My Favorite Blogging Tools for 2018
As an Affiliate Marketer and an Online Blogger, I am always on the look-out for the best blogging tools. These are often organizational tools as well as general hardware that makes my life easier when I’m working.
I find that utilizing tools within my business only makes it stronger and more efficient. There are a certain few that are absolutely necessary (like a hosting platform for instance) and others that are just nice to have (organizational software).
I’ve included a few of my favorite blogging tools in this article, however there are many more available. These are just a few of the ones that I use on a daily basis.
Storage – External Hard Drive
An external hard drive is a lifesaver in my business. Obviously the need to back up your website is extremely important especially because months of work can be lost if you fail to do so.
But the use of an external hard drive is more than just backing up your data. It’s useful for storing content ideas, photos, graphics, videos, and more. Basically everything that you accumulate in order to put your website or blog posts together.
I use 2 main computers… a powerful (heavy) gaming laptop and a smaller (lightweight) travel laptop. Having an external hard drive allows me to store all my content images and videos and easily use them between laptops.
The reason I like an external hard drive over a “cloud” backup system is because I am in control of the hard drive. I’ve always been skeptical of the “cloud.” Also, I can use the hard drive even when I don’t have an internet connection.
The storage device I like to use is the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim Portable. It has 2TB of storage space for under $100. It is also very sleek and lightweight. It can even fit in your pocket.
Website Hosting – Wealthy Affiliate Platform
Having a good hosting platform is equivalent to having a good foundation for your house. The house NEEDS to have a foundation and it needs to be structured properly.
My favorite hosting platform by far is found at Wealthy Affiliate. I started using it in 2013 and I absolutely LOVE IT! The owners of Wealthy Affiliate are constantly improving the hosting platform, making it more powerful, secure and user-friendly.
One of the most recent improvements to the hosting platform was the introduction of SiteSpeed. This feature monitors your websites and makes sure they are always running optimally. With faster page loading times, websites have a better chance of being ranked high in the search engines.
Compare the features offered at Wealthy Affiliate with these other hosting platforms
The WA hosting platform includes FREE SSL certificates (the green lock), Unlimited email accounts, Site Builder, and up to 50 websites for only $49/month. You CAN’T get that anywhere else!!
Website Builder – WordPress & SiteRubix
The next blogging tool that is essential to my business is a Website Builder. I personally use the WordPress website builder that is integrated into the Wealthy Affiliate Platform (called SiteRubix). This just makes life easier and keeps everything in one place for me.
The WordPress builder is easy to use and easy to update. They have hundreds of stunning themes to choose from to make your website beautiful. As well as thousands of plug-ins to help you make your site work for you and your needs.
While you can use WordPress outside of the Wealthy Affiliate Platform, I personally like to access and edit my websites from WA. I consider it my “back office” and it really is an All-In-One Platform. Keeping everything in one spot helps me stay organized and focused.
Microphone – For Creating Videos
I’ve recently gotten into creating videos along with my blog posts. YouTube is basically a search engine all to itself and utilizing its reach has helped me generate tons of traffic and conversions.
You can check out my YouTube Channel here
In order to create these videos, I need a few basic things, including a microphone. Now, my laptop has a built-in microphone, but its not the best at picking up quality sound. I used it for a while, but I highly recommend investing in an external microphone. You will sound more professional and most of them aren’t that expensive.
I am very fond of The Yeti Snowball by Blue Microphones. The setup is super easy…. just plug in the USB and you’re good to go. There are no drivers or software to install.
It comes with an adjustable tripod stand and is perfect for voice-overs, podcasts, or commentaries.
Another great video tool that I use is Screencast-o-matic. I use this to record video of my computer screen. Most of my videos are tutorial style so this works perfectly as I can show viewers step by step what I am doing.
There is a free version which allows you to record the screen or webcam along with a few other features. And there is also the Deluxe version which gives you a lot more (including editing tools) and only costs $1.50/month. And for $4/month you can get the Premium version.
I use the Deluxe version and it is perfect for what I need.
Autoresponder – Get Response
The key to growing your business is to build a list. You’ve probably heard that before and its true. Check out my recent article about why you need an email list if you want to have a growing sustainable business online.
If you plan on building an email list, you WILL NEED an Autoresponder to handle it. An Autoresponder is basically a set of email messages that you set up beforehand and are sent out to your email list at designated times.
The Autoresponder that I use is called GetResponse. It features landing pages, opt-in forms, templates, webinars and more. GetResponse is incredibly easy to use and even has tutorials to help you navigate and get the most out of the tool.
There are several pricing points to choose from and they even discount if you pay for a full year or 2 years. I recommend investing in an autoresponder instead of going with the Free trial option. You get more features and you also have the ability to have a bigger list size.
Task Lists – Trello
Being organized and creating daily to-do lists is one thing that keeps me on track and focused on my goals. One great blogging tool that helps with this is called Trello.
Trello is a website where you can create different task lists and check them off as you go. You can even collaborate with other people by inviting them to your “board”.
I am constantly working off of lists and I find that I get a lot of satisfaction out of checking things off the list, so Trello is a great tool for me. It keeps me on track and lets me see everything I need to get done all in one space.
It’s free to join and since its web-based, you can log in from anywhere and add to your list or check out your tasks for the day.
Having the right tools to help you succeed is not only helpful, but a smart decision. I like to think of my tools as “helping hands” that support me as I build out my business.
Getting things done securely and efficiently are my number one goals. I am the sole owner of my business and I can use all the help I can get.