Welcome to our ultimate guide of the best tools for starting and running a successful blog or online store.

These tools include the software and resources that we personally use to run our blog and online stores.
They are quite simply the best tools used by the top bloggers and sellers and will help you on the road to success (and save you lots of time from having to find, try and shortlist for yourself!).
When we started our first blog and later our own online store, we tried lots of tools to help us be more successful.
We made a lot of mistakes and lost a lot of time, but it was totally worth it in the end and helps us succeed at all of the things we are doing.
The following tools are not only used by us, but are used by many successful bloggers and sellers also.
These are the tools that we recommend to our readers in our articles throughout our site as well.
We’ve broken down the best tools for bloggers and sellers into categories, so whether your starting out blogging or making and selling, scroll down and find the best tools for the job!
Remember, these are just recommendations, you can start with one or two and grow your blog with others later, the main thing is you know where to look for advice.
Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links, so we may get a commission if you choose to use these products. They are all things we use and love. Thanks for supporting Meant to be Made!

Quick Navigation

First, what do you want to do?

The Best Tools for Bloggers

We’ve compiled the best tools for bloggers into the following categories. Click a category that applies to the stage your at to jump to that section.

Click any item above to jump straight to that category.

The Best Tools for Makers & Sellers

We’ve compiled the best tools for makers and sellers into the following categories. Click a category that applies to the stage your at to jump to that section.

Click any item above to jump straight to that category.

Make A Blog

We’ve shortlisted the best things you need to start your own successful blog.

The majority of blogs run on the WordPress platform.  You can either attempt to install WordPress yourself if you are technical, but the easiest way to get started is to use a hosting provider who will set it up for you automatically.

We’ve shortlisted two of the most recommended hosting providers for WordPress.  Having a great hosting plan and platform to run your blog will help you grow quickly and successfully, than if you were to use a provider that wasn’t as reliable.



The best and most powerful blogging platform, used by hundreds of thousands of bloggers around the world.


Quite simply the easiest and best platform for anyone starting out blogging.


If you already have hosting then you can simply download it and install it yourself. 


Otherwise choose one of the following hosting providers who will set it up for you instantly.


Using one of our recommended hosting providers is the quickest and easiest way of getting started blogging with WordPress.

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Bluehost (starter blogs)


Bluehost is quite simply our #1 recommendation when it comes to starting your own blog.


Without doubt, the best hosting company in the world for beginner bloggers in our opinion and is also recommended by many other professional bloggers.


Many bloggers start out with Bluehost, they’re a great, low cost way of starting a blog and ideal for beginner and intermediate bloggers.


You’ll get the best price and customer service with Bluehost (use our affiliate link to get hosting from only $2.75 a month).

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BigScoots (advanced)


BigScoots is simply the best hosting provider for advanced bloggers, blogs that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each month.


We use BigScoots ourselves for this blog. They are much more expensive than Bluehost, but when your blog starts to gain really big visitor numbers you can switch over to BigScoots easily (they will even move your blog for you).


Or if you have money to invest in your blog right away you can jump straight into using BigScoots today.




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We go over the easy to follow steps of starting your own blog in complete detail. But if you’re keen to get started right away then we recommend clicking the Bluehost link above to get the best deal and get started today.

Other Notable Mentions

Once you’ve started your own blog, you’ll next want to make it look amazing and professional by using a great theme. Here we list the most popular themes for WordPress that can transform your blog into a professional looking blog that stands out over the rest.

Divi Theme (Beginners)

Divi Theme is the #1 WordPress theme for beginner bloggers. Divi is easy to set up, use and customize and will help you change the look and feel of your blog easily.

Genesis Theme (Advanced)

Genesis Theme is one of the most advanced themes on the market.  It will help your blog load very fast. More expensive than Divi and less customizable, but when speed is top of your list it’s worth the investment.

Blog Essentials

When you’ve started your blog you’ll now be able to expand it easily with addons. Here we list the addons that we feel are essential to keeping your blog safe, secure and running better than ever.

WP Rocket (Speed)


When it comes to speed, WP Rocket will make your blog load lightning fast.


It’s what we use to keep our site running fast.


Faster blogs rank higher on the search engines and your visitors will be likely to browse your site longer if theres no waiting times

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Wordfence (Security)


Protect your blog from hackers by using a top security plugin. 


