30+ Blogging Tools To Help You Turn Pro

 

Are you tired of reading article after article on Pinterest trying to find the right tools to use to build your own blog?

I know the feeling. Here’s a cheat sheet. It’s full of nerd-friendly tools that I use and highly recommend.

It also includes tools to help you progress from a newbie to a blogging pro.

This list does contain affiliate links. That means for some of the links if you click on them and sign up for a product, This Nerdy Girl receives a small commission. I appreciate you supporting this nerdy space!

Website Hosting

Bluehost

I use Bluehost as my hosting service for This Nerdy Girl. It offers great pricing along with excellent customer support. If you are new to blogging, I suggest you start with Bluehost as your hosting service provider.

Siteground

Siteground is another self-hosting provider that has gained a lot of popularity in the blogging world over the past year. Although I haven’t used it myself, I have done a lot of research on the service and it seems to be another great option. Just make sure to do some of your own research and service comparing before deciding to make a commitment.

WP Engine

WPEngine is what is considered to be the best of the best when it comes to WordPress.org hosting services. This is the provider I will be switching to once my Bluehost subscription expires. It is designed specifically for WordPress.org sites and offers the fastest loading time and other great support tools for your blog. The monthly/annual subscription for WPEngine is expensive, so this option is more for intermediate to advanced bloggers who have monetized their blog.

Website Design and Development

WordPress

If you want a professional website and brand, you will need to get a WordPress.org site. Make sure it is an actual WordPress.org site and NOT a WordPress.com purchase. They are two very different things. To make sure that you make the right purchase (through .org rather than .com), it is best to purchase WordPress through a hosting provider that has WordPress.org installed on its dashboard, such as Bluehost, Sitegroung, or WPEngine.

BlueChic

Blue Chic is a free resource that offers WordPress video tutorials and themes for purchase. I discovered this gem while trying to figure out how to format my blog bio picture into a circle. It’s the little things.

Beautiful Dawn Designs

I stumbled across some of Tiffany Griffin’s blog posts when I first started getting into blogging and web design. I purchased the theme for This Nerdy Girl from her site where she offers several theme options and support, including personally installing the theme on my site. If you are a new blogger or new to web design and WordPress, I suggest checking out Tiffany’s themes and services. She will help you save time and money through her expertise and support.

Graphic Design

Canva

If you are interested in creating a blog and/or creating a presence on social media, Canva needs to become your new best friend. Canva offers tools to help you create graphics for any social media platform regardless of your graphic design skills. You can also design documents such as emails, newsletters, and invitations. There is a free and a paid version. I use the paid version, but the free will work just fine if you are just getting started.

Photo Editing

Pic Monkey

Pic Monkey is a user-friendly photo editing program that will help you edit photos for your blog and social media. Like most of the tools on this list, there is a free and paid version to pick from. I use the paid version, but the free version will work just fine.

Canva

If you are interested in creating a blog and/or creating a presence on social media, Canva needs to become your new best friend. Canva offers tools to help you create graphics for any social media platform regardless of your graphic design skills. You can also design documents such as emails, newsletters, and invitations. There is a free and a paid version. I use the paid version, but the free will work just fine if you are just getting started.

Plugins

Pretty Little Link

If you plan on including affiliate marketing as part of your blog monetization strategy, I suggest getting the Pretty Links plugin. This tool allows you to enter your affiliate links and simplifies them to make them more readbale and SEO-friendly. It also helps you to keep all your affiliate link data in one place on your WordPress dashboard.

Yoast SEO

The Yoast SEO plugin is essential if you want to focus on and improve the SEO on your site. There is a free and paid version. You can start out with the free version, but I suggest switching to the paid version as quickly as possible to get more SEO power for your site.

Social Warfare

The Social Warfare plugin allows you to pick the social sharing buttons you want available to your audience on each blog post. You can also pick where you want the buttons to be located, such as the top or bottom of the article.

Tracking Code Manager

The Tracking Code Manager plugin helps your website get discovered. Through this plugin, you can add code to the head of your website to get verified for the Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Pinterest, and to add your Facebook Tracking pixel.

Email Marketing

MailChimp

MailChimp is a great email service provider for bloggers and business owners who are just getting started with launching their websites and building their email list. You can use MailChimp for free for your first 2,000 email list subscribers.

Convert Kit

Convert Kit is the email service provider I recommend for when you have monetized your blog. It is pricey (starting at $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers), but it is worth it for all the tools it offers, such as email sequencing. Convert Kit also offers a 30-day free trial so you can try it out before making a full commitment.

