Best Blogging Tools for Starting a Christian Blog
Let's face it! There are a ton of blogging tools and resources out there to choose from and it can be difficult to figure out which ones you really need and which ones are the best. The reality is that there are a lot of “must-have” blogging tools that you don't absolutely need. I've compiled this list of the best blogging tools and resources for Christian Bloggers that we use here on Kingdom Bloggers (as well as our Sister Site).
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Best Blogging Tools for Hosting
While you can start a blog for free on WordPress(.com), I highly recommend against it! Instead, opt for going self-hosted on WordPress(.org). This will provide you with so much more creative freedom down the road. There are a lot of restrictions when using the free platform and some of them can actually hinder your ability to grow.
SITEGROUND – If you've already read my post on choosing the best web host, you will know that your best choice for hosting is Siteground. I have hosted two different websites using them (after trying other services and being unsatisfied) and would never choose another hosting provider. Sign up with my referral link and get your hosting as low as $3.95/month.
You may have also heard of using Bluehost for your hosting. I started with them but had a lot of problems. I'm only mentioning them here so you can compare and make your own decision.
Best Blogging Tools – Plugins
Plugins enable you to do a lot of different things that increase the productivity of your blog or website. Many of them are free – some absolutely necessary – some, just nice to have. It can be really hard to know which ones you truly need or if the investment is worth it to improve your site. While we do mention various blogging tools, there are only a small handful that we actually highly recommend as necessary for growing your blog. I'm only going to list the paid plugins here that can help improve your blog.
WP Tasty Pins – This is my favorite plugin ever! One of the most important things for growing traffic to your site is to have it optimized for Pinterest. This means ensuring you have the proper Pinterest text entered for your pinnable images (including hashtags). Have you ever pinned from a website and the pin either didn't have a description or the description looked the same as the title? That is because they didn't put the Pinterest text in it. This is crucial for Pinterest SEO and getting your pins found, shared, and clicked on! You can read more about Tasty Pins and see how awesome this blogging tool really is! I have it installed on all 3 of my websites.
CSS Hero – For the most part, most newer bloggers don't have coding experience or understand how to change the CSS on their themes to make changes to get it exactly how you want it. Many themes do have limited editability to change things like font colors and size. But some do not! There were a few things with the Kingdom Bloggers theme that we weren't able to change. Fortunately, we found CSS Hero! This plugin enables us to make the font in specific areas larger, change the color of specific headings, and even enabled us to change the font size and color for the comment box at the end of posts.
Best Blogging Tools – Email List Building
Building your email list is an important part of your Christian blog strategy. This is how you stay directly connected to your readers! Social media is great but the algorithms change so often and at any time they could disappear. Having an email list enables you to communicate directly to them, asking for feedback, recommending products/services, or letting them know about things to come for your online ministry. There are a lot of different email service providers out there and you might start with one and migrate to another as your list grows.
ConvertKit – This is one of the most popular email service providers for bloggers. It enables you to create subscribe forms and optin forms with ease and embed them right into your site. They offer really great tutorials to walk you through creating and setting them up, as well as how to set up an email automation sequence. You can even segment your lists if you write about different topics. For example, Kingdom Bloggers writes about blogging AND offers Christian content. I wouldn't want to send emails about blogging tips to those who only want to receive faith content. Get started with ConvertKit today and start building that email list!
MailerLite – MailerLite is another great option for those on a tight budget.
A few more great resources for getting your email list going:
- The Complete Guide to Email Marketing
- 73 Proven and Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List
- Email Swipe File – Swipe copy for writing the perfect welcome email sequence
Best Blogging Tools for Branding
The images you use on your blog and social media are so important for building an identifiable brand. Most bloggers would agree that using a set of the same images consistently for your blog posts headers and Pinterest pins will help your readers begin to recognize your “brand” when they come across them in feeds. Many (strictly) faith blogs opt for very “religious” images which tend to be dark. Those are great, but be sure to use the fade setting in your image editing software (I use Canva for free). For those that simply have a faith theme to an otherwise different niche, find images that really reflect what your niche is. You want them to be inviting, bright, and eye-catching!
Regardless of what type of images you choose, ensure they are visually appealing, flow with the color palette of your blog's theme, and use a text overlay to add the blog post title. The following are places you can get started with free images while you decide on your exact branding.
Creative Market – Creative Market offers a huge variety of premium WordPress themes, stock images, fonts, and other tools for branding your website and social media. (Kingdom Bloggers theme was purchased through Creative Market)
Haute Stock – I use their images on Girl Bosses Rock and absolutely love them. Download your free starter images here.
Styled Stock Society – Beautiful and elegant and you can download 10 images for free to get started.
SC Stockshop – Kingdom Bloggers uses SC Stockshop images for its branding! Get your free images here.
Freely Photos – This site offers some really great stock images (for free) that are specifically geared towards Christian content. Check them out here.
Pixabay – For a variety of images, including those with a religious theme, Pixabay offers a huge selection of images that are completely free to use. Find out more.
Need more blogging tools?
We tried to keep this page simple and easy to use, but if you are wanting to find more blogging tools to help with the different areas of your blog and social media, check out the Bloggers Toolbox from our Sister site Girl Bosses Rock.
Don't forget to read more of our helpful Christian Blogging Tips:
- How to Start a Ministry Blog – 10 Steps to a Successful Launch
- 5 Reasons Siteground is the Best Web Hosting for Christian Blogs
- The Importance of SEO and the Truth About the Yoast Plugin
- Pinterest for Christian Bloggers – The Key to Growing Your Christian Blog Ministry