Whether you came to this blog page by searching for ‘blogging resources’ in a search engine or referred by someone, I believe you are here looking for the tools and resources you want to learn and use to create a blog. Am I right? 🤷
Well, then it’s your lucky day. 🤞
Today, I’m happy to share with you my top favorite blogging resources (and tools) that I’ve personally used for a very long time. Among them are some newly added blogging tools and courses, as my goal is to keep this blogging resources page updated as and when I discover, learn and use them on my websites.
Here’s my list of the best blogging resources you can already start using for your new blog in 2023.
Recommended Resources & Tools for Bloggers
My colleagues frequently ask me what inspires me to write a blog, how I spare time, what are all the blogging software, resources and tools I use for my personal blog.
In this blog page, I have listed over 30 useful blogging resources that myself and many successful bloggers around the world use as the basis for their blogs. Reading the list will also give you some insight into how I use them on my blog. As in a few cases, I have shared a few designs that I have made using graphic design tools.
So, lets dive in. 🦘
It all starts with this 👉 the blogging platform.
According to the blog statistics published by several sources online, it indicates that there are close to 600 million active blogs which publish the new blog posts on average of 2 million per day. The number is growing quite rapidly 🛩️ over the past decade. Among them, niche blogging is gaining popularity for new bloggers to stay away from big competitors. But still, it does not guard you from the growing competition 🤼♀️ in the market.
Choosing a blogging platform is one of the important decisions you have to make as you want to focus more on your content ✍️ and marketing strategies rather than spending time looking at the technical aspects.
My strong advice to you is to choose the right platform at the very beginning to avoid later for any reasons migrating your website from one platform to another, which is definitely a big hassle 😿 and time consuming 🕐.
I personally have built blogs and many other types of websites using the platforms below.
- Blogger – this is where my blogging journey originally started. When I first came up with the idea of starting a blog, I was referred to this blogging platform. In fact, getting started was really easy. In literally 3 steps, I was able to start my blog. Once you’ve set up your account (sign up using an existing Google or any other account), choose a template of your choice, and then start publishing content. But, as you start growing you may have ideas for customization and/or extensibility, and there is very little you can do. That’s when I decided to switch to another blogging platform WordPress (more than just a blog platform).
- WordPress – without a doubt, is the #1 choice 👍 for most bloggers and webmasters. It’s a content management system that gives you the power and ability to virtually create any type of website you can think of—such as blog and education websites, online store, agency, business site, music and events websites, community website, magazine & publication websites and more. I personally prefer this platform, like many others, simply because it gives you complete control over the look and feel of your blog design as well as the convenience of adding new features to your website on fly through the use of plugins.
Web Hosting ☁️
The fun part really beings when you need to choose the right web host for your blog. With so many web hosts, choosing the right one for you can be quite a nightmare as you will probably have zero prior experience in rating their hosting services.
A web host is a hosting company that basically provides various hosting solutions based on your needs. As you start creating a new blog, you will probably be looking for the cheapest web hosting solution – such as shared hosting. 🌐
To set up your blog that people can access online, you’ll need a domain and hosting. Below are my recommendations for a budget-friendly web hosting service.
- FastComet – as the name suggests provides a fast 🚀 and reliable 💪 hosting services. Whether it is for a blog or a business website, they have all kinds of hosting solutions which are budget-friendly. I personally have been using their services for a very long time and ever since I switched to FastComet, I never had to look back for other web host options. In other words, it is by far the best hosting company I have worked with. Not only because their servers are well optimized for my blogging platform (WordPress), but their customer service support is amazing too. Again, based on my own experience, I have never had any complaints with their support team. They will always get back to your problems or queries quickly which makes them one of my favorite web hosting providers.
- Bluehost – is another recognized hosting company and alternative to FastComet.
I would recommend you to buy or register a domain with the web host with which you choose to host your blog site as it may provide you a free domain with hosting subscription. If you’re not sure, check with your hosting provide before signing up.
I personally use GoDaddy, not only do they offer very competitive prices for new domain name registration but also very good renewal deals. For me, it’s quite convenient to manage multiple domains from one account.
Blog Design (Appearance & Layout)
Every website, powered by WordPress, must have a theme installed and activated.
Now, if you are not already familiar with this concept called “theme”, let me explain it to you.
A theme (or WordPress theme) is basically a collection of files that help define the layout of the website. WordPress is actually a CMS (content management system) that lets you manage website content without having to write any code. On the other hand, it’s the theme which sets out how the website and content will be displayed in the browser. The WordPress setup (or zip installer) comes by default with a fairly basic theme—which is—also free. In fact, there are tons of free themes on WordPress.org that you can download and install on your blog site. 🌐
Graphic Design Apps 👨🎨(banners, images, infographics etc.)
