5 Top Blogging Tools You Cannot Live Without

5 Top Blogging Tools You Cannot Live Without- Blissfully Domestic

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When I started blogging a little over two and a half years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I went in blindly without knowing what direction I wanted to take my blog in and without any prior research. I just started writing, posting, and learning by trial and error. Luckily, I met some amazing bloggers along the way who were very supportive. Even with the support from other bloggers, there weren’t as many tools readily available for bloggers as there are now. If you’re a beginner blogger, or thinking about becoming a blogger, and you’re equipped with the proper tools then things will be a lot easier for you. I want to help make your blogging life a little easier by sharing 5 top blogging tools you cannot live without.

1. Editorial Calendar

An editorial calendar will be your best friend throughout your blogging career. You can plan themes, write notes, determine your posting schedule, and more with your calendar. Calendars can be used in spreadsheets or other online tools, but I prefer using pen and paper. I physically need something in front of me, so I can take quick notes and check off tasks I’ve already completed. Here’s a [Download not found] that you can use to get you started.

2. Stock Photos/Image Editor

If your blog doesn’t involve step-by-step tutorials where you take your own photos, you still need to add some type of image to your blog posts. It’s visually appealing and will grab your reader’s attention, not to mention that the photo from your blog post can show up under Google images during a search. There are quite a few places online where you can get free stock photos. Some of them require attribution back to the owner of the  photo and some do not. One of my favorite free sites is Death to the Stock Photo. When you sign up you’ll immediately get ten free high-quality photos emailed to you, then at the beginning of each month you’ll get ten more photos sent to you.

If you do take your own photos, you definitely need some type of image editor. I’ve worked with Photoshop for years, so that’s my go to program. Other image editing programs, such as Canva and Gimp, are free. I’ve worked with Gimp before because it has a lot of the same functionalities as Photoshop. Using an image editor will allow you to add your watermark/logo to your photos, correct the lighting on your pics, and even highlight certain objects or colors in your photos.

3. Social Media Scheduler

If you’re writing your blog just for you and your enjoyment, then you probably won’t need a social media scheduler. However, if you want to share your blog posts with the world then a scheduler is a good idea. With so many social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) it will take you forever to go to each individual one to write a post. You should save some time by using a scheduler like Hootsuite.  Even Facebook has its own built-in scheduler. You can write posts on all of your platforms, add links, and images right there in one spot. You can also schedule them a day, week, a month, or even longer in advance.

4. Email Subscriber Tool

Imagine if social media was dead tomorrow or all of your accounts were deleted. All of your followers would be gone! You know how long it took you to get the ones you have now and you know it may take that much longer for you to get them back. It would be even harder without social media. An email subscriber tool lets your readers opt-in to receive a newsletter or other communications directly from you. There’s no middleman or hoping that maybe your readers saw your posts in the millions that come across their screens every day. You can send snippets of your posts direct from your email to theirs. MailChimp is a great service to store the emails, plus it’s free! There is a premium package available. You can also add Hello Bar to your blog to grab your readers’ attention and to have them subscribe right then and there. Once the reader subscribes using Hello Bar, the email will be stored in MailChimp where you can build your newsletter and send it out.

5. SEO Plugin

You wrote the perfect blog post and you just know it’s going to bring all types of traffic to your blog. You hit publish and then you wait. You wait a day, week, a month and still nothing. Yes, you’re still getting your normal traffic but nothing amazing. You decide to search for your article online to see what others are seeing. You find out that no matter what keywords you’re using to search with, your article isn’t showing up. Maybe it’s on the second, sixth, or twentieth page of the search results. Nope, nope, and nope! Blogging isn’t as easy as if you write it, then they will come. You have to make it easy for others to find you. If your blog post isn’t search engine optimized, how do you expect them to find you in this gigantic blogosphere? A SEO plugin, such as WordPress SEO by Yoast, is your best bet. You can choose your focus keywords, SEO title, and even the meta description people will see in the search engines. With Yoast, you can also customize the title, description, and image that will appear in your Facebook posts. Isn’t that amazing?

What tools have you used to help start your blogging journey?

 

 

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About Kendra

Kendra started blogging as a creative outlet and to share her recipes, crafts, and tips with friends and family after she relocated to another state. A marriage, two babies, and three states later, Kendra still shares her love of everything creative on The Kreative Life. If she’s not lounging on a sunny south Florida beach or chasing behind her two boys, then you can find her behind her laptop blogging away. To keep up with what Kendra’s working on, make sure you follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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