Here I will list the tools for bloggers that I have found to be actually useful and not just affiliate fluff.
Let’s be real for a minute, the fact is, the blogging (and affiliate marketing world) are full of gurus selling you every tool under the sun while promising you $20k a month if you just use THIS tool.
You wanna know something?
I can’t stand it. It’s the dark side of this business.
Because of this, I decided to create a page where I will ONLY recommend tools that I have personally paid for, used, and find to be a valuable asset to your blogging journey.
No tossing products your way to snag a quick sale.
With that said, here are some tools I use today that I have found to be great assets to blogging. Whether it be to increase productivity, streamline processes, or just shouting out my favorite theme or hosting provider, I’ll do it with honesty.
While I don’t know that it’s necessary to say that, just search “make money blogging” on YouTube and you will see the thousands of “gurus” hawking every tool imaginable and promising you $50k each night when you sleep.
The “gurus” are the ones getting $50k in their sleep because they convinced thousands of subscribers that the tool will launch their growth or shorten the Google sandbox effect.
So, snake oil salesman pitch aside, here are the tools I use and recommend for NEW bloggers.
I reccomend Dreamhost. They are very affordable, have solid support, and for $3/month you get unlimited sites, one free domain and free SSL certificate, oh and email accounts for each site!
Check out Dreamhost to get started!
Like many, when I first started blogging I didn’t know where to start so I googled “WordPress website” and found myself signing up with the first result of WordPress.COM.
If you are even considering them, don’t. It’s so flipping expensive. For example, if you want your site to be able to have plugins and ads, you will need the WordPress.COM “business plan” and that runs a whopping $300 a year and that’s $300 per year for EACH WEBSITE.
So, as you can imagine, after my first year I ran as fast as possible to a new host.
Shopping for a new hosting provider is exhausting, everyone’s reviews are just affiliate funnels and you don’t really know what’s good and what’s not.
After lots of guessing and wondering, I just went with Dreamhost. So far, it’s good, no complaints, and will update if it goes bad.
Looking for a lightweight, free and FAST theme for your new blog and you don’t know where to start? I get it, I was there myself and made the huge mistake of going too big and too fancy with my first blog.
Here are the 3 Themes I have used and recommend;
I have a love/hate relationship with Acabado but the fact remains, it’s probably the best theme for new bloggers because it’s very fast and easy to work with (no coding at all).
This site right here is on Acabado! I also have a few other sites on Acabado so I don’t hate it that much.
The folks over at Income School had this theme designed with speed and ease built into it, but not the ‘bloat” type of stuff that slows your site.
Astra is another fast theme with a large user-base which means you have real support should you need it and you still have access to tons of tutorials and help on Google and YouTube.
Astra is very different from Acabado though in that you can add all sorts of “bloat” if you wanted or you can keep it super fast and clean.
I don’t use many plugins, but when I do, I make sure they are useful, helpful, and don’t impact site performance.
So, ad networks are everyone’s favorite topic. After all, we are here to make money and ad revenue brings in the dollars at the end of the month.
There are so many unknowns before you get started with an ad network injecting code all over your site.
Will this Ad network slow down my site?
Will my website be approved?
What will the EPMV or RPM be?
I get it, and those are valid questions. Like you may have, I started with Google Adsense. Now, there is nothing wrong with Google Adsense, but, by far the biggest complaint is the low earnings.
Once my site started seeing a few thousand visitors a month, I was accepted to Ezoic (this was back when there was a minimum traffic requirement).
Fortunately, that minimum traffic requirement has been removed and now ANY site can run Ezoic ads, so honestly, Ezoic is a no-brainer these days.
Ezoic may slow down your site, BUT, they have free access to their LEAP technology and it dramatically speeds up your site and also lets you remove the other plugins you may have to speed your site now.
My EPMV hovers around $35. If you aren’t sure what EPMV is, it’s an abbreviation for “Earnings Per M Visitors”. The “M” in question is the Roman Numeral of the number 1,000.
So, for an easy example, if your site sees 10,000 pageviews/visitors, and you have a $35 EMPV, you can expect to earn an estimated $350 in ad revenue.
Between the good EPMV’s, no traffic requirements, and the LEAP site speed access, Ezoic is truly a no-brainer today.