ConvertKit (1 month free): ConvertKit is our e-mail service provider of choice. The open rates for e-mails sent by ConvertKit is high compared to other providers. The interface is easy to use, and it integrates with almost any other platform you may want to use – such as chatbots, online course platforms, and more!
Thrive Leads: You can most definitely use ConvertKit’s forms on your blog using their plugin, but we both love Thrive Leads for more customization. It’s a one-time fee for the plugin, and you can do everything from opt-ins at the end of posts to pop-ups and slide-ins. It replaces tools like HelloBar as well. April uses Thrive Leads to put a default form at the end of each post depending on its category. So when she writes a new blog post, she chooses a category, and her opt-in freebie from that category is automatically added!
Flywheel: This is April’s host of choice. Even though this host is a bit pricier, they also handle the WordPress support. So, if you’re paying someone to fix WordPress problems for you, you will save a good deal of money with this host! If you’re just switching to WP, having WordPress support is super important. There will be issues with your site and plugins over the years. And most hosts don’t do WordPress support. That’s what makes Flywheel unique – they’re a WordPress-only host with WP experts to support you. They even have an emergency customer service line. The smaller plan is usually sufficient for newer bloggers, but check your monthly traffic before choosing your plan.
Header Footer Code Manager: Need a code added to the header of your blog? This makes it simple to do this without touching any of your blog’s code! Just paste the header or footer code into the plugin and you’re done. We used this to easily add our Facebook and Pinterest pixels to our sites.
Pretty Links: This is a simple plugin to redirect any URL on your site to another, less pretty, URL. If you’re doing an online training, you can send people to yourblog.com/training to sign up, and you can change the link it goes to as a leadpage, your Facebook live link, or your webinar link.
Thrive Architect: This is by far the best page builder plugin. You can build your homepage, pages that work like Lead Pages (but look much nicer), and create custom video or image galleries on any page. It also integrates with Thrive Leads, and uses the same controls, so it has seamless integration with your e-mail list.
Responsive Grid Gallery: If you’ve ever added products to dozens of posts, and then updated the cover photo painstakingly on every post, this plugin is for you. You can create “grid galleries”, which are tables of images with links, for any product set. It will give you a shortcode to put in your blog posts. Then, if you need to update images or links, you only have to edit it in the gallery. It’ll automatically update in all of the posts you used the shortcode in!
Yoast SEO: We use the free version, but have heard that the paid version is even more awesome. This plugin shows up at the bottom of your blog posts and walks you through how to optimize for the keywords you’ve chosen for the post.
Tasty Pins: Want control over which pin people send to Pinterest? This plugin allows you to upload a hidden pin and set it to default for the post.
Tailwind: We recently got access to Tailwind’s SmartLoop, after years of using Tailwind to bulk schedule our pins on Pinterest. Having a continuous stream of content on Pinterest is so important. We pin about 20-25 pins/day, and that’s getting over a million eyeballs on our pins each month, without any promoted pins. The SmartLoop feature automates everything once you set it up. You can even do evergreen loops to post for just a season or month.
SmarterQueue (30-day trial): April beta-tested this option as an alternative to the super-pricey Meet Edgar. Luckily, the developers listened to suggestions and made this even better than Meet Edgar! Now we both use it. It’s also way more affordable. Use it to bulk schedule your blog posts to a rotating queue to post to your Facebook or Twitter accounts. You can also add products, memes, and other evergreen content to have a continuous rotation of content posting to your Facebook and Twitter feed. We also use it to post weekly engagement threads in Facebook groups.