The 67 Best Blogging Tools that Built my 6-Figure portfolio

Looking for blogging tools? You are in the right place. I invested well over $25,000 in the good, the bad and the garbage in order to build my 6 figure portfolio.

So If you are looking to start your blog on the right foot, you need the right tools. On this page is a compilation of the best tools and resources I’ve found for publishing niche sites & blogs. Let’s jump right in…

Best blogging tools for beginners

It’s kind of hard when you are a beginner. On one hand you want everything as low cost as possible, but at the same time you don’t want to get something low quality that you have to pay for -in tears- later. Below are the best blogging tools for beginners that you can find that won’t break the bank. I’ve used them for years and I cannot recommend them enough.


Every blog should have this. Astra is by far one of the best themes out there. It’s pretty fast and highly configurable so that you can make it the way you like it. It’s made for page builders or you can use Gutenberg blocks. Support is pretty outstanding too. Fatstacks (this site) is on Astra

Read my Astra review

Ezoic made me more than $200,000. It customizes ad placement and optimizes ad performance for each user who visits your website. The result? A boost of 50-250% on average on your ad revenue compared to Adsense. It’s a no brainer.

Read my Ezoic review

I used Bluehost exclusively for years until I needed to optimize every little part of my main site’s traffic. I liked Bluehost then and like them now for my other sites.  It’s easy to use, has decent support and does the job.

Rankmath is on all my sites and is one of my favorite tools. It just plain works and it’s helpful because it shows step-by-step what to do to optimize the page for good SEO. I used Yoast before but it slowed down my site, so I’m all Rankmath now.

50-250% gains

About my hosting suggestion: As a beginner it’s easy to get bogged down by hosting, the internet is polluted with website hosting suggestions & comparisons because hosting companies pay a lot for this. My advice is to settle for one and get to publishing. Since I’m not a tech guy, I can’t tell you the details, all I can tell you is that Bluehost has served me well for about a decade. 

Advanced Blogging tools

Once you start breaking into the 50,000+ Pageviews per month, your needs change. Below are the recommended blogging tools for more seasoned bloggers.

I switched my niche sites to  Trellis theme to get the most out of Mediavine (But you can use any ad network). Despite the high cost and limited capabilities, Trellis is wicked fast. But Fatstacks is Astra because Trellis isn’t’ great for full-width designs and page builders.

Mediavine is one of the best ad networks out there. The only issue is that you need to have the minimum requirements (by and large 50,000 sessions per month and traffic mainly from the USA). If you can get your site there, great, if not use Ezoic.

My main and larger sites are on and I love it.  I get better performance, it includes a ton of WordPress security, images are compressed and for all that I save over 50% in hosting fees. Their support is also top notch and helpful.

Other than hosting and WP theme, Ahrefs should be your first purchase to help in this business. If you are bootstrapped, check the Ahrefs alternatives.  But if you can swing it, GET IT. It’s critically important for me as a publisher so I use it daily.

Saved me $1000+!

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is the foundation of a successful niche site or blog, much like every building is made out of bricks. Why? because in order to supply you need to find out what people are demanding. That is key if you want to grow your blog. Here’s my favorite tools that are an integral part of my blogging process as they help find the best of the best keywords:

Ahrefs is one of the tools I use daily. A must have right after hosting & theme. Huge database to work with, tons of tools, easy export, the list is huge why Ahrefs is a must-have tool. Get it below, if you need help I have developed 21 Keyword Research methods mostly on Ahrefs. Note: Only paid plans are available.

I love, love, love KC.  There are no other tools like it  because it draws from a variety of data-sources.  Most importantly, I’ve found so many great low competition keywords with it.  It’s unique. It works. It’s pay as you go so it’s beginner-friendly.



Read review -> 

While Frase optimizes content, where it really shines is helping in crafting article outlines and generating questions for your blog topic.

While not a dedicated keyword research tool, I use Frase more and more.  The team behind Frase is committed to making it better and better.

Every writer I have uses this tool. It’s really good for speeding up Google autosuggest research for question-oriented keywords. It basically searches Google to find out the WHY, WHAT, WHO, HOW etc types of questions and helps you write successful blog articles.

