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To be a successful blogger and online entrepreneur it takes more than just writing good blog posts and hitting the publish button.
You need the right tools and strategies as well to succeed in the online business space.
On this page, you’ll learn about all the tools you need to create a thriving blogging/online business.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- Domain and hosting
- WordPress theme
- WordPress plugins
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Design tools
- Free courses
- Digital storage
DOMAIN & HOSTING
You can get both: your domain registered and also your website hosted with Siteground.
For their hosting services, Siteground offers 3 different plans to choose from.
Their start-up plan which is suitable for 1 website starts at $3,95/month.
If you have 1 website only you can start there and upgrade along the way if necessary.
The domain registration costs extra.
I personally am with Siteground for 1 year now on their grow big plan and can’t complain about them at all.
My website didn’t have any major downtimes so far.
Their customer service department provides help 24/7 via chat, phone, and tickets.
Alternatively, you can also host your website with Bluehost.
I personally don’t have my website hosted with them but I heard from many successful bloggers and online entrepreneurs who are using Bluehost only good things about this company.
Bluehost start at $3,95/month and comes with a free domain name registration.
They have 24/7 customer support as well.
I’ve personally tried quite a few blogging themes before I found the one I wanted to stick with.
It’s called Divi and it’s the only theme I’m able to create beautiful posts and landing pages with by myself without technical knowledge.
Divi is the ultimate WordPress theme and visual page builder.
Besides their easy drag and drop design function they also have a lot of pre-made templates you can choose from.
They have free tutorials on their site where you can learn how to design beautiful pages with Divi.
I believe that you can not make a shitty looking website with Divi.
If you want a good looking website go for Divi.
You can choose between yearly access or a one time fee for lifetime access.
I first purchased their yearly access last year to try it out but switched to their lifetime access this year.
This is a free WordPress plugin helping you with Google SEO (=search engine optimization).
No matter how advanced your knowledge with Google SEO is, installing the YOAST plugin is a must.
It’s the minimum you should do to make your posts optimized for search engines.
Every time you are going to publish a post you’ll see with the Yoast plugin a traffic light symbol below your post.
This will give you the indication of how well you are doing in your post SEO wise.
The Yoast plugin will give you indications where to improve and what to improve to make your post optimized for search engines.
In my eyes, this plugin is a must for everyone taking blogging and their online business serious.
This is the email service provider I use and recommend.
With Convertkit you can professionally start collecting email subscribers from day 1.
You can create landing pages and sequences, tag your subscribers with certain tags and set up automation pretty easily.
They have a blog, a support facebook group and tons of videos on their page explaining everything about Convertkit.
Convertkit does cost money. It starts at $29/month.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
This is the only social sharing plugin I use and recommend.
The updates are a pain with social warfare but apart from that, it’s the best social sharing plugin I know of.
With Social Warfare you can predetermine the captures for your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts before someone hits the share button on your post.
You can also predetermine which pictures and pins can be shared on social media from your blog/website.
Overall with the plugin Social Warfare you can control what can be shared to the different social media platforms and how they are going to be shared.
You can set up floating buttons and brand those with your business brand colors.
This plugin cost a bit of money but in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth the investment.
Tailwind is the smart scheduler you need to have if you want to get free organic traffic from Pinterest to your website/blog.
With tailwind, you can not only preschedule your pins for Pinterest.
It’ll also tell you which of your pins and boards are performing best and worse and gives you suggested times when to pin onto Pinterest based on your analytics.
Tailwind alone helped me to expand my reach to over 2million monthly viewers on Pinterest just within a couple of a few months.
Besides their scheduling and analytics feature Tailwind also has the so-called tribes, which are similar to group boards on Pinterest (but better).
Better because unlike group boards with the Tailwind tribes everyone within the tribe is not only contributing but also sharing something from the tribe.
While it cost money to use the analytics and scheduling features of tailwind, which I totally think is worth the investment.
Join at least the free tribes to reap the benefits of tailwind!
Planoly is a planning and scheduling tool for Instagram.
You can plan ahead your Instagram feed including your photos and captions as well as your insta stories with Planoly, which is really awesome.
You can even set up a schedule and let Planoly publish your posts for you.
Planoly does cost a bit of money, however, their planning feature is free to use for anyone!
On their free plan, you can upload up to 30 photos per month to drag and drop your photos and plan your captions before you hit the publish buttons.
Picmonkey is the photo editing and graphic design tool you need if you want to create fancy looking graphics for your website/blog, Pinterest or Instagram feed.
It’s not as comprehensive as a Photoshop or Illustrator are but has quite some fancy features you can use to make pretty pictures with it.
Canva is another graphic design tool you can use to create pretty images for social media very easily.
It has a free and a paid version.
While the paid version of Canva has more features compared to the free one, you can totally use their free version to create beautiful images for your website/blog and social media.
I personally have the paid version for Picmonkey and for Canva.
Check out Canva for free here via this link.
This is the place you can purchase pre-made templates for Pinterest, Instagram as well as stock photos and fonts for your website.
Creative market is basically a market place where you can purchase digital products for your online business designed by creatives all over the world.
How to start a blog
In this 4-day e-course, you’ll learn how to set up a website/blog to get started with blogging / your online business.
From purchasing the domain and setting up the hosting, connecting it to WordPress and selecting the right theme, you get an entire bite-sized step by step walk through all of it.
At the end of the 4-days, you’ll be able to have the basis for your website/blog.
How to grow your blog with Pinterest
This 5-day e-course will teach you about the basics of Pinterest for businesses.
You’ll not only learn why you should be focusing on Pinterest as a small biz owner but also how to use Pinterest for massive success.
Besides the do’s and don’ts of Pinterest, you’ll also get the guide how to create viral pins and 1 secret that got me over 2 million monthly viewers in less than 3 months of blogging on Pinterest.
This is the free tool you need to install on WordPress to see how many unique visitors and page views you have on your blog.
With Google Analytics, you can also see which blog posts attract the most visitors and where your traffic is coming from.
By paying attention to your google analytics you can create more of what your audience is looking for and keep track on your progress.
Google docs is similar to a Word document with the difference that it’s a web-based product created by Google and connected to a Google email account.
I personally like to use Google drive to prewrite my blog posts and ideas.
It has a free and a paid version.
Dropbox is an online service you can use to store your digital files.
I love to store blog related content in my dropbox.
It’s free to use up to a 2GB space and has also a paid version in case you need more space.
Grammarly is the tool I love to use for proofreading and spell check before I hit the publish button on any of my blog posts.
This free software is able to check your content against a lot of grammar rules and helps you to set the commas right and corrects the words in your copy.
Grammarly has a free and a paid version. I personally use the free version.
Headline analyzer is the tool you can use to check the virality score of your headlines before you are using them on your pins or in your blog posts.
A red, yellow, green traffic light system provides information about the click worthiness of your headlines.
I love to use this tool especially for creating catchy headlines for my Pinterest pins.
It’s available as a free and a paid version. I personally use the free version.