With all the blogging resources available today, it can be hard to know what things are worth investing in or not. There is an overwhelming abundance of offers, but you can’t figure out which to choose.
Well, no worries, because I’m going to share with you a few things I’ve personally enjoyed and some things I’ve invested in to help my blog continually grow.
We will discuss the following things:
- Which plugins are the best and are FREE!
- The best websites to bookmark.
- Investments I’ve made and personally recommend.
Blogging Resources I Recommend for Your Blog Business
I’ve invested my time and income into many things over the years, but only a handful of them were worth the efforts. To keep you from having to wonder which plugins are the right ones for a certain job, I’ve got a list of all the ones I use. Likewise with the websites and investments I’ve found the most helpful.
Blogging Resources – WordPress Plugins //
This list is in alphabetical order to keep this simple.
This plugin ensures spam doesn’t get through on my website, and doesn’t hinder site performance compared to other plugins. It does a really great job at identifying spam versus a real person commenting on my site.
This plugin keeps my site running fast by optimizing different coding within my site, such as CSS, JS, and Google Fonts.
Comment Reply Notification
This one is a personal preference for connecting with anyone who takes the time to comment on my site. This plugin emails rely comments to the user, so they know I responded. Without it, they would not know if I responded without check the blog post again.
You’ll see my suggestion for ConverKit below, because that is why I use for my email service provider. This plugin allows me to use email opt-in forms within my website.
EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin is helpful to ensure images are not over-sized and using the right amount of resources. When I change things about my theme or change my theme altogether, this plugin helps me reconstruct my images to optimize with those changes. It is also helpful at increasing my website page speed!
Really Simple SSL
This plugin works with my webhost to ensure my site is shown as secured, which is favored with internet browsers and search engines.
This is the fastest FREE social plugin available right now. It works great and really helps my content get shared more.
Updraft Plus – Backup/Restore
Do not rely on your host to backup your website. You need to take things into your own hands with this plugin. I personally backup my website once a month or before any big changes.
This is the one and only plugin I recommend for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They update it often, so it always has relevant advice to help you improve your blog post or page.
Blogging Resources – Websites //
When you need help thinking of keywords for your blog post, Ubersuggest is perfect for that! It allows you to see which keywords your “competition” ranks for, as well as providing keyword suggestions. It is FREE, so take advantage of using it!
There are many great things on this website, including WordPress themes, templates, images, and more! I’ve purchased from them a few times and am always impressed!
This is another place I go to when I need things for my website that I cannot create on my own.
This is a FREE resource to ensure all of your links are working properly on your website. I run this once a week to ensure all links on my site are good or to see if any need removed or replaced.
You can get a plug for this, but I do NOT recommend it! It slows down your site and keeps you from ranking as high on Google, so best to bookmark this website.
Both of these are EXTREMELY important to have and refer to often for your website’s performance. Search Console allows Google to crawl your website, which means you can be found in Google searches! It shows you rankings for specific keywords and how each page ranks during a certain period of time. It also shows you what people are searching for that bring up your site in results and/or clicking through to your site.
Google Analytics is great, because you can see all the traffic information for your website, regardless of where the traffic was originated. This website is one of the most valuable FREE resources available to you.
Blogging Resources – Investments //
The hardest thing about investing in your business is to know what is actually worthy of investing your money, especially if your business isn’t earning a lot or anything at all yet.
The following investments are what I’ve found worthy of investing:
If you’ve read my post about how to start a blog business, you know that I adore GreenGeeks for my webhost. They give 300% back to the grid to offset carbon emissions, which is incredible! That was the first reason I chose to dive into their company as my host. The second reason is because they can handle my growth, unlike other hosting companies that only have so much bandwidth.
They are always quick to respond to requests or when help is needed, and I love them for that! Plus, they really know what they are doing! They made the process of migrating over to them and helping me with my rebrand back in 2018 seamless, as well as always being there for me when I accidentally mess up coding or lock myself out of my website!
The third thing I love about them is they aren’t expensive! It’s $2.95 / month starting with them, and for all they offer, IT IS A STEAL!
The features ConvertKit offers compared to other email service providers is amazing! The segmenting and tagging abilities with your email list make it easy to know who signed up for which offer, what they are interested in hearing about, and help you reach the right audience.
They are pricey if you’re just starting out, but they are worth it in my opinion.
I did use MailChimp before migrating to ConvertKit, and while I liked the structure of drafting an email, I didn’t like the lack of customization features for your email list. If you’re just starting, MailChimp or Mailerlite are great starting points, BUT looking at things from a business perspective, investing in an email service provider that works for you is worth it!
When I decided to get serious about turning my blog into a business, I knew I wanted to work with brands. Having the opportunity to introduce you [my community] to brands that are doing amazing things for this world and can make your life better was my priority.
After several months of trying and failing to connect with the right brands, I was introduced to Cassie, the founder of Create Profitable Partnerships. Her knowledge and help is the ONLY reason I’ve been able to turn my blog into a full-time business. Well, her and this amazing community of supporters!
If you’re wanting to connect with brands you know will enrich your community’s life, I HIGHLY recommend you enroll in this course! It is by far the best investment I’ve made for my business.
Cassie breaks things down in the simplest of ways, helps you create a genuine connection with your ideal brands, and truly cares about your success!
For the sake of transparency, due to Cassie’s help, I earned OVER $2,000 in the first 4 months of using her techniques! I earned the cost of her course within the first month!
If that doesn’t convince you that this is a worthy investment, I’m not sure anything will.
If you are the face of your brand, this is important. I used family photos as my main way to share photos of myself within my brand, until this year. I invested in a photographer that specifically focuses on brands, and it was worth every penny! [I linked to the photographer I personally used and highly recommend!]
Working with a brand focused photographer to share my story and highlight important topics was a unique and fun experience. It’s something I will do again in the future time and time again, because it does make a difference in connecting with your community.
Hopefully I’ve allowed you to let go of some stress with these blogging resources and helped you see that you don’t need “all the things” for your blog. Less is more, especially when you’re investing in the proper things to for your blog business.
If you have any recommendations or questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at erin[at]thetannehillhomestead.com