Here you will find the blogging tools I use, and ebooks I have personally read and recommended. Affiliate links are used, meaning I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
My Blog Host + Theme
My WordPress theme is Jellybean by Ltsdesigns.
If you’re looking for a free theme, I recommend Astra. It’s very customisable and quick to load.
My display ads are served by Ezoic, an ad network that works with Google Adsense. You can find more info about Ezoic below in the ‘earning money as a blogger’ section.
My blog runs on self-hosted WordPress.org.
I will be migrating to Lyrical Host in December, a hosting platform designed for bloggers. I’ll update this section once I’ve transferred to let you know how it went!
Use code EMILYUNDERWORLD for 10% off your first plan payment with Lyrical Host.
Equipment I Use
Find my tech tools for Blogging & Photography here on my Amazon storefront.
Here are the other tools I use for blogging. Some of these are affiliate links, meaning I earn a commission.
- Yoast for SEO is essential. Utilising SEO on my blog posts brings in a lot of organic traffic from Google. Yoast is free to use and I swear by it. They also have some free courses about SEO, I recommend taking those.
- Smush is great for compressing images to make them load faster. I use the free version.
- Jetpack by WordPress.com allows you to integrate with the WordPress.com reader, which means people can follow you, and you can follow them. Plus the reader is great, a lot better than Bloglovin’!
- One Click Accessibility is the plugin I use for the accessibility toolbar at the top of my blog.
Social Media Scheduling
- Tweetdeck for scheduling tweets and managing multiple Twitter accounts. It’s free.
- Tailwind for scheduling Pinterest pins, and connecting with other bloggers on Pinterest. It’s not essential for Pinterest, but I do find it helpful and convenient. The Communities feature is pretty great too for finding other bloggers in your niche. You can get a free trial of Tailwind here.
- I wrote about how I promote my blog posts here.
Books + Courses
I have personally bought several Pinterest Courses over the years. Big Pin Energy is my favourite. In February 2020, I smashed my blog goals, with the highest number of views and sessions I’ve ever had! I really recommend it if you want to learn how to use Pinterest effectively with their new algorithm changes.
I am now reaching an average of 28,000 sessions every month + 30,000 page views! I even had a viral pin that brought me 12,000 views in one day.
My June 2020 Referrer Stats are featured below… notice how much higher my Pinterest clicks are compared to Twitter or Facebook!
- Boost Blog Traffic Ebook by TheSheApproach.
- Stray Curls Blogging Bundle. A bunch of really useful resources about blogging, SEO, traffic, and marketing. I often refer back to it.
- PresetsByLisa. I love her Lightroom Presets for my blog and Instagram photos. You can read about how I improved my photography and editing here.
- For stock photos, my favourites for blogging are from IvoryMix. You can find my free stock photos and other resources on my Shop + Freebie Library page.
- SendOwl and Gumroad are great platforms for selling digital products. You can easily add affiliates too. I’m currently using Gumroad and Etsy for my digital products.
I have learned so much from various courses & classes I’ve taken on Skillshare. The courses I’ve taken vary from blogging, SEO, and affiliate marketing, to crafts and DIY.
You can try out free unlimited Skillshare courses for two weeks.
Creative Market is a brilliant place for digital products. It’s where I bought my WordPress Theme Jellybean by Ltsdesigns (and my previous one, Dainty by Hearten Made). I often buy resources on Creative Market for blogging and graphics design.
Best of all, Creative Market give away six free goods each week! Every Monday there are new digital products you can download for free. Examples include fonts, social media templates, digital illustrations, icons, and stock photography.
Find the free goods of the week on the right.
Powered by Creative Market
Blogging + Social Media Tips
- How To Improve Your Blog Photography.
- How I Promote My Blog Online and Offline.
- 20 Quarantine Blog Post Ideas for Lifestyle Bloggers.
- How To Create Clickable Pins.
- What are Logo Mockups and Why Are They Useful?
- Where To Find Cute Stickers for Instagram Stories.
- Internet Wages: my new blog focused on making money online, freelancing and blogging.
Earning Money As a Blogger
Finding Sponsored Work
Most of the time, sponsored blog post enquiries land in my email inbox. I am yet to pitch a brand myself!
I tend to ignore Instagram DM’s because 9 times out of 10 it’s a dodgy MLM, or a brand asking me to buy their fast fashion product at a discounted rate. Not for me.
For many bloggers, Mediavine is the holy grail of advertising. I am yet to apply for Mediavine, because you need 50,000 monthly sessions to be considered. My highest so far is around 47,000, so maybe I’ll be able to apply soon.
Google Adsense has been quite hit and miss for me, so I recently switched to Ezoic. They work with Google Adsense, but enable you to earn more money from advertising.
You need to reach 10,000 monthly sessions to use Ezoic, so the threshold is much easier to attain than Mediavine. I’ve only been with them for a few weeks, but my earnings have already doubled compared to Adsense.
Affiliate Marketing Programs
Affiliate marketing is a great way for bloggers and social media influencers to earn an income online. I share all about the ways I earn money online as a micro-influencer and freelance writer over on Internet Wages.
Here I’ll be recommending my top-performing affiliate programs. Some of these are referral links, meaning I earn a commission.
- Ultimate Bundles. This is my favourite platform for affiliate marketing. Ultimate Bundles pay a 40% commission rate, and provide many resources for helping you succeed. Anyone can join for free. I believe in their products as a customer myself, and I’ve learned a lot since joining.
- I also use AWIN and Amazon Associates, although their commission rates are lower than Ultimate Bundles. I mainly use these for linking to specific products, like books, makeup or skincare. AWIN generally pays more than Amazon Associates, and you can find many premade ad graphics on there for your blog, email marketing, or social media. Commission rates vary per brand, but pretty much all the household-name companies you might like to work with are on AWIN.
- If you’re interested in Amazon Associates, the best-performing commission for me actually comes from promoting their free trials of Prime, Prime Student, and Audible with their Bounty Program.
- Check out the Amazon Affiliate Affluence Ebook for everything you need to know about Amazon’s Affiliate program, and how to earn more from it. The writer earns over $1000 per month just from Amazon. I wrote so many notes while reading this ebook. It’s the best and most practical advice I’ve read about how to succeed with Amazon Associates.
For a more in-depth look at Affiliate Programs in general for bloggers, check out this brilliant resource from TheSheApproach. It includes 500+ programs and a video walkthrough. If you’re completely new to affiliate marketing, I’d recommend taking this free email course. I also recommend Kayleigh Zara’s Affiliate Marketing ebook, it’s great for beginners!
Visit my Shop & Freebie Library page to find products made by myself and free stuff! This includes social media templates, stock photos, fonts, and more.
If you have any questions or need some advice, feel free to tweet me @emilyunderworld!
All the best,