TOOLS AND RESOURCES

FOR A

SUCCESSFUL MONEY MAKING BLOG

Blogging Resources That Help Jump-start Your Blog

Choosing the right set of tools for your Blog is the first step towards creating a Power Blog. This is not a regular resources page listing general tools. This is a carefully curated list of tools that professional Bloggers use and what differentiates them from the rest.

This list is updated regularly with new resources and tools that I deem fit to be in this list.

 

The Basic Tools To Start With

Reliable and professional Technical Hardware is a must for no breakdowns and uninterrupted stress free Blogging. Technical glitches distract you from the most important thing you’re supposed to do …..Content.

  • Desktop – Laptop

    Apple iMac 27 inch Desktop or a Laptop Apple MacBook Pro MGXC2LL/A or Dell XPS13 Ultrabook – Take the best that suits your budget and your work needs. Even your home PC can suffice but see to it that its free of glitches and does not distract you from your goals. A broken hardware hots your work flow. 

  • Your Backbone

    The Right Chair – Don’t ignore, You’ll be sitting for hours together. I’ve been through a severe back-ache in my starting months and would advise not to ignore this accessory.

  • Planning Board

    A White Board or Two  – To make your work flows and be focused. I use two white Boards, one with monthly targets and the other has a flow of topics I’ve decided to write. This refocuses me if get distracted. Keep a notepad beside you and a noting app like Evernote on your smartphone.

  • Inspiration & Motivation

    Reading a Book that challenges you personally is the greatest source of inspiration. Here are my Recommended Books that inspire you to implement new ideas.  If you plan to make money with your Blog do check out How Kat Loterzo makes $80000 per month with her fitness Blog. Also get a good Coffee Maker, you may be working at nights. Working at night is what I prefer as that’s the most distraction free time.

  • Optional Tools

    These are some optional things which you can buy at a later stage, but are required for creating a Powerful Blog.

A Scalable Blogging Platform

Decide on a Blogging Platform before you start. I would always recommend self-hosted WordPress if you want to build a Blog that can be called Power Blog. WordPress can be highly customized  and is a scalable platform for all kind of Blogs and Website. Top websites like CNN and WashingtonPost use WordPress for their websites.

Hosting (For Self Hosted WordPress Blog)

If your Blog / Website is going to grow fast, I would recommend hosting your Blog/Website on NameCheap. I’ve more than  5 websites Hosted on Namecheapincluding my E-learning website Xero To Millions.

  • NameCheap

    *Rated Best* The best hosting platform in our December 2015 Hosting Review. It’s the Best Hosting Company for starters, professionals, as well as businesses to get their Websites/Blog hosted at the cheapest  prices. Best Value For Money Hosting and Domain Name related services. We are already using VPS and Shared Servers from Namecheap. Also offers a variety of SSL encryption options and Dedicated IP Address. Offers a free Domain Name and WhoIsGaurd Domain Privacy Free with every purchase of an Annual Plan.

  • A Small Orange

    *Rated Best* Best Hosting platform for Blogger and Businesses. A bit costly but worth the price. Offers a .com domain name and two months of Free Hosting with an annual plan.

  • InMotion Hosting

    One more top rated Hosting service. May seem costly, but no hidden charges here.

  • SiteGround

    Best hosting for professional Blogs and Websites with heavy traffic.

  • Godaddy – Very Competitive Pricing, Managed WordPress Hosting. (BlogsNClicks was Hosted on Godaddy. We are moving to NameCheap)
  • Hostgator – Recommended, Also offer managed WordPress Hosting – one click install and migration.
  • BlueHost – Recommended, Also offer managed WordPress Hosting – one click install and migration.
  • DreamHost– Another Great Hosting service.

 

Do check out The Ultimate Guide To Web Hosting Plans  before deciding on a Hosting Service and plan. Make a wise decision.

Domain Name

Be careful and creative while selecting your Domain Name, as any loose ends on this part could cost you a lot in the longer run. For more on choosing a Domain Name, you can refer to my guidelines to use the Four R’s of Selecting the Right Domain Name.

