Welcome to the Create and Go Resources Page, which contains a list of the best tools and websites we recommend for building and optimizing your business.
We have tested and used EVERY resource on this page. Many of them are absolutely VITAL to the success of our blogs and will have HUGE impacts on yours as well. You will notice something important from reading this post: We have tried A LOT of different software products.
When running a blog, the hardest part sometimes can be finding safe and reliable software you can count on. Many of them have failed us at bad times.
That’s why we love what we use and think you will find this page very helpful in creating, growing, and monetizing your own blog!
NOTE*** The content on this page does contain affiliate links, meaning we do get some percentage of the product purchased but at no additional cost to you. We do this to help finance the free content that we publish on our website, so we appreciate your support. Please know that we ONLY recommend products that we have USED and can stand behind 100% on effectiveness.
#1 Hosting and Domain Name Platform
Well, they are CHEAP! You can start a blog for just $2.75/month when you sign up for 36 months (using our discount link!). AND you get a FREE domain name with that! This is so important at the beginning before you are making money to cover your expenses.
They are also incredibly easy to use, and they offer a complete guarantee on their hosting packages. If you sign up for 12 months or more (best pricing option) and decide that it’s not right for you, they will refund any portion of it that you have not used. There really is no risk.
Let me also just say that we didn’t initially start out with Bluehost. Our transition happened when we had an issue with another popular hosting company, Siteground. Basically, we had an unexpected influx of traffic from Pinterest, and our entire website shut down.
This cost us a TON of money in forgone sales, and we vowed that it would NEVER happen again. We got on the phone with Bluehost, and their awesome customer service team took care of everything for us! They are available by phone 24/7, and they take care of whatever issues you throw at them!
I have used all the major hosts up to this point: Go Daddy, Siteground, Hostgator, WPengine, and without a doubt the best is Bluehost. It’s got one-click WordPress installation and is what we use to host our websites.
We also offer step-by-step instructions on setting up Bluehost and your first blog in this post here: How to Start a Successful Blog
#1 Email Service Provider for a Blog
We have tried (in this order): MailChimp, Aweber, Get Response, Active Campaign, and more…
For bloggers, ConvertKit is the best option, in our opinion. It’s easy to use, has tons of automation capabilities, and is great for bloggers. One of its best tools is the ability to re-send emails to people who have not opened yet. This raises the click and conversion rate for every email you send!
Our favorite feature by far is the ability to edit ALL of the emails in your sequence simultaneously (in one screen), without having to go back and edit each email individually. This has saved us SO much time!
We have also worked with ConvertKit to get a deal for our subscribers – You can get a FREE month of ConvertKit through our affiliate link: Try ConvertKit for Free!
It’s the preferred method we use to email our 40,000+ email subscribers, and we have written an entire review on it:
You can get your FREE month of ConvertKit through our affiliate link: https://createandgo.com/convertkit
#1 For Email Collection For Your Blog
The money is in your list.
As you can see, the majority of the sales from our blog come from the emails we send and NOT one the blog itself. This is not the case all of the time, but it is for most businesses.
This is why email is so damn important.
It’s how you build trust with your audience, drive traffic to individual posts, grow a fan base, and sell products.
And LeadPages is the ultimate list building resource for your blog. It’s got incredibly easy drag and drop software, and you can add your own domain name to the pages that you create.
We use it to collect leads for all of our free courses on Create and Go and absolutely LOVE IT!
Beginner-Friendly WordPress Themes
We have a few recommendations here:
Divi Theme is incredibly customizable and very user-friendly. It’s our #1 recommendation and what most of our new bloggers in our Launch Your Blog Course are using. You can easily customize the design of your homepage and other pages on your website and they have great customer service.
They also have a no-questions-asked, 30-day money-back guarantee so there is absolutely no risk to try it!
When you purchase Divi, you also get access to the entire Elegant Themes market, which includes over 70 other themes to choose from if you don’t end up loving Divi. This theme is quickly becoming the #1 new theme on the market for newbie bloggers!
