These are the tools and resources that I use on a daily basis to help my blog grow!
Please note that I do not recommend products that I have not used myself. All of the resources you see below are products that I truly love and endorse.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please click here to read my full disclosure policy for more info!
Hosting & Domain
Lyrical Host – I highly recommend my blog host, Lyrical Host! You receive FREE resources every month, the staff is super nice and helpful (I’ve become great friends with one of the owners), it’s super simple and easy to use, you receive FREE migration (if transferring from another host or platform), and you can even get up to 2 months free (each year)! Use my code ‘STARBRIGHT‘ for 10% off any hosting plan!
WordPress – This is the platform that I use for my Blog. It makes editing my theme and making my blog posts really easy! I use WordPress.org, which is for self-hosted blogs, but there is also WordPress.com, which is a Free and very limited version of WordPress.org that is hosted on their site. If you want to make money off your blog, I suggest you start with a self-hosted blog.
Blog Lady Theme – From A Prettier Web, is the Theme you are currently seeing! It is extremely customizable, SEO Friendly, and offered almost everything I was looking for in a blog theme! At only $49.99, it was a great bargain for the amount of stuff that I am able to do with it! There are 4 different types of themes you can purchase from this site and they all offer so much for the price!
BluChic – Here is another great Theme Shop for Feminine WordPress Themes! These themes are a tad bit more expensive than the ones on Blog Lady, but they actually provide more customization! My favorite is the brand new Maggie theme, and this will most likely be my next theme (we will just have to wait and find out!)
Trello – Trello is a great (and FREE) Project Management tool that you can use for every aspect of your business! It allows you to create personal boards, boards with a team, or public boards (if you are into that kind of thing lol). You create Lists and cards on the different boards to help you stay on track with tasks and to do’s, links, and so much more!
Evernote – Evernote allows you to create virtual Notebooks where you can store information, notes, articles, etc. You can use this for taking notes in school or even writing a blog post draft. You can also set up a team notebook if you are working on a project with multiple people, and you can all access the notebook to keep up with what is being done!
LastPass – This is a secure service that allows you to save your passwords for any and all accounts you use on a daily basis! It adds an extension to your browser (you can access from the website as well) and every time you sign up for a new account or login to an account that isn’t saved yet, it will ask you if you want to save the password!
MailerLite – Starting a newsletter was the best thing that I could have done for my blog! It allows me to connect with my readers! I chose MailerLite for my email platform because the first 1,000 subscribers are FREE. Get $20 credit for signing up with my link.
Social Media Tools
TailWind – I use TailWind to schedule my Pinterest posts (mine and others that I find) and grow my blog! You can join Tribes with other bloggers to share each other’s content and help you all grow. Click here to sign up for TailWind and get a free month on me!
Click to Tweet – I use this to create my Click to Tweet links in my posts! This makes it easy for someone to Tweet your content to their Twitter and get you more traffic!
Canva – Canva is a free editing software, but there are items you can purchase within the program. I use Canva to make a lot of my Freebies!
PicMonkey – This is the only editing software I pay for! It is only $7.99 a month and you get full access to all of the editing options available! I use this to make all of my YouTube thumbnails and other blog graphics.
Grammarly – I use Grammarly to proofread all of my blog posts before I publish them. This is a Free software that checks every word/sentence to ensure that everything is spelled correctly, or has proper grammar! I prefer to use this because the Spell Checker in WordPress doesn’t seem to catch everything!
Trello 101 – This Free course about how to use Trello was very helpful when I was trying to learn the system! If you are new to Trello, I highly recommend this course! If you already know how to use Trello, she also has a higher end (you have to pay for this one) course as well called Trello Workflows and Automation that will help you with a more in depth use of Trello for your business! I will be purchasing this one soon!
Share A Sale – Share A Sale is by far my most favorite Affiliate company ever! It is a giant marketplace of other affiliate companies that you can sign up with to share with your readers! You receive tons of pre-made graphics that you can use on your blog or just use the links provided to share the products you love! Each link comes with a way to track your performance, so you know which links are giving you the most pay!
Ultimate Bundles – Ultimate Bundles is an awesome Affiliate company to be with! They provide you with banners, links, and more to promote Bundles of products (some are only during specific time frames, and some are evergreen!) to your readers and email list subscribers! These can range from Blogging Bundles to Essential Oil eBook Bundles! Use my link to sign up for your own Affiliate account.
Amazon Affiliates – This company is owned and operated by Amazon! It allows you to create links to products (on Amazon) that you can get commission for if someone buys that item (or other items)! You can create links to any and every product available on Amazon, and there are even ‘Bounties’ that you can place on your sidebar or in posts, that you can get paid for referring people to Amazon Prime, Kindle, etc.
Recommended WordPress Plug-In’s
Yoast SEO – This is one of the best SEO plugins you can get for your blog! It does take time for your posts to rank on search engines, but by using an SEO plug-in (such as this one) you can optimize all of your posts really easily. This plugin gives you gives you advice, as you are writing, on how you can improve your posts and make them SEO friendly.
Pretty Links – I love this plugin! It allows you to take super ugly links (such as affiliate links) and make them look…well, pretty. For example, I use a Pretty Link for my YouTube channel (http://www.abravestar.com/youtube – see, its pretty!) since I don’t have enough subscribers to change my link on YouTube yet. Pretty Link also allows you to keep track of how often your links are clicked on!
JQuery Pin It – This essential plugin allows you to make a custom Pin It button that appears when readers hover over an image on your blog! It makes it so that your blog posts are easily pinnable! This allows you to get more traffic to your blog using Pinterest!
Disqus – This is my all time FAVORITE comment system! It looks nice on my posts, and is super easy to use! I love that it post your top comments from other posts at the bottom of the comments! This helps get more of your content out of the world!