42 Best Blogging Tools – Software To Grow Your Business

Disclosure: I may be compensated via the links clicked in this article. The opinions expressed are my own and stand by my recommendations. Please read my disclaimer for more info.

Here are the tools that made me successful with my online businesses. These are all highly recommended and have all been used by me at some point during my career. By signing up to one of the services/tools listed below I may receive compensation but you’ll help support me by creating more useful content.

I break down the recommended services into these categories. To jump to the section, click on one of the links.

  1. Web Hosting & Email
  2. Link Shorteners
  3. Email Marketing Providers
  4. Landing Page Software
  5. Lead Generation Software
  6. Analytics
  7. WordPress Themes
  8. WordPress Plugins
  9. SEO Tools
  10. Shopping Cart Software
  11. Social Proof
  12. Miscellaneous

Web Hosting & Email

Your choice in a web hosting provider is the cornerstone of starting your blog. It’s important to pick wisely as saving a few dollars in web hosting can be pennywise but pound foolish.

Bluehost

Larry's Take

If you're just starting out and looking for a low-cost, no-frills web hosting provider, Bluehost is your best option. They give you a free domain name for the first year and have a one-click WordPress install. You'll be up and running with your blog in no time.
8.0 Out of 10
Price$2.95 - $13.95 per month
Annual DiscountNo
PromotionGet A Free Domain Name
Learn More

WP Engine

Larry's Take

WP Engine is my go-to web hosting company when I create a WordPress blog. Unlike many other providers, WP Engine specializes only in WordPress hosting. But that means you'll have to look elsewhere if you want a host for your email as well. WP Engine has many features specific to WordPress, such as caching. Plus, a content delivery network (CDN) is automatically included. If you're looking for a reliable and fast hosting provider for your WordPress blog, WP Engine is your choice.
9.0 Out of 10
Price$21 - $203 per month
Annual DiscountYes
Promotion10% off first payment
Learn More

Linode

Larry's Take

Linode is the perfect cloud provider for the DIYer with advanced hosting needs. I've used Linode for more than eight years and currently host most of my content with the service. I've experienced very little downtime. Linode offers basic virtual private servers (VPSs, load balancers, and block storage. Plus, with their premade images, you can be up and running very quickly with a new VPS. Check Linode out.
9.0 Out of 10
Price$5 - $4,000 per month
Annual DiscountNo
Learn More

Namecheap

Larry's Take

Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar. It lets you do exactly what its name suggests: buy a domain name cheap. You can buy a ".com" address for as little as $8.88 per year. Namecheap has great 24/7 customer service that can help you get set up at any time of day or night. The company also offers hosting services, but you might want to check out some of my other picks instead.
7.0 Out of 10
Price$1.49 - $2,098 / domain / year
Promotion.COM only $8.88
Learn More

Google Workspace

Larry's Take

I prefer Google's Workspace over Microsoft 365 (although I use that too). As a blogger, I'm always online. I like Google Docs and Google Sheets, and Gmail is second to none. Google's anti-spam filtering works really well, and there are now many third-party plugins and options for extending Workspace.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$6 - $18 / user / month
Annual DiscountNo
PromotionThe first 14 days are free
Learn More

It is best to manage your affiliate links in one central location than to manually insert each affiliate link on your website. Affiliate links can change often and outdated links can cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Also using an affiliate link manager allows you to cloak links so they are cleaner plus allow for conversion tracking. It’s highly recommended you start off using one of these services today before placing any affiliate link on your website.

ClickMeter

Larry's Take

In my opinion, ClickMeter is the best link tracking service available. That's not to say it's perfect, because its functionality could stand some improvement. Still, ClickMeter is a reliable and easy-to-use service. If you're looking to track conversions and integrate with your blog, ClickMeter is your best option.
8.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$19 - $3,990 per month
Annual DiscountYes - 2 months free
Learn More

Pretty Links

Larry's Take

Pretty Links Pro is a cheap and easy-to-use WordPress plugin for tracking links. It is perfect for bloggers just starting out in affiliate marketing. You can use it for as little as $79 per year.
7.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
PriceFREE - $129 per year
PromotionSave Up $50
Learn More

PixelMe

Larry's Take

A link shortener that’s simpler than Clickmeter and cheaper as well. It should be used primarily for link sharing and not affiliate tracking/conversions. If you need to track social media links, PixelMe is a great alternative to Bitly.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$29 - $149/month
Annual DiscountYes - save 40%
Promotion7-day Free Trial
Learn More

Email Marketing Providers

Even though email isn’t as popular today as it has been previously, it is still one of the best ways to stay engaged with your audience. I recommend creating a mailing list immediately.

Check out my head-to-head comparison of ConvertKit vs. ActiveCampaign to see which is better and why I recommend ActiveCampaign for most.

