I have come across many different tools, training, and resources that contribute to starting and running a blog. Having had my questions about these features, I know others have the same questions and I’m here to help.
To make this simple, this page will be dedicated to all the different utilities I use on my personal blog and I find helpful.
I am going to be regularly updating this page with new information as my site grows. There is always a need to adapt and with that comes new cool plugins, sites, and other new blogging information.
As always if you have any questions contact me HERE.
NOTE: many of the links on this page are affiliate links and will earn Addicted2Motivate a small commission if you signup to the services. This adds no cost to you but helps keep Addicted2Motivate sustainable. It’s also worth noting that almost all resources mentioned on this page are resources that I’m a signed up, paid up and regular user of.
Since I have only ever used WordPress.org it’s obvious why I would strongly recommend them. I have created a few different blogs over the years and always choose to use the WordPress platform. It’s simple and the platform of choice used by most other bloggers today.
Of course, there are a couple of other platforms that exist.
- WordPress.com – a free hosted blogging platform
- Blogger.com- a google owned free hosted platform
Recommended Reading: How To Start A Blog On WordPress In 20 Min
There are many hosting services available for bloggers.
My top choice is SiteGround. It’s a great hosting company that directly works with WordPress. It’s great for all blogs, from just starting out to a blog that already has tons of traffic.
They have many hosting options and the prices are unbeatable when clicked through my link. SiteGround offers special pricing to pass on to our readers. Take advantage of it now. It could Change at any moment.
SiteGround- I have been using SiteGround for some time now and I am blow away by the page speeds and the optimization it comes with for free.
SiteGround is highly talked about around the web. Rightfully so, with easy WordPress setup, 24/7 customer support, and the best prices without sacrificing quality. SiteGround is defiantly a great option for building your website or blog.
I always use SiteGround and with my special offer, you can save even more money by clicking HERE.
It’s all about trial and error and so far I have had a good experience with SiteGround.
An added bonus is the SG Optimizer that you can activate in WordPress. It adds so much value when it comes to page speed and ranking for your SEO.
Also, check out this article how to start a blog on WordPress in 20 minutes.
There’s not a shortage of themes when it comes to blogs, especially if you are using WordPress.
I am currently using Newspaper 9 by. TagDiv. It wasn’t free but I liked the customization it had to offer and the good reviews.
There are plenty of good free themes. Do some research and find the one that fits you best.
I would prefer to keep it simple and make the experience for the reader that much more enjoyable. Finding the Newspaper 9 theme accomplished that for me.
I tried out 3 different themes over a few months to see what worked best for me. This was not an overnight process and something that I took with a grain of salt. Your theme is your first impression to any visitors and it’s one that you want to last for returning readers.
It’s also very important to choose a theme that is being updated regularly for holes in security. This ensures that you are not vulnerable to hacking or at least protected to the fullest extent. No one wants their blog hacked with a poorly designed product.
Domains:I had my domain with BlueHost and decided to transfer it over to SiteGround.
You are able to have separate host and domain providers. All you have to make sure to do is point the domain to the hosting company Name Servers.
There are topics surrounding keeping your domain separate from your hosting. It mainly stems from security reasons and if you need to switch your host. I have not
Security: There is always a potential that your website gets hacked. That’s why its super important to have strong security settings to access your website and domain. I would always recommend strong passwords, using 2-factor authentication and using the features your host and domain providers offer to protect your site.
Transfers: Most people just starting out usually only have one site. That makes it easy for keeping your domain and host together. As you start to build your site it can become addicting and soon you have multiple domains. This is where it would be easier to choose one domain provider and have all your domains in one place. It’s a simple process to direct your domain to your host by updating the DNS settings. GoDaddy makes it easy to update your settings and if you have a problem there is always the awesome customer service team to help guide you through the process.
As my website grows and I venture into other sites, I’m going to overview the topic of keeping domains and hosting separated. But for now, I went with keeping my host and domain at SiteGround.
If you are just starting out I don’t think you have a great risk of keeping them separate or together. But as you grow I can see where there are some valid points on security and transferring hassles.
Feel free to add take on the topic below in the comments section.
Other Blogging Resources and Tools
Google Analytics – a great free metrics/statistics program. It’s an industry standard, you need to have it installed!
Grammarly – a very cool Chrome extension that checks your spelling and grammar for you! This is a life saver for me cause I’m the worst when it comes to grammar! I even upgraded just to have more help and possibly have my articles look like a professional has edited them.
MailChimp – It’s a great starting point for bloggers. MailChimp is free for the first 2000 subscribers. This is amazing considering the fact they are a reputable company and in the beginning, you’re not really sure where your email list is going. The main goal though is to build an email list. This list is personal and means so much more than any follow on a social media platform.
Essentially, when you start to build a list you own that list and it will stay with you. Any social media follower could disappear in a second and you have no other way to connect with them. Having an email is valuable information, it provides you with control and allows you to connect with your followers on a deeper level.
As my list grows, I will evaluate my email provider and what they have to offer. Free isn’t always as good as it seems, but in this case, MailChimp wins for new bloggers or anyone just starting an email list.
Easy Google Fonts – Makes it simple to add Google fonts into your theme.
Easy Cookie Consent – The bar at the bottom of the screen informing the user about cookies.
Login LockDown – Adds some extra security to WordPress by restricting the rate at which failed logins can be re-attempted from a given IP range.
mini Orange 2-factor authentication – Adds extra security for logging into your site.
Yoast SEO – Help to improve your search engine optimization.
Blog2Social – Great plugin that allows you to customize posting to different social media accounts at once. You have so many options such as scheduling times and adjusting the image that goes along with the post. I love this plugin and would say its the number one for social media sharing and managing.
There are so many different ways to make money from blogging.
The honest truth is that you need to love your blog and be proud of what you are doing. There are no shortcuts, but there are defiantly tools that will help.
AdSense – Googles Ad network – one of the most used monetization strategies for bloggers. I do not use them at the moment.
Amazon Associates – make money recommending products from the biggest online store. It is not easy to get accepted to the Amazon Associates program. I would recommend focusing on building content and gaining viewers first.
SiteGround Affiliates – If you are using SiteGround as your hosting platform and you are happy with them there is nothing wrong with telling others.
There will be more added to this page as I explore with new plugins and sites.
Feel free to leave your input and recommendations below and check out my other post to help with starting your own blog HERE
Also published on Medium.