Blogging Resources You Should Be Using

 

Whether you are new to the blogging world or a seasoned vet, you should check out these resources. I would love to know if you are using them or if you have found something amazing that is not listed here. Drop me a line at refj@thebusinessref.com or leave a comment. I do my best to respond within 48 hours. Happy blogging! *please note some of the below-listed links are affiliate links. By clicking on them you are supporting this sweet blog of mine*

Website, Domain, and Hosting

Blue Host – I use BlueHost for my domain name and for hosting my blog. I absolutely love working with BlueHost They have been wonderful and so helpful! I have some trouble setting up my site and their customer service surprised me. They were very responsive and helped me troubleshoot the issue and resolve it quickly. I highly recommend using BlueHost for all your hosting and domain needs. You will need to pay for a full years’ subscription upfront but it is worth the investment. You can choose from the various packages they offer however, I have found that their basic plan will cover most bloggers hosting and domain name needs. You also will receive a custom email address with the basic hosting plan. This plan will cost your roughly $80.00 for a year subscription, you may choose to add-on extras which will increase your yearly price.

Mojo Marketplace: I shop at the Mojo Marketplace and utilize their services to help me build my blog. It is a great resource of themes, shortcodes, and widgets to help you develop your blog into exactly what you want.

WordPress: If you are wanting to start a blog you need to be on WordPress. WordPress has awesome customer service and has a growing reputation within the blogging community for its ease of use. You can start with a free version and upgrade when you are ready. You will need to pay for hosting and as mentioned above I recommend highly BlueHost.

Branding and Design 

Ultimate WordPress Tutorial – Sarah Eggers has created the best tutorial I have seen. In this detailed video, she will answer just about every question you may have. 

Brand Marketing Tips – Check out the mother and daughter duo that make up Brand Marketing Tips. Their years of experience and helpful tips will give you the guidance you need to craft the perfect branding for your blog or business.

Bellano Studio – If you need to update your WordPress site you MUST use Bellano Studio. The professionalism, the quality, and the love that owner Thauna pours into each project are unmatched. You deserve an incredible site and there is no one else I can recommend as highly as I do Thauna and Bellano Studio.

Marketing Tips

Mpowered MarketingMaggie is the go-to marketing extraordinaire who can help up your marketing game in major ways. Check out her blog for incredible marketing tips.

The Marketing Specialist – Need daily tips and actionable ways you can level up your social media game? Check out what Corey can offer.

IG Integrity Marketing – This is an awesome course for anyone wanting to grow their Instagram following with integrity and fun! Vanessa does a wonderful job of teaching you how to authentically connect with your target audience while staying true to your brand and business message.

 

Plugins Worth Using

Better Click to Tweet – Fantastic for making it even easier for your readers to Tweet and share content from your blog posts.

Akismet – I use this to prevent spam comments from being posted to my blog. I am very happy with how easy it is to install and so far, it has done a great job at keeping robots from spamming up my comments.

All In One SEO Pack – If you are anything like me, you could use a little extra help perfecting your SEO game. This is the perfect plugin to help you create SEO friendly content.

Landing Pages – This is a free plugin you can use to craft custom landing pages for your WordPress site. This is a wonderful tool for you to use to build your email list by promoting your products, courses, downloads.

Instapages – Another awesome landing page site. Choose from an array of templates to customize your landing page for your next product launch. Instapages offers a 30-day free trial.

PDF Embedder – Want to create an awesome pdf for your readers to download and use? This is the perfect plugin for allowing you to link your custom pdf download into your latest blog post.

Courses Worth Your Time and Money

Building Your Business The ultimate step-by-step course for building your business into a sustainable and profitable venture. You will learn how to draft your business plan, find funding, market your business and build a brand your customers will want to invest in.

Blogging Bombshell E-Course: Sydney from Modern Luxe has compiled a fantastic course, that I hope you will take advantage of. She walks you through from blog concept to publishing your first blog post. This is the perfect course for anyone hoping to not only start a blog but also monetize your blog.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner has created one of the best affiliate marketing courses out there. She has laid out her best how-to on generating passive income from affiliate marketing. Join her course and put her advice to work for you. With a regular monthly incomce of over $100k from her affiliate marketing there is no arguing Michelle knows what she is doing and her course has been created to help you build your affiliate income.

Blog and Be Legal – This is a fantastic course for Jackie from Jade and Oak. As a practicing lawyer with a passion for blogging, Jackie has created a course that any serious blogger MUST take. I was fortunate enough to be a beta tester for her course (meaning I was able to take it for free and give her my feedback before it was available for public consumption) and I was amazed. She makes legal jargon easy to understand and uses practical techniques to help ensure any blogger who takes her course will not need to worry about unintentionally breaking the law from a lack of knowledge. I cannot recommend this particular course enough!

Amplify Blog Traffic: Want actionable steps you can take to increase your page views and reader engagement? Mecyll from Bitchy Chicken has created an awesome FREE course that will help you build up your following one social media platform at a time.

