This is a resource page loaded with services and things to help you get more from your blog. Everything you see below, I have personally used and recommend. Please know that some of the links below are referral/affiliate links and I may receive a small kickback if you use them at no additional cost to you. While I appreciate it if you do use the links below, you can also head to the site directly if you don’t want to support me or my site.
The fact that I do or do not make a small amount from referrals does not factor in to what I do or do not recommend.
I hope you find some of the items on this list useful!
This page will be modified as I find out about more products worthy of being here.
WordPress.org – The leading blogging platform in the world and my number one choice. You own your domain and all parts of your site. You will have to find your own hosting.
Blogger.com – Free blogging platform from Google. You can run ads, but you do not have rights to your files and can be shut down at any moment.
HostGator – The leader in web hosting for new bloggers. Easy setup and excellent 24/7 customer service. Plans for under $5 per month and a wide range of plans that grow with your blog. Save 25% on your plan with code MFYBRESOURCES As a beginner, you really can’t go wrong with HostGator.
KnownHost I switched to Knownhost about a year ago and have been very happy with them. I own and operate 8 websites on the same hosting platform, so I need a powerful host. I definitely recommend them, as they have competitive pricing and more importantly, amazing customer service.
WP Engine – the best in the biz for WordPress hosting with sites that have high traffic numbers. With plans for all traffic levels, WP Engine is a good place to move to after you’ve outgrown BlueHost. It’s on the higher end as far as price goes, but if you want a host that will take good care of you, this is a good option. The price difference is a lot, but you can’t stay on the $5/month baby plans forever! WP Engine offers one of my most favorite quotes of all time on their site: “You shouldn’t have to worry about the speed of your site… that’s our job.” If only this were the mindset of all hosting companies!
Skimlinks – an affiliate network with access to over 17,000 merchants. Manually create affiliate links to stores like Amazon, Macy’s, Target and more. You can also set up contextual advertising through Skimlinks.
ShareASale – a large affiliate network with merchants such as Stella & Dot, ModCloth and Layla Grace. They pay quickly, track well and are just an overall great affiliate company.
Amazon – the world’s largest marketplace. If you’re not in one of the excluded states (Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, or Rhode Island), you have access to an affiliate link for every item on Amazon. Put affiliate links for digital cameras, shoes, snacks or anything! Amazon is the best!
Genesis Theme – The best WordPress theme around. Easy to use, edit and customize. Huge support system, vast amount of themes available. I use Genesis on all of my WordPress sites.
Thesis Theme – Another premium WordPress theme. Better for those who want to customize but don’t know anything about code. Several of my clients have Thesis and find it easy to work with.
Aweber – The best email newsletter service on the web. I use is for this site’s newsletter. Tons of customizations, thorough tracking and statistics and reasonable rates. See my post on how to create an email list and profit from it here.
Long Tail Pro – Keyword research tool. Research the best keywords to go after on your blog. Find out how tough the competition is, how many monthly searches each keyword gets and get ideas for more keywords. I use this before posting most blog posts on this site and my niche site.
Picmonkey – Free photo editing software to make your pics look pretty. I recommend upgrading to the paid option for like $3/month.
Google Analytics – The best and most trusted tracking software on the planet. It’s free too. Learn how many people are coming to your site, where they are coming from, how long they are staying on your site, what they are looking at and so much more. See this post for help setting up Google Analytics on your blog.
Public Domain Pictures – a huge source for pictures that you can use in your blog posts. Make sure to look at the rules for usage. Also see more here and here.
OptinSkin – create beautiful optin forms that actually convert. Use features like fade up boxes to optimize your email collection. Easy customization and a one-time price make this my favorite premium optin software.
Mid-Range Camera: Canon 70d DSLR Camera – We started with the T3, then moved to the T3i and I wish we had just started with the 70d. This thing is perfect for pictures and videos.
For more recommended blogging tools, click here.