Best Blogging Tools: 2021 Blogger & Influencer Guide

Ready to start a new blog?

Or have you already created it and are looking to grow an online business?

Want to learn how to become an influencer?

No problem!

The following list of social media, online business, and blogging resources will show you the exact contents of my own digital marketing kit.

Whether you’re in search of the best camera for blogging and vlogging or affordable web hosting, you’ll find it here. As a full-time Vancouver mom blogger and Instagram content creator, I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t in the world of digital marketing!

Let’s build an amazing creative kit so you can start slaying those goals!


Get Paid to Blog & Post on Social Media

Get FREE blogging resources including checklists, calendars, & more. Learn how to make money online with blogging and social media!
You are subscribing to the Nikki Blogs newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.

Best Tools for Blogging, Photography, & Social Media: 2021 Guide

All of the following awesome resources and tools are a part of my personal blogging and social media kit. I only recommend products that I have tested and/or use personally on this page.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the following links are affiliate links and I could earn a small commission at no additional cost to you should you choose to make a purchase using one of them. Nikki Blogs is proudly part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. 

Best Blog Web Hosting

black font reads siteground web hosting logo

Want an honest review of Siteground from someone who’s tried several different blogging platforms? My experience with Siteground web hosting has been nothing short of amazing and I wish I would have chosen a self-hosted WordPress blog from the start!

Siteground hosting features excellent customer service, affordable pricing, and incredible uptime – my site has been up for literally 100% of the time since making the switch to one of the amazing Siteground hosting plans.

If you’re ready to signup for the best web hosting around, consider the following:

StartUp plan: Perfect for those on a budget, the Siteground StartUp plan is incredibly affordable at $3.95 a month! That’s less than the Starbucks trip you make during your morning commute!

A Siteground StartUp plan is perfect for those who are:

  • new to blogging
  • want to start a personal blog
  • have 1 website
  • have less than 10,000 visits monthly

GrowBig plan: Starting at only $5.95 a month, the Siteground GrowBig is perfect for bloggers who want to make money blogging! With room to increase blog traffic up to 25,000 views a month, I used this web hosting plan as part of my own blog monetization strategy!

Can you have more than one blog on WordPress? Yes, you can and the Siteground GrowBig plan is perfect for serial bloggers as well!

The Siteground GrowBig plan is perfect if you want to:

  • start a blog to make money
  • have more than one blog 
  • have less than 25,000 visits monthly

Stuck between the Siteground StartUp vs GrowBig plans? Choose GrowBig if making money from blogging could be in your future!

GoGeek plan: Pro blogger or popular Instagram influencer? Then you’ll want to go for this Siteground plan that starts at just $11.95 a month!

The Siteground GoGeek plan is perfect if you will:

  • monetize your blog
  • have more than one blog
  • get blog traffic up to 100,000 visits monthly

It costs less than a cup of coffee to host my site each month and whenever I’ve run into trouble, help was only a phone call away. At the most, I once waited five minutes on hold and then my technical issue was resolved by an expert in less than 30 seconds.

Siteground is the only web hosting I recommend!

Best Pinterest Scheduler

tailwind pinterest application logo in black font and blue arrows

Tailwind is my go-to Pinterest and Instagram scheduler!

Once I began using the Tailwind app, my blog traffic quintupled and my monthly Pinterest viewers increased from literally 5 to 500,000!

Tailwind Tribes are an incredibly effective means of promoting both new and old blog content and using Tailwind for Pinterest can help you to:

If you’re ready to get serious about Pinterest for business, you need to signup for Tailwind.

Before I began to learn SEO, I almost exclusively relied on the Tailwind App and manual pinning to reach my blog’s first 10,000 monthly viewers milestone.

Imagine what it could do for your blog!

Tailwind is as powerful of an analytics and marketing tool as an Pinterest and Instagram scheduler can get! When you signup for Tailwind, you’ll get access to:

Tailwind Tribes: Share your content with like-minded business owners and bloggers to increase your reach on Pinterest.

Tailwind SmartLoop: save hours of your time manually pinning evergreen content by looping your best-performing pins.

Brand Insights including:

Since signing up for Tailwind I’ve:

tailwind communities

For easy scheduling and publishing of your latest content to Pinterest and Instagram, be sure to get the Tailwind Chrome Extension for your browser.

Here’s a Tailwind FREE trial to get you started – no credit card required!

Best WordPress Themes for Blog & Business

The perfect place to start your branding and business adventure! Creative Market offers digital products for bloggers, social media influencers, and business owners alike. Their selection includes:

A couple of my favourite Creative Market purchases have been:

Make Creative Market your one stop shop for all of your design needs and even drop by weekly to receive up 6 FREE goods each visit.

Want to save even more on your digital product needs? Purchase Creative Market Credits to get 10% or more back in bonus credits when you spend $100 or more. 

Best Photo Editing App

blue outline surrounds black box with the letters Lr in its center

Lightroom is untouchable when it comes to superior quality photo editing!

