Toolkit


This page is where I am going to link to useful tools that bloggers can use. I only recommend programs/courses/tools that I find to be high quality and useful. I have reviews for the some of the programs and I will leave a link to those reviews.

I recommend that you sign up for my newsletter to stay up to date on special deals for any of the paid programs below. Blogging does not have to be expensive so if there is a good sale going on I will be linking to it in the newsletter.

Just fill in your name and email address in the opt-in box. My newsletter goes out on Wednesday.

Note: Most of these links are affiliate links. If you click a link and purchase something, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. My full disclosure is at the bottom of the page. All links open in a new tab

All-in-one Blogging Education

Wealthy Affiliate – Affiliate marketing education monthly membership site – $49/month (discounted yearly price available). Membership comes with free hosting, free email for your website (i.e support @ yoursite), SSL site security, content creation app with free stock images, 24/7 live chat, ambassadorship program, and more.

Grab the Black Friday deal in November and membership is only $25 a month (based on yearly pay of $299) for everything, plus a rockin’ community of members. You can host 25 domains on site, plus you will get 25 free sub-domains with hosting included.

Review 1 about why I chose this program to learn about affiliate marketing.

Review 2 on all the many benefits of membership including hosting and free SSL.

Billionaire Blog Club/Dare To Conquer (DTC) – One time payment of $497 USD, with free updates and upgrades. This is amazing blogging education with a major focus on SEO and using Pinterest for traffic. If you want to blow up your blog stats, then Paul Scrivens (“Scrivs”) has a program for you! Read my full review here.

Program opens several times a year for enrollment and I will let you know in my newsletter when it is open.

With an awesome community that is easy to navigate (Slack), as well as incentives for participating with other bloggers (Exchange), challenges that will help you boost your blog traffic, and the very best education you can get on how to use Tailwind and Tailwind Tribes to boost your traffic, there is no reason not to join!

Education is considered to be comparable to Elite Blog Academy, by people who have taken both. Ready to join? Click here.

*Update October 1* BBC is still alive…until the end of October (or maybe a bit longer depending on how long it takes to migrate updated BBC content over to the DTC site). Enroll before the changeover is complete to get access to both the BBC and DTC content!

Adventures in Blogging Courses

Traffic Transformation – Lena Gott truly has her finger on the pulse of how to improve blog traffic. 21 Strategies to improve your traffic. Once you finish reading this ebook you will look at what you are doing in a whole new way. I highly, highly recommend this book, mostly because you have 21 different strategies to increase traffic, so just pick one and you are sure to have more traffic if you follow the steps.

It is recommended that you read through the whole book before implementing, so that you can find what resonates with you and use it right away. Later, come back and implement the rest of the ideas. An awesome resource! $79

Blog Traffic Bootcamp – This little guide is 5 steps to fixing up old posts with some SEO tips to help improve them for traffic. It improved my traffic right away and has some awesome tips that will help keep people on your site longer. Win-win.

As well, I now have a new strategy going forward with new blog posts. If you have lots of posts that are just sitting there collecting dust, grab this book and fix them up! Highly recommended! $37

Free Blog Traffic Bonus Guide – It’s free! What can I say…grab it!

Pinterest Tools

Each of these programs has its own merits, and I recommend them all for this reason. Pinterest values regular, daily pinning above all else, and now they are telling us to upload a new pin daily, so you will need more than one strategy.

Beginner level

Pinterest Ninja – *Recommended for anyone new to Pinterest*. Megan Johnson (Love.Family.Health) has a winning Pinterest course here. Not only will you learn everything that you need to get set up with Pinterest, you also learn as how to use Facebook groups, Pinterest groups, branding for your website and a ton of other useful information to get you up and running with the best free source of blog traffic!

This is a valuable resource and you will find the same information in courses that cost 4 times as much ( I know that for a fact). I was amazed at how quickly my blog traffic increased after implementing this course.

The section on creating pins is invaluable and will help you to get started on the right foot! You cannot just pin any old image to Pinterest and hope to get traffic. The people who are going to re-pin your stuff have specific criteria for the pins that they will pin. Learn to do it right, from the beginning.

My full review is here. $49 You will see how my traffic increased super fast in the first couple of weeks, with an update from end of June.

Ignore my crazed enthusiasm about this program. I am a big fan as it helped me immensely to organize my blog and really increase my traffic. I love it and I think all you need to go with this is a good SEO program (I am looking!) and you will be set.

