The tools I use to help me be the best blogger I can be.
These are the tools and resources I use, have used, or wholeheartedly recommend. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means if you purchase using my link I receive a small commission. However, there’s no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
The latest offering from Copyblogger, the Rainmaker Platform is where Be A Better Blogger calls home.
Rainmaker takes WordPress to the next level. With it you can build content-driven websites, start sophisticated membership programs, sell digital goods, and more. And you never have to waste valuable time with plugins, complicated code, hosting, maintenance, or upgrades.
In short, it’s an “all in one” platform. Among its features:
- The same super fast and secure web hosting used by Copyblogger and Chris Brogan
- Access to every single premium WordPress theme and landing page created by StudioPress
- Membership into Copyblogger’s Authority program, which usually costs $399 annually all by itself
- More features than you can shake a stick at, if you were so inclined
Take Rainmaker on a test drive for 14 days, absolutely free. The Standard plan costs $95 a month, or $950 a year. A pretty penny, no doubt, but what you get for the price is remarkable.
Start your free trial by clicking here.
AWeber is the name that came up again and again when I researched email marketing providers. It’s used by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, and many other massive blogs with readership in the hundreds of thousands.
You can try AWeber for $1 the first month. After that it costs $19 per month, but that goes down if you agree to a multi-month contract.
Marshable calls StudioPress “the ‘best of the best’ among WordPress premium frameworks.”
Browsing through their 48 (and counting) gorgeous WordPress themes and it’s easy to see why.
Each StudioPress theme is built on the Genesis Framework — the same framework used by Darren Rowse and Chris Brogan. Their themes are secure, fast, search engine optimized, and future proof.
Themes start at $79.95 (a one-time fee), and they include the Genesis Framework; unlimited support; unlimited updates; and access to detailed tutorials. Plus, you can use any theme you buy for an unlimited number of sites.
Bluehost has been used and recommended by influential WordPress bloggers for years. If you go to WordPress.org and view its list of recommended hosts, you’ll find Bluehost listed right at the top. Bluehost does WordPress, and it does it very well.
Plans start at $4.95 per month, and that includes a free domain name registration. Hard to beat that.
HostGator was the first host I used for Be A Better Blogger, and it’s one I still use for many of the websites I develop for churches and other non-profits. It offers 1-click WordPress installation, unlimited email accounts, and great customer service.
Plans start $4.95 per month (use coupon code: BEABETTERBLOGGER), but they have sales throughout the year that takes the price even lower.
Smush.it is a convenient, free, image optimization tool by Yahoo. You can upload images in your web browser, click the “smush” button, and smush.it removes unnecessary bytes from the files.
This decreases the size of the files, which makes them load faster on your blog.
Compressor.io is similar to Smush.it. According to its site, it “is a powerful online tool for reducing drastically the size of your images and photos whilst maintaining a high quality with almost no difference before and after compression.”
From personal experience, when compressor.io is able to reduce the file size of an image it is often able to dramatically reduce it. However, sometimes it isn’t able to reduce the size at all. Your mileage may vary.
Need images for your blog? Want to make sure you aren’t violating any copyright laws? Searching Creative Commons images for Flickr makes it easy.
You can search for photos whose owners permit commercial use and/or adaption. Then, within your blog post, simply cite the owner and link to the original Flickr image.
This is one of many ways you can find images and properly use them on your blog. It’s how I do it here at Be A Better Blogger. If you need a citation example, simply look at the bottom of my posts.
If this sounds like music to your ears, be sure to check out this handy guide by Start Blogging Online.