Personal websites have gone from just a fun pastime, dominated by people keeping online diaries about their pets and travels, to serious business nowadays. Even if you are just beginning to learn WordPress, it’s not hard to take your website or blog to the next level. You just need the right tools and resources to build your online presence and monetize your website.
Why spend money on books and courses when you can find everything you need to create a successful WordPress website online? There's a heap of resources available from online courses to apps, and training tools. The scope of resources online can lead to some confusion. For this reason, we’ve compiled a short but comprehensive list of the best blog resources out there.
You’ll need a CMS to power your blog. Since WordPress.org was originally built for bloggers and remains the most popular blogging platform in the world, it’s a great place to start.
Learn About WordPress Hosting
If you have the technical skills, performing the famous five-minute install and picking a theme might be all you need. However, if you want to have the best and easiest experience imaginable, we recommend managed WordPress hosting for your website.
There is no shortage of hosting companies available for WordPress bloggers. We recommend our own EasyWP to cover your WordPress hosting needs. This reliable hosting package includes 1-click install, 24/7 support, and best of all, it’s not overkill for beginners.
WordPress for Beginners
The following resources are suitable for absolute beginners. They cover topics for intermediate bloggers as well which will be useful as you become more comfortable with the basics.
- WPBeginner is hands down the most comprehensive resource for setting up and running a successful WordPress blog. You can easily set up a blog using WPBeginner alone.
- Bloggingbasics 101 is a fantastic resource for social media and blogging tips. This site is a great guide to WordPress for beginners, with advice on things like choosing a niche and how to avoid basic mistakes.
- BloggingTips is one of the web’s oldest and largest resources for bloggers. You’ll find instructions on how to start a WordPress blog, along with insights into the professional blogging industry.
- Blogging.org is a creation of Zac Johnson, one of the most successful bloggers on the planet. This site is well worth checking out for inspiration and tips from an authority on the subject.
- The EasyWP Blog is all about helping newcomers become successful bloggers and web publishers. Powered by experienced WordPress users at Namecheap, each week you'll find new and interesting advice about building websites on the world's most popular CMS. Readers can also discover theme suggestions and news about leaders in the WP community.
- Amy Porterfield is one of the most influential online marketers right now, and her blog is packed with useful stuff. Amy specializes in valuable tips such as a five-step plan to grow your email list. Her site includes an Online Marketing Made Easy podcast series. Weekly podcasts include guest marketers input on current trends and developments in online marketing.
- If you want to get serious, check out Authority Hacker’s blog. For anyone who wants to make money from a blog, Authority Hackers are the business. In addition to the wealth of free content they offer, there’s Authority Hacker Pro, a membership program that provides training and more.
- Namecheap Blog Helpful guides covering hundreds of topics are available on the Namecheap Blog. Many posts are geared at helping beginners learn more about WordPress, including overviews of the dashboard, theme recommendations, and more.
Advanced WordPress Learning
These resources were selected for experiences site builders who want to learn even more about WordPress. If you’re not new to blogging and want actionable tips on growing your blog, these sites are for you.
- Once your blog is up and running, you’ll want to know more about blogger outreach. This is where you build relationships with other bloggers. Head to Bloggersidekick.com for a wealth of information on outreach and strategy.
- The blog help is a sophisticated site covering in-depth blogging topics. Their tagline warns, ‘it won’t be easy (but 100% worth it)’ is true of the content. If you’re comfortable with a small learning curve, use this resource to realize the true potential of your blog.
- Backlinko is written by professional bloggers for anyone wishing to become a professional blogger. With endorsements from Forbes and the Huffington Post this blog is the best in the business when it comes to link building, SEO, and content marketing advice.
- The Lovely Blog Academy has stacks of tips for growing and monetizing your blog. Head to their dedicated area for intermediate bloggers for advanced topics covering affiliate marketing, affiliate linking and so on.
Free Tools for Bloggers
Your blog won’t run itself, which is where these tools and services will come in handy. The majority are free to use and suitable for beginners, and professional bloggers alike.
Plan and organize your work, during and post-production using a blogger friendly content management system.
- Asana is a great tool for freelancers and collaborating with clients. This user-friendly CMS helps organize tasks, set reminders and above all, organize your work.
- Trello is a fantastic tool for organizing your projects. Laid out like a pinboard, it’s incredibly easy to use. Track everything from one page. In one glance you have full access to everything in production, who’s working on what and what’s in the pipeline.
Images for WordPress
Keep your website easy on the eye with good quality, well-formatted images. There are plenty of resources for stock images geared toward bloggers and creatives plus tools to adapt them to WordPress.
- For stock photo galleries we like Kaboompics and Raw pixel. Download and use their high-quality images for commercial purposes, free of charge.
- If you include blog images in your WordPress posts, use Canva. This cloud-based design tool lets you create gorgeous blog images with text without any learning curve. Affinity Photo is a great picture editor offering more advanced features for a small one-off fee of just $49.
How to Promote a Blog
You can easily take advantage of social media to promote your website, collect subscribers and use newsletter tools to reach out to existing members.
- We recommend using Buffer to manage your social media accounts. Add everything from statutes to links and pictures to the queue. Post at intermittent times throughout the day from Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and Instagram for free!
- To cover your email needs, we recommend Mailerlite. This email marketing software offers unlimited emails and 24/7 support with up to 1,000 subscribers for free.
Monetize Your Blog
Use these straightforward tools to make money with your WordPress site.
- SkimLinks is a great tool for monetizing your blog and perfect for beginners. Its clever system scans your content for links, swapping any normal links for affiliate links. This is the easiest way to profit from blogging.
- ShopStyle Collective is a monetization platform for fashion and lifestyle influences. They accept bloggers no matter how large their following which is ideal if you’ve just launched. Use their funky widgets for your posts and sidebars to attract sales. ShopStyle Collective pay per click and item sold.