Tailwind – The Pinterest approved scheduler. Once you get some pins on your boards and start joining group boards, you will find having a scheduler is invaluable. $15/month which is limited to 400 posts a month or $120/year with unlimited posts per month (the best deal).

Sign up with my link and get 100 pins  for a free trial as well as a free month when you sign up for the yearly plan. Either of these comes with 5 Tribes memberships that give you 30 submissions a month. You can also post to Instagram!

The absolute best part of Tailwind is the metrics. This helps you see which pins are doing well and which are not so that you can create new ones (A/B split testing). Also gives you information on how your group boards are performing. Invaluable!

How To Drive Tons of Traffic from Pinterest to Your Site – This is a FREE 30 minute workshop from Anastasia Blogger. If you are on the fence about what Pinterest can do for your website traffic, then spend half and hour and let Anastasia show you what you are missing!

Intermediate Level Pinterest Users

Manual Pinning Simplified eBook – Kyla Sims (Dish It Out Social) manual pinning strategy that you can do on your phone! Grab that Pinterest traffic while you wait in line, cook dinner, or sit in traffic. You should be familiar with all of your group boards and your own pins to make pinning on your phone easier, but once you start pinning on your phone, you will see what a huge time saver this is.

Review coming, but I will say that I like using this system. It is so quick and uncomplicated and you do not need a spreadsheet to keep track of what you are doing. Updated August 24th with new bonuses.$39

Pinteresting StrategiesOct. 15/18: The book is not currently for sale, as it is being turned into a course on the Thinkific platform. ETA is November. There will also be an increase in price due to new videos and a component on using Tailwind.

Launch price will still be $32, but will go to $47 after that. I will be able to offer you a $5 off coupon for the new price 🙂

Carly Campbell’s (Mommy on Purpose) manual pinning system. Save money by not using a scheduler and get the same, if not better results. You should have the basics down (i.e you are using Pinterest for business, have rich pins, website is validated etc). and you should have at least 25 blog posts before trying to implement this (Carly’s words).

Requires a system to track what you are doing i.e a spreadsheet.

Pin Signals – Keeping up with Pinterest algorithm changes is a challenge sometimes. Let Jennifer Ledbetter (PotPieGirl in the blogoverse) teach you how to use the algorithms to your advantage. $37 and you get to watch PotPieGirl do her Wednesday work to see how schedules her Pinterest and Tailwind.

Affiliate Marketing courses

Affiliate Marketing: The Missing Pieces – Another winner from Carly Campbell. If you are having trouble earning money with affiliate marketing, then try Carly’s course first!

*Update: If you have troubles with my link, it is because Carly is moving her course from CourseCraft to the Thinkific platform. Links are inactive until everything is set up.

Most people who do not earn much with affiliate links are doing it wrong. There, I said it.

There are good ways to promote and not so good ways. This book will sort that out for you and you will find success faster once you know which is which. Highly recommended. $79. Full review coming soon!

SEO & Keywords

SEO Blueprint: From 1 to 10K Organic Visits – Leanne Wong has some awesome free information on her website, but by far the best of the best is her free SEO course. If you are wondering if you should do some things differently, and especially if you are new(er) to blogging and have not developed good SEO habits, then sign up for this course (and by extension, her newsletter) to get her most excellent free PDF “SEO Blueprint: From 0 to 10K Organic Visits”. There is a whole section on keywords, to help you learn right.

I am constantly on the lookout for SEO and keyword information that is easy to read and easy to implement, because when I started blogging I only did basic SEO because that is what I was taught. When I realized that I was missing some key information, I scrambled to find what I needed.

I have received some SEO ebooks in bundles that I have bought, but some of it is even too geeky for me and I lost interest. Leanne’s free PDF is very helpful.

Email

MailerLite – an awesome FREE email service provider for up to 1000 subscribers. I use MailerLite daily! It is so easy to set up and you can get on-page help with anything and everything, like merging automations with campaigns. I love it! Comes with landing pages, popups, embedded forms for opt-ins, automations for courses that you might create. My blog post on how to set it up is here.

7 Day Auto-Responder Audit – Looking for a free course to improve open and retention rates? This little free course will help you with that. And guess what? I set it all up with MailerLite!

