Every amazing blog you see and admire utilizes different tools and resources to ensure it keeps on growing great. So what blogging tools and resources do we use here?
This is a lifestyle blog and in this article, I’ll share the significant blogging tools and resources every lifestyle blogger should use in his or her own blog to make money online.
This is based on the blogging tools I’ve used over the years.
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See The Contents
Top on our list of the best blogging tools and resources is a blogging platform. We use WordPress- thus we can highly recommend it!
WordPress is the easiest and the most user-friendly blogging platform I’ve come across. It is so easy to use that you have no need to learn coding for you to start a blog on WordPress.
I started this blog on a free WordPress plan until I was ready to go self-hosted.
2. Siteground For Hosting
Siteground is a hosting platform that is highly recommended for blog hosting by a lot of great bloggers.
You can read this post on EntineMuki.com where a lot of bloggers agreed that Siteground wins.
Get started with Siteground at $3.95 monthly.
Apart from SiteGround, I also appreciate WP Engine because apart from their good hosting service, you get the Free Themes and the Genesis Framework offered.
You can have a look at WP Engines HERE
3. A Visual Theme
A lifestyle blog is a very visual blog full of images and videos if available. It is also very chic, clean, and user-friendly.
That means that any lifestyle blogger needs a beautiful WordPress theme.
I use the Hello Blush Theme by Hello You Designs. They have tons of feminine themes that are very function-heavy ensuring that you can literally add anything to your site. For example: a shop, sliders, inbuilt affiliate widgets, excerpts.
Hello You Themes require the Genesis framework in order to function. If you’re not convinced about using Genesis, here is an ultimate guide to understanding the Genesis framework. Genesis themes are faster hence ensures your site takes the shortest time possible to load.
Apart from Hello You themes, there are other feminine themes you can use for your lifestyle blog. For example:
- Elegant Themes like Divi
- Pipdig Themes
- StudioPress themes like Foodie Pro, Elegant Pro, and more. StudioPress Themes run on the Genesis Framework so you can purchase the StudioPress Themes Together with the Genesis Framework HERE.
As you know already, if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load then 40% of people will abandon your site. It’s scary!
Google has released several updates this year and website speed remains one essential factor for user experience. Nobody wants to stay longer or come back to a slow site.
I switched from the SG caching plugin to Wprocket and it was the best decision ever. I noticed a great improvement to my site just after activating it. But, then, to reduce other errors on the site, I use Speedy Site, a WordPress optimization service to audit my website, and all errors shown on the page speed insights page.
My website had some bad codes and due to ads, the site was a bit slow. The team handled everything on the site and sent me an email with all the results and the improvements they made to the website.
4. Plugins Every Lifestyle Blog Requires
a. The Yoast Plugin
After setting up your site with a good theme, it is important to install the Yoast plugin.
Why is it so important?
The Yoast plugin helps you to easily optimize your posts to ensure you deliver quality posts worth ranking on search engines.
When publishing the post, try and ensure that the Yoast buttons turn green.
If you’re completely new to writing good posts, upload the piece you’ve prepared and followed all the suggestions provided by Yoast as you edit the whole content.
With time, you’ll be more conversant in writing great content.
b. The WPForms Plugin
WPForms is a great form builder for WordPress.
With WPForms, you can create contact forms, survey forms, signature forms, guest post submission forms, and many other types of forms.
The best part is that you can turn all the forms conversational to make them interactive. That way, users don’t get bored as they fill in your forms. Now that’s so clever!
c. Google Analytics and Google Search Console
No blogger should neglect their statistics if they have to do better.
That is why you should consider having Google Analytics installed on your site and learn to interpret the search console statistics about your blog.
Good enough, you can online lessons on SkillShare to understand more about Google Analytics. Using my link, you can get your free two months on SkillShare.
5. Researching & Writing Tools
Grammarly is a writing app that allows you to proof-read your content to ensure it’s mistake-free, clear, and effective. This is every writer’s must-have!
e. Keyword Research Tools
While there are so many keyword research tools in the market – some paid, some free – there are keyword research tools that I personally love using.
- Answer The Public – This amazing keyword tool allows you to find out what questions and queries your consumers have by getting a free report of what they’re searching for in Google. This makes it so easy for you to prepare content that is being searched for- in the easiest way possible.
6. Courses & eBooks
After starting your lifestyle blog, one has to keep on learning as much as possible to ensure your blog grows to the point that you can eventually earn income from it.
Here are some of the courses I’ve taken that have proven fruitful:
Are you a beginner who completely understands nothing about Pinterest? Then here is the course for you.
This course breaks down every single detail you need in order to understand Pinterest to ensure you start getting traffic to your blog as soon as possible.
Thinking of 5, 000 clicks per day and 150,000+ page views per month?
Then this course by Emily will teach you the art of reaching millions of people using Pinterest- eventually, you’ll learn how to improve your website clicks and seriously nail Pinterest.
This eBook shows you how you can make money online through affiliate marketing on Amazon.
The eBook shows you how to get approved on Amazon, how to write optimized blog content that generates sales, and strategies to make money on Amazon.
Here is another amazing Pinterest eBook that also shows you how you can make money off affiliate marketing on Pinterest- essentially, you can make money on Pinterest, with or without a blog.
The eBook also gives you a list of 35+ affiliate programs to join and 430+ popular group boards to join on Pinterest for maximum reach.
Skillshare is an amazing online course platform offering thousands of courses online!
If you desire to be knowledgeable about just any topic, Skillshare is the place to be- from fashion, beauty, photography, wellness, home decor, design, SEO, writing, proofreading, blogging to general lifestyle.