Podcasting and Media Hosting

If you’re planning to get into Podcasting or Video Blogging, you will require a Media Host also other than the Hosting Service for your Blog. Do not host your rich media content on your self-hosted Blog/Website. The regular Shared Web Hosting plan you buy is not designed for delivering huge media files, use a separate media host.

Here’s a list of the Best Media Hosting Services for Podcasters and Video Bloggers


themes-best-blogs-websitesthemes-blog-websites

 

Themes For Graceful Presentation, Higher Pageviews, and SEO

Most Bloggers think of themes only as a part of Design and Presentation. There is more to themes than this. Your Blogs Theme should be Responsive, SEO Friendly, Scalable, Highly Customizable, and also light-weight to give you the best Page loading speeds.

My top recommendation would be Envato – ThemeForest. The advantage with Envato is they test each and every theme for compatibility, security and the promises made. You can find some of the best themes at a price not more than $59. Designing your Blog with Themeforest themes is just simple drag-n-drop and it is the best place to find a theme for almost any niche you can think about.

  • ThemeForest  – This is the best place to get a quality premium theme at the cheapest price. Themeforest has the widest range of themes available and offers quality support. You can buy some of the best themes for a max price $59. If you’re looking for a premium Theme, I would always recommend you first visit ThemeForest.
  • DIY Themes – Thesis Framework– try this only if you want a custom-designed theme and have the technical skills.  One of The Best Theme Platforms, wherein you can customize every aspect of the look and feel of your site.

Some Ready to use themes, if you don’t want to get into the customization and DIY technical stuff.

Further Reading – 9 Simple Steps To Create Your Blog

Plugins and Addons

Plugins form an integral part of your Blog/ Website by adding additional functionalities enabling you to offer a higher experience to your Audience and easing your Administrative jobs. Plugins can be compared to Apps you install on your smartphone – some to enhance the experience while some to make things easy.

Here’s a list of some Plugins that will make things easy and automated. Most of the plugins are free and can be found in the WordPress Repository. You just have to click on the “Plugins” section on the WordPress Dashboard and select “Add New”.  Here’s a list of some of the basic plugins you would be needing to operate the Blog.

I if you’re looking for more premium plugins and want to give you Blog a custom designed look, just head on to Code Canyon. The guys at Code Canyon  are the best at making premium plugins and you can find a plugin to do almost anything you plan to offer or do with your Blog.


adsense-high-cpcMoney Making and Monetization

For Starters, though there are lots of ways to make money with the Blog, here’s a small resource list of Advertising Programs, Affiliate Networks and other resources to help you get started.

I Believe in Quality Adverts or No Adverts

Caution – You may not find some of the Networks like RevenueHitz or Chitika listed here, but trust me the networks are not worth being in the list. At-least not worth for my readers.skimlinks-make-money-affiliate

  1. Money Making Starter Kit For Bloggers

  2. Top 10 CPM Advertising Networks

  3. Introduction To Affiliate Marketing

  4. How To Make Money With Google Adsense

  5. Top 5 Alternatives to Google Adsense

  6. Automating Affiliate Marketing Using Skimlinks

  7. How to Make Money Podcasting

leads-digital-marketing

Lead Generation and Email Marketing

There are lot many mailing subscription providers, but I’m just listing the top three. Join anyone for sending daily/weekly newsletters to your subscribers without landing in the spam folder.

  • GetResponse

    The best part about GetRespnse is its easy and intuitive email creator. It helps you build beautiful emails without using a drop of code. It offers 500+ professionally designed email templates which you can use to start sending emails immediately. Also, you get FREE access to over 1,000 images from iStock to add some flair to your emails. The Learning Center with hundreds of videos and tens of downloadable guides helps you get started in no time.

  • Aweber

    One of teh Best Mailing solution for your Newsletters with over 600 customizable, mobile responsive drag-and-drop email templates for broadcasts and follow ups, your messages will look great wherever recipients open them. The Support from these guys is just awesome and 99.99% you won’t even need them. The overall ease of use, options and knowledge base, make them the preferred and best Mailing Solution for any Email Marketer.

