Getting Started With Your Blog

1. WordPress.org

The only website management platform that I recommend and used. I’ve started with Blogger.com but upgraded to WordPress after less than a year and never looked back. All the websites that I’ve built since I’ve started working online (about 10 websites so far) were built by using WordPress.org platform. It’s easy to use, visual and very updated, plus there is a plugin for anything you could possibly think of.

2. Presslabs – Hosting

Over the past 5 years I’ve tested some hosting companies, but there was always something that did not work right, until I’ve found the guys from Presslabs at a Startup Weekend event in Timisoara. At the time of this writing, I am already using their service for more than a year now and my websites were 99.9% online. They are professionals, offer great support and you can scale your business without a problem.

Check out their website!

Mention my name (Mihai Herman) in order to get a discount! 

3. Themeforest

This is where I’ve purchased all the templates that I’ve used for the blogs. They have an enormous marketplace and you can find templates for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or just HTML templates. You can see a demo before you purchase and most themes have amazing support teams so you’re in good hands. If you like my theme, it’s called Avada (here’s the link).

Go to Themeforest.net

4. Godaddy.com

They might not be the best website to purchase domains, but I’ve only used them for as long as I’ve been online and never had problems with anything. Before you purchase, I recommend searching online for a coupons, you can save a few bucks.

Go to Godaddy.com

Build a Following on Social Media

5. Buffer

First of all, I have to say that I just love their company culture and they offer so much free value on their blog. Through Buffer I manage my social media profiles for Twitter, Facebook & Google+. It’s very easy to use, you just add content which will automatically be shared at the times that you specify in your account, which can be different for each social profile. Definitely worth a check because you can schedule all updates once/week and then forget about it.

Go to Bufferapp.com

6. Tweetdeck by Twitter

Tweetdeck is my latest found in terms of managing my Twitter profiles. It’s easy to use, visual and you can have all your profiles, mentions, messages and custom searches within a simple dashboard. You can reply, favorite and retweet all from Tweetdeck so you don’t have to visit twitter.com ever again. I just spend a few minutes every now and then, find a few cool tweets and just engage with the audience.

Go to Tweetdeck!

7. Viraltag

Pinterest is crowded and in order to succeed you need to pin at the right times and be constant about it. Viraltag helps you schedule your pins in advance. You can bulk add description and links to them, or edit each individual picture. You can add the pictures to different boards and you can schedule them to be published every half an hour, for example, to make sure your followers can always see something new from you.

Sign up for Viraltag and Get $15 Credit!

8. Mention

Mention lets you track your brand name for mentions all across the web, but especially on social media. Besides tracking your company name, you can track your own name or even competitor’s name/brand in order to keep up with who mentions them and try to interact with those users as well.

Go to Mention.com

For Your Email Marketing Efforts

9. Active Campaign

I’ve used Mailchimp from the beginning, but it just doesn’t fit my needs anymore as I am trying to build systems that will allow me to live the lifestyle that I dream of. That was the moment I’ve discovered Active Campaign and I immediately fell in love with it and moved my email lists over. They offer an easy to use platform, drag and drop automation systems, CRM and many more features – I just love the automation system as it’s very useful and allows me to automate some parts of my businesses so that I can focus on writing and building products.

Go to ActiveCampaign.com

10. SumoMe.com

SumoMe is a collection of tools that you can use to build your email list. You have to choose from top bars, popups, welcome page or scroll box. The company was started by Noah Kagan from Appsumo and they are serving over 150,000 websites now. SumoMe offer free and paid solutions, but from all the services that I’ve used, this is probably the one with the best conversion rate and I truly recommend it.

Go to SumoMe.com

11. HelloBar

HelloBar is one of Neil Patel’s many businesses. It’s an amazing app and I’ve had great results with it. It started with a top bar, but now they offer popups, slide-ins and other options. They have a free and paid version.

