I often get emails from other moms asking me what services I use and implement here on Mom Fuse so I’ve been meaning to write up this helpful resources page for a while. I truly do hope that it helps you when your creating or maintaining your blog, if you use specific programs or services that I haven’t included feel free to let us know!
Since Mom Fuse is built on WordPress, these are going to be WordPress resources. If you use another blogging or website platform be sure to check these programs first to see if they will work with your platform of choice.
NameCheap – I love Namecheap when it comes to finding and registering a domain name. I started using them in early 2008 and have had great experience with them. I rarely ever have to contact customer service but when I do I always get a quick response and they are very helpful.
Web Synthesis – When we outgrew Hostgator I went straight to a managed hosting provider and since I only use Studiopress, their hosting partner Web Synthesis was a logical choice. Cost for the starter plan is around $27 per month but well worth it for the service you and security you receive.
BlueHost – I have heard of BlueHost and I know there are a ton of bloggers and other website owners who do use them and love them! They are very affordable too! You can get a starter plan for only $3.95 making it one of the most affordable plans I’ve heard good things about.
Hostgator – I’ve always had good service with them and there 24 hour technical support is excellent. The plans are very comparable (often cheaper) to others. HostGator offers web hosting through three different plans: Hatchling, Baby and Swamp starting as low as $3.96 per month. This is a great hosting to use when your first getting started. Use coupon code “momfusecoupon” for $9.94 off the package price of your new hosting.
StudioPress.com – Since I found StudioPress.com and starting using their premium Genesis Framework, I haven’t looked back. In my opinion, and the opinion of many other bloggers Studiopress themes are the best. All themes are SEO optimized, include automatic updates, widget ready, compatible with BuddyPress and so much more. Basically you install the Genesis Framework on your blog and use it along with a child theme. These child themes are easy to manage giving you a way to modify the layout on the fly. For beginners it may be a little complicated to get to know your way around customizing but there are tons of helpful tutorials and a forum where you can get some help.
Thesis Theme – I don’t have any experience with the Thesis Theme but I do know a lot of bloggers use it. The Thesis Theme framework is a premium template system for WordPress that is designed to serve as the rock-solid foundation beneath any kind of website. The Thesis option panels allow you to command your site with ease, while Thesis does all of the heavy lifting behind the scenes. You’ve never had this much control over your site before, and this is precisely what makes Thesis indispensable to critical website owners all over the globe.
FeedPress – When Feedburner bit the dust we had to find something to deliver our RSS Feed so that users could read our posts through their feed readers or receive those same updates by email. After searching we came across FeedPress. So far it’s an awesome service that I find myself recommending to others.
If you’re looking for a Feedburner alternative check out FeedPress and our guide to migrate from Feedburner to FeedPress.
Picture Editing/Collages & Fun Graphics
PicMonkey – This has become a popular photo editing/collage making site for a lot of bloggers, including myself. It’s easy to use and you can get very creative with your images to make stunning collages to promote on your social media pages and blog posts — I even used it to make my media kit. There is a free version and a royale version (premium). The premium version doesn’t cost much and you get a lot of cool graphics and borders to use to make it well worth the small price (the free version has a lot of cool features too if you don’t want to spend a dime).
If you use my affiliate link above you’ll be able to try out the royale version for free for one day.
MailChimp – I have been using MailChimp since Mom Fuse first got started, we did switch a few times over the years but always went back to MailChimp. There may be a bit of a learning curve to some but it’s worth it with as much customization you can do. It’s also very affordable. With their free plan you can have up to 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. No expiring trial, contract, or credit card required.
Mad Mimi – Mad Mimi is my second favorite newsletter service. It has some pretty cool features with both the free plan and paid plans. The free plan lets you store 2500 subscribers and send up to 12,500 emails per month.
31 Days to Build a Better Blog – 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a downloadable e-book designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 tasks that will all help to turn it into the page view powerhouse you’ve always dreamed of. Click here to visit ProBlogger.
Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing – This kit is all about helping you to turn your blog into a business. The Blogger’s Guide to Online Marketing—31 Steps to a Profitable Blog is a comprehensive, 31 chapter blueprint for your blog’s ongoing profitability – right from the ground up. Click here to visit ProBlogger.
Content Marketing & SEO
Scribe – As a blogger you will always hear that content is king and Scribe helps you take that content further by giving you the tools to get more traffic and help boost your search engine rankings. This is a program a lot of the popular bloggers use and I love it.
Advertising & Affiliate Marketing
Escalate Media – I’m really loving Escalate Media and have for the last few years I’ve used them. Their support is awesome and they have a lot of great programs, including coupons from Coupons.com. They also have one of the best payout programs I’ve come across.
Shareasale.com – This is probably now my 2nd most earning affiliate program. There are so many stores and programs you can join so you can really find some great affiliates for your website no matter what niche it is. A lot of the popular brands also use this which makes it great or affiliates.
Moms Affiliate – This is a relatively new program but so far working with them is great. They have a lot of great parenting brands available with more joining every day. Their interface can take a bit to get used to but once you learn to navigate through everything it’s not too bad.
MySavings Media- Quality Offers – Top Payouts MySavings Media is another great affiliate program that features coupons an other offers you can promote on your site. While Escalate Media is still my top favorite, MySavings Media is another great option.
Chitika Premium – This has been a good steady source of income for me. It’s very easy to to install and similar to AdSense, you can use Chitika Ads with AdSense because Chitika Ads are non-contextual and do not look like AdSense units.
I’m not sure if a lot of bloggers use Chitika Premium but I know of a few that do and make great money with it. I’m averaging about $100 plus per month with it now so it seems to do very well. I haven’t tried the mobile ads yet but I do plan to do that in the future to see how well it does.