Best Blogging Resources and tools I use and recommend- Most of them are Free

What are the best blogging tools and resources I recommend? This is a question that I am asked frequently. So here is a list of best blogging tools and resources that will make your life easier.

This is a list of tools that I have personally used for my blog or those I have set up on client websites and few are what have been recommended to me by other bloggers I trust.

I intend to keep on updating this list regularly as I am continuously trying out new things and learning.

BEST Blogging tools and resources I recommend (most of them are Free)

What Blogging Platform to Use?

WordPress

I recommend WordPress.org any day. It is open source so we get a variety of free plugins and themes. I have built multiple websites including mine here and its a blogging platform of choice for most bloggers I know.

I have even moved some of the websites from Blogger to WordPress in the past few years.

For those starting out you can build a website on Free WordPress.com and then once you are ready to take on blogging seriously (ideally have atleast 50 posts or lesser) you can buy hosting from my recommended hosting provider and move to WordPress.org. (If you need any help with the movement feel free to connect with me anytime)

Related – What is WordPress.org versus WordPress.com

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Which Hosting to buy?

There are multiple web hosting in market and you will find multiple online reviews to get started. I bought my first hosting based on such a review and ended up cancelling it in 2 days.

Most of the reviews online are driven by affiliate marketing (Yes I too include affiliate marketing links for the products I have used and recommend). But sadly not everyone includes reviews of products they have used and not all reviews online are genuine. Thus after I started blogging I have come to trust recommendation of people I know more 🙂

I personally like below service providers for Hosting. If you want to know about each in details you can read Recommended Hosting providers here

I have included hosting providers I recommend in the order I recommend below

Siteground

This is one of the best hosting provider out there. They provide good uptime and excellent service. Go here -> WordPress hosting and Start up plan – if you have one website. If you have more than one website go for this one.

Tip – Take for a longer period of time as the initial discounts wont be available all the time. Once your initial discount is over you can move your site to other hosting providers. like one in my list below

Click here to Save 8$ per month and get started Siteground at 3.95$ per month

Here is a step by step tutorial on how to start a blog using Siteground

Chemicloud

This is a hidden gem I came across via another blogger friend. And now I have both my websites there along with my clients website set up there. I just love their support.

So if you decide to move to them. Go here -> WordPress Hosting and WordPress starter planTake this plan if you have one website and then chat with them or raise a ticket and they will transfer your self hosted for Free.

Click here to get started with Chemicloud at 3.95$ per month

(the best part is the price remains consistent always)

Bluehost.com or Dreamhost

These are the third in my list. They are also good options.

Click here to save 4$ per month and get started with Bluehost.com at only 3.95$ per month

I actually started my first website with Dreamhost and they have good support but they provide live chat support only during US hours which honestly was not that big an issue as I actually got to work on blogs only at night.

You can save $50 if you Sign up using this link. (Hosting starting 2.59$ per month)

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Hosting providers to avoid

Bluehost India and Godaddy. I have not had a good experience with them. Godaddy does not provide Free SSL like others I have mentioned above and has less up time.

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Special offer on hosting for newbies

If you are planning to start with self hosting and not go for full basic plans above. I have a special offer where you get self hosting at only Rs 999/per year.

Take a year and then decide whether you want to continue with blogging and have you own basic plan.  If you have less than 50 posts  – All you need to is mail me on bloggingmadeeasier@gmail.com Tools for Graphic Des

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Tools for Graphic Design

Canva

Well this is my favourite! It has a free version that you can use for almost anything. If you are blogging you definitely need good pictures for your blogs, for your social media and everything in between.

Here is a quick tutorial on how you can create Logo using Canva

I am actually using Canva Pro as well for multiple months.

Try Canva for free here.

Also if you are not very well versed with designs you can easily buy Canva templates, just change the text and start using it.

Thats the best time saving tip that has worked for me. And I love these templates. For example if you want to make an ebook just get this template and get started with. If you need a social media kit – You can get these

Click here to get Free Canva Templates to get started with

Stencil

This is something I bought recently and yes I am in love with it 🙂

Reasons I love Stencil

Simply because its much more faster and intuitive than Canva and saves me load of time. Specially in creating pins and images for Instagram. See it in action below

Try Stencil for Free now 

I can use any picture I want and just open in Stencil and start working on it (no downloading, no uploading necessary). Then again after the design is done I can just directly pin it on Pinterest.

