Five Helpful WordPress Tools For Amateur Bloggers
Friday Five 07.24.20
I JUST finished designing THIS blog on WordPress.org. With this all fresh in my mind, I decided to dedicate this week’s Friday Five to helping anyone else thats currently designing a blog, or about to start one. I feel confident you will find these five tools VERY helpful!
I absolutely loved the process of making this blog, but WOW it was a lot of work. And the WordPress.org platform is super confusing at first for amateur bloggers. I’m pretty certain I spent more time researching how to do things on Google and YouTube than I did actually making the site.
If you want to read more about why I redesigned my blog, check out this post! else
Let's get started!
01. Elementor Page Builder
It took me 3 months to make this blog. And I’m really upset that it took me 2.5 months into the process before I started using Elementor to design my pages (*face palm*). Amateur bloggers all make mistakes… I hope you learn from mine!
Elementor is the ultimate WordPress page builder. It’s free plugin that’s easy to use, and it’s way better that the WordPress editor. I used it to design every single page and post you see on this site including the one you’re reading right now! The image above is literally a screenshot I just took of me editing this page in Elementor.
I tried Elementor early-on but didn’t figure it out right away and gave up. Then I tried a few others and ended up on the WordPress editor until my girlfriend Apryl told me I was crazy and she got me back on Elementor. And thank god she did or my page wouldn’t look as good as it does!
Moral of the story: learn from my mistake! Take 10 minutes to learn Elementor right away. Watch their video tutorial on their site to see how it works.
Trust me! It’ll make building your site a zillion times easier.
Siteground is a web hosting service. Amateur bloggers… if you are going to take anything away from this blog post, get Siteground. Just trust me.
This isn’t a fun or exciting one item the list, but it’s probably the most important. They saved my butt MANY times.
(**Quick explanation if you don’t understand what web hosting is: Imagine the Internet as the real estate market. Internet space is like the real-estate land, and the hosting service owns land and “rents” it to you to use for your website.)
There are lots of hosting websites to choose from, but what sets Siteground apart is their superb customer service. They have a live chat available 24/7, which I promise you…. you will NEED it if you are new to all this.
I pay under $6 a month for my hosting plan with them. I’ve used their live chat probably 5 times over the last 3 months and they helped me solve all my problems immediately. If I didn’t have Siteground, I would’ve had to hire a web developed for hundreds of dollars or spent endless hours scrolling online chat forums trying to figure out how to do things.
Trust me, Siteground is a life saver.
03. Rank Math
Rankmath is a free WordPress plugin that helps you SEO optimize your posts.
(If you don’t care about SEO optimization and you just blog for fun, then skip this one.)
If you do care about growing your blog and traffic then get Rankmath. SEO is confusing and complex at first, but Rankmath is a super easy way of seeing small edits you can make to your posts to help them get a higher score and a better chance to rank on Google’s search engine.
Rankmath gives each of your blog posts a score out of 100. You want the highest score possible to give your post the best chance of ranking.
The images shown here are screenshots of how I used Rank Math for this post. The keyword I chose is “amateur blogger.” On the top right, you can see my score was 78/100. The items with the ‘red X’ were edits I needed to make to this post. Scroll to the second image to see my score go up to a 91/100 after making those edits. The higher the score, the better chance this post has to rank on the first page of Google when people search for the term “amateur blogger.”
How do I choose keywords? I research them. Which is an entirely different topic of it’s own. I use Keysearch for my research but there are free tools, too. If you already have a general idea on SEO, I recommend checking out Keysearch as it’s extremely powerful. For amateur bloggers, do some simple Google searches to find free tools, but the main idea is you don’t want to choose keywords that are too general because they will be too difficult to compete with.
Canva is essentially a beginner-friendly version of Photoshop. I used Canva to create every single logo and graphic you see on this website! Plus a zillion other things, like my Pinterest graphics (shown in the photo above.)
It has a drag-and-drop feature that makes designing your graphics very easy. It also has a ton of pre-designed templates you can choose from and apply your own personal colors and branding to.
You can save your branding colors and fonts and easily use them to make everything have a consistent look.
Canva has a free version that gets the job done perfectly fine! If you plan on using it long term, the pro version is worth getting, it offers a ton of extra features including templates, images, etc to add to your graphics.
You can also use it on their iPhone app for quick jobs which is awesome! I recommend using it on your desktop because it’s easier that way. But I use it on my iPhone all the time for quick social media graphics.
05. The Blogger Bootcamp
Amateur bloggers, if your goal is to make money and turn your blog into a business, then investing in this online course is a game changer. It literally walks you through everything step by step, and it takes a ton of stress off the overwhelming process of starting a blog. I literally used a split-screen on my computer with the blogger bootcamp open on one side of my screen at all times!
The online course is broken down into modules. Solidifying your Branding, Creating your WordPress blog, Driving Blog Traffic, Setting Up & Growing Your Email List, and Monetizing Everything. The modules are then broken down further with in-depth video tutorials to walk you through everything step by step.
You also get access to a Facebook community full of other professional and amateur bloggers (like me!) where we all ask questions and help each other out.
If you’re really serious about blogging, then this online course is worth every single penny! I cant recommend it enough for anyone out there that wants to make money from their blog.
Hey newbie blogger - you've got this!
I hope you enjoyed learning about these five tools to help you start your blog. I found them to be total game changers. Do you want to see more content on what it takes to start a blog? Let me know! I made some pretty common mistakes along the way and I’m happy to share more to help you avoid making the same ones!
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below or shoot me a DM over on Instagram!
PS- this post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own (as always!)
Meet the Writer
Hi, I'm Teresa!
Thank you for taking the time to read my little space on the internet. I’m a digital creator, blogger & environmental advocate.