There are tons of tools out there in the blogging world and I’ll be the first to admit it can be overwhelming. I’ve tried several different platforms and to be frank not all of them were a good fit.
So I’d like to share with you all the tools that work best for me. We’re talking everything, tools, apps, platforms, plugins. I use WordPress so some of the below plugins may not be available for you if you use a different platform.
If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me about them here.
For Hosting: Siteground
I love the team at Siteground! They have been there for me for almost 2 years. I’ve spent hours trying to figure out certain things and then I would chat them and they would fix the problem in no time. They have even gone above and beyond the call of duty, helping me with things that they didn’t have to do. Their support service is the best.
For Social Media: Buffer
For the first few months of my blog I was doing everything live and let me tell you, it was just more work and less return of investment on my time than I thought possible. While I believe it is imperative to still spend real time on social media engaging, it’s hard to have a constant online presence without some sort of social media aid. For nearly a year I used the free version of Hootsuite, while it was helpful at staying consistent with social media publishing it still took a lot of time. I decided to go ahead and look into a paid service, I went with Buffer and fell in love on the first day. I think my favorite part of the system is that I can add posts to it quickly and easily, and it schedules them at the optimal time. Pretty much for the price of one lunch a month I can make sure I am constantly supporting other writers, sharing my own work and giving followers relevant and useful information. Not to mention the Instagram feature! It has made life so much easier. Instead of creating a graphic, emailing it to myself and reminding myself to post it, I can schedule it right from my computer and get an alert on my phone when it’s time to post to Instagram.
For Website Themes: Bluchic
Bluchic has beautiful themes for your website. If you’re looking to build check these out.
For Organization: Todoist
This is probably the first scheduling app that works for me. At a yearly rate of $28.99 you pay less than $3.00 a month for this super helpful, super organized service. I know a lot of you spend more than that a day on coffee. It’s so worth it! There is also a free version but if you get to try the premium version you will be hooked! I know I was.
For Email: ConvertKit
MailChimp was the only service I’ve ever used for my blog’s email list for almost two years but I do have years of experience using Constant Contact as well. I recently switched over to ConvertKit and couldn’t be happier. The customer service is great and the site has way more functionality if you want to have multiple lists or content upgrades. Yes, it is $20 more a month but it is well worth. Also with ConvertKit you don’t need to purchase Leadpages if you don’t want to. They make them for you.
BoardBooster is probably the worst kept secret when it comes to growing your traffic using Pinterest. BoardBooster integrates with your Pinterest account to keep your pins fresh and in rotation. Since using BoardBooster at the lowest paid plan ($5.00/month) I have seen about a lot more engagement and have been gaining 1 or more followers everyday!
Content Editing: Grammarly, Google Docs
I am not a huge grammar person. In fact, I always say that worrying about grammar stifles creativity. I also know that no one wants to read a crappy, error-filled blog. I use Google Docs for all of my blog drafting because it makes it easy for me to write from anywhere on any device, so after listening to Google Doc’s suggestions, I copy and paste the content into WordPress and see what Grammerly has to say and finally I have the computer read the document to me so I can hear any possible errors missed.
Photo Editing: Canva
Canva was a Godsend! When I started my blog I was using Paint and Microsoft Publisher to create graphics, I know, horrible. Canva is great, it provides templates for anything you need. Facebook pages, Pinterest Pins, Instagram, Resumes, whatever you need.
You can always find a good picture to go with your post on one of these 2 sites. They are very popular websites so makes tweaks to them to make them your own.
This is the tool recommended by all the pros. I’ve used it as a student and creator. There is a free version that is great to get you started.
For Client Management: Dubsado
Dubsado is my jam! I love it. I recommend it for all my clients. They keep adding new features and once the scheduling feature is added it’s going to have almost everything I need.
To make sure your blog’s SEO is making the Google bots happy.
Because sharing is caring. This plug-in is perfect for letting readers share your content on multiple social platforms.
I use this for my FREE resource library formatting.
While the free version of this is limited, it is a good edition to the capabilities of MailChimp and Teachable.
This allows me to create custom ads for affiliates, partners. and my services.
This is a commenting aid. Akismet helps put more spam comments in the spam folder and saves you the time of filtering them out of the legit ones.
I love this plugin! It allows me to create custom tweets right in the copy of my text to encourage engagement and sharing.
Another tool that helps get sign ups. You can also customize it to publicize social pages and accounts.
Great for getting on-site statistics, speeding up your website and keeping your site secure.
This is the tool I use to prevent right clicking on my site and deterring possible plagiarism. You read about why I use it here.
This app helps shrink the size of my images and save storage.
Printer: HP Desk Jet 3755
I love this printer. It prints in color and takes up no space at all. The ink cost is low and it’s perfect for a one person operation.
Computer: Lenovo Yoga 2.11
This was my second choice. To be honest, I wanted the Surface Pro but it was too expensive. That being said I’ve had this computer for almost two years and it hasn’t let me down. It’s a 2 in 1 touch screen so I can enjoy it as a tablet for games or reading and then use it for blogging business and writing.
Camera: Coolpix L340
I got this camera because I wanted to start making my own photos for the blog. I really like it. I haven’t used it as much as I’d hoped yet but I love the timer and video function.
Phone: Samsung Galaxy 7
I have never been a huge Apple user and I love my Galaxy. This is my 2nd one and it has never let me down. The fact that it is a Google operated system is great because I am a huge Google program user.
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