I’ve been working from home for more than seven years now and broadband connections like https://www.talktalk.co.uk/business/ are making it easier and easier to grow a business from the comfort of your home. Blogging is one way to earn an income while staying at home to look after your family, but if you’ve read my post on 6 things I’ve learned in 6 years of blogging, you will know that growing a successful blog takes time and dedication. There are, however, some websites and apps that can help you grow your blog and make time-consuming tasks like scheduling content or editing images and videos that little bit easier.
Want to find out about all the best blogging tools out there? Read on, because I’ve asked all your favourite bloggers for their recommendations and tips. In this blog post, they don’t only tell you about the best blogging tools for certain tasks but also how they use it, so let’s dive straight in:
The best blogging tools for social sharing and scheduling
There are a bunch of websites and tools out there to help you share your social content and schedule it to promote your blog posts. Here’s what different bloggers thing about different tools:
Erica from Nine to Three Thirty loves IFTT. ‘I use it a lot and have a number of ‘recipes’ set up to do things automatically for me. My favourite, though, is using it to tweet my Instagram posts as it does it much better than Instagram itself. It shows the picture properly on Twitter and I find I often get interaction on Twitter from the post, much more so than when I used to tweet from Instagram itself.
Northern Mum aka Jane swears by Social Oomph. ‘It allows you to set up queues of tweets, set the timing, and repetition and you can randomize it all. It has driven my views up through Twitter by 40% which is nice! Great to keep those popular posts in the public eye!’
Victoria from Lylia Rose is a big fan of Tweetdeck. ‘I love Tweetdeck for scheduling, but also for its hashtag feeds. It makes following hashtags so much easier.’ Jade from Raw Childhood is another advocate of the scheduling service. She says: ‘I used to use Buffer but 10 posts a day wasn’t enough for my scheduling and I didn’t want to do it every night. Now that I use Tweetdeck, I schedule once a week and did I mention it’s FREE to use!’
The best blogging tools for picture editing
Want to make the most of your images and create stunning graphics and designs? These tools will help you do all that and more:
Leanne, who blogs over on A Slice of my Life Wales, suggests Canva for everyone looking to ‘create media kits, pinnable images and header photos. It’s so easy to use once you get your head around it and you can get really creative with it.’ Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me is another fan of Canva. ‘You can create graphics for your blog in just a couple of minutes and really make your brand stand out. I also like the huge range of templates that is on offer for each platform. It saves so much time.’
Are you after a photo editing software that’s really intuitive and easy to use? Why not check out PicMonkey? Nadia from ScandiMummy says: ‘I use PhotoShop when I edit professionally but PicMonkey can do so much and I love it when I’m short on time. The eye bright function has a multitude of uses and is great to put something in focus that might look a little blurred.’
Another website to check out if you don’t want to spend ages trying to figure out the best ways to edit photos online is BeFunky. Lisa from The Love of a Captain suggested it, so have a play and let me know how you get on. WordSwag is an app that comes highly recommended by Karina by The Growing Mum. ‘I love WordSwag for creating quick photos for my blog. It has pre-set text arrangements to choose from which is great if you want to add text but don’t want to format each word.’
The best blogging tools for planning and drafting posts
Like being organised and keeping on top of things? There are apps for you. In fact, some of my blogging buddies mentioned planning or time-tracking apps when I asked them for the best blogging tools and here they are:
Emma from The Money Whisperer really rates ‘Trello for content planning and task management. It’s useful in all areas of life and great for when random ideas pop into my head!’ Another great blogging tool for those who often have random ideas and want to keep organised is Evernote. Jenny from Midwife and Life loves it for creating notes and ideas on the go as the app autosaves them and sends them to your desktop too.
Natural Beauty with Baby blogger Helen thinks Google Drive is one of the best blogging tools out there. She loves that it keeps her so well organised on desktop and mobile. She organises quick draft posts in folders in the Docs app, stats in her Sheets app and really rates the Gmail integration, Google Forms and the integration with Google Photos.
An app that allows you to draft posts and publish them straight to your blog is Open Live Writer. Karina from Mum’s the Nerd uses it to for drafting posts, I get to have a local draft that way and can still publish to the blog through the application.’
The best blogging tools for free images and fonts
If you want your blog to be successful, it’s important to not only focus on your content but also on your design and imagery. Now, I’m the first one to admit that I’m not a graphic designer or professional photographer, although I do like taking photos, but luckily, there’s help out here.
Jo from Miracle Max says: ‘I use Adobe Stock whenever I’m struggling for images. There is a monthly fee but the photos are stunning and it saves me a lot of time.’ Sophie from Tattooed Tealady has an option for all of you who are a little more frugal. ‘Creative Market has been a winner for me this year. Each week they release 6 free downloads, including fonts or beautiful imagery and art that can be really useful when you need a photo for a post but don’t have the means to take it yourself!’
The best blogging tools for finding hashtags
No matter if Twitter or Instagram, hashtags make all the difference when it comes to making your content be seen. It can be incredibly difficult to come up with the perfect hashtag for your photo or tweet. Luckily, there are some apps out there that will help you reach a wider audience with the right hashtag.
Kate from The Mum Conundrum really rates Hashtagify! She says: ‘It’s ace for giving you ideas on the best hashtags to add to your Twitter posts if you’re stuck’ whereas Hashtagger is a popular choice for finding the perfect hashtag for your Instagram pics. Natasha from Mummy and Moose admits to never knowing what to do with Instagram until she started using Hashtagger. She says: ‘It has been brilliant for me! When a hashtag is entered it generates 29 other relevant hashtags and I use it all the time now.’
The best blogging tools to organise your finances
If you’re blogging professionally, you will have to do with the financial side of the business as well as the creative side of it. Wave is a free financial software for small businesses and Lucy from Mrs H’s Favourite Things swears by it for organising all her accounts and sending out invoices. She says: ‘It is free to use and is a brilliant way to keep track of all my invoices and any money that I’m owed. Plus, it even shows you how to create an invoice that you can use again and again.’
If you’re a blogger, what are the best blogging tools that you have discovered over the years?
This is a collaborative post