I’ve been meaning to write a post about this for a while. After blogging and getting into social media over the last couple of years, I’ve tried a few blogging tools that worked and didn’t work for me.
For example: Hootsuite – I personally know bloggers who use it and they love it, however it’s not my cup of tea. It’s a great concept but I prefer to post directly from my social media accounts instead of third party.
In this post, I am sharing the blogging tools that I use on a regular basis for blog posts and social media. I hope they will also help you as much as it helps me!
What is Pixabay? Pixabay is a website that is packed with high quality, copyright free images and clip art you can use (like the coffee and laptop photo above) to bring your blog and social media posts to life. I wish we had taken this photo but coffee on white sheets with a laptop is a recipe for disaster at our house!
Pixabay is an excellent way to save money instead of buying stock images that could quickly add up. The photos are contributed by Pixabay’s authors. If you really love an author’s photo you can also “buy them coffee” by donating a couple of dollars to their PayPal account.
2. Google Drive
In the past, I did not care for “the cloud” but cloud storage is very useful! For example, I use Google Drive to store photos and drafts for guest posts, media kits, and other documents that I could access away from my computer at home.
However, you can’t store more than 15GB because you’ll have to sign up for larger storage paid for on a monthly basis. The free version is 15GB and I am happy with that!
3. Pen and Paper
Going back to the basics – good ol’ pen and paper works every time! When I have writer’s block or my thoughts for a post are all over the place, I find that writing things down are a big help.
Sometimes I’ll write a draft for my post in my notebook before typing it. It just feels less stressful and more organized that way.
My Instagram superhero! Evernote is like a virtual notebook. It’s also free and you can access it via computer, tablet or phone through its app.
I mainly use Evernote to plan and type my Instagram captions ahead of time (since they’re kind of lengthy) so all I’ll need to do is copy and paste when ready to publish a photo.
5. Portable Devices
Portable devices are practically a necessity for our blog at this point. Tablet, laptop, storage cards, portable drive – you name it! We take our laptop and portable drive with us on trips so we could backup our photos in our hotel room at the end of each day.
You never know, if you’ll lose your storage card days into a trip and if it’s not backed up – well, that sucks. Not only do we backup photos on our portable drive, but also on the laptop itself because we are just weird I guess.
I love Canva! It’s easy to use with its drag and drop feature and it’s also free.
Canva allows you to create custom graphics that you can use for documents, blog and social media posts, presentations and the list is endless. I use it to create our YouTube video thumbnails and Pinterest photos you often see at the end of our blog posts.
7. Social Media
Social media is key! You can have a blog but social media is what will get your blog out there for the world to see. So get out there and tweet, post, snap your way to promote your hard work! I love seeing how social media is changing over the last couple of years.
Now is the perfect time to have a blog and social media account because if you decide to start working with brands, then social media will play a big role. Instagram seems to be the social media ruler of them all. It’s just so hard to grow an organic following though – the struggle is real!!!
I also use Bitly – a link shortener program (also free) to use links for our blog posts on social media. It’s really good for Twitter with its often tough 140 character rule.
Last but not least, a camera! You don’t necessarily need the best camera on the market but you do need something to take photos for your blog and social media posts.
Smartphone cameras are really good these days. When we initially started our blog, almost 60% of our photos were taken with an iPhone 5S. Now we prefer to use our Canon 60D and Sony a6000 for photos and video.
A gear post is coming in the near future!
What tools do you like to use for your blogging and social media work? Comment below and don’t be shy, follow us!
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