If you’re just starting a new blog, you’re probably looking for blogging tools for beginners. Whether you are a new blogger or a seasoned one, finding the best blogging tools and resources can help grow your blog into an even better one.
You may be wondering about what blog tools you should be using to grow your blog business.
Blogs evolve and change over time, and it’s great to learn from other bloggers as to what they use to make their own sites successful.
After all, the key goal of most bloggers is to monetize and earn money! For the highest chances of success with that, you need to have:
- Regular traffic to your site
- A blog that people want to visit and find easy to navigate through
- Content that’s useful, easy-to-read and visually appealing
Here you’ll find some of my favourite, best blog tools for beginners.
These include tools for blogging such as WordPress plugins for blogs, services, tools, and creative and image resources for bloggers.
Included are affiliate marketing programs to sign up for so that you can start monetizing your blog from the start.
I’ve tried them and they work well for me. They may work for you too as well! Check them out! Trying new things is how you grow as a blogger.
Many of these best blogging tools and resources are free, while others are a wise investment that’ll take your blog to the next level!
NOTE: If you’re an online coach, I’ve got a list of the best online coaching tools for you too!
DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a product or service, and decide to purchase it, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All recommended products and services are based on my positive experience with them. For more information, please read my Disclaimer.
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Best Blogging Tools And Resources For Beginner Bloggers
When you’re starting a blog, there are many moving parts and questions you’ll have.
First, take a look at my “how to start a blog” post for a general overview of the process.
It takes you step-by-step and gives you a general outline of what you need to do to get yourself set up in one day. Or at least, it helps you create a plan for what may take you several days to get up and running. Do it at your own pace!
Secondly, if you’re struggling with covering the costs of some of these blogging investments, learn about realistic ways to make extra cash to fund your new blog.
I’ve developed courses for bloggers, that help you start and grow your site step-by-step:
Start here first:
Start A Blog Toolkit (FREE) – A pre-requisite to the Grow It course. Get a step-by-step guide to starting a blog from scratch.
Learn what to do BEFORE you purchase your hosting plan, and what to do right after.
Find out what steps to take to begin creating great content, promoting your blog, getting your email newsletter started, and how to begin making money from the start.
Next, scale up your blogging skills and add elements to your blog to grow it, ready to launch an online business:
Grow It: From Blog To Online Business – Change your mindset: go from beginner blogger to pro blogger, learning all of the key blogging skills you need before you’re ready to scale up to an online business.
From branding yourself and your blog to monetizing it wisely, as well as starting to create a business plan for your online business launch.
Includes over $2000 in value and extras, including ebooks and templates.
Pin It Better: A Blogger’s Guide To Pinterest – Learn everything a blogger needs to know about Pinterest. The different ways to add pins to boost traffic, Pinterest algorithm changes and how they affect your pinning strategies, and the best pinning strategies for 2022 that work.
Blog Traffic Booster – Grow your blog traffic strategically. Instead of trying tactics and hoping they will grow your blog, learn short and long-term blog growth strategies. From SEO to social media and more!
Boost Your SEO – A free 5-day course that gives you the basics of optimizing your blog posts so that you can immediately start getting them indexed by Google. Sign up here:
For a more advanced introduction to SEO – my popular Optimize It: A Guide To SEO For Blogs.
Essential Blog Tools And Resources
Here are the basic blogging resources for bloggers that you should look into when starting your own self-hosted blog.
Wordpress.org – This is a powerful platform where you can build your blog. Don’t confuse it with the .com version. The big difference is between self-hosting (.org) and using the free, but very limited, .com version. You want to self-host, which brings me to the next resource: a hosting provider that will help you with setting up WordPress.
Bluehost – A standard entry hosting provider that many recommend. While it can have it’s price perks for the first year, you will be better off with investing in a better hosting provider with a great discount for the first year. See NameHero and BigScoots below.
NameHero – Take hosting to the next level. If you’re planning on blogging for the long term, or are ready to move on from Bluehost, NameHero is your best bet. Fast servers (LiteSpeed servers that use the free LiteSpeed caching plugin), better customer service and more reliable hosting for anybody who wants a better option. I’m using NameHero for this site.
BigScoots – If your budget allows for a premium hosting service, this is the way to go for managed web hosting. Amazing customer service, fast, reliable hosting from an independently-owned company. Partner it with the WP Rocket caching plugin and you have a blazing fast site.