This is like keywordsheeter (Pardonnez moi!) but on steroids. Unlike KS, this is a Chrome plugin and it supports wildcards and you can also restrict to questions, numbers & more. You can then easily extract to CSV. It’s not well known but a true hidden gem. Free blogging tool too!

Topical authority is one of the most tested and effective SEO methods. Fair enough, this is a course, but it’s SO actionable that once you go through it once, it becomes a skill that is useful over and over. It contains spreadsheets & more that also make this tool-like.

Yet another great keyword research tool. It’s pay as you go and it does some calculations to find out what are easy wins for you to go after. I love the interface and like the name suggests it makes it easy to find out those low hanging fruits

Best Course on the subject!

SEO tools for more traffic

SEO is the lifeblood of my 6 figure portfolio. Besides the keyword research tools I use above, these are some extra SEO Tools I use  to grow my organic traffic that I use. Also check out the content optimizer recommendations.

If you want software that tells you which titles get the most clicks in Google search, this is the best software.  I used it for a few months to figure out better title formations.  It worked like a charm.  I discovered some great ways to write better titles.  I don’t use this all the time because once I figured out the best formats for titles, I was all set.

Just in case the name wasn’t clear enough, this is a great tool to track any SEO testing I do. Testing your own tactics is probably the most strategic thing you can do for your traffic. That way you can be the only one who knows a unique trick or two and leave your competitors in the dust.

This is a quite unique SEO tool as it’s less about SEO and more about information about your site. Plug it in with Google Search Console and it makes it easy to visualize the data in a simple way that makes it easy to know what to fix. It also has a comment feature to keep tabs on changes you’ve made on site. Simple, powerful & recommended SEO tool.

Wordpress blog plugins & blocks

Now that I’ve switched to Gutenberg, I’ve also spent quite a bit of time playing around with various Gutenberg blocks and block libraries.  My go-to block libraries for Wordpress blogs are:

There’s a free to use and premium version.  I love the design library and the post grid. You can do some extremely neat designs with this but one of the favorite aspects of it is how fast everything is. With WPstackable you get both pretty & fast.

This used to be called Ultimate Gutenberg Blocks and it’s by the Astra Theme folks. So you really do not need to worry about compatibility there. Personally I prefer WPStackable to make your blog attractive but this offers some nice block options that WPStackable doesn’t offer.

The best post grid block when you really need to drill down your taxonomies and categories. This is important especially when you need to make a great first impression on your homepage or when you need to encourage the second & subsequent clicks. Update: Now also comes with a bunch of gutenberg blocks

This is a great tool. I personally use Lasso for on-site affiliate display blocks but if you want something compatible with Gutenberg and do not want to deal with shortcodes, Affiliate booster is recommended. It’s a series of high converting pre-designed blocks that you can spread to your articles and watch your CTR soar.

It’s VERY tempting to go trigger-happy with Wordpress plugins and page builders. Just pick one like Stackable & keep things simple for two reasons. The first is SPEED, the closer you are to vanilla the faster your site. The second reason is also SPEED, but this time speed to publishing. The more stuff you add, the more steps you potentially add between you and the publish button.  

Tools that boost affiliate commissions

My main source of income is display ads, but affiliate commissions are often an easy win, so here are the tools that I use to boost your affiliate commissions. Also check out my website monetization article:

Lasso is an affiliate swiss army knife. Part of it is link cloaking, part of it is high converting affiliate boxes and another part of it is analytics and affiliate link management. There’s also broken link alerts & more, like I said it’s a swiss army knife for affiliates.

If you are looking for one tool that makes affiliate life simple, this is it!

Read my Lasso review

Let’s get something out of the way: Yes CB is expensive. But it is OH so worth it. I knew someone who complained about the price tag, and right after using it, immediately purchased it.

It makes managing dozens and dozens of popups easy. AB testing is simple, the interface is sleek and since it’s off-site it takes a load out of your server (Popup plugins are often a resource hog). Convertbox is highly recommended!