5 Days of Email Marketing Tips – Uplevel your email marketing with tips on deliverability, when you should mail, subject lines and more!

Hosting

Siteground – The most popular website hosting that is recommended the most by my blogging friends. Prices start at $3.95 a month (competitive!). Siteground has a reputation for faster page loading speeds and great customer service.

Blogging Bundles

Ultimate Bundles – UB promotes a bunch of blogging bundles for many niches throughout the year (herbs & essential oils; parenting; blogging; handmade crafts, photography and many more) . My favorite is the Genius Bloggers Toolkit, which retails for $97. I encourage anyone who wants any of their awesome bundles to sign up as an affiliate and get the bundle(s) for 40% off and then promote the bundle to your readers/subscribers. They are easy to sell, because they are full of awesome products.

The next GBTK is October 10 to 15, 2018, and it contains Carly Campbells Affilate Marketing course; a beginner course from Monica Froese on Pinterest ads, and a free Pinterest traffic spreadsheet and video from Lena Gott. Great stuff.

The 2017 bundle contained Pinteresting Strategies from Carly Campbell (see above), Blog Traffic Bootcamp from Lena Gott (see above) as well as the videos from the Elite Blog Academy conference from 2017, which has a lot of awesome content on creating the life you want while blogging about your passion. Very inspiring!

BC Stack BundlesOnce a year, you can access a phenomenal amount of products for less money than even one of the products retails for. The 2018 bundle contained Pin Signals from potpiegirl (see above), as well as Pin Practical Promotions Primer, a course on promoted pins for Pinterest by Monica Froese (Redefining Mom).

When I finish it, I will write a review because I think promoted pins on Pinterest is under-utilized and I have heard some great things about it.

Limited time availability (one week in July). My review is here. $37 and a bargain at that!

Content Creation Courses

Create Quality Content Quickly – This course can help you learn the steps to creating content quickly so that you can move on to do other blog work or just live your life in general. This program taught me how to write more effectively and produce more content in less time, which is invaluable for content creators.

My review is here. $57

Grammarly – Yes, the ads that you see on YouTube, but it works! If you like to write in MS Word before uploading to WordPress (that is what I do), then Grammarly is a great FREE addition. Plus it has that whole plagiarism checker. And an extension for Chrome. Grammarly is free, but you can also get a Premium edition for $29/month.

Great Helpers

Social Warfare – This plugin for WordPress makes sharing your blog posts on Pinterest and social media platforms much easier.

If you purchase the Pro version you can choose the graphics that will go out with your posts, create your tweets and everything right inside it. So worth $29 a year. Watch for sales (I bought it at 30% off!).

A Prettier Web – My theme is the Boss Lady theme from this site and I love it for the announcement bar at the very top of the page and for the two spots that I can put a full length call-to-action opt-in form on my Home page. It is worth it for that alone. If you are going to promote on your website, make sure to have a theme that helps you!! $49

Creative Market – If you are not signed up here to get the newsletter and weekly free fonts and graphics…why not? Did I mention that it is free???

I get tons of free fonts and free graphics from Creative Market weekly. If you are creating pins for Pinterest and custom blog post banners, sign up at Creative Market for the newsletter and get your free stuff.

Pic Monkey – Photo editing software that works great to make banners for your blog posts and pins for Pinterest. Very affordable, but you can start off with a free 7 day trial! Then it is $5.99 a month (paid yearly) or $7.99 a month (paid monthly). If you are using Pinterest for traffic, you have to have a tool like this to create pins. Huge time saver.

I know that I have been promoting Canva, but I am finding Canva for work to be an expensive tool. Pic Monkey is much more affordable and has so many more options for creating amazing graphics that you just cannot do in Canva. I will have a review up soon, but trust me on this Pic Monkey is the superior tool.

Survey Sites to earn free stuff

Shopper’s Voice – I have been doing surveys with SV since way back in the day. They always send out superior coupons and I have gotten tons of free stuff (mostly food items because I have no pets). I do their surveys often for great deals.

Pinecone Research – I found Pinecone about 10 or 12 years ago, and I love doing their surveys. I have tried a lot of products as well, so if you like to try out stuff for free be sure to check your surveys when it asks if you would be willing to try products.

They used to pay $5 per survey by check, but now you earn 300 points online per survey and you can redeem them for cash or prizes on the website.  This is NOT an affiliate program…I just really like it and you might too.