If you thought that bloggers just write blog posts, you’re wrong. Apart from producing high-quality content, bloggers must develop eye-catching visuals, promote their posts on social media, analyze data to create marketing strategies, and so much more. Blogging is a serious business that requires a lot of time and commitment to see positive results.
Nowadays, most people can learn how to start a blog, but not everyone knows exactly how to run a successful blog. That’s why many bloggers need to use different tools to help grow their sites and manage their work load. There are tools for any topic you can imagine, all of which will help you ease the stress and overwhelm from running your online business.
Whether you’re a new or an experienced blogger that wants to improve their site, you’ll find the best tools you need to run a successful blog here, from web hosting to design, email marketing, and Search Engine Optimization, and more. I have included the services and plugins that I have used for my websites when I was first starting out and along with my recommendations now. There is no one size fits all service. Everyone is at a different stage and has a different budget, so go through this list and find what is best for YOU.
To get your blog live and running, you’ll need web hosting. In simple words, web hosting is the service that allows you to publish your blog on the Internet so that people can visit it. Web hosts are companies that store all files from your blog and deliver them to the users.
For beginner bloggers or those looking to save money, the best web hosting service company is SiteGround. SiteGround is a recognized WordPress host that offers a wide range of services. It is a much better option for new bloggers to start with than BlueHost and their support is much more responsive. They are an incredibly fast and reliable web host with a 99.99% uptime and have a tool that will install and manage WordPress for you.
Keep in mind that as your blog grows, or if you create more websites, you may need to switch to an even more powerful web host. This is just our top choice for beginners.
On the other hand, if you want to avoid switching providers later on and you have a little more money to spend (I didn’t when I started.. but wished I did!) WP Engine is the best choice for professional bloggers and growing businesses.
WP Engine is a high-quality web host that provides you with various plans optimized for WordPress. If you are coming from another service, they even help migrate your site for you.
By purchasing a Startup, Growth, Scale, or Premium WP Engine plan, you’ll also receive some of the most solid WordPress premium themes for free – StudioPress with the powerful Genesis Framework! WP Engine, StudioPress, and Genesis are a top-notch combination.
If your blog runs on WordPress, you’ll have a wide range of themes to choose from. Picking the right theme will help you increase your audience, as the user experience is the most important factor that makes people come back to your site. The theme you choose plays a main role in providing a positive experience that keeps users interested.
Here are the best WordPress themes to design your blog with.
WPZOOM is one of the most popular providers of WordPress themes. WPZOOM offers dozens of WordPress themes designed to meet the requirements of all kinds of bloggers. All designs from WPZOOM come with SEO-optimized code so you can rest assured that your blog is user-friendly and mobile optimized.
The provider offers a package with all themes for $99, while a single theme is $79. I purchased the all themes package and am able to switch themes easily. I can also use different themes on my different blogs. Our current theme for Chasing Niches is the Balance theme by WPZOOM.
StudioPress, as mentioned above, is another leading provider of WordPress themes. They have a wide range of high-quality and beautiful themes for any niche. All StudioPress themes are mobile-responsive and have clean code to ensure your blog runs seamlessly and securely. These themes are already included with WPEngine, but you can still use it with any web host.
Besides that, all StudioPress themes are built with the Genesis Framework to help you quickly and easily build amazing blog sites. Plus, you won’t need to download additional page builder plugins because Genesis has all the advanced tools needed for site-building.
With more than half a million blog sites powered by its themes, StudioPress has proven to create secure, SEO-friendly, and professional-looking websites.
Plugins are software components that help you add certain features to your blog and extend its functionality. When it comes to WordPress sites, there are over 50,000 plugins to choose from.
Of course, you don’t need all of them, which is why it’s important to find the best and most useful plugins on the market. These will help you organize your blog, increase your audience, and ensure that the blog runs securely.
Here are the best WordPress plugins.
MonsterInsights Pro is the most powerful Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. It makes the process of setting up Google Analytics simpler and easier. With MonsterInsights Pro, you’ll have all the important analytics you need right in your WordPress dashboard.
