Since publishing our income reports we have been getting a ton of questions on which blogging resources we have found the most helpful in growing our blog.
If you are still in the research phase on deciding if blogging is right for you then head over to our how to start a blog guide to help you in your decision.
So here is a quick rundown of the courses, apps, tools, and plugins you should be using to help grow your blog to the next level.
Why is it Important to Invest in Your Blog?
Now that you have your blog ideas and a target niche, you need to figure out how to create quality content, gain affiliates, and connect with your audience.
Many times people start a blog as a hobby, creative outlet, small side hustle, etc. That is 100% fine! We did the same thing.
But at some point, you will most likely hit a point where you start to take your blog a little more seriously.
It will go from being a creative outlet to a legitimate online business. But the only way to make that happen is if you treat your blog as a legitimate business from the start.
All businesses require capital to get started and running successfully. The luxury with starting a blog is that it can be done for as little as $2.95 per month. But then what?
You need to invest in some tools, courses, or coaching to move your blog in the right direction of growth.
Without investing our time, money, and effort in the resources below we would not be where we are today, plain and simple.
If you want your blog to move from a hobby or side hustle to a profitable online business it’s time to start investing money back into it.
How to Improve Your Blog?
There hundreds of ways to improve your blog to drive more traffic, make more money, and impact more lives.
Here are some of the most important things you can do right now to improve your blog.
Besides enrolling in our course Bloggers’ Secrets of course =).
- Speed up your website
- Make the user experience better
- Create better headlines
- Create better content
- Space our your writing more
- Learn the Best SEO Practices
- Increase your blog traffic
- Capture more emails
- Get better at affiliate marketing
- Apply to Mediavine or Adthrive
- Create your own digital products or courses
Our Favorite Free Blogging Resources
Through our years of blogging, we have come across some incredible resources that have had a huge impact on our success.
Below are must-read blogging resources if you want to improve and grow your blog.
The Best Blogging Resources for New Bloggers
Best Blogging Courses
Bloggers’ Secrets – Our own personal flagship course designed for beginner bloggers to take their struggling blog from $0/month to $1,000+/month through proven expert strategies. After spending close to $10,000 in online courses, training, and mentorships we put all of our expert knowledge into a single course to help you get laser-focused and start actually making money online.
Stupid Simple SEO – If you are a blogger you have probably ignored SEO (search engine optimization) or roll your eyes every time you hear someone mention it. We certainly did! But if you are blogging for the long haul learning how to drive free organic traffic from Google is a must. Social media platforms change their algorithms so much it is far too dangerous to put all your eggs in one basket. Stupid Simple SEO is worth every single penny for more advanced bloggers or new bloggers wanting to get a jump start on SEO. Check our more about what the course offers with our honest Stupid Simple SEO Review.
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – By far one of our favorite courses and the first course we ever purchased. If you are struggling to drive traffic with Pinterest and actually make money from your blog it’s time to invest in this course. Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents teaches you everything you need to know about monetizing your blog. She makes over $100k per month from her blog so she knows what she is talking about =).
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche – Having a strategy on Pinterest is a MUST if you want to use the platform correctly. It is one of the more complicated social media platforms to master so investing in a course to help you jumpstart your success is worth it. Out of all the Pinterest strategy courses our there this is by far the most in-depth and refined.
Million Dollar Shop – If you are looking to sell your own digital products why not learn from the best? Sarah Titus our close friend and seven-figure blogger teaches everything you need to know to launch a successful Shopify shop.
Six-Figure Blogger – Designed for advanced bloggers who are looking to branch out and start making their own digital products and courses. We got through the first couple of modules and quickly felt like we had already received the knowledge that paid for the course. You will learn everything you need to know about figuring out exactly what products/courses to make for your audience and the step-by-step process of how to sell it to them.
Flourish With Facebook Ads – Now if you are a contextual learner and like to read to understand a new concept then this is the Facebook ads course you want to take. Honestly, both Flourish with Facebook Ads and Facebook Ads for Bloggers are outstanding courses and you can’t go wrong with either of them. Monica is an absolute expert in this field and one of the first big-time bloggers to create an entire business around teaching others about paid Facebook ads. Her course helped us create a few campaigns running at or below $0.02 per click!
