Here is my ever-growing list of resources and products, plus my favorite things I use to create and maintain my blog. I would not recommend these if I hadn’t researched and tested each one of them myself.
Tips and Tricks.
These are some of the resources I have learned from other successful bloggers and shop owners that I trust. Full disclosure: some of the following links are affiliate or referral links and if you make a purchase through them, I may get a small commission at no extra cost for you.
What WordPress Theme I use.
Bluchic, – My theme is the Isabelle Theme by Bluchic and I absolutely love my website. Not only is it visually stunning, it’s so easy to use and you don’t have to be a pro web designer. They have great documentation if you should need it and their customer service is outstanding. I am so happy I found them and have purchased many of their products, because they are that good! I’m a happy girl! I highly recommend them.
What I use for editing my post.
Grammarly – I use Grammarly to proofread all of my writing. There are some many grammar rules that it is easy to get perplexed and wonder if you are making any sense. This is an add-on extension (I use Firefox). It is super easy to use and does more than just spell check, it helps with sentence structure and flows, grammatical errors and word suggestions.
Did I mention it’s free 🙂 but, if you are more serious about your writing skills, then you have the option to upgrade to their premium plan? I highly recommend it, you’ll be amazed at all it can do for you.
Who I use for domain names and hosting.
WordPress – I recommend starting with a self-hosted site using WordPress because it will give you the most control over your blog. The first thing you’ll need to do to set up your self-hosted blog on WordPress.org is select your domain name and hosting package.
Name Cheap – Your website needs its own URL also known as a “domain name”. If yours isn’t included in the hosting package, you will need to purchase one separately. Name Cheap has some really great deals, starting from under $10 a year for most domains.
Everyday Web Design – My husband owns this website which I now use to host my website. My husband is happy and it’s kind of free for me, which is a plus!
Where I sell my products.
Etsy – This is a great place to sell your handmade, vintage or craft items on. It only takes $0.20 and your imagination to set up an online store. I have plenty of experience with Etsy shop ownership. For more information on how I opened my Etsy shops read my post here.
Zazzle – I just recently discovered Zazzle. This is a marketplace of custom products created by designers selling their art and makers showcasing their customizable products. This is a free venue for you creatives to get your creations in front of people who are ready to buy. Choose what you want to sell, upload your art, pick your price and start selling today!
What WordPress plugins I use.
BackUpWordPress – My external hard drive does a backup of my website every night. But, you never know! I would rather be safe than sorry. You need to have a backup plan, pun intended 😉
Backup Breeze – This is also a great option to the “better safe than sorry” approach to backing up your website. You can easily backup, move or restore any WordPress site. You can do either a database backup, only file backup or complete WordPress backup.
WP Smush – This is awesome. I was worried that if I compressed my pretty images they would lose their quality but that is not the case here! This plugin allows your website to load faster by automatically compressing all your images.
Yoast SEO – This is an easy to use SEO plugin that tells you exactly what Google is looking for, like keywords and readability of your posts. I love it! It is an absolute must-have!
Disqus – This is a favorite comment plug-in that makes it easy for bloggers to bring their content to life and efficiently moderate comments while building engaged communities.
Askismet – Checks your comments and contact form submissions against their global database of spam to protect you and your site from malicious content.
Ultimate Nofollow – This plugin contains several tools in one package to significantly increase your control of the “nofollow” tag on every link on your blog. It is designed to give you control of linking for SEO purposes. It also helps you to avoid getting penalized by Google when using affiliate or sponsored links.
Who I use for social media management.
Tailwind – I need help when it comes to social media and this really is the smartest way to schedule on Pinterest & Instagram! Save time, maximize your reach, measure your success, be more informed and efficient. Get ready to schedule like a pro.
Who I recommend for affiliate marketing.
ShareASale – This is one of the awesome affiliate networks I use to monetize my blog. They have a lot of merchants to choose from, no matter what your niche is you’ll find a great fit!
Awin – I joined this affiliate network because they had Etsy but I have come to find that they have a huge selection of products and stores you can promote. They also have a WordPress plugin that transforms all relevant links into affiliate links.
This is a list of some of my favorite blogs!
Elena Peters Midlife Blogger
The She Approach
Radical Transformation Project
Fiona Likes to Blog
Just a Girl and Her Blog
Michelle Hickey Design
Traffic Generation Cafe
Okay Now Breathe
This blog uses affiliate links, which are paid sponsorship’s and advertising to help fund the cost of my keeping my website up and running. I only promote companies, products or services that I would recommend.
When you click on an affiliate link on my website, I will earn a small commission at absolutely no cost to you.
I so very much appreciate the support!