Last updated December 29th, 2019.
With so many products and services out there, it can be tough to sift through them all. So, I thought I would help you out by sharing some of the blogging tools I personally use!
Again, all of these are tools I personally use and am comfortable recommending to you all.
Hosting – SiteGround
While I originally started with another very popular hosting provider, I ultimately landed on SiteGround. About a month in with my previous host, I started getting bombarded with e-mails from Jetpack saying my site was down. I knew I needed something better.
After doing my research, I decided to switch to SiteGround. They got my site switched over in just a few hours, and I was off to the races!
As you can probably guess, switching also solved my uptime issues. I no longer get a barrage of e-mails from Jetpack saying my site is down. It’s been pretty smooth sailing.
Customer service has been good. I haven’t had to use them much yet, fortunately. But when I have, they have responded quickly and have been able to resolve all of my issues on the same day. So I would call that a win.
All in all, I’m much happier with SiteGround. Sure, their site looks a little bit outdated when you log into your account, but I would definitely recommend them.
Affiliate Network – ShareASale
I love using ShareASale for my affiliate links because it makes everything so easy. Rather than having to track affiliate sales in dozens of different places, I can log in to one dashboard and see all of my affiliate earnings.
ShareASale has merchants available in many different categories, so there is something for everyone – regardless of what your blog is about. In addition to saving money, there are merchants for clothing, automotive, home & garden, and more.
Pinterest Scheduling – Tailwind
One of the biggest factors when it comes to increasing your reach on Pinterest is pinning consistently. Many experts have shown that to be the case!
But let’s face it…we’ll all human. Sometimes we get into bad habits and have trouble staying consistent. That’s why I have recently started using Tailwind to schedule pins out.
Now, I won’t lie to you. Scheduling pins can still take quite a bit of time. But if you can build up a large queue of pins, it will still be a big help if you aren’t feeling motivated to pin manually.
Oh, and by the way – if you use my link to sign up for Tailwind, you’ll get one month free!
Theme – OceanWP
My site uses the OceanWP theme for WordPress. There are thousands of different WordPress themes out there, and I have done dozens or perhaps even hundreds of hours of research into themes.
While I am by no means a web design expert, I ultimately chose OceanWP as my theme. I really like this theme because it’s fast, well-coded (according to my research), and the best part? It’s a FREE theme! They do offer paid extensions, but I don’t currently use any of those. 100% free, baby.
The funny thing is that I initially went for a paid theme when I was getting serious about my blog. I thought a paid theme would be the best option in terms of customization, but I found OceanWP to be better – at least for me. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new WordPress theme.
Spelling/Grammar – Grammarly
Someone recommended Grammarly to me not too long ago, and boy am I glad they did. Grammarly is yet another tool that is absolutely free, but it has been an enormous help.
I like to think I have “pretty good” spelling and grammar, too, but no one’s perfect. Once I installed Grammarly, maintaining my own high standards for spelling and grammar just became so much easier.
My favorite feature is probably the Chrome plugin; because I have it installed, any potential spelling and grammar mistakes are highlighted in red. Many text editors already do this, but Grammarly will give more intelligent suggestions, such as when a word is omitted:
You don’t even need to create an account, but if you do, you’ll gain access to even more features (still 100% free!). These features include:
- Enable/disable on preferred websites
- Store your personal dictionary
- Save and access your work from any computer
- Get weekly writing statistics and tips
All in all, Grammarly is great. If you don’t already have this tool, I highly recommend checking it out.
There are lots of plugins out there, but I like to keep mine to a minimum if possible. Here are some I use that I find especially helpful:
Pinterest Pin It Button – This plugin adds the “Pin It” button you see when you hover over the images on my site. If you have a blog or site, I recommend this one to help users share your posts to Pinterest!
Reading Position Indicator – This is what adds the scrolling bar you see at the top of the page while scrolling through my posts. It’s a neat little tool for helping readers see how far along they are.
Yoast SEO – I would definitely recommend Yoast to anyone who has a blog or any type of website. I knew virtually nothing about SEO before starting my blog, but Yoast makes it a piece of cake to implement SEO on your site.