Favorite Blog Tools | This Month

During the beginning stages of my blog, I spent countless hours reading up on what other bloggers were doing. Sound familiar? I wanted to know which hosting platforms were the best, which traffic source brought in the most traffic and pretty much everything that leads to ultimate blogging success.

Naively, I just signed up for what everyone else was using, not realizing that what may work for a blog with THOUSANDS of daily views will probably not work for a blog with barely 20-50 views a day (my blog). Hey, you live and learn!

While I may not have had overnight blogging success, some of these blogging tools actually worked well for me during my first month of blogging! By the end of the month, I was bringing in a steady 100+ views a day.

So, if you are a newer blogger or you have just decided to monetize your blog, these tools may fit perfectly in your tool kit! Especially if you are a blogger NOT wanting to spend money on eBooks, eCourses and Schedulers that don’t really guarantee success.

{Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn commission if any products, links or ads are clicked on.  However, all opinions and advice are 100% my own. In order to stay truly transparent and honest, I only recommend services and products that I use, love and believe will benefit others.}

September 2017 Favorite Blogging Tools!

1. Affiliate Program 

Survey Junkie. Survey Junkie is primarily a survey platform, but they also have an affiliate program!

I have had such a great experience with Survey Junkie. After minimal effort put into taking their surveys, I have earned over $110 in just a few months. Considering I take surveys sparingly throughout the week, that’s not bad at all!

Try Survey Junkie –> HERE

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Once I began my blog, I knew I wanted to shout from the rooftops how helpful Survey Junkie is when it comes to making a little side money. Thus, I contacted their people via email stating my positive experience and future blogging endeavors in hopes that some sort of sponsorship would work out. They got back to me quickly and offered to accept them in their affiliate program!

For more info on other ways to earn over $100 a month Check out –> 10 Safe Ways to Make Money Online

In just two days, I earned $4.50 as an affiliate. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it was my first (an only. #honesty) affiliate earning of the month. The last two days of the month!

Next Month’s Prediction: This can go both ways. Either I will earn more income through this affiliate, or another platform will take it’s place. I have a feeling ShopStyle Collective might just be my next success. By success I mean under $10 earnings haha! Hey, I’ll take it!

Suggestion for You: Try SurveyJunkie.com out for yourself. It’s a free, safe and highly rated survey company that actually pays their users. Payments are made via Paypal once you’ve earned a minimum of $10.00 taking easy surveys. If it works out for you, apply for their affiliate program, write a blog post on your experience and earn even more passive income. 

2. Ad Company

I really only used two ad programs this month. Google Adsense and Amazon Associates. My favorite so far? Google Adsense.

I was surprised! I thought I was going to love Amazon Associates, but I just didn’t have any success. I had clicks and two purchases, but I didn’t make any profit. Not even pennies! I’ll take pennies… (the purchases were not the actual products I advertised. They were just random purchases made after the customer clicked on one of my ads.)

Google Adsense though?! $4.53. All with ads and clicks. I was pretty impressed considering that I had only had 823 views for the month. It just blows my mind how my little blog can earn any amount of money!

Next Month’s Prediction: Google Adsense all the way! There are days where I make $1.00 off of ads/clicks and there are days that I make $0.07. However, Amazon Associates has yet to even earn me a penny. My goal is to make at least $10 with Google Adsense.

Suggestion for You: Try both! You never know, you may have better luck at Amazon Associates than I did depending on your niche.

3. Plugin

Yoast SEO. To be honest, this plugin was installed to my WordPress, because everyone else was doing it. I had no idea what it was or what SEO meant. I just saw that “I needed it”. After I educated myself on SEO, I went to to install this plugin and realized that I already had it. ha!

Currently, I am only using the free version and it does the trick! This plugin analyzes each blog post and lets me know if it is SEO friendly. After using this plugin I found myself on the 3rd page of google! Not bad, not bad.

Next Month’s Prediction: I still have yet to find a to-die-for plugin. However, I am really liking “Social Pug”. This plugin puts the share buttons on the lefthand side. I love seeing the ticker number go up in shares!

Suggestion for You: I would try Yoast out! Or if you have discovered a better SEO plugin let me know in the comments! Let me know of any other gotta-have-it plugins!

4. Social Media Platform

Pinterest all the way! For my first month, I only used Instagram and Pinterest. I chose not to use Facebook yet, because it isn’t as “evergreen” as Pinterest.

Since my blog is in it’s beginning stage, I fear that people would click on my content via Facebook and read for a few minutes and never come back. There isn’t much to keep clicking on! However, once my blog is hefty with content, those Facebook viewers would have more things to look at leading to more views and hopefully followers.

