Blogging Stack: 14 Blogging Tools To Help You Become A Better Blogger

Blogging Stack: 14 Blogging Tools To Help You Become A Better Blogger

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Do you want to become a better blogger? Here are 14 blogging toolkit you need in your blogging stack to make more money blogging this year.
Best Blogging Tools 14 Blogging Stack

What are the best blogging tools today?

The one thing every successful blogger has is an arsenal of blogging tools. These tools are used to make sure they perform the best in crafting the best content, day in and day out. If you are just starting out with blogging, you are in for a treat.

In this article, I'm going to share with you the top blogging tools a.k.a. blogging stack that I personally use for all my blogs.

Table of Contents

Tools to make WordPress Better

I am a loud advocate for WordPress and this tool had helped me created dozens of websites that generated me with thousands of dollars.

New to blogging? Follow these to the "T"!

WordPress Blogging Stack

Thrive Architect

Blogging is all about creating awesome content that turn cold website visitors into hot leads or buyers.

I use Thrive Architect to create intuitive blog posts (not just content but layout) to ensure that my readers are always engaged!

Thrive Architect is easy to use and this tool helps you to build beautiful homepage, landing pages and blog posts without touching a single line of code (full drag and drop builder). Learn more about Thrive Architect here.

Divi Builder

My second go-to website builder is Divi. It is highly affordable, doesn't cost a bomb and more importantly, it comes with a lifetime license which is just too good to be true!

This is one WordPress tool that comes packing with over 500 ready-made templates—so you know that you are in good hands. Click here to learn more about Divi Builder.

VirusDie

WordPress websites are prone to attacks and malicious code injection. The only way is to stay safe and have a good website security tool. I use VirusDie for all my blogs because it is easy to use and no plugin installation ever required. Read my VirusDie review here.

Reliable WordPress Hosting And Control Panel

Last but not least, my blogging stack includes reliable WordPress and control panel (huh?).

This blog generates over 150,000 visits in a month and I need more than just a web hosting. I use Vultr high performance VPS and as I have limited knowledge in server management, GridPane to control my VPS.

Click here to get $100 free Vultr credit and this is my review on GridPane.

If you are starting small, you don't need to have an expensive hosting service. Shared hosting would do and with BlueHost, you can get free domain and web hosting for under $3 per month. Here's the deal page.

Tools To Build Landing Pages

Successful bloggers use landing pages to build an email list and to perform online sales call around the clock. Landing page can be expensive, and being a cheapskate, here are the top landing page builders you should be using.

Tools To Build Landing Pages

ClickFunnels

I like ClickFunnels because it is easy to use and there are tons of support (company and customer support). However, ClickFunnels is not for everyone because it starts with a large price tag of $99 per month.

If your blog is already making money, I recommend you to invest into ClickFunnels to build landing pages and funnels quickly and effectively.

LeadPages

A great alternative to ClickFunnels is LeadPages. LeadPages help you build landing pages quickly and using an intuitive drag and drop builder.

The only difference about LeadPages is that it doesn't come with a funnel builder. Nonetheless, this is one of the cheapest (and most popular) landing page builder for WordPress. Click here to learn more about LeadPages.

GetResponse

GetResponse started the whole funnel and landing page builder pretty late in the industry (around 2018). I'm currently using GetResponse because it offers all of these under one roof:

  • Landing page builder
  • Email list builder
  • Autoresponder
  • Funnel building
  • Webinar software

If you are looking for value-for-money type of landing page builder, GetResponse is not only the cheapest but it is also the most feature pack one. Try GetResponse for free (or try their demo here).

Tools To Make Blog Content Better

Last in my blogging stack are the tools I use to craft better content. The better your content are, the better the chances are you to get more traffic, making more money and ultimately, sales conversion.

Blogging Stack To Make Blog Content Better

Grammarly

I craft all my blog posts on Google Drive because it gives me flexibility to edit and add more content on the go. However, working on the go has its own disadvantages—including doing grammatical mistakes.

For this, Grammarly is my go-to blogging stack that I dearly love. If you want to become a strong blogger, this is one tool you need to have in your arsenal. Click here to get Grammarly for free today (premium plans available too).

Rank Math SEO Plugin

Getting your blog post written correctly is one thing—having the right SEO structure is another. With Rank Math SEO plugin, you can easily optimize the blog post to send the right signals to Google for better ranking.

The best part? Rank Math is absolutely free to use! Download it here.

