FAVORITE RESOURCES FOR GROWING OUR BLOG
All of the blogging resources listed in this post are tools that we use on our blog. We have used them to design our blog, to grow our traffic and to grow an e-mail list.
Every one of these resources are tools that we recommend and we encourage you to implement some of them or all of them on your own blog.
We guarantee that you will see growth with these tools and resources.
Please note that because some of the links to the resources here are affiliate links, if you purchase through them, we may earn a small commission which is of no extra cost to you.
1. BLUEHOST WEB HOSTING
We use Bluehost web hosting for this site and we have used it for two other websites that we have had. Our reasons for choosing Bluehost:
First of all, Bluehost customer service is impeccable and as a hosting provider they really cover all the bases.
Also, the WordPress platform is unbelievably easy to install on Bluehost and this is the primary reason that we recommend them. They will walk you through the complete installation on your blog and if you have questions or concerns, they respond quickly and efficiently.
I think it is important for EVERYONE to benefit from these tools and Bluehost and WordPress both really come through with their user-friendly resources that even beginners can use.
WordPress is a free blogging software used for content management and is the most popular blogging system used on the internet.
One attractive thing about WordPress is that because it is user-friendly, beginning bloggers as well as pros can have great success with WordPress platform and themes.
3. BLOG THEME
Your blog theme is what sets your blog apart from other blogs.
It shows your style and personality. There are several places to go to choose a blog theme that can be customized to be distinctly “YOU”.
WordPress offers a variety of themes for websites, some free and some paid.
Here are other places that offer gorgeous feminine WordPress themes. They all include great customer service and will help you to get your theme up and running on your blog.
Other places that we’ve had experience with that also offer gorgeous blog themes are:
4. TAILWIND – ONE OF OUR FAVORITE BLOGGING RESOURCES!
Hands down, the one tool that has helped us to massively grow the number of visitors and page views on our blog is Tailwind. Tailwind combined with Pinterest is a powerful tool for growing blog traffic.
Tailwind makes social media sharing more convenient because you can schedule your pins to post on Pinterest at future times.
They also have a “Smart Schedule” that pinpoints exactly when your times of highest engagement are on Pinterest.
Armed with this information, Tailwind can schedule your pins for the most optimized times for reaching your audience.
A new feature on Tailwind is called Smart Loop which is an automatic looping feature that pins to your selected boards at specific intervals, “looping” the information over weeks or months.
All of these methods are created to get the most exposure of your pins at the best times to attract your targeted audience.
Get a one-month free trial of Tailwind and use that time to experiment to see what Tailwind can do for your website.
There’s really nothing to lose..they do not require a credit card for the free trial. Try it and then evaluate the resulting blog growth. If you’re happy, then you can spring for the paid version!
Click HERE to sign up for the free trial.
5. CONVERTKIT – TO GROW YOUR BLOG AND YOUR LIST
Just as Tailwind has helped to grow our blog by bringing more visitors and more page views, ConvertKit is responsible for growing our mailing list.
As a result of using Convertkit, our e-mail list has more than quadrupled in size.
With Convertkit, you can create opt-in forms and content upgrades effortlessly and simply, placing them anywhere on your blog.
It is possible to place a different opt-in form after each blog post and Convertkit keeps track of which subscriber downloads which form.
I highly recommend Convertkit to handle your subscriber list. Try it for one month free and evaluate where your list stands at the end of that month.
I guarantee that you will see growth! Click HERE to sign up for a free trial with our link.
6. YOAST SEO WORDPRESS PLUGIN
If you’re anything like me, grasping the concept of SEO and all that it entails is mind-boggling. Enter the Yoast SEO plugin.
This simple little addition to your website takes care of everything for you by guiding you to write content that will help your post to rank higher in search engines.
It makes you choose keywords and guides you to make changes in your blog post to improve search engine optimization. While there are many plugins to choose from out there, you really can’t find a more necesssary tool for your blog than this one! SIMPLE SEO TIPS FOR NEW BLOGGERS
7. WORDPRESS EDITORIAL CALENDAR
This is a plugin that I have used for a long time on my WordPress site.
It is exactly what it says it is: a calendar that allows you to easily schedule posts to be published on whatever day/time you choose simply by dragging and dropping.
The great thing about this calendar is that you can look at the entire month at a glance and see what you have published and what is scheduled to be published in the near future. And… it’s free!
PicMonkey is an incredibly simple photo editing site that I find so easy to use. I use this tool to create blog images, Pinterest pins, and to edit photos.
PicMonkey has lots of fonts and design templates to choose from and makes creating beautiful images a snap! I could not do without this tool in my blogging toolbox.
Try PicMonkey free for 7 days or choose a monthly or annual paid subscription. Click HERE to go to PicMonkey.
Check out our guide HOW TO CREATE SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGES WITH PICMONKEY to see just how easy it is to create with PicMonkey! We love it and use it every day.
9. GOOGLE DOCS
Writing blog posts in Google docs has been a major convenience simply for the fact that wherever we go, our work goes with us. As a result, we are able to get work done at anytime and anyplace.
Documents can be accessed on computer, phone or iPad, and can even be shared with others if needed which is really convenient if you find yourself somewhere away from your workplace with a little time to work on a post.
Google docs also has lots of different fonts to jazz up your post and images and links and images can also easily be inserted.
10. GOOGLE SPREADSHEETS
The main thing that we use Google spreadsheets for is to keep our Pinterest board pinning super organized.
This is how we do it:
First we list each board across the top of the spreadsheet with each board’s rules. Next, we enter the date that we post each blog post to each particular board.
By doing it this way we can make sure that we are not overstepping the rules of each Pinterest group board, such as pinning too often or pinning the same thing twice.
Just like Google documents, Google spreadsheets can be accessed and shared with others.
11. GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Google Analytics installed on your site will show you everything you need to know to monitor your blog’s growth. We think it is something you should not be without!
Google Analytics provides you with so much valuable information.
While you may have to dig deep to get all the details, it allows you to do extensive research on WHO your audience is, WHAT they are interested in, and HOW OFTEN they are visiting.
All of this is information that will help you to target your audience and write for them. This is part of growing your blog! HOW TO USE GOOGLE ANALYTICS TO GROW YOUR BLOG
12. PINTEREST – ONE OF OUR BLOGGING TOOLS TO DRIVE TRAFFIC!
Last, but certainly NOT LEAST, the single most important resource that we have in our blogging toolbox…Pinterest.
Our blog growth can absolutely be attributed to our participation on Pinterest. Pinning our pins, sharing the pins of others…This is what has brought us massive blog growth.
If you are a blogger and you are not taking advantage of Pinterest, START TODAY! First, set up a Pinterest profile, create pins for every blog post, then join some group boards and get to pinning! This is one of the most valuable resources that you have for your blog.
This goes hand-in-hand with Tailwind (see our #4 above). Scheduling pins throughout the day in our optimal time slots has brought many, many readers to our blog.
JOIN OUR PINTEREST GROUP BOARD TO GROW YOUR BLOG:
If you would like to join our Pinterest group board, Blogging Superstars, then follow these steps:
1. Follow us HERE on Pinterest
2. E-mail your Pinterest URL with your request to join our group board to firstname.lastname@example.org
There you have our favorite blogging tools and resources!
We personally use each one of these resources and we recommend them for you.
If you put your focus on growing your blog traffic and mailing list, then many of these tools and resources are things that you can’t do without. Give them a try and watch your blog grow.