Mushfiq is quite a unique fellow. His thing is growing websites and flipping them, and the guy has hundreds of flips under his belt.

Easy wins is a database of the easy wins that he personally looks for in affiliate sites. There’s 120 items in there, all sorted by effort.

It’s an amazing resource, and yes this page was built by following all of the Easywins. 


AMZ Image Plugin makes it super easy to embed Amazon images into my posts so that I comply with Amazon TOS. Break the TOS and you can be kicked out. It’s fast, easy and best of all, all my VAs can use it so I don’t have to.

I use this daily across all my niche sites.  If you want to use Amazon product images, check it out.

Must have

This one too

This too! (Sorry)

With Lasso & Convertbox you have all the affiliate tools you need. Add to this the insider tricks of Easywins, you can level up your affiliate commissions quickly. If you are on a budget, I’d say start with Lasso. Once you get more commissions because of those boxes, get Convertbox and make some popups. Then get Easywins to improve everything even more.

Email capture & sending tools

Bad news: 95% of your readers will never, ever come back to your site even if they have full intention to. The fix? Email marketing. Publish and use email marketing tools to send your content. Here’s the email related blogging tools I use:

I recently switched from AWeber to Convertkit.  I wanted to be like all the other cool bloggers and use Convertkit.  Haha, I jest. Actually, I wanted an email autoresponder that natively integrated with Teachable (instead of using Zapier).  It’s pretty simple to use and support is awesome

Convertbox is versatile for affiliate product popups but also when you use it for its main purpose: Email optin-ins. There’s a bunch of pre-made, high converting designs but where this tool shines is the ease of use, management and AB testing. If you have multiple sites this makes it easy to manage tons of popups without losing your mind.

I love Elink. If you’re sick and tired of manually creating email newsletters with links to multiple articles, you will be so happy I told you about here.  It costs a few bucks every month, but the time I save using this nifty little cloud-software service is worth far more than it costs so it’s one of most useful blogging tools to create newsletters.

Read my Elink review

I use convertkit for Fatstacks and my larger site, for everything else, Beehiiv.

It makes creating newsletters easy and has some advanced features like paid subscriptions & more. I mostly use it because it makes  it easy to push freshly published content to email boxes. It also helps promote your blog newsletters too. 

If you are looking for simplicity with newsletters, check out Beehiiv!

Best content service providers

If you want a popular niche site or blog, well you need blog content and a well defined content creation system. I’ve tested TONS of content services over the years and here’s my selection.

I probably wouldn’t have a publishing empire if it wasn’t for WriterAccess. I get 90% of my content from this platform, the rest is from in-house writers. It’s not really a content service per se, it’s more like a content marketplace that makes publishing content extremely simple since it’s made for niche site owners & bloggers.

I hired 5 writers, mostly from the Problogger Job Board. It’s the best platform for freelancers as I received over 60 excellent applications every time I posted an ad, making it hard to decide as the quality of samples are often so good. It’s a great option for those who have the budget to hire a writer directly.

A final word about content sources – while I’ve tried many article writing services and sources, I have not tried every content service out there.  There are dozens – probably hundreds of them.  And then you can hire in-house as well.  Getting your content flowing smoothly is akin to setting up a widget factory.  It’s tough and slow-going in the beginning, but once you hit upon a good system, life is good.

Best AI Blogging tools

The advent of A.I.  makes blogging and creating niche sites easier than before. But since everyone and their cat has an A.I. tool, it can make it hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Here’s what I use on a daily basis.

I’ve tried many, and I mean many AI content software platforms. Koala is the first platform that produced full blog posts from a simple keyword prompt that is good enough to publish on my niche sites. And get this: You can have one click affiliate posts WITH images thanks to deep Amazon integration. Nuts!

Originality is part of my workflow because Google doesn’t need to know how I put together my articles. Moreover this is also a safety check from less-than-savory writers who think they can use A.I. when I paid them for their own experience and words. Get Originality now, it’s essential.