Click here to try Stencil for Free now

Also it has multiple quotes and paid pictures with in the tool so it very easy to make quotes that really helps me in Instagram

My major engagement on Instagram have come from quote pics I created using Stencil. For example below one

I mean I personally feel

Time is money as I have so much to do and very less time so I feel this magic tool is worth my investment.

Click here to try Stencil for Free now

99 Designs

This is another great option for those who need graphic designs – Logos, websites, book covers and more.

Its a great resource for bloggers and businesses. Get a custom design done by talented designers and grow your business or blog.

And if you are good at designing, join and make designs for others.

Check out services by multiple designers at 99 Designs

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Tools and services for Email Marketing

Before I talk about Tools for email marketing. Let us understand why you need email marketing – mainly to get traffic and make sales.

If someone comes to our blog it makes much more sense to capture their email id (also called lead) and send them relevant mails. In case if the person is reading your blog – it is probable that he or she may be interested in future ones as well.

So if you have not yet starter your list – its time to do so now.

I have created list and set up automation for businesses and bloggers and I can assure you that they have loved it and found having an email list very useful.

Ok, now what to use for email marketing. Check below for tools and services I have used for email marketing

Mailchimp

For beginners this is the best option to get started with specially if you look from perspective of pricing. It offers a free plan till 2000 subscribers.

So to begin with you can get started with this and later switch to other options

Click here to get started with Mailchimp today

Mailerlite

I have heard multiple good things about Mailerlite and honestly am planning to shift to it soon from Mailchimp.

As from what I have seen so far its more intuitive and easier to follow. Though it does have a paid option after we reach 1000 subscribers.

I personally feel that if I had to start all over again – I would have started with Mailerlite

Try Mailerlite for free by clicking here

Other options for email marketing once you have finished free limits

Once you are above 2000 subscribers – the other email marketing options that I can recommend are Aweber and ConvertKit

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Tools and services for Social Media Management

Buffer

Managing Social media can be time taking. I use Buffer for scheduling my posts on social media for a week and then come again and do it :-).

Its quite a time saver honestly

Check out how to schedule your content using Buffer. Try Buffer for free today

 

Hootsuite

I also use Hootsuite for scheduling and posting my content. Why above 2 – because in Free plans there is a limitation to number of social accounts we can create.

Try Hootsuite for Free today and save time

Social Pilot

If you are looking for something like Buffer, you can consider Social Pilot. Their paid plans are cheaper than Buffer and I like their content discovery option and chrome extension (again time saver).

I am leaning towards getting social pilot for my social media profiles. I will update the blog when I do with my inputs.

But its definitely something in my TO DO list.

You can try Social Pilot for FREE by clicking here

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Tools and plugins for making your website fast

Short Pixel

A fast website is essential for user experience and SEO. This is one area we don’t worry or plan much about when we are selecting themes or building a website. And as our blog grows – the website keeps on getting heavier due to data and images on the website (apart from other things ofcourse)

One way that I have started using since last year is this WordPress plugin.  After I installed this plugin my site speed has becoming much better than what it was.

As a good practice we should always optimize our image for size. And believe me I have tried various plugins (I was on SMUSH before) but this worked for me. So I am now on their paid plan for both my websites. They do have a free plan that offers some number of images per month.

You can try their free plan by clicking here

(You may also be interested in reading How to optimize your image for SEO)

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Tools for Productivity and Team Management

Google Suite

Google Doc, Google Forms and Google sheets are great help to all bloggers small businesses. I use google sheets for keywords research. Google forms for collecting data and Google docs for capturing my ideas when writing blogs.

If you have not tried them out, please do so. They are awesome, versatile and FREE.

Trello

Trello boards, lists and cards helps you prioritize, organize and manage work. It works great when you have a team but also when you are a solopreneur (blogger)

When we work digitally, the work we do is intangible. Such boards are great to help us visualize work we need to do and complete it. Otherwise if you are like me – I have so many ideas, so much work in progress at any one point of time. This visualisation shows me exactly that and help me in getting work completed and get something done each week

I had posted about an easy way to create boards and concentrate on getting work done or completed recently. Our aim needs to be finishing all the work that’s in progress  – Simple motto

Simple motto - Stop starting and start finishing. Check out some tips and tools on how you can get more done with Blogging tools and resources #Blogging #Tips #ProductivityClick To Tweet

Technically we call such boards Kanban boards but Trello is a great way to visualize work and finish it faster.

Try Trello for FREE here

Do you know you can also use Trello for manual pinning organization. Check out this awesome resource that helps you learn that.