MonsterInsights Pro is a user-friendly plugin that comes with a variety of features. It brings the most important data in one place and creates simple reports that even beginner bloggers can understand.
MonsterInsights Pro is packed with many tracking analytics and reports that help you find the most valuable data for your blog easily. By having the right reports, you’ll be able to make decisions based on data and grow your audience quicker and easier.
OptinMonster is a WordPress plugin for building pop-ups and turning subscribers into leads and sales. The plugin makes it easy for you to add eye-catching forms to your blog on any page you want. OptinMonster integrates with email marketing platforms to help you collect subscribers and build email lists.
Thanks to the powerful Drag & Drop Builder, OptinMonster allows you to create visually stunning forms that are optimized for high conversion rates. With OptinMonster, you can create mobile-friendly lightbox popups, floating bars, scroll boxes, exit-intent popups, and more.
OptinMonster has been helping different types of bloggers boost conversions for a long time. From new bloggers to independent businesses, millions of people have taken advantage of OptinMonster’s features.
ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress plugin that helps you organize and manage your affiliate links. By using a top-notch affiliate link plugin like ThirstyAffiliates, you’ll be able to keep all your links in one place and monitor their performance from your WordPress dashboard.
Some of my favorite features about ThirstyAffiliates is that it allows you to cloak your affiliate links and use your domain name to make them more user-friendly. I don’t know about you but I don’t like clicking links that have random letters or numbers in them.
I also like that it can automatically plugin affiliate links for you and if you ever have to change an affiliate link, you can do it in one place without having to search through all of your posts.
WP Cerber Security
One of the best and most affordable plugins to keep your WordPress site safe is WP Cerber Security. The plugin is able to protect your blog from hacker attacks, spam, and malware. It’s an extremely powerful tool that protects from a variety of attacks, such as REST API and ordinary user enumerations.
In addition, with WP Cerber Security, you’ll get many antispam features like adding reCAPTCHA to protect all forms on your blog, including registration, login, lost password, etc. Not only that, but WP Cerber Security also scans every file and folder on your blog on a daily basis and search for viruses. If it finds any virus, it automatically removes it from the site.
Without a doubt, WP Rocket is the most powerful plugin used to improve the speed of your WordPress blog the moment you activate it. It’s a simple, easy-to-use plugin that doesn’t require any coding or complicated setup like the others.
The WP Rocket plugin will improve the performance of your site in just a few clicks. It will quickly cache your blog to ensure it loads ultra-fast, which is the key for Search Engine Optimization. WP Rocket is also able to compress web pages and decompress them in your browser, allowing users to get content faster.
Simple Author Box Pro
Simple Author Box Pro is an excellent WordPress plugin that creates a responsive author box at the end of your posts. It also can add more than 40 social icons to author boxes so you can easily follow the authors and contributors on their social networks.
With Simple Author Box Pro, you can customize your author box, assign posts to guest authors, add multiple authors, and more. You can also individually select specific blog posts where you want your author box to appear. It is super easy to use and you don’t even need the guest authors to create their own account, you can add all the information yourself.
Email Marketing is one of the best ways to increase your audience and build personal relationships with the visitors of your blog.
If you’re a blogger, small business owner, freelancer, or own any kind of website, you need to start with email marketing immediately. It will help you to keep your visitors interested in the content you share so they’ll be coming back for more. Here are the best email marketing platforms to start with.
If you’re a beginner that is just starting out with their blog, ConvertKit is the best platform to start with email marketing. ConvertKit has been considered the best email marketing platform for bloggers because it allows you to create beautiful emails and grow your email list by focusing on the content.
With ConvertKit, you can easily customize your emails by changing the text and its font, size, and more. Your emails won’t go to the spam folder because ConvertKit keeps them simple and super-responsive.
ConvertKit allows you to create the best sign-up forms and landing pages that will help you build your email lists. Its automation feature helps you to automatically send different emails to different target groups of subscribers. Finally, ConvertKit’s support team is very responsive and will help you with any issue you have.
