Almost every blog you visit these days will have some kind of page set up dedicated to a list of recommended tools and resources. In this post, I'll show you how to create a great resources page, as well as how to make it useful for your community.
If you're scratching your head right now wondering what I'm talking about, just head over to this page. This is my 'tools and resources' page. Or, you can just keep reading and I'll explain in more detail what this page consists of as well as why you should create one for your blog. It's all very exciting.
A tools and resources page is pretty much what the name suggests.
It is a page consisting of a list of recommended links to various online tools, apps, services, products, software, hardware, etc. This page can also include links to relevant articles published on other websites that you might recommend for your community to check out.
Some bloggers may call this page a 'recommended tools page', a 'toolbox page', a 'get started page', but most just stick with calling it a tools and resources page.
In a WordPress environment, most T&R pages are created using a static page and not a conventional blog post.
These pages are then linked in the site's primary header navigation area, and sometimes in the blog's sidebar and various other pages. This is to make it easy for users to find the page.
The tools and resources page can also be linked from native blog posts, and other external marketing content (More on this later).
Having a tools and resources page is a great way for you to showcase, promote, and give praise to some of the products and services you love to use in your blog or online business.
It's also valuable and useful for your readers. Perhaps you're using a particular list building tool or a great looking WordPress theme. Where can they find the links to these tools so that they can learn more about them? Your tools and resources page, of course
Perhaps you want to share the tools you’re using to create your podcast or online course.
I think you can see how useful already a 'tools and resources' page can be. If there's any tool you're using in your business you want to shout about, the best place to shout about it is in your T&R page. Yipee!
Your recommended tools page can also help boost your affiliate sales and income, especially if you are able to promote it well and drive a lot of traffic to it. Again, more on this later.
Before we get started, here are some screengrabs of two very powerful tools and resources page I'd like to share with you.
Pat Flynn's recommendation page is a great example of a well-structured T&R page layout. Check it out here so that you can get some inspiration for creating your own.
I got a lot of inspiration from Pat's page to design my own, by the way.
The same with Matthew Woodward's recommended page below.
Matthew's page is nicely organized into relevant categories, making it easier for users to find a specific tool for whatever purpose or goal.
So, now that you have a good idea as to what a tools and resources page actually looks like, the purpose and benefits of creating such a page, let’s get started with creating one for your blog.
Below, are some top tips, as well as advice and guidance for creating the best possible recommendation page for your website or blog.
Are you ready? Let's do this.
As I mentioned earlier, most T&R pages are built using a static page and not a blog post.
The reason for this is that you're not likely to update your T&R page very often, and therefore it is a page that doesn't require a date or time stamp added to it.
You can, if you prefer, add a small note in the footer to let your community know when you last updated the page.
This is highly recommended.
Don't just put everything on a page in no particular order and be done with it. Unless, of course, you don't have many items to list.
Think about your users, make it easy for them to find a particular tool.
Take another look at my tools and resources page, you'll see I have mine organized into relevant categories.
Do exactly the same, if you can, categorize your recommendations in order of relevance or of importance.
Once again: Your goal is to make it quick and easy for your community to find the relevant tool or resource they need.
This is probably the golden rule for building any successful resources page, and especially if you are adding affiliate links to your T&R page.
Always try and recommend tools and services you've used yourself in your business, and therefore would like to endorse and recommend to your community.
Never recommend something you've never tried or used yourself. Or something that you're not entirely sure about. To put it simply, don't just promote anything just for the sake of making a few bucks in commission.
In order to retain the trust that you've earned from your community, you're going to have to be 100% transparent and honest with them.
If you end up promoting or recommending something that turns out to be some kind of scam, you'll be remembered for it and that can hurt your brand's trust and reputation.
Don’t just list your tools with affiliate links and be done with it, write a short description beside each of the tools you’re adding to your resources page.
Let your readers know how long you’ve been using a tool or service for, why you’re using it and why you're recommending it.
If you have any suitable case study articles related to a tool you're recommending, perhaps a tutorial, review, interview with the creator or author, make sure you link to it.
This will help boost your page authority as well as reinforce trust with your blog or website community.
One of my favorite tools for WordPress is the Thrive Themes Membership (aff). You may already know this because I've created a lot of content around Thrive Themes.
Now, I've been a Thrive Themes Member since 2015. I've used almost all of their tools, plugins, themes to build my business up. I've always said that my business and my blog wouldn't be where it is today without them.
You should share your own experience like this on your resources page. It helps to add value, trust, and testimony to the products and resources you are recommending.
I know that one of the aims of creating a recommended tools page is to help you improve your blog's revenue conversion rate. However, not all your links need to be affiliate links.
Some links can point to a bunch of useful books or guides, and even articles on the web you may have read.
If you are linking to any affiliate products, apps or services, I recommend using a plugin like Pretty Links Pro (Aff).
This is the plugin I am currently using for organizing, cloaking, and tracking my affiliate links.
Once you’ve designed or optimized your tools and resources page, it’s time to make it visible on your blog.
It's important that this page get's seen by as many of your visitors as possible. Don't hide it amongst all the other pages on your website. Put it out there!
The more visitors you can drive to this page, the better your conversion rates will be.
Below you’ll find an un-exhausted list of things you can do to help promote your tools and resources page, drive traffic, and boost your affiliate income.
Top Tip: I recommend setting up some kind of conversion tracking goal inside of Google Analytics. Or, if you are using a dedicated page builder like Thrive Architect to design your resource page, you can create some simple A/B split tests using Thrive Optimize.
So, there you have it, a step-by-step guide to creating a super awesome, conversion-focused tools and resources page for your website or blog. Plus, we've looked at some simple tips for promoting the page and driving traffic to boost blog income.
Time to go and either create a tools and resources page, or improve your existing one.