Since moving all of my blog and Instagram photo editing to Adobe Lightroom, my blog traffic and requests for creating sponsored content on Instagram have reached an all-time high.

I even edit photos professionally for a few other Instagram accounts now!

Lightroom is incredibly easy to use and takes care of all of my visual needs – you can even learn how to make your own Lightroom presets to save hours of time! 

When you sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan, you’ll gain access to amazing Adobe tools including Lightroom mobile, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and 20GB of cloud storage!

This is the Adobe Photography plan I use and recommend but if you don’t need access to Lightroom Classic or Photoshop, Adobe also offers a Lightroom plan that includes 1TB of cloud storage instead of additional applications!

Photography Resources

Sony A6500 Mirrorless Camera

I do almost all of my Instagram content creation and shoot blog photos with my Sony a6500 Mirrorless Camera! I absolutely love how compact yet powerful it is and consider it the best camera for Instagram I’ve ever used.

An excellent choice for moms and dads with active kids, the a6500’s incredible speed is fast enough to capture every perfect moment. Plus, you can even transfer photos right to your phone over WiFi, edit them with Lightroom, and upload to Instagram immediately after you’re done shooting!

If comparing the Sony a6500 vs a6300, consider the following reasons to choose the a6500:

An ideal and budget friendly choice when it comes to building a photography kit for beginners, the versatility offered by the Sony A6500 makes it the perfect camera for bloggers and parents alike!

Foto & Tech IR Wireless Remote

The Foto & Tech IR Remote is the perfect tool for capturing a magical selfie! Whether you’ve safely secured your camera to a tripod or on the kitchen counter, this incredibly affordable little remote is the key to creating Instagram content without ever needing to rely on your Instagram husband or bestie again.

I use this Sony camera remote with my Sony A6500 for stellar quality and easy transfers to my mobile device! Once the photo is uploaded, I then edit everything in Lightroom mobile. 

Connecting the Sony Alpha remote is also a breeze – simple tap remote from the Application List from your menu options and choose Smart Remote Embedded to start shooting photos using your remote.

Best Tripod for Travel

JOBY GorillaPod 3K Kit

Looking for a flexible tripod that’s perfect on the go or around the house?

The JOBY GorillaPod 3K Kit offers the best of both worlds and holds up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs)! Mount it to a park bench or tree with its flexible legs or bend and stretch it to your preferred height on the kitchen counter.

At 12 inches, the GorillaPod is a compact tripod that fits conveniently into a diaper bag too! 

Best Studio Lighting Kit for Beginners

Neewer 600W 5500K Photo Studio Light Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit

Do you live somewhere as gloomy and overcast as Rain-couver? Or are you just ready to take your photography to the next level? Investing in this Neewer Photo Studio Lighting Kit was one of the best decisions I ever made! This is the perfect phptography lighting kit for beginners!

Instead of shooting strictly during golden hours, I can do product photography any time of the day. Especially helpful when you have a toddler with an unpredictable sleep schedule and deadlines to meet!

Best Ring Light for Vlogging

Neewer Ring Light Kit

Although I did work in the beauty industry for over 10 years, I’m by no means a beauty blogger! However, I have been asked to shoot selfies and promotional videos for various cosmetics campaigns. If you are a mommy, lifestyle, or, of course, beauty influencer, be sure to always look your best on camera and add the Neewer Ring Light Kit to your creative kit.

Setup is extremely fast and easy and will have you looking your best at every anglet! The ring light is at the top of the list when it comes to beauty blogger must haves!

Instagram Photo Props

Ready to start styling photos like a pro? My favourite Instagram props for creating styled photos are just as affordable as they are gorgeous!

So, whether you’re styling for photo shoots, social media, or your blog, you’ll be able to create envy worthy images that get viewers and potential customers to click on your profile or links!

Best Home Office Computer

shows two 27In my home office, I work on a 27″ iMac with 32GB of RAM that we upgraded ourselves – contrary to popular belief, upgrading the RAM won’t void your Mac’s warranty as long as you don’t damage your computer in the process.

To see how it’s done and save yourself hundreds of dollars, view Apple’s own guide on how to Install memory in an iMac on their website.

When I’m out of the office, you can usually find me working on a 13-inch MacBook Air – this lightweight laptop is as powerful as it is portable and even fits into my Fawn Design Original Diaper Bag! Mom bloggers rejoice!

5 hand drawn black hearts as a banner

I hope you’ve found inspiration in my roundup of best blogging tools! These are all resources I rely on every single day to grow my own blogging business as well as my social media following.

Learn more about how to grow your Instagram and increase your Pinterest monthly viewers by following the blog!

When you signup for the newsletter, you’ll also get access to the Pro Blogger Bundle and receive a bonus 31 day content planner for Instagram.

Here’s to starting today and capturing a life you love!

text reads nikki xo
vancouver mom blogger nikki slivarich

Nikki Slivarich


Blessed mama of two beautiful little girls. I’m a full-time blogger and social media content creator who teaches moms and boss babes how to start an online business. Follow me on social for clever ideas to make money using the platforms you already love!