Go to HelloBar.com

Royalty Free Pictures

As a blogger, it is very important to get your pictures from the right source and if you’re just starting out, paying for the pictures you use on your blog/website can be an expense that can be easily avoided. Below you have my favorite sources for free images that you can use. Best for: nature, people, food.

Disclaimer: please check each website’s disclaimer/privacy page and see if they need a mention/credit or not. At the time of this writing, these (see below) were the requirements, however anything can change.

1. Unsplash

Most probably the biggest website of its kind. You can use the images commercially without mentioning their website, although it’s always a good thing to do.

Go to Unsplash.com

2. Gratisography

If you’re looking for weird and expressive pictures this is the right place to search them.

Go to Gratisography.com

3. Picjumbo

A well-designed website with pictures from all kind of categories, but mostly focuses on tech/startup, food and pictures of women.

Go to Picjumbo.com

Design Tools

1. Canva

My go-to place for everything design. I was always too lazy to learn Photoshop and I had to find all kinds of tools to help achieve what I had pictured in my mind. At one point I was using three or four different tools to achieve what I can now easily do with Canva. You have access to lots of free icons, photos, shapes and layouts that you can use for free, plus premium ones that you have to pay $1/each to use. However, I was able to create stunning graphics with just the free stuff they offer.

Go to Canva.com

2. Pixlr

Pixlr is an online tool that is very similar to Photoshop (that’s why I only use it for certain aspects). I mostly use it to delete backgrounds, resize images or transform from png to jpeg. It has lots of features that I don’t know how to use, but you can find a lot of tutorials on Youtube.

Go to Pixlr.com

3. Pablo

Pablo is the tool developed by the team over at Buffer.com (the scheduling tool I told you above). It helps you create beautiful images with quotes/facts written on them. And it’s fast – you can create a picture in less than 30 seconds and have it shared on Facebook, Twitter or schedule through Buffer directly from the app page. All images are royalty free by the way.

Go visit Pablo!

Miscellaneous 

1. Zapier

Ever wanted to connect two online services but they did not offer that possibility? Well good news because through Zapier you can connect almost any two online apps and create systems to work for you and automate parts of your business.

Go to Zapier.com

2. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is my go-to tool to research trending topics, influencers and find articles that have a lot of shares on any topic I could think about. It’s very user-friendly and it can give you some deep insights into what’s working in your niche/industry.

Go to Buzzsumo

3. Followup.cc

You can lose a lot of relationships and risk not getting any results if you don’t follow up in the online world. People are busy, influencers are very busy and your emails can easily get lost in their inbox or spam folder. That’s when Followup.cc comes in handy because it helps you to schedule follow-up reminders.

Go to Followup.cc

4. Workflowy

This is one of my latest additions to the resources page and for a good reason. Workflowy helps you to “organize your brain” and to be honest, I’ve never felt so organized and free. It uses a simple principle of organizing everything in lists and, your first impression might be “people are really using this? I can get this in Word”, but it’s much more advanced that you’d think. Go give it a try and let me know how it feels.

Go to Workflowy

5. Evernote

Pablo is the tool developed by the team over at Buffer.com (the scheduling tool I told you above). It helps you create beautiful images with quotes/facts written on them. And it’s fast – you can create a picture in less than 30 seconds and have it shared on Facebook, Twitter or schedule through Buffer directly from the app page. All images are royalty free by the way.

Go to Evernote

Online Courses

1. B-School by Marie Forleo

I just can’t tell you enough about Marie Forleo’s B-School because it played such an important role in my life both personal and business. B-School is the course that made me realize what I really want to do with my life and it helped me transform Male Extravaganza in what it is today: a blog that teaches men how to be happy, kind, successful and stylish.

The course includes 6 modules and gives you everything from realizing what you really want to do, setting up your website and getting your first sale. It includes videos, worksheets and a lot of bonuses for each module + lots of bonuses after you finish the course. Another valuable asset is the Facebook group where people are so kind and supportive. It’s an amazing course that is only available once a year (usually February-March) but you have lifetime access.