Headline Analyzer

You may spend 48 hours to craft the best content, but if you are not spending enough time with crafting an emotional headline, your content will not get much clicks.

I use Headline Analyzer by Advanced Marketing Institute to check on my headline score. It's free to use and I recommend you to use it right now (to get more clicks to your blog post).

Tools To Help You Build An Email List

Here's a little secret. My blogging stack includes email marketing strategies and tools. Why?

Having an email list helps me to promote timely blog posts, promotions and even drive my sales up by multiple folds. It certainly takes time to build, but it is by far the best value for money strategy for bloggers around the world.

Blogging Stack To Build An Emal List

OptinMonster

Turning your website visitors into email subscribers is tough. With OptinMonster's ready-made templates, all heavy lifting is done for you.

As an email list builder, OptinMonster is not the cheapest in the market. However, this is by far the best tool that successfully helped me build an email list with over 100,000 subscribers. Here's a free OptinMonster demo for you to check out.

Thrive Leads

"Reg, OptinMonster is just too expensive for me! What are the alternatives?"

Don't worry, I hear you loud and clear.

If budget is an issue, Thrive Leads is your go-to email marketing tool. With a one-time payment for a lifetime updates and access, this is an absolute no brainer for bloggers around the world.

Want to know an advocate for Thrive Leads? John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur On Fire!

Don't wait. Check out Thrive Leads here.

GetResponse

Where is the best place to host an email list? My favorite spot is GetResponse. It works well for affiliate marketers and it doesn't shut you down for no reasons (like what its competitor does).

GetResponse comes with a wide range of tools including:

  • Email marketing
  • Autoresponder
  • Landing pages
  • Funnel builders
  • Webinar software

Not bad. You should check it out here.

AWeber

If you are looking for a simple email marketing software that doesn't suck, AWeber is here to save the day.

AWeber offers good delivery rates, intuitive drag and drop builder and comes with around the clock support.

Plus, did I tell you that AWeber only costs $19 per month? Click here to try AWeber for 30 days (no credit card required)!

Recap On My Blogging Stack

The right blogging stack will help you become a better and more productive blogger.

Not only it helps to speed up content creation, it ensures that your hard work pays off with better ranking and opportunities to make money.

What is your blogging stack? Leave a comment and tell me all about it!

Reginald Chan

Reginald Chan

A meticulous entrepreneur by nature, Reginald is a sought-after success coach, digital marketing consultant and TEDx speaker from Asia. Currently, he teaches others how to make money online for free.

Grow With Confidence

When Should Bloggers Upgrade From Free To Paid Email Marketing?

Free email marketing services — For example, MailChimp is one of the best free email marketing provider in the world which is used by bloggers and businesses.

We all know that 'free' services only go that far and when should you upgrade from free email service to paid ones?

When should you upgrade to paid email marketing?

I love trying out new tools and it is always fun. I also don't mind spending money if it can help my business grow to new heights.

Here are some signs that tells you that it is time to upgrade your email marketing solution.

1. Subscribers

When you have more than 500 email subscribers, you should start using paid email marketing.

Is 500 the magic number?

Probably. When you have 500 email subscribers, you should be something right and you should be getting sufficient traffic from email marketing (each time you send out a broadcast).

When you have at least 500 email subscribers, you should already be monetizing your email lists and that should generate you some income directly from email marketing.

2. Features

Email Marketing for Beginners

Free email marketing tools don't come with all the features (as much as paid ones do). Therefore, going for paid email marketing is a great option especially when you need advanced features.

For example, visual builders, automation, tagging etc. often come along with paid email marketing.

3. Affordability

When your blog starts making money (and when you are affordable), you should start upgrading your free email marketing service to paid email marketing service.

These additional features will help you grow your blogging business faster and more efficiently. Plus, don't forget that you will have close to no burden on your wallet as you are already making enough from your blog to pay for the email marketing service.

4. The type of business you are promoting

Type of Business

If you are an affiliate marketer, you will know that MailChimp doesn't allows users to send out affiliate marketing newsletters. Therefore, other MailChimp alternatives such as AWeber and GetResponse are better choices.

5. Taking email marketing further

Last but not least, you should be upgrading your email marketing if you are serious in making a living using a blog.

Email marketing should be used as a tool to help you generate more income and traffic directly to your blog, while reducing your dependability towards Google and social media.

Are you ready to take email marketing to new levels?

Not sure if you should be using a paid email marketing service? Today is your lucky day!

I hear you. I've worked with AWeber and here's how you can start (for free) to see if paid marketing is your cup of tea!

