Educating yourself is key. Below you’ll find a solid list of resources and recommendations along with my thoughts on each thing. Some are free, and some are paid. Regardless of their price, if you don’t take them and implement what they’re teaching you they’ll do no good.
Be sure to bookmark this page and check back often as I keep it updated with new information.
And of course… if there’s an affiliate link available for a service, I’m totally using it. (An affiliate link gives me a small commission whenever you purchase a product from my recommendation. You pay nothing more and often I’ll get special discounts for my followers… so watch for those too.)
Paid SEO Tools
The reason this is at the top of my list is because I use these tools on every single blog audit I perform.
They are great for not just for running multi-faceted SEO Audits, but SEO Auditor is stellar at helping you actually fix errors found during the audit.
This is a good group of tools that are software available to download and you can try it for free.
There are so many courses out there that it’s hard to find the good ones while wading through the crap.
I have taken tons of courses, more than I can count. I’m always taking new courses, I have a backlog of courses I’ve purchased and I’m slowly making my way through them. I’m pretty much always educating myself.
Email on AutoPilot
Hands down the best email course I’ve seen and taken… and I’ve taken a few. Matt’s methods are the elusive obvious of pure awesomeness and just make sense. When it comes down to learning step-by-step how to implement everything… there’s no better person than Matt Molen to teach you.
From day 1, you need to start growing your email list. Your email list will help you to be able to grow your business and I can’t stress how important it is to do email. The most valuable thing you’ll own for your business is your email list.
Paid Site Speed Course
Site Speed Course
If you don’t understand what CSS is and how to make your site faster… this is an absolute must-take course.
The creator of the Site Speed Course is my friend Grayson Bell (owner of iMark Interactive). He is one of the top site speed specialists in the US and is highly sought after.
I’ve hired him a few times to do site speed improvements and other major project work on Happy Mothering and I couldn’t be happier with the services he and his team provide.
Grayson has 2 stellar courses that teach you how to understand CSS and how to speed your site up.
Step by step, easy to follow, and easy to understand. I’m not just promoting these courses because I get a commission… I’m promoting them because I own them and they’re stellar.
I can’t explain how helpful all of this knowledge is and how much it will help you to know it in the future.
Free SEO Courses
Google SEO Starter Guide
100% free SEO resource by Google. Don’t purchase any SEO courses until you’ve read through this… seriously. This will give you the foundation you need prior to understanding SEO.
Google Digital Garage SEO Course
Again, a 100% free SEO resource by Google. Why would you purchase a paid SEO course before going through this free one? I’m 100% for paid courses… that said, when it comes to search engine optimization for Google, I feel it’s best to listen to exactly what they say about SEO… then move on to the experts who have paid courses.
Free Social Media Courses
It just makes sense to take this free course where Facebook teaches you how to use Facebook in its entirety. From Instagram to WhatsApp to Facebook Ads and everything in between.
Pinterest Creative Best Practices
This is a short, yet highly informative read created by Pinterest to teach you exactly how to get your Pins on Pinterest to Perform. These techniques should be used on all of your social media outlets.
This is a great Chrome plugin that gives you information regarding other websites’ SEO. It’s also on Firefox, Opera and Explorer.
For HTML, CSS and PHP I have been using W3Schools free resources for over a decade.
WebAIM Accessibility Checker
– You can check each page of your site to make sure it’s accessible. The tool will list out what the errors are and give you a great guide to follow to try to fix any accessibility issues.
WebAIM Accessibility Contrast Checker
– It’s important to make sure your website colors have contrast so people who have issues seeing colors can see them all. I understand this more than most as I have a form of colorblindness.
RankIQ Artificial Intelligence
I can’t explain to you how much this artificial intelligence has helped us on our other sites like Happy Mothering. This is the coolest tool we’ve ever used. That said, it’s even better when paired with a keyword search tool like Keyword Chef.
My friend Ben Adler developed this tool because of his frustration of using tons of other keyword tools that didn’t suit his needs. This is an amazing tool and yes, you can try it out for free.
“Keyword Chef automatically finds and filters keywords for you. Real-time SERP analysis lets you find keywords nearly guaranteed to rank.” It’s seriously one of the easiest, if not the easiest keyword tool on the market.”
We use this tool in conjunction with RankIQ AI mentioned above. In future blog posts, I’ll show exactly how these 2 pair well together.
Premium WordPress Themes
Hosting & Domain
Some “pro bloggers” recommend cheap hosting companies… and when I say “cheap” I mean cheap in every aspect of the word.
Many companies like Bluehost and Siteground pay an extremely great commission to those who sell their services.
I can’t in good conscience recommend any EIG company (the company that owns Bluehost) or Siteground as their services are subpar to my standards.
You can do a quick Google search to see the type of issues many people have reported. And yes, I’ve personally used both companies in the past.
Big Scoots is who I recommend for hosting. They’re a great hosting company with stellar support.
We have 10+ sites currently hosted with Big Scoots and have been with them for several years.
And for those of you who are inquisitive, no, their commission program isn’t as stellar as the companies I won’t promote who pay $60-150 per signup.
With BigScoots, I get a commission on your 1st month’s payment… so if you sign up on the $8 per month plan, I get $8.
If you’re on the fence over who to choose for hosting, hop over to their site and chat with their support to see if they’ll be a fit for your needs.