I’m sharing my blogging toolkit and resources I can’t live without. Each week, I’m asked what I use on ND Consulting and other sites I own and now I’m dishing all!
Blogging Toolkit and Resources
Every blog, blogger, and audience is different and there are many amazing tools which support each. I’m sharing my blogging toolkit and resources I cannot live without.
There are partner links in this article which means should you make a purchase, I could receive a commission. I only share what I use – none of this “linking to get a sale” garbage from me. 🙂
Hosting, Domain, and Blogging Platform
Pro Tip: it doesn’t matter if it’s WordPress or Square Space, just get a self-hosted if you have an income strategy. If not, write on Blogger (powered by Google) or WordPress.com (limitations).
What I use:
- WordPress.org (self-hosted)
- EasyDNS or All Niche PLR for domain registration (website name)
- Infinus Technologies – the support is amazing (I host 2 sites here, both with less than 100k monthly page views each)
- WP Engine – it’s premium hosting and it’s worry-free; I’ve never had a site down, ever.
- Servously – they have multiple packages based on size (and their support is VERY good)
Themes and Builders
Pro Tip: I love themes (they make everything so easy but don’t discount builders. I’ve been a fan from the early days of website builders because they allow for A LOT of customization.
- Genesis Framework (highly, highly recommend – it’s a base for themes)
- StudioPress and R316D themes (take the quiz to help choose the best theme for you)
- Visual Composer (an ah-may-zing builder to create awesome landing pages)
- Divi Builder (Elegant Themes) – My clients RAVE about it! Note, you would get it in place of Visual Composer and one caveat: Divi works on shortcodes which means when / if you decide to change, you’ll have quite a bit of work to do.
Blogging Tools (Writing, Editing, SEO, etc.)
Pro Tip: don’t ONLY write in WordPress or Blogger, even if you back up. You’ll find there to be a lot of distractions and it’s nice to have a backup off-site.
- Microsoft OneNote (I can always access, it automatically backs up, and I always have a copy in case of blog-mageddon). Before I found OneNote, I used Evernote, Trello, and Google Drive.
- Grammarly (commas – I just use too many or not enough in compound sentences)
- For keyword research, I use KW Finder, SERPStat, Keyword Tools.io, etc.
- Yuzo Related Posts plugin, Custom Sidebars, Easy Affiliate Links, CoSchedule, and a few more are installed on almost every site I own.
Social Media Management
Pro Tip: don’t try to do it all. Pick one, build a strategy, execute, and when you start to see growth, add another network.
- Social Warfare
- eCamm Live I go Live with this, allowing me to disclose right on the screen! It was so inexpensive and I’ve made so much affiliate income from it.
- Facebook (native scheduler)
- CoSchedule – The amount of love I have for this thing…
- Tailwind for Pinterest (and live-pinning)
- Tweetdeck – Do not attempt a Twitter party without it #youvebeenwarned
Pro Tip: THERE IS NO BEST EMAIL SERVICE PROVIDER (ESP) no matter what their sales copy (or another blogger) says. I have used so, so many ESPs, and I like them for different reasons. Additionally, the ESP you choose will greatly depend on where you are in your blogging and monetization journey.
- MailChimp – used for Tip Emails because it’s easy.
- MailerLite – used for challenges and the “Font Lovers Guides and Deals”
- ConvertKit – Ask me – seriously, email me – about whether it’s worth the price for you. I like it but it’s more robust than many people need.
- Ninja Popups / Optin Monster – exit-intent and highly customizable tools
Images, Videos, Graphics, Tools, and Editors
Pro Tip: Just use something enough that the learning curve is worth it. I now love Photoshop but still use the pro plan of PicMonkey DAILY (because I haven’t figured out how to do everything in Photoshop). #newb
- Nikon D3300 dSLR camera (mostly for other blogs, as I use stock or mockups for NDC)
- Lighting kit from Amazon (I get more use from the box lights than anything else). My next investment will be a ring light.
