MY TOOLBOX

Every writer, communicator, thought-leader, tribe leader, and expert requires resources for execution of projects. Here are some that I use and strongly recommend. These tools give leverage which translates to speed, accuracy, and efficiency. I hope they make life easy for you as much as they have assisted me.

Web Hosting

Siteground

If you are a blogger and you are looking at taking your blogging to a new level. Then, you will need hosting for your website or blog. Siteground is a perfect fit and it is as low as $3.95/month. Siteground is based in the United States and is one of the leading web hosts on the Internet.  This is the hosting company I use for my personal websites and my clients. They have got an outstanding customer service support system (24/7) and they are always available to show you the way with detailed tutorials.

WEB4AFRICA

For writers, bloggers, small and medium scale business owners based in Africa, I usually recommend Web4Africa. For my very first website in 2015, this was the hosting company I used. They are reliable, supportive and responsive. You really don’t need to break the bank because you want to purchase a domain name and a hosting plan. Their hosting plan starts from as low as $15/year. They are based in SouthAfrica and they are growing rapidly to take over the African hosting market.

Blogging

Divi

When starting out with blogging or creating a new website, you will eventually need a premium theme. It’s a masterpiece with a variety of powerful features and easy to use. Divi was developed by Elegant themes for self-hosted WordPress based sites. I use Divi and it makes content glitter.

WordPress

I use and recommend this free blogging software. In the league of content management software, WordPress stands out and it’s the best. If you are a newbie in blogging and online content management, this is a good place to start. To kickstart the learning process, you can check out WP101 tutorials.

Elegant Themes

As a freelance website designer, this is by far one of my biggest investments ever since I started digital marketing. The Elegant themes package is unbelievably cheap and worth the price. It is a collection of 87 beautiful themes and 5 super plugins. They have a reliable support team and a rich discussion forum.

Akismet

Akismet is a powerful plugin made by Automattic; it’s used for controlling comment spam. Once your website goes live, it is prone to many spam comments from hackers and bots. Akismet is a lifesaver – it blocks all the spam and makes your site free from annoying comments. The free plan is awesome.

Google Analytics

This is the king when it comes to analytics. If you are interested in productivity in terms of monitoring your traffic rate, conversion rate, page views, unique visitors and a host of other metrics, then you need to sign up for a free account. All you need is a functional Gmail account.

Monarch

The goal of every blogger and writer is to get more shares for their posts. Monarch is a plugin from Elegant themes that makes it possible. It is a simple, lightweight and user-friendly social media sharing plugin. It has everything you need from pop-up to fly-in to sidebar icon stickers.

Images and Graphics

Pexels

High-quality images are always appealing both in web design and publication of blog posts. It could be very difficult to find images that match your message and brand. If you are just starting out and you can’t afford paid images, Pexels is a great option. It’s free and has a compelling collage.

COVERR

Coverr is a wealthy collection of beautiful and free videos for your homepage. Are you looking for background videos that can drive engagement on your site? Coverr is a platform I recommend. It also gives you a chance of previewing the videos before downloading them. It’s all for free!

Unsplash

Unsplash is similar to Pexels; it prides itself as one of the world’s most generous community of photographers. It’s a collection of high-quality images that will make any project shine. You will definitely find your match from business to health to social media to computers to fashion to finance. All you need to do is signup.

CANVA

If you are not a pro in Photoshop or Corel Draw, Canva can serve as a substitute for you. For captivating graphics that you need for blog post titles, social media posting, marketing materials, you can turn to the waiting arms of Canva. It is user-friendly and has powerful features. And the free plan can do wonders for you.

Google Photos

It’s a free app from Google. Google Photos is an awesome online storage platform for all your images and videos. You can make albums for your photos and also create animations. It can also be used for editing the photos. You can access your photos on the go both on your phone and desktop.

Image Optimizer

For fast loading of your web pages, you need lightweight images. Image Optimizer is an online tool that helps to reduce the size of your images without tampering with its quality. It can also help in changing the dimensions of your image to fit your choice. And it’s all for free. You can try it out and trim down the size of your heavy image files.

Writing

Hemingway Editor

Hemingway Writing App makes your writing bold, clear and direct. Its features include a writing platform and an editing interface. The readability of your text is graded with suggestions to make it better. It highlights lengthy sentences, adverbs and passive voice.

Evernote

I still wonder how you survive as a writer or a blogger without Evernote. I have introduced this app to almost every writer I know. It’s the best! It can be installed both on your personal computer and phone. It has a work chat feature, photo editing, document viewers and many more. Go and check it out!

Grammarly

This is one of the world’s most accurate online grammar checker. Grammarly app will help in editing your work. It eliminates spelling and grammar errors and easily improves any text. Its advanced features include a plagiarism checker and vocabulary enhancement. The free plan, however, will polish your writing.

Email Marketing

Mailerlite

Building an email list becomes easier with a top-notch plugin like Mailerlite. It has a variety of different opt-in styles: pop-ups, embedded forms, and autoresponders. It’s user-friendly and the support team is fabulous. Guess what! It’s free for your first 1,000 subscribers.

Bloom

This is a powerful plugin from Elegant themes – one more reason why you should consider purchsing the Elegant themes bundle. Bloom works perfectly well with all the top Email marketing plugins – Aweber, ConvertKit, Mailchimp, and Mailerlite. It gets the job done, I use it and I want you to try it out.

Feedburner

For RSS feed, this is a brilliant solution. Though, it is fading out of digital marketing. It’s a type of web feed which allows users to access updates to online content in a standardized, computer-readable format. It’s from Google and one of the ways to share your content with your site visitors.

Note

Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission which will not in anyway affect the amount you pay for the product. It means it is at no extra cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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