Essential Resources for Bloggers

Check out the resources I recommend for running a successful blog…

HOSTING

Siteground is the host that I use personally for both of my websites. They are affordable, fast and with excellent customer service. I asked various bloggers before I bought it and Siteground was always the most popular host for starting out.

Blue Host is also very popular amongst beginner bloggers especially as it is very affordable. I have heard some concerns regarding site speed but it is a viable option to beginner bloggers.

WORDPRESS THEMES

Envato Theme Forest offers a HUGE library of fast, responsive themes including the theme I use on this website, Flatsome. This theme is so easily customised and is super fast and flexible, I absolutely love it.

Happy themes is a great theme library for people who have a habit of changing their mind a lot. You buy access to the whole library instead of one theme so you can change things up whenever you fancy a makeover

PAGE BUILDERS

I use Elementor to build beautiful landing pages such as for email list freebies. I also built this page using Elementor. Its drag and drop so need need to know how to code.

Optimonster is a plugin which helps you build sign-up forms and pop-ups to help you convert readers into email subscribers. 

KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS

Keysearch is my go-to tool for finding the keywords I want to rank for on Google. It’s super easy to use and has helped me explode my traffic. Once I started using Keysearch, my traffic increased by 500% in one year. 

KWfinder is another tool very similar to Keysearch and it really comes down to user preference. They offer a 1 month trial period if you want to try it out.

PINTEREST TOOLS

Tailwind, like Keysearch, will help you skyrocket your blog traffic. But not only will it help you with your Pinterest strategy, but it’ll also save you heaps of time. You can automate your pinning schedule and get back to binge watching Netflix whilst Tailwind does the hard work for you.

Canva is a super easy tool to use to create all the graphics you need for your blog from Pinterest pins to blog post cover photos. I also use Canva to easily create digital products to sell or use as freebies to grow my email list. The Pro version has some useful features like access to 2 million stock photos and branded colours and fonts.

Tasty pins allows you to add Pinterest descriptions to your blog images so if someone pins a Pinterest-SEO-optimised image from your site, there’s the chance it go viral.

If you want to make beautiful pins which beg to be clicked on Pinterest but you either have no time to design them or you are not sure where to star, you can download 10 Pinterest templates I made for you.

WORDPRESS PLUGINS

Thirsty Affiliates is my new favourite plugin EVER!  It keeps my affiliate links organised, tracks what works and what doesn’t and even adds links and disclosures for me when I forget.

WP Rocket, a cache plugin, is an absolute saviour if your website is a little sluggish. It’s super easy to use even if you are a technophobe and will have your website running at lightning speed in no time at all.

In an ideal world, we’d all resize our images before uploading them to our blogs. In reality, this is time consuming and it’s much easier to install a plugin which can resize them automatically for us. That’s where Short Pixels comes in.

Evergreen Countdown Timer Plugin is a useful free plugin which I use to help me create time-limited offers (known as tripwires) when someone signs up to my freebies. It helps create a sense of urgency to snap up a great deal converting a reader to a customer.

GRAPHIC DESIGN TOOLS

Creative Market is a huge library of graphics, illustrations, fonts and templates that you can use for all your graphic design needs from creating logos to making Pinterest templates. They also offer 6 freebies every week so go grab yours here.

Fiverr is a great place to go if you need help with a creative project at a reasonable price. Find ghost writers, graphic designers andweb designers here and let them pitch for your project.

PHOTOGRAPHY TOOLS

Adobe Creative Cloud offers various tools for all of your creative needs. The two I use most frequently are Photoshop and Lightroom to edit all of my photos and keep them looking professional and cohesive. 

Getting premium stock photos that help you stand out from the crowd can get a bit pricey but this deal with appsumo is very reasonable. 

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT

The Sony A7iii is the camera I use personally. But unless you are a photography fanatic like me, you could look at the cheaper, lighter Sony A6000

The Nikon D5600 is the latest version of the camera I had when I first started photography. If you are looking for an affordable, easy-to-use DSLR then you wont go far wrong with this one.

The Go Pro is a must for any travel blogger. This little robust action camera packs a lot of punch and produces great quality images and video.

I absolutely love my Osmo Pocket for filming on the go. It’s so tiny that it is discreet and the inbuilt gimbal keeps the image super stable. It also has an app that helps create cool videos in a flash.

This Benro travel tripod is light, sturdy and affordable. I use it for landscape photo shoots for my travel site.

When you’re out and about, it’s not always convenient to carry a full tripod. This Manfrotto mini tripod fits in my purse and is there when I need it. 

I love this camera bag mainly because it doesn’t look like a camera bag and therefore I feel less vulnerable with it as it doesn’t scream, I’m carrying expensive equipment! Its waterproof, spacious and has a section for your laptop.

If you create flat lay photos or do any food or product photography then this mini photo studio will make life a lot easier. 

DIGITAL PRODUCT DELIVERY

WooCommerce is a free wordpress plugin to sell your digital products. I use mine to create an online shop but I dont sell direct through Woocommerce as it has a very expensive affiliate programme so I had to look elsewhere.

Sendowl is a platform where you can easily sell your own digital products as well as have affilates to sell on your behalf. It takes just a few minutes to set up and start selling.

AFFILIATE NETWORKS

Awin is hands down my highest converting affiliate network. They have lots of programmes especially UK based programmes.

Shareasale is partnered with Awin but hosts more US based and digital programmes. It converts well for me though the dashboard can be a little confusing.

Ultimate Bundles is one of my favourite affiliate networks with a brilliant 40-70% commission and lots of hands on support. The offer heavily discounted bundles of online courses, ebooks and templates in flash sales for a huge variety of niches from travel to parenting to healthy eating and much more besides. You’ll get an email a month or so before any bundle gets launched so you can get ready for the flash sale. Highly recommended. Sign up here

Skimlinks works by automatically turning your links into affiliate links. So even if you haven’t joined a programme, you can still earn commission. It’s brilliant for new bloggers just starting out with affiliate marketing as there’s no need to apply for programmes and convince them to have you onboard! You can sign up here.

PASSIVE INCOME SUPERSTARS DIGITAL RESOURCES

If you want to get organised with your affiliate marketing strategy, download this affiliate marketing planner, print it off and start getting focussed to make more money!

If you want to hit the ground running and get your affiliate marketing strategy up and running then take this free 5 day affiliate marketing challenge. It’s also a little sneak peek into my course coming out later this year…