Wordfence is one of the top security plugins for WordPress that will secure your blog and give you peace of mind.


We highly recommend it.

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UpdraftPlus (Backup)


UpdraftPlus is a backup plugin for WordPress.  It can automatically backup your blog so that you can easily restore it if anything happened.


If you ever ran into trouble with a faulty plugin, or a hacker attack, you can restore your site to a previous working order quickly and easily.


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Other Notable Mentions

Legal Page Templates

These days it is actually a legal requirement that you have a privacy policy on your site which states how you handle the data of your visitors. Terms and Conditions along with a Disclosure page is also essential if you plan to make money from your blog. Unless you are a lawyer then it can be dificult, time consuming and complex to write your own legal pages. Save time and get it right from the start by downloading legal page templates for your blog.

Akismet (Comment Spam)

It’s great reading comments and feedback from your visitors on your blog posts. There will be many great comments left that you will enjoy reading. However there will also be comments left by spammers who are promoting links to unrelated sites. You can stop this automatically by adding Akismet, an anti-spam plugin for WordPress comments.

Google Analytics

If you want to see how many people have visited your blog you’ll definitely want to install Google Analytics. You’ll see which posts they read most, how they browse through your site and how long they spend on it amongst many other things.

Yoast SEO

SEO is very important if you want to help people easily find your blog. Yoast SEO is the best SEO plugin for WordPress that will make it easy for you to enhance the SEO of your blog and rank higher than it would have otherwise without it.


Jetpack is an all-in-one plugin for WordPress that adds many great features to your blog without having to install multiple plugins to achieve the same result. Jetpack helps keep your site secure, performing well and will even help you grow your audience.

Our Favorite Tools for Bloggers

When you start creating content you’ll want to make sure the grammar and spelling is correct, the designs you make look amazing and any photos you use are high quality.

Canva (Design Tool)


Quite simply the easiest design tool you can use that helps you create amazing designs for almost everyting in a matter of minutes.


Best of all, you don’t even need any design experience! There are hundreds of templates to choose from to get started creating anything from blog post images to pinterest pins and so much more.


Many of our blog images were created with Canva.

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It’s important to make sure the content that you write is free of errors.


Grammarly is probably the tool that almost every blogger in the world uses.


It tells you instantly of any spelling or grammatical errors by underscoring the text as you type, so you won’t have to spend countless hours running spell checks and editiing content.


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G Suite


Free yourself from the confines of any one computer or device and write your content from anywhere.


With G Suite from Google, you can have a set of office apps to create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations.


Better yet you can edit these on any device, from anywhere in the world.



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Other Notable Mentions

Stock Photos

Unless you are a professional photographer, or happen to have a top end camera, then you’re unlikely to be able to take high quality photos for your blog. Rather than taking them yourself using your camera phone, it’s best to find the photos you need on stock photography sites. We use stock photography on our sites and it’s often quicker, easier and better than taking them yourself.


Let’s face it, we’ve all got accounts on multiple websites and over time it gets hard to remember what password you used for what site. Without a password manager like LastPass this can become very difficult to manage and can even pose a significant security risk if you use the same password on multiple sites. LastPass makes it easy to manage all of your passwords in one place and can even generate secure passwords for you.  


Snagit in our opinion is the best screen capture software for capturing images and videos, so you can take a screenshot or even record a quick video of what you see on your screen. 

Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite is the best tool on the market for graphic design and photography. We use it to design graphics for our blog and websites and for designing the products we make and sell. It can be expensive but the results are amazing and so worth it.


You can take any boring picture and run it through any of the hundreds of PixRemix presets to transform a dull photo into a a dramatic photo in seconds. PixRemix is one of our own products that we’ve created. Check it out and see what it can do!

Promote & Grow Your Blog

After you’ve launched your blog the next step is to grow your audience. The following tools will help you easily attract thousands more visitors and convert them into subscribers or buyers. You’ll continue to see more and more people visit your blog every month.



This is the tool that we use to gain thousands of visitors to our blog every month.


Tailwind lets you automatically post pins to Pinterest.  The more pins you post and share with others, the more visitors you’ll attract to your blog. Taiwind makes this easy.


When you build your Pinterest content and followers, this will lead to a constant flow of traffic. Just keep building!

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Email Marketing is one of the most important things you can do to grow your blog.


