Over 130 of the best resources for Building, Customizing, Promoting, and Monetizing your blog. Have fun!
WordPress – WordPress is free and easy to use. It is the most popular platform out there. With the hosted version of WordPress you get a subdomain with your name. I.E. (yourname.wordpress.com).
Typepad – Cost from 5-15 dollar a month. It is also one of the more popular blogging platforms.
Blogger – A free blogging platform that is owned by Google. Blogger is great platform for beginners.
Movabletype – Another Very popular blogging/publishing platform
TextPattern – Blogging, Content Management, whatever you want to call it… Textpattern is another solution for it.
Vox – Vox is not only a free blogging platform, it is a community.It is another blogging platform that is great for beginners.
Live Journal – It’s a combination of blog and social networking. With Live Journal you can create a community around your blog. You can also make your blog private so only your friends can view it.
Shoutpost – Shoutpost is a quickly growing community of bloggers. It is also designed to be a social networking platform. One of the great things about Shoutpost is that it is completely ad-free.
WordPress (Non Hosted) – WordPress can also be downloaded and installed on your own server. It is open source and the most popular platform out there. The download version requires you to get your own hosting. Some hosts include a simple install script to quickly get started. We have listed some of those hosts below.
Text Pattern – A content management system that can also be used for blogging. Text Pattern is for more advanced users.
MovableType – Another popular blogging platform. You can choose from their free or paid version.
PMachine – Expression Engine, Pmachine’s blogging platform is a very easy to use. Cost around 100 dollars but is free to try for 30 days. Expression Engine is designed to be a complete content management solution.
Drupal – Drupal is another very powerful and popular content management solution that many people use as a blog. The great thing about Drupal is the ability to expand beyond the basic blog functionality. It does require a more advanced understanding of web development though.
If you choose to go with a non-hosted blogging platform you are going to need a hosting company. The following are some hosting companies that offer Fantastico, a control panel plugin that allows you to quickly install software, including most of the popular blogging platforms.
Blogging for beginners – A great article that helps you choose a blogging platform thats right for you.
Top blogs – A list of the top bloggers. Before you start blogging take a look at the leaders in the blogosphere, you can learn a lot from them.
Set your blog apart from the rest. Here are a few sites that you can download free themes to brighten up your blog. Most of the themes are designed for WordPress, which is one reason it is so popular.:
WordPress.net – Choose from a variety of user uploaded themes.
Alex King – Another great place to find themes.
Emily Robbins – Thousands of free WordPress themes to choose from.
Blogging Pro – Reviews dozens of themes.
If you truly want to set yourself apart from the rest, then have a blog designer make you a custom theme. The following is a list of blog designers that can make your blogging dreams come true:
Pearsonified – Chris Pearson is one of the most well known blog designers.
For more blog designers check out this list of a few hundred:
Huge list of designer
Add functionality to your blog with plugins, the following plugins will not only make your blog more user friendly but search engine friendly as well (plugins listed below are only for WordPress).
Subscribe to Comments – Allows commenter’s to receive email updates when new comments are posted. This is a great way to increase traffic and participation.
Ultimate Tag Warrior – Allows you to tag individual posts with keywords, which will help the popular blog search engines, such as Technorati, find your posts. It also provides an alternate way to organize your posts. We highly recommend this plugin.
Sociable – Sociable is a plugin that allows you to add social bookmarking links to each of your posts. This is a great way to help get your site promoted. But be careful not to list too many, else it might just clutter up the screen. See below for some of the more popular social networking sites.
Google Sitemap – Automatically creates and updates a XML sitemap after every new post. It then pings Google to update their listings. This will insure prompt inclusion.
SEO Title Tag – Makes the title of your post the title of the page, which is great for SEO.
Head Meta Descriptions – Allows you to add a brief description about each post. This data shows up under the title in your search engine listings.
WP-Post Rating – Allows visitors to rate your blog. This will allow your audience to easily give their feedback about which posts they like. Understanding your audience is key to growing your blog traffic.
WP-Contact Form – Easily add a contact form anywhere on your blog.
Feedburner Plugin – Replace your feed with Feedburner plugin which will help you accurately track of your subscribers. Feedburner also allows you to accept email subscribers, which will increase your subscriptions significantly. As an example, about 20% of SponsoredReviews subscribers are email based.
WordPress Plugin Database – List of plugins
WordPress Plugins Directory – Another list of popular plugins
Essential tools for blogging – A huge list of plugins/tools that will make creating and customizing your blog easier.
Top design mistakes – The most common design mistake that blogs make. Read this article before customizing your blog so that you don’t make any of these mistakes.
