Welcome to the resources section—my definitive list of blogging tools and websites I strongly recommend for growing and turning your blog into a business.
I personally have used and tested each recommendation on this page.
Many of the resources here are what have helped me run my business and grow aaronward.com.
Before taking a look at the resources, I want to make a disclosure:
Some links below are affiliate links, which means if you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, and can even result in discounts. I only recommend these tools or websites as I personally find them helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel that you need them or they will help you.
Looking for something specific?
- WordPress Hosting and Themes
- WordPress Tools and Plugins
- Content Creation Tools
- Email Marketing Tools
- Social Media tools
- Books and Online Courses
My website runs on SiteGround. Why? Because they’re the best hosting company out there. Hands down.
They make it incredibly easy for you to get a WordPress site up and running in a matter of no time. And not to forget…
- They have amazing support
- Blazing fast site loading speeds
- Easy to navigate user dashboard
- And 99.9% uptime (I think my website went down once for 5 minutes in 2 years)
Ignore the cheap offers from sites like Bluehost. SiteGround has the best reviews and WP Hosting solutions.
You can get started for $3.95 per month and instantly install WordPress using their Setup Wizard for free!
My site is built on the StudioPress Genesis Framework/Theme.
The reason behind this is super simple:
- Genesis by StudioPress is the best theme available in terms of site speed, security and code quality
- Big faces like Neil Patel, Melisa Griffen, Pat Flynn have all created their sites using StudioPress Genesis.
- I know how to code in HTML and CSS. Important!
This option is still my #1 recommendation. However, if you want to customize the look of your website you will need to learn basic HTML and CSS.
The theme comes with tons of guides which will help you do this, plus you can purchase ‘child themes’ that already pre-style your website.
Seriously, this is by far the best option that I recommend. Don’t make the mistake like I did and wait a whole year to use it.
If you think StudioPress will be a little tricky for you, or you want something that’s the whole package…
Then Thrive is your go to. They offer everything from a front-end drag-and-drop page builder to email opt-in forms.
I personally haven’t used Thrive, but have heard very good things from entrepreneurs.
Last option to get a theme to customize the look of your WordPress site is ThemeForest.
I actually built aaronward.com using the Uncode theme which came equipped with a plugin called Visual Composer (WPBakery).
This lets you drag-and-drop build websites and easily style the look. Plus the theme came with a bunch of demo layouts you can install.
There’s a ton of themes here, but try not to let the flashy images and ‘super cool features’ distract you.
“Recognized as The Most Powerful Caching Plugin by WordPress Experts”
It’s important to have a fast loading site for two reasons.
- Google looks at how quickly your site loads and this effects your ranking in its search results
- New and returning visitors won’t wait for your site to load, they’ll just go somewhere else
The amazing team at WP Rocket designed this plugin to help increase your websites loading and performance speeds.
An alternative to using WP Rocket is W3 Total Cache.
It does exactly the same thing—speeds up your WordPress site!
You can download the file from above or just search for it in your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New.
LeadPages has been an important tool for me as it lets you quickly create landing pages with a drag and drop interface.
What’s also a huge bonus is that it includes LeadBoxes (highly optimized email opt-in forms) which you can easily embed around your website.
If you’re looking at growing your email list, this is a great 2 for 1 option starting at $25 per month.
When writing out my blog posts or anything text-based, I start off with Google Docs.
It’s great because:
- It autosaves everytime you type without interruption
- You can access your work from anywhere
- You can easily create folders to stay organized
- It’s basically a free backup of all your work
Then after I’m done typing, I use Hemingway to ‘proof read’ my work.
It will highlight important writing areas, such as when you use a passive voice or sound unsure and have long complicated paragraphs.
Grammarly is my ass-saving-grace.
I make tons of spelling mistakes and grammar errors because I type with speed.
What’s great is that Grammarly highlights these mistakes and will give you options to fix them at the click of a button.
This plugin is one of my favorites.
Why you ask:
Because it adds a reading progress bar indicator at the top of your browser, showing the user how far through the blog post they have read.
This is great for making the reader feel like they’re progressing through your content. And if videos games have taught us anything… people love the sense of progression.
It get’s better too:
Because people will want to progress bar to reach the end, they spend more time reading through your blog posts which reduces your websites bounce rate (how quickly visitors leave your website) and boosts your blog posts ranking in Google for your keyword.
ConvertKit allows you to easily collect emails, store them securely, separate people into categories and automatically send out timed and pre-written email sequences to them.
It’s the perfect way to sell your products and give away free information on autopilot.
Plus you already know how important it is to grow your email list…
ConvertKit starts at $29 per month and it is your best option. Even Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncomeBlog uses it.
Automatically Grow Your Instagram Account Followers
FollowLiker is where I began my online business journey.
I started to grow Instagram accounts using this software, which automates standard Instagram tasks: following, unfollowing, liking, commenting, uploading and direct messaging.
It’s helped me gain thousands of followers across various niche accounts and even influenced me to create an online course dedicating my time to helping others optimize their settings.
Even with Instagram being strict on automation, if you play by the rules and don’t spam or use the software for harm, it can drive amazing results.
HighProxies offers a great selection of Instagram and private proxies for anyone looking to automate 3 or more Instagram account or clients Instagram accounts.
If you are using FollowLiker, these will be relevant to you.
I recommend to invest in the Instagram proxies, you should be using 1 proxy per account you run, with using 3 Instagram accounts on 1 proxy at most if you are on a budget.
An alternative provider is: sslprivateproxy
For my FollowLiker students who can’t run FollowLiker 24/7 on their home computer/laptop.
I recommend you invest in a VPS to maximize your results. A VPS is a computer you rent and get virtual access to through an application. See my tutorial on it by clicking here.
This will let you run FollowLiker 24/7 as the VPS never turns off. The best part is that GreenCloudVPS has a VPS dedicated to FollowLiker. You can find it under Windows VPS > Mass Planner Optimized VPS.
Setup FollowLiker with the best advanced settings to gain 100’s of targeted Instagram followers per day
The Ultimate FollowLiker Course is for anyone looking to setup FollowLiker and gain 100’s of targeted Instagram followers per day.
I walk you through from the very basics to most advanced settings so you won’t miss a thing, and get the best results from using FollowLiker to automate your Instagram account.
I also include bonus templates and downloadable files, plus an exclusive students only facebook group.
I highly recommend this course, if you want to learn everything there is to know about FollowLiker and to get the best results for your account.