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Best Blogging Tools & Resources for Beginners
No matter if you want to build a successful fashion, beauty, affiliate (or any niche you wish) blog, these blogging tools for beginners are essential for every blogger!
Disclaimer: On this post, I suggest many free and some paid tools. Some of the links are affiliated products that means I will make a comission if you purchase anything after clicking these links at no extra cost to you. Actually, some of these products are discounted if you purchase them after clicking my links! Personally, I use these products and I had success using them, that’s why I recommend them to you!
Blog Hosting tools
Blogging for beginners can be easy if you use the smart tools:
Web hosting provider: SiteGroundIf you’re a beginner, you may wonder if you need to pay for web hosting.
Well, the answer is simple enough:
Do you want to make money eventually from your blog and treat it as a business? Then, you definitely need to purchase web hosting.
Do you want to blog just for fun or you don’t indent to generate income from your blog? Then, you don’t have to pay for web hosting.
Do you belong in the first category? If you plan to start a blog, you’re lucky enough to land on this post!
Choosing the best web hosting provider is the most critical point of starting a blog! Read this guide why SiteGround is the best choice and what providers you should absolutely avoid and why.
If you have problems with your current host and you’re thinking to change, I let you know that the sooner you change, the easier it will be!
I did the common mistake that many new bloggers do to pick a bad web hosting provider when I started my blog.
Fortunately, SiteGround’s team transferred my site to their server (without me needed to do anything).
My site loading speed (one of the most important ranking factors for search engines) went down to 3 seconds from 20 seconds!
Also Read: 7 On-Page SEO Tips to rank on first page! [Bonus: FREE PDF On-Page SEO checklist]
If you need a step-by-step guide to skyrocket your traffic and generate a real income from your blog, check out this post!
Site optimization (files size, speed) tool: SiteGround Optimizer
Assuming you’re using WordPress, SG Optimizer will be your blog’s best friend! This plugin is why SiteGround is so beginner-friendly.
Note that SiteGround is probably the only company to offer a plugin like this one.
Checking Site Speed: Pingdom Tools & GTMetrix
These two tools are totally free and fast to use. They will help you to make sure that your website is fast enough.
The most important number is the “Load Time”.
But why is it so important to have a fast loading website?
Well, the loading speed of a site is one of the most important factors to rank high on search engines.
What is a good loading speed?
This depends on the kind of your website and the elements (videos, images) of each page. On average, you should aim for loading speed time less than 3 seconds. That’s why a good web hosting provider is crucial for every blog!
Blog Writing Tools for Beginners
Grammarly Grammar Checker: This tool will help you proofread your posts, especially if you’re not a native English speaker (like me).
Grammarly offers two versions:
- The free version works great and is enough to catch the majority of your spelling and grammar mistakes.
- The Pro (paid) version. This version helps you to diversify more your vocabulary and correct complicated sentences. It’s recommended if you have a more formal type of writing that does not accept grammar mistakes
Hemingway Editor: This tool is very similar to Grammarly, but sometimes it can correct mistakes that Grammarly doesn’t and vice versa. The majority of bloggers/writers use only one of them. Anyway, I included it on my list in case you have the extra time to scan it via both tools.
Of course, these tools don’t replace the human eye, so they can’t correct everything in a post.
CopyScape Plagiarism Checker: As its name suggests, CopyScape lets you know if your posts are plagiarized.
With so many posts online, sometimes your posts (some parts of it) may be similar to another post on the web. This usually it’s not a problem if it doesn’t exist 10%-20%, but it’s not a good signal for search engines.
CopyScape is a paid tool (not sponsored). However, it’s cheap as it costs around 10-20 cents per post.
If you’re really sure you haven’t copy unintentionally no one else’s work, you can pass on this one.
I mostly use it to check guest post submissions. They often insist that their posts are unique, but they are usually a copied article.
Themes and Blog Design Tools
Elegant Themes: Divi & Extra Theme
One of the most common struggles between beginner bloggers is what theme is the most suitable for their blog and how to do the essential customizations.
Elegant themes can solve this problem and eliminate the need to hire a professional website designer that is really expensive.
I use the Extra theme on this blog and I totally love it!
Are Elegant Themes worth it?
What are the first two things every visitor notices when he/she visits your site for the first time?
- How it looks
- How good the user experience is
The first impression matters a lot as well as a good user experience. Divi and Extra themes are built to fulfill these conditions.
