopify is as easy as it gets! Customize your online store, manage your inventory, and track your sales all from this fully integrated platform. If you have something to sell, you can handle every detail with Shopify.
Oberlo: Run your dropshipping store with ease with Oberlo. This platform integrates seamlessly with Shopify and makes adding products to your online store a breeze!
Blogging Courses and eBooks
Free Guide – 5 Types of Content that Will Boost Your Blog Traffic: Recently I was thrilled to find the tool that I wish I had from day one. My friend Abby at Just a Girl and Her Blog has put together this free guide where she shares the kinds of posts that took her from zero pageviews to hundreds of thousands of visitors a month! Her insight and examples are so helpful and can help get any blogger or blogger-to-be started on the right track. Plus, it’s FREE! You can’t beat that!
Alex Tooby’s Instagram Courses: If you’re ready to take your Instagram account to the next level, then you should definitely check out Infamous To Influential and Hashtag Hero. These two courses are the best of the best when it comes to Instagram marketing!
Building A Framework: The Ultimate Blogging Handbook: This is a helpful ebook and video tutorials for new bloggers, with all of the essential topics covered in one place. If you’re serious about starting a blog, this will walk you through all of the detailed steps to get started.
Simple eBook Creation: Do you want to create an ebook, but don’t know where to start? This great “how-to” guide will walk you through the seven steps of creating your ebook.
Traffic Transformation – 17 Strategies To Increase Your Page Views: This author and blogger shares her secrets to going from 17,000 to 350,000 monthly pages views in just nine months. If you’re looking to increase your page views (what blogger isn’t?), then this book is highly recommended.
Facebook Strategies Worth Sharing: Learn how to increase your Facebook fan following organically, and increase the engagement on your page. This blogger went from 2,000 to 100,000 Facebook fans in just five months with these easy to implement strategies.
Grammarly: Many people love to blog, but they’re not professional writers. Make sure your blog posts are easy to read and mistake free with Grammarly.
SEO/Search Engine Optimization
Link Fool: Every blogger wants more visitors to their site, and dreams of ranking higher in search engines for keywords. Let Link Fool help you with your SEO, so you can focus on other things.
Freshbooks: Accounting is definitely not my favorite part of running a business, but Freshbooks makes the accounting process simple, streamlined, and easy to understand. With Freshbooks, you can spend less time on Accounting, and more time doing what you love.
Did I miss anything? Tell me about your favorite blogging tools, and be sure to bookmark this page and check back often. I’m always discovering new products that I would love to share with you.