Tools and Resources - Katie Grazer Blog

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Katie Grazer

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BEGINNER TOOLS are the basic services and products every Blogger should use on their site. If you are just starting or you are a Hobby Blogger, I can totally understand that you do not want to spend a fortune building your site! In the Beginner Section, you will find affordable, BUDGET-FRIENDLY services and product options you will need to build a good website foundation!

ADVANCED TOOLS are more complex programs and services to BUILD TRAFFIC and your SEO as well as growing and communicating with your audience. Plus, it lists a set of tools that help you make that crucial first step towards MAKING MONEY from your Blog turning it into a running Business for you and your family!

PRO TOOLS are selected HIGH-END SERVICES to make sure you have optimized your business for ultimate success. Ideally, you are using these tools to manage, streamline and secure your running Business which is generating a steady income. Most products in this category are on the pricier side and not necessary if you are just starting out. However, if you are looking to MAXIMIZE YOUR TIME AND PROFIT, making crucial investments in your business is an essential factor for success.

 

Beginner Tools

Blogging ToolsSiteground for Hosting and Domain. My Hosting of choice, Siteground, is the easiest, most budget-friendly and amazing Host for building and growing your blog and audience. Personally, I am using the GoGeek Plan, but you can get hosting and domain for as little as $3.95/month. Also, if you want to switch from your current Host to Siteground (which is what I did), a free migration is included in the two more expensive plans. They literally do everything for you, you don’t lift a finger. Loved it! Start your Blog HERE!

 

Blogging ToolsMailChimp for growing Subscribers and Email Marketing. I believe MailChimp to be the best Beginner Email Marketing Tool out there and it’s free for up to 2000 subscribers. After using MailChimp for years, I have moved to ConvertKit due to their Automation Tool, which I need for my business. However, in every other respect, MailChimp is the most advanced, modern and easiest Email Marketing Program! Start for FREE Here!

 

Blogging ToolsBluchic Theme for a gorgeous looking Website! I have been using the Bluchic Themes for every single new Blog I created. Bluchic themes are paid themes but very budget-friendly and very beginner-friendly to implement. This means you get a great design and customization options, support when you have questions installing and designing your site and important SEO features every Blog Theme should have. Check them out HERE!

 

Blogging ToolsTrello for getting organized! Brainstorming new ideas, organizing your To Do’s and managing your Content Plan all is possible with Trello. Trello is a free tool to manage and organize lists and tasks in one single place. I honestly don’t know what I did before using it…it has become a daily partner in crime for my Blog and Business. Use it for Free HERE!

 

Blogging ToolsTailwind for Pinterest and Instagram Traffic! My No. 1 weapon for growing my audience and reaching out to other like-minded Pinterest and Instagram Friends. Tailwind is a must-have for every Blogger and it starts at $9.99/month. I know it hurts, especially at the beginning, but investing in your business also means you are taking this seriously and start making important decisions to towards running your own business! Start here NOW!

 

 

Advanced Tools

Blogging ToolsTeachable for creating your own Online Course! Even though creating an online Course might not be the first step when building your beginner Blog, Teachable makes it so freaking easy to set up your own online course, I just had to include it in the beginner section! You can start creating your first course for free and continue by creating paid courses for your audience. Start making your first “Side Hustle” income from your Blog. Head over to Teachable now HERE!

 

Blogging ToolsConvertKit for Automated Email Marketing! Personally, I am using ConvertKit to grow and communicate with my audience. Due to its advanced functionalities such as 1) setting up visual automation flows for Email Sequences or 2) targeting specific readers for future campaigns when they click a specific link in your email, it is, in my opinion, the best email marketing tool on the market. At $29/month it’s an investment well spent. Check it out HERE!

 

Blogging ToolsFreshBooks for keeping your Finances in check! Once you start investing in your business and vice versa start earning money from your Blog, an accounting and finance tool becomes existential! I am so so happy that I have found FreshBooks. It’s unbelievably simple to use and there are a ton of services such as viewing your income + loss statement, creating gorgeous invoices, connecting your bank accounts and checking your expenses! At $15/month it’s a no-brainer for every small business! Get it here NOW!

 

Blogging ToolsShortpixel for image compression and SEO! Oh man, if I just knew this when I started. My friend going through hundreds of uncompressed images in your WP library is no joke. In order for your site to be optimized for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your site must load fast. Even though it’s just one factor, image size matters in the loading time of your site. Shortpixel compresses your image and improves your website performance by reducing the image size. Sounds complicated, I know but it’s a MUST, FULL STOP!

 

Blogging ToolsUpdraftPlus for WordPress site Backups! Well, I was definitely one who learned this the hard way. Whether you are updating your blog theme, changing your coding or implementing new plugins, you first need to create a backup of your site. Struggling to get your site back up after it crashed, which my friend is costing you money every minute, can be a nightmare! Having a recent backup at hand has to be an essential business decision for every business owner. Get automated backups with Updraft Plus HERE!

 

 

PRO Tools

Blogging ToolsWP Rocket for making your Site load super-fast! Now, WP Rocket is a caching plugin that is too complicated to explain in just 2 sentences. Basically, it creates an ultra-fast load time which is essential for improving your SEO. It caches your site, minifies your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS and only loads your images upon request. This is something every Blog should have, whether you totally grasp the concept or not. It will improve your SEO and Google Rank eventually and you can get it for $49 a year which is very reasonable!

 

Blogging ToolsLeadpages for creating fully customizable, unlimited Landing Pages! I have been using their service to create Landing Pages and Leadboxes (basically Pop-Ups) for a couple of years now. It’s without a doubt the best Landing Page Builder out there. There is no limit to your creativity and freedom. Integrate your FB Ads, get real-time Analytics, create GDPR compliant Forms, optimize the landing pages for SEO and include your tracking Pixels, there is no limit. At $25+/month its steep but for sure worth it! Skyrocket your Blog HERE!

 

Blogging ToolsAvada Theme for ultimate Blog Design! If you are looking for my preferred Theme, this is it! Unlike other, more beginner-friendly Themes, this program comes with a steep learning curve, but boy is it worth it. The Avada theme gives you full control over your Blog design and look. For me, customization is everything and making my Website look the way I want it to, has become a priority for my business. I love their support and if you need more convincing it has been the No. 1 Selling Theme for more than 5 years. Get it for $60 HERE.

 

Blogging ToolsCloudflare for CDN, DNS, SSL and more! Cloudflare helps me with various things on my Blog such as performance, security, reliability, and insight. What I especially love is the CDN (Content Delivery Network) which improves my website speed, because it delivers my content to the user based on their geographic location. As you can imagine this makes my site so much faster. But to be honest that is just one tiny thing of what they provide. If you want to pop-up your performance invests in the Pro Plan for $20/month HERE!