There are hundreds of free WordPress themes available on the platform, so you may wonder why you should spend money on a premium theme?
The truth is, almost all free themes seem nice at first glance but they lack some essential features that you need to pay to unlock. This way, if it’s to pay for a theme anyway, the best investment is Elegant Themes. When you purchase Elegant Themes, you gain access to:
- Hundreds of “Child” Themes (ready-to-use themes) depending on your niche e.g. child themes for wine blogs. Nail-art blogs, gardening blogs, and many more.
- Two extremely useful plugins, called Monarch and Bloom. Monarch offers beautiful Social Sharing Buttons & Social Following buttons, letting your readers share your posts and follow you on your Social Media with ease. Bloom lets you place customizable email sign up forms (InLine, PopUp, SideBar) throughout your blog to capture email subscribers. This is a kind of tool that you can’t find for free and most Bloggers end up paying for it.
- Beginner-friendly guides, 24/7 support
- The ability to customize your website as you wish, using eye-catching tools or changing the elements’ placement of your blog.
Elegant Themes Social Media share Buttons:
& Social Media Follow Buttons:
Outsourcing & Editing Images
As a Blogger, finding and editing images should be your most common habit.
If you’re new, you may not know that you can’t use any image you find online or through Google image search because they are copyrighted.
Fortunately, there are many sites that offer quality images for almost every niche. I have listed them analytically on this post 9 Best Stock Photo Sites for Blogs, but I will write them here as well for your convenience:
These sites offer a wide variety of free-to-use pictures but they offer some paid options as well. However, free photos are more than enough to cover your blog’s needs!
Best Tools to Edit Images for Blogs & Social Media
Canva is probably the most popular Image Editor tool for a reason. It’s beginner-friendly, fast & easy to use!
You can add captions on images, edit colors & add elements. Personally, I use Canva Pro to give my blog a unique style/theme and create all my featured images and Social Media images, especially for Pinterest and Instagram.
Canva has also two versions, one free and one paid (Canva Pro).
Their editing capabilities are the same, so the free version works great too.
Their difference e is that Canva Pro offers a wide variety of premium stock pictures and unique beautiful elements that can help your blog stand out. Its price is only $9/month and it’s totally worth it!
You should at least try the free trial of the premium version! If you don’t like it, you don’t have to pay for it!
Email Marketing Tools for Blogs
Email Marketing is a powerful and essential strategy for every blogger:
- It helps you convert casual readers to subscribers
- It builds a more personal and direct relationship with your readers
- It can instantly drive traffic after you publish a new blog post
- You can take advantage of it to promote a new product of yours or even affiliate products and earn money!
Actually, there are many websites and blogs that rely almost on their email list to generate income!
If you’re not sure what email marketing is, let me explain it with a few words. Do you remember that every single site you’ve visited asks for your email after a while through a Pop-Up form?
You’ve probably joined some email lists already. With a few steps:
- You set email capturing forms (throughout your blog posts) asking for your readers’ email, in exchange for some free content (e.g. a guide, a cheat sheet or something that’s valuable to them)
- After they subscribe, they receive a series of emails you’ve set beforehand. The goal is to build trust by teaching them, offering valuable information and eventually promoting some products (affiliate or yours)
- You can send them an email whenever you need to; for example when releasing a new blog post
You can read more analytically what the most effective “Lead Magnets’ are on this post:
But with so many different Email Marketing/Automation tools online, a Google search is enough to give you a headache.
To save you time and money, I suggest using MailerLite! Use my link to get $20 credit for extra feautures (as the service is free!)
It’s the best Email Marketing tool especially for beginners and it’s free up to 1,000 subscribers. The majority of other Email automation tools are not free and it usually takes at least one year (on average) to reach that amount. Why paying for months if your email list doesn’t convert already?
This way, MailerLite saves you so much money and by the time you reach 1,000 subscribers, you should be able to monetize your email list.
But I don’t recommend it only because it’s free! It’s also:
- Simple to use & beginner-friendly
- It doesn’t lack any features from paid email marketing tools. You can set up different email capturing forms, segment your subscribers, A/B testing, etc
- You can move to another service whenever you wish to without losing your subscribers!
6 Best WordPress Plugins for Beginner Bloggers
You can download these plugins by clicking Plugins -> Add New on your WordPress sidebar. Then, simply write the plugin’s name on the search bar.
