If you’re newbie blogger looking for a list of the “best tools and resources” for growing your blog, I bet you’re at the right spot.
I created this resource page to list out the recommendations that I believe are truly valuable based on my own experience. This way you can quickly find great products and services all in one place.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click the links below and sign up for a service, they will send me a little cash as a way to say “thank you for linking to us.”
I work on a budget and believe that a ‘penny saved is a penny made’. Hence, I prefer not to suggest something weird or expensive just to fill my pockets from your hard earned money.
A Blogoprenuer’s Tools Kit
The list contains tools, recommended services, products, and companies that are trustworthy that are mostly FREE. While a few need a little investment but are affordable and within one’s budget. I bet, you can easily save thousands of dollars and run a successful blog, if you can follow my recommendations on this page!
Don’t wait any further, just grab these tools and get going with your startup blog at a minimal cost!
The single most important decision of your blogging career, would be to choose the domain name (based on the niche you decide to blog). I arrived upon hearmefolks, after brainstorming several ideas.
Their services have grown in popularity recently owing to low pricing and good customer service. If you wish to register a domain for just 0.88$/yr at NameCheap then use this link. Pretty amazing isn’t it!
If you’re serious about what you do, then you definitely need to choose a blog software that is easy to use and you need to install it on your web server. WordPress is my choice as it makes my life easier and at the same time renders a professional look to my blog. It is a free software, and one of the most widely preferred platform because of its flexibility and ease of use for either personal or commercial purposes.
If domain name is your address, web host is the actual house on the web where your blog lives.
If you’re thinking of something reliable and affordable at the same time, my recommendation would be either bluehost or hostgator. Hearmefolks is currently hosted on hostgator’s optimized wordpress hosting. While, a few of my niche blogs (Under Maintenance) are hosted on bluehost.
If you’re looking for a cheap wordpress hosting then Bluehost can be the best choice. It is the most recommended web host in the blogging community.
The starter plan worth 5.95$/month includes technical support, unlimited bandwidth and dedicated server upgrades. If you signup through my link, you can get started for just 1.95$/mon & also get a domain name worth 15$ for free with this cool tip.
Hostgator is yet another popular webhosting provider recommended by pro bloggers .
Even its smallest plan worth 3.95$/mon includes unlimited disc space and bandwidth. It also come with a one click wordpress installation making it easier for new bloggers to get started quickly. The best part about hostgator is that, you can take a trial for just a penny. They have an awesome technical support, live chat and have been my backbone when my site was recently hacked.
Use Proper Grammar or Your Credibility is Shot 😡
Even if your content is the best, you will still be judged based on your writing skills. A grammatical error can make your readers’ loose respect for you.
If you’re not comfortable with your writing or aren’t familiar with basic rules of grammar then you need to turn to a dependable source to avoid potential problems. One such best source is Grammarly.
It is a powerful grammar checking algorithm that makes sure everything you type is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free. It can Instantly fix over 250 types of errors, most of which Microsoft Word can’t find.
Grammarly helps me craft mistake-free posts on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and everywhere else I write on the web. Add it to chrome, it’s free!
Plugins are a way to extend the functionality of a blogging software (like wordpress)
Essential plugins for Your blog
|Yoast for SEO||It is a complete wordpress SEO tool that helps to optimize my blog pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and also readability criteria. A free version of this plugin has fulfilled most my requirements and streamlined my content. You can download the free version and stay cool.|
|Jetpack||Jetpack is a free WordPress plugin that manages everything for my site allowing me to stay calm. From Related Posts, share buttons, Publicize, Comments and the subscription system, to site stats and site monitor, you will need it and you will love it.|
|Akismet||I use this plugin to prevent spam from ever reaching my blog so that I don’t have to deal with checking and deleting them. This in conjunction with Stop Spammers Plugin has been avoiding addition of comments to blog using automated scripts. Akismet is the Leader of spam filtering. It is free and a must for your blog for spam control.|
|WP Super Cache||Clear all cache files directly from the admin menu using this plugin.|
|Google Analytics for WordPress||You can use this to check out where your website’s traffic comes from. Google Analytics setup is free and can be accessed with a registered google account that is verified with your blog.|
|WP Smush||If you’re like me interested in incorporating images on your posts, then this tool is a must. Smush is an image optimization tool that helps to scale and compress some or all of your images (without reducing the quality) and thereby improve performance and boost your SEO.|
Design Tool Kit
Make your blog pop out of the rest with an awesome logo and a stunning blog template.
99 Designs – Want a professional looking logo for your blog, then 99 Designs is a great place, with over a million of highly talented great designers. Whether you are looking for a website design, graphic design, a header image, or anything else related to your website, you can get it done here with talented freelance designers online.
If you’re looking for themes that are free/affordable, responsive, professional looking, SEO optimized, adsense optimized and built for speed, readability and clarity, choose one!
You can simply Signup and get instant access to about 24 Free Themes & Plugins.
The prices range from 29$-59$ for a single theme and $87 for extended membership package to access all 100 themes and plugins.
But you can get ANY premium theme or plugin for just $19 with this special coupon.
Thrive Themes – If you want to convert more of your visitors into subscribers, customers & clients then thrive themes would be my first preference! Thrive themes and plugins are conversion focused and will make your entire website convert.
A one time payment of 47$ (for a single website) can create a professional looking website. It also includes all the features,unlimited free updates and 1 full year of free support. If you want license to use for all sites that you personally own and operate then…
- You have to choose the unlimited personal license which costs just $67
- You get unlimited access to all plugins & themes by becoming a Thrive Member at $19/month.
