Here's a list of some of the tools and resources I use on my blog. I have personally used and recommend all of the tools and resources listed below. Take a close look at 'Why I Recommend' next to each resource to see if it is right for you. If you're asking 'what do I need to start a blog?', then here's your place.
SiteGround is my overall choice for all new bloggers. Although there are cheaper options available, SiteGround's hosting quality and support make it the first place I host a new website these days. It's amazing what you get for a couple dollars per month.
I recommend Bluehost to anyone who asks me what the cheapest hosting option is. But don't be fooled. Cheap doesn't mean bad quality when it comes to Bluehost. It is a great place to host your new blog until it really starts to take off.
For me, Kinsta is like the Rolls-Royce of WordPress hosting. It's a little bit more expensive than the others on this list, but what you get for your money is unreal. Kinsta will manage your WordPress installation for you, provide daily backups and host your site on the Google Cloud Platform. Not to mention their support is incredible and a 5 year old could use their custom dashboard.
Namecheap is one of the biggest domain registrars on the planet and their reputation goes to match. As the name suggests, their domains are really good value. But they also have a good looking, simple dashboard for DNS management and anything else could need to manage your domain.
ConvertKit was essentially designed and created for bloggers. Their forms are highly customizable and use proven conversion techniques. If that's not enough, ConvertKit integrates with all the major list-building tools. I love their automations and sequences features that are so easy to use, but really powerful. If you are growing an email list for profit, you really want to consider ConvertKit first.
Great for beginners, SendInBlue is the most affordable email solution I have found for bloggers. If you just want to grow an email list and send broadcasts to your readers for free, then this is definitely the tool for you. If you want more advanced drip automation, then you might want to look at ConvertKit or consider upgrading to a paid plan of SendInBlue.
I can honestly say my email list would not be what it is today if it wasn't for this WordPress plugin. It's so easy to create good looking opt-in forms with this tool, but most of all you can create forms that convert like crazy. If you want to take your list to the next level by using content upgrades and lead magnets, then you need this plugin in your life.
It's hard to look at all of Thrive's products and not want to use them all. Trust me, I've been there! The ThriveThemes Membership was a no-brainer for me as I wanted the whole package of plugins. And rather than pay individually for all the tools, Thrive bundled them all together under one subscription. It's full of value and the price is nothing compared to what these plugins bring to my blog.
If you're thinking of making money on your blog through affiliate marketing, then you will need this plugin. It turns those long ugly affiliate links into pretty ones branded to your domain name. The free version is enough for most beginners, but if you're making money from affiliate links and are serious about it, then you might want to look into the pro version.