How to Start Your Small Business: This is my FREE seven-day email course. This course focuses on building a solid business foundation for your business. I will cover marketing plans, funding plans, business plans, and of course, we will discuss how to take your idea and turn it into an awesome business. Sign up here.

 

Scheduling Apps (allowing you to maximize your time)

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

I use Tailwind for scheduling my Pinterest pins. I only recently started using this app and I love it! It is extremely user-friendly and has made my life a bit easier by allowing me to schedule my pins in advance. Tailwind is free to use which only makes it that much better! You can check out my Pinterest boards here.

Later.com – I love using this app to schedule my Instagram post. Although Instagram does not allow automated postings like Twitter or Facebook do, you can schedule your posts on Later You will be notified via a push notification when it is time to post to your Instagram feed and then you just click and post! I enjoy that this app saves me time and allows me to schedule my posts in advance. With Later, you can schedule and post up to 30 posts per month for free. That is one post a day, absolutely FREE! You can check out my Instagram feed by clicking on the link.

Evernote – I absolutely love using Evernote to keep my ideas organized. I love that I can clip articles that I come across on the internet and save any inspiration to my notebooks. I can easily access my notebooks offline on my cell phone when I am out and about on the town. It is super easy for me to send notes to my team so we can collaborate on projects as well. The best part? Evernote is FREE to use and you can pay for upgrades as you need to.

CoSchedule – One of the many reasons I enjoy using CoSchedule is because it allows me to try out blog post titles prior to sharing my posts with the world. Their headline analyzer is a great tool to help you craft the perfect headline to truly captivate your audience and promote readership. CoSchedule is also great for workflow management. You can gather documents from Evernote and Google Documents all in one place to create the perfect marketing strategy for your blog. Sign up and start your free 14-day trial.

Hootsuite – I primarily use Hootsuite for my Twitter account, although, I have used it for scheduling FB posts in the past. I love that this app allows me to schedule my tweets to correlate with blog posts as they go live on my site. With a product launch, I love being able to schedule how many tweets will go out to promote my newest product. I can easily incorporate this scheduling app into any marketing campaign I am planning. I have been very impressed with their analytics. It has been a game changer for me by helping me to better optimize my tweets.

Email List Building Tools

SumoMe -Want to create awesome pop-ups, welcome mats or find that perfect list building tool? SumoMe has got you covered. I have been thrilled with their personal customer service and I love how easy this tool is to use. You can run multiple campaigns and it is easy to track your analytics to understand what is working best for you. The best part is that many of their features are free to use.

AWeber – I love using AWeber for my email newsletter needs. AWeber has been a wonderful company to work with their customer service is truly fantastic. I love all of their video tutorials and webinars that have helped me set up various email campaigns. The site is very user-friendly and integrates well with WordPress. Sign-up today for a 30-day FREE trial.

Google Fonts – check out this awesome tutorial. I had no idea there were so many variations to fonts available. This site is a great go-to to help you create the perfect download freebie with custom fonts.

Grammarly – This the perfect tool to help ensure you are not violating grammar rules.

 

Affiliate Opportunites Worth Pursuing

 

Share-A-Sale is a fantastic community with thousands of retailers you can potentially affiliate with. Regardless of your niche, you can find a product/retailer to work with. This network is free to join and a wonderful resource to earn some extra money through your blog. You can read an excellent post here by Lisa Koivu from Oh, She Blogs.

Amazon Who doesn’t love Amazon? Anything I need I can find on Amazon. If you choose to join their affiliate program you can earn up to 7% on all sales completed using your affiliate code. This program is not available in all states so please be sure to check and see if where you live is part of their program. This network is free to join.

Networking Groups Worth Joining

Flock & Co. – Sorry gentlemen, this group is just for kickass ladies. Are you looking for a collaboration with another badass lady like you? This is the group for you. Connect with other bloggers, entrepreneurs, and creatives who want to team up and bring another awesome project to the world.

Facebook Groups (you should know about)

For my blogger friends:

Authentic Bloggers

Blogger Babes Community

Bloggers Social Media and Engagement Network

Bloggers Supporting Bloggers

Grow Your Blog

Inspired Bloggers Network Promos

The Gram Gang

Social Media Success Mastermind

For support with your business ventures:

Building Your Business

Blog + Bizz BFFs

Marketing Solved

The Rising Tide Society

The Lit Up & Loaded Entrepreneur

Persuasion Nation Mastermind

Business Owners Who Think BIG

Women Winning Online

And of course, I would love for you to “like” my page The Business Ref

Free Stock Photography Sites

Unsplash

KaboomPics

Splitshire

Picography

Heart Take The Wheel – free monthly photo for VIP newsletter subscribers.

I hope you have found these resources helpful. Happy Blogging! *please note that some of the links listed above are affiliate links and that by clicking on them you are helping to support this sweet little blog of mine*