    Go Ahead and Register Now  with Aweber – Joining is Free and I bet you won’t be looking at any other provider anytime again.

  • MailChimp

    MailChimp helps you email the right people at the right time. You can use MailChimp for free till you have 2000 subscribers or a max of 12000 emails per month, which is good for starters. MailChimp also seamlessly integrates with your WordPress Blog and with list building Plugins like SumoMe. You  can send automated emails based on customer behavior and preferences. Also get started with pre-built Workflows or use built-in segmentation and targeting options to build custom rules. And get in-depth reporting on how each of your automated series is performing.

  • OptinMonster

    OptinMonster track user’s mouse behavior as they browse through your website. This allows us to detect the precise moment the user is about to leave the page, so we can show them a targeted campaign. Using the OptinMonster exit-intent, you gain an extra opportunity to retain that user and turn them into a subscriber and potential customer.

  • Bloom – By Elegant Themes

    If there’s anyother Lead Generaion plugin that can be compared with OptinMonster – it would be Bloom. With more than 100 templates, shortcodes and customizations, Blom is my preferred Optin plugin.


create-best-images-blogging

Creativity Tools

  • Snagit – Helps you capture great looking images and videos with just a few clicks. Easily customize your screen captures with effects, or show off what’s important with Snagit’s markup tools. You can also create quick videos by recording your screen.
  • Camtasia – From quick video demos to extensive video projects, Camtasia has all the editing tools to create the great video content you need to get the job done. Quickly record your webcam or screen, engage your viewers with a variety of effects, and easily share your videos to anyone, anywhere.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud – Creative Cloud includes all-new versions of your favorite desktop apps — including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro — with hundreds of new features and performance improvements. You don’t have to worry about upgrades or face having outdated versions. Very useful and worth the cost. Priced at 29.99$ per month
  • GIMP – Free Tool from the GNU community and a great alternative to Adobe Photoshop. Great tool for Image optimization.

Additional Tools

Here’s a list of associated tools to use, making you a real professional and your content recorded at your home office sounding like straight from the Studio.

  • The Professionals Camera

    Have a sneak peek into the Professionals Camera bag. Your Shots will define the views and clicks.

Moving Forward – More Professional Resources

Other Resources and Accessories

Anything that comes Free is never actually Free. If you wish to get professional and acheive set targets, then be ready to spend. Professional resources do cost. These are some worth the money tutorial and Books that can help make your Blogging Journey effortless and targeted from the first day.

Tutorials

  • Handheld Blogging 101 – Set up a self-hosted WordPress blog with NO previous experience and have someone holding your hand through the process.

Books To Read

  • The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret – Norton Richie points out that most colossal, life-changing ideas are initially labeled as stupid or impossible. In that spirit, he asks if the key to success, creativity, and fulfillment in your life lies in the potential of these seemingly outlandish ideas.
  • The $100 Start-Up : Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau – Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth – he’s already visited more than 175 nations – and yet he’s never held a “real job” or earned a regular paycheck.  Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back. This book is filled with stories of successful entrepreneurs that are providing quite well for themselves thanks to starting an incredibly lean business.

  • Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us  – by Seth Godin  The heart behind this books challenges you to find a tribe and lead it. This is why you should build a business around serving a community rather than just finding customers.
  • Give and Take – by Adam Grant:  Combining cutting-edge evidence with captivating stories, Grant shows how one of America’s best networker’s developed his connections, why the creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts transformed his franchise into a winner, and how we could have anticipated Enron’s demise four years before the company collapsed–without ever looking at a single number.

Some Closing Words

This is just a short list to get you started and isn’t meant to be exhaustive. Do recommend more tools and resources that you feel should be included in the list.  If you enjoyed post this kindly give us a Like and spread it to your friends by sharing on Facebook, Twitter etc. It may be  helpful to them.

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