Avada Theme is what we personally used for the first couple of months on our blog. At the time that we used it, it had fewer customizations than it did today, and that was why we ultimately made the switch to X Theme. That being said, it has since been updated and is now
*Note: We now use the Genesis Framework on our blogs, BUT that is only because we waited a year and a half to upgrade until we had the income to pay a website designer to custom code our website. Genesis Framework is one of the fastest themes on the market, but it’s not very user-friendly. We recommend new bloggers start with Divi Theme and then eventually transition into Genesis Framework after you are making some income with your blog.
#1 for Hosting eCourses
Teachable is what we use to host all of our courses on Create and Go, and we can’t speak highly enough of them!
We previously used Clickfunnels, which we still use to host our eBooks and programs on our health and wellness website, Avocadu, but they are not ideal for eCourses. We had problems with people being able to repeatedly login to access courses and membership programs.
The sales page builder on Teachable is not as advanced as Clickfunnels, but the course builder is awesome and makes it 100% worth it. Your courses will look completely professional and will make your customers more satisfied with their purchases.
#1 Pin Scheduler for Pinterest
Automate your Pinterest traffic with Tailwind, which allows you to schedule out all of your Pinterest pins ahead of time. It saves you TONS of time by allowing you to plan out how you want to schedule your posts, including what time, how often, to what Pinterest boards, etc.
It also gives you access to all kinds of analytics on how your profile and pins are performing across Pinterest:
Tailwind App is the ONLY approved API partner by Pinterest for scheduling pins.
Social Media Warfare
#1 Social Media Plugin for Social Shares
Social Media Warfare comes with access to social media share buttons that you can add to your blog posts that both look professional and make sharing your content easier than ever.
Perhaps my favorite feature though is the Pinterest save button that you can add to images on your blog post. We drive most of our traffic through Pinterest, so this is extremely helpful to us.
You can also set a specific image to be pinned whenever someone saves from your site, so you can have more control over what image is shared on Pinterest – bringing you more traffic to your site!
#1 Stock Photography Website
For both of our blogs, using high-quality stock photography is a must. We use stock images for book covers, blog posts, pins, thumbnails, and everything in between. High-quality images take your blogs look an appeal to the next level.
Do not underestimate the importance of stock photography in the blogging world.
Copyright and infringement laws are iron tight these days, and bloggers must be aware that they cannot simply take images off of Google and know they have a right to use them.
Purchasing a plan to use stock photography takes the uncertainty, headaches, and worry out of this completely!
Free stock photography also exists but is generally very limited as far as selection goes. The best option that we’ve found for free stock photos is pixabay.com.
#1 Way to Share/Store Files Online
Dropbox seamlessly integrates with our computers, making it very simple for us to share documents, videos, and anything else that we need to edit.
It’s as simple as dragging a file on your desktop into a dropbox folder already integrated to your files. There’s absolutely nothing to it and we love it!
#1 Best Photo Editor for Simple Edits
BeFunky.com is a free, web-based photo editing application that you can use right in your browser. It’s incredibly user-friendly and perfect for quick and simple edits, such as creating simple logos, cropping, adding overlays, doing touch-ups, etc.
They do have an optional paid version, but we have never had any need for it.
We previously used PicMonkey.com, but they have recently removed their free options. Sad day.
#1 Best Photo Optimizer for Blogs
Optimizilla.com is a free, web-based photo optimization tool.
Make sure to upload your photos to Optimizilla first before uploading them to your blog. It usually compresses the file to around 30-70% of the original file size without losing quality. This will help keep your website from slowing down.
NOTE*** The above content does contain affiliate links, meaning we do get some percentage of the product purchased but at no additional cost to you. We do this to help finance the free content that we publish on our website, so we appreciate your support. Please know that we ONLY recommend products that we have USED and can stand behind 100% on effectiveness.