Social Bookmarking websites can not only drive tons of traffic to your blog, but are also a good place to find topics to blog about. The content on these websites are user submitted and voted on by their community.
Digg – If your post gets submitted to Digg, it can drive quite a few visitors to your blog. If your post makes it to the Digg homepage it will drive thousands of visitors to you blog and could even crash your servers, also known as the “Digg Effect.” Digg tends to be geared towards the tech crowd, so if your site is tech related you have a good chance of getting Dugg.
Reddit – Another community based voting website which can drive tons of traffic to your blog.
StumbleUpon – Users on this site blindly go to different blogs/websites based on their interest. Users can give a thumbs up or down based on if they like the content. If your content makes it on the buzz section of Stumble Upon it can drive thousands of visitors to you blog throughout a few days.
Del.icio.us – The most popular bookmarking website. If your site gets bookmarked enough you may make it to the homepage. Adding links on each of your posts to help your readers bookmark it will definitely increase traffic to your blog. Use the sociable plugin listed above to make adding these links to your posts easy.
Here are few other Social Bookmarking websites that are worth mentioning:
Having your blog in directories can increase your blogs visibility and exposure. The following are a list of paid and free directories:
To join a blog network your blog must meet several different requirements, once your blog is accepted into one of the following blog networks it will drive more traffic and give your blog some prestige.
Blog Search Engines
Technorati – The most popular blog search engine.
Bloglines – Much more than just a blog search engine it is also a very popular reader. With BlogLines you can find, subscribe and keep up to date with your favorite blogs.
Google Blog Search – A popular blog search engine by Google.
Ice Rocket – Another popular blog search engine that also allows you to subscribe to your favorite blogs.
Analytics and Tracking
Part of being a good blogger is knowing your audience. Tracking software allows you to do just that. With Google Analytics, Mint, and MyBlogLog you can track how many visitors come to your site, what posts received the most traffic and many other powerful statistics. With Feedburner, you can track the number of RSS subscribers and even monetize your feed.
Google Analytics – A free tracking solution that allows you to export data for quick and easy reports.
Mint – Is tracking especially made for blogs, even tracks your RSS subscribers. Cost about 30 dollars but it is popular with many bloggers.
Feedburner – Allows you to track your RSS subscribers and also allows you to monetize your feed. Not to mention some of the other features like “Email Subscribe”, and auto-detection scripts. We highly recommend Feedburner.
MyBloglog – A blog community that not only lets you track your visitors, it can help you expand your readership. It is a combination of Social Networking and analytics.
Optimize your blog for search engines- Pronet Advertising has some great tips on optimizing your blog for more visibility on search engines.
How to increase rss subscribers – Copyblogger has very helpful tips on increasing your RSS subscribers.
How to drive traffic to your blog – Learn how to drive more traffic to your blog by Seth Godin, who happens to be a top blogger and popular writer.
Blogging Pro – Has great tips to help improve your blog.
SEO Book – Learn some SEO tips to help make your blog more search engine friendly
21 traffic triggers for social media marketing (copyblogger) – Copy Blogger discusses the 21 topics that will help your content do better on social media websites such as Digg and stumbleupon. A must read.
10 Surefire Headline Formulas (Copyblogger) – Eye catching headline formulas.
BlogHerald – Lots of Blogging news including tips on how to grow your audience.
5 tips to organize your categories – Organizing your content can be quite difficult if your blog talks about many different topics. Daily Blog Tips has a few tips can help you better organize the categories on your blog.
If your objective is to make money from your blog then this section is for you. There are many ways to get paid for blogging, here are a few:
SponsoredReviews – Bloggers get paid for writing honest reviews about products and services.
Chitika – Chitika is a contextual program for delivering relevant product ads to your pages. It is great for monetizing pages that talk about or review products.
Banner, CPM, CPC, and CPA Networks
Tribal Fusion – Your blog must be established and meet certain requirements to join this ad network.
Contextual and Text Link Advertising
TextLinkBrokers – Get paid set monthly fees for displaying text link ads on your site.
AdbriteText links and contextual links.
TextLinkAds – Another site for selling text links.
Google Adsense – Google adsense is a very popular contextual advertising program. Many bloggers still use it, but many of the a-listers have moved away from it due to poor click through rates and earnings.
Yahoo Publisher Network If you can get accepted into YPN you can earn much more then with Google Adsense. One problem with Yahoo though is sometimes it has a hard time targeting the right ads to each page. Google is much better in that sense.
Making Money From Blogging – Goes through tons of different ways to make money from blogging
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list, if you know of any resources that we missed, feel free to comment.