Blogging Tools

When you start a new blog, there are some blogging tools that you’ll need to use right from the jump, and others that you can wait on.

In addition, there are some blogging tools that are free, and others that cost some kind of dough. I’ll tell you that when I start a new blog, I don’t generally jump right into using tools that I have to pay for, honestly because if I get sick of working on that blog, I’ll have wasted that money.

So…I look for blogging tools that are free at first, or at the very least, have a free trial that I can use until I figure out exactly where my head is with that blog.

That said, these are the tools that I use for this blog (and some of the others), free and paid:

Blog Hosting Company

I’m sure you’ve probably already noticed it, but I have a banner for this company in my sidebar. Why? Long story that I won’t get into here, but if you’re curious you can find it by clicking HERE.

Blog Graphics

PicMonkey

I use a couple of graphics apps to create images for my blogs and for Pinterest. PicMonkey is great for creating images for Pinterest, and that’s primarily what I use it for.

Click Here to get your PicMonkey Free Trial.

Adobe Spark

This graphics app is also fantastic for creating Pinterest graphics (pins), but I also use it to create other images like blog graphics (the images in this blog’s sidebar were created with Adobe Spark), newsletter headers, etc. I’ve been using the free version of this app forever, so if I’m going to be honest, choosing between this and PicMonkey simply depends on your own preference.

Click Here to sign up for Adobe Spark.

Stencil

Stencil is alot like Canva, but I found it somewhat confusing to use both on a desktop and as an app. The easiest to use for me is Adobe Spark (above), because I do EVERYTHING on my phone (feels like I’m literally working 24/7), and the app is so easy to use it’s insane.

Click Here to try out Stencil for yourself.

Ad Networks

If you’re blogging for the sake of eventually replacing that J-O-B that you hate so much, you’re going to want to (NEED to) put a few ads on your blog. I try to only place ads on this blog that correspond with products / services that I use, but if you use Adsense, you really don’t get that choice.

These are the ad networks that all (or most) of my blogs are enrolled in. Some have minimum traffic requirements, others (like Adsense) have requirements, but don’t tell you what the hell they are :-/

Adsense

No idea what the requirements are to get into Adsense’s program, but I’ve never had an issue getting accepted. I think that if you build the blog, and write a few posts that look like your intention is to continue blogging, you should have an issue getting in.

Shareasale

I love this ad network. Not sure why. Maybe because almost all of the products or services that I use are represented by this company. Their system is easy to use and read, so there’s no confusion as to which programs you’re making money on, and which are duds.

CLICK HERE to check out Shareasale.

Newsletter Software

MailMunch

Yeah…I know…weird name, but I love MailMunch. It’s probably the easiest to use newsletter software I’ve found yet. The forms are super simple to create, but look very professional. The actual newsletters are easy to design, and that’s a huge deal for me. I don’t wanna spend an entire day figuring out how to make a newsletter look decent.

I used MailChimp (NOT related to MailMunch) for the first little while, but after having issues sending newsletters on a couple of occasions, I figure the fact that it’s free just isn’t worth the hassle.

CLICK HERE to try out MailMunch for yourself.

MailChimp

MailChimp has a plan that’s free up to 2000 emails.

When you use MailChimp’s free plan, it doesn’t come with support, which is fine, but I had too many issues with the company NOT sending newsletters, and there was no way to remedy that, because there’s no support. It’s a classic case of “you get what you pay for”.