This page is a curated list of the very best tools, resources, and products/services that we highly recommend for building and optimizing a profitable, well-monetized blog on the self-hosted WordPress platform.
We have used and tested every resource listed here. Many of them are must-haves for Eat Travel Hustle’s blog growth and we believe that they will take your blog to the next level.
Products & Services We ♥
Engineered for speed, built for security, and crafted for WordPress, Siteground is the best host our founder has ever used in more than a decade of building websites. With plans starting at just $3.95/month (you don’t have to pay for a year up front!), Siteground is better than other hosting companies like Bluehost, because:
- they have impeccable uptime,
- they stay on top of the latest WordPress malware/vulnerabilities to protect customer sites, and
- their 24/7 support team (available by phone and chat) is extremely knowledgeable about WordPress.
Domain Registration: Namecheap
Namecheap is the cheapest domain registrar we have found, with special offers for first year domains as low as $0.88! After your first year, you can expect to pay $10-12/year for your domain and NameCheap will generally have an extremely competitive price compared to others. Their search and checkout process is simple, fast, and user-friendly and they don’t try to upsell you the entire world.
Find a domain starting at $0.88
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Premium WordPress Themes: Themeforest
Choosing a theme for your website is one of the most important decisions that you will make and for good reason. You are going to spend some time, likely tweaking it, again and again, to adjust to changes in best practices and your business model or even brand evolution. This is not something that you are going to want to have to change often (most large companies change their web design every 3 years on average) because it is a headache and you will lose your design customizations when you completely change your theme.
To buy a premium theme for WordPress, the only website we recommend is Themeforest. ThemeForest has more than 40,000 WordPress themes and templates to choose from and lets you preview a demo of each theme, as well as read reviews and other important pre-sales info.
Forms, Quizzes and More: Gravity Forms
Definitely the most advanced form builder we’ve ever seen… Gravity Forms is a WordPress Plugin that allows you to create dynamic and interesting contact forms, opt-in forms, surveys, polls, quizzes, and a ton of other cool types of forms. It integrates with pretty much every popular plugin and non-WordPress third-party app, allowing you to even accept payments, build mini-apps and more.
Editorial Calendar & Social Media Scheduling: CoSchedule
CoSchedule is sooo amazing! We literally could not manage all of our social media profiles, blog posts, and even email campaigns without this tool. You can:
- create/manage an editorial calendar,
- create/schedule/publish your content,
- collaborate with other members of your content team like editors or guest posters,
- manage MailChimp campaigns,
- set blog post creation checklists to make sure you do all of the steps, and
- even create WordPress posts directly from Google Docs!
This tool is a blogger’s dream!
Books to Inspire & Inform You
The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Quite likely the most memorable and fun business book I’ve ever read, The 4-Hour Workweek gives you actionable tips and parables to design a low-maintenance business and life that most people only dream of… Learn how to set a value for your time and actually leverage that value. The best thing about this book is Tim’s hilarious anecdotal stories and how easy this book is to read (I read it in a couple of days).
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
Michael Gerber’s bestseller teaches you how to create, grow and exit an extremely profitable business that doesn’t lead to burnout. He explains the difference between working for and working inside of your business… and how to leverage your skills and time in the best way.