I recently wrote a post for Get Busy Media titled, “Why I love and Hate Blogging.” In this post I’m going to share blogging options and necessities.
Please note: there are endless ways to make money blogging, the below suggestions are merely my own preferences and what has worked for me. That also includes the companies I’ve been using for years. That said, over time you will find what works for you.
Basic Blogging Tools
First and foremost, if your intention is to make money blogging, a domain name and paid hosting are essential to success for more reasons than one. It’s important for search engine rankings, also for branding and most importantly for ownership. If you spend time building your site upon a name but don’t own, the domain there is nothing to stop someone else from buying that name and using it – it happens all the time. The simple truth is you can start blogging on a shoestring budget but you do have to pay for certain things and a domain and hosting are two essentials.
Domain names – I have many domain names with Godaddy but in recent years I have started using NameCheap. While Godaddy has renewal coupons, which can help save money, one of the perks, of NameCheap is free privacy guard for the first year and affordable every year after.
Hosting – There is no shortage of hosting companies, but I’ve been a loyal customer to DreamHost and HostGator for many years. They are both affordable and most importantly their customer service has been helpful anytime a problem has occurred.
WordPress – My favorite blogging platform is WordPress – it’s user friendly and most hosting companies have an option called Fantastico which helps the user to install WordPress easily. There are thousands of free WordPress templates available. Or you can have a theme custom made for your site as well.
More Blogging Tools
Aweber – if your website will be focusing heavily on email marketing and sending out a routine newsletter, Aweber is one of the best services, at the best price. A close second is Constant Contact.
Payment Solutions – WePay is my first option for easy online invoicing. Although I still use PayPal because it’s widely known and used, but there is no shortage of horror stories that have occurred over the years and I’ve been one of those lucky people. But that’s another post entirely.
Logos – over the years I’ve returned to GotLogos more times than I can count. At just $25.00 per logo and a 5 day turn around, they’ve always come through for me.
Photospin – Including photos in your blog post is suggested whenever possible. Photospin offers stock photography at an affordable price.
Social Media Tools – If you have a Twitter account, using HootSuite can make tweeting especially easy. You can schedule tweets in advance or you can have the service send the tweet for you at the best “time.” I’ve personally tried other services and HootSuite is by far my favorite.
Apps – Dropbox and Evernote are my two favorite apps that I can’t live without. Dropbox will allow you to access any document from anywhere while Evernote will let you save things for later reading or topics you might want to blog about.
This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather the essential tools and necessities that I use for blogging. If I missed anything please feel free to share in the comments, I can never have too many apps or tools to use.