As a blogger, you’ll definitely need a graphics tool or two—whether it’s for creating blog post images or other types of designs that communicate your messages through visuals. 🧑🎨
So without any delay, let’s see what I recommend.
1. Adobe XD
Adobe Xd is undoubtedly an unrivaled vector-based design tool widely used by professional UI/UX designers to design strikingly beautiful prototypes, mockups, and various other design assets.
The tool is primarily designed for creative teams and experience designers who always need to deliver high-quality vector designs (as opposed to pixels)—whether creating blueprints such as wireframes 🏳️ or delivering the finished product such as mockup 🏳️🌈 designs.
If you already use any of the Adobe products then you probably would already know it that Adobe makes things a lot easier, especially when you want to reuse design assets created in different Adobe products. Its CCL (aka Creative Cloud Library) is designed to let you easily share assets between Adobe products. For example, if you created a digital asset in Photoshop, you can import it into XD by syncing your assets using the Creative Cloud account.
Canva is a superb, cloud-based graphic design tool and is one of my favorites. It’s so easy to use that you hardly will ever need to search for any course or training materials on YouTube, internet, or canva learning resources 📖. Canva helps graphic designers and visual content creators save a lot of time while creating stunning visual designs simply by offering a wide range of ready-to-use templates for various design needs such as blog or social media graphics, presentation, logos, posters, cover pages and banners, gift cards and advertising materials, charts, graphs and so many other types of visual content—you can think of.
It has proven to be an excellent choice when you want to make standout visual content in no-time. Just pick the template, set background, drop and adjust elements, edit text – job done 👏. Plus, what I like the most about Canva is its simple and intuitive interface which works exactly as I (or any other graphic designer) would expect it to. In other words, it provides a consistent user experience across all platforms and devices.
Canva is built as a cloud-based graphic design tool that users can access from any computer over the Internet, instead of having to be installed directly on the computer. However, if you too, like me, prefer working with native apps over the web and for good reason, as native apps are actually designed to be faster and more responsive as they accelerate hardware through the GPU, Canva is available for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows too.
Since Adobe removed the Xd starter plan which was free, I switched to Canva. And, the results have been amazing. I don’t need to look for alternatives, at least for now. Note that new users can still take advantage of a 7-day free trial of Adobe XD. 👌
By the way, the image featured on this blogging resources page is made using the Canva tool. And, it took me no more than 10 to 15 minutes to put all the visual elements together.
If you don’t try it now, you may regret it later. 😭
Next in the list are the marketing tools that I have personally used to run email campaigns and newsletters.
Email Marketing Softwares 📧
Email marketing is a powerful marketing channel, a form of one-to-one marketing, which helps you to engage with your prospects and customers. It gives you the ability to communicate directly with your users in a personalized way by offering them value-added content.
Below I recommend email marketing platforms that you can use to increase your blog traffic.
- Mailchimp – ranks first on this list of best email marketing platforms. It’s a complete email marketing solution that you can use to build, run and track the performance of your marketing campaigns quite easily. You can create and customize email opt-in (or signup) forms, and use ready-made templates for email marketing. It offers a free plan that allows you to send around 2500 emails per month which seems pretty reasonable, at least for newbies.
- SendinBlue – is another great platform that lets you easily launch email campaigns and send newsletters to your subscriber list. The platform offers a wide selection of tools that meet the demands of your marketing needs through email and SMS marketing channels. In addition, you have features like online chat, shared inbox for teams, transactional email, automated marketing, CRM, landing page maker, newsletter form builder and more. With the sendinblue free plan, you can manage unlimited contacts and have the ability to chat (1 user) with your website visitors but has some restrictions on the number of emails you can send per day.
Blog Monetizing (or Affiliate Marketing) Platforms
Have you ever wondered how bloggers and webmasters make money blogging? 🤑💵💰
There are several ways to make money from your blog, such as displaying advertisements from the AdSense program or, even better, adding affiliate links generated through affiliate programs. When a visitor to your website clicks on the ad, you will receive the (relatively small) incentive in terms of CPC (cost per click). If they use an affiliate link to sign up or buy a product, you could earn an even bigger commission.
In this section, I will share my favorite blogging monetization platforms and affiliate programs that I use on my blogs and other websites, and that you can also try to make money online from your blog, website or even through social media channels.
