You can get surprisingly far as a blogger using free tools. During my first 9 years, I didn’t have to pay a dime — music to the ears of a frugal guy like me.
But what about when you’re ready to take that next step? Sometimes, as I did, you have to open up the ol’ wallet. If that’s where you are in your blogging journey, here are the tools I recommend…
AWeber (affiliate link) 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.
ConvertKit (affiliate link) offers a few more bells and whistles than AWeber, including the ability to create landing pages. Founded by a blogger, ConvertKit is an excellent email marketing solution for bloggers of any and all experience levels.
Plans start at $29 monthly, or $24 per month if you pay annually. It comes with a risk-free, 14-day trial, and you have your first 30 days to cancel. Not that you would.
WP Engine (affiliate link) is the web host that makes Be A Better Blogger go. They specialize in WordPress sites. And they rock at it.
If you’re tired of your slow, buggy host; give WP Engine a spin. It’s risk free for a whopping 60 full days. Plans start at $35 a month, but you can get 2 months free if you pay annually.
StudioPress (affiliate link) is responsible for the professional WordPress theme Be A Better Blogger is sporting these days.
Built on the secure, SEO-friendly, and powerful Genesis Framework, StudioPress themes will ensure your site functions just as awesome as it looks. I’ve used various StudioPress themes over the years. They’re highly recommended.
OptinMonster (affiliate link) is a tool that integrates with your email marketing provider (e.g. Aweber or ConvertKit) and allows you to collect the email addresses of the fine ladies and gentlemen who visit your website. Using professional-looking optin forms, pop-up adds, Welcome Mats, and more; OptinMonster lets you get more email subscribers with just a few clicks.
I’ve used OptinMonster for years here at Be A Better Blogger, and I’ve had the pleasure to write numerous posts for their blog. OptinMonster is a good company with a good product run by good people. I highly recommend them.
Namecheap (affiliate link) is my favorite cheap domain registrar. Don’t let their name or prices fool you, though — they’re a solid company that’s been in business since 2000.
When it comes to buying your domain name, it doesn’t make sense to pay more. So long as you’re comparing reputable companies, one registrar can’t reserve your domain better than another. So, just go with the lowest price. And more times than not, Namecheap will have the lowest price.
DIGITAL MARKETING SOLUTION
Rainmaker Digital (affiliate link) is a hybrid service and technology agency. They provide complete digital marketing solutions ranging from digital marketing strategy to persuasive content creation, plus development, design, and technology implementation.
I used Rainmaker at Be A Better Blogger for several years. If you have the budget, and you’re looking for an all-in-one marketing solution, you’ll love Rainmaker.
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 (and it’s free).
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.
Note: Some of the links on this page are affiliates, which means if you purchase using my link I’ll receive a small commission. However, there’s no extra cost to you. The commission is just the company’s way of thanking me for referring such a handsome/beautiful customer as yourself to them. 🙂