When I started my blog nearly two years ago, I had no idea all the work that goes into it. You don’t just think up something clever, post it and have a million readers. You need to make your posts pretty and thought out, promote on social media and network your booty off. It’s not the way to overnight success, so we all need all the help we can get. Here are just a few of the blogging resources that I couldn’t live (or blog) without.
I would love to buy and learn how to use Photoshop, but it’s not cheap! Who knows if I’ll ever invest in Photoshop, but in the meantime, PicMonkey works great for me. It’s free (or you can pay for the upgraded version) and I use it whenever I need to make a graphic, like the one for this post! You can also use to it enhance your photos by brightening them up, making them black and white, adding a border, resizing/cropping, etc. It’s a blogger’s dream and a must have for me.
Buffer is a fantastic timesaver. You link up your twitter and/or facebook accounts and then you can pre-schedule your social media posts. Each morning after my post goes live, I go into buffer and schedule a couple tweets promoting it. I can also go through my sponsors’ blogs and write out promotional tweets to be spaced out during the day. So much better than having to remember to space your tweets out all day long. It’s a great way to keep your social media promotions organized.
Related Post: Easy Ways to Streamline Blogging
I looooove using Google Docs. I can easily access my documents from whatever computer I am on. I organize my sponsors in a Google Docs Excel spreadsheet so I can make sure I do my social media shoutouts. I also create a form for my giveaways for my sponsors to fill out. Then their answers are put into an Excel spreadsheet so I have all the info I need in one place when I’m getting my giveaways together. I also started using Google Docs for my content calendar, which I got from…
I’ve mentioned a few times recently that I was doing the Content Brew course. I am cheap and always skeptical of spending unnecessary money, especially on my blog since it’s a “hobby.” But this course was reallllly helpful in getting me organized. It is $50 and the best part of it is the pre-made content calendar. The course helps you brainstorm ideas and now I have blog post ideas for at least through August. The posts still need to be written, but now I don’t have to worry about a lack of ideas. Plus the calendar is just for your own use, so it’s very flexible. I haven’t invested much in blog courses, but definitely felt that this one was helpful (and no, I’m not getting paid to say this). If you have trouble coming up with blog post ideas and keeping organized, I think this course is totally worth it!
I use the Afterlight App for nearly all my photos before I post to Instagram. I guess this isn’t really a blog resource, but it’s related to social media, which is related to blogging. You can use the app to edit any photos on your phone as well before you post them to your blog, so it’s great if you take lots of phone photos.
Passionfruit is no secret to seasoned bloggers, but if you’re a newer blogger, you should definitely get an account set up. It’s a great way for bloggers who accept sponsors to sell their ads and keep organized. There is a monthly or yearly fee, but it’s a huge time saver for ads. If you’re a smaller blogger and don’t accept ads, but want to buy ad spots on other blogs, it’s great to have a Passionfruit account. Plus if you’re just buying spots, there is no fee for a membership. Check it out if you’re a new blogger and want to start buying/swapping ads easily. Oh and shameless plug – check out my ad options here. (So smooth, huh?)
So those are just a few of my fave blog resources – share what some of yours are. I love finding new ways to make blogging awesomer. Or more awesome. Most awesomest? You know what I mean.
And before you start out your super fun weekend, check out my Q&A with my lovely sponsor Rebekah from Blue Giraffes and Concrete Jungles –
What inspired you to start a blog? I am planning on thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2016 and wanted to be able to share my whole experience from planning, training and the hike itself. I figured if I start getting into the habit of updating something now I would be better off for when the time comes. It’s turned into more of a lifestyle blog at the moment, but I’m really enjoying it!
You live in NYC now – what’s your fave part of the city? I really like the Upper West Side- which is the area I work in. Everyone seems a bit more laid-back and some of the buildings are beautiful! It has the feel of a small town, and reminds me of the area that I grew up.
If you won a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would love to travel to India.
What’s your favorite evening snack? I’m a sucker for a bowl of cereal- maybe because its quick and easy but at 10 pm that’s typically what I am reaching for! My go to lately has been Life.
What’s your favorite Disney World ride? I really like Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios- but it’s a toss up between Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom and The Great Movie Ride at the Studios for my ultimate favorite.
What are you most excited for this summer? All of my trips! I’m heading to Florida at the end of the month to catch up with family and friends, then celebrating my sister’s bachelorette party at the end of July, and in mid-August I’m going to Spain and France for work! And the beach of course!