For professionals or growing businesses that need a more powerful platform with more advanced features, I recommend Constant Contact. Constant Contact is one of the oldest email providers and is known for its top-notch templates, versatility, and wide variety of features.
With Constant Contact, you can build whole websites and online stores, not just sending emails. The platform is so powerful that it allows you to boost sales to your site and promote it on social media.
When it comes to email marketing, Constant Contact allows you to design emails and landing pages, surveys, custom deals, and more. In addition, it has an analytics tool that gives you insights into the performance of your emails.
Online Course Creation
As a blogger, you can increase your income by creating digital products and selling them to your audience. One of the best digital products you can create is an online course. You can make an online course for practically any niche and prepare lectures, videos, quizzes, and more. Then, you promote it to your target audience on your blog or through your email list and drive sales.
If you search for an online course creation platform, you’ll immediately come across Teachable. Teachable is the most popular platform for creating online courses. From uploading the course to the platform to payments and marketing, Teachable handles everything for you. It’s a user-friendly platform, ideal for both beginners and experienced bloggers.
At Teachable, you can create an unlimited number of courses and duplicate them to add additional elements. You can also track each student and monitor their progress for your course. In addition, you can add team members and contributors to your course, as well as integrate other platforms like email marketing.
Teachable is an affordable platform for creating online courses and has top-notch analytics tools to help you keep track of your course’s performance. It also has dedicated customer support and a Knowledge Base with comprehensive questions and answers.
Alternative Solution: Thinkific is also a popular platform for creating courses and is used by thousands of people worldwide, from industry experts to freelancers, authors, coaches, and more. With Thinkific, you can design quality courses and offer your students monthly payment plans. You can create online courses and include text, video, audio, PDF, voice-over slide presentations, and downloadable files. Plus, it accepts a wide range of integrations to help you get the most out of your online course.
When running a blog, you also need to focus on the creative side, not just writing and publishing blog posts. For that reason, you’ll need the proper design tools which will help you create the best photos for your blogging purposes.
Canva Pro is a drag-and-drop design tool that helps you make attention-grabbing designs for your blog. The platform has hundreds of layouts and templates to help you create unique images for different means. Canva Pro allows you to add various colors and fonts to your images and design posts for social media and provides you with 300,000 stock images and illustrations.
From standard images to postcards, posters, brochures, stickers, t-shirts, business cards, and invitations, you can design anything you can imagine with Canva Pro. The platform allows you to build videos, animations, presentations, ads, infographics, and more. And on top of that, Canva provides you with insights on how to design the best-looking products.
Another important thing you’ll need for a successful blog is high-quality stock photos. This will help to give your site a professional feel and be much more attractive to your visitors. Always opt for brighter images.
These platforms will help you find beautiful stock photos to use on your blog and social media channels.
DepositPhotos is a well-established, global marketplace for stock photos, videos, vectors, illustrations, and music. The platform is trusted by many world-leading companies, which is proof of its reliability.
With such a variety of visual and audio content, you’ll definitely find exactly what you need for your projects. In addition, DepositPhotos offers affordable pricing options to suit every blogger’s preferences.
What’s great about DepositPhotos is that the platform allows you to subscribe for a free trial period of 7 days and try its services. This is a great way to find and download a couple of photos for free before deciding if the platform is the right choice for you.
Another great place to get stock photos for bloggers is Ivory Mix. It’s a stock photo website that was made for content creators in mind. Ivory Mix has stock photos for different purposes, including blogs, social media, ads, and more. All photos at Ivory Mix are beautiful, bright, and optimized for Pinterest Pin creation.
The best thing about Ivory Mix is that it offers access to hundreds of stock photos free of charge. That’s why it’s a great option for beginner bloggers who want to increase their audience.
Furthermore, if you purchase a VIP membership at Ivory Mix, you’ll get access to all premium styled stock photos as well as Canva templates, social media and branding courses, workshops, 100+ new photos added every month, and more.