A. Yoast SEO
It’s the most popular WordPress SEO plugin because it’s free and it indicates you what changes you should make on your post in order to raise its chances for ranking in Google.
B. Compress JPEG & PNG Images or Resmush.it
It doesn’t matter what Image compression tool you use, but you need to use one. If you compress (lower the size) of your blog’s images, it means that it will load much faster and that is a good signal for search engines!
C. Sucuri Security
As its name suggests, this tool protects your website from basics threats such as malware and informs you when someone else has tried to log in to your blog.
Remember that no tool can guarantee 100% protection from threats. However, Sucuri Security does a pretty good job for a free tool. It also offers a premium version that offers more protection, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner’s blog.
As I mentioned above, no tool can guarantee 100% protection, so you should better be covered for every scenario. UpdraftPlus is a backup tool that means it saves the current state of your website.
Whenever something bad happens, you can restore your site into a previous version (before the disaster happens).
If you’re on SiteGround you don’t need this plugin as it performs automatic backups. The frequency of them depends on your hosting plan though.
E. Pretty Links
If you manage an affiliate website or you have to deal with many affiliate links, PrettyLinks will be your best friend.
It helps you organize, name, and categorize your affiliate links and even give them a different name/link.
You don’t need it though if you don’t focus on affiliate marketing.
F. Cookie Notice (by dFactory)
I’m sure you’ve noticed that after a while you visit a website, a message pops up asking you if you agree with the cookie settings.
The reason that every single website asks for your permission is because it’s mandatory.
You can easily deal with this by installing the Cookie Notice plugin. Then, when a user visits your website, a message will appear asking for their permission.
You can customize this message if you wish, but the default one is safe to use.
If you want to read more about these plugins and how to set them up, please read this post: 7 Essential WordPress Plugins
SEO Blogging Tools for beginners
When it comes to SEO, only one thing we say for sure: there are no guaranteed results!
Google’s algorithm is top-secret and it’s constantly changing. This way, no tool can guarantee any results, but they can raise your chances of ranking on the first page of Google.
Also, the best SEO tools are very expensive for a beginner, so I will suggest some free and cheaper alternatives.
Moz SEO Toolbar Bar
This tool works only on Chrome. When you perform a Google search, some important metrics will show up regarding the authority of each page.
- The number of links: This number indicates how many links point to this page.
- PA (Page authority): This number is developed by Moz and tries to predict how well a specific page will rank on search engines.
- DA (Domain Authority): This is the most important number and the most helpful when performing keyword research. It indicates the capability of a website to rank on Google. If you see that the first page of Google is full of high DA sites (over 50), then the chance to rank for these particular keywords is minimal. If you perform a search and the 1st page of Google is full of low DA sites (5-15), then you should try to rank for this keyword.
Moz Keyword Explorer
This is like a trial of Moz’s keyword tools, but it works perfectly to research your first 10 keywords!
Google Keyword planner
Google‘s keywords research tool is free and it’s built for creating ad campaigns. However, you can access it to find out the volume (monthly searches) for some keywords you want to rank for and even find relevant ideas/keywords.
Make sure you set the language to English and the country to worldwide (you should remove your country if it’s per-selected)
This tool works only on Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. When you perform a Google search, this tool will show you the volume for your keywords as well as some other relevant keywords ideas and their volumes.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) is a method that search engines use in order to understand better what a post/topic is about.
With a few words, it’s a group of keywords relevant and similar to your target keyword. The point is, if you use them on your blog post, you raise your chances of ranking higher!
LSI Graph is a free tool that suggests you the best LSI keywords to use on your post. However, insert them naturally on your post, rather than forcing them.
How to perform Keyword Research using these tools:
The truth is, SEO is a huge chapter that even a book is not enough to cover it. However, I’ll try to show you a simple keyword research process using the above-mentioned tools.
Remember that Google doesn’t rank any website newer than 6-12 months. No matter how good your content is, your blog has to be more than 1 year old to see some good ranking positions.
I’ll try to explain it in a few steps:
- Use Google suggested keywords, Quora, Reddit, Answer the Public, Keywords Everywhere and relevant forums to find what your audience is looking for online
- Prepare a list of keywords and insert them in Google Keyword Planner to check their volume. You should aim at a minimum volume of 1,000 searches per month.
