My day-to-day blogging tools are pretty awesome, and I would recommend all of them. The ebooks, programs, and themes I have purchased have been instrumental in my blogging and I wouldn’t have still been blogging this passionately without these tools.
The amount of bloggers I see on a daily basis who can’t get their head around their/there/they’re, it’s/its, to/too and where to place commas among other things is astronomical. Grammarly is a free tool I found online and have tried to bring into every workplace I have been part of since. It is a Google Chrome plugin and you can also download it on its own to use by importing documents or simply copying and pasting. You can adjust it to UK or USA English, which is great as spell check is typically USA English only. Basically, Grammarly picks up where you may have meant to type something else (we’ve all been there), and if you take nothing else from this post, please download Grammarly!
Social Media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest.
You might have started your blog on Social Media first to test the waters to see if you really liked it. You definitely use it for fun, now you will use it for blogging too (not to say that blogging isn’t fun, but, you know…). Instagram has had the most hate of late with algorithm changes left right and centre, resulting in everyone’s “reach” becoming much lower than it should be. Basically, Instagram used to be “instant” where you would share your photos at a peak time and they’d be seen. Now photos are seen in the order Instagram thinks you will want to see them. At the top of my feed right now, I can see an image from almost two weeks ago, an image from three minutes ago and an image from four days ago. If I wanted to see things outside of the immediate time I was online, I would just go and search for them. Now, there is little to no point to use it at all, unless you want to spend all your time searching.
Facebook is still proving to be quite good for bloggers, even though the algorithm is quite shocking. You can actually share clickable links on Facebook, which means you get traffic to your blog. There are also loads of Facebook groups available for you to socialise in, and share your links to your social media and blog posts. I get a fair amount of traffic from Facebook via my page and the groups I am in, so it’s definitely worth it.
Twitter is a platform that hasn’t really taken off in Australia the way it has in the UK and USA. I mainly use it to chat with other bloggers over there, or share my posts with them. I use Buffer to schedule tweets about my posts out constantly, and I post as myself the rest of the time. I often open links myself so I don’t see any issues with linking blog posts, I have followed some of my favourite blogs just by discovering them on Twitter! There are a couple of Twitter chats you can participate in such as @TheBlogCollective which has a chat every Thursday night, and some of my favourite bloggers in Australia partake. The word limit is frustrating, but the main thing to do is the keep what you want to say to 140 characters. You don’t want to be writing things over multiple tweets, you will confuse your followers and won’t get responses. Hashtags are your friend on Twitter, and so are “Lists” where you can save a group of people to look at at once. I do this with Beauty Bloggers.
I like Reddit for blogging inspiration, although I do use it for promotion, it doesn’t yield much in the way of traffic results. I love reading reddit anyway, so whenever I’m hanging out in a Makeup related subreddit, I take note of the kinds of content that is popular, and the kind of questions that are being asked, and I write around that! I have a post on The Best Subreddits For Beauty Bloggers here.
Pinterest is one of my favourite platforms and one of the original procrastination tools. If used correctly, it can be your biggest source of traffic to your blog! I have done a post on Pinterest here: How I Use Pinterest For My Beauty Blog, so I won’t go too much into depth about it.
I bought a theme from an Etsy store in the first 12 months of blogging, and I always really wanted a Pipdig theme. I even bought a second theme later down the track and found I had spent the same amount of money on two themes I didn’t love, that I could have spent on just the one! I purchased a Pipdig theme at Christmas last year and haven’t looked back. The amount of customisability available for the theme is incredible. I can add all types of sliders, and just make the theme look really different myself, whenever I want to refresh, instead of buying another theme. On Black Friday and Boxing day, he seems to have a 10% off sale, which is when I bought last year so I recommend waiting for that.
Secret Blogger’s Business #BlogSquad program:
Again, it took me ages to “invest” in a paid program, but I pay about $40AUD a month for this and I watch every week’s video, participate in the Facebook group and complete the challenges, so I feel it is good value. I could be getting much more out of it if I had a bit more time, or better time management though. I have met lots of lovely bloggers in here, and found an accountability group as well as a bunch more blogs to follow. This program has no set deadlines, they produce a live video a week in the Facebook Group, have a huge backlog of videos at 1-2 being published a week, and have live 24/7 help across a bunch of topics from creating your own products, to technical issues, you’ll have help. I have been a member since April, and I’m really enjoying it.
eBooks: Blog Pixie’s, Daily Femme’s
I love eBooks because I can refer to them over and over again. I usually print them out and read them cover to cover, but I also save them to iBooks on my phone and iPad and read them on the bus and on my lunch breaks. My very favourite books are written by Vanessa of Blog Pixie, and Krystal of Daily Femme’s. EBooks can be specialised to anything, and since the author doesn’t have to cover the cost of printing and retail, they’re usually very affordable, and you can take them anywhere you have an electronic device.
My iPhone is basically my third arm, and does almost everything for me. I have blogged straight on it from the WordPress application, taken my photos, socialised on social media, replied to emails, everything really!
Unum for Instagram planning:
I use Umun to plan my Instagram feed and set reminders of when to post. I admit I don’t use it as much as I should, hence why my theme is so unplanned! It’s one of the free programs available to plan your Instagram feeds.
Buffer for Facebook and Twitter scheduling:
I pay $10 a month for Buffer and I’m not sure I’ll continue much longer as the free version lets you have 10 posts scheduled at a time. I use Buffer to schedule all my blog posts to be repromoted. It takes a fair bit of time to begin with, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel each time as the program has a function to “ReBuffer” posts once they have been pushed out. Every few weeks I reset them all for the month.
BoardBooster for Pinterest Looping and Scheduling:
BoardBooster is a website which lets you schedule Pinterest pins but also lets you loop your existing posts to your boards and your group boards. Pinterest is one of my best sources of traffic for my blog, and BoardBooster is a huge help in this. I have a post on Pinterest for Beauty Bloggers.
What are your favourite daily blogging tools?