Sign up below and get some insights on how paid email marketing works today!





An easier way to create email campaigns.

Email automation. Sign up forms. Analytics. Award-winning customer support. Learn more about AWeber's email marketing features and more when you sign up for our behind-the-scenes email course.

5 Steps To Launch A Blog To Success

Want to launch a blog to success but not sure where to start? In this article, you will find the simple 5 steps you can take to start a blog and make it into a huge success.

If you didn't know, blogging is a lucrative passive income and side hustle for many. Anyone can start a blog in just a few hours and start generating passive income on the side. Blogging has long been a great past time for students and I've even seen bloggers who went from hobby to full time writers!

Without any delay, here are the 5 steps you need to take to launch a blog to success.

1. Find a domain name

A domain name is important as it represents your brand (don't worry if you don't have a brand now). When it comes to blogging, you should find a domain name that suits your niche.

For example, it is always better and recommended to have the keyword of choice in your domain name.

There is no wrong going for a self-named domain name like I do (www.reginaldchan.net). Even dot com, dot net or any form of TLD is fine. End of the day, it boils down to your self preferences.

The cost of buying a domain name is cheap, typically under $10 per year. When it comes to domain names, my first and only choice is NameCheap.

To make it easier for you, just use the widget below to find your ideal domain.

Find a domain starting at $0.48

powered by Namecheap

2. Choose a reliable web hosting service

There are many web hosting services that you can choose from — but reliable ones? Only a handful to be honest.

If you are brand new to blogging and want to get the best value for your money, HostGator is the best option. With web hosting that starts under $5 per month, there is no better deal than this one.

Important note: Remember that cheap web hosting services doesn't mean good.

If you are looking for a more reliable web hosting service with superior performance, WP Engine and Kinsta are two of the best heavyweights in the market. By going for either one of these web hosting services, you are getting excellent support, along with bulletproof security and server performance.

3. Install WordPress and plugins

WordPress is a powerful CMS and there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be using it for your blog. Using web hosting services such as HostGator, WP Engine and Kinsta, installation of WordPress can be done in just a single click.

Here is a list of WordPress plugins you should install on your blog:

  • Yoast SEO / All In One SEO Pack

  • Contact Form 7 / Ninja Forms

  • Akismet

  • chevron-circle-right

    AMP

There are thousands of WordPress plugins that you can choose from, but you do not need to install many of them. Keeping your plugins to the minimum is always a great way to ensure your website loads fast.

4. Publish your first blog post

Publishing a blog post is not about simply writing a long-form content and hit the publish button. It involves checking, analyzing, research and of course, 'beautifying' the content.

Most bloggers I see do not take enough time either in doing research or making the content much more readable.

Research

Doing research on a blog topic involves search engine optimization (SEO) and the easiest way to do proper SEO is by using KWFinder. You can create a free account and use it to search for relevant keywords (so that you rank higher and faster).

Beautifying

We all hate boring blog posts. Imagine the wall of texts. Those are seriously boring and unattractive. Beautifying a blog post could involves coding skills to make your content looks more attractive which is the hard way — or the much easier way by using visual builders such as Thrive Architect or Divi.

5. Build fan base and followers

The last step is critical for your blogging success ... especially when you are looking to be successful in the future.

From the first day of blogging, you should focus in building an email list to encourage readers to sign up. You can offer them perks such as eBooks and downloadable materials to help you get the ball rolling faster!

The trick here is to start collecting emails as early as possible in your blogging career.

Want to start an email list? Here's what you need to do:

  • 1

    Signup for an email marketing provider such as AWeber

  • 2

    Integrate with your lead generation plugin (I highly recommend OptinMonster or Thrive Leads)

  • 3

    Create popups and different forms of perks to attract sign ups

  • 4

    Send daily or monthly emails to keep your readers engaged

Are you ready to launch a blog to success?

I hope you find these 5 steps easily and useful. Have a question? Ask me in the comments below!

How To Be Number One In Blogging?

It's lovely Sunday here in Malaysia and I want to make this post a short one before heading off chilling with my family (wife and kid). 

As a blogger, I often wonder how to be number one in blogging. Yes, the dream is big but at the very least, being number one in my niche is a good start.

I tried a lot of things in recent years and realized that it is really easy to beat your competitors. So, here are some cool blogging tips to help you reach the top spot in your niche.

Related: Want to make money online? Here's the ultimate guide to making money online.