Google Analytics – Google’s free tool for monitoring your demographics, site traffic, user sessions, time spent on your posts, etc.
Google Search Console – Another powerful tool that helps you ensure your site is being properly indexed by Google’s search engine. It also helps you monitor your site’s search traffic, and identify issues with your posts.
Fathom Analytics – The better option than Google Analytics. It’s the best tool for blogging when you’re a beginner focusing on growing your blog. Easy to use and set up, with data privacy your readers will love. Fathom Analytics is a paid software that makes it super easy to get all the essential stats that bloggers need in a matter of seconds. Read why I switched to Fathom Analytics!
Bluchic – LOVE the themes from this team. I’m using one of the newer ones for my business site. Gorgeous, high-quality, feminine themes that elevate your brand. There are different types of themes to choose from – from several lifestyle themes to product or service business-oriented themes. The bonus is that they are fairly easy to customize and Kathie and Andrew from Bluchic are always quick to respond (within 24 hrs or so) with a solution.
17th Avenue – Gorgeous themes that are easy to set up for beginner lifestyle-niche bloggers. Feminine, classy with minimalist undertones, these are worth checking out if you’re just focusing on blogging as well as business.
Pix and Hue – A beautiful collection of Elementor-based themes for lifestyle bloggers and online entrepreneurs. Worth every penny for the great first impression they make!
Kadence – A super fast, lean and mean theme that can be upgraded with gorgeous child themes. The base theme is free, however, you may want to upgrade your theme for additional features and designs.
Restored 316 – Feminine lifestyle blog themes based on the Kadence framework (free version!). These are child themes that make it super easy to create the fast-loading Kadence theme. Great support and documentation too!
Envato Market’s ThemeForest WordPress Gallery – The CheerUp theme, which I’ve used for many years for my Suburban Tourist blog, and which is good for food blogs, is available through Envato Market.
Creative Market – A wonderful resource of logo templates, fonts and gorgeous WordPress themes to customize your blog easily and quickly.
Podia – One of the best blog tools for monetizing your blog! If you’re planning on creating and selling courses and digital downloads from the start (which I advise), one of the best platforms is Podia. Thinking of coaching? You can do that with Podia as well. It’s super easy to set up a website with Podia for your courses and digital downloads. You can check out mine here: Confident Blogger Academy & Resource Collection.
Read my Podia review with all the reasons why you should consider it as your digital selling platform!
Sendowl – If all you’re selling is digital products, this is the best, most affordable option for a payment and delivery platform. Works easily and integrates with your site and more!
Thrivecart – A one-time payment and you get access to a powerful payment platform including upsells, sales funnels and more. With an extra upgrade, you get access to a course platform as well as an affiliate program. No more extra fees ever again!
Best Blogging Tools And Plugins For WordPress
Once you’ve launched your blog, there are several blogging tools that help you tweak your blog and make it run more smoothly. Fast, optimized blogs do better in Google searches, so these blogging resources are a few that are very important to look into when you start blogging.
There are others out there, but these are some of the best blogging tools that I like using.
Askimet Anti-Spam – It filters out spam so that it doesn’t reach your comments – and it’s free!
Broken Link Checker – Ensures you are aware of any broken links on your site to external hyperlinks. Fixing broken links ensures you aren’t penalized with poor search engine rankings.
Rank Math SEO – I recently made the switch to this new SEO plugin that is FREE and has many of the same features as Yoast. It has some additional features (like the handy button to add no follow or sponsored to external links). The only difference is that Yoast is fairly easy to use and has a HUGE resource base and a fantastic team that helps users with their SEO with tips and courses. Nevertheless, once you get the hang of using Rank Math, it’s super simple to implement on your site.
Yoast SEO – It’s a well-known SEO tool that helps you optimize your blog posts with keywords, control what appears in searches and write so that you have better opportunities to rank in searches. The free version is great, but the PRO version takes things to another level with redirection so that you don’t get 404 pages and broken links, maintaining your flow of traffic from other sites linking to yours.
W3 Total Cache – A free powerful caching plugin that helps speed up your site, by serving cached pages to your guests. This improves your SEO and ranking in Google.