- Photoshop (I use the Creative Cloud Suite and I big, squishy heart love it)
- Zoom – I use this for all of my client calls (they have a free trial)
- Deposit Photos
- Creative Market (psst they have free goods here)
- Screencast-O-Matic – I use this at least twice weekly for clients and to record training for my free Facebook group (Elevate Everyone – Join)
- iMovie and Filmora – I use iMovie, I’ve purchased Filmora (and have yet to use it).
Pro Tip: have a system to make sure you are clear (and will always be clear) on the licensing. After 10 years of this, I’ve stopped buying or downloading anything personal-use only. You can get my three, free font and graphics guides in the Resource Library or sign up to my Freebie Fri-Yay emails.
- The Hungry JPEG
- Font Bundles
- Dafont (careful with usage with this one, but it’s great if you search by 100% free); I found a great font and was able to buy a commercial license for $8 by emailing the author!!!!
Product Sales (Mine)
- Gumroad (Pitching Perfection, Identity, Find Your Sell, and Content for Growth are all on here); I used to use Easy Digital Downloads but users didn’t like the interface
- Merch (you can sell your own t-shirt designs on Amazon and it’s a nice supplemental income for me)
- Etsy (check out my newest shop for amazing office printables and more)
Product Sales (Others)
Pro Tip: Don’t sign up and promote “ALL.THE.THINGS!” Get my ‘how to introduce an affiliate’ guide in the Resource Library to learn how to select and onboard your partners. That way, you’ll actually make money.
Get access to the library:
Get Free Access to Our Resource Library!
My primary affiliate partners in my blogging toolkit and resources vault for ND Consulting are:
- ShareASale (themes, hosting, and editing partners)
- Amazon (books)
- SEO: Dominate
- Affiliate Marketing: ethical training with Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
- Genius Blogger’s Toolkit (new for me and I’ll evaluate each one on its merit before promoting – it’s A LOT of work for me to go through each resource)
- Font / Graphics through a few partners
- PLR (purchased content)
Browser and Tools
Pro Tip: Use whatever doesn’t make you all stabby. Safari makes me stabby and I honestly couldn’t live without some of my Chrome extensions.
- Extensions I love (yes, I wrote an article about why I love them and how they make me more productive)
Pro Tip: If you don’t have Google Analytics because you can’t figure out how to add it to your site, pay someone to do it. It’s the industry standard.
- Google Analytics + the Page Analytics Chrome Extension
- Pinterest (native) and Tailwind (MUCH better than Pinterest’s analytics)
- Facebook (native + ads manager detail)
- MailChimp, MailerLite, and ConvertKit native analytics
Backend, Security, Site Storage, and Speed
Kind of like your political preference, no one REALLY needs to know your backend. 🙂 I use all of the following (and I bet a few more), but because I pay people to do this for me, I really can’t tell you anything about them.
What I do know that’s currently in use (and protecting my sites) as part of my blogging toolkit and resources set up are:
- WP Cerber (not Cerberus like the Hell Hound)
- Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- Keeper (Password Manager) – I love this because it’s in my Chrome extensions.
I use a few to manage my businesses, some free and some are investments to help make accounting and tax time easier.
- PayPal to Invoice
- Wave Apps to do my bookkeeping (they have a free version)
- Quickbooks (not for NDC)
- Freshbooks (not for NDC)
Equipment / Hardware / Cloud Storage
Other than my camera, my biggest blogging tool is by far my laptop. I can take it anywhere, use my phone for Internet access, and bang out a few affiliate shares or even a post while I wait on my daughter.
- Apple, MacBook Pro (Retina Screen, SSD, crap load of memory)
- I have a Levalier microphone I use when I’m recording training videos.
- 2TB portable hard drive (I also back up via Dropbox)
I am constantly learning and even build it into my weekly schedule. Some of my favorite resources:
- Blogger courses (I recommended a fave affiliate marketing course above, but take at least one a month)
- Conferences / Videos
- Still working my way through the 2018 Ultimate Blogger’s Toolkit
I strongly advise you not to work with brands or even other bloggers without contracts. Developing your own or hiring an attorney can be tricky. This is one of the most important parts of your blogging toolkit and resources. I use:
Over to You
Which of these tools do you use? Can you suggest something in the comments you love? These are the blogging toolkit and resources I love, but I’d be grateful if you gave any insight into tools you use daily.