Must-Have Tools for Bloggers
Being a blogger has changed a lot since I first started out in 2012. It went from being an amateur home-grown thing to be this super-polished, everyone-must-be-a-professional place. Starting from scratch now can feel really intimidating.
Graphics have stepped up intensely over the last few years (even the last few months!) and it’s important to have beautiful images on all social media and blog posts without fail. Some things that I recommend are having a newer phone. If you aren’t ready to jump into buying a DSLR, most newer phones (android or iPhone) have brilliant cameras. I still use my DSLR a ton, but sometimes it’s nice to just use my phone to do quick snaps. For photo editing, I like Snapseed. It’s free and works on all your mobile devices. Again, great for quick touchups.
IFTTT is also a favorite. It sets up automatic workflows, for example, if I post on Instagram, it automatically posts to Pinterest. It cuts down on the number of clicks that you must do and works if you want to post to lots of different social media sites, even if you aren’t active on all of them.
Google Analytics. I know, you’ve probably had this for years! Surprisingly, very few people pay much attention to these, even though lots of brand deals are based on them. Downloading the app made me a lot more aware and into the different ups and downs that my traffic was seeing.
Google Photos and Dropbox are also must-haves if you’re sharing files or images. They are also cheap (or free, if you don’t have much to store yet) and not too difficult to use even between tons of people.
Let’s talk about your actual website. Buy a domain and do it through Hover. You can still attach it to wherever you host your website (Squarespace, Wix, Wordpress, Blogger, wherever), but it’s been the best experience I’ve had with a domain company. It’s a major upgrade from GoDaddy and is the only service that hasn’t sold my address.
The last tool you need to have is a schedule. I just keep mine on a Google Sheets form that I can share with contributors, or brands that I’m collaborating with. I’m not saying that you must post every day (you don’t) or that you must plan out weeks and weeks in advance (you don’t) but it keeps you accountable to yourself about when you’re posting, and lets you see where you were, and where you’re going. This has also helped me keep much better track of my analytics and my posting habits!
Happy blogging! What are your must-haves for blogging, whether you’re just starting out or are an old hat?
Want more tips for bloggers? Check out this blog post for some more tools I love!