Every tool I’ve used to launch and
build my business from scratch

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these resources, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I recommend these products only because I have experience with them and use them for my own business. For more info, read my disclosure policy here

Hosting / Domains

Siteground: After a troubling experience with my previous host, I switched to Siteground. They migrated my entire site for free and I had absolutely no downtime in the process. The customer service is fantastic and you can get someone from their team to speed with you within 3 minutes of hopping on live chat. I have a detailed walk-through of how to get started with Siteground here:  Siteground vs Bluehost: The best choice for bloggers

Namecheap: To buy domains at an affordable price with good customer service

WordPress Support

Plugmatter: 24/7 wordpress support for unlimited tasks for a fixed monthly charge. Use the coupon code WPHELP for an exclusive 1 week trial of the service

WordPress Themes

Genesis:My site runs on the Genesis framework, by Studiopress and I  love it. Having the Genesis Framework gave me access to several child themes which looked fabulous straight out of the box.

Restored 316 Designs: If you’re looking for Feminine WordPress designs that are chic and versatile, you will love Restored 316 Designs. There are several options to consider under Restored 316 Designs. They are all child themes. So you will need to purchase Genesis first. If you have $100, you can have a professional looking and sleek website with the Genesis + Restored 316 Design combo.

Here are some my other favorite Themes:

Email Marketing

Convertkit If you’re serious about email marketing Convertkit is the platform you need to be on. I’ve written a detailed post on ‘Why I invested in Convertkit vs MailChimp when I was earning $0 on my blog‘.

Popup ally: This is a simple to use polite pop-up plugin. It gives you complete flexibility to style your pop-ups and has a smart subscriber recognizing system so that your subscribers don’t come across your pop-up when they click-through from your emails.

ConvertplugI recently started experimenting with Convertplug and love how easy it is to use.

Thrive Landing Pages: Thrive landing pages it an excellent choice for a landing page tool. It’s a one-time site wide license of $67 compared to lead pages which charges a monthly recurring fee. It gives you lots of styling options to get your landing pages to look exactly the way you want it with a simple drag and frop builder. It also has integrations with most of the email service providers.

Bluchic: If you’re looking for feminine landing pages that are on brand, you will love Bluchic’s drag and drop landing page tool

Thrive Quiz Builder: Considering adding a quiz to grow your list? The Thrive quiz builder is easy to use and integrates easily with most email service providers

WordPress Plugins

Social Warfare: This plugin is mind-blowing. It packs a whole lot of punch for just $24/year.It gives you swanky share buttons that are customizable in every way possible.

Frizzly: You can add custom-pin it buttons as well as customize the ‘hover’ of your social buttons using this plugin.

Genesis eNews Extended: Adds sign-up forms on your genesis website.

iThemes Security: Keeps the hackers and weirdos out.

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP: It’s very easy to set-up your Google Analytics with this plugin.It walks you through the steps in details.

Related Posts by Zemanta: Displays related posts at the bottom of each blog posts. Helps keep visitors on your site longer.

upPrev: Shows related posts and keeps readers on your site longer

Updraft Plus Backups. I connected it to my Google drive to save backups of my site.

W3 Total Cache: A caching plugin which helps with site-speed. It came recommended through countless plugin sites.

WP Smush: Reduces image file sizes and boosts page’s SEO ranking

Yoast SEO: Helpful plugin that allows you to edit post meta data and other SEO options. It’s easy to use and highly recommended.

Coming Soon CC: I’ve tested and tried at least 4 other coming soon page plugins before settling on this. It gives you a lot of options for customization and also lets you add social media icons to the bottom of your page as well as a email sign-up box.

Revive Post Plugin: Keeps your old posts alive by automatically sharing them out on Twitter and Facebook

Business / Payment Processors

Sendowl: Makes it very easy to upload your digital products, grab the link and attach to a button on your sales page. I have a video at this post on the set-up.

Teachable: Professional looking course dashboard and gives your students a seamless learning experience.

Contracts: Need a contract for your site or business including a privacy or disclosure policy? You can get it at the Contract shop


Skitch: This tool makes annotating and marking up effortless. It’s a free tool by the people behind Evernote. I use it a lot while I’m working on my blog posts.

Rapportive: This useful app works in Firefox or Chrome. It adds a little sidebar to your gmail window and pulls in data from social networking sites. You can immediately put a face to the sender of an email and check out their twitter feed.

Pocket: Ever had half a dozen tabs open because you wanted to come back to reference a website. Pocket makes it easy to save webpages so that you can come back to it later. It comes as an app and a chrome extensions so you can sync all your devices. It also allows you to email a weblink and autosaves it in your library.

Google apps: Google appsis the service I use to manage email and my calendar. You can get a professional looking email with your own domain. Just give them a call, they walk you through the set-up and you’re up and running within 10 minutes.

Webinars / Screen Share / Tech Stuff

Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition: A plug and play microphone and comes highly recommended by several bloggers.

Logitech C930e 960-000971 USB 2.0 1920 x 1080 Video Webcam: A high quality clip based webcam

Camtasia: Screen and video recording software that easily allows exports and edits in different formats

Social Media

Buffer: Scheduler for Twitter and Facebook

Tailwind: I use both tailwind and board booster to automate and schedule pin images

Boardbooster: Love the looping feature of Boardbooster

IFTTT: I use this to auto loop my tweets. See this post on how to do that

Graphic Design / Images / Branding

Smart Mock Ups: A whole range of mock-ups to use for product creation and lead magnets

Beacon: Quiz and easy ebook and lead magnet creation tool. The team has recently upgraded the software to make it far easier to use.

Pages: I design all my workbooks, ebooks and content upgrades using Pages for Mac.

Pixelmator: Most of my images are designed using Pixelmator. It’s easier to use than photoshop but gives you more flexibility and functionality compared to Canva and PicMonkey.

Looking for budget friendly and effective blogging tools, plugins and resources? I've compiled a list of 41+ essential blogging tools and resources that I've used to build my blog business from scratch and on a budget.

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