Best Blogging eBook and Workbook Resources
Legal Bundle – When it comes to making your blog a legitimate business that does things legally it’s very important to have the right disclaimers. Our good friend and Lawyer Amira created the legal bundle to take all the guesswork out of making your blog legal.
Date Your List – An absolutely incredible workbook on email marketing creating by Rosemarie from Busy Budgeter. This workbook changed everything for us when it came to email marketing. We learned how to grow our list, serve our audience, build a real relationship with them, and how to launch affiliate products to them. We doubled our income generated from our email list the first month after purchasing this workbook.
Core Affiliate Strategy – Another amazing workbook created by Rosemarie that helps bloggers find their core affiliate offerings for their audience. Learn how to only focus on the affiliate programs that your audience wants and needs and make you money.
Easy On-Page SEO – Are you new to SEO and wondering how to optimize your articles so that they rank well on Google? Or maybe you’ve been blogging for a while and learned a bit of SEO, but you’re still confused about some items. Well, then this book is perfect for you and your mission to rank better in Google and drive massive amounts of traffic each month. This ebook is designed for beginners and intermediates.
Easy Backlinks SEO – The easy way to get whitehat backlinks to your blog for a stronger SEO presence online. Learn more than 30+ tactics to grow your backlink portfolio and increase your domain authority with this super valuable ebook.
HARO Strategy Guide & Templates – Our very own eBook walking you step by step through our strategy for building high authority backlinks using HARO.
Best Blogging and Business Books
Work Less Make More – Literally the best book I have ever read. It completely changed how I view my time and how to be as effective as possible with it. This is a MUST read for all business owners.
12 Week Year – Another great book for learning how to set just a few goals every quarter and get far more done.
The 10X Rule – If you want help finding more motivation and really pushing yourself this is a great resource.
Best Blogging Tools
Jasper– Ready to increase your ability to create content 10X? Jasper is hands down the BEST blogging tool you can invest in, and getting AI writing software can change your content forever. Jasper is a copywriting AI that can help you produce high-quality content faster than you ever thought possible. In order to be a successful blogger and make money, you need to get traffic and the way you do that is to produce as much high-quality content as possible.
Surfer SEO – Whether you are a beginner or advanced blogger having a SEO tool like Surfer SEO is a game-changer. We have been using it for years and it’s one of the many reasons our content ranks high and gets lots of traffic from Google.
ConvertKit – As a blogger, your email list should be your #1 priority. It is where you build trust with your die-hard fans, make the most money, and have complete control over. We failed to understand the importance of our email list until we received blog coaching from one of the biggest names in the industry, Sarah Titus. Once we focused on our email list we started making twice as much money. ConvertKit is the platform 99% of professional bloggers use including ourselves. They are worth every penny!
Canva – Simply and easy to use graphic design software. We use Canva for basically every graphic we make for our entire business. They have awesome templates to make the worst graphics designer out there perfectly capable.
Tailwind – If you are planning on using Pinterest to drive traffic with your blog then having Tailwind is a must. It saves us close to 20 hours per month by allowing us to schedule our pins ahead of time. Plus the analytics you get on the backend help you make the right decisions to grow your Pinterest account quickly (watch this video).
KWFinder – The first keyword software we used to help us do keyword research, competitor analysis, and SERP analysis. If you don’t feel like paying $100/month with a software like AHRefs or SEMRush this is the perfect alternative and has all the features a blogger would need.
Buffer – Another huge time-saving platform. We use Buffer to schedule all of our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. I might spend 1-2 hours per week now scheduling posts on social media. An awesome social media scheduler.
Google Drive – The platform we use to save, edit, copy, and collaborate together for everything with our blog. Simple to use and cloud-based so you know everything is going to save automatically.
Asana – An amazing all in one project management software that all online business owners can benefit from. Use it as a content calendar, track your social media schedule, outsource tasks, creating training, file documents, and more. Click here to watch my Asana overview video.