Zimmwriter takes a small setup on Windows but once you do, it’s full control. Export the keywords from Frase and bam! You have a perfectly optimized 2000 word article. It works at the O.S. level so just one simple keyboard shortcut and you can use the tool you are already using to add A.I. to it. The fact that it’s pay once is the icing on the cake.

Writesonic is quite good as an A.I. writer. This is my recommendation for a “beginner friendly” A.I. writing companion as it’s pretty simple to use and the output is great. It has a step by step interface and can help for everything from ads to ecom descriptions. So it’s quite versatile.

Content optimization &
writing tools

Good content is not enough. It needs to be optimized for Google so that it has a fighting chance. Here’s the tools I use that help with optimizing content:

WriterAccess is again recommended, but this time because it also has the option to have your content optimized with Surfer SEO with an attached target score that the writer must hit. This simplifies the process of optimizing and publishing (it integrates with Wordpress)

I use which is quite good at detecting pure AI content but also generating low originality scores for poorly written non-AI content. It’s an important part of my content process now as more and more AI becomes ubiquitous.  

Surfer is a great page optimizer with excellent design and user interface. Right now I use it mostly for its A.I. capabilities which are quite advanced. This is an upcoming feature that might or might not be out at time of writing. Stay tuned, in any case it’s a great optimization tool.

I’m all over the map with content analysis software lately but I tend to use MarketMuse by far the most. I really like the fact that you get a checkerboard of all the ranking content so that you can visualize what your content is missing.

You might want to check my best page optimization software reviews.

Image sources & tools

As publishers we mostly deal with text and images. The latter slows down your site & needs to be sourced from legitimate stock image sources. Here’s what I use for my sites:

While Pexels and other stock image sites are free, they are also somewhat dangerous because some images are uploaded there illegally. If you want peace of mind and need a LOT of images for your blog, Shutterstock is the best-of-the-best. Get it here.

If you need to make an image all prettied up with text and overlays, Canva is a great option. You can do tons of stuff with the free version.  It should be part of your arsenal since it costs nothing and can make a big difference with your images. It makes your blog look good and one of the best blogging tools to help create brandable image assets.

For years I used ShortPixel. It’s good considering that I am in a visual niche. Recently I switched to hosting which handles image compression. So no extra Wordpress plugin needed.

A rival to Shortpixel, and it’s extremely easy to set up and have all of your images converted on the fly to WEBP and also resized to the correct size. So an image on the phone will be smaller than an image on the computer. Also has simple CSS/JS compression and doesn’t need to touch the original files if you don’t want it to.

Got an easy win for you. Check your site speed and score and write it down. Afterwards install WP Compress, and let it compress your CSS, JS and compress Webp on the fly (it doesn’t touch the original version). Then try your site speed again and see if it improved.

Blog fixing services

Chances are, you are going to break something, so here’s the fixing services I personally use on my sites:

I’m not a coder, and my CSS and PHP skills are limited enough to cause catastrophes. I’ve crashed my sites more times than I care to count. That’s why I use Codeable, a coding service with vetted professionals who can do in minutes what would take me days, and do it right.

If you need WordPress tech help, save yourself the frustration and potential disaster of DIY and hire a pro coder from Codeable.

When I started working with a new ad network, they offered a free SEO site audit, and I jumped on it because I knew my big site probably had issues. And it did – the audit turned up broken links and other problems.

Fixing all of this felt daunting, so I was relieved when the audit service recommended for site clean-up. I hired them and saved a lot of time while seeing significant improvements.

Both Codable and Blog fixer are great but if you need dedicated tech muscle, that’s Upwork. Your mileage may vary but you’ll know really quickly who’s pretty good based on their responses.

If they mention your problem that means they read your issue, and if they mention a potential fix, that means they also probably know how to fix it. But again, your mileage may vary!


Tools that boost productivity

There’s managing your niche site or blog, but there’s also YOU. I keep things simple and use the following to boost my productivity.

I use Google Sheets to track content for multiple sites and more than 20 sheets regularly. It’s free, fast, and gets the job done. Google Docs are great too, auto-saving work and accessible from any device with an internet connection. Microsoft Office, who? I’m done waiting for Word to load. It’s nuts that it’s completely free.