ActiveCampaign

Larry's Take

My mailing list provider of choice, ActiveCampaign has everything you want, from starter email marketing to advanced automation. My biggest complaint about this service is that you can get many features only by purchasing a higher-tier plan. Also, I do wish that, instead of a newsletter-style format, the email editor allowed you to send emails that looked like you personally sent them. ConvertKit offers this feature. However, if you want to automate anything, you can do it with ActiveCampaign.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud, WordPress
Price$9 - $599+ per month
Annual DiscountYes
Promotion50% Off For 3 Months
Learn More

Larry's Take

ConvertKit is a great platform for bloggers. It has a free plan for your first 1,000 subscribers, but the service can get more expensive than competing email providers. If you're looking to do complex automation, ConvertKit lacks functionality compared with other services like ActiveCampaign. On the positive side, the emails ConvertKit sends out can look exactly like personal emails, which are more likely to wind up in the user's inbox than spam.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud, WordPress
PriceFREE - $4,299 per month
Annual DiscountYes - 2 months free
PromotionCreate a Free Account
Learn More

Landing Page Software

With any web site, you need to build your audience of visitors to your mailing list and promotions.

OptimizePress

Larry's Take

If you are looking for a WordPress landing page, this is the one I recommend. It has many integration options, and many premade professional-looking landing page designs. It is a much cheaper option than using a service like ClickFunnels.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$99 - $199 per year
Learn More

Lead Generation Software

Increase your audience by using any of these products.

OptinMonster

Larry's Take

If you are looking for a great service that not only works with WordPress but SaaS apps, then OptinMonster is your choice. It has many templates to use and allows you to easily create your own customized form so it matches your brand. OptinMonster supports 6 different types of campaign types that can not only be used for Email forms but can be used in conjunction with your own products.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud, WordPress
Price$14 - $80 per month
Annual DiscountNo
PromotionSave Up To 60% Off
Learn More

Deadline Funnel

Larry's Take

Deadline Funnel is a unique service that I recommend adding to any sales funnel. It allows you to create true limited-time offers that are hard to circumvent. You can entice your audience with promotions to engage now. Deadline Funnel supports web page and email countdown timers unique to the visitor. It integrates with many popular email services and is a must-have tool. The only downside is the monthly cost.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$49 - $199 per month
Annual DiscountYes - Save 20%
PromotionFree For 14 Days
Learn More

VWO Engage

Larry's Take

VWO Engage (previously called PushCrew) when it first came out was a great push notification service. Though as the years have gone by I now recommending OneSignal. Not only because of the pricing but the feature set as well.
7.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$99 - $252 per month
Annual DiscountNo
PromotionTry Free For 30-Days
Start A Free Trial

Analytics

You cannot improve what you do not measure. These tools help track the source of your traffic and how visitors use your website.

Crazy Egg

Larry's Take

It's my go-to tool to improve conversion rates. Crazy Egg is a service that creates heatmaps and records visitor sessions. You can use this information to improve your user experience.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud, WordPress
Price$24 - $249 per month
Annual DiscountNo
Learn More

Woopra

Larry's Take

Woopra is the analytics tool I recommend to all of my clients. It integrates with many services out of the box but has a robust API to add unsupported integrations. It allows you to track visitors via reporting tools at the aggregate level but also allows you to drill down to each individual session. The biggest issue is their $1,000 for many businesses and the lack of pre-made reporting templates.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
PriceFREE - $999 per month
Annual DiscountYes
Learn More

MonsterInsights

Larry's Take

Get Google Analytics setup without having to worry about Javascript tags are set up correctly or if you are not accurately tracking all events for your blog. MonsterInsights makes setting up Google Analytics quick and easy.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$199 - $799 per year
PromotionSave Up To 50% Off
Learn More

Hotjar

Larry's Take

Increase conversions by monitoring website usagbe. Create heatmaps of visitors and video record tracking experience through your website. I personally prefer Crazy Egg for their heatmaps but prefer Hotjar for their video recordings.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
PriceFREE - $989 per month
Annual DiscountNo
PromotionTry It Free
Learn More

WordPress Themes

I’m a fan of using StudioPress Genesis Framework. It creates SEO friendly content that I use on all of my blogs.

StudioPress

Larry's Take

My recommended WordPress theme I use all on my blogs. While not the fastest WordPress Theme, it is very SEO friendly and has many pre-made child themes to use with your blog. While a version of it comes with WP Engine, the Genesis Pro version has all sorts of functionality including powerful Gutenberg blocks.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$59.95
Learn More

WordPress Plugins

Why reinvent the wheel with your WordPress based site, when you can download an existing plugin to make your website more useful. Keep in mind not all plugins are created equal. Unfortunately many free plugins are designed poorly (they are ahem free you know..).