Bluechic – Feminie wordpress themes for women. Suitable for both business and blogging. These themes are stunning and have an elegant look with affordable price. Prices range from $29 – $79. You can use them forever, on unlimited number of sites, and you’ll always have access to support and updates.
Signup to get access to stunning free themes and a 20% discount.
I love photos! I personally feel that images are a great way to convey the essence of my post. Moreover placing photos and graphics is incredibly easy with today’s photo sharing websites. Here is a list of few royalty free stock photos I use for my blog.
- Death to the stock Photo
- StockPhotosFor Free
- Wiht.co– almost 100 free and freemium sources of stock photos
Want to add text and graphics to your images and make them appealing, then you need to resort to the most popular photo editing tools that have both free and premium services. I use both Picmonkey and Canva for editing my images. Earlier I used Fotor, which was also pretty awesome. These tools have proactively influenced my social sharing count on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook making my images eye-catchy.
This is a paid plugin (and honestly, the only plugin I’ve ever paid for) that allows you to set an appropriate image for each social network. See, Facebook and Twitter like the images to be landscape, and without words; while Pinterest wants them portrait style, with words. My website theme doesn’t play nice with those differences. Plus, I don’t like seeing the title of the post in picture form right after seeing the title of the post. Social Warfare allows for a good-looking blog post, plus the right sized picture on Pinterest.
SEO is the heart of blogging. A blog properly optimized can drive in loads of organic traffic from search engines. A proper SEO tool will bump up your rankings and your income.
Whenever I come up with a topic, I immediately jump into keyword research to check for competition, average CPC and keywordword count. I use KWFinder and LongTailPro to look up for keywords that I want to rank for.
KWFinder has a free plan limited to 5 KeyWords & SERP lookups per 24 hours. The basic plan starts at $12/mon with a maximum of 100 KW & SERP lookups and per 24 hours.
LongTailPro is a great site to find profitable long tail keywords with low SEO competition and do in Depth Domain and Page level Metrics.The starter plan worth $25/month allows 1oK searches which is amazing.
I recommend you to take a 1$ trial of longtail pro for 10 days to check its worthiness.
I use Ahrefs for my SEO analysis and I believe that it is a must-have for serious digital marketers like you.
Ahrefs – is an ultimate backlink checker and the best of all SEO tools and the #1 tool recommended by pro bloggers. They also have the content explorer, keyword explorer,,competitor research, position explorer tracker & more. In simple its a complete tool set for SEO and marketing.
Try Ahrefs for free here
These two free SEO tools when used in conjunction can turn a blog form zero to hero. Google analytics if used properly can provide you with tons of actionable data which you need to monitor regularly. Google search console will give a complete overview of a site from an SEO perspective and will notify of crawling errors. You can even analyze traffic metrics and backlinks to your blog using this awesome free tool.
Digital Marketing Tools Kit
is a must if you want to survive in this highly competitive marketing world. Build your list and passive income with the right choice of tools to succeed. A good email marketing service can grow your list just by customizing and sharing built-in signup forms.
I use Mailchimp, and you can as well start building list today for free using it.
Mailchimp is easy, free forever (upto 2000 subscribers) and requires no credit card. The starter plan allows to send 12,000 automated emails per month to 2,000 subscribers. You need to upgrade your free account to 10$/month to grow your list further above, send more emails per month, and take advantage of powerful features.
Another great free alternative to Mailchimp is SumoMe Plugin.
Sumome has some cool social sharing icons, heat maps(to see where your website visitors are clicking), image sharer (to get your images shared more often), content highlighter, google analytics, contact form, buy button and several types of built-in sign up forms which also covers social media marketing.
It also starts for free and has several built-in sign up forms for list building but doesn’t send automated emails.The upgraded version, Sumome Pro (starts at $29/mon) unlocks several other robust features and integrations.
Thrive Leads is the most powerful all-in one email list building plugin you can integrate to either Mailchimp or Sumome. You can create and freely design any type of opt-in form, run A/B tests and grow your list faster than ever before.
If you want to build a profitable mailing list then Thrive leads should be your only choice with a one time payment of $67 for a single website.
Social Media Marketing
It gives your site super powers that finally makes your post share worthy. It display social share counts prominently (even Twitter tweet counts). “After installing Social Warfare I straight away saw an increase in social shares and traffic.
This is a powerful psychological tool to encourage more shares and BY FAR the best looking social sharing plugin I have seen till date available for just 29$ !
Buy it, try it out for 45 days and if you don’t love it, avail your money-back with no questions asked.
Nowadays it hard to network and promote on multiple sites. Social pilot is a Social Media Scheduling & Marketing Tool that increase your online marketing efficiency and save time. I use social pilot to schedule my posts.The free plan can be used for upto 3 connected profiles,10 posts sharing per day and 30 posts in scheduling queue.The basic plan which starts at 4.99/mon can connect upto 10 profiles.
This plugin stole my heart. I can’t conclude this page without mentioning this amazing plugin that made my life easier and also increased my blog traffic immensely with minimal work. I say boardbooster is a must if you’re using pinterest. It allows you to schedule your Pinterest pins and analyse your best working boards and pins so that you can see what is working and what is not.The best part of it is looping the pins which enhances the visibility and shareability of even older pins without you even caring for them.
Pheww! I’m done for now. Will come up with more worthy stuff. Keep looking for latest additions to this page. In the meanwhile get started with your blogging journey.