Since publishing our first $10k+ income report we have been getting a ton of questions on which blogging resources we have found the most helpful in growing our blog.
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?
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.
- 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
Free Resources For Bloggers?
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.
Our Favorite Blogging Resources
Best Blogging Courses
Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – By far our favorite course 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.
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.
Facebook Ads For Bloggers – If you are a visual learner, then this is the course you want to take to learn Facebook ads. Bobby Hoyt from Millennial Money Man and his business partner Mike Yanda put together an absolutely incredible course for us blogger to learn Facebook ads. We now use Facebook ads in our blogging business on a monthly basis to drive traffic, grow our email list and affiliate revenue.
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!
Precision Pinning – This is an incredible ebook created to teach you the basics and the more advanced strategies to become effective and driving traffic using Pinterest. Super affordable and worth every penny.
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. Worth every single penny for more advanced bloggers or new bloggers wanting to get a jump start on SEO.
Trello for Business – After we were blogging for a while, we started to realize we were working way too much “in” the business instead of “on” the business. We needed to create systems and workflows to free up time to focus more on the important things that actually made money. We found Trello and knew we wanted to use this software to help organize, create systems, and optimize our processes. Trello for business is a gem for becoming an expert with Trello.
Best Blogging Resource Tools
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.
Trello – The all in one project management platform all bloggers should be using. We started to realize we were spending too much time working in our blogging business and not on it. Trello helped us create systems, workflows, and organize everything we do with our blog. We also use it as our editorial calendar (watch the video here).
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 Blogging Resource 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.
SEO Yoast – 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.
JetPack – An all-in-one plugin that can do basically anything and everything.
Google Analytics – The most accurate way to understand and track your blog traffic.
Short Pixel – The best picture compression plugin on the market.
Akismet – A great plugin to prevent spam comments on your blog.
Autoptimize – 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”.
Elementor – The best page builder plugin on the market hands down.
Social Warfare Plugin – We tried almost a half dozen social share plugins before finding Social Warfare. Hands down they are the best social share plugin to use.
Ways to Make Extra Money Online
Facebook Side Hustle – If you are looking for a way to make extra money while you start your journey into blogging this might be the perfect solution. Our good friend Bobby from Millennial Money Man created a course to help individuals learn how to run Facebook ads for local businesses. It’s a fun and easy to learn side hustle that pays anywhere from $1,000 – $2,000 per month depending on how many clients you can land. Perfect hustle alongside growing your blogging business.
Surveys – You have probably heard of paid surveys before. No they are not going to make you rich but they can earn you $100+ per month when done correctly. An easy task you can do while watching TV at night to make a little extra money each month.
User Testing – You can earn money for simply testing websites and sharing your experience while doing so. These take anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour and pay a good amount of money.
Upwork – When I quit my day job I knew I had to find freelance work while I grew our blog. Within a week of quitting my job, I landed a remote digital marketing job paying $15/hour with extremely flexible hours. It was a perfect way to utilize the skills I had and also learn more the in’s and out’s of marketing.
VIPKID – Once I landed my first remote job I wanted to find something that paid over $20/hour. I landed on VIPKID and quickly applied. They are a company that hires English speaking teachers to teach English to Chinese students. It is without a doubt one of my favorite jobs I have ever had.
Fiverr – Do you have a skill set that you can monetize? Creating logos, printable, editing, voice-overs, SEO, etc. Head over to Fiverr and create yourself an account to start getting hired.
Coaching Services – One of our favorite ways to make extra money is offering blog coaching/training. Once you become an expert in an area consulting/coaching can be a very lucrative side hustle. Click the link above to learn more about the blog coaching services we currently offer.
Final Thoughts on Blogging
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.