WP Rocket – What I’m using to make my site super fast. Very easy to implement, with great documentation and support. Speeds up my site greatly. A worthwhile investment if you want to create a top-notch user experience and improve upon your Google Page Speed stats, especially mobile.
LiteSpeed Cache – If you’re with a hosting provider that uses LiteSpeed servers for hosting, such as NameHero, you’ll be using this free plugin (with CDN that’s extra $). It’s a bit more complicated to set up, so make sure you’re reading up on the specifics with the extensive documentation. The Facebook group is well-maintained and extremely helpful.
Pretty Links – This plugin creates link redirects from your server, making it easy to set up how links look. It’s extremely useful when creating affiliate links, and the dashboard helps you manage them all in one spot.
EWWW Image Optimizer – One of the key ways to ensure your site is faster is to compress your images. This is one step to optimizing images. EWWW Image Optimizer is a free plugin that helps compress your images. It’s fairly easy to set up and maintain.
Blog Tools For Blog Promotion & Scheduling
The only way to grow your blog is to set up social media accounts and use them to promote the s#*t out of your blog posts.
However, these best blogging tools help you boost your promotion productivity and reach more people.
Tailwind – This scheduling tool helps schedule pins in advance, freeing up time to do other things. Like more writing! And living.
Read more about how I went from Tailwind skeptic to fan, as my Pinterest traffic grew by over 2000% in two months!
SmarterQueue – An affordable scheduler for your blog (you can pay monthly or annually, and customize for your needs). The best feature is that you can pull from your blog posts and schedule them to post at intervals to your preferred social media accounts. This helps you boost your blog traffic with little time spent posting from scratch. Automation at its finest!
Later – A social media management tool that helps you schedule and plan your content marketing plans. Schedule Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok posts. The Starter pack gets you on the road to consistent posting every single day!
Mailerlite – Email marketing is one of the key ways you can grow your blog traffic. I love using Mailerlite! It’s far easier to use than the standard MailChimp. Its entry package after you reach 1000 followers is very reasonable. Mailterlite is easy to use and set up – and the gorgeous drag & drop template builder is full of options, so you can create beautiful emails every time. What’s also awesome is the ability to have automation, meaning you can do a sequence of emails based on different user actions. It gives you a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Convertkit – For bloggers planning to grow their site into a full-time business, this is one of the best email marketing platforms. It offers you up to 1000 subscribers. Paid plans offer many more features including automation and landing pages.
Airtable – This is an online organization tool that allows you to create lists of all kinds. It comes with templates that you can modify for your needs. You can view your list in a calendar format, grid, list, gallery or Kanban style. It’s available for desktop or mobile (iOS, Google). The best thing is that this tool is FREE to start out, and it offers enough for most bloggers.
Best Writing Tools For Bloggers
Writing well is so important when you’re a new blogger. It creates a perception that you are a professional and an expert. These are my favourite resources for bloggers that help you write like a pro.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer – By far the best tool for analyzing your headline. You can get a Chrome extension that works with WordPress when you’re in writing mode.
Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
I love using Sharethrough Headline Analyzer to find the best titles that entice readers to click and read my posts. This works best for Google searches. It helps you craft the perfect blog title, giving you a score depending on whether the title is interesting enough for readers.
Blog Title Generator – SEO Presser
Stuck on figuring out what to write for your title? Blog Title Generator helps you craft SEO-friendly, enticing titles for your posts that make your title “clickbait” in the best way. I’ve found it helpful in coming up with new blog post ideas as well!
WebFX Readability Tool: Go Jargon-Free
If you have a technical blog that’s geared toward non-industry people, WebFX Readability Tool will help you reduce using jargon and vocabulary that is too complex for the average reader. You want to aim for a Grade 6 level reading comprehension. Did you know that most news articles are written for this level of reading comprehension?
Grammarly – Writing Assistant
There’s nothing worse than publishing a post riddled with grammar and spelling errors. Avoid making common spelling and grammar mistakes with the free version of Grammarly. The PRO version is worthwhile if you need help with writing better, more interesting sentences with dynamic words. It now includes AI for faster writing!
