In this page you will find tools, software or useful links I'm using on my daily blogging routine. I will add as I learn. Make sure you are bookmarking this page and check back often.
Disclosure: Some of the links mentioned in this page are affiliate links, at no additional cost to you, by clicking on links on this page and by making a purchase I will earn a commission.
Hosting plan for beginner bloggers
Bluehost is a super cheap hosting offering 1-click WordPress install for as low as $3.95/mo. Highly recommend if you have decided to try out blogging.
Drupal + Linode + Nginx = Great performance
When it comes to me - here are three of my favorite tools to make sites rock, in short - Drupal + Nginx + Linode = very powerful performance
If you are more experienced developer - and standard shared hosting is not anymore an option for you - Linode is what you are looking for. Have been using Linode since 2012 and have no regrets. Scalable VPS server starting as low as $10/mo
Drupal is content management software. It's used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. But what sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that dynamic web experiences need. I have been developing on Drupal since 2009, this blog is Drupal powered. You can call me a Drupal geek.
Powering 1 in 3 of the world’s busiest sites, NGINX is the secret heart of the modern web. Nginx delivers your sites and apps with performance, reliability, security, and scale.
Illustrative blog posts
- Canva: Easily create beautiful designs + documents. Use Canva's drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics. Most of the graphics you see on my blog are Canva made.
E-mail subscriptions and marketing
- Mailchimp: MailChimp’s robust marketing automation makes sure your emails get to the right people at the right time. Target customers based on behavior, preferences, and previous sales. Mailchimp is my favorite newsletter sending tool - works great for collecting e-mails as well.
- Hello Bar : Get more email subscribers. Hello Bar sends subscriber data to your email lists in Aweber, Campaign Monitor and MailChimp. I'm using Hello Bar to collect subscriber e-mails, which are synced automatically to MailChimp
HTTPS (secure pages) and CDN
- KeyCDN: A Simple, Fast & Reliable CDN. The real-time content delivery network built for the future - HTTP/2 ready. Content from this blog is served via KeyCDN. Get a free $10 Bonus by signing up for KeyCDN now.
- Let's Encrypt: Certificate Authority that provides an easy way to obtain and install free TLS/SSL certificates, thereby enabling encrypted HTTPS on web servers. Read my case study: Linode: How To Secure Nginx with Let's Encrypt on Ubuntu 12.04
Making income from Blog
- Google AdSense: AdSense is a free, simple way to earn money by placing ads on your website. Google AdSense contributes to my overall blog income for about 5-10% each month,see my discoveries with Google AdSense. Minimum payout: $100
- Amazon CPM ads: Amazon CPM ads works similar like Google AdSense, but they promote products on Amazon.com and are paid for impressions instead of clicks. Amazon CPM ads are a good starting point if you are looking to get paid for impressions. Speaking of me - I'm getting very low CPM values here (less than $1.00 per 1000 impressions) See my review about Amazon CPM Ads Minimum payout: $100
- Sovrn: Another CPM network for publishers who have mostly US traffic and generates a lot of page views - Sovrn might be a good alternative to AdSense. For me - a publisher with less than 100,000 monthly page views and a lot of International audience - Sovrn performs not very good (low CPM). Minimum payout: $ 25 accepts PayPal
- BlueHost - hosting affiliate program, some bloggers report a really lucrative income from Bluehost. You get $65 for each new account who registers using your referral link. Minimum payout: $100. See: How to Signup For Bluehost Web Hosting Affiliate Program
- Booking.com - if you have travel related blog listing hotels for example, booking.com partner program might be lucrative. Thus hotel niche is really competitive, you will compete directly with TripAdvisor and Booking itself on Google SERP results. I'm making some commissions each month from booking (from my travel and hotel reviews) but nothing impressive (yet). See: How to apply for Booking.com affiliate. Minimum payout: EUR 100, accepts PayPal
- Amazon Associates: - a good affiliate program if your blog features product reviews. See: How to apply for Amazon Affiliate program. Minimum payout: $100
Spreading your word:
- Facebook ADS - I use Facebook ADS regularly to boost my posts or just to acquire new page likes. I recommend to start testing with at least $1 per day on ads.See my discoveries with Facebook ADS
- Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm: Most of the photos you have seen on this blog are taken with this camera. I would like to call this DSLR camera - a top choice for every beginning photographer.
Sigma 70-300mm Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens - great for macro/ close ups, portraits and moon photography. See Understanding focal length: Testing 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses
MeFOTO A1350Q1R Aluminium Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod - To capture tack sharp photographs - a tripod is a must have, have been using this tripod for capturing HDR, night and panorama photos. Lightweight, can take to hiking and road trips with ease.
Photography editing Software
- Adobe Lightroom: Fine tune your photography, an industry standard for every one who wants to take their photos to the next level.
- Photomatix: Simple plugin to Lightroom (can use Standalone version) for batching HDR photography.
- HDR Efex Pro: Similar as Photomatix for batching HDR photos
- Adobe Photoshop - In most cases I use PS to design some simple logos or to automate panorama photography. See: How to take and create HDR Panoramic photos