You can also use Trello to create, simplify and streamline Blog processes. Learn how to do that here 

For more such tips follow me @bloggingmadeeasier on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0SNcoyB9eq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Evernote

This is a great tool for recording and keeping notes anywhere. You can take notes, share them with anyone, take web clips and a lot more.

I love this and am trying to use multiple features of Evernote currently. You will hear more on this soon. May be a separate blog post on how its helping me organize my blogging and life

Click here to Try Evernote for FREE (you get one month Evernote premium as well)

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Tools for Analytics

Google Analytics

There is only one tool that I would recommend for analytics. That is Google analytics.

I have seen multiple bloggers using Jetpack (which is heavy plugin) or not using analytics at all.

Knowing and checking your analytics s very important specially if you want to grow your blog and make it profitable. So if you still do not have Google analytics set up then it is time for you to do so.

If you want me to set it up for you. Just connect with me here.

I am also hosting a Super profitable challenge in November where I will share some free courses and tips for you. If interested click here and give your mail id

Start with Google Analytics for FREE here 

Also, just setting it up is not enough, You need to use it correctly and understand your blog analytics. I found this book very comprehensive and easy to follow, if you are serious about blogging and want to understand Google Analytics

Get this ebook here.

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Tools for SEO

Yoast

If you have a WordPress blog then get this Free Plugin – Yoast. Its really helpful.

But believe me only doing this and getting a green light at bottom of you post is not SEO. This is just the first step.

SEO is multiple things –  how you write blogs (On page optimization), How many blogs link to your blog and here we are talking about good backlinks (Off page Optimization), What to write about (Keyword strategy) and there is a lot more ..

But first step is to get started with something so when you are setting up your WordPress blog – Install, Activate and Set up Yoast. I do it for all websites I create

Get Started with WordPress Yoast Plugin for Free

It also has a paid version and I am using it for our site on Parenting and Crafts Blogs. If you have kids check it out and join in for free worksheets we send weekly.

Note – My experience is don’t pay a SEO person thousands of bucks to do SEO for you. Most of them apply techniques that are not good for your sites. Do a course and invest in yourself so that you know what is working and what is not.

If you need to understand ON page Optimization Techniques – Get this ebook 

If you need to understand Off page optimization techniques – Get this ebook

I personally have bought above so I know the information is good.

The best course I have done on SEO is this, you can do it whenever you have the budget.

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Tools for Keyword Research (SEO)

Here are tools that you can use for keyword research. I will soon be planning courses on how I use these tools to get traffic to my sites. I always announce best offers on my courses when I launch it so if you need to stay updated – Join my exclusive facebook group for bloggers (Note your request will be approved if you answer questions and you have given your mail id here)

Google Keyword Planner

Its a Free tool that you can use for keyword planning.

SEMRUSH

I love SEMrush as a tool – You can use it for keyword research, competitor analysis and a lot more. SEMRUSH is paid but here are few links to try it FREE

Try SEMRUSH Guru subscription for FREE by clicking here (Usually its 199$ per month)

Try SEMRUSH PRO subscription for FREE by clicking here (Usually its 99$ per month)

AHREFS

Another tool I find really really useful. But its not FREE you can try it for a week for $7.

Try AHREFs for a week by clicking here

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Blogging Tools for Monetisation (earning money)

Google Adsense

This is the most known Ad network and is reliable as well. But the payout is very less if you have less traffic. But if you are interested its a great way to get started.

Apply for Google Adsense here

I have helped multiple bloggers get approved for Google Adsense after their initial application was rejected So if you need help feel free to connect with me.

Amazon Affiliate

This is my favourite was of monetising so far. Amazon has a wide variety of products and works well with most bloggers of all niche.

I have a detailed guide on how to get started with Amazon affiliate India. Click here to read.

Also, applying and getting approved for Amazon affiliate India is just the first step. We need to know how to use the links generated. I personally have started earning money from Amazon affiliate recently and what really really helped me is this course from Jennifer.

I have done multiple courses but I found this course to be the most useful and total value of money

Click here to Learn how to use Amazon Affiliate to make money

There are multiple networks you can join for Affiliate marketing but the strategy remains same. I would also recommend if you learn more about Affiliate marketing.  This course on Affiliate marketing for bloggers helped me a lot.

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Do you have any queries on WordPress or if u need any help with your blog (moving to self hosting,setting up google analytics,Newsletter to name a few) you can mail me at bloggingmadeeasier@gmail.com

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1 Comment
  1. Your blog is gold with so much useful information for all bloggers.

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