How To Be Number One In Blogging

1. Publish posts based on what others are looking for

Don't publish a post because you wanted to. Publish a post because your audience is looking for that.

For example, 'how-to' posts always strive way better (in rankings) compared to other posts because it is simple to digest and solve problems others are facing.

As a blogger, you are the person that shares information. Therefore, make sure the information is timely, accurate and above everything, actionable.

2. Create impressive content

When it comes to content creation, your content can be short but make sure it is delivered nicely. In other words, impress your website visitors and they will come back for more.

A few examples in creating impressive content are:

  • Detailed research and analytics

  • Ultra long blog posts (like this one)

  • Use bullet points to summarize the content

  • Usage of visual builders such as Thrive Architect to mesmerize your audience (click here for demo)

  • check-circle-o

    Embed videos and visuals to help deliver the information

3. Website loading speed matters

An average attention span of a website visitor is between 5 to 7 seconds. If your website takes over 10 seconds to loads, no one is going to stick around long enough to read the post.

Therefore, having a fast website loading speed is critical for success. And when it comes to web hosting, avoid going for just any web hosting services.

Partnering with reputable web hosting companies such as HostGator, WP Engine and Kinsta is going to help your website loads way much faster and ultimately, helping you to be number one in blogging.

4. The importance of web design

Web design is important. Using a free WordPress template is going to save you some money at first but is going to leave a bad impression in a long run. Plus, you are NOT going to be number one anytime soon if you are using free templates.

Let's be realistic. Do you think that you can stand out from the crowd by not having a professional website design? Absolutely not!

If you want to be number one in blogging, consider using a premium WordPress theme for your blog.

Premium themes such as Thrive Themes costs as low as $19 per month. Therefore, I see no reason why you shouldn't be using it (if you are dead serious in becoming number one in blogging).

5. Mobile first (because Google loves it)

Again, here's another massive problem when you use free WordPress themes. Most of them are not optimized and according to Google, mobile first is a key reason for website ranking. 

WordPress theme that you use must be optimized for mobile and responsive. Therefore, I highly recommend you to use premium WordPress themes or at least, WordPress themes that are mobile responsive (click here for sample).

Are you ready to be number one in blogging?

I know that I'm ready to be number one in the blogging niche of my choice. How about you?

Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

How I Made Money Online Through Blogging?

We all want to make more money on the side (without leaving our day job). For the younger generation, one of the best ways to make money online is through blogging.

I made pretty decent earnings from the Internet — all thanks to hard work and some luck. I make my money through affiliate marketing and to give you an idea on how much I actually made, take a look at the screen grab below.

affiliate earnings

Let's be honest. $11,697.87 is a lot of money and I know that you can use this for a whole lot of reason!

Make money online through blogging is not impossible. It takes time and effort — and if you can stay close to it, you are going to reap the benefit after some time.

Discovering The "How"

How can you can make money from blogging today?

I bet you have this in mind. Carry on reading below and let me show you how it can be done (correctly).

1. Find your interest (niche)

find niche for blogging

All successful bloggers have one thing in common — they do the thing that they love. This means that if you love writing about WordPress, then that should be the niche for your website. If you have deep love for finance related news, you should start a blog covering that topic.

You can start a blog that is not really your interest but after several weeks of hard work, you will feel burn down — and you will stop blogging altogether.

The trick here is to find a niche that you have interest in and start a blog with that in mind.

2. Search engine optimization (SEO) is always important

search engine optimization

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars a month for expensive SEO tools. However, successful bloggers often invest into at least a single SEO tool to help them rank better on search engines.

I use KWFinder (click here to create a free account) and it is definitely one of my must-use tool before writing a blog post. KWFinder can help you find long tail keywords and analyze your competitor's backlinks.

Must read: What is KWFinder and how to use KWFinder (review)?

3. Focus on content

content first

Starting a blog is the easy part — determining your focus is another. When you start a blog, you are going to be bombarded with SEO, WordPress setup, plugins and many more.

But there's one trick to this. Writing a blog post is all about the content — so make sure your content is readable and engaging.

If you are starting a new blog, you should spend more time on the content than the SEO aspect. This means that you should focus heavily on the way the content is showcased to your potential audience and what you can do to make them wanting for more.

For me, I use Thrive Architect to create highly interactive content to keep website visitors longer on my site. If they stay long enough, they will enter my marketing funnel which involves using Thrive Leads to collect emails and build my email list.

