This post may contain affiliate links.
Creating and maintaining a blog is hard work and can prove to be extremely difficult if you don’t set yourself up for success. I’ve complied a list of blogging tools and resources that I use for my own blog and that can be very helpful for you if you’re thinking of starting a blog that will eventually make you money but don’t know where to begin.
The platform you choose for your blog is where your blog will live. This is where you’ll create your posts, design your theme and manage all the back end functions of your website.
I personally use WordPress.org as I find it is very user-friendly and allows for the most customization capabilities without requiring you to have a degree in coding. Note that WordPress.org is self-hosted and is not to be confused with WordPress.com.
Hostinger – If you’re just starting out and looking for the bare bones, this is a good platform to use. You can host your website with them for as little as $0.99 a month. I’ve been using them since I started and their resources make it easy to get your blog up and running in no time. Their 24/7 customer support team is also extremely helpful. They have a WordPress integration as well which is a bonus
Once you’re signed up with Hostinger, you can link any additional domains with them at no extra cost!
Blog Themes and Design
Believe it or not, you can design a beautiful blog in minutes with the help of predesigned themes that you can download and install onto your website.
CSSIgniter – Their Olsen theme is my favourite for blogs of all niches! The great thing about this theme is that it came with demo content which I was able to upload and swap out my copy and photos to match the theme preview. If you’re up for the customization challenge, the WordPress customizer allows you to play around with the theme add your own personal touch using plugins such as Elementor and Divi.
Some other great theme websites include Elegent Themes as well as theme templates provided by WordPress.
Creating Blog and Social Media Graphics
Graphics and curated images can be really great ways to promote your brand on social media and curate a beautiful feed. From Pinterest graphics to blog banners to infographics, Canva is great tool that offers a ton of templates for anything you can image to help you create your brand. No graphic design experience required!
Scheduling and Social Media Management Tools
Getting in the habit of creating content and posting regularly can be overwhelming at first but there are tons of apps and programs out there that make that process so easy. Most of them can be used on your desktop or mobile.
Planoly – I use this app to plan out my feed and create a cohesive theme on my Instagram page. It allows you to see how your feed will look before you hit post on your photos. What I love about this app is that once you’ve found your desired “feel” for your feed, you can schedule your posts in the order that you want them to appear. The free version allows you to link one social platform.
Buffer – Allows you to schedule posts on various platforms at the same time which is very advantageous if you lost to multiple accounts regularly. I use this app if I want to post the same image to go out to my Facebook page and Instagram at the same time. Bonus: It allows you to optimize the caption for each platform separately for the same image.
Affiliate Marketing Programs
Okay, so you’ve put in your sweat, tears and countless sleepless nights into building the perfect blog but now what? How you you actually start making all the money? There are a number of wants to monetize your blog but affiliate marketing is one of the most popular channels.
Affiliate marketing involves promoting products and services and receive a small commission when someone clicks your affiliate link and makes a purchase- at no extra cost to them. The great thing about affiliate marketing programs is that majority are free to join and some offer commission of up to 40%.
My three favourites are FlexOffers, Skimlinks and Amazon Associates.
Like anything in life worth having, creating income with your blog requires time, hard work and dedication. There is no overnight success scheme or a fast track path. Enjoy the journey and don’t forget to have fun in the process!