Recommended Tools

Welcome to my blog tool recommendations.  Learn how to launch a new blog even if you’re on a limited budget.  Whenever possible, I always recommend vital #blog tools that are free or best value for the price, and are user friendly.

In building my own blogs, I’ve overcome many obstacles and difficulties.  And now you have the opportunity to learn about the best tools I’ve discovered during my journey.

These are tools that I use myself and/or can speak to their effectiveness in launching your blog.

Without the right web hosting company it’s possible your blog might crash from high traffic, suffer down time, load too slowly, or you’ll lack the tech support you need.

This page does contains affiliate links.  This simply means that I get a small percentage of commission for the products or services purchased… but at no additional cost to you.  This helps to finance the work needed to create the valuable free information on my blog, so I really appreciate your support.

Please access the recommended #blogging tools by clicking on the links provided below.

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WEBSITE HOSTING SERVICES
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Blue Host

Blue Host is one of the cheapest website hosting services and also ranked top in the industry, offers a money-back guarantee, and has excellent tech support.  When you sign up for 36 months it costs only $2.95 /month (to receive this incredible rate you only have to pay $106.20 up front). 

That’s just $35.40 /year, and you get a FREE domain name for one year!  This can be important in the beginning until you are making money to cover your expenses. 

Many people are very satisfied with their results in launching a blog with Blue Host.  So, if you’re on a very tight budget and are only concerned about paying the absolute lowest price for a reliable hosting service, then Blue Host is for you.

If you want to take advantage of their special offer then click here:  Blue Host

Cons

Extra Fees – It is understandable that with low pricing Blue Host has to make additional revenue somewhere.  For example, daily back-up service for your blog costs an additional $2.99 per month.  In the Internet world this is considered disaster recovery.  Even a reliable hosting company can have problems with their servers once in a while, so it makes sense to back up your files.  But, you can always upgrade to a better package once you can afford it.

No Way to Turn Off the Auto-Renewal – Some people don’t like this and others don’t see this as an issue.

A2 Hosting

I use A2 Hosting website hosting service and here’s why:

Amazon.com did a study and they discovered that for every 1 % their website is delayed in loading, they lose 1 % of their revenue.  None of us can afford to lose any revenue opportunities.

One of the most critical factors impacting your page load speed is your host.

A2 Hosting utilizes a high speed SwiftServer platform with Solid State Drives (SSDs).  The bottom line is they’re faster and more reliable than competing web hosting services.

A2 Hosting also includes a Word Press file back up with their basic service, 99.9% up-time commitment, ranked top in the industry, offers a money-back guarantee, and has excellent tech support.  You can start a High Performance WordPress blog for as little as $3.92 /month when you sign up for just 24 months (to receive this incredible rate you have to pay it all up front for a total of $94.08).  That’s just $47.04 /year, and it includes WordPress backups!

You also have to pay for a domain name and they offer specials starting for just $14.95 for the first year.

It is well worth the investment.  I have used their “Guru Tech Support” many times and they always have gone over and above what they needed to do to solve my issues.  This is the key for beginners… I love those guys!  

They are so confident in the quality and speed that they offer an ANYTIME money back guarantee… not just 30 days like the rest.

If you decide that page load speed, 99.9% up-time commitment, and WordPress file back-up are important for your blog, then A2 Hosting is for you!

Click here to see how you can accelerate your success with:  A2 Hosting

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PHOTO & IMAGE TOOLS
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Gimp

The most user friendly free Photo Editor for Simple Edits. 

Click here to see how they do it:  Gimp

Optimizilla

The best photo Optimizer for Blogs.  Optimizilla.com is a free, web-based photo optimization tool.

You’ll always want to upload your photos to Optimizilla first before uploading them to your blog.   It usually compresses the file to around 30-70% of the original file size without losing quality.  This will help keep your blog from slowing down.

You can always benefit from anything that helps in increasing the speed of your blog.

Click here to see:  Optimizilla

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WORDPRESS THEMES & PAGE BUILDER
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WordPress FREE Themes

WordPress already comes with thousands of free themes, so you should definitely check them out first.  See if there’s a free one that can deliver the look and feel you envisioned for your blog.

