Resources to build + run your online business
With the massive competition of various online businesses, it’s only logical that you need the right tools to be able to overtake them! That’s why I have created this page: to give you a complete list of all the tools, resources and services you need to run a successful blog/biz.
Please note that this page does contain affiliate links, which means that I will earn a small commission if you decide to buy anything through those links. This does not bare any additional costs to you.
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Blog Hosting & Domains
Your blog needs a place to live! A blog hosting company will store all of your blog’s data (images, blog posts, etc.) on their servers. Without hosting, your blog won’t be public, and no one will see it. Your blog’s domain name is equally as important.
If you’re still pretty new to all of this, I recommend you read how to start a blog, where I explain everything step-by-step.
This is a newer hosting company, but many bloggers, freelancers and agencies have already flocked to them. They provide premium services and support, which is well worth the hosting fees.
Bluehost has been around for quite some time and is trusted by many. It is a popular choice for bloggers who are just starting out.
Namecheap is where I buy all of my domain names. Their nifty search feature helps you to see what is available, plus price comparisons between url extensions. You can also buy your SSL certificate from them, although many hosting companies also include this as part of their paid plans.
Blog Writing & Editing
Writing great content on your blog is a must! This means that you need to focus on developing your writing and editing skills, so that you can improve on all copy that you need to write.
Grammarly is an AI-powered tool that helps improve your writing. It’s completely free to get started, plus they offer premium plans that will help you with readability, vocabulary and genre-specific writing style checks – the perfect tool for bloggers!
Themes & Page Builders
Create a beautiful site that will wow your readers and make them come back for more!
Elegant Themes is the proud owner of Divi — The World’s #1 WordPress theme & visual page builder. Divi has over 110 premade websites and 880+ premade layouts for you to choose from!
OceanWP is a fantastic runner up, with a free theme that works wonders (this is CuriousFem’s current theme). I have built this resources page with OceanWP and Elementor (see below). OceanWP premium will enable you to unlock even more great features and core extensions.
Elementor is a page builder tool that you install as a WordPress plugin on your website. The free plugin is already packed with awesome drag and drop elements, but the pro version will allow you to customize and build even more beautiful pages including WooCommerce elements. They also have a template libary with pre-designed elements for you to use.
Social Media Tools
Social media can take up a whole lot of your time, and it’s so challenging to simply be everywhere, on every platform, all the time! A scheduling tool will help you to schedule everything out in advance, so that you can focus on other important things (such as creating content).
What I love about SocialPilot is that you can add 25+ social accounts to schedule to, and the cheapest plan also enables you to add 2 x Facebook Ad Accounts. It’s so much more than just scheduling, because they focus on providing you with tools for marketing, insights and analytics, too.
Later is a social media scheduling tool for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. They have a really nifty timeline feature, and their mobile app allows push notifications to let you know when something is published.
Tailwind is the #1 way to get tons of traffic to your blog. Schedule pins to boards as far as 6 months ahead. Tailwind Tribes, which is part of the platform, allows you to add pins to your “tribe”, so that other tribe members can pin your stuff to their boards. You can’t go without this one, or you’ll lose out!
Search Engine Optimization
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and as a blogger, you will hear this acronym a lot! SEO is super important, as it will determine how “searchable” your blog posts are on platforms like Google, Pineterest and even YouTube. It entails that you use keywords in your posts that people actually search for. With the right SEO Tool, you can find out which keywords are the best, as well as other features.
Run your SEO, PPC and SMM projects with 40+ advanced tools — perfect for researching keywords, analyzing your competition and more! SEMrush is a great tool to help you get ahead of the game.
Neil Patel’s nifty SEO tool provides free insights into your website’s ranking factors, plus it includes a great keyword research tool.
Email List Tools
Build your Email List
Having a mailing list is an absolute must for any blogger. It allows you to send useful information, updates and offers to subscribers, so that they can interact with your content or buy your products. Don’t wait to get this in place — do it as soon as you have launched your blog!
