Even though I concentrate on content, running a blog is still a business. And you can’t do it without the right tools. Over the years, I’ve found the products and services that work for me when it comes to creating and running by websites. Some I’ve researched and some are what I’m currently using. I’m offering these up so you can save some time on your own research and trial and error.
P.S. The list is sure to be growing because I’m always testing out new tools. Be sure to check back often.
This resource list may contain affiliate links. Please read the full disclosure policy here.
- GoDaddy – This has become my default domain name provider. I think that’s because I just like having everything in one place. They’re also very easy to navigate and use. Here’s a little money-saving secret if you decide to use them… sign up with eBates, download their app and you’ll almost always get a discount. It usually saves me about 10%. (If you’re not already signed up with them, use this link here… it’s free and can get you back some of your hard-earned money).
- NameCheap Domains – Another domain provider that I’ve used (and liked) is NameCheap. And as their name states, they try to keep the cost down.
- DreamHost – This has been my primary hosting option since I’ve started blogging. I rarely have problems (and it’s generally me when I do) but the help desk always gets me back up and running. I love their One-Click Installs option (under Goodies) for setting up a new website. It really is easy!
- Bluehost – This is another option that’s popular with bloggers. They have a great reputation and the cost are low to get started. If you’re just getting started use their Basic plan and make sure to use the eBates discount.
- Genesis Framework– This framework is a real workhorse… that you never see working. It just always moves along. It’s fast, responsive and runs many of the top blogs. This is just the “framework” to make the blog work. You’ll need a child-theme to dress up your blog (see below).
- Restored 316 Designs – This is the provider of my new theme (isn’t she pretty?). It’s a child threme that works on the Genesis framework. Besides being pretty, it’s also simple to use. I wanted some changes to my front page and this theme had everything I needed.
- PixelMeDesign – is another producer of Child Themes for Genesis. Before I changed WIM to the Captivated theme from Restored 316, I used the Simplicity theme. The Premade themes are traditional styles, but they’re light and easy to use. And I’m still using the Sassy them for another of my websites.
- DepositPhotos – This large stock photo company has thousands of photos and the pricing is moderate overall. Sometimes you can find deals through the DP. Sometimes other companies come up with special pricing. For the past couple of years I’ve picked up special pricing through AppSumo (it only seems to happen in March).
- IvoryMix Photos – Kayla offers lots of feminine-style photography bundles at very affordable prices. She also has a membership program that gives you access to just about everything she has.
- PicMonkey Photo Editing – This is a great free online tool for basic image editing. If you want to up the awesome factor (more hub space, tools, etc) you can get a monthly plan for just a few bucks.
VIDEO/AUDIO SOFTWARE & EQUIPMENT
- Dragon Speaking Naturally – I have a secret… I’m dictating more than I’m actually writing. With multi-sites, I have lots of writing to do and dictating is just faster. This is the software that helps me. You probably have a dictation tool on your computer, but it’s doesn’t learn your speaking habits. That means more time correcting instead of getting out content.
- Blue Yeti Microphone – I use this to dictate (great quality) and since I’m starting to do videos with PowerPoint, I also use it for my narrations.
- MailerLite – I’ve come to the email collecting party late here at Work In Mama. A big part of it has been because… well, setting up one it is pricey, especially when you think you’re not going to reap any benefits from it right away. That’s why I’m glad I found MailerLite. I can collect up to 1,000 email addresses before I have to pay a cent. And then the pricing is very affordable and I still gets lots of forms to and automation to use.