Good enough, once your sign up, you get 2 free months! So, what are you waiting for? Get Skillshare NOW!
Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool that helps you to schedule pins for publishing at the best times for maximum exposure.
Also, Tailwind has a feature- Tailwind Tribes and these are groups where different pinners share each other’s’ pins. This is really helpful for viral traffic!
The Tailwind Create feature also allows you to create and edit pin graphics right within the platform. It automatically designs pin graphics for you! With the Free plan, you can design up to 15pins per month.
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Ever since the Google Adsense hitch that saw tons of bloggers losing hundreds of dollars in ad income, I sought another Ad network to join and I found Ezoic Ads.
Ezoic is so good if you haven’t hit the mark for Media Vine. And I want to believe that with tons of traffic, you earn even better with Ezoic Ads.
What do I love about Ezoic? Their ads are so relevant to your type of search content, and also, they have really clean ad locations. This ensures visitors to your site don’t get pissed off and bounce off your site.
9. Affiliate Programs To Join
Apart from Ads, bloggers also make money online through affiliate marketing.
Some of the affiliate programs to join include:
This affiliate network allows you to promote a bundle of digital products like eBooks, printables, and online courses in a pack.
This is a lifestyle affiliate marketing network that includes brands that promote fashion, beauty, and home décor.
With ShopStyle Collective, you can easily create affiliate links and widgets to share with your followers.
You can easily monetize your Pinterest profile apart from your blog by directly sharing shoppable posts on Pinterest.
It is an online marketplace where you can access graphics, WordPress themes, stock photography among other digital goods for use by web creatives.
- Ezoic Ads if you monetize your blog with their clean ads.
10. Sponsored Post Platforms
If you desire to work with amazing cosmetic brands, then Octoly is here for you! You simply need to pitch to brands and if accepted to a campaign, you’ll receive the products and you’re expected to review the products within 28days. I cherish this platform!
You can also activate your profile to receive paid campaigns.
Perhaps the best influencer networks I’ve joined so far. While the platform offers a ton of opportunities ranging from product endorsements, reviews, and brand content creation, I’ve been a fan of having sponsored content for brands on my blogs.
The rates differ according to the particular brand. But personally, I’ve been able to make between $20-$190 per article.
This review platform allows you to receive cosmetic products from brands, and once you receive the products in an Influenster Vovbox, you’re required to test them and review them on Influenster, Sephora, your social media channels, and wherever else you’ll be required according to the campaign.
The more you review more products, the more you unlock opportunities to review more products and also, build a portfolio.
This platform is great for product exchange and paid opportunities. You can browse collaborations that they list, and brands can message you directly!
11. Photography & Editing
a. A Good Laptop or Desktop
Having a laptop is just so essential for any blogger(yes, you may also have a desktop).
b. Photography Gear
As a blogger, you can always hire a photographer but this turns out to be costly in the long run.
That’s why as soon as you can you should start saving up for your own photography gear.
Apart from this DSLR, your complete photography gear should include a power bank, camera lens, external flash, memory card holder, camera straps, tripod with legs and the head, camera remote (especially if you’ll be shooting by yourself), lens cleaner, extra memory cards, memory card reader, external hard drive and a camera bag.
I bought mine from KEH- The Photographer’s Marketplace who can also guide you in regards to getting a perfect lens for all your photography needs.
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It is also important to note that there are some smartphones like the iPhone XS, Oppo F11 Pro, Huawei P30 Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 which will give such awesome shots. At times, I use my smartphone, the Huawei P30 Pro.
Lightroom is an editing software that allows you to edit your photos and give them beautiful shades using filters/presets that you can create and save for use at any other later time.
If you want to create a particular aesthetic for all your photos, then Lightroom is the way to go.
They have a mobile app that is so easy to use plus a laptop/desktop software too.
d. Stock Photos
As a blogger, stock photos really come in handy at times when we don’t have the right images for a post.
While there are so many sites for stock photos, we have Unsplash and Pixabay where you can access stock photos for free, Getty Images can be used for free if you choose to embed the photo on your site-otherwise, they have a premium plan.
We also have Shutterstock, Creative market, and Adobe Photos where you have to subscribe at a membership fee.
12. Graphic & Video Creation
Canva is a design software plus app that allows you to create beautiful graphics for all your design needs. You can also create smaller ebooks on Canva.
And now that Pinterest has embraced video pins, Canva is a great tool to make proper video pins. This feature, however, is available for premium users of the platform.
This is every blogger’s must-have!
b. Lumen 5
Lumen 5 is a video creation platform that’s helpful in producing shareable video content. If you’re using Pinterest to drive traffic, you’ll need this goldmine of a platform.
In this case, you can manually create videos on Lumen 5, or Lumen 5 will automatically convert your blog posts into videos using your RSS feed.
If you’re a blogger, it’s even better because you can easily create videos using your blog posts on Lumen 5.
Lumen5’s basic features are free, and if you need advanced features like no Lumen5 branding, 720P video, or even 1080P video output, you can upgrade to one of their premium plans which starts at $19 per month.
Veed is a video editing tool that allows you to create and edit awesome videos for use on all platforms. They have a wide range of fonts to help you add amazing subtitles to your videos.
And the best part is that you can create striking Instagram Reels videos for posting on Instagram, Tiktok, or even on Pinterest!
The free plan allows you to create up to 10minutes of video content with watermarks but once you upgrade to the Premium plans, starting at $12 per month, you can enjoy all Pro features.