I currently use MailerLite as my go-to email service because it as everything I need. I can easily create beautiful emails with their drag and drop editor, plus automate email sequences that needs to be sent out in a certain order. They have other features that you will enjoy as well, including a great landing page builder.
ConvertKit is super popular among many bloggers because it has everything you need, all in one place! This is another great option if you want to plan out campaigns, automation and landing pages.
Selling products online
A great way to earn money online is by having an online store. You can do this either by adding a plugin on your website or by using a third party store front which you direct traffic to via your blog or social media.
WooCommerce is the #1 free plugin to use with your WordPress website. It enables you to showcase your products, manage orders and get payment through various channels. WooCommerce offers premium add-on features as well in case you need to scale your business or need to implement additional features as well.
Believe it or not, I have made thousands of dollars simply by writing blog posts and linking to my digital products in my Etsy shop – it’s a winning recipe for passive income! Get 40 free listings if you open a shop today!
Shopify is a premium storefront builder that allows you to set up shop in under 10 minutes! The great feature about Shopify is that it has an app store where you can get free and premium plugins to add to your store, for nearly any feature you can think of.
Affiliate marketing is another great way for you to earn money from your blog or website. Affiliate marketing means that you earn commissions based on sales made through links or banners which you place on your blog or social media.
Awin is an affiliate network where you can work with many different companies and their affiliate programs. Awin is also home to Etsy’s affiliate program.
Even though ShareASale is owned by Awin, it boasts even more affiliate programs to choose from in nearly any niche. Browse through thousands of companies and view their commission structures, resources and more.
Design tools are not just for graphic designers! As a blogger and online business owner, you’ll need to create branding images such as your logo and social media images, as well as other designs.
Canva has both a free (limited) plan and a pro version. I highly recommend that you upgrade to the Pro plan as soon as possible, because it gives you access to premium templates, elements, photos and even videos! The Canva Pro library is my go-to for nearly all of my designs, including my paid products! Give it a go!
Stock Images & Elements
Though there are many free stock images sites to start with, you really do want to get premium design elements such as photos and videos — simply because no one else will likely use the same images as you on pins, for example. If you’re not going to use the Canva Pro library (mentioned above), check out these other two options.
Adobe stock has the most expansive range of stock photography and other elements. It is a little on the pricier side, so I do recommend that you consider this option once you already have a steady income stream.
Envato Elements is a more affordable option considering its massive gallery of stock videos, photos, design elements, templates, fonts, brushes, music, sounds and so much more — all for commercial use! I love using Envato Elements, because it gives me so much content to use throughout my online ventures. Note that you will need some skills and access to the Adobe design suite, among others, but you will find templates and files to use with other, more affordable and free software as well.
Tools for Courses & Digital Products
Tools for Courses
One of the best ways to make the Big Bucks with your blog and online business is to offer a course. Luckily I’ve got you covered!
Even though Teachable doesn’t have a marketplace, it’s still my favorite online course platform. You can host an unlimited number of students on any of their plans, and they have different plans available to cater for your needs. Make sure to send traffic to your courses via your blog, social media, YouTube, and more so that you can actually make sales!
Udemy is a great starting point to sell your courses if you don’t have a follower base or traffic, because it has a marketplace on which people can search for your course.
Tools for Digital Products
The number one way I recommend you make passive income with your blog and online business is by offering digital products — create them once and sell them over and over again! You can use one of two tools mentioned below to embed your products onto your site, add buttons and even create affiliate programs of your own for others to promote your products.
Use SendOwl to add buttons for your products right onto your own site. The big difference between this one and Gumroad is the automated affiliate system. With Gumroad you need to either manually add your affiliates via email or approve them when they sign up, whereas SendOwl allows you to automatically set this up.
Gumroad is free to use, but they do offer a $10 monthly plan that will result in less fees overall. Gumroad is a great place to start out. They offer a 200mb file upload limit per product, which is quite large, and they have a marketplace. You can also take payments directly on your site with buttons and product embeds.