Over the past eight years, blogging has become important to me.
At first, it was a hobby that I loved. Years later, it provided the platform for full-time employment. But most importantly, through it all, it has provided opportunity to make a lasting change and impact in the world.
I recently sat down with Val Geisler from ConvertKit to discuss, in detail, my personal growth in blogging and my transition from hobby to full-time writing. You can find the conversation on the Reach Podcast.
If you blog as a hobby or career, you’ll find the conversation helpful.
I have worked hard to keep my blogging platform simple and minimal—focused in both pursuits and tools. As a result, I use many of the same tools today that I used when I first started Becoming Minimalist.
So I thought I’d take a moment to list them. Perhaps you will find some of the recommendations helpful.
The 7 Internet Tools I Use for Blogging
Bluehost. Eight years ago, I signed up to use Bluehost as my domain host for www.becomingminimalist.com. At the time I knew very little about starting a website. But I found the Bluehost interface to be inexpensive and very easy-to-use. I have been pleased with their service ever since and continue to recommend their service to others.
WordPress. WordPress is my blogging platform of choice. Easily integratabtle with Bluehost or as a free hosting site, I find the platform user friendly and fully customizable with a nearly unlimited number of tools to use (called plug-ins). If you’re interested in starting a blog for the first time, here’s a simple, helpful guide to get you started.
Genesis. Genesis is the framework that I use to create the look and design of this website. WordPress offers a number of free designs on their platform. But for full customization, you’ll need a stronger tool. Genesis is a premium framework ($59.95) that is both robust and user-friendly. Becoming Minimalist was designed by Brian Gardner (as noted on the bottom of every page).
ConvertKit. ConvertKit is my email distributor of choice. If you receive Becoming Minimalist posts by email, they are delivered by ConvertKit. If you’ve been a part of our Uncluttered Course, it is ConvertKit that made it possible. ConvertKit is relatively new to the email provider scene. As a result, they are highly personable and open to user feedback. Built by bloggers, for bloggers, I switched to their service (from MailChimp) last year and am incredibly pleased with it. Their plans begin at $29/month for unlimited emails.
Unsplash. Unsplash offers free (do whatever you want) high-resolution photos. Most of the images that appear here on Becoming Minimalist are found via Unsplash. If you use images for blogging or social media, you’ll love the tool. And their recent addition of a search function has made navigating the site even easier.
Social Media. I use three social media platforms to promote Becoming Minimalist content (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). But I have found Facebook to be the most productive and efficient for promoting content and engaging with readers. So I choose to spend most of my social media time over there. As a fun little side note, we are just about to surpass 500,000 followers on Facebook—how exciting is that! For a more in-depth look at why and how I use social media, read this.
Google Analytics. Google Analytics provides the information I need to be intentional about the growth and effectiveness of Becoming Minimalist. It allows me to understand how people find this site (search traffic or referral traffic), what posts are most popular, and even what posts cause the most people to leave. If you want to be serious about blogging, you’ll need an analytics tool—and there are few free tools as powerful as Google.
Honorable Mention: Jason Charnes handles all of my web coding and technical problems. When I run into any significant back-end issues that are beyond my limited programming knowledge base, he’s the first one I call. If you need technical support in any way, he’s earned my recommendation. You can contact him at Red Beard Coding.
If you enjoy blogging, you’ll enjoy these tools. Hope that’s helpful.
Note: This post contains affiliate links which means the company has graciously offered me a small commission every time someone signs up via one of my links. This does not influence my recommendation. I have used these tools from the very beginning and continue to do so today.