My Favorite Things: The Ultimate Toolkit for Goal Diggers

This post may contain affiliate links. See affiliate disclosure here

Here you can find all of my favorite resources and tools mentioned throughout the blog. I’ve included my favorite tools that help me in my day-to-day life as well as must-haves if you are interested in starting your own blog.

I believe that work/life balance is a goal that is both attainable and necessary.  For me, blogging has been the answer. It has provided an avenue for me to help and motivate others as well as create a work life that is flexible and location independent.

If you are interested in starting a blog, the absolute BEST tip I can give you is to invest in a self-hosting service.  It is the only way to go if you truly want to be a successful blogger.

Now on to the good stuff!  You can find the mega list of all of my favorite tools and resources that I personally use to run my blog, help with goal-setting, and organize my life.

Also, if you want access to my super secret library where I keep all of my freebies for the LHN community, you can join here.  As I try out new products and services, I will add them below.  If you have any suggestions for me to try, please contact me.

The ultimate blog toolkit you need to explode traffic

This post contains affiliate links. See affiliate disclosure here for more information.

BASIC BLOGGING TOOLS

Bluehost:  This is the hosting service that I use, and it is by far my favorite.  There are many, many choices for hosting services, but Bluehost is a great option for beginners.  You can join now for under $4 per month.  They offer a free domain, 1-click WordPress installation, and 24/7 support.

WordPress.org: If you are serious about taking your blog from hobby to business, WordPress.org is the way to go.  There is a free WordPress.com option, but that is NOT the one you want if you plan to blog seriously.  Wordpress.org can be a bit intimidating at first, but it allows you to truly create a fully customizable website that you can monetize.

Google Analytics:  This free tool is an industry standard that allows you to track activity on your site.

Pinterest:  If you don’t have a Pinterest account yet, create one TODAY!  I was an avid Pinner prior to starting my blog, but it is definitely a must-have for ANY blog.  The traffic that a properly run Pinterest account can generate for your blog is unmatched.

Tailwind:  This service has exploded my blog traffic exponentially.  It allows you to schedule pins weeks even months in advance.  You can truly set it and forget it.  Also, Tailwind now offers tribes which allow you to share and curate even more pins.  You can use my referral link and get a month free!

Mailerlite:  This email marketing service is forever free up to 1,000 subscribers.  Establishing your email list from day one is VITAL!  Don’t delay in getting set up with an email marketing service.  By far, the best service for newbie bloggers.

Convertkit:  Across the board, I’d definitely say that Convertkit is the industry standard for email marketing.  It is more advanced, and currently, there is not a free option.  It allows you to create and customize beautiful landing pages, automated emails, and more.

Blog Monetization

There are TONS of ways to monetize your blog, but I want to focus specifically on affiliate marketing.  Affiliate marketing is basically where a company pays you a commission for the sales generated from your referrals.  It does not cost the reader anything additional to use your link.

For more information on affiliate marketing, check out Making Sense of Cents.  Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is an affiliate marketing guru!  Depending on your niche, you can find affiliate programs for almost all of your favorite services and products. Here are a few of my favorites!

Uber:  Uber has several affiliate campaign options that you can choose from.  Also, you can gift free rides to others with a personal invite code.  If you’re new to Uber, feel free to use my code, chasitym215ue, to get $5 off your first 4 rides!

Airbnb: A very popular option for travel bloggers!  Every person you refer will get $40 off their first Airbnb trip.

Ibotta: A great affiliate option if you are a blogger in the personal finance or mommy blogger niche.  Ibotta has lots of great cash back deals at various popular stores.  I use it faithfully when I go grocery shopping.  If you sign up through my referral link, you will receive a $10 welcome bonus.

Other popular affiliate programs are Lyft, Awin, and ShareASale.

Other Tools 

Canva: I cannot live without Canva!  I use it for all of my graphic design needs.  It is free, and it is super easy to navigate.  There is also a paid option that gives you access to tons of free stock images.

Asana:  I use Asana for all of my blog planning.  It is a free tool that you can use to set deadlines and reminders as well as brainstorm new ideas.

Grammarly:  I am so happy I discovered Grammarly!  Regardless of the type of work you do, you need this service. Whether it’s an email, blog post, Word document, or whatever, Grammarly is always working in the background to catch and correct your grammatical errors.

 

Planners

Recollections:  My current day planner that I am absolutely in love with!  I chose the hourly layout and could not be more pleased!

Powersheets:  I am a SUPER fan and long-time follower of Lara Casey.  She is a phenomenal author and businesswoman.  I recommend her Powersheets to anyone looking to finally create an action plan for your goals.  It’s an awesome accountability tool, and I look forward to the 2018 launch this fall.

Erin Condren:  The Erin Condren planners are definitely a staple in the planner community. I have used these planners in the past, and I love the level of customization that you get with this product.

Happiness Planner:  Unlike other planners, this planner shifts the focus from productivity to your happiness.  It is jam packed with questions designed to build upon your self-awareness and guide you through daily reflection exercises.  It is available in several color combinations and is very affordable.

Day Designer:  The Day Designer is a simple system that was created to help women find balance, focus, and productivity.

Other Organization Tools

Evernote:  The perfect app to keep all of your thoughts in one place on the go.  Evernote offers various free and paid options.

Dropbox:  A must-have tool for all of your file storage needs!  Dropbox makes it super easy to access and share files on the go.

Toggl: A simple time-tracking service that helps you discover how you are spending your time.  Toggl offers a free plan as well as paid plans.

Recommended Books

Audible: Listen to your favorite book on the go!

How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield

Go For No! by Richard Fenton

Do Less, Get More:  How to Work Smart and Live Life Your Way by Shaa Wasmund

She Means Business by Carrie Green

On Fire:  The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

You’re a Badass:  How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero