RESOURCES & TOOLS YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS
This resource page was created to help you easily locate the products and services we strongly recommend for developing successful blog sites. We use every recommendation on this page. Many of these resources have been absolutely crucial to our entrepreneurial success and have improved our adventures.
Before checking out the awesome resources we know and trust, an important disclosure:
Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means we may receive commissions for purchases made through links on this page. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. Please understand, these are all products we highly recommend. We will not put anything on this page that we haven’t personally used and/or tested.
Blogging Resources & Tools
#1 WEBSITE HOSTING SERVICE
All Steve’s websites, including A Hood Life, are hosted on Bluehost. Bluehost makes it impressively simple to get your website up and running.
Bluehost provides extremely affordable web hosting with free SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, 1-Click WordPress install, free domain, and outstanding 24/7 customer support.
#1 EMAIL LIST BUILDING SERVICE
Wondering how to build an email list? ConvertKit is the best way.
ConvertKit is a user-friendly email marketing and automation solution that helps you build your email list and schedule emails. You can even segment subscribers into groups so they receive content tailored to their specific needs.
#1 FOR PINTEREST AUTOMATION
Tailwind is amazing! It, by far, is the easiest tool we use for driving quality traffic to our websites. Tailwind makes it simple to increase website traffic with minimal work.
Tailwind makes it simple to schedule our Pinterest pins, find relative content to share, and join tribes that help get your content seen. Tailwind has been a game changer! Wish we had joined sooner. A must have if you use Pinterest!
If you aren’t on Pinterest, you should be. Pinterest provides us valuable traffic and has improved our revenue!
Tailwind even has analytics to help you see what’s working and what’s not. Very helpful!
#1 FOR WORDPRESS WEB THEMES & PRODUCTS
If you haven’t found the theme you want for your WordPress blog, ThemeForest has a massive number of themes for you to choose from. It’s where our theme came from.
CodeCanyon and ThemeForest are part of Envato Market. At CodeCanyon, you can find plugins for easily enhancing your website. But don’t miss out on the free plugins provided by WordPress developers. First, see if you can find a free plugin that meets your needs.
FreshBooks is new to us. Why use FreshBooks instead of Quickbooks? To cut down on our PayPal fees. The fees charged by Paypal are outrageous but they’re a trusted resource for online transactions. FreshBooks gives you the option to pay just $0.50 per transaction when you receive a payment through PayPal. So much better than the 2% to 6% PayPal charges if you don’t use FreshBooks!
It’s your hard earned money! Why throw it away when you can save with FreshBooks?
We all need great stock graphics at an affordable price! Graphics on your blog post have been proven to improve user retention and engagement.
Adobe Stock has millions of inexpensive royalty-free images, vectors, illustrations, templates, 3D, and videos with licenses that never expire. Don’t copy images from the internet and use them on your blog. You’ll be violating the copyright of the owner. This will place you in jeopardy of a lawsuit and fines. Always pay for blog images through a stock image service like Adobe Stock or make your own images.
Please check grammar, spelling, and plagiarism in all you write.
There’s a free version of Grammarly that checks grammar and spelling and a premium version that checks much more that the free version… plagiarism, spelling, punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure. Grammarly Premium also has vocabulary enhancement suggestions and genre-specific writing style checks.
It’s good SEO practice to check for plagiarism before publishing a post. Google ranking is affected if you have plagiarism on your blog. Grammarly Premium gives you a simple way to see if you have inadvertently written the same series of words as someone else by against 16 billion+ web pages.
Hotels are fine for a night, but we prefer short-term rental vacation homes through Airbnb when staying longer. Airbnb rates are usually comparable to or less expensive than a hotel, and with Airbnb, you usually have more room and a kitchen too.
Are other people coming along on your adventure? Splitting an Airbnb house rental is much cheaper than everyone getting their own hotel rooms.
REI is one of Steve’s favorite stores ever! He’s bought camping gear, clothing, hiking boots, kayak and gear, PFD, and much more. Everything is high-quality, and their staff is amazing! The people working at REI are not only outdoor enthusiasts they are experts in outdoor adventure. Ask them questions! They can help you find the right product. They haven’t steered me wrong yet.