Perfect Tools For Authority Blogging

Blogging ToolsHaving the right tools can make all the difference when you’re trying to begin a new online business… and make no mistake about it – creating an online authority website is a real business that will profit you greatly!

Some required tools, such as a domain name, hosting, and autoresponder – will cost you money. (they will also end up making you a lot of money!) Other tools listed here are completely free.

So without further ado – here are my recommendations in no particular order:

Domain Name – Since almost everyone is quite competitive to within a few dollars of each other – your choice is going to be based on how easy to use their service is. It’s not easy choosing, I personally have domains from three different companies – but Namecheap has to be my favorite.

Hosting – Although there are a number of great hosting companies out there – I’ve been with Hostgator now for many years, and have been completely happy with their hosting. You can start with their ‘Hatchling’ plan if this is your first website, but the ‘Baby’ plan allows for unlimited domains – and is more useful in the long run for those who’d like to experiment with other websites.

Autoresponder – Although I’ve heard good things about GetResponse, I’ve long used Aweber, and am completely happy with their service. You can get started for just $1 for the first month.

Content Management Software – There’s only one website CMS that you need – WordPress. There are others, such as Drupal or Joomla (actually, there are hundreds of them!) – but by far the best supported is WordPress. If you absolutely must check out the competition – go to Open Source CMS – they have hundreds of CMS demo’s that you can try out.

WordPress Theme – There are really only two choices for the serious professional, Thesis or Genesis. I’m a big fan of Genesis – it’s just slightly slower than Thesis – not that you’d notice, it handles responsive design for mobile use automatically, and it’s far easier to create the perfect site than doing so with Thesis. Now, that’s my opinion – but I’m not alone in it.

Dynamik Website BuilderDynamik – which is the new version of Catalyst – is a powerful bit of software that allows you to basically create any sort of website you’d like to have – with only the barest minimum knowledge of HTML, PHP & CSS required. I’m using it on this site, and I highly recommend it!

Knowledge – Of course, this website  🙂 – but if you aren’t a member at the Warrior Forum – you need to be. You’ll learn a great deal just by lurking through the posts … and even more if you become a paid member.

FTP Software – I’ve tried many different ones, and I keep coming back to Filezilla – it simply works. If you pay attention to my posts on this site, you’ll realize that I don’t recommend using Fantastico, Simplescripts, or similar scripts to install your WordPress. Using FTP manually is the best way to do this – even if it’s not the easiest or fastest.

Graphic Software – I’ve used Paint Shop Pro for so many years, it’s hard to remember… I’m still using the Version 7 that I bought many years ago. Never needed to upgrade it, I’m happy with the features. For those who’d like something free, GIMP can do just about anything you’ll ever need to do. The major things you’ll need to learn is how to resize and compress the graphics & photos you’ll use on your site.

Tracking – I use two different tracking tools – Google Analytics and Piwik – both of which are completely free. Piwik is just as powerful as Google Analytics in my opinion, and has the added advantage of a little bit more privacy. It does require just a tad more knowledge to set up than Google Analytics, so make your choice, and be sure that you track what happens on your site.

Hint: If you install Piwik Analytics – be sure to go to ‘Settings/Geolocation’ and load a city database.

Web Development – You’ll sooner or later get to the point where you have too much traffic to allow you to play with different plugins or theme changes on your live website – you’ll need a way to experiment with changes, then when you’ve decided on what works – move the new theme/plugin/script, etc to your real website. The way you do this is to install LAMP (if on Linux), WAMP (if on Windows), or MAMP (if on MacIntosh). These open-source programs allow you to run an Apache Server with PHP & MySQL on your desktop or laptop. I warn you that this is for the more advanced – but there’s quite a few tutorials available online.

About Ben Holmes

Online since the late '90's, I built my first website in 2001 - coding it on notepad. Times have changed, haven't they? Active on the Warrior's Forum and Facebook - I spend most of my time teaching people how to build their first list - and market to their subscribers. Do you have a list yet?


  1. says

    Another option is Photoshop Elements in an older version you can find cheap on Ebay. I still use Windows XP and version 6 that I bought for $10 years ago, but it does everything I throw at it and the number of free tutorials is staggering. It also can edit some of the psd files you find on the Warrior Forum or other marketing sites.

  2. says

    I have tried to install Piwik on my website, but for some reason I can’t see it on the subdomain that I created – any idea what I’m doing wrong? The message I posted on the Piwik message board has not been answered yet. Also I created my website with WordPress, does that make any difference?

    • Ben says

      I’m using WordPress, and my Piwik is installed as just a subdirectory on my WordPress site… and it works just fine… so, for example, I’d type (not the real directory, just an example).

      What are you seeing when you attempt to go to your Piwik installation?

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