post

Ten Blog Tools I Use And You Should Too!

The right blog tools are critical and if you really want to know how successful bloggers make money, you need to do what they do, not as they say. That can be tricky, it requires more effort, but in the long run, building a profitable blog is easier than ever.

Bloggers are often influenced by the opportunity to earn a commission and often represent products they don’t use or sell. While they see no harm, this type of activity can be severely limiting to their readers.

That’s why I’m focused on only representing products and services that I’m using. That doesn’t mean that I won’t feature something I don’t use, but I will tell you if that’s the case.

Before I go too far, you should know that I focus on using products and services that I can represent and also make money from. That doesn’t mean I make money from all products and services I use, but I prefer to find them with Affiliate Marketing Programs.

That said, a product or service has to perform well for me to use it and even better for me to endorse it. I want products and services I rely on.

Everything changes through time, so I leave open the option to use different products and services in the future.  A great example was moving from the Joomla CMS platform to WordPress. This was huge, but I had to make the move because of such a drastic difference. I don’t see a major change like that again, but you never know what may come your way.

As it stands now, I’m giving you a list of products and services that I’m currently using and would purchase again without hesitation. That doesn’t mean there is something better out there, but I do know, from experience, that poor quality is everywhere.

These products and services will perform well for you, no matter what level of experience you have.

  • GoDaddy is my choice for Domain Registration. They have performed flawlessly for me. This is not the place for entering in false information in your registered agents section. GoDaddy is a stickler on this. GoDaddy will attempt to offer you every product under the sun, but my experience has proven that they are best at DNS but the other services appear to be overtaxed. Only use them for hosting your domain, not your email or website.
  • Rochen Performance Hosting became my choice for web hosting when I discovered Joomla.org hosted with them. Even though I have gone 100% to WordPress, I’m still hosting with Rochen. The performance is incredible. I can’t say that I’ve known a better host.  I will be testing out a few new ones, but I won’t be changing this site or several others from Rochen. They are just too good.
  • Genesis WordPress Themes by Studio Press has an incredible selection of templates, but more importantly, the back end runs extremely smooth. This product is delivered by some of the best and most reliable bloggers and is the theme of choice for the founder of WordPress. It’s very obvious why.  The learning curve is incredibly easy. This is the theme package to use!
  • AWeber – The money is in the list when it comes to marketing products and services online. AWeber is by far the most popular service and gives great results. You can get free services, but they won’t get your mail delivered like AWeber can. I use them for my lists.
  • Scribe SEO Provides a unqiue service that any newbie blogger needs. This program plugs into your WordPress Interface and will help you become a better blogger, better writer and better marketer. My articles are better defined with improved readability. The SEO value goes through the roof. You get the best of everything when you analyze your articles with Scribe SEO.  There might even be a special offer through Studio Press when you sign up for their theme package!
  • Max Blog Press Subscribers Magnet Is a versatile sign up tool that you can use to encourage people to join your list. This tool is able to be inserted in multiple locations on your blog, giving you the most potential to secure new subscribers. I haven’t worked with it for very long, but I have to say I’m overwhelmed with the capabilities. What sold me most was the ability for the form to auto-fill the visitors name and email address. They only need click subscribe and they’re done! How easy is that?
  • ShareaSale – is an affiliate management company that works both with merchants and publishers. They know the affiliate marketing business and they will help you make the right connection to build and market your business.  Merchants get to work with the best bloggers out there; publishers find incredible deals and get support from their affiliate manager.
  • Akismet – Comment spam catcher comes installed in WordPress, but you still need to activate it. Don’t let this set dormant. Get your key. It will save you quite a bit of time. You can click on the activate link in your WordPress Installation.
  • iStockphoto offers incredible images that can be purchased according to your needs. Unless you’re doing all your photography, you’re going to need a source to get images for your blog. iStockPhoto offers professional quality photos at a reasonable price.  I switched from a cheaper service and the difference is substantial.
  • 31 Days to Building a Better Blog is a challenge created by ProBloggers Darren Rowse. I’m currently taking the challenge and fell of the bandwagon, but this post is part of getting back on! The good news is that you can go at whatever pace that works for you. Everything will only help your blog and does not depend on a specific time frame to get the job done. This program is very low cost, but is jam packed with incredible value. Any blogger will benefit no matter what your experience!