You will find them in your WordPress control panel.  Just go to themes and click the “add new” tab at the top and you’ll see them all.

If your blog looks good with one of the free themes, then… why pay extra?  In the beginning, these themes will definitely get the job done and you can always upgrade down the road.

I use both the free Astra & free Zakra themes, and you can find them in your WordPress control panel.

Thrive Architect

I highly recommend using this premium page builder.  Thrive Architect is the only page builder that specializes in #digitalmarketing and page building.   It will help you implement all the necessary sales strategies.

A page builder is not a theme, but it will make your life so much easier in customizing your theme and implementing the opt-in/landing pages.

It works with almost any WordPress theme and I use it with my free Astra Theme.

This is how they make it easy for beginners:

  • Beautiful opt-in/landing page templets all ready to go.
  • No design or coding skills needed to implement opt-in/landing pages.
  • Easy to integrate your email marketing software into your WordPress site.
  • Instant drag & drop visual editing.
  • Replaces a dozen plugins thanks to their conversion focused elements, built right into Thrive Architect.

Most other premium page builders offer 1 year or 2 year packages, but your “software updates” are limited.  Only with Thrive Themes do you get unlimited software updates even after your 1 year term has expired.

It’s only $67.00 for 1 year and it was the best money I ever spent.

They also have a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee, so there is absolutely no risk to try it! 

Click here to check it out:  Thrive Architect

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EMAIL MARKETING
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MailChimp

When it comes to collecting and managing your email list you really don’t want to take any chances.  So, if you don’t have the cash and have no other choice but to go with a free service, then my recommendation is to use the best free #emailmarketing service, MailChimp.

They have a few limitations, but still effective for new bloggers.  Once you’re making good money and you’re too big for MailChimp, then you can move your email list to a premium provider.

Click here for the link to try it for free:  MailChimp

ConvertKit

If you want to get the best email marketing service, then I recommend ConvertKit.  The reason they’re better than their main competitor Aweber, is value for the money. 

Although people may argue which one is better, you can’t argue over the fact of how ConvertKit charges you per month. 

Aweber charges you on the number of email addresses on each list you have.  ConvertKit only charges you per email address, period.  That’s a lot less money you’ll pay, especially as your list continually grows.

They are also superior is in their deliverability results.  What deliverability means to you is your email will be delivered to the person’s “in box” and not to their spam folder.  They have a whole page on their website with tips on what you need to do to ensure the highest deliverability of your emails.

Another benefit is an increased open rate.  One way they accomplish this is by giving you the ability to re-send emails to people who have not opened them yet.  This raises your click and conversion rate for every email you send!

They also allow you to edit all of the emails in their sequence simultaneously (in one screen), without having to go back and edit each email individually. This will save you a lot of time!

Click here to take advantage of what ConvertKit delivers:   ConvertKit

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ONLINE COURSE SOFTWARE
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Thinkific

Professional online course software can be expensive for beginners on a limited budget.  Just look at what Teachable charges:   from $39.00 per month plus a 5% transaction fee (for basic) to $99.00 per month (for professional).  We all start out slowly in the beginning with no guarantee of how many eCourses we’ll sell.  So… Why dish out this kind of money in the beginning if you don’t have to? 

Thinkific has a basic, free version where you only pay a percentage of the money collected, so you pay nothing until someone has bought your eCourse.  Then they simply deduct the money from your account.  Sounds great, huh?!

Thinkific is customizable, easy to use, and even the free, basic version is a really professional looking online course.  When you start increasing your revenue from blogging then you can upgrade to more advanced features.  

Thinkific offers lots of webinars and help with all aspects of publishing online courses.  It’s easy to make courses on your own and you’ll be happy with how professional it all looks.

Their customer service is awesome and they reach out frequently to see what they can do to guide you!   I highly recommend this solution for getting an eCourse published.  

Grow your online eCourse sales the easy way and with low risk. 

Click here to see how they do it:  Thinkific

You can do it too!

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