I created this list to feature the “best of the best” when it comes to launching, growing, and monetizing your blog. If you have questions about any of the tools on this list, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to chat!
*This list contains affiliate links for products I love. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of my links, at no extra cost to you. For my full disclaimer, click here.*
MY FAVORITE TOOLS & SOFTWARE
1. ConvertKit for email lists
There’s no other email marketing tool that does what ConvertKit does.
With automation features up the ying-yang, ConvertKit is completely “set-it-and-forget-it”. For example, with Convertkit you can run email courses seamlessly (and on autopilot), “tag” your subscribers according to their interests, and set up tons of automation rules so you barely ever have to log into your account (all the magic happens automatically!)
I originally started my email list on MailChimp, but I switched over to CK less than a month in. And it was quite honestly the best decision I’ve ever made for my business! Ready to get started with ConvertKit? Click here!
2. LeadPages for landing pages
To create gorgeous landing pages to grow my email list, LeadPages is my tool of choice. With hundreds of pre-made templates to choose from, it’s super easy to create new page or sign-up form in minutes. Perfect for design- and tech-challenged people like me!
LeadPages is an investment, but it’s one of the best investments I’ve made for my blog and business. If you struggle with design and coding but are SO ready to grow your email list, LeadPages is the step up you need!
3. Teachable for online courses
For hosting my online courses, I LOVE Teachable. Their platform is incredibly simple and straight-forward to use, but still uber professional-looking. I love that I can house all my courses in one place, and on top of that design gorgeous sales pages, offer coupon codes and discounts, set up affiliate programs, and SO much more. All with one program!
They have super affordable monthly rates, and they even offer a FREE plan (yep, Free-99 baby!) Click here to get started with Teachable.
4. Adobe Illustrator for graphic design
Adobe Illustrator is my design program of choice, and I’m kind of obsessed. In fact, the entire Adobe suite of products is fantastic, and I highly recommend them all!
I’ve never been particularly skilled with design, but making the move to Adobe Illustrator (plus taking this Illustrator course from Love + Color) has made all the difference. I’m happy to say that I’m now much more confident with my design skills, and I owe it all to Illustrator.
RUNNING YOUR WEBSITE
My website runs on the WordPress platform, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you’d like to set up a self-hosted WordPress website, here are a few of my top picks for hosting and themes…
2. InMotion hosting
InMotion is my current web hosting company, and they are seriously the BEST. InMotion came recommended to me by a web developer I trust, and their service, speed, and customer service trumps my old hosting company (Bluehost) by a mile. Click here to check out their packages (I’m on the PRO Plan!)
Other great options for web hosting:
3. Tweak Me V2 Theme from Nose Graze
I honestly don’t think a better WordPress theme for beginners exists. You can do ANYTHING with the Tweak Me V2 theme, without having to get into custom coding (perfect for people who are code noobs like me!)
4. Coded Creative Themes
The lovely Krista Rae and Kory Mae have created some GORGEOUS themes for WordPress users! My personal fave is Olivia. You’ll also find beautiful pre-made logos over on Coded Creative (I mean, is there anything these two ladies can’t do!?)
5. BluChic themes
STOCK PHOTOS & BRANDING
1. Haute Chocolate Styled Stock Library
99% of the photos you see on my blog and social media accounts are from Haute Chocolate’s Styled Stock Library. When you sign up for a membership, you get access to thousands of gorgeous, feminine photos that are perfect for girlboss bloggers and female-entrepreneurs alike. With different pricing and packages to choose from, there’s sure to be a fit for you!
2. Creative Market
Creative Market is my go-to place for gorgeous custom fonts to use on my website and in my branding. They also have tons of amazing icon packs, stock photos, and more! Check out everything they have to offer here.
Social Media Management
If you’ve been around for a while, I’m sure you’ve heard of my love for BoardBooster. It’s AMAZE-BALLS. Drive massive traffic to your website with Pinterest, and put it all on autopilot with BoardBooster? Yus please! Click here to start your free trial today.
For Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook scheduling, Hootsuite is my go-to tool. It’s totally free, plus you can schedule an unlimited amount of posts on up to three different social media accounts. Can you say SCORE?!
My Favorite Blogging Courses
1. Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers
Passive income is where it’s at, ladies! Making money while you sleep? Uh, yes please!
Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers is the perfect introductory course for bloggers who are looking to generate passive income through their blogs. When I was only a third of the way through the course, I’d already made my first affiliate sale and earned 40 bucks! Not bad, right?
2. Adobe Illustrator Masterclass
Adobe Illustrator is my LIFE, and I would never have started using it if I hadn’t found this INCREDIBLE course from Jessica Safko of Love + Color.
I’m the worst at graphic design, but Jess’ tutorials make it super easy to learn the ins and outs of Illustrator and create gorgeous graphics to promote your blog and business. I would HIGHLY recommend this course to anyone looking to step up their graphic design game!
3. Email Lists Simplified
The lovely Meera Kothand has put together a PHENOMENAL course for bloggers looking to start, nurture, and profit from their email lists. A certified email marketing specialist, Meera knows exactly what’s up when it comes to email list growth. She’s my go-to person whenever I have a question about my list, and I can’t believe she’s offering this course for the total STEAL of $147.
4. Instagram Launchpad
If you know me, you know that I am SO not an expert when it comes to Instagram. Thankfully, I have the lovely Brie of “Go Rattle the Stars” to help me out!! With a following of over 70,000 people on Instagram, Brie definitely knows how to grow an Instagram account (and use it to make a profit). I highly suggest checking out her Instagram Launchpad course if you’re ready to jumpstart your Instagram game!
5. The VA Crash Course
Ready to start earning a healthy income working from home? In this super-affordable course, Allie Williams shows you how! Allie is a VA extraordinaire, and this course really packs a punch. Learn the basics of starting and running a VA business, how to track your finances, set big goals (and achieve them!) and book clients on autopilot. Take the VA Crash Course here!
Services for Bloggers
1. Shaylee Smith: Web Design & Development
Whether you’re looking for an entire website design or just a few tweaks here and there, Shaylee’s your girl! She’s my go-to whenever there’s something I want to achieve with my website that involves custom coding (not my strong suit!) She even offers website maintenance packages to keep your site running in tip-top shape. Click here to learn more and chat with Shaylee.
2. Stefani Jessica: Branding and Web Design
Stefani is an absolute goddess, and each and every one of her websites is drool-worthy. Whether you’re looking for help with your branding or you need an entire website created, Stefani’s your girl! Check out her packages here.
THE TECHY STUFF
1. MacBook Pro 13-inch
I fricken LOVE my MacBook Pro. I’ve had it since university (almost 5 years now), and it’s still going strong! If you’re looking to invest in a beautiful, long-lasting laptop, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is my top recommendation. Yes, it’s an investment, but the value will come back to you ten-fold over the years you use it.
2. Apple Magic Mouse
Because I’m on my laptop literally all day, it’s SO much easier to use a mouse rather than just the trackpad. I’m obsessed with my Apple Magic Mouse. Super sleek, cute, and practical!
Click here to email me with all the details 🙂