These are the top blogging tools for beginners to help you start a blog and make money blogging. Find blogging tips, affiliate programs, and the best plugins to use.
Post updated on April 7, 2019.
Recently, I restructured The Uncorked Librarian’s website to make resources, posts, and stories easier to find. Be sure to visit and check back with TUL’s permanent and new Blogging Resources page, which will receive frequent updates. This new page will also help index all blogging tools for beginners.
Before I share blogging tools that helped me these past 6 months, I have a few questions for you, my reader.
Readers, Followers, and Fans: I’d Love Your Input:
As The Uncorked Librarian moves forward into the New Year, I would love to receive your feedback. What do you want to see more of? What interests you the most? On the flip side, what frustrates you about the site, and what is boring you? I find most of my traffic derives from Pinterest and direct visits. What brings you back to TUL?
AND, thank you so much for stopping by!
Here are my top blogging tools for beginners from the first 6 months of transitioning to a business blogger and female entrepreneur:
Blogging Tools For Beginners
- If you want to successfully monetize your blog and have complete control over plugins, features, and functionality, I highly recommend self-hosting with SiteGround. For a steal, their starter package begins at $3.95 a month. You will have faster-loading speeds, more storage space for photos, a custom domain email, and 24/7 online support. SiteGround has taken my blog to the next level through better SEO ranking and allowing me to place ads and links wherever I wish. Their customer service is the BEST. You can read more about self-hosting here.
- For bloggers with more experience, 25K views a month, and extra spending funds, I also suggest checking out WP Engine. WP Engine is TUL goals. You can access many themes in StudioPress along with Genesis Framework for free.
- WordPress offers a variety of free starter themes. When I migrated over to SiteGround and WP .org, I decided to invest in a new blog theme. TUL is currently using a Genesis Framework with Restored 316, which showcases blog posts and is helpful for those wanting to create online shops.
- StudioPress is another great option with a variety of beautiful themes that are mobile friendly, clean, and diverse. My current theme is a 3rd party child theme for StudioPress. Some of my blogging besties use StudioPress Themes, as well.
Blogging Tools For Beginners: Plugins
- With self-hosting, you can download a variety of plugins to help boost blog traffic and protect your site from bots and hackers. Some of the plugins I recommend and use include:
- Yoast SEO – Rank higher in Internet searches and learn how to keyword posts.
- Grammarly – Check spelling, writing mistakes, and grammar in your blog posts. Did you know there is a free version too?
- Updraft Plus, Anti-Spam, and Wordfence- Backup your blog and protect your site from hackers. Block spammy comments, too. Wordfence is seriously on top of their sh*t.
- Redirect and Broken Link Checker- Redirect any 404 (page not found) errors and check the health of your links.
- W3 Total Cache, WP Optimize, and Smush- Clear caches and data that are slowing down your site. Smush makes pictures smaller for faster loading times
Social Media Scheduling (My Favorite Blogging Tools)
- Tailwind (TW) is TUL’s number one scheduling tool for Pinterest and blog traffic. TUL schedules about 30-40 pins a day via TW, taking advantage of Tailwind tribes and board lists. TW also gives bloggers in-depth analytics about board performance, blog traffic, and engagement. Learn how Pinterest can help you boost blog traffic: I reached 1.4 million monthly Pinterest views in less with this Pinterest course. Those views can translate to blog traffic.
- Facebook Business accounts have automatic schedulers built into the platform. TUL schedules posts for free one to two weeks in advance. The FB algorithm works in your favor when you publish consistently.
Blogging Tools For Beginners: Affiliate Marketing Programs For Bloggers
The easiest way to monetize your site is with affiliate marketing. Earn passive income from links and banner ads that you choose. You can read more in-depth about each affiliate marketing program here.
- ShareASale – Offers a variety of affiliate programs with services including blogging tools, photobooks through companies like Mixbook, and fun products like Zazzle.
- Awin.com – Home to Etsy, a variety of hotel and travel sites, and stationery companies.
- Skimlinks – An easy way to monetize links without applying for individual programs. Skimlinks converts links from participating companies such as booking.com or tripadvisor.com to immediate affiliate links.
- Amazon – The easiest affiliate program to join and use. Plus, almost everyone uses Amazon for purchases. The list of products is unlimited.
Social Media And Blog Graphics
- Canva – Canva has a free and paid version. TUL uses Canva to create appealing Pinterest pins and featured blog post pictures.
- Adobe Spark and Lightroom- TUL lives by the $9.99 monthly subscription of Adobe products including Lightroom and Photoshop. With part of this package, I also have access to Adobe Spark for Pinterest board covers and any type of social promotion and visual storytelling needed. TUL mainly uses Adobe Spark for IG stories, IG story covers, Pinterest board covers, and the occasional Pinterest pin. here.
- I also love using presets for my pictures. My favorite presets are from Travel In Her Shoes–they sharpen pictures as well as make the colors more uniform. As with all presets, though, you will still need to make adjustments.
Looking For More In-Depth Blogging Tools For Beginners?
If you are looking for articles and blog posts to help you take your blog to the next level, check out these great blogging resources on The Uncorked Librarian:
Turning Your Blog Into A Business
How To Make Money Blogging
Learn why you should use self-hosting platforms such as SiteGround. Discover the differences between WP .com and .org. Learn how to immediately monetize your site with these 5 affiliate programs for bloggers.
Blogging Legal Issues and LLC Status
Bloggers need to protect their private assets from the moment they start putting opinions on paper and monetizing their site. Applying for LLC status is one way to separate your personal wine fund from your blogging business–big or small. Discover the easy process of registering your blog as an LLC. Find tips for how to make money blogging.
Read more about the remote life. Commiserate with the hard work blogging entails. Find 10 blogging myths crushed. This post is especially relevant for misunderstood bloggers and entrepreneurs with less than understanding friends and family.
The sedentary, remote life with an excess of screen time can wear on any blogger. Add in unstable income, long sitting periods, and constant social media notifications. Read about TUL’s 5 habits to stay healthy and stress-free as a blogger, remote worker, and digital nomad.
Blogging Tools For Beginners: Social Media
Are you looking to boost blog traffic and network with other bloggers? These 20 Facebook groups and Pinterest boards will help get you started.
Instagram is a frustrating platform filled with ever-changing algorithms and brands that take advantage of smaller bloggers and micro influencers. Learn what your time, platform, voice, and gallery is worth. Understand how not to fall prey to Instagram scams.
Writing Tips For Bloggers
Engaging your audience and building trust and relationships are key to successful blogs. Learn how to write meaningful and engaging captions with these 10 writing prompts. Also, learn how to trade in overused quotes and clichés for heartfelt stories that connect with audiences.
One Extra Resource For Travel Bloggers:
As a double niche blogger, I love writing about travel and books. If you are considering travel writing, Noel at Tenacious Travel has a fabulous post about lessons learned from travel blogging. My favorite blogging tips include remembering to take a break from writing and working all day and BACKING UP YOUR DATA. I am pretty sure that when he talks about keeping drinks away from the computer, my wine is totally OK… Right?! RIGHT!!
Lastly, if you have any questions, never hesitate to email Christine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are your favorite blogging tools and tricks?