- After you’ve identified some good keywords, perform a Google search (while Moz Bar is installed). Check the DA of the websites appearing on the first page. You should aim for a DA lower than 15-20.
- Also, check if their posts are really relevant to the keyword. If they’re not relevant, you have a higher chance of ranking, assuming you’ll create a more relevant and helpful post.
Alternatively, you can use Moz Keyword Explorer (the free version). It works great, but the searches are limited to 10 per month.
The cheapest and most value-for-money Keyword research tool is Keysearch.
Social Media Tools for Beginner Bloggers
Social Media can be a huge boost in a blog’s traffic. However, you should use them as a secondary form of traffic under SEO.
In order to drive traffic from Social Media to your blog and grow your Social Channels, you need to be consistent. But being consistent in 3-4 different Social Media platforms daily is difficult, that’s why almost all bloggers use Social Media schedulers to save time while being consistent.
Fortunately, you can schedule a post on your Facebook page without using any extra tools. When you’re about to publish a post, you can click the “Schedule for Later” option.
If you don’t see this option, check for the “Publishing Tools” tab on your Facebook page.
Scheduling tweets throughout the day is a perfect way to send traffic to your blog and increase your followers.
TweetDeck: This is a free tool that you can use to schedule your tweets beforehand. The downside is that you have to schedule them one by one, consuming much time.
PostCron (get 1 free month here): Personally I use this tool (Twitter is my #1 traffic source) to schedule all my tweets. Why do I use a paid tool instead of a free one? Because Postcron offers the ability to upload spreadsheets with tweets, so it takes so much less time to schedule the tweets of a whole month. By using a spreadsheet, you can save time by quickly setting time and date for all tweets, and by copying some tweets to post them throughout the month on different date.
Pinterest might be not a Social Channel, but it’s the #1 source of traffic for many bloggers, especially new ones.
However, Pinterest takes a lot of time as you need to Pin many times a day and create new Pins daily.
That’s why almost all Bloggers who use Pinterest to drive traffic to their blogs use Tailwind for Pinterest.
Tailwind lets you schedule the Pins of a whole month in a matter of minutes. Also, it lets you use “Tailwind Tribes”, where other users from your niche publish your pins if you publish some of theirs too. You can try Tailwind for free now (up to 100 scheduled Pins)!
If you don’t feel comfortable to use Instagram on your phone, read this post to learn how you can post on Instagram from your Windows laptop, desktop, or Mac.
While Instagram has a strict polish towards schedulers, there is one tool that works well.
Tailwind for Instagram: It lets you stay consistent by scheduling your Instagram posts. Consistency is the key to grow your Instagram profile!
Also, it indicates you the best hashtags to use for each one of your posts, increasing your chances for new users to discover your content and follow you! Try it for free now!
All-hashtag.com: This free tool indicates you the most popular hashtags for a keyword. However, you shouldn’t use only the most popular one because your post will get buried quickly. Instead, use a combination of popular and less popular hashtags. Some similar free tools are SeekMetrics.com and DisplayPurposes.com
Since Instagram is an app built for mobile, here are some useful apps that work on smartphones:
Tag me: A hashtag finder, similar to the one mentioned above
Repost for Instagram: As its name suggests, it helps you repost a picture from another user to your profile.
Instagram Take Downloader: You can use this app to quickly download an image or video from Instagram in order to publish it on your own profile or simply save it. Remember that you need to give the appropriate credits (tag them) to the original owner of each video or picture.
Ready to Skyrocket your Blogging Journey with the Best Blogging Tools & Resources for Beginner Bloggers?
If you’re a beginner blogger or you’re looking to start your blog soon using the best blogging tools for beginners, then WordPress.org (self-hosted WordPress) is by far the best choice. The best web hosting provider to start is SiteGround and you can set your own blog in under 20 minutes using this guide!
Next, you need a beautiful theme to make your blog stand out. I strongly suggest using Elegant themes!
Of course, don’t forget to use some Blog writing tools mentioned in the post above and some tools like Canva for editing your images!
MailerLite is always the best choice for a new blogger in order to execute his/her email campaign.
SEO is a big game, but you can start using the above-mentioned tools.
Last but not least, Social Media schedulers are a huge game-changer. Postcron, Tailwind for Instagram, and Tailwind for Pinterest are your safest bets!
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