8 Tools We Use and
Recommend for Every Blogger
There are thousands of competing blogging resources to choose from when starting a blog. It's easy to get confused and frustrated while sifting through the jungle of options, many of which you just don't need. So we thought we'd share what we think are the best, most essential, and most affordable blogging tools available.
We currently use all of the following and recommend them without reservation. A quick note: If you purchase through the links, we’ll get a nominal affiliate fee ( there’s no extra cost to you).
Michael started using Bluehost to host Smart Classroom Management (SCM) website in 2009 and couldn't be happier. Scott uses Bluehost for dozens of websites. It's a proven powerhouse in the hosting business. Packages start at a mere $3.95 a month, with 24/7 phone customer service and technical support if you run into any problems. It's really a no-brainer and our number one recommendation.
Michael uses GeneratePress as the SCM website theme. It's a clean design, easy to use, and one of the most popular themes among bloggers. It's also lightweight and fast. He updates the design every few weeks to keep it fresh, and GeneratePress allows him to do that in just a few minutes.
An email list is the lifeblood of any blogging business. Therefore, you must have a reliable way to collect email addresses and send out notifications when you post a new article. Michael has been using MailerLite for eight years now, sending over to 120,000 subscriber every week, and he finds MailerLite extremely reliable. They're also far more affordable than bigger names like MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact if you have a good sized list.
Although we don't believe social media is a requirement for bloggers, it is important to have social media buttons on your website for readers to share your content. There are many options for this (we've tried them all), but Social Warfare Pro has the most unique and creative ways to get them in front of readers. Our articles have been shared many millions of times on social media, and Social Warfare Pro is a big reason why.
Michael includes an image in every blog post at SCM because it encourages readers to share articles on their social media platform. It adds color, texture, and mood to each article. We've been using PicMonkey to design and edit images and photos for ten years. It's intuitive, has tons of options, and allows indulging creativity with the images.
The best way to begin making real money from your website is to sell your own products. The easiest way to do this is by offering a downloadable PDF e-guide. They cost virtually nothing to create and can be as short as ten or twelve pages. All you need is a company to host downloads for your customers and pass sales on to PayPal. This is what E-junkie does for a small monthly fee.
The speed of your website is a Google ranking factor and an easy way to speed up your website is using WP-Rocket. Michael lowered SCM's load time to under two seconds using this plugin. Once activated, you literally don't have to do anything more. Right out of the box it works great. We can't recommend it enough.
Looking for a lightweight email subscriber popup that works with all the different email services? Check out Poptin - flexible and easy...and as we recommend, it works great with exit-intent users.