The best part is that it only takes a few minutes to get started.
- Google AdSense – is the #1 advertising program, powered by Google, that helps bloggers and webmasters make money online. After you sign up for this program, your application will be reviewed by the team, which can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But once approved, you can literally start making money from your website. Of course, you must have enough traffic that could monetize your blog. You may display advertisements on any type of website such as blog, forum, event or personal site, membership, non-profit or event online store. Turn on Auto Ads option. Adsense will analyze your website and display ads based on the layout and content of the page. Just need to add a small piece of code (one line) to your website which is usually done through header settings of the website to be precise. This is the easiest way to work with Adsense especially when you don’t have time to manage ads.
- Impact.com – is a specialized partnership management platform that offers a wide range of tools for brands and publishers to get and work together, including affiliate and influencer marketing. Sign up for impact.com, find the brands or products you want to promote, put visual ads or text links to your blog. Over the past few years, many top brands in digital and non-digital domains have chosen to use their partnership platform including Envato, SEMrush, Airbnb, Walmart.
- ShareASale – is a simple platform designed for affiliate marketing where affiliates (such as bloggers, webmasters, and content creators) can easily connect with thousands of brands to collaborate together for mutual benefit. If you are a blogger, you can easily make money by monetizing your blog website.
Of course, there are also other ways to make commission.
You can connect directly with brands and promote their products or services using their own affiliate or performance marketing program and then use their promotion links with tracking code. This could eventually help you earn better commission.
Stock Images (Royalty Free), Graphics, and Icon Sets
Keeping the blog alive and running successfully comes with several challenges. Attracting users to your blog is one challenge and retaining users’ attention on your blog is another. In fact, it can actually be a bit tricky to keep users’ attention to the post which may be longer to read.
Most readers would leave the article almost instantly if they didn’t find it interesting enough. In other words, it could increase your blog site’s overall bounce rate.
But there are also ways to overcome this challenge. One way is to make your content more appealing to your readers by adding visuals such as quality photos and graphics or even video content. They could help you increase user engagement and session time on your site.
These sources on the Internet offer a wide selection of ready-made photos, icons, illustrations and other design elements available for free.
Stock Photos 📷 & Vector Image Sources
- Unsplash – is a website with a growing community of photographers who click and share their high-resolution photos that anyone can use anywhere worry-free, including for commercial purposes. It’s one of the largest stock photo websites and currently hosts over 3,000,000 images.
- freepik.com – is a great unsplash alternative where you can easily find and download the awesome quality images, designs, and mockups.
- pixabay.com – is used by users to download stunning images and videos for free to use for any purpose.
- Pexels – is another copyright-free image website.
- Burst – is a Shopify powered website. It includes thousands of high-resolution, royalty-free images for your blogs and websites.
No luck finding the right image yet? 😟 No worries, I would like you to refer to another source where you can find more sources to download the free images.
Icons & Emojis 😍
- Iconfinder.com – is my first choice when looking for ready-to-use icons for my blog website. It’s the largest marketplace on the internet that claims to have over millions of high-quality icons, stickers and illustrations – both free and premium. In fact, you will quickly find the right icon or illustration for your use case or even customize existing designs with its legacy editor tool.
- Icon8 – comes next in my list. Icon8 is another giant marketplace offering premium and free design elements such as icons, stock photos, and illustrations. It also has a web-based graphic editing software that you can use for making designs: images, vectors, and illustrations.
- flaticon.com – includes over 8.3 million vector icons and stickers available in variety of formats like PNG, SVG, EPS, PSD and CSS.
- emojiterra.com – is my favorite ❤️ emoji portal. I use it for its simplicity. It has a collection of over 3633 emojis that you can copy and paste to your websites, social media, or even use them in chats.
- hotemoji.com – is another great place to find emoticons and emoji symbols.
Surveys and Polling Apps (For Feedback)
Surveys are an effective way to hear the opinions of users or blog site readers. They could help you to collect vital information on various topics from users and later use this data for decision making.
Wondering… why do you need to conduct surveys or polls on a blog site?
Below are some examples of how surveys could help bloggers… 🐤
- Sharing content is meaningless if it is not relevant to users. To find out if your blog visitors find the content useful, you can add an inline survey (sole) question at the end of the post that would help you collect feedback from users—to determine—whether the content was actually useful to them 👍 or not 👎.
- Another reason to conduct the survey is when you make drastic changes to your blog design and want to know if your readers are really happy with it. You can ask them the question by simulating a quick poll and ask your readers if they like it or not.