I’m a big fan of paying for commercial WordPress plugins. While there are many great free plugins some of the best plugins available are commercial. Don’t be afraid to pay for a plugin. In most cases, the amount spent will save you time and/or generate more revenue in the long run.

AAWP

Larry's Take

If you are looking to monetize via the Amazon Associates program then AAWP is the WordPress plugin you must use. It has the ability to not only create links to Amazon products but has the ability to create summary boxes that automatically update with description, images, and pricing. You can create product comparison pages easily as well.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$39 - $299 per year
Learn More

WP Rocket

Larry's Take

With SEO and users, page load time is important. Speed up your website by minifying your files and using a CDN with this plugin. WP Rocket is my recommend WordPress plugin to increase your blog's speed.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$49 - 249 per year
Learn More

Social Warfare

Larry's Take

A WordPress plugin that creates social media share buttons on your blog. The must-have plugin for social media links on your website. Creates social proof with counters for the popular social media platforms.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
PriceFREE - $349
Learn More

BlogVault

Larry's Take

Backups and security is a critical part of maintaining your WordPress blog. Don’t rely on your web hosting provider to make backups of your site! Make sure you are in control and have off-server backups. BlogVault is an easy to use back and malware security monitoring service.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud, WordPress
Price$89 - $1,499+ per year
PromotionStart Your Free Trial
Learn More

PixelYourSite

Larry's Take

While I’m more a fan of Google’s Tag Manager, PixelYourSite is an easy-to-use plugin to adding tracking for your site. Perfect for tracking conversion and remarketing campaigns.
7.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$189 - $599 per year
Learn More

WP Mail SMTP

Larry's Take

A must-have WordPress plugin if you are sending out any emails from your blog. This plugin will avoid your WordPress emails from going into the spam folder.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$39 - $299 per year
PromotionBuy Now and Save Up To $150
Learn More

MemberMouse

Larry's Take

MemberMouse is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create a membership and subscription area. It has a pretty robust feature set but unfortunately has a monthly cost and cost per seat as your site grows. The membership area administration can be a little clunky but is functional. I personally prefer MemberPress but does not work as well with ThriveCart, so MemberMouse is the next best option.
7.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$39 - $299 per month
Annual DiscountYes - Save 17%
Promotion14 Day Free Trial
Learn More

LearnDash

Larry's Take

Make your WordPress blog into a learning management system (LMS). It is a drag and drop course builder that supports quizzes and drip-feed lessons. It makes it easy to create an online course.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$199 - $369 per year
PromotionSave $40 Off
Learn More

WP Activity Log

Larry's Take

Monitor and get alerts about events in WordPress. Keep a record for user changes, updates to plugins, and any changes to WordPress. A must have for any membership blog to audit changes and keep your site secure.
8.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$89 - $449 per year
Promotion14-Day Free Trial
Learn More

Uncanny Automator

Larry's Take

Put your WordPress on autopilot. Similar to Zapier but installed as a WordPress plugin and gives you more access to services, plugins, and functionality not found with Zapier. A must for a WordPress membership site.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
PriceFREE - $499
Learn More

Permalink Manager Pro

Larry's Take

A WordPress plugin that solves a specific problem with WordPress and SEO. Permalink Manager Pro allows you to modify any WordPress URL. This is perfect for times you want to test alternative URL structures without changing the entire blog. Test specific posts, pages and categorize to see if the URL change improves SEO.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
Price$52 - $405 per year
Learn More

SEO Tools

If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound? One of the primary ways people will find your information is via search engines like Google. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way to research, monitor, and improve the ranking of the content you create.

SEO for bloggers is an important concept to understand. These blogging tools can shave off hours in manual research.

SEOPress

Larry's Take

A competing WordPress plugin to Yoast SEO, I find SEOPress is more lightweight and doesn't include unnecessary features and functionality. There is a free version but I recommend SEOPress Pro which includes structured data types, breadcrumbs, Google Page Speed, and URL rewriting.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
PriceFREE - $39 per year
Learn More

Ahrefs

Larry's Take

My go-to SEO research tool. I use this tool daily and I highly recommended it. There are too many features to count. If you are wanting to improve your SEO game you must get a tool like Ahrefs to do your research, monitoring and getting a feedback loop of if you are improving SEO over time.
10.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$99 - $999 per month
Annual DiscountYes - 2 months free
Learn More

Mangools

Larry's Take

Mangools is a great alternative to Ahrefs for keyword research. They are not only cheaper but from my testing, I find to be more accurate results for search volume. Mangools not only includes a keyword finder (called KWFinder) but SERPChecker, SERPWatcher, LinkMiner, and SiteProfiler as well.
8.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$49 - $129 per month
Annual DiscountYes - Save 40%
Promotion10-day FREE trial
Learn More

