Resources

Blogging

WordPress: WordPress.com is a blogging platform that makes it easy for anyone to publish online. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server, just sign-up for a free account and start writing. WordPress.com includes a lot of functionality, but it does have several limitations. WordPress.org is a more advanced version of WordPress and it offers free software that you can install on a web server, and it does not have the limitations of WordPress.com. 

Standard Theme: If you need a theme that is simple and responsive, yet powerful, and feature rich then Standard theme is right for you. It offers many features right out of the box including; custom ad widgets, built in social media icons, and SEO integration at a very affordable price. I use the Standard Theme here at SteveSpring.org. Two other themes that are often recommended by serious bloggers include Elegant Themes,and StudioPress Themes.

BlueHost: I recommend BlueHost if you use WordPress . They are one of the three hosting services recommended by WordPress , and BlueHost is where I host SteveSpring.org. They provide great customer service, reliable hosting, and a one-click WordPress installation. I believe Bluehost is the perfect web hosting solution for you.

DreamHost: DreamHost is another hosting service recommended by WordPress. DreamHost provides one of the most knowledgeable technical support teams for hosting WordPress accounts, and they now power over 600,000 WordPress blogs globally.

Akismet: Possibly the best way in the world to protect you from web spam. Akismet is a free tool that filters out your comment and track-back spam for you, so you can focus on more important things like producing epic content.

Disqus: This is my commenting platform. From small blogs to massive websites, Disqus is the easiest way to build active communities. With a few quick steps, you can turn your old comment system into a new way to engage your visitors. It’s free to use and works with almost any type of website.

Google Analytics: Google Analytics not only lets you measure sales and conversions, but also gives you fresh insights into how visitors use your site, how they arrived on your site, and how you can keep them coming back.This service is free and it is the gold standard when it comes to analytics.

Email List Management

MailChimp: MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It’s like your own personal publishing platform. Today, over 2.5 million people use MailChimp. Any Internet marketer will tell you that nothing is more important than building your own e-mail list, and I use MailChimp to manage mine. MailChimp is a free service if you have less than 2,000 subscribers to your email list. 

Aweber: Aweber also helps you manage your email list and is very similar to Mail Chimp. Some people prefer one over the other but I don’t think you can go wrong with either one.

Feedburner: Feedburner is not a email list service, but I have included it here because some people will prefer to subscribe to your blog via RSS. This is a free service owned by Google, and it is very easy to set up and manage. I use Feedburner to manage my RSS feed. 

Social Media

Buffer: Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automatically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long. Sign up for Buffer using this link and you and I will both get extra space in our Buffer.

Feedly: Feedly is the application that I use to keep up with the dozens of blogs that I read every day. I do this by viewing the RSS feed from each blog on my iphone and sending them to my social media accounts using Buffer. It is all much easier than it sounds. Feedly has applications for most web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android. It is a great replacement for Google Reader and best of all it is free. 

HootSuite: HootSuite is my social media dashboard. I use it to monitor my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts. It allows me arrange lists of friends and follower into columns so I can quickly see what’s happening with any specific group. I also use it to send messages and replies. There’s a free plan and a reasonably priced ProPlan with more features. Try the ProPlan free for 30 days here.

Dropbox: Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox allows you to share files between your phone, your computer, and other electronic devices. It is a free service and if you click on this link you and I will both get more free storage space.

SocialOomph: Is another service that I use to help manage both my blog posts and my social media updates. These scheduled updates can help generate a lot of traffic. Social Oomph offers both a free and an upgraded paid service.