4. Make money online through email marketing

email marketing

I made a lot of money from blogging through email list. The fastest way to start an email list is using MailChimp. MailChimp allows you to create multiple email lists for free (up to 2,000 email subscribers and 12,000 emails per month).

Want to know more about MailChimp? Here's the step by step guide in using MailChimp for bloggers.

Important!

If you are an affiliate marketer like me, MailChimp is not a good option to start with. Sure, the free email marketing solution certainly attracts heads but do you know that MailChimp will shut you down (without notice) if you use their service to promote affiliate products?

If you are looking for a reliable email marketing solution, I highly recommend you to use AWeber as it is affordable, powerful and it doesn't stop you from trying to make money from blogging.

5. Promote your content through social media

social media marketing for bloggers

Last but not least, social media is definitely something you need to consider using (if you are serious enough to make money from blogging).

The next time you publish a blog post, take a step further and schedule it on social media. You can do it either manually (which takes a little bit of your time) or you can use third party social media tools to help you schedule content. I use PostPlanner (it costs like $3 per month) to save me at least 3 hours a day. Of course, this is because I have over 500 blog posts to share to my audience at various times, along with 5 different social media platforms.

Are you ready to make money online from blogging?

I hope you find this quick guide useful in your quest of making money through blogging.

Have any questions? Leave a comment below and let's discuss further!

How To Manage A Blog To Success

Are you ready to manage a blog to success?

Starting a blog is more than just talking out your credit card, installing WordPress and publishing blog posts on a regular basis. It requires a lot of work especially in managing the blog and making it a huge success.

What will you discover today?

You will learn how to:

  • Start a blog fast (under 5 minutes)
  • Understand the differences between traffic and conversion
  • What type of topic to publish (to turn heads)?

How to start a blog fast?

Starting a blog is always the first step and it is often the step which is overlooked by many beginners.

Most of them start with free blogging site such as Blogspot only to discover that their blogs are deleted without notice after 6 months of hardwork.

If you want to manage a blog like a professional, then here's what you need to do.

1

Buy a domain name

Start by choosing a domain name. You can purchase a domain name cheaply from NameCheap (I avoid using GoDaddy because NameCheap is way cheaper). You can get a domain name as low as $0.48!

2

Buy a web host

The next step is to get a web host and my recommendation is the Host With Me, which is my personal web hosting service. For only $6.99 per month, you will get priority support and excellent server up time (close to 99.99% all year round).

The last step involves installing WordPress, a good WordPress theme like this one and essential plugins for SEO and email list building.

The process of starting a blog is very short and it doesn't take long. With this guide, you can easily start a blog under 5 minutes.

Manage a blog: Traffic versus conversion

In blogging, I am a huge believer that conversion matters the most. You may have 10,000 visitors a day but if you are not converting them into sales, you are not getting any richer (anytime soon).

When it comes to managing a blog, focus on conversion because conversion is going to help you make money and fast.

Conversion Mastery

How can I convert my website visitors into leads and potential customers?

The answer is simple. You should use a conversion-focused WordPress theme and an effective lead generation plugin to get the job done.

 

A good WordPress theme will come with call-to-action widget areas to 'promote' your product and they are often located in places that attracts the eyes.

 

On the other hand, the lead generation plugin will play an important to further encourage the website visitors to sign up for your newsletter or offer.

When you manage a blog and aims for success, always focus on conversion as this will help you drive more sales and help you grow your blogging business.

What type of content should I be publishing?

how to manage a blog

I love to answer this (even though I had answered this probably thousands of times). There must be a healthy mix of self-promotional, knowledge/information and comparison posts.

Self-promotional blog posts can be considered as sales posts. These content are focused heavily in closing sales and selling the benefits of a single product. Here's a sample of a self-promotional blog post: Thrive Themes Review

A knowledge and information blog post is slightly different where it is meant to share information and provide education. Affiliate links are located within the blog posts to encourage readers to click on and with the hope of getting some commission generated from the sales. Here's a sample of a knowledge and information blog post: How To Start A Web Design Business With No Experience (And From Home)

Comparison posts involve comparing two or more products of the same nature. As buyers, we are often making comparison before making a purchase. Thus, publishing comparison posts allow you to have a better chance of converting website visitors into paying customers. Here's a sample of a comparison blog post: Beaver Builder vs Divi vs Thrive Architect: Which is the best site builder for you?

Are you ready to manage a blog to success?

As a recap, managing a blog to success is simple and comes with these several steps.

Always remember that the success of a blog is measured through the revenue generated from it and not through the traffic alone.