When I started my first blog in 2007, I had no idea how much it would impact my life. I didn’t know that it would turn into a full-time business that would last for at least the next decade, and that it would change the financial situation of my family.
Blogging is a dream job for a lot of us, but it’s still hard work. Fortunately, there are resources that make it easier and more profitable.
Over the years there have been a number of tools and resources that have made my life easier and helped me to grow my blogs faster. On this page I want to highlight 15 different blogging resources that can help you to grow your own blog, and make money from it.
If you’re interested in starting your own money-making blog, be sure to check out my course Hobby to Pro, which teaches how to build a profitable blog based on your own hobbies.
Bluehost Web Hosting
When you’re starting a blog, choosing the right web host is an important step. There are thousands of hosts out there, but if you choose the wrong one you can wind up dealing with frustrations like frequent downtime, poor customer service, and limited customer service hours or options.
I’ve been running blogs and websites for more than a decade and I’ve tried countless different hosts over the years. For more than 5 years I’ve been a customer of Bluehost (I host several websites with Bluehost, but Vital Dollar uses another host). I highly recommend them to new bloggers and website owners for several reasons, including:
- Their prices are very competitive and keeping costs to a minimum is important for most new bloggers.
- Their customer service is excellent, and you can reach them 24/7.
- If you go with their WordPress hosting, they will automatically install WordPress for you.
WordPress is an extremely popular content management system, and it’s free to use. Pretty much every web host makes it very easy to install WordPress on your site in just a few clicks.
In fact, I have a tutorial that shows the step-by-step process of signing up for hosting with Bluehost and installing WordPress. The entire process takes less than 10 minutes, and you can read it here: How to Start a Blog.
If you’re starting a blog I highly recommend using WordPress. There are thousands of themes (templates) that you can choose from, and thousands of plugins that allow you to do just about anything you can imagine. The huge community of WordPress users is a great asset because you can find plenty of help in the form of blog posts, Facebook groups, or developers who specialize in WordPress.
Elegant Themes creates some of the best WordPress themes you’ll find, and they’re priced very reasonably. A few years ago I purchased a lifetime membership to Elegant Themes, and since then I’ve used their themes on most of my websites and blogs. Extra is my favorite theme for blogs (it’s the theme I’m using here at VitalDollar.com), and Divi is great for other types of websites. These two these are extremely versatile and you can create customized designs without the need to touch the coding, and with no knowledge of HTML.
If you’re looking for a great theme for your blog I highly recommend Extra from Elegant Themes. My suggestion is to get the one year membership first to see if you like it, and then you may want to upgrade to the lifetime membership after the first year. And you can use their themes on an unlimited number of websites with either type of membership. You can read my review of Elegant Themes here.
Aside from Elegant Themes, the only other WordPress themes I use these days are from Thrive Themes. You can either buy a theme individually, or you can get a membership that gives you access to all of their themes and plugins. The plugins from Thrive Themes are awesome! Thrive Architect allows you to design pages and blog posts with a drag and drop builder, no need to touch the code. Thrive Leads is great for creating optin forms to quickly grow your email list. Thrive Quiz Builder is another cool plugin that I want to start using more often.
I have a membership to Thrive Themes and I definitely recommend their themes and plugins.
I mentioned Thrive Leads as being a great plugin for building an email list. OptinMonster is another similar plugin, and I’ve been using OptinMonster since it was launched several years ago. Over the years they’ve added a lot of new functionality and features. I find OptinMonster to be very easy to use in terms of creating your optin forms and setting up how and when they should be displayed on your site.
If you have a Thrive Themes membership I would recommend just using Thrive Leads. But if you’re not a Thrive Themes member, I think OptinMonster is well worth the price.
Get FREE access to my course Blog Launch Breakthrough, which includes 14 video lessons that help you to start your blog on a solid foundation. The course will help you to choose the right niche, pick a blog name, get your blog set up, create a unique blog that will stand out, and much more.