WordPress: This is the software that I use for all my blogs, in fact, it powers more than 20% of the websites on the internet. That’s plenty of them. The reason we use it is its simplicity and ability to create amazing websites without getting your hands dirty with coding and all.
Genesis: A premium theme that is for those who want to focus on the content part of their blogging. It gives amazingly looking, fast and responsive websites for a small amount. The amazing thing about this theme is that more than 50 people keep working to optimize the codes and theme structure, which means, you get a high-quality theme. Use the child themes available and make your blog look professional.
WP_Prosperity: It is a multi-purpose theme that is being used by me on several of my own websites. It powers this blog (Asiogroup.net) as well. This theme is for those who are HTML-phobic and don’t want to hire a designer to change the color, font or layout of the blog. You can literally turn your ugly blog into a beautiful looking blog by using this theme. The Themes Option has all the things you need to do modifications.
Theme Junkie: If you are planning to start a more news type/ photos, videos type of blog, then you might want a theme that can give a modern look to your blog. Theme Junkie offers a range of WordPress themes that you find at least one theme that will fit your need.
Create a blog in easy steps: If you are someone like me (who doesn’t know coding), you will have to spend days figuring out how to set up a blog, that what I had to go through when I started, that’s why I wrote this eBook to help people like you to get started easily.
ManageWP: Manage WP is an ultimate service that lets you manage multiple WordPress sites from a single Dashboard. You can do things like updating all the WordPress core, themes, plugins of all your sites in just one click, optimize and maintain the sites in one lick, take scheduled backup and much more just from a single account, it saves a lot of your time which can be used to many other things.Get 15% OFF on Professional and Business Accounts Sign up now
Grammarly: Write better content with Grammarly, The Chrome Extension makes it super easy to write Typo & Grammatical Error Free articles. Catches 10x more errors than MS Office. A must have for Writers.
Fun fact: This page had 38 typos & Grammatical errors that Grammarly fixed. 🙂
Hostgator: I am with them, since Feb 2008 and I never faced any tough time regarding any hosting issue, maybe I was lucky for not going through the troubles or maybe I was lucky enough to get the best hosting service in the market. Hostgator is awesome, from support to service.
Bluehost: Bluehost is another great service that I recommend people to go for, It is a proffered choice of many people and I too feel the same after using them.
List Building Tools
Mailchimp: Money is in the list, it is said. The most successful bloggers know the importance of building a list from the very start, Mailchimp makes it easier than ever to let you build list when you are getting started for free for 2000 emails/month. There is no excuse for not getting started.
Aweber: Aweber is the most popular email auto-responder that is being used by all the popular bloggers to build their list, it started with $19/month but is more economical than Mailchimp when your list starts growing. (You can start using it by paying just $1 for the first month).
LeadPages: This is a must have tool if you do ( or plan to do) videos, The Lead player adds rich features over your videos that look professional and also let you capture leads to build your email list super fast. You will love LeadPlayer once you start using it.
OptinMonster: You may have already seen it running on several popular sites already. OptinMonster lets you create beautiful forms on your site that attract more eyeballs and increase the conversion rate of your readers into email subscribers.
Popup Domination: Popup Domination can increase the subscription rate of your email list to over 7x. It works really well when a humble popup appears for your readers asking them to subscribe to your email list. You can do wonders with this little tool.
Fiverr: From Logo design to promoting your site on Social Media sites to getting video testimonials, this sites lets you buy gigs for $5 each. A great site for beginners to start with.
99Designs: This site is more about design stuff, as the name suggests, You can create design contest and announce a prize, people show their design, you decide the winner and you get what you want and the winner gets the prize money. Everyone wins.
eLance: This site has freelancers looking for work in different areas, and not just design or content writing. If you are looking for more complex tasks, a complete design of your site, content writers for long, or short term project or software developers. This site gives you all.
Freelancer: Similar to eLance, this site also has freelancers registered from all over the globe, you can post your requirement and budget, they bid on it, you can decide to hire on the basis of their star ratings, bids etc to get someone to work on your project.
DigitalPoint Forum: Digital Point Forum is one of the popular webmaster forums on the web. A section of it lets you hire people or get hired. This is little crowded site so you really need to dig deep to find the person you want to work with, you will get responses from newbies to high-quality freelancers.
Monetizing Your Site
Google Adsense: Perhaps the best Ad Network that works for any website, because of their existence in every country and a wide range of advertisers that matches your content resulting in maximum revenue. It works really well when you have tons of search traffic.
Buy Sell Ads: This site lets you sell Ad space on your site/app for a fixed monthly price. They do have a CPM (Where you get paid for a certain amount for every 1000 impressions). But the fixed price model works well for more people, as they get a fixed amount every month.
Clickbank: Clickbank is the largest site to find digital products and become an affiliate. Just go there and search for products related to your blog, like Health blogs can find workout related eBook and start promoting on the site. Every sale gives you a fixed commission which ranges between 30% to 70%. And, if done properly, it has a potential to make you a millionaire in a years time.