Reword: This article-writing AI tool is excellent for bloggers. With insights and ideas on what content to include in your post, as well as writing text for you when you’re stuck, Reword is a powerful app. I’ve used it to ensure I have all the necessary headings, stats and quotes needed to fill out my content. Reword is worthwhile to try out if you’re having trouble writing.
| Related: How To Write Great Blog Posts People Want To Read & Share
Best Stock Photography Sites For Blogs
There are many wonderful stock photography sites, many of which are free, as well as those that are paid with some free options. These are some of my favourite resources for bloggers to use, especially if you’re starting out.
For an in-depth post on the best stock photo sites that I have used and vetted for you, read the 10 best stock photo sites for bloggers.
Feminine Stock Photography For Blogs – Memberships
Some of the best blogging tools and resources are stock photography memberships. They take your site to the next level.
They are also much safer to use as you are purchasing permission to use them according to the license and terms and conditions. Some free stock photo sites have had issues with photographers showcasing their images and then removing them later. This causes issues for those who downloaded and used their images.
But in this case, we’re talking stock photo memberships.
These are gorgeous feminine stock photography resources. Some have monthly, quarterly and annual memberships.
Most of these offer a small pack of free sample images (one time or each month) when you sign up for their newsletter.
These are some of the best tools for bloggers to stand out from all other bloggers out there using free stock images.
I recommend you check each of these feminine stock photography sites out!
- Styled Stock Society (one of the best for feminine lifestyle/business collections with membership options)
- Ivory Mix (free options, with a very reasonably priced annual membership, with thousands of gorgeous lifestyle/entrepreneur/business photos)
- Pixistock (gorgeous feminine stock photos, with great membership options)
- Stocklane – high-end quality lifestyle, home and office/business photos (loving these!)
- Haute Stock – luxury, high-end lifestyle, workplace, home, and more. This is worth every penny. Invest at least once in a while to boost the quality of photos!
Also, consider Creative Market. It has many GORGEOUS feminine stock photo bundles.
Free Stock Photography For Blogs
Many of these are big repositories of free stock photos (I particularly like Unsplash and Kaboompics). Some have images that are geared towards business more than lifestyle blogging. Remember to check if there’s attribution required!
Need new Pinterest templates to speed up your pin design process?
I’ve got you covered!
Start here with my FREE Pinterest pin templates for Canva.
If you love them, get more Pinterest pin templates for Canva (they work with the free version as well).
Best Visual Content Generation Resources
This is a simple list of resources and visual tools for bloggers that help you make beautiful content.
Photoshop – The king of creating amazing photos and graphics. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but it’s worth knowing the basics.
Canva – Another great tool for bloggers for easy designs and digital product creation!
Pixlr – An online photo editing and design tool platform that’s super easy to use. I use a basic plan to quickly edit photos.
Best Affiliate Programs For Bloggers
One of the most popular questions about resources for bloggers is about how they can monetize their blogs. Read my post on the best affiliate programs for blogging beginners.
Here are my top 5 favourites!
One of the best affiliate marketing platforms to get started on – with some of the best-known brands joining daily. Try out Impact today.
A number of great brands work with Shareasale, as well as retailers from a broad spectrum of industries. This includes a number of great tools for bloggers.
Similar to Shareasale, CJ has some big brands as well as other smaller ones that offer you many options for affiliate sales on your site.
If you’re not signed up to get great graphics, templates, etc., from Creative Market what are you waiting for? As a partner, you can promote your favourites and get a commission from your referrals.
Bluehost has a generous commission for its affiliate program. Refer others and get $65 per qualified sign-up.
There are a number of ways to earn commissions (from sign-ups to promotions). Sign up to Tailwind, try it out and become an affiliate, referring it to others. Member referrals to others to join can be $15+
Other Key Tools And Resources For Bloggers
Aside from these free and paid tools, there are a few other key things you may need:
- If you’re an online coach, read up on how you can protect your coaching business legally with these tools.
- Notebook for your ideas, writing down design notes (like preferred fonts, colours, etc.)
- A daytimer if you like to plan visually – I like the ones from Mom Agenda.
- Access to Excel or some other similar program to organize your affiliate programs, blog posts, social media activities
- A quiet spot that’s conducive to writing, researching, etc.
- Laptop, Internet access
- This Logitech webcam if you’re offering coaching services
- Playlist that inspires and helps you focus
- Great coffee cup and supply of your favourite coffee or tea
If you have more ideas as to what I should add to the list, let me know!
| RELATED: A Checklist For Starting A Coaching Business
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