I use Loom for all of my training videos. Scribe is like loom, it just records your screen… but instead of a video you get a done-for-you, step-by-step tutorial!
You type and address? Makes a step. Click somewhere? That’s another step with attached screenshots. Once you are are done recording you can easily edit the steps and export. This makes creating training documents easy.

Apple Notes is almost worth the price of a Macbook Pro.  It’s the best platform or app I’ve ever used for to do lists and jotting down notes on generally.  It syncs across all my Apple devices.  It loads almost instantly.  It auto-saves.  It’s searchable.  Let’s just say I have about 400 notes that pretty much runs my business.

Lots of business owners love this but as a publisher it helps me, my VAs and writing team with proper spelling and grammar. It’s useful and accurate but you’ll also want to be careful if you get it. It has a tendency to add HTML sometimes and that can sometimes create issues. Besides this, love how it corrects phrases to flow better.

Manage your blog with
these resources

Once you start growing, your niche site becomes too much to manage by yourself. Here’s my recommended tools to managing your blog or niche site smoothly:

Three years ago, my books were a disaster. I switched to Quickbooks on the advice of my new accounting firm, and while it took some time and money to set up, it’s been worth it. With automation features and syncing with all my bank accounts, it streamlined the entire process and saved me money.

While it’s not essential when starting out, it’s crucial to get a handle on your finances early on, so you can thrive in the long run

As an online publisher, there comes a time when you need some extra help with the tedious and repetitive tasks that come with blogging.

The good news is you don’t need to hire a high-priced professional from the US. The Philippines has a robust VA industry with many hardworking and capable individuals who can make your life easier. Onlinejobs can help you find them, and I’ve personally hired dozens of great folks there over the years

Upwork is a great place to find talent. That can be anything from an assistant to someone that manages your posting.

Once again your mileage may vary but if something like turns out nothing you can broaden your search with Upwork.

A simple tip that can help you screen applicants is to tell them to reply with a keyword like “Fatstacks rules”.  Immediately dismiss those who do not reply with that.

Ok, not a tool per se but a course. If you manage a team, do yourself a favor and get this. The D.I.S.C. framework makes it easy to put each of your team members in a box so that you know exactly how to get the best performance out of each. Mads Singers has been in the management game for years and top SEO agencies call him up for managerial help.

This course makes publishing life easier by making communication, motivation, personality & more plain & simple

Blogging courses that boost your income

I hesitate putting this under niche site & blogging tools but then again the courses below will help you in your journey so I am adding them there.

This is yours truly’s course. It’s everything I’ve learned in the last 10 or so years about publishing Fatstacks-style niche sites & blogs. Those are sites that are fun & lucrative to make. I go for easy, long tail keywords that snowball into a large income. There’s tons of success backing this up.

Matt is THE affiliate SEO guy. And this is by far the best Affiliate SEO course without a doubt. So if that’s where you decide to go, this course is a must-have. Do note that Matt loves his backlinks but this can also be done without (but the results will be slower). Highly recommended for the affiliate route.

TASS is a great course from the Authority Hacker guys. It’s in depth and involved and because of the nature of the beast, a bit more complicated than the simple “publish-and-get-paid” ad revenue model. But the training is solid so it’s highly recommended.


I like IMG, like it says on their site it’s like Netflix for SEOs. There are no specifically display ads or affiliate training but for everything else, you will find it. You’ll find 50+ courses to stream on demand on topics like Linkbuilding, schema, A.I. & more.

If you have my course(s) or just don’t like me, here’s a list of some other great blogging courses (my faves).

Course hosting platforms
& tools

If you sell training on your blog or niche site, here’s the tools I use:

If you’re selling courses and need a great online course platform, Teachable is a good option.  I only sell courses via Fatstacks and do so on Teachable. It’s easy, fast and offers most of the features you’ll need.  It’s not perfect but for me it’s good enough.  What’s not perfect?  One beef is I have to use Zapier to add customers to AWeber.  I loathe Zapier.