Fiverr – We have used Fiverr for years! It’s an incredible marketplace of freelancers for basically any task you can think of. You want a new plugin installed, graphics created, articles written, search engine optimization, or even site customizations? Fiverr is a great place to get it done.
Best Blog Themes
When your first starting out using a free theme is fine. But you will soon find that you will be very limited to how much you can customize it.
A premium theme is most likely going to be your first investment with your blog and a wise one at that.
Theme Forest – Discover tens of thousands of premium WordPress themes ready to be customized just the way you want it.
Genesis Child Themes – For advanced bloggers when you really want to take your blog to the next level. When we did our website redesign we had a custom build genesis theme by Chelsea over at Swoon and Co.
Best Blogging Plugins
With WordPress, it’s incredible the number of plugins at your disposal. Basically, anything you can think of there is probably a plugin that can help.
Please note that when it comes to page speed and keeping your site optimized less is more when it comes to plugins.
So be selective and only use plugins that are proven with many reviews and recent update.
Rank Math – The perfect plugin for beginner bloggers to use to learn the basics of SEO.
WordFence – An all-in-one security plugin that a majority of bloggers use.
Short Pixel – The best picture compression plugin on the market.
WordPress Rocket – A great overall optimization plugin that will help increase your blogs load times creating a better user experience.
Broken Link Checker – A simple plugin that will scan and check the links on your site to make sure you stay on top of any broken links.
Pretty Links – The best affiliate marketing plugin to help keep track and make your affiliate links “pretty”.
AmaLinkPro – Perfect for heavy Amazon affiliate websites and niche websites.
Elementor – The best page builder plugin on the market hands down.
Akismet – A great plugin to prevent spam comments on your blog.
Social Pug – We tried almost a half dozen social share plugins before finding Social Pug. Hands down they are the best social share plugin to use.
What Would Seth Godin Do – An awesome plugin to help promote a time-limited offer or opt-in at the top of your blog posts.
VaultPress – Having a daily backup of your site is not something to skimp on. VaultPress is a great option to protect your hard work at a great price.
BONUS: Creative Ways to Make Money Online While Growing Your Blog
Start a Facebook Side Hustle – Want to make money using Facebook. There are plenty of small business owners in need of marketing help. The perfect flexible side hustle anyone can start.
Tutor for BookNook – If you love working with kids and have some teaching experience why not earn up to $22/hour tutoring reading and math online?
Become a Freelanwce Writer – Freelance writing can be an incredible side hustle. Earn anywhere from $0.10-$0.20 per word depending on your experience.
Become a Proofreader – Love to read? Why not get paid to read others work and find spelling/grammatical errors. You can easily earn a few hundred dollars a month in your spare time.
Become a Pinterest VA (virtual assistant) – Love being on Pinterest all day and all night? Why not help other online business owners market their business with your Pinterest skills?
Flip Items on Ebay and Amazon – Love going thrift shopping and finding neat things to turn into cash? Start your own flipping business today!
Start a Book Keeping Business – Love working with numbers? Why not start a legitimate work from home business as a book keeper?
Take Online Surveys – The perfect side hustle while you watch tv, wait in the doctor’s office, or even sit on the toilet. Yes, you can make money while you use the bathroom.
Final Thoughts on Blogging Resources
As you can tell we have spent a good penny on educating ourselves and learning new skills to grow our blog.
It’s actually something we think a bunch of bloggers fail to do at the beginning which holds them back.
We get it we were in the same boat and struggled for almost six months before purchasing our first blogging resource.
We have always said this, but if you truly want to become a full-time blogger and make a full-time income working from home you have to treat your blog like a business.
You need to invest money into it in order to make money from it. It’s tough to do when you are first starting out because of all the unknowns.
But take it from us, investing money in your blog is an incredible way to find success quickly.
Don’t make the same mistakes these expert bloggers made when they first started their blogs.
Please take a minute and join our private blogging community Blogging with Purpose. We have some of the best experts in the business willing and able to answer any questions you have about growing your own profitable blog.