ConvertKit is simply the best email capturing tool for bloggers to build their audiences.


ConvertKit was made by bloggers for bloggers.


Email marketing is a very important step you need to take if you plan to make money from your blog. ConvertKit will help you do just that.

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Before you can capture your visitors email addresses, you need to create landing pages that lead them into providing their email addresses in return for something.


LeadPages helps you create stunning landing pages, designed well for maximum conversions.


If you want the highest rate of conversions, Leadpages is the tool to use.

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Other Notable Mentions

Meet The Blogger

Our Meet the Blogger series showcases bloggers like you, learn about blogs and and the people behind them. Find inspiration from hearing their stories, their journeys and what they learned along the way. Submit your own blog to our Meet the Blogger series and you can attract new visitors too.


Hootsuite lets you manage all of your social media accounts in one place. It’s a great tool to save time by scheduling your social media posts 24/7 and helps you measure how effective each one of them is.

Social Warfare

Social Warfare lets you add great looking social share buttons to your website easily. This helps make the sharing your content very easy for those visiting your site.  You can also control what people share and how they share it, which is a great way for driving traffic back to your site.  

Every blog needs social sharing buttons. Social Warfare helps you do this in seconds.

Keyword Research Tools

Use Keyword Research tools to help you identify kewords to use on your content that will help you rank higher. You can also research your competitors, see their best performing content for ideas for what content to write next.


Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool that is great for beginners to use. Although it lacks in many of the advanced features and accuracy that SEMRush and Ahrefs offer, it’s still a great tool to use to give you some insight into your competitors and ideas for content.


Take your keyword and competitor research to the next level with SEMRush. This tool will give you a huge amount of data that will help your SEO efforts, including keyword search volume, related keywords, top pages ranking for any specific keyword and much more.


Whatever SEMRush can do, Ahrefs can do and more.  This tool is the top SEO tool on the internet. Although it is expensive, even the 7 day trial can give you great insights into what you need to do to improve your SEO, especially when it comes to getting backlings from other sites to boost your rankings.

Monetize Your Blog

When it comes to monetizing your blog, there are several tools that you can use that will help you instantly begin generating an income from your blog. From displaying ads, to turning mentions into affiliate links, use these tools to start making money from your blog today.



Advertising is one of the easiest ways to make money from your blog. Google AdSense is the most popular and quickest to add.


AdSanity is the easiest way to add and manage ads on your blog. You can easily display banner ads of all sizes and get stats on clicks.


Create your own ads and promote your own products, affiliate products or even display ads from networks such as Google Adsense.


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Thirsty Affiliates


Another easy way of making money from your blog is by displaying affiliate links.


If you’ve written content for your blog, chances are you’ve already recommended great products or services in your content.


Start making money from these recommendations by adding affiliate links which can be done easily with Thirsty Affiliates.



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WooCommerce lets you sell your own products directly on your blog. These can be digital products such as ebooks, courses or printables, or physical products that you’ve made or sourced.


WooCommerce is the top ecommerce plugin for WordPress and is a great way of adding some products and monetizing your blog.


Not as easy to use or as powerful as Shopify, it’s still our #2 choice if Shopify isn’t an option.

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Other Notable Mentions


There’s good passive income that can be made by recommending Amazon products on your website. EasyAzon helps save a lot of time by making the process of adding affiliate links of Amazon products to your pages. You can sign up quickly and easily to Amazon Associates, then add EasyAzon and begin making money right away.


One of the best ways of making a lot of money from your blog is by packaging up your content into courses and offering it for sale via your blog. Many people love consuming content this way and it’s easy to do by using Teachable, who handle the course system and payments for you.


If you plan on selling products either via your blog or on an online store such as Shopify, it’s highly recommended to sign up for Stripe, one of the best payment processors who charge lower fees than PayPal and integrate sealessly into your site. They handle the payment side of things. You’ve got the easy job of transferring the money into your bank!


If you want to handle international payments on your store, or ads and affiliate sales on your blog, we’ve found that Transferwise have the lowest currency rates around. Quick Tip: Sign up for a TransferWise account, then configure your shop payments, ad revenue, or affiliate sales to go into your TransferWise account, this will keep your fees to a minimum and maximize your earning potential!

Courses for Bloggers

Learn everything you need to know about starting a blog, making money and becoming a successful blogger. Start here, get there.

