The Tools and Resources I use everyday.
Working and running a blog has its own challenges. The top most one is TIME. It is through time management and use of efficient tools and resources that I am able to run this blog smoothly. Not only in blogging, these tools are useful for you even your day to day life to be efficient, to increase productivity and automate regular tasks.
I received few emails asking me how do I manage my time between work and this blog. Today, I thought I would share with you the Tools and Resources I use to drive my life and this blog. I thought it will be helpful for everyone to use these resources, most of which are free to use. I will keep on adding resources as and when I use new ones.
Few of the links in this article are Affiliate links. Which means if you subscribe to these services using the below links, I receive small commission at no extra cost to you. Understand that, I personally use the below mentioned products and services and I recommend them because they are useful and helpful.
MY MOST RECOMMENDED
HOSTING MY BLOG
Emirates Diary is proudly hosted at InMotion Hosting. I moved my blog to InMotion Hosting 6 months back and have not had to look anywhere else. Their Customer Service(24/7) is top notch and their servers are SSD (Solid State Drive) which makes sites run faster. I never faced any issues with downtime for the past 6 months of being with them although my site has more than 10000+ page views a day.
And after this experience I am comfortable and confident recommending them to you as well. The pricing is competitive for the top notch service they offer. If you are beginner to intermediate blogger, you do not need any other Hosting than InMotion Hosting.
DOMAIN NAMES BOOKING
I own around 10 to 15 domains all of which are hosted with Namecheap. They are reliable and cost effective. I have never had any issues with their services. (Currently Emirates Diary is not registered through Namecheap; which I eventually intend to do!)
WordPress is a #1 blogging platform and all my sites are proudly built on WordPress. I recommend it to you as well because they are free, open source and easy to use even for a novice. When I started blogging, I had no idea what WordPress was. However, within a short period of time, I learnt a load about them just by working on Emirates Diary. Please note, I am taking about self-hosted WordPress and not WordPress.com. You could use WordPress.com as well. However, you will not have the same control you would have with WordPress self hosted website.
WORDPRESS THEMES AND TEMPLATES
I started off my blog with Free themes available with in the WordPress theme repository. However, I felt there was no support when I used Free themes. That changed, when I started using Theme Junkie WordPress Themes. They have beautiful designs and superb customer service. They are the best source of user friendly WordPress themes. Even a beginner like me was able to use their themes without any troubles. Their themes and designs are professional, user friendly and search engine optimised themes.
HOW TO START A BLOG?
If you are motivated to start your own blog and share your thoughts, I have covered this in another post.
Read: how to start your Blog here.
Currently Emirates Diary has more than 34000 email subscribers!! I am proud of this fact! I manage most of my email subscribers through Get Response. They have been in the market for more than 10 years and are one of the leading and cost efficient email marketing providers. I send out ton of emails to my subscribers and Get Response has been my go to resource for email marketing. They have been recommended by top bloggers, leading companies and celebrities. Building an email subscriber base is the best thing you can do to yourself. And Get Response is the best resource I could find.
GULF TALENT is job site to search and apply for jobs and is a good source that I recommend for you register. You may register for FREE at Gulf Talent, create your profile and apply for jobs. Not only that, Gulf Talent sends you regular updates when there is a job matching your profile.
Bayt.com is a good resource for job seekers to search and apply for jobs in the Middle East. They have some tremendous resources. Register yourself, Post your CV, Search for a Job. If you are are employer you can register on Bayt.com to look for qualified candidates. If you have your own site where you would like to use Bayt.com services, register here.
ONLINE COURSES (UDEMY)
I believe that if you have to improve and achieve success in life, you need to be a person who learns new skills and updates existing skills. I am a big fan of learning and updating myself with knowledge. And for this purpose, I take at least 2 courses per month online to keep myself updated on Personal Development, Learning Advanced Excel, Learning Advanced Powerpoint, Project Management, Study about latest Business Trends etc. I use one and only source for online Courses and that is…… Udemy.
Udemy is the best an most user-friendly online course platform I have found there. They have a fantastic iPhone app through which I can learn while I sit on my sofa. They are also available on desktop through their website. It has made my whole learning and development process so much easier. If you have to achieve great results, you must sign up for their courses. The course are presented through video and text format for easy learning. I have found great results and would like you also to gain this.
I travel quite often and whenever I travel I make sure I stay at the reliable Hotels. For this purpose I use BOOKING.com to Book my Hotels.
Lately I have started using Airbnb when I travel abroad.
Airbnb is so much better than booking hotels and other hassles because of the user-friendliness of their website. If you are traveling anywhere abroad on a budget, consider booking through Airbnb.
I read a ton of resource online. Sometimes, I may find something useful which I would like to refer at a later stage. This is when I use Evernote. I maintain my notes, scribbles, PDF’s, scanned documents through Evernote. It’s FREE.
I use this tool to jot down my ideas, brain storming and organise my links. Evernote also syncs with your phone app and is so easy to bookmark interesting topics which I find online to read or refer at a later stage. I experimented with Google Notes and One Note. But Evernote is so much better!
I have recently started using Google Drive and moved on from Dropbox. Google provides you cheap online storage which can be synced to multiple computers, mobile devices. For a monthly fee of $1.99, I receive 100GB storage!
If you have ever received an email from me, it would be from a Gmail account which I have been having for the last 10 years. When it comes to emails, Gmail is the best email application.
ADVERTISING & ANALYTICS
Google AdSense: I use Google AdSense to monetise my websites.
Google Analytics: I make use of Google Analytics to track visitors on my sites.
I use Camtasia to capture recordings on the screen. I use this for various tutorials that I prepare. It’s very easy to use. I use Youtube.com mainly to host my videos.