Surfer

Larry's Take

Surfer is a recent addition to my SEO tool chest. Surfer allows you to perform a technical SEO audit and compare your content to competing sites. You can compare things like the number of words, backlinks, and keywords and phrases used. Surfer saves hours of time that previously was a manual process. You can get answers in a matter of seconds, which makes it easily worth the cost.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$59 - $199 per month
Annual DiscountYes
Promotion7-Day Money Back Guarantee
Learn More

Shopping Cart Software

If you are selling services or products online you must have an online shopping cart of some sort. These shopping cart systems are flexible to handle either digital products or physical products.

Use ThriveCart or SamCart (you can see the comparison of the two in my SamCart vs. ThriveCart) if you are selling digital products like courses, ebooks, or software. Use WooCommerce if you are selling physical products, though it can also handle digital goods.

ThriveCart

Larry's Take

ThriveCart is a great shopping cart service for selling digital products. With bump offers, upsells, and down sells, ThriveCart has plenty of methods to increase your sales. It has a powerful affiliate program built-in so no need to purchase additional software. The biggest advantage over competing products is their one-time fee.
9.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$495 - $690 One-Time Fee
PromotionLifetime License Only $495
Learn More

SamCart

Larry's Take

If you are looking to sell digital products, then SamCart should be on your shortlist. While I do like their service, I don't like the possible high monthly fee. In addition, I'm not a fan of their affiliate system. For those reasons, I decided to choose ThriveCart over SamCart for my personal shopping cart. Though, more or less they are very similar. Your own needs may determine SamCart is a better fit for your business.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$49 - $199 per month
Annual DiscountYes - Save 20%
PromotionSomething BIG Is Coming
Learn More

WooCommerce

Larry's Take

If you are using WordPress and want to sell physical products, you seriously consider WooCommerce. It has many third-party plugins and can be used to sell digital products as well. Though prefer ThriveCart and SamCart since that is their speciality.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformWordPress
PriceFREE
Annual DiscountNo
Learn More

Social Proof

One of the more powerful tips mentioned in the book “Influence” by Robert Cialdini is the use of social proof. Showing what others have done, shows to new visitors how valuable is your service.

Proof

Larry's Take

Alerts visitors of recent purchases by other visitors. Great social proof and FOMO from your visitors. Convert up to 300% more visitors into leads, demos and sales.
8.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$29 - $299 per month
Annual DiscountYes
PromotionStart Your Free 14-Day Trial
Learn More

Shopper Approved

Larry's Take

Create an easy to use method to instill social proof with your visitors. It helps not only with visitors but displays in SERP with Google Ads which helps increase your CTR. Can install a widget on your blog to show your ratings.
9.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$199 per month
Annual DiscountNo
Promotion30-Day Free Trial
Learn More

Miscellaneous

I’ve always been about constant small the 1% improvements. Over time a 1% improvement every week, can yield huge gains after one year. Constantly improve your website and use some of the tools below.

LiteSpeed

Larry's Take

If you are hosting your own website you want the fastest possible web server. LiteSpeed is the best performing web server. LiteSpeed is easy-to-use and administer. It supports caching of web pages which is perfect for WordPress when using their plugin.
9.0 Out of 10
PriceFREE - $92 per month
Annual DiscountNo
Learn More

Ecamm

Larry's Take

A macOS based application that allows you to video stream Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope Restream.io, Twitch, or Switchboard. Perfect for training, or webinars with live guests for a professional presentation.
8.5 Out of 10
PlatformmacOS
Price$20 - $40 per month
Annual DiscountYes - save 20%
PromotionGet Started For Free
Learn More

Vimeo

Larry's Take

Vimeo is a much better video hosting service than using YouTube. No ads and no recommend videos for others. Vimeo is great for membership sites and with the latest features great for VSLs (Video Sales Letters). Protect your content from others stealing it using their service.
10.0 Out of 10
PlatformCloud
Price$7 - $75 per month
Annual DiscountNo
PromotionFree 30-Day Trial
Learn More
Larry Ludwig

About Larry Ludwig

Larry Ludwig is an entrepreneur, financial expert, tech & marketing guru with over 25 years of industry experience.

In July 2018, Larry successfully sold Investor Junkie for $6 million.

You May Also Like

Improving The Blog (My Plan Of Attack)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I bought a blog. Now that I purchased it, what's next? I'll dive into my plans to double the revenue in 12 months.

Buying A Blog (My Case Study)

Since I sold Investor Junkie, I have always wanted to buy another blog. I document my journey and the improvements I'll make with my new blog purchase.