SIGN UP TO GET NOTIFIED BY ME WHEN IT’S LAUNCHED & GET ALL MY BONUSES!

2. I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Ramit is a leading expert in the fields of finances. He’s been featured in every major business magazine and website, has worked with literally tens of thousands of people (over 30,000 students have taken his course) and is doing this for over 10 years now. He has a straightforward approach to business, which I love because he cuts all the bluff, and he promises to help you get your first $1,000. I haven’t taken Ramit’s course yet – it’s on my 2016 list though – but I can vouch for him since I’ve been on his list for more than a year now and the tools, resources and insights that he shares are amazing, plus I’ve watched several interviews (like this one).

SIGN UP FOR RAMIT’S COURSE NOW!

3. Secret Bloggers Business by Kate McKibbin

This is the first biggest investment in blogging/online business education we’ve made and it helped us actually make money from our blogs, just 2 months after we finished the course, build relationships with PR agencies and get a lot of free stuff from brands. Kate is a fashion blogger with more than 8 years experience in the online world and don’t get discouraged because she blogs about fashion – her teachings can be applied in any industry, plus her course is very well structured.

SIGN UP FOR KATE’S COURSE!

4. StartupCamp by Dale Partridge

Dale Partridge is one of the latest “cool guys” I have found. He is a millionaire, never went to college, successful author and pro blogger. His course is designed to help you get started online, build a following and make a living out of it all within 12 months. He offers monthly interviews with top entrepreneurs, insightful exercises and a private group.

SIGN UP FOR STARTUPCAMP!

Looking for Books?

Check out our selection of recommended personal development and business books here!

Tools For Your Travelling Needs

1. Airbnb

I am sure you’ve heard of Airbnb, but just in case you didn’t, it’s a service through which you can rent private/shared rooms or entire homes anywhere in the world. And by anywhere, I mean literally in over 190 countries. You just search for the location, add a few filters and look for reviews! I’ve stayed with Airbnb in Florence and it was a great experience.

Get $25 Airbnb Credit!

2. Uber

Uber is the cool new way to ride through the city. Forget taxi, you can order an Uber car directly from your phone app, plus you pay from within the app for the ride, so there’s no cash involved which makes it much easier. Their cars are also much more luxurious and you can choose what type of car you’d like. I’ve tested them in NYC and I have to say it was an amazing experience, especially because the driver’s last name was the same as mine – what were the chances?!

Get $20 UBER Credit!

3. Couchsurfing

Traveling on a budget? There’s a service for that! Couchsurfing lets you find people in the cities that you travel to and ask them to host you for one or several nights. It’s fun and secure and a great way to meet new people and experience the city through the local people’s eyes. Choose those that are verified and have a lot of positive reviews!

Go to Couchsurfing.com

4. Travel Hacking Resources

Chris Guillebeau is an amazing guy that traveled to 193 countries between 2003 and 2013. He’s learned a lot of tips, tricks and has a great deal of resources on how to fly cheaper, get free hotels and much more.

Go to ChrisGuillebeau.com

5. UnconventionalGuides

This is a program by Chris Guillebeau that will teach you and inspire you to upgrade your bucket list. How? By giving you all kinds of resources to travel cheaper and invest in what you love.

Go to UnconventionalGuides

Read my Popular Articles

1. 17 Daily Habits That Will Bring You More Success

2. A Guide to Finding Happiness in Working with Your Better Half

3. 12 Enjoyable Steps to a More Balanced Life (on pickthebrain.com)

4. 6 Ways to Develop and Maintain a Teachable Attitude

5. 207 Gift Ideas for Men

6. The Personal Development Journal for Gentlemen (not an article, but worth checking out!)

Pictures with Mihai Herman

All the pictures that appear on the blog were taken by photographer George Bufan. In terms of clothing, some items were sponsored by Tudor Personal Tailor just for the photo shooting. Other brands that sponsored the shooting are: Beau Ties Ltd and Smart Turnout London.