Today I am going to share information about the blogging tools that I use in my online businesses on a daily basis. All of these online business tools help me directly and indirectly, in maintaining, improving, securing and growing my blogs and businesses.
If you are an individual who wants to start a blog or want to make money from blogging, I am sure all of these tools will be essential for your online business.
So I suggest you have a closer look at all of these blogging tools and services and incorporate those which interest you in your own online business.
It may sound strange to you that I have included laptops in my blogging tools list, but the fact is that without my laptops/pcs I would have never started a blog.
Some people like to blog from their smartphones and tablets, but I am not one of them. The laptops currently I am using for blogging and other online businesses are MacBook Air and Dell Inspiron.
I brought the MacBook Air 2 years back and I am loving it. It has a great battery backup and one charge lasts for about 12 hours with decent usage. It is smooth and has great UI. I don’t think that I need to tell you how good MacBooks are, because you may already know that.
Here’s the MacBook I purchased.
Web Hosting Services
This is the most important aspect of any blogging business. And I am crazy about choosing the perfect web hosting solutions for my blogs. I have changed many web hosts in the past, and presently I have more than 3-4 web hosting subscriptions.
I personally manage many niche blogs and have both shared hosting plans and managed WordPress hosting plans. For the shared web hosting plans, I prefer SiteGround. They are affordable and fast. Their customer support is top class. Also, they have a lot of features that I love, like the free SSL certificates for unlimited domains for life, free daily backups, easy app installations and data centers around the globe.
Of course, these are slightly costlier than the shared hosting plans I use, but when I am trying to make a living from blogging and online business, these minor costs shouldn’t bother me.
I use Grammarly to make my writing clear, mistake-free and impactful. As I am not a native English speaker, this piece of software is of great help for my writing. Grammarly automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in my writing. Best of all, it is easy to use.
Content Management Systems
No surprises here. I use WordPress to run my blogs and websites. According to an estimate WordPress powers 31.9% of the Internet including my blogs and websites. It is free and easy to manage. I personally don’t have extensive knowledge of coding and WordPress is the best choice for me and my blogs.
Another area where I keep trying and testing regularly is WordPress themes. I kind of get overwhelmed when choosing the perfect WordPress theme for my blogs because of the sheer number of beautiful and efficient WordPress themes available online.
However, on most of my WordPress blogs, I use the following themes.
- Astra Theme By BrainStormForce
- Schema by MTS
- Genesis Themes by Studiopress
Astra is one of the most popular WordPress themes in the world right now. I have recently switched my theme to Astra and have been loving it since. It is fast, it is simple and it is beautiful.
Astra is available as a free theme with a PRO upgrade for extra features. I am using the PRO version and it is full of features and customization options. Without being a coder myself I can tweak and tune even the smallest elements on my blog with the help of back end options given in the Astra theme.
You need to seriously have a look at this theme if you want a fast and beautiful blog that also looks very professional.
I just love this WordPress theme. It is fast and is loaded with features. Customizing my blog using the Schema theme is a piece of cake. I have written a complete Schema theme review post here if you are interested.
I purchased the Schema theme during a sale on MTS which gave me unlimited site license for $19. However, the current price of Schema theme on MyThemeShop is $35.00 for 1 site license, $59.00 for 3 sites license and $77.00 for an unlimited license.
BTW the license is for one year of updates and lifetime usage. I renew it every year to keep getting new updates. If you don’t want future updates, don’t renew your license. Your theme will be still working but may be less secure.
The thing I love about GeneratePress is its speed, support, and the clean look. GeneratePress is slightly cheaper than Schema and comes with an unlimited site license and 1 year of updates. GeneratePress is a freemium theme. I personally have the GeneratePress premium license.
You can start using GeneratePress for free but with limited modules, customization options and support. If you want premium features, get the premium version of GeneratePress which costs $49.95 for an unlimited site license and 1 year of updates.
