Best Tools & Resources To Boost Your Blogging Game

blogging resources and recommendations

On this page, I’ve compiled a list of the best tools and resources that have been invaluable in my blogging journey.

I hope this list can save you time and money and help you avoid the mistakes I made.

You can use the table of contents below to navigate to your desired section.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at NO extra cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.

Starting A Blog

A hosting service provides a space on the internet for your blog to ‘live’. It’s one of the crucial components in launching a successful blog, alongside the blogging platform (i.e. WordPress)

I started out using Hostinger for my blog. However, after a series of events that adversely affected my site’s database, I decided to switch to another service, Kinsta. And I haven’t looked back since. Kinsta’s customer service is top-notch, and my site is performing better than ever.

Since Kinsta is pricier than most hosting services, it isn’t the best choice for beginners experimenting with blogging. If you’re a newbie, think about using Bluehost because it’s cheaper. When your site starts to grow, and you’re making your blog a business, then try out Kinsta (they have a 30-day money-back guarantee). You won’t be disappointed.

One very important step in getting your blog off the ground is making sure it’s legally protected. I came across A Self Guru through a recommendation from another blogger, and boy, I am glad I did!

Amira offers user-friendly, lawyer-written plug-in templates that can be customized for ANY NICHE.

For bloggers seeking an easy and inexpensive way to add essential legal pages to their blogs, I strongly recommend Amira’s comprehensive legal template bundle.

Content Writing

As a blogger, delivering clear, error-free content to your readers is essential, and Grammarly ensures just that.

It’s not just about correcting typos or grammar mistakes. It also helps enhance the overall readability of posts, offering suggestions for better word choices and sentence structures.

It’s user-friendly and integrates well with various platforms, making the writing process so much smoother.

If you can’t afford the subscription, you can download the free Grammarly Chrome extension, which offers many great features, such as a grammar checker, spelling checker, and generative AI.

I use both the paid service and free Chrome extensions because the subscription has additional features such as adjusting tone and vocabulary adjustments, and it’s easier to analyze a whole document, such as a draft of a blog post.

Search Engine Optimisation

I have tried a lot of keyword research tools in the past year, but I have yet to find one that’s more comprehensive than Semrush. It’s an SEO powerhouse that can be intimidating and expensive for new bloggers.

In that case, I recommend trying out tools such as Keysearch, Moz, or Ubersuggest to get used to using SEO tools. I’ll honestly say I don’t subscribe to Semrush every month. Instead, I renew it once every quarter, as I usually plan out my keywords a few months in advance.

But if you can afford it, are familiar with SEO, and want an all-inclusive SEO toolkit with a massive keyword database, Semrush is the best option.

If you’re overwhelmed with how to use this tool, I used this Udemy Semrush course to familiarise myself with the platform, and it taught me everything I needed to know to make the best use of it.

This free Chrome extension is ideal for optimizing on-page SEO, such as title tags, heading structure, meta description, meta robots tags, and more.

Because of the detailed extension, I was able to fix issues I was having with the navigation menu at the top of my website. I rarely publish a blog post without running my checks through this tool.

Though these free tools have many decent features, I mainly use them for keyword research. When I’m choosing which keyword to prioritize, I always type it into a Google search to see what websites are already ranking for this keyword.

The tools will show the domain authority of the ranking sites. If these sites’ DAs are much higher than mine, then I know not to waste time targeting that keyword. Using this method, I have saved so much time by not going after the wrong keywords.

Note: Ubersuggest has a daily limit for free searches, so I usually prefer the Moz bar, but if you already have an Ubersuggest account, this is a great addition to have.

This is a new tool in my arsenal that I have used for the past few weeks. I use it to monitor my rankings on Google after updating content and to track my keywords.

Compared to other tools like Semrush, SEOtesting is much cheaper at $40/month.

Keyword research is just as important on Pinterest as it is on Google. I use Pin Inspector to save time when searching for popular keywords. The best part is it’s a one-time purchase of $69 (use PIN20 to get $20 off).

Graphic Design & Video Editing

This is the only graphic design resource you need. I use Canva to create my Instagram posts, Pinterest pins, images for my blog, and so much more. It’s user-friendly and affordable.

And you can always try out the free version before committing to payment.

If you post many short-form videos on YouTube shorts or Instagram reels, Capcut is a must-have. The desktop version is more user-friendly than the mobile version because making fine adjustments with your fingers on the phone is hard.

And it’s completely free.

I came across this photo-editing software when I was looking to edit color covers for my Kindle photos because I wasn’t too fond of the greyscale aesthetic. And it turns out Pixlr is much easier than I thought it would be!

Some common sites to get free stock images and videos are:

Social Media Management

If you’re frustrated with the 30-day limit on the native Pinterest scheduler like me, then Tailwind is an absolute game changer. I can schedule pins months in advance without worrying about forgetting to pin fresh pins every 30 days.

There are so many other great features, such as designing pins, a smart schedule for posting pins when your audience is most active, and ghostwriter AI to craft pin titles and descriptions. I could not do my Pinterest Marketing without this tool.

I have tried other social media schedulers before, like Buffer and Hootsuite. Still, I never found their interfaces user-friendly, and it got expensive for me to add more than one brand (I run two business Instagram accounts).

That’s when I came across Metricool. Some of my favorite features are its competitor analysis, which shows me the top posts and reels of competing accounts and the high number of social media channels you can connect with one account, all in one easy-to-use dashboard.

I was never a fan of hashtags because I never understood how to use them properly. I always chose random ones that I thought fit the post and hoped they worked, like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping something would stick.

But after discovering the Flick hashtags tool, I started ranking in hashtags, all thanks to their Smart Filter, which analyses your account to show hashtags with the highest probability of you being successful.

A bit of manual search is involved, but the results are way better than those of other tools that generate random hashtags.

Photo editing tools are essential for achieving particular vibes in your images. I use Lightroom Mobile mainly for my blog’s featured images—and it’s free!

Using presets allow me to achieve a homogenous aesthetic for my blog that matches my color palette. Etsy is a great place to find presets that match your taste.

Online Courses

The main goal of SEO is to steal your competitors’ traffic by creating content that is better and more valuable than theirs. But I never understood the strategy behind this until I took the Stupid Simple SEO course. Mike Futia takes you step-by-step through how to see your competitors’ top pages so you know which keywords to focus on.

He also includes bonus material like how to audit content, get backlinks, build topical authority, and more.

I am currently in his SEO Next Level membership, which gives me access to more course resources and an FB group with other like-minded individuals to ask any SEO questions we may have. It is worth the money just to be able to ask any questions in the community and have them answered by SEO professionals.

I researched a lot of Affiliate Marketing courses. Most were expensive, and their course material didn’t cover what I wanted to learn until I came across Michelle’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.

Michelle broke down the complicated terms and gave strategies to maximize my earnings. Thanks to her, I could improve my affiliate marketing game and earn income.

Note: if you prefer video lessons, this might not be the course for you as all the classes are text. But even for someone like me who prefers to watch videos, I never struggled to get through the course.

This course is an absolute game-changer if you own an iPhone. You can tell the production value of this course was very high because the video lessons are of excellent quality.

Emil and his team put a lot of value into bite-sized lessons that I used to improve my blog’s images. I have bought 3 of their courses so far, and I am finding significant value in each one.

If you’re looking to maximize your photography skills without needing to buy expensive equipment, check out the iPhone Photo Academy.

Check out my progress below from before and after taking this course.

BEFORE COURSE
AFTER COURSE

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