Almost every blog you visit these days will have some kind of page set up dedicated to a list of recommended tools and resources.
If you’re scratching your head wondering what on earth I’m talking about, just head over to this page to view my tools and resources page.
Alternatively, just keep on reading and I’ll explain in more detail what this page consists of as well as why you should create one.
What is a tools and resources page?
A tools and resources page is pretty much what the name suggests.
A page consisting of a list of links to various online tools, apps, services, products, and even links to articles on other relevant websites that you want your readers to check out.
Some bloggers 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’sprimary header navigation area, and sometimes the blog’s sidebar and various other pages.
It can also be linked from native blog posts, and other external marketing content (More on this later).
Why should you create a tools and resources page for your blog
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.
Perhaps you want to share the tools you’re using to create your podcast or online course.
If there’s any tool you’re using in your business you want to shout about, the best place to showcase it is in your tools and resources page.
Your recommended tools page can also help you boost affiliate income, especially if you can drive a lot of traffic to it.
Right, before we get started, here are some screen grabs of two very powerful tools and resources page I’d like to share.
Pat Flynn’s recommendation page is a great example of a well-structured T&R page.
Check it out here to 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 well organized into relevant categories, making it easier for users to find a specific tool for whatever purpose or goal.
Creating a tools and resources page for your blog
So now that you have a good idea as to what a tools and resources page actually is, 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.
Are you ready? Let’s do this!
5 essential elements for designing a great tools and resource page
#1. Use a static page
As I mentioned earlier, most T&R pages are built using a static page and not a blog post.
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.
#2. Organize tools into categories
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 add at first.
Think about your users, make it easy for them to find a particular tool.
If you look at either of the two example recommended pages screen grabs I shared with you above, you’ll see that those site owners have used categories to organize their pages.
Do exactly the same if you can, categorize your recommendations in order of relevance or importance.
#3. Recommend only the tools you use and trust 100%
This is probably the golden rule for building any successful resources page, and for being an affiliate for the tools you’re recommending.
Always try and recommend tools and services you’ve used yourself in your business, and therefore would like to endorse and recommend to your visitors.
Never recommend something you’ve never tried or used yourself. Or something that you’re not entirely sure about.
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.
#4. Add useful content
Don’t just list your tools in a form of affiliate links and be done with it either.
Write a short descriptions besides each of the tools you’re adding to your 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 relevant case study articles related to a tool you’re recommending, make sure you link to it.
Do the same for any reviews you’ve written about it too.
This will help boost your page authority as well as reinforce trust with your site visitors.
One of my favourite tools for WordPress is the Thrive Themes Membership, as you may know.
I’ve been using Thrive Membership tools since 2015 to build my business, and I always swear that I wouldn’t be successful in my business if it wasn’t for their tools.
Share your experience and add value to your resources page/links.
#5. Don’t make all of your links affiliate links
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 useful books or guides and 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 Better Links Pro.
This is the plugin I use for masking and tracking my affiliate links performance. I’ve been using it since 2012.
Promoting your tools and resources page
Once you’ve built your well-organized tools and resources page, it’s time to make it visible on your blog.
It’s important that this page get’s seen guys, so don’t hide it amongst all the other pages on your website.
The more visitors you can drive to this page, the better your conversion rates will be, right?
Below you’ll find an un-exhausted list of things you can do to help promote your T&R page, drive traffic, and boost your affiliate income.
Note: I would also recommend setting up some kind of conversion tracking goal inside of Google Analytics. Or, if you are using Thrive Architect to design your resource page like I have, why not do some simple A/B split testing?
- Link your tools page in the main navigational menu of your blog or website.
- Create a custom banner graphic for your tools page, embed it with a link in your blog’s sidebar.
- Add a link in the footer section of your website or blog.
- Add native links inside your blog articles to your T&R page.
- Create a useful video version of your T&R page. Or a video intro to your tools page. Talk about the tools in more detail.
- Whenever you add new tools to your page, let your subscribers know about this update.
- Add a link to each of the tools you recommend to a related review article on your blog (If you have one)
- Link from your case study articles, top traffic posts and pages.
- Create a PDF version of your tools and resources page for folks to download for free!
So, there you have it, a step-by-step guide to creating a super awesome, conversion focused tools and resources page for your website. Plus, some simple tips for promoting it, driving traffic and boosting blog income.
Are you motivated to get your tools and resources page rocking and rolling?
Best of luck.