Genesis Themes By Studiopress
A few years earlier ‘Genesis themes by Studiopress’ used to be my first choice for blogs and wp websites. Presently, in 2019, it sits at the third spot in my best WordPress themes list. However, according to many surveys, Genesis is still the number one WordPress theme in the world.
These themes involve a basic framework called Genesis framework and a set of child themes. All you need to do is install the genesis framework first and then choose your desired child theme. The things I like about Genesis themes are its speed and attractiveness. The thing I don’t like about Genesis is its pricing.
This is the costliest theme among the three WordPress themes discussed on this page. And also, I find customizing my blog with Genesis theme is slightly cumbersome than with Schema or GeneratePress themes. The price of Genesis child themes varies from theme to theme.
JetPack for Back Ups and Unlimited Video Hosting
Most people don’t know that JetPack offers premium services such as automated backups and unlimited video hosting for very low monthly prices. I am not talking about the free Jetpack plan, but the paid ones.
I personally use JetPack premium plan for my blogs. It costs me approximately $9 per month which includes daily malware scanning, daily backups, spam protection, unlimited video hosting, site monetization options, SEO tools and more.
The Jetpack backup and restore feature can also be used to migrate a WordPress blog from one web hosting to another.
Having Jetpack installed on my blog gives me peace of mind and protection against hacking threats and sudden website crashes.
Oh, and I love the unlimited video hosting feature too.
Building an email list should be the first priority of every blogger, including myself. Although I am at the early stages of building my own email list from this website I have the prior experience of handling various autoresponder software and services for my clients.
I personally prefer to use ConvertKit for my email marketing needs. It is an awesome email autoresponder service and the best one for the bloggers.
I simply love it. It is very easy to use and incredibly powerful. The deliverability and open rates are also much higher than its competitors.
I have used autoresponders like Aweber and GetResponse in the past and I must say ConvertKit is definitely a step ahead from the others. Right now it costs $29/month for a subscriber list of 1000 or less, which is perfect for beginner bloggers.
For those who want to start email marketing for free, MailerLite can be a great option. I use MailerLite on some of my websites and blogs.
It is free to get started. You can use it for free till your subscriber list grows to a thousand. But the number of emails you can send per month is limited.
Also, the free plan has limited features and no Live Chat or premium support. If you want all of these features you can get started for $10 per month, which is very cheap.
I personally prefer ConvertKit over MailerLite because of its innovative interface, top-notch reporting, and the best deliverability. However, MailerLite may be perfect for people who have no extra money to spend on autoresponders when they are just starting out.
Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research is an important aspect of online business building process especially when the business revolves around your blog or other content publishing platforms. I personally use Ahrefs tool for doing keyword research and competitor analysis.
Ahrefs is a very popular keyword research tool among bloggers, internet marketers and small and big SEO agencies alike.
I will write a detailed article about how to do keyword research with Ahrefs, on this blog pretty soon. But Ahrefs is a costly tool. Although it is top-notch, it may not be affordable for beginners because of its high price.
[If you want to get a detailed keyword research and competitor analysis report without paying high fees for the premium keyword tools contact me for more information. We can provide you with detailed keyword reports for a tiny price.]
This is a free keyword research tool which I rarely use nowadays. Earlier this was my go-to tool for finding relevant keywords in a niche.
But after I started using Ahrefs, Ubersuggest got sidelined. Ubersuggest is a decent tool for generating keyword ideas for beginners.
But as far as I know, the numbers/stats that we get from Ubersuggest are way out of mark when compared with Ahrefs. Even the keyword difficulty score wasn’t very satisfactory.
The Blue Yeti microphone is the USB microphone I use for voiceovers and video creation. It has great audio recording features with four voice-recording modes. I can create professional-quality voice overs with Blue Yeti microphone without having to invest a ton of money on set up or other costly equipment. It is a ‘plug and play’ device. I have been using this for 4 years without any problems on my PC, and now on Mac.
These are some of the important blogging tools I use right now. There are many more, but these are the ones which I use daily. I will be updating this list regularly.