These are my favorite blogging resources. You could spend all your time searching for the right tools to start your blog and never get it going. I hope this page minimizes the time you spend searching so that you can focus on starting!
Many of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means I receive a small portion of each sale made through these links (at no additional cost to you). If you choose to make a purchase through one of them…thank you so much. I only recommend products I have fully paid for, use, and like. I won’t recommend that you put down your hard earned money on something if I’m not willing to do the same.
If you have any questions at all about any of these resources, don’t hesitate to ask.
My Favorite Resource (and it’s free!)
I love Evernote. I use it for everything. I have notebooks for each of my blogs and for each project. I save important links, information and ideas in Evernote and I do all of my writing in Evernote as well. I especially like that it is cross platform, so I can access my information on any device…even someone else’s (via the web.)
Blog Hosting Recommendations
Media Temple – I’ve used media temple for my site hosting for years. They aren’t the cheapest option at $20 a month, but they’ve handled my growing site impeccably, even when I had some significant traffic spikes. Their support is amazing too. Over the years I’ve had two issues because of plugins that I used and even though it wasn’t “their” issue, the Media Temple folks either repaired it for me or waved the overage fees I rightly should have been charged (over $200 in overage.) Needless to say, I’m a huge fan and if you can swing the cost, I highly recommend them.
Bluehost – Bluehost has a super simple WordPress setup and low prices, but they require at least a full year of payment up front (starting at about $84). They host more WordPress sites than any other hosting company out there. I host one of my sites (to be launched soon) with them and haven’t had any issues. They are a solid second choice.
Hostgator – Hostgator is a solid 3rd place recommendation. If your budget is tight, they are the perfect choice for you. They offer month to month hosting starting at $8 a month. I host a couple sites here and found their sign up and wordpress installation processes slightly more cumbersome than Bluehost, but overall an excellent deal considering the low startup cost.
Blog Theme Recommendations
Genesis Framework – I love this framework. It’s created by the folks at StudioPress and it is a rocksolid framework in terms of speed and seo. Genesis is a blog framework – think of it as the floor plan of your house. When you purchase it, you also pick your theme to add the design.
Prose Theme – Prose is the StudioPress Genesis child theme I use on all my sites. It is extremely customizable and is a nice clean canvas for any logo and color scheme. I particularly like it because it’s incredibly easy to tweak the different design elements.
Blog Plugin Recommendations
Premise – Premise is a WordPress plugin from Studiopress that can create landing pages (for ebooks, newsletters, and such) and membership areas of your blog. It makes creating these pages incredibly simple. I’ll soon be launching our Coffee Talk Classes where you’ll be able to see this feature in action. Stay tuned.
Blog Library Recommendations
31 Days to a Better Blog
This ebook from ProBlogger.com is an excellent way to jump start your blog. You don’t need to do it all in 31 days, you could do one every few days or a week. Click here to view more details.
Lynda.com – this is a great site filled with video tutorials on just about ANY software out there. They have an excellent WordPress section and a 7 day free trial as well!