How To Start A Blog


This course is the complete guide to starting your own blog, no experience needed.


You’ll learn how to set up a blog in just a couple of easy to follow steps, how to write the perfect blog posts and how to start attracting visitors to your blog.

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How to Grow Your Blog


When your blog is up and running, sooner or later your going to want attract even more visitors and subscribers.


This course will teach you what you need to know to give your blog traffic a massive boost and grow your subscriber list.

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Make Money Blogging


Did you know, you can start making money from your blog right away?  


Follow this course to learn all of the best ways to make money with your blog,  the tools to use and which providers to sign up with.


Get This Deal

Help For Bloggers

Running your own blog can be very enjoyable. But there might be times when you want to do more but don’t have the time of skills to do it yourself. Or you get a little stuck and need some help quickly. If that time ever comes then you can use the help of experts who will quickly get you where you need to be.



When you need help with your blog you’ll find many experts that are available to help you with any aspect in a matter of minutes. 


From designing a blog logo for you to edting your blog posts, you’ll find a wide range of help on Fiverr, with prices from only $5!


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WordPress Help Pages


When you need help with the general aspects of using WordPress, you can find a range of help pages that cover the basics of WordPress.


You can learn simple things like writing and publishing posts, to adding categories, menu’s, widgets and more.


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WordPress Experts


If you ever encounter a WordPress issue that you can’t resolve for yourself, then don’t worry, there are WordPress experts who are ready to help you whenever you need it.


Don’t waste time trying to fix a WordPress problem, get the help you need when you need it from a WordPress exper.

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Make an Online Store

Sell products on your own online store. Whether these are products that you’ve made, sourced or designed, you can be your own boss and make very good income selling to customers around the world, 24/7.

Shopify (Best all round)


Shopify is the #1 platform for starting an online store, quickly, easily and professionally.


You’ll find everything you need to list your products, create your storefront and begin selling to people all around the world, 24/7.


No technical experience is required and even beginners can start their own Shopify store and start selling online right away.

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WooCommerce (self hosted)


If you already have a website, blog or hosting account you can opt to host your own online store to keep your costs minimal.


WooCommerce let’s you install an ecommerce store on your own hosting account, giving you complete control over all aspects of your store.


Technical experience is required but you can save money. Advanced users recommended.

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Bluehost (hosting company)


If you choose to host your own online store using WooCommerce then in our opinion Bluehost is the #1 hosting provider for starting a new self-hosted online store.


If you don’t mind taking time and have knowledge of WordPress, you can self-host your own online store using WordPress & WooCommerce from only $6.75 a month.


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Seller Essentials

When you’ve started your own online store, it’s important to make it look great with a professional theme, add more features and even integrate related products for even more revenue.

Shopify Themes


If you run your own Shopify store you can choose from hundreds of different themes to make your store look just the way you want it.


Browse the best Shopify themes and get inspiration for your own store.

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Shopify Apps


Shopify Apps let you expand your Shopify store with many great new features in just a few clicks.


With apps you can even easily add new places to sell your products like Amazon and Etsy.

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Oberlo Dropshipping


Oberlo lets you find products to sell on your Shopify store.


A great way for making even more money from your store,  you can offer products that are shipped directly from suppliers.

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Other Notable Mentions


Printful is another great Shopify App that lets you design a wide range of products that you can offer directly on your store. Products range from clothing and accessories, to home decor. The products are drop shipped directly from the manufacturer, so you don’t have to lift a finger to fulfill the orders, just design the product and wait for the sales!


Stripe is one of the best payment processors with the lowest fees.  When you want to accept orders on your Shopify store, you can avoid the high fees that PayPal charge and opt for a provider who offers a better service at a lower cost.


If you accept orders from all around the world, you can withdraw your income from Stripe into a TransferWise account, which offers the best exchange rate and fees available. Make the most of the money you make on your online store with TransferWise.

Promote & Grow Your Online Stores

Help customers find and buy your products by promoting your store to the world. Drive traffic, increase sales and make even more money when you promote your store and products with these amazing tools.



People love browsing Pinterest for new product ideas. Tailwind is the tool that we use to gain thousands of visitors every month.
Tailwind lets you automatically post product pins to Pinterest.  The more pins you post and share with others, the more visitors you’ll attract to your store. Taiwind makes this easy.
Get This Deal

Meet the Maker


Here on Meant to be Made we showcase many great sellers who have a story to tell and offer products that our readers would love.


