Blogging Resources Library

Blogging is still very new to me. I’ve been at it for less than a year and have spent every day learning something new. In a little amount of time and thanks to plenty of support from the vast blogging community, I’ve gotten my blog off the ground and it continues to grow every day!

I thought it would be a great idea to share the tools, tips, courses, eBooks, programs etc., that got my blog off the ground and recommend them in hopes of helping the next blogger!

Below are blogging resources that I use every single day!

Ultimate Blogging Resources Library | Simply Bonnibelle

Blogging Essentials

Host

Siteground: If you plan on making money with your blog, then you must go the self-hosted route. I highly recommend Siteground over Bluehost/Hostgator/EIG hosting companies. Bluehost has a well-paying affiliate program, but I’ve seen too many bloggers complaining about lackluster customer service, their websites going down, etc. I started with Hostgator originally and only lasted a few weeks with them myself for similar reasons. Siteground offers better site performance, free https for your website, and amazing customer service. I swear by Siteground!

Useful read: How to Start a Lifestyle Blog with Siteground

Blogging Software

WordPress: Everyone uses WordPress for a reason. It’s the #1 choice for bloggers, super flexible, and anyone can use it. It’s the only blogging software I’ve used and the only one I’ll ever recommend!

WordPress Plugins
  • Akismet: Perfect for protecting your blog from spam
  • Broken Link Checker: Checks your blog for missing images and broken links and notifies you so you can fix them
  • ConvertKit: Easily integrates ConvertKit forms to your blog
  • FMTC Affiliate Disclosure: Add an affiliate disclosure before all your blog posts
  • Google Analytics for WordPress: The best Google Analytics plugin for WordPress and best site stat tracker available in my opinion
  • Jetpack: One of my favorite plugins for all that it can do; site stats and analytics, automatic sharing on social media, share buttons, related posts, etc.
  • Pinterest Pin It Button: A Pin It button on your blog images so they can be pinned directly from your blog
  • Pretty Links: Allows you to shrink long, ugly affiliate links as well as track how many times your links have been clicked
  • UndraftPlus: Backs up and restores your site if/when necessary
  • WordPress Editorial Calendar: Perfect for scheduling posts!
  • WP Ultimate Recipe: Highly recommended if you have a food blog or plan on sharing recipes. You can SEO your recipes, readers can print them, and more! I’m currently using and love the free version!
  • YoastSEO: I personally believe this is the most important plugin your blog needs! It’s hailed as the first true all-in-one SEO solution for WordPress and I absolutely agree! It offers on-page content analysis and guides you in optimizing your posts for search engines!
Themes/Graphic Design
  • Bluchic: If you want a responsive, elegant, and feminine theme for your blog, then you have to check out Bluchic! I use the Isabelle theme and absolutely love it! They even send you helpful tips and updates and provide excellent customer service!
  • Etsy: Numerous, appealing themes, templates, logos, etc., for any kind of budget! Make sure to read reviews and purchase from someone/a company who’s readily available and can provide you assistance in a timely fashion should you need it.
  • Canva: A personal favorite for making pins, PDFs, and other graphics. I even used it to make my self-care toolkit!
  • Pixistock: Amazingly styled stock photos for fempreneurs and girl bosses, courtesy of Alicia Powell! She offers monthly, quarterly, and annual memberships (I’m on her annual plan), but she offers individual photos as well!
  • Unsplash: My favorite free resource for free stock photos!

Need more free tools? Check out my post 5 Free Blogging Tools You Should Be Using!

Email List Builder

ConvertKit: I recently purchased the Ultimate Blogger Bundle, which came with a free trial of ConvertKit. I absolutely love it! ConvertKit isn’t considered beginner-friendly because of its $29.99/mo price tag, but it’s made for bloggers by bloggers. I’ll continue with ConvertKit as it’s a blogger-favorite and worth every penny!

MailerLite: I was using MailerLite before I jumped on the ConvertKit train. Free for the first 1000 subscribers and also easy to use!

Social Media Tools

Pinteresting Strategies: Another highly recommended eBook because it actually works! Everyone’s talking about Boardbooster or Tailwind (even I’m about to), but I’ve personally seen the most engagement from pinning the old school way – manually! Carly Campbell from Mommy on Purpose put together an easy-to-read eBook, which I read in one day and now has me literally watching my page views increase every single day because of her strategies! If you’re using Pinterest, then you need Pinteresting Strategies!

Tailwind: I’ll keep it 100 like I always do. I haven’t had a huge traffic boost from Tailwind or tribes like others mention. I’m still figuring it out and love using it for now because I can pin days/weeks in advance and that’s perfect for days that I don’t feel like pinning manually (I still see the most traffic from this). I’ll continue to use it and monitor my traffic, and recommend it as a supplement to manual pinning.

Buffer: Perfect for scheduling your social media posts for the week! I’m currently using the free version and that works for me. Buffer offers an Awesome Plan for $10/mo that allows Pinterest scheduling…. I’ll update you once I make the plunge!

Monetizing Your Blog

Affiliate Marketing

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: I highly recommend this course for everyone and anyone interested in making affiliate sales. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner of Making Sense of Cents is THE affiliate marketing guru of the blogging industry. Her course is easy to understand and she literally spells out everything for you. There’s a reason why she’s made over $500,000 selling this course. Everyone’s buying it and reading it because her methods work!

Shareasale: One of the first affiliate programs I was accepted into and one of the most popular! Easy to use with plenty of brands to choose from!

Amazon Affiliate Program: Another popular program! Plenty of selection, but you have 180 days to make a sale or you’re booted from the program. Be sure to read their specific rules too!

Advertising Networks

Google Adsense: The go-to advertising network, especially for new bloggers!

Media Net: Considered the Yahoo! and Bing-powered alternative to Google Adsense, though they work great in conjunction. Low traffic minimum, easy to use, and great personal support; you have a personal account manager helping you along the way!

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I hope you get the most out of this blogging resources library. These are tools that I use pretty much every single day and are helping my blog grow, so, they’re sure to do the same for you!

Did I miss anything? Know of a plugin that should be added to the list? Shoot me an email at bonni@simplybonnibelle.com if you have any questions about any of the recommendations!

Make sure to read 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Blogging so you can learn from my mistakes and start your blog the right way!

Last updated 3 December 2017.