Pinterest on the other hand, brings in so much consistent traffic day after day! I’d say at least 95% of my traffic is from Pinterest.

I do not use any pin scheduler. I just can’t get myself to pay for anything extra right now. That, and manual pinning has been working for me!

I have a system. I walk my dog in the morning and Pin my morning pins. Between class transitions at school (band teacher) I do a couple more pins here and there. I pin at the gym in-between sets. It doesn’t feel time consuming, because I’ve been pinning my whole life.

I am always pinning other popular content with mine. I feel like it has worked!        (My “month” has been 8/10-9/10.)

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SO glad I didn’t pay for any eBooks or schedulers. My pinterest showed growth naturally. It just takes patience!

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Next Month’s Prediction: I still see Pinterest taking the crown. However, I just started Tailwind Tribes. Tailwind Tribes are free and you don’t need the paid TW subscription. Speaking of Tailwind, I tried my free trial, and am still not convinced.  Maybe I’ll sign up once I’m making more profit. Who knows?!

Suggestion for You: Focus on Pinterest during your beginning stages. Make beautiful, vertical pins (see next favorite) and Pin your content and other popular content consistently! Don’t throw a bunch of money at Pinterest eBooks and schedulers when your blog doesn’t have that much content to begin with! Build your blog a little bit and then decide if you want to take the route of schedulers/strategy eBooks.

***Sneaky Hint: Follow popular bloggers (especially the ones who sell eBooks about their own Pinterest strategies). Watch their pinning habits on their profile. You can literally just see and analyze how they are pinning without buying their $50 eCourse/eBook. Not that there is anything wrong with buying the eBook… just a sneaky tip to save you a little $.  🙂

5. Blogging app/website 

Canva.com I cannot say enough good things about Canva! They are a FREE graphic creator. You can create Pinterest pins, infographics, Blog Banners and just about anything. The free version is just enough. I also have the phone app, however I’ve noticed it’s a bit glitchy. The desktop version (canva.com) is way better! So far, my entire blog is filled with canva creations!

Next Month’s Prediction: I will most likely continue to use Canva.com. I am curious to see what other helpful blogging apps/websites are out there! Let me know in the comments if you have found a ground-breaking app/website for your blog!

Suggestion for You: Canva.com is way better than the Phone app. Give it a try!

6. Blog Theme

As of now I am using “Lycka-lite by VolThemes”. I am using the free version, which is all I need. Eventually, I will probably pay for a theme, however I just don’t see the point in spending all this money on my blog when my goal is to make money. I get that it’s “an investment”, but this teacher has a wedding to pay for!

The only investment I have made thus far would be my hosting platform! I have chosen Bluehost as my host. They have been amazing so far! Not only are they one of the most affordable hosting platforms, but they also gave me a domain name (guitarandlace.com) for free! Other hosting platforms wanted an extra $14.95 for a domain name.

For more information on how I set up my bluehost and turned my blog into a monetized and profitable blog, check out “How to Start a Profitable Blog in 2017

Next Month’s Prediction: I will probably keep this theme! It’s free, clean and does exactly what I want it to do. Why spend $50+ on a new theme?

Suggestion for You:  Unless you have the money to spend, try a free theme before spending money on a paid theme. There are hundreds of free WordPress themes out there!

7. Motivational Quote.

“Blogging is like a Slow-cooker. Not a Microwave.” I saw this on Pinterest! I wish I could still find it to give credit, but every time I search for this quote I get recipes, haha!

It was so helpful and reassuring to hear! Also, it’s so true.

Next Month’s Prediction: Hopefully, my blog will continue to grow at a faster pace! I need to constantly remind myself of this.

Suggestion for You:  If you are feeling discouraged, stop reading what works for HUGE blogs! Their slow-cooker meal has been slow-cooking longer than yours! Discover what works for smaller, newer blogs.

I plan to be 100% transparent on what has been working for my small blog, because I never saw success when I tried what “everyone else” was doing. Hopefully, I can save you all some time and money! Keep checking back for more tips!

There we have it 🙂 This months FAVORITE Blogging Tools.

I hope you found this post helpful to your blogging endeavors!

If you are feeling unsure about your new blog, just know that it gets better! After the first few weeks of hearing “crickets chirp” with my blog, I FINALLY noticed a bit of growth. My views kind of exploded (in comparison to the first week) by the end of the month! They are continuing to go up at a quicker rate and now I am earning slightly more profit! Check out how I accomplished this –> My First Month Blogging – What Worked & Didn’t Work

Best wishes to you!


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