Social Media Scheduler
Nowadays, it’s challenging to post on social networks on a regular basis and be up to date with everything in-between. For that reason, many bloggers have turned to use social media scheduler tools.
These tools will allow you to prepare your social media posts in advance, so you’ll have more time to focus on other things like marketing and writing blog posts.
Here are the best social media scheduler tools on the market.
Tailwind is a social media scheduler tool for Pinterest and Instagram. It helps you to discover relevant content for your blog, schedule your posts to publish at certain times, and track their performance, all from one place. They even have a new feature called Tailwind Create that can help you design multiple pins in just a few clicks. Tailwind helps bloggers increase traffic growth by giving them access to Tailwind Communities, full of users with the same interests, who can help you by sharing your pins with their followers.
Alternative Solution: If you have multiple social media outlets and need more than what Tailwind offers, check out Crowdfire. Crowdfire is another popular and user-friendly tool that helps you discover and schedule content, as well as manage all your social media accounts from one place. You can use it for more than just Pinterest and Instagram. You can schedule posts for other platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter. It also allows you to connect your WordPress blog and schedule new blog posts directly from Crowdfire.
If you want to grow your email list faster and convert more subscribers into customers, you should consider building landing pages. If you don’t have the required coding knowledge you need to build landing pages, you can use a landing page tool to create them for you.
Here are the best landing page tools on the market.
LeadPages is a widely established landing page tool that can be used for creating landing pages for your blog, online course, or other similar products. It’s an easy-to-use tool that has a drag-and-drop editor that can help you have a landing page ready within five minutes. And the best thing is that you don’t need any coding knowledge to do this.
LeadPages integrates with many email marketing platforms such as ConvertKit, which we mentioned above. It also integrates with WordPress so you can easily manage your landing pages from your WordPress dashboard. The platform offers over 200 high-converting templates, AB tests and real-time guidance to help you get the most out of your campaigns.
Alternative Solution: InstaPage is another high quality platform. InstaPage provides you with professional, mobile-responsive templates for building landing pages. It helps you produce landing pages that will generate more leads or sell more products. You don’t need to have any coding skills for this either, as InstaPage uses many advanced features to simplify the process of creating.
To ensure that your blog posts are grammatically correct, and you use the proper keywords, you should think about using a writing tool for your blog. There are many writing tools on the market, but not all of them have the capabilities needed.
For that reason, we’ve found the perfect writing tool where you can check your blog posts and make sure they’re perfect before publishing.
We believe there’s no blogger in the world who hasn’t heard about Grammarly. Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that suggests spelling, grammar, and style changes in real-time. Grammarly checks your content straight away when you add it into the form, and it informs you if you have some mistakes.
In addition, Grammarly provides you with suggestions on how to improve your content by using more advanced vocabulary. Grammarly does all the checks you need to ensure your content is 100% perfect and original, from grammar and punctuation to spelling, plagiarism, and writing style.
This tool is used by millions of bloggers, authors, copywriters, students, and anyone who writes in English. It is available as an extension to many platforms so you can edit directly on Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, and many other sites.
Legal Pages Every Blog Needs
And finally, apart from using tools and plugins to improve your blog’s performance in different ways, you shouldn’t forget about the legal side. Your blog is your business and it needs to be legally protected.
Amira’s Legal Bundle Templates
The Starter Legal Bundle is a collection of the most important legal pages you need to have on your blog. The bundle is created by Amira, who is a lawyer and a blogger herself, that owns the blog ASelfGuru.com. She designs easy-to-use templates for any kind of blog or online business and provides you with support and assistance during the whole process.
And that’s it! This is the end of the article for the best resources and tools you need to run a successful blog. There are tools and plugins for any purpose you need to grow your blog. Depending on what your blog is about, you might not need to use all of these tools. Do your research and make sure to choose what is best for YOU and your business.
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Hey guys! I’m Joshua. My wife and I create and sell niche sites for a living and blog about our tips and favorite resources. Our goal is to help others like you learn how to build your own business and make money online.