Amazon Associates: Amazon.com is the largest eCommerce site on the web. This program lets you promote their product and get a commission out of it. Apart from eBooks, Digital Music, Storage service, all the products are tangible items, you get up to 4% per sale.
Ads Rotator: Ad Rotator is a plugin that can be used to rotate banners ads on your site. If you are running affiliate programs or ads that have been sold privately you can use this plugin so that every Ad gets a fixed amount of impressions on the site.
Testing and Analytic
Google Analytics: Probably the best tool for tracking the performance of your site, just put the code given by them, on your site and it will tell you how many people are visiting your site. It lets you collect more interesting data, such as how long does a visitor stays on your site, how many pages does a single visitor browses, where they come from, what device they use etc.
Pingdom: Every time your site is down/inaccessible, you loose visitors, who can be your potential customer, loyal readers. This is why we recommend only trusted hosting, but there can be other reasons your site goes down. This site helps you monitor your websites and tells you when your site faces a downtime so that you can fix it.
Alexa: It keeps a track of all the websites on the web and ranks them according to their traffic. It is a good place to find where you site stands among other sites in your niche. It’s not the perfect tool to find exact traffic (Google Analytics is for that), but you can get a rough idea about you and your competitor’s site.
Crazy Egg: This site helps you see where your visitors click on your site by creating a visual heat map over your site that helps you to place something where you get maximum clicks, it can be Ads, subscriptions box or anything you want the visitors to engage in.
Google Webmaster Tools (GWT): GWT offers some nice tools to optimize your site for Google search engines. You can submit your sitemap here and see how many pages get indexed in Google search, you can also see the keywords that are being searched to find you site. It’s a must have Tool to see how well your site is performing.
Snagit: It lets you capture screenshots with an easy. The Editor bundled with this app is quite awesome, you can make proper edits to the screenshot and use on your site for tutorials etc. You can capture the entire screen or just a portion of the screen.
Camtasia: Camtasia is the software from the same company which owns Snagit. It lets your do screencasts, so quite great for creating video tutorials. The video editor is quite powerful which can be used for editing videos you capture from your camera as well.
PicMonkey: An awesome free alternative to the most of the paid software for photo editing. Give a wow look to your images with this tool. It’s very important to create visual content, Facebook, Pinterest and many other sites perform very well for visual content.
Gimp: Another great free alternative for editing pictures, slightly more powerful but has some learning curve, but it’s definitely worth a try if your blog deals with a lot of different types of images. Pretty useful and a must have software. If you learn to use it properly, it cab be as powerful as Adobe photoshop.
Pixlr: It’s a web app that lets you edit images online, so you don’t really need to install anything on your computer. It can be used either of PC or a Tablet PC and it’s also pretty easy to understand and use. Perfect if you want some light editing on your photos.
Selling Your Own Products
Clickbank: It’s a site with largest digital products from different niche, there are thousands of publishers picking different products to promote. If you have created or plan to create a product to sell, you can consider to give it a boost. Pay something between 30% to 70% commission to affiliates and you will still make good money selling your product.
E-Junkie: E-Junkie is another site that lets you handle payments, digital product Delivery and Affiliates. Its charges are also quite reasonable, so, if you are not going to big products then this one can be chosen for its simplicity and affordability. Charges $5/monthly
Gumroad: An amazing site makes selling Digital product fun and easy. This one is quite a fit if you plan to sell occasional Design templates, tutorials or info products packed in a pdf file or anything related to your blog. They charge a nominal fee on every sale. But makes the complete sale experience hassle free.
Shopify: Create your own professional looking online store with no coding skills, Tons of templates to choose from, customize to get a unique looking store to sell your product, digital or physical. It’s simply awesome if you are a design or food blogger and plan to sell your designer wear or kitchen stuff or anything else.
Keyword Research Tools
Market Samurai: This tool is the most respected tool in the keyword search, it mush more than just a keyword research tool as it lets you find available domain names with keywords, you can check the competition level of a site and their SEO performance so that you can prepare your blog in a better way.
Long Tail Pro: Long tail pro, as the name suggests, is a killer tool for someone who want to rank for long tail keywords. This tool gives you good amount of information regarding a keyword so that you can analyze different keywords to see which one is easy to rank. Go for several low competition keywords and get more traffic with less efforts. Costs $97 One time.
Open Site explorer: This site helps you Find the domain and page authority of your blog and also allows you to compare up to 5 sites for more insight. You can use it for free. The more powerful version comes bundled with Moz pro which offers 12 different tools for $99/month.
Moz: Moz offers some great tools for webmasters to analyze their performance, it gives 12+ tools like Moz Analytics, Open Site Explorer, Followerwonk, and more—to track and improve your SEO, social, branding, link building, and content marketing efforts for a monthly subscription of $99.
Semrush: It easily lets you find what your competitors are doing by providing organic visitors, backlink reports etc. The service is free to use and you can upgrade to get more offerings like 10,000 results per report 3,000 reports per day, API access (200,000 units), Tracking: 500 keywords, 5 campaigns, the plans start from $79/month.