When I first started blogging, I thought all the work was in the writing and editing. My scope of knowledge was very limited, and I was in for a rude awakening when I found out that writing and editing only accounts for about 10-15% of blogging. That’s why I have made this Library of Blogging Tools and Resources, full of the tools and resources I use to manage my blog and stay sane in the process.
The Ultimate List of Blogging Tools and Resources
Managing Social Media Tools
Tailwind: Oh, Tailwind is my shining star. It’s my rock. My most prized blogging tool. With Tailwind I spend less than an hour a week managing and growing my Pinterest following and reach. It costs about $15/month, but the payoff far outweighs the expense. I can pin to multiple boards throughout the day, at the most relevant times, without being anywhere near my computer or phone. They have also recently added a feature called Tribes, where you join up with other bloggers of similar interest and share pins. Often times, you can add a pin to a tribe to be repinned, and in return, you pin other bloggers’ pins. It’s Genius! If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you sign-up with Tailwind.
Hootsuite: I haven’t used Hootsuite, but I have talked to a lot of bloggers who swear by it. Much like Tailwind, it is an automated social media management system. You can manage all of your social media platforms from this one tool. They include 100+ social media platforms!
Buffer: Much like Hootsuite, Buffer can manage multiple social media channels. I mainly use Buffer from my iPhone. When I find articles or images worth sharing, I can easily schedule to post them to my Twitter feed, Facebook Page, etc. You choose how often you want to post to what platform and at what times. They also offer an awesome Chrome Extension to easily schedule things from around the web. LOVE IT!
PicMonkey: I mentioned this website in both my How to Start a Successful Blog Part 1 & Part 2. I use this website almost every single day. From making email headers to creating hero images and Pinterest collages, they have a great selection of FREE and Paid tools. I love that I can use my own Fonts for free, as compared to Canva’s paid feature.
Canva: I LOVE this tool. They have some awesome features that PicMonkey doesn’t offer, like tons and tons of free Illustrations and Graphics. I have made all kinds of printables with Canva. Another advantage to using Canva over PicMonkey is that they offer exact dimensions when inserting photos, shapes, icons, and text. Everything is perfectly spaced out, centered, lined up, etc.
Stock Photos: While I would love to take credit for every picture on my website, I can’t. Occasionally, as a blogger you need photos that you just can’t take on your own. Stock Photos come in handy, and you don’t have to pay for them. There are a number of websites that offer free, no attribution required stock photos. Here’s a list of some of the websites I use for stock photos:
TinyPNG: It took me quite a while to grasp the concept of compressing photos. I was uploading photos willy-nilly. Some were 10+ MB! Talk about slowing down a blog and taking up valuable space. Now I use TinyPNG to compress my images. They have a WordPress Plugin that compresses files automatically, saving time, space, and loading speeds. I highly recommend this whether you are new or experienced in blogging.
Blog Planning Tools
CoSchedule: I don’t use CoSchedule but I thought I would include it as a blogging tools option because I know a lot of bloggers who use it and love it. It does cost money, starting at $15/month for 1 user and 5 connected social accounts. So if you are looking for a way to manage your social media and have an editorial calendar, you may want to check it out. If you are on a budget, like me, you may opt for something you make yourself, or some free downloads (find below).
Google Docs: The easiest way to create an online calendar to track and plan everything on your blog. You can create Word type documents and spreadsheets, add color, etc. I plan to do a detailed post on this in the future.
FREE Printable Blog Planners: A Great list of Free printable blog planners that you can use if you don’t want to spend the time creating your own.
2016 Blog Planner | A Well Crafted Party
2016 DIY Planner | Melly Sews
Totally Free Blog Planner | Tried and True
Bullet Journaling: I just recently started Bullet Journaling, which is something I picked up after reading a number of posts about it on other blogs I follow. I knew I needed a way to get organized, and I’ve always had a knack for doodling and writing things out by hand. I love Google Docs, but I do better with following through on goals and tasks when they are written on paper.
This is a great way to organize and prioritize my everyday life and my blog. It combines everything into one place without getting too hectic. Check out the video below to get a basic idea about what bullet journaling is. If you want to see more bullet journal inspiration and ideas, check out my Pinterest Board on Bullet Journaling.
I bought a lined Journal from my local ShopKo, but next year I think I will go with the suggested Leuchtturm 1917 which comes with dotted pages instead of lines. It looks neater and makes drawing boxes and making pretty lettering much easier. I also picked up some Fine Point Sharpie Pens. They don’t bleed through the pages, and I’ve always trusted Sharpie as a great brand for office supplies.
Mine certainly doesn’t look like those on my Pinterest board, but I intend to get better at handwriting and doodling. Bullet Journaling is very relaxing for me, and it’s a nice escape from the computer and my phone. Maybe in the future, I will write up a few posts dedicated to Bullet Journaling.
Grammarly: The most undervalued tool for bloggers, like EVER! How many times have I posted content with spelling and grammar mistakes? A LOT! Then I found Grammarly, installed the Chrome Plugin, and watched the magic happen. It checks everything I type online and makes suggestions. Then at the end of each week, they send me a personalized report of my most common mistakes, how many words I typed, and how those things compare to other Grammarly users. I couldn’t live without this tool. It has saved me a lot of face over the last six months.
Google Analytics: My most trusted source of information related to my blog. Page views, unique visitors, incoming links, traffic sources, audience demographics, etc. It’s an extremely important tool for all bloggers to use, and as you begin to monetize your blog, you will need to have it linked to your blog for prospective affiliates and brands.
Mail Chimp: This is one of those blogging tools that is necessary if you want to grow your blog. It makes sending out newsletters super easy. If you don’t understand how to do something, there are a million tutorials. You can send out your RSS Feed each week so that your readers have access to all of your new posts, or you can create custom newsletters.
I hope you have enjoyed this post and found some useful blogging tools and resources to help you get started growing your Dream Blog! Be on the lookout each week for more blogging tips and tricks. Be sure to Subscribe to For the Love of Crust for the latest posts, recipes, blogging tips, offers and more!
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