These are the tools I use everyday for my site. I'll add more resources to this page over time.
Online Tools & Resources
WordPress conversion-focused plugins, theme builder, landing pages: Thrive Suite
This is my very favorite tool for blogging, without exception. I use Thrive for my site's theme, plugins and landing pages. Everything looks professional, is easy to setup, and helps me avoid paying a developer. My email list has grown steadily, their support team is very responsive, and everything costs just $19 a month. I can't imagine using anything else if you've got a WordPress site.
How to setup, and grow, an online business: Blogging Your Passion University by Jonathan Milligan
When I started blogging, I had NO idea what I was doing. Then I heard about Blogging Your Passion University (BYPU), and Jonathan Milligan. He's an incredibly clear teacher who walks you through how to be successful online. You can check out his free Facebook group, courses on blogging 101 and how to create a Kindle book, and sign up for the next time he opens up his full BYPU offerings. Also, lots of great resources at his site, and see his great book on building a successful online business.
Email Service Provider: Mailerlite
In the past, I used MailChimp, and they were fine. But after I outgrew their free account, I made the switch to Mailerlite. After extensive research, and talking to another online friend, I found Mailerlite to be the best value. They offer great features, a nice, user-friendly interface, and great customer support (really important). Wish I had started out with their free account from the beginning!
Hosting Provider: A2
After I noticed my site was somewhat slow, I went looking for a new web hosting provider. I did a bunch of research, and went with A2 because of their speed, value, and the way they made migrating my site from my former host incredibly easy. They have fantastic customer support, too. After switching to A2, the difference in speed was striking, which has improved my readers' experience, and contributed to increased traffic.
Microphone: Power DeWise Lavalier Mic
This is the microphone I use to record all my audio for videos. Believe it or not, audio quality is actually more important than video quality for users' experience. So, you could use your iPhone with this mic and still get a great result. But using your phone's mic will not sound good, and probably frustrate your listeners. Upgrade pick, recommended by Jonathan Milligan: the Blue Yeti, which has been a solid, proven mic for a long time now.
Online Backup Software: iDrive
Most online backup software is really expensive or doesn't give you much space (gigabytes) for your money. After looking around, iDrive was the best of both worlds, and they have super-responsive customer support via chat. (I've been connected within a minute every time.)
Ad Blocker: AdGuard
There are a lot of free options, but I've used AdGuard for a few years now, and find it does a far better job at a very reasonable price. (In fact, it's blocked 2.5M ads on my laptop alone.) You can get it for any platform, and there are multi- or single-device plans.