I’ve included this free resources page on my blog to provide a list of the products and services I recommend. I provide links to products, services and information that will help you earn extra money, build a better blog or website, and find ways to save time and money. This page is also a bit self-serving because I often forget the awesome tools (apps) I use on my smartphone, and online that help me with earning and saving money and time. By setting up this page, I know I can always come back here to find what I’m looking for! I recommend bookmarking this page because I will continue to add to it.
Note: Some of the links below (but not all) are affiliate links where I will earn a commission if you end up making a purchase. As always, I only recommend products and services I use, have experience with or researched and feel that they can be helpful to others. I do not recommend products or services just for the small commission that I may receive if others purchase them. My recommendation to you is to only spend money on products and services that you truly believe will help you with your goals. As we all know, it is easy to empty our pockets on the next shiny object that looks good today, but of no use to us tomorrow!
WordPress: In my opinion, WordPress is an an easy blogging platform to install and use, with many options to personalize your blog or website any way you want. I often use Wordpress to build websites for paying clients. With so many theme options, both free and paid, you can’t go wrong with WordPress! Check out my post, “Make Money with a WordPress Blog,” to give you step-by-step directions on how to get your blog or website up and running!
Genesis Framework: This blog and oh so many blogs run off of the Genesis Framework. It’s a WordPress foundation in which you then add a Child Theme on top of it. Confusing? I know. Think of it like this…all your customizations will be done on your Child Theme so when there are updates to WordPress, only the underlying framework will be updated, and your Child Theme remains untouched with all your customizations. Some premium themes that run on the Genesis Framework are priced higher because the Framework comes with them. My Child Theme, Modern Pro Blogger, did not come with Genesis so I first purchased Genesis, then added Modern Pro Blogger that I got from Pretty Darn Cute Designs. You purchase Genesis through Studiopress.com. If you like the Themes from Studiopress, you’ll be happy to know that most come with the Genesis Framework.
Hostgator: is my hosting company of choice because of their excellent customer service. For new Hostgator accounts, get 20% off with my link and coupon code SNAPPY. By using their Live Chat, you can almost always get someone to help you. I’ve been using them since 2009!
Bluehost: This is another hosting company that many bloggers recommend. You can get hosting for as low as $3.49/month on their basic plan (limited time), and get a FREE domain name, and 1-click WordPress installation.
Aweber:I’ve been using Aweber as my email marketing company for years and I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND it. It’s a tool that can be used for collecting email addresses as well as sending out your newsletter. I have to believe this is the most popular of all the email subscription tools as you find most internet marketers use and recommend Aweber.
iContact: Another award-winning email marketing solution for your email marketing efforts. I use iContact for one of my clients. I can’t say I like it any better than Aweber. I like them equally the same. I don’t think you can go wrong with either one of these email distribution companies.
Google’s Keyword Tool/Google Adwords: Free keyword tool to use for your Adwords advertising campaign or to look up preliminary keyword ideas to get a sense if there is a lot of competition for your keyword or keyword phrase ideas, and number of searches completed on your keywords.
Keyword Researcher: Awesome software for finding long tail keywords! You can download the software for free but the paid version will give you more long tail keywords.
IMAGES & PHOTOS
Tinypic: Free image and video hosting, and photo sharing.
Morguefile.com: Free pictures to use for corporate or private use. I use this website all the time when I’m looking for pictures to use on my websites.
Canva.com: Amazing website where you can design your own pictures for almost any platform…websites, blogs, social media…you can even upload your own pictures, or search for one from their database of 1,000’s of pictures and graphics. Some are free and some cost only $1! See my recommendation below to get rid of your white backgrounds on the pictures you create in Canva without having to pay an upgrade fee on Canva to do so.
PicMonkey.com: This free image editor is like Canva but in my opinion, lacking a few of the bells and whistles that Canva has such as a ton of pre-made templates. This is free but if you want a few more features, there’s a $4.99 per month option paid annually. I actually have the paid option but tend to use Canva more often.
Lunapic.com:Have you ever tried to get rid of the white or colored background around a picture or a logo and didn’t know how to do it? Enter Lunapic.com. This is where you can upload your picture and transform it into a transparent background .png file.
Imageafter.com: This is a large online free photo collection. You can download and use any image or texture from their site and use it in your own work, either personal or commercial.
Openphoto.net: The Open Photo Project is a photo sharing platform. Contributors have offered their images free of charge under terms of Creative Commons licensing. License terms and conditions vary from image to image.
Free Stock Photos: A list of 73 of the best sites to find awesome free images.
WEBSITES & SMARTPHONE APPS TO SAVE YOU MONEY
The Coupons App: The #1 ranked FREE coupons app! I always check my coupons app before shopping at any store to see if there is a deal, freebie or coupon for that particular store. I’ve been able to score free popcorn at the movies, a free Starbucks drink, money off at restaurants and more! Plus, you can see where the cheapest gas is around your local area or if you’re traveling.
The Krazy Coupon Lady: This is definitely the website to check out before doing your grocery shopping–or any shopping for that matter! This is where in-store sales meets coupons. This website does an excellent job of listing many major department stores, grocery chains, dollar stores, discount chain stores and drug stores as well as the sales they are offering for the week. This site tells you what coupons are available for these stores as well. The savings can be huge! Often times you will find deals that are so good, they are free!
BudgetSimple: Everyone knows that if you make a monthly budget and stick to it, you have a better chance of getting out of debt and saving more money. BudgetSimple is a great website that lets you make a simple monthly budget.
Dave Ramsey: If you don’t know who Dave Ramsey is, then check out his website. He has led thousands of people out of debt and to live like no one else! His no-nonsense financial advice is pertinent to people in all sorts of financial positions. Not only can Dave be found online with a website filled with free tools, advice and product & service recommendations, he has a Podcast as well as a nationally syndicated radio show. I personally listen to Dave almost every day on my iHeartRadio app or on Stitcher where yesterday’s show runs continuously the following day. I also use his budgeting tool at EveryDollar.com (there’s a free and a paid version).
For a little more about Dave, you can check out my post, “How To Make it an All Cash Christmas Dave Ramsey-Style.”