Drip

I use Drip for my email service provider and I absolutely love it. However, Drip is for users who have some intermediate to advance knowledge of email marketing. I love all the tools and customization it offers. It has the power that most established blogs and businesses need for handling a large email list and a high amount of new subscribers per month.

eCourse Platforms

Teachable

I create and sell all of my courses on Teachable. Teachable offers different levels of pricing to meet your needs depending on how many courses you want to create and how many students you are expecting to attract and enroll. It also offers the option to have a customized domain for your “school.” Creating and launching your course via Teachable is easy and I love how Teachable’s overall design is clean, organized, and user-friendly.

Writing and Editing

Grammarly

Do you struggle with grammar? No worries. Grammarly is a powerful editing tool that will boost the quality of your writing by scanning it for grammatical and mechanical writing errors, including word repetition and misplaced/missing commas. There is a free and paid version. If you plan on doing a lot of writing, the paid version is worth the investment. I use to recommend Grammarly to all my students when I taught in the English department at Clemson University.

Hemmingway App

The Hemmingway App is another tool that can improve the quality of your writing without having to hire an actual editor. This app evaluates the level of your writing and highlights areas that need improvements, such as run-on sentences or complicated phrases. Before I publish a blog post or article, I scan my writing first with Grammarly and then with my Hemmingway App. The combination of the two ensures that my writing is clean, polished, and ready for my readers.

Jenna Moreci Youtube Channel

I stumbled across Jenna Moreci’s Youtube Channel while I was working on developing my storytelling skills as a graduate student. Jenna offers excellent storytelling and writing advice in short, easy to consume videos. She is also absolutely hilarious.

Make a Living Writing

Although this site is designed specifically for professionals interested in becoming freelance writers, the blog posts and resources offer great writing advice for anyone looking to become a better writer.

Freelance Writer’s Den

The Freelance Writer’s Den us a sub-community of the Make a Living Writing site. If writing is an essential part of your career, such as becoming a full-time blogger or copywriter, then you may want to check out investing in a membership to the Den. The Den only opens once or twice a year, but you can gain access by purchasing one of the boot camp courses, such as Copywriting or How to Write a White Paper.

Grammar Girl

This site is full of quick grammar instruction and helpful tips. There is also a supplemental podcast that you can listen to while you drive or exercise. Grammar on the go. Literally.

Keyword Research

SEMrush

SEMrush is a powerful, user-friendly keyword research tool. There is a free and paid version. It offers features such as being able to see your competitor’s best keywords, tools for conducting a deep link analysis, and gathering your best long-tail keywords.

Keyword Finder

This is another keyword research tool that helps you find long-tail keywords. It also offers keyword management tools, such as organized keyword lists.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

One of the most important characteristics of any blog post or article you write is the headline. This tool will scan your headline and give you an evaluation with will estimate how the post will perform based on the quality of your headline. This tool can be the difference between whether your post goes viral or remains unread despite all your hard work.

Social Media

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an elite social media content scheduler. You can bulk schedule hundreds of posts in one session. It integrates with multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Plann

Plann is a social media content planner and scheduler specifically for Instagram. One of my favorite features about Plann is the ability to see your posts laid out before they are published. This helps you to make sure that your theme is consistent. You can also store hashtag lists that you can easily copy and paste when it is time to post.

Tailwind

If you are a blogger or have a blog for your business, then you absolutely need to create a Pinterest account to help drive traffic to your site. In order to use Pinterest effectively and maximize its full potential for your business, you will need to use a pin scheduling tool. There are many pinning tools on the market, but the only one sanctioned by Pinterest is Tailwind. Tailwind allows you to build schedule pins weeks or even months in advance. It also provides you with analytics on all your pins, boards, and followers.

SEO

Google Analytics

In order to gather data on your website’s performance, you will need to install Google Analytics. This will allow you to see data such as the visitors to your site and your most popular pages and posts.

Google Search Console

Once your site is designed and launched, you will need to use the Google Search Console in order to tell Google that your site exists and for it to start showing up in search engines.

Test My Site – Think with Google

This is a free tool that will test how well your site will perform on desktop and mobile devices. Remember – -a large percentage of people browse the internet and websites via mobile devices. It is extremely important that your website is optimized for mobile devices in order to capture this traffic.

Yoast SEO Plugin

The Yoast SEO plugin is essential if you want to focus on and improve the SEO on your site. There is a free and paid version. You can start out with the free version, but I suggest switching to the paid version as quickly as possible to get more SEO power for your site.

If you have any favorite tools that are not on this list, please email me at katievann@thisnerdygirl.com. I’d love to check out your recommendations!

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