My blog is the backbone to my success. It's where people go verify my credibility. It's the place where many incredible business opportunities are born. And it's a place for me to grow my following and live a profitable life of freedom and purpose.

In the past year, I've had hundreds of people ask me, “What tools do you use?”. And after spending countless hours researching and utilizing the best blogging tools on the market, I am going to share them with you.

7 Tools Every Blogger Must Use

1. Bluehost: $3.95-5.95/month pending on your plan
This is step #1 for anyone looking to start a blog. Bluehost is fast, easy, and has no techy stuff. Not only is Bluehost one of the most reliable hosting companies in the world, they have the most affordable prices too. You can have your blog up in 5 minutes! You can signup here for Bluehost.

[DISCLOSURE: The Daily Positive is an affiliate promotional partner of Bluehost. We receive affiliate referral commissions if purchases are made through the above links. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed in this blog article are the opinions of the Author alone (the Author's bio and details are provided at the bottom of this article).]

Blue Host

2. Aweber:
If you're looking to capture emails and send a regular newsletter (which I suggest you do) you're going to need a reliable email marketing software. While there are many good options in the market, Aweber is one of the few that offers phone support 12 hours per day. And if you're a beginner… this will be very, very helpful.

aweber

3. Chartbeat:
This is one of my favorite tools. I use it every single day. Chartbeat offers live analytics of your blog's traffic. It will tell you exactly how many people are on your site at any given moment, what they're reading and where they came from. This will help you understand your traffic sources and what times of the day are best to post content. Also, they have a wonderful mobile app which makes monitoring your blog, even easier.

chartbeat

4. Shopify:
I believe every blogger should have a store. Whether you're selling an e-book or t-shirts or even stickers (like me), a store is an excellent way to make some extra income. And Shopify is the best option on the market. Period. It's incredibly easy to use, you can accept credit cards on the spot, and they have hundreds of plug-n-play templates to make your store look professional. Bonus: They have an award-winning mobile app that makes it possible to operate your store, straight from your phone.

shop

5. OptinMonster:
This is one of my secret weapons. Remember, it's not how many people who visit your blog that matters, it's how many that will come back tomorrow. That won't happen unless you capture their email address. OptinMonster is the best popup & lead generation plugin out there. It's what has allowed me to build a 60,000+ email subscriber list in less than a year. It's easy to install on your WordPress blog, the design is beautiful, and they have the most innovative tactics for capture I've seen. They work with every major email software including Aweber, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact.

optin

6. Freshbooks:
Once your blogging business is operating you'll need to track any income for your taxes. Freshbooks offers the simplest accounting/invoicing/expense tracking on the market guaranteed.

fresh

7. CoSchedule:
Wish you could schedule your social media straight from your blog post? Wish you could manage guest bloggers? Wish you could manage your posts and the marketing in an easy-to-see drag and drop calendar? Then this is your tool. CoSchedule brings social media publishing into the content creation process and gives editors the dashboard they deserve. I've used it for a few months now and it has made my posting process far easier and more efficient. 

co

What killer tools do you use as a blogger? Let me know in the comments below.


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48 thoughts on “7 Tools Every Blogger Must Use

  1. Micah says:

    Love love love! Thank you so much for this article! So completely helpful! Cant wait for the e-book for even more great info!

  2. Tyler Speegle says:

    Very helpful information and tools I will be checking out in the future! I love the style of your graphics and photos used in your blog posts. Would you mind sharing the tools or services you utilize to create them?

  3. David Ramos says:

    These were some great tools! I have been using MailChimp instead of Aweber but I keep hearing how many people prefer the latter.
    Also I’d love it if you wrote a post on what products bloggers should sell (beyond ebooks) like stickers, etc.
    Thanks! Hope you have an awesome week!

  4. Style Bee says:

    SO helpful! It’s also great to know I’m on the right track with the tools I’m already using. Thanks for divulging this info. Shopify and Freshbooks, here I come! Have a good week Dale.

  5. Sebastian Daniels says:

    I use an optin form for aweber at the bottom of a post, but I have been hesitant to use a popup form because I don’t want to drive people away. If you think it is useful then maybe I could give it a try, but have it on a delay of 20 seconds? I find them annoying so that is the main reason why I don’t use it.

    Interesting note about the freshbooks. Can you claim tax breaks based on your blogging expenses or do you have to wait until you are at a certain level and incorporate yourself in order to get the business tax breaks?

  6. Time Priorities says:

    You spend a lot of money a month on these tools; it makes me wonder how much money you make off your blog.

    I have concerns with #5, mainly that it’s annoying to an infrequent blog visitor. I don’t want your emails in my inbox, I prefer my email private. I follow your sevenly items and some of your blog posts on pinterest. If they catch my eye, I click. If not, I don’t. This is my preferred method of getting info from you. I thought your random pop-up to your blog was annoying that I had to close every time I went to one of your blog posts. But today, there wasn’t even a close option, trying to force me to disclose my information before I am able to view any of yours. If you count the email address inserted, then your count is artificially high and you aren’t acquiring volunteers, but instead you’ve taken up a draft. Consider for yourselves the level of devotion and commitment of your email subscribers.

    I like seeing your stuff on my pinterest, but if there is not at least a close option allowing me to keep my email to myself, then you will soon find 1 less pinterest subscriber and sevenly supporter, which is sad because I’ve been a strong advocate of sevenly to everyone I know since I found out about it. (In fact, I wore one of my tees from there yesterday.)

