With any job or hobby, there are tools that you can use to make them easier. Of course, blogging is no different. Bloggers can use online (and offline) tools to speed up the blogging process, double their marketing efforts, and even grow their audience.
You don’t need to be an experienced blogger to make the most of these opportunities and resources, you just need to know about them. As a beginner (or even seasoned) blogger, you may or may not be familiar with the tools that I use daily.
To help out with the slight learning curve, here are some of my favorite tools for bloggers in 2020:
I don’t use too many organization tools or programs – just the basics! My process starts with using my journal to jot down general information. Then, I use Trello to go into detail, set it up, and discover the dates and steps of it all. Last but not least, I create folders, docs, and more in Google Drive.
It’s a tiered system, but it’s what works best for me and my team!
I’ll break it down for you a little more (especially the pricing!):
I write down EVERYTHING in my journal – my scribbles, ideas, random numbers, and brain dumps throughout the day. I was able to snag a super cute lemon-themed journal from TJ Maxx; sadly, it’s almost full!
Technically, I’m supposed to pay monthly, but I’ve been living off of Trello referrals! Trello is my favorite way to manage all aspects of my blog. I have sections for my socials, blog posts, ideas, and daily tasks.
I haven’t quite reached the threshold for Google Drive, and I don’t think I’ll be there anytime soon! Either way, it’s the platform where I write, edit, and finalize my blog posts.
It’s weird to call these marketing tools since not all of them are exclusively for marketing purposes; they just are used for marketing in my situation. I’ll try my best to give you the rundown.
For marketing, I use Trello to pre-plan all my social media posts as well as prep for launches, build out products, and organize graphics.
Tailwind is the heavenly tool that I use to schedule all my content for Pinterest. It’s quick, efficient, and partnered with Pinterest, so there is no fear of penalty. You’ll get mixed views on it, but Tailwind helped me expand my audience on Pinterest and continues to do so! If you’d like to connect, you can follow me here.
This one is not technically a tool; it’s simply a platform. Just like FB pages, you can schedule your posts ahead of time in FB groups so that you don’t have to worry about them. You can even schedule a month in advance!
I am a huge believer in using paid stock photos instead of free ones. Free might keep you going for a few months, but after posting 3 blogs per week for a couple of months, you run out of photos fast.
I make all my graphics (for now) in Canva Pro, and I use photos that I’ve gathered from a few websites. These photos come from Pixistock and Girl Boss Stock. I prefer having paid stock photos instead of free because of the variety, and I can immediately spot a Canva picture vs. a professional blog stock photo.
I use Canva Pro instead of Canva because it unlocks elements, photos, and animations that are critical to my success and designs for Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook. I feel too limited when using the free edition.
While I’m not in love with Pixistock photos, they are by far one of the most aesthetically pleasing and diverse stock photo collections. I appreciate the colors they include and the different niches they cover (considering I’ll be starting another blog in September 2020).
Technically, I don’t pay $29 per month. I’ll tell you a little secret: Girl Boss Stock offers an exclusive discount for She’s Blogging members that cuts the price almost in half! And that’s ON TOP of the free stock photos offered in the group each month!
Like most bloggers, I am involved in Facebook Groups and outside communities – mainly my own, though. I find it’s a great way to pick other bloggers’ brains when I’m having problems with technical stuff, confidence, and more.
My favorite group is Grammar Girl: A Community for Blogging Nerds and Newbies, but I also appreciate She’s Blogging and the Social Support Incubator.
Grammar Girls is a Facebook community I created when I realized that I wasn’t getting the help I needed in other Facebook groups – they were just filled with people looking for opportunities and promoting themselves every chance they could get. While that was great, I wanted to be a part of a community that could ask questions and get real answers – not an ad.
She’s Blogging is the first blogger community that I’ve ever joined OUTSIDE of Facebook, which is crazy, right? I wasn’t sure about joining at first, but the community offers exclusive discounts, deals, masterclasses, templates, photos, and more. So, instead of paying for all of it separately, I just joined the community!
This group is not specifically for bloggers; it is for entrepreneurs. Social Support Incubator (SSI) is a group on Discord run by Traveler by Trade (designer) and Erin Cafferty (copywriter), both experts in their fields. It’s where I get feedback, assistance, and classes covering all things business (and website!) – the one-on-one help makes up for the price!
I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again: I work with a team. I handle all the blogging, posting, chatting, etc. while they help me on the backend.
They’re worth more than any number, and I’m so glad I made the decision to work with them!
Lexi is the only reason I stay organized! She helps me keep all my thoughts, ideas, products, blogs, and extras all in one place. Without her, I’d never know what I needed to do and when!
Okay, Tommie is an amazing addition to the team that I didn’t realize I needed until she was reading through one of my already published posts and explained the errors in it. To be fair, I had personal things going on, and the post was a rushed finish. I realized that if I didn’t want to publish messy content, I needed someone to keep up with me – especially on my crazy days!
You might not be ready to invest much money or effort into your blog, and that’s okay. I’ve only gotten to this point after working for over a year and dedicating night and day to it’s upkeep. Working with these tools and resources, I was able to monetize my blog and create content that is useful to my audience.