Thrivecart is a shopping cart and Thrivelearn is an upsell to Thrivecart. So you need to buy Thrivecart FIRST. It’s a bit expensive up front, especially given that there is no video hosting (*cough* Unlisted youtube video *cough*) but it’s oh so worth it in the end because Thrive Learn is lifetime access with unlimited courses. It’s a great platform and since it’s a cart, you can design one with conversions in mind

I user Convertbox but for lead capture pages, I use Leadpages. It’s fast, simple and easy to put up quick tests to figure out what performs best. You can also use it for even more control over your salespages (course platforms usually are terrible at this)

You’ve worked too damn hard so that your stuff gets pirated. Try to takedown all of those pirate copies will have you pulling your hair in no time. Takedown Czar keeps on top of this and keeps your courses out of the pirates hands.

They are pretty swift and they monitor the net so if the illicit links pop up, they cut it right away

Social Media Marketing tools

Social media platforms like Facebook are my numero dos source of traffic. And since I have multiple sites, managing this could be a nightmare. Here’s the tools I use

I use Medivine’s Grow Social plugin. It’s one of the best social tools and the best solution to help you market your blog. I tend to use as much of what Mediavine offers because the tech all works so well together. Grow adds social media share buttons at different places on your content like floating bar, in-content and more. It makes it incredibly easy to make your content shareable

I’m currently using Social Pilot for posting to Facebook.  I tried Buffer but Buffer pulled the wrong images which was weird. Social Pilot works great and offers reposting which makes reposting successful posts very easy and fast.  So far I’m impressed with Social Pilot and it’s one of the best tools to grow your blog and website.

I also use MeetEdgar for one large FB page. I’ve loaded in hundreds of posts so it runs on auto-pilot via MeetEdgar. If you’ve been blogging a while, you have a bunch of articles doing nothing. There’s tons of features (analytics tools and social tools) but I mostly use it for social media automation across my multiple pages. Highly recommended.

Got an easy win for you. Check your site speed and score and write it down. Afterwards install WP Compress, and let it compress your CSS, JS and compress Webp on the fly (it doesn’t touch the original version). Then try your site speed again and see if it improved.

Blogging platforms & misc tools

This is my last recommendations about various tools and services I use. As for blogging platforms, well I’ve only used one and that’s Wordpress.

I decided to hire this Gutenberg Migration Service since I had about 70 landing pages across my sites built with Elementor that I needed to migrate to Gutenberg.  They did all 70 landing pages in 3 weeks.  The designs were identical to what I had with Elementor. I can’t recommend this service highly enough.

Branding is important but when starting you just want something that is good enough. For most website logos I use this Fiverr Gig. Get your blog logo from them. I gave it a shot several years ago and really liked the design and never looked back. Since then I’ve ordered a good number of logos from them so it’s perfect for beginners. I’ve also created logos myself with Canva.

You should be using Wordpress. Wordpress is the best. That is all. It’s one of the best blogging platforms & content management system whether you are in 2012, 2023 or 2047. Fair enough, I don’t know what the future holds but just get Wordpress, you can blog for free, it’s always updated and the standard pretty much everyone uses.

So if you want to start a new blog or start blogging right away, use Wordpress, it’s the best blogging platform.
You might have noticed that I skipped some stuff like Google Analytics and Google Search Console (GSC). These are a given. So that’s why my focus was on the tools that make writing blog posts, publishing on social media & more easier.
Also most of the recommendations are paid, with some free tools or at least a free version or free to use tier.


Above has been the the list of the best blogging tools and other helpful resources to create a blog that earns big. Every one of these tools have been tested and used by me. I don’t recommend what I don’t use.

Keep things simple. If you are a beginner your best bet is Astra + Ezoic + Rankmath hosted on Bluehost, you’ll have a rock solid base. Once you start going 50k+ impression per month you’ll want to move to Trellis + Mediavine hosted on Rocket. I use WriterAccess & Passion Posts for most of my content. I use Ahrefs for research daily.

Refer to the blogging tools in this article depending on what you need. 

I’m all over the map with tools, so bookmark this page as I often update what I use if I find something better.


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