My most recommended tools and resources

These are a few of my favorite things for blogging and home-office.

Free things are GREAT (there’s a lot of those below too!). 

But when I do spend money on tools and resources my guidelines are:

1) quality over quantity

2) feel-good and develop without overwhelm and

3) know your budget – upgrade when possible

I hope you get inspired with these products!

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links to products and services that I’m using to grow my online business. This means if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase of one of these products or services, I will be paid a small commission for it, at NO additional cost to you.

SaturdayGift Resources page

Start a blog

Web hosting: Bluehost

I use Bluehost for hosting my site. When I first started my blog I didn’t understand much of the technical stuff or about how to build a website and Bluehost was super easy and simple to set up and they’ve helped me with all my questions about ssl certificates and whatever I would need to know.

I have the Prime plan but the Basic plan will do just fine when you start your blog.

The next step I did after choosing the hosting was to choose a theme. For me Bluchic with their super feminime and gorgeous themes was the way to go. I love all of their themes, but I went with Samantha. The runner-ups where Maggie and Isabelle. Bluchic has great tutorials and they’ve answered all of my questions and setting up my page was so fast and easy with their theme.

They also have great free email course to Launch Your Dream Website.

 

Page builder: Elementor

I wasn’t a tech-savvy when I started blogging, so the first thing I did was to find an easy to use page builder so I could avoid coding. And Elementor was the perfect solution. I could have not done anything without Elementor.

Elementor is a drag-and-drop page builder and so easy and painless to use. I love it! They also have great facebook group where I was able to find all the answers for things I wanted to do and create and there are tons of tutorials in youtube. 

This is the way to go if you’re starting your blog and don’t know (or want to learn) how to code and you just want your site to look pretty and be functional. I use the free Elementor, but a lot of people have fell in love with the paid version. Maybe I will too… one day… And Elementor is compatible with the Bluchic theme that I’m using!

Brand your blog

Images: HauteStock

HauteStock has so super pretty feminine pictures. 

You can have a quarterly subscribtion to use the images or a yearly one. I started with the quarterly plan, because I wanted to see how the pictures are and do I like to use them and then I took the yearly subscribtion. 

I love saving the time not going around different stocks to look for images. I know all of the pictures in HauteStock work so well with my brand so I always find a perfect fit for my posts and blog graphics. 

Graphics: Canva

I lovelovelove Canva! It’s so easy to use and it’s a joy to make graphics. And the best part is: it’s free! The visual side was one of my weaknesses and I thought I can never do any graphics myself, but after playing around with Canva I’ve been making all of my own graphics. Lately I got the paid plan (Canva for Work) and it’s features (magic resizing and folders) have made creating the graphics so much faster. My recommendation: Try it. Love it. Upgrade when needed.

Instagram: WordSwag

You know those cool looking quotes people have on their instagram? I use WordSwag to do mine. WordSwag is a free application where you can make all your quote pictures to your instagram. You can add an image and text and before saving the image you can even add your logo to the picture. Love it. And it’s free!

Grow your blog

PlugIns: Social sharing with Social Warfare

Social warfare is a wonderful plugin with a lot of features. I took the paid plan because I wanted to have their added featured like branded icons on my site. Small price. Great benefits. Some features on Social Warfare conflict with Elementor (like Pin it -button) so I have to have extra plugins to those features. But at least for now, I survive with these little issues there are, because I’m not willing to let go of neither one.

PlugIns: Post grids and free library with Essential Grid

I love essential grid. I use it to have grids for the posts and also for our free resource library.

Want to check it out? Sign up for the SaturdayGift newsletter and you’ll get instant access to all or our free templates, workbooks and cheat sheets in our free resource library.

 

Grow your blog and social media

Pinterest automation: Tailwind

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Tailwind is Pinterest approved tool to automate your pins and connect with other pinners in your niche through Tailwind tribes.

In the first month of using Tailwind my Pinterest monthly viewers went from 2K to 44K. (Now I’m at 1.7 Million Monthly Viewers – and yes, Pinterest monthly viewers is a vanity metric ). And the tribes are amazing! And what a time saver!

E-mail list: Mailerlite

When I started with my blog a lot of different bloggers recommened all these high-costing email providers for collecting your email list. I wasn’t yet willing to pay for those even though they must be very good with what they do. 

I go with Mailerlite. Super easy, drag-and-drop way to build your emails and the emails look so pretty! Sign up to SaturdayGift newsletter to see how pretty the emails can be! 

Mailerlite is free up till 1000 subscribers so it’s a great way to start building your email list.

Instagram: See your feed before with Preview 

Preview is a way to see your Instagram feed before you post your pictures. Instagram doesn’t allow you to automate your posts, but I love seeing my feed and plan for posts before I post them. You can also always use the same filter for all of your posts, so that your feed has a certain feel to it. I use the free plan, it’s good for now.

Must-get E-courses and programs 

EBA – Elite Blog Academy

EBA

NeuroGym: Brain-A-Thon & Winning the Game of Money

John Assaraf from NeuroGym is THE coach to go to when you want to change your mindset about money

NeuroGym and John Assaraf host once a year a Brain-A-Thon to boost your success to the next level.

I’ve done their program Winning the Game of Money for a year now and I just love the innercising (innercising is exercising for you mind!) and I do these suggestions and meditations every single day. And it’s mind-blowing how you can so easily change your mindset and get rid of your fears about success and money.

Brain-A-Thon is hosted this year on October 6, 2018 and it’s free and you can participate online from the comfort of your own couch!

 

Ultimate Bundles: The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit

The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit is amazing. It comes out each year and usually has online courses, e-books and other resources worth thousands with the price of less than 100 dollars. 

I bought The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit 2017 and will be definitely buying it again this year! It’s a MUST-HAVE!

5 day start blogging – It’s a lovely life

5 day start blogging

Grammar checker: Grammarly 

Grammarly Writing Support

I’m from Finland. And I speak Finnish. English is my second language. AND I need this. To have someone (or should I say something) to check my spelling for free – I’ll take it! In a heartbeat!

I started with the free plan but now I’ve upgraded to the paid one. The free plan is excellent, but if you want some fancy features (like ideas about synonyms and adding commas in the right places) then later you can upgrade to the paid plan like me… just like I did.

Well, no program is perfect, and no tool can make you a writer, but Grammarly is the closest to perfect you can get. 

Company email: G-suite

I use Google’s G-suite for my company email. I It was one of the first paid things I took. I love to use my gmail and I’m ok to pay 5 bucks a month to get my [email protected] (and others company emails like [email protected] or [email protected]) to look the same as my gmail does.

I couldn’t do without.