    • Taylor says:

      There is a close option, it is just very close in color to the background color. I had to hunt for it today and just barely noticed it. I also find the pop-up annoying every time I come to read a blog post…

  7. Todd Hendricks Jr says:

    New to your blog this month and love it. I am constantly reading and learning about business, leadership, strategy, culture, etc. I am considering starting my own blog, to share what I’ve learned.

    Bluehost seems like a great hosting solution, do you use their free site-builder? If not, do you have a recommendation to build, maintain, and add new blog posts?

  8. Zoe Wilson Jones says:

    I am so thankful for the help. Look everyday for your emails. Eager to learn more.

  9. jasmine s. says:

    Hello! Can you tell me do you use wordpress or squarespace? and which one is better for blogging?

  10. Michael says:

    Very awesome post. Thanks for sharing. I use Optin monster and Coschedule. I only have 65 subscribers. How do you suggest building your subscribers? Also, how is the analytics you use better than the free google analytics plugin?

  11. Lauren Metzler says:

    Wow, these are some excellent tips! Thank you! I only just started blogging and this is going to help heaps! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. Brenna Joy says:

    I am 22. I am attending grad school and I am so tired of working for pennies. I am going to be a millionaire by the time I am thirty and you have inspired me. However, purchasing all of these suggestions just make me another consumer. I would like to hear your thoughts on how to get started on a low budget. I know I am not the only person who is wondering how much upfront investing must happen in order to start a blog or online business. What are some reasonable numbers. I know you have been where I am at because I have been reading your blog. I cannot spend more than I am making.

  13. Paul David says:

    Dale, I seriously love reading your blog & really appreciate how transparent you are & how many tools you share with others! I have been so inspired since hearing you speak in my home town of Redding, CA. I have been working so hard on my dreams & seeing some of them really actually take place! I am now working from home & seeing my 3 kids 1,000 times more than I did before! ~ Blessings to you & thank you again! I can’t wait for the book!!!

  14. Ben says:

    No one starts making a profit from the get-go. If you are tied up paying these recurring subscriptions each month, you are not off to a good start. I suggest Mailchimp who has a free service up to 1,000 for emails. I suggest Google Analytics who can do so much more than Chartbeat. Sellfly instead of Shopify. There are various free Wordfpress plugins that can be used to great success. I believe, once you are off to a good start driving some revenue, it’s a fantastic time to invest in all the above mentioned options. They are good, but not for the starter-blogger. Just saying ๐Ÿ™‚ Great blog!

  15. Karla says:

    Hey Dale,

    I use Hootsuite for my scheduling, as I have to post for work, thus means I have one stop of my blog and work, which makes my life easier. Its got a great yearly rate as well, and LOTS of free training available.

    I am also a newbie to the email capture/newsletter concept, so would need more info as to pros of Aweber over Mailchimp.

    Thands for sharing your experience and wisdom with us all!

  16. Pamela69 says:

    Cool. thanks Dale! Love coming to your blog-its like hanging out a really cool and close friend’s house. If your had a fridge I would open it with out asking. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. Caitlin Muir says:

    I’m relaunching my website – these tools look great! You mentioned that every blogger should have a store – maybe a post about building a store while building your audience would be helpful.

  18. Rosemary Burton says:

    I have not found Blue Host to be very reliable… we are having, once again, server issues and have been unable to access our websites for several days now. The help desk was not exactly helpful and kept telling us “I can see your site” when we, nor any of friends, can. We were waiting for the right time to move to a cloud supported system and now might be it.

  19. Alison Moore Smith says:

    I loved BlueHostโ€”until it was bought out by EIG some time ago. Just like every other hosting company that EIG bought out, they ruined BlueHost. Reliability down the tubes. If you get decent traffic, you will have LOTS of downtime. Do not recommend. (Check wiki for all the OTHER inexpensive hosts EIG tanked.)

  20. Mariรจke says:

    Well I’ve ben blogging and checking manu apps ans I don’t get why you only talk about apps which are not free. Many apps you present free have a free version (Google analytics for statistics, mailchimp for collecting, writing ans sending email under 2000 subscribers…). When you’re a beginner you also like tout discovery free apps which are great ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Sofie says:

    This is a amazing list! I love that you included the prices! Especially CoSchedule looks like an amazing tool! When I have more budget I will definitely look into that!

  22. Peter says:

    Fantastic list! Thanks for posting. I’ve heard that GetResponse is a great alternative for Aweber? Do you know anything about it?

  23. Anne - Just Only Home says:

    Thanks for the great advice. I had never heard of several of these tools before reading your post. Will definitely be looking into some of these, especially Shopify. I’ve been thinking of starting my own store.

  24. Dave Reineke says:

    The tool I absolutely agree with is having an Auto-Responder like you mention. If nothing else its the one tool a lot of people don’t utilize. It’s almost irresponsible not to have one. This way you own the traffic you send.

    I love reading this post. Thank you

  25. DNN says:

    OptinMonster sounds like the truth. I need an e-mail service I can depend on that’ll not only send mass e-mails without my server going down, but also send personalized e-mails with people’s first names. So that in my mind is surely worth taking a 2nd look @.

    Thanks for mentioning that! ๐Ÿ™‚

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