You too can be featured in our Meet the Maker series and potentially attract new customers from all over the world.


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Google Shopping


Advertise your products on Google Shopping to target customers who are looking to buy products like yours when searching on google.


You will have to pay each time someone clicks on your product, but it is a quick way of attracting potentially thousands of new customers in no time at all.

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Other Notable Mentions

Google Keyword Tool

Google Keyword Tool is a free tool that gives you an insight into what people are searching for on Google. You’ll get ideas for keywords to use in your product titles and descriptions. It makes a good starting point if you don’t want to invest too much to start with.


JungleScout has a great keyword research tool, which helps you find the best keyphrases to use for your products. When you know what potential customers are searching for you can gain the upper hand on your competitors.


Another good keyword research tool that also gives you an insight into what people are searching for and recommandations for other similar keywords. You can also get an idea into some of the keywords your competitors are using.


Ahrefs is the ultimate tool for keyword research. This tool will help you create great SEO product pages and help with backlinks, so that you can rank higher on Google and attract more customers. It is expensive but can prove to be a good long term investment, rather than the ongoing cost you would have from advertising your products on Google Shopping.

Our Favorite tools for Sellers

Attracting buyers and driving sales means your product pages need to be well written, with great designs and imagery to support your product images. Use the best tools to help you create the best product pages. 

Canva (Design)


Canva is a great tool that lets you design many of the images you’ll need for your online store.


From designing a logo for your store, promotional graphics, social media posts and more, these can easily be done with Canva.

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It’s important that your product descriptions and store pages are well written, free of grammar and spelling issues.


Grammarly is the tool to use to make sure your writing is as good as it can possibly be.

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Take any photo and run it through any one of the hundreds of PixRemix presets to transform a dull photo into a dramatic photo in seconds.


When you want to add excitement to your photos, use PixRemix!

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Other Notable Mentions

G Suite

G Suite is a set of online office apps and storage space from Google. You can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, store them on your online drive and access them from any device, from anywhere in the world. Essential for businesses.

Adobe Creative Suite

This is the tool of choice when designing products and high quality images for your store. Although more expensive than Canva, what you can achieve with it is limitless. It’s the tool we use to design all of our products and we coudn’t live without it. Highly recommended.

Stock Photo Sites

Find the perfect photo to enhance your store pages from one of several stock photo sites.  You can find photos that relate to any subject and prices are from free to a few dollars.

Courses for Sellers

Learn how to make an online store, make and sell products or even sell on Amazon with these indepth guides. You can learn everything you need to know to get started the right way on the road to success.

How to Start an Online Store


Follow this course on how to start your own online store, quickly and easily, with no previous experience required.


You’ll learn how to start your new store, tips on how to promote and grow it and how to maximize your revenue potential.


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How to Make & Sell Products


If you love the idea of being able to make and sell your products to customers all over the world then this is the course for you.


You’ll find lots of ideas and inspiration on various ways of making  products, sourcing products from suppiers and selling for a profit.


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How to Sell on Amazon


Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world, with hundreds of thousands of customers. 


This course will share the ideas and tips you need to know to succeed at selling on Amazon, whether selling your own products or products from suppliers around the world.

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Help For Sellers

There’s lots of help available for you whenever you need it. People are wanting to help you with all aspects of your business. From only $5 you can get help with design, products, social media and so much more.



Fiverr helps you find the best experts to help with all aspects of your online store.


This helps you avoid wasting valuable time so that you can focus on your business.


Fiverr helps you find people who can design logos and products, write amazing product pages, take professional photos of your products and much more. Prices start at $5!

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Upwork offers a similar service to Fiverr, except it’s generally used for bigger projects.


You’ll find experts that can help with developing your Shopify store, create amazing marketing campaigns to drive massive traffic, film stunning showcase videos and more.


Have a project in mind? don’t waste time advertising locally, post your job on Upwork.

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If you need specific help with Shopify, from fixes to enhancements, then Lorem’s certified Shopify experts are available to help 24/7.


Simply chat with a project manager, get an upfront price and you’ll be matched with an pre-vetted freelancer who will work with you to get the work done to your requirements.


You pay when they’re done and you’re happy.

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