- If you are selling an online course 📒, you can add a survey with a set of questions that could help you hear the opinions of your users—such as if they find the course useful, their problem areas, and so on. This will ultimately help you make improvements to your course.
Here’s my top pick for survey apps.
- SurveyMonkey is a web-based tool for easily creating and managing surveys online. The tool has everything you need to create and distribute surveys through various channels. Take a survey using a web link or directly from an email, collect opinions via mobile chat, run through social media, and there are many other ways you can collect the feedbacks. After the survey is completed, you can easily perform analysis of the collected data and get insights into your topic.
- TypeForm is a popular online form builder that helps you collect feedback in a very interactive way. You can easily create beautiful and engaging survey forms to collect responses. But TypeForm, unlike SurveyMoney, is not just a survey tool—but much more. In fact, you can also create web applications using TypeForm without writing a piece of code. However, the analytical features are not as powerful when compared.
Cloud Storage Providers
The main advantage of cloud ☁️ storages is to give you access to your files from anywhere around the world—all you need is the internet. Plus, with automatic backups, you can prevent data loss in the event of hardware or software failure, or power cut.
- Dropbox – is a SaaS-based cloud storage application that lets you back up your files to the cloud – pay as you go. The subscription starts with a free plan which includes up to 2 GB of cloud storage and offers many key features including automatic file synchronization, content sharing, secure file transfer, file editing tool, and more.
- OneDrive – is a cloud storage app from Microsoft. It integrates nicely with other Microsoft apps such as Word, Excel, Teams, Outlook and more. You also get 3 GB more space than the free Dropbox plan.
- Google Drive – is one of the most popular as it comes with 15 GB of shared storages between Google products – Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive. If you already reach this storage limit, subscribe to Google One for more space.
- iDrive – is a great alternative to Dropbox as it enables automatic backups of your PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices to one cloud account – including content from external hard drives.
PDF Softwares (Freeware)
PDF is a file format widely used by individuals, businesses, and government authorities to share or exchange information, especially in a non-editable form.
There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to work with the PDF 📄 documents. And, my favorites are:
- PDFsam – is free open-source software that can be used to perform various operations on PDF files, such as merging two or more pdf files, splitting pdf by size or pages, extracting pages from pdf documents, page rotation in pdf files and more.
- PDF-XChange Editor – is an editing software to easily create and edit pdf documents. You can easily make a pdf document, add comments, hyperlinks, bookmarks or even sticky notes with a single click.
I personally have used the two softwares for many years as they both offer very useful features. In fact, both are in my must have tools for blog writers.
Although the pdf editor allows you to create a new pdf document from scratch, but it is more convenient for me to edit any existing pdf document. I mainly use this pdf editing software when I have to modify the properties of existing PDF files. So, in most cases I would create a pdf from an existing word or export from other sources before using this tool to set the properties of the pdf document.
To give you an example, after creating my blogging resources infographic 👌 using the Canva tool 🧑🏻💻, I was able to export the design to PDF, but it was not possible to set the properties on the exported pdf document—such as title, subject, author, etc. What later I did was use the PDF editor to update the document properties.
More Tools (You may find ’em useful too…)
There are a few more things on my list of favorite blogging resources.
Here, they are:
Social Media Engagement
- Twitter Intent Creator – is a very small online utility that helps you generate a pre-formatted Twitter tweet as a link that you can add to your blog post. This makes it super easy for website visitors to use the pre-composed tweet 🐤 and post it to their audience with a single click.
Image and Video Compression
- TinyPNG – use it before publishing your post images 🖼️. It drastically reduces the size of images without losing quality.
- Adobe Media Encoder – is widely popular amongst the vloggers who writes video blogs. It can be used to compress video 📹 file size with no or little visual quality loss. Note that it’s not a free tool.
- JPEGmini – is an alternative to TinyPNG. The PRO (paid) version of JPEGmini even supports video optimization capability.
Disclosure: You should note that some, if not all, of the links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on one of the affiliate links and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. It won’t make me a millionaire overnight, but it will help fund my blog.
What are your favorite Blogger Tools?
Do not hesitate to suggest your favorite tools or even your opinion by comments below or via the contact form. I will surely take a look at it and get back to you.
Didn’t find your blogging tool listed? No problem. I guess you might be using alternatives that meet your needs. Everyone has a different taste. After all, no two people are the same. Isn’t it? 😉
Personally, I recommend that you maintain a list of blogging tools that you have used in the past on your blog or website. It’s actually a good thing. Over time, as you gain experience with them, you will be able to identify its pros and cons—before recommending to someone.