In the old days, which in Internet terms means 5 years ago, you could blindly setup a blog, start writing, and get ranked by Google and see traffic come your way in no time at all. Ahhhh….. the good ‘ol days.

Nowadays, bloggers have become more educated, sophisticated, and possess a toolbox full of software to help them compete with all the other bloggers around the world.

The good news is, it has also gotten harder to “cheat” or use what we call Black Hat or Grey Hat techniques to game the Google system. So more and more bloggers are having to do the basics well and a little extra effort to stand out from the crowd.

Digital Marketing Tools At The Right Time

One thing that is much better than before is the amount of tools that are available on the market. They’re extremely helpful in helping you make your blog fast, pretty, and search engine optimized.

The bad news, it's soooooo hard to tell the good tools from the mediocre ones!

Like everything you can buy, there are cheap, mid-priced, and high-end products. Same thing for digital marketing tools.

Below we’re going to recommend our favorite tools for beginners. There won’t be many choices, as we totally believe that you need to bootstrap this blog and get it earning money before you move up to better, higher-priced tools.

One thing we won’t recommend are tools or services that are good for a beginner, but terrible, costly, and difficult to change once you move up to a mid-level blogger.

The other thing, with each tool there is a learning curve. We don’t want you spending your time learning the tool, we want you to get started building that blog!

We also want to get you started on the right foot. We don’t want to get you started, you get 50 articles written on your blog, then you find out you should have been using this or that tool and now you need to spend 3 hours updating all your articles! We’ll do our best at least.

So we’re going to keep this Beginner Blogger Toolkit short and sweet.

Beginner Blogger Toolkit

The Essentials To Bootsrap Your Blog (0 – 10,000 Visitors)

Siteground – from $3.95/mo

WEBSITE HOSTING

Siteground can be considered one of the cheap hosting platforms. But unlike most of the others, they have terrific performance and support.

They have all the right gear such as SSD drives, free SSL Certificate that doesn’t take a PhD to install, and supports up to 10,000 visits a month. By the time you get to this level, your blog should be paying for your hosting and then some!

The beauty of Siteground is the path to grow into bigger and faster servers is easy. The next size up gets you up to 25,000 visits a month. You don’t need to leave and go thru all the headaches of a server migration.

Choosing Siteground and following their easy steps to launching WordPress will get you up and running F-A-S-T!

NameCheap – from $0.88

DOMAIN NAME REGISTRAR

Picking a domain name is one of the funnest part of starting a blog. It can also be one of the most frustrating projects as well when you try, and try, and try to find the name to only find out it’s not available.

While you’ll be paying around $10.00 for most domain names ending in .com or .net, there are some other extensions that are fun and go on sale often.

We have nearly all of our domain names at Namecheap and find them to be one of the best registrar’s out there.

GeneratePress – free

WORDPRESS THEME

The great thing about WordPress is that it is so flexible and supports a huge community to build great stuff for it.

One of the first decisions you need to make after installing WordPress is installing a theme.

There are A TON to choose from. We’ll make it simple, as it would be way too long to explain why, is GeneratePress.

Hands down, it is the best theme out there. For beginner and advanced websites!

The only other theme we highly recommend is Astra, but for a beginner we slightly like GeneratePress more.

Thirsty Affiliates – free

LINK CLOAKER

OK, don’t get scared with the word “cloaker”. There’s nothing clandestine going on here!

This is one of those products I wish I had used from day one! Load this free wordpress plugin asap and whether or not you use it right away or later, at least it’s loaded and ready to go.

On your website, you’ll be using lots and lots of links to other websites. And lots of links to products.

One of the ways for monetizing your blog is to use “affiliate links”. These are url’s that are embedded with lots of extra characters to pass on a lot of information to the store. One of which is your personal affiliate ID so they know your website is the one that sent them there. And they’re really long and ugly url’s.

Thirsty Affiliates makes the links pretty, and they allow you to track how many times they’ve been clicked.

The most important thing they do, you can update a link one time, and it’ll update the link on ALL the posts you’ve used it on. It’s a lifesaver and something you don’t want to have to go back and fix later. Do it right from the beginning.

Advanced Blogger Toolkit

Time To Get Better Tools (10,000 – 25,000 visitors)

ConvertKit – from $29/mo

Email Marketing

Congratulations, you’re a successful blogger!

Collecting emails and owning your visitor relationship is one thing I’ve been terrible at. I just didn’t think it was important. But I’ve learned my lesson.

I struggled with putting ConvertKit in Beginner or Advanced, but I felt it was complicated enough with marketing automation and other terms to make it seem daunting.

But by this point, you’re now ready to grow your skills and delve into some really cool marketing.

ConvertKit is one of 3 Email Marketing systems I can recommend. But for its ease-of-use and beautiful templates, I highly recommend this one for the beginner learning email marketing.

Pro Blogger Toolkit

Time To Get The Best Tools (25,000+ Visitors)

Ahrefs – from $99/mo

ADVANCED SEO

Ahrefs is THE MOST EXPENSIVE tool I use. And I gladly pay for it.

That says alot for someone that is as cheap as me. But I don’t mind paying for something that I get alot of value out of.

There’s a ton you’ll use this tool for, but one of the best things is Keyword Research.

Try the 7-day trial for $7 and you’ll see how good this tool is!

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