We only use the best. If you’re looking to build a professional blog, we suggest you do too.
Below are our recommendations of the best services on the web, all tried and tested over years of experience in the blogging world.
If you’re looking to grow your blog and would like advice on anything listed below, please feel free to contact us! We use everything here on our own blogs so we’re very familiar with how they work and if they’ll work for you. Send us an email and we’ll help you the best we can.
Disclosure: Travelbloggr has affiliate relationships with several of the services listed below.
After using several web hosts over several years, the service and quality of Siteground hosting is unmatched. The servers are fast, stable, and have almost perfect uptime. They also have the most legendary service team we have ever encountered; it is very rare you will wait longer than 5 minutes to get someone on Live Chat Support, and your support emails are always answered within 10-15 minutes.
Siteground’s entry level plans are priced competitively with all other major hosts, and in our opinion hosting your website with them is an absolute no brainer. For $3.95 per month, it’s the best investment you can make in your blog.
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Drag-and-drop editor, lifetime access, A/B testing, two step opt-in forms, slide-in forms, lightboxes, ribbons, widgets – Thrive Leads does it all. While there are many other great tools out there, most require monthly subscriptions and are pricey. Thrive Leads is probably the most feature-rich out of them all, and only requires a modest one-off payment rather than a monthly fee. When it comes to value for money it is unmatched. Not to mention the team at Thrive are seriously awesome. If you’re looking for a list-building plugin that is affordable, easy to use, and full of powerful features, this is our recommendation.
Convertkit is our favourite email responder service. It is a beautiful designed software, a pleasure to use and simple for even non-tech folk to manage and grow an email list. It has many powerful features such as list segmenting, tagging, automation, email sequences and more. While it’s not expensive, it can be quite an investment for newer bloggers. We recommend using the free version of Mailchimp while you are starting out, at least until you reach the 2,000 subscriber mark. Once you’ve built a decent sized list, we highly recommend switching over to Convertkit to maximise your email marketing efforts.
If you’re selling products or services on your site, we recommend using Sendowl. Sendowl is an all-in-one distribution tool that allows you to accept payments via Stripe, Paypal and Bitcoin, store and distribute your products and services, manage affilates, process refunds and distribute updates with a single click and more. Not to mention their interface is beautifully designed and super simple to use.
Picmonkey is a free web software for creating and editing graphics. It runs on a simple click-and-go userface which makes it perfect for design newbies and has all the tools you’ll need to create professional graphics. If you’re looking to make professional Facebook post covers or Pinterest pins, or even touch up your photos to give them a bit more punch, Picmonkey is what you’re looking for. There is a premium account which is amazing value at only $3 per month, but the free account is more than sufficient for beginners.
If you’re not yet on Pinterest, you should be. Pinterest is now one of the biggest search engines and traffic generators on the web and is used almost exclusively by bloggers. It is also very visual making it perfect for the travel niche.
Board Booster is a Pinterest app that allows you to schedule pins, create pinning campaigns and also loop your boards so you don’t need to constantly repin content. It is a huge time saver and almost allows you to run your Pinterest account on auto-pilot, bringing you free, organic traffic month after month.
Social media tools:
Social media is a huge part of travel blogging, and will often be your largest traffic source. However, to build a social media presence you need to be active. Hootsuite is a free scheduling tool that allows you to schedule posts so you don’t need to be on social media 24/7. You can schedule several posts in the morning and let it run, or even schedule a whole week or month in advance – particularly helpful when you’re on the road. Free version allows you scheduling on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
If you’re building your first blog, we highly recommend using a theme on Genesis. Genesis is a WordPress framework that makes creating and customizing a blog super easy, especially for those with no tech knowledge. With Genesis, you simply install the framework and then choose a child theme to use as your blog design. There are a ton of customization options and the support is great. If you’re looking for an easy way to create a safe, fast and secure blog, Genesis is our recommendation. (Yes, we use Genesis too! Travelbloggr is built on Genesis using the Foodie Pro theme).