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This post is mainly aimed at bloggers or those of you that are thinking of starting a blog. There are so many tools and apps which a blogger could use so here are my best blogging tools which I use myself.
I started my blog on a free blogger account as it was simpler than wordpress. However, when I made the decision to go self-hosted I needed to switch to a wordpress account. This was much more complicated than if I had just started with wordpress from the beginning. I now have a managed wordpress account which means that I pay a monthly fee to 1&1 Ionos to self host with wordpress.
Google Analytics (GA)
I held off on using this as it looked to complicated as opposed to plugins and apps which seemed so simple. However, this is what the brands use so if you want to work with brands in the future you will need to know your stats from GA. There are lots of step by step guides on the internet to help you set it up and you can learn so much about what your audience is viewing, where they are from and all sorts of useful things.
You can get similar documents to Microsoft office online for free, but I have been using these for years so I like to stay with what I know. I use the word documents for writing ideas and researching blog posts. I use an excel spreadsheet for all of my publishing content plans on both my blog and my Youtube channel so that I can keep it all in one place. Onedrive is free to use for storage up to 5GB but if you pay for the monthly microsoft office package your Onedrive storage greatly increases to 1 TB. I find this really useful as it saves taking up the limited space that I have on my PC.
This site is amazing. Canva helps you make all sorts of useful images to use on your blog and on social media. It is so easy to use and is free. You can upgrade for extra features if you really want to take things to the next level, but I have been happy with the free version. You can get an app on your phone too so that you can edit while on the go and it will sync with your online account. I have used Canva to make pinterest images, IG grid posts and story posts, a blog banner, a blog logo, YouTube covers and many other things, it really is brilliant.
Pexels is a website that offers thousands of stock photographs for free. You can use them on your blog and there is no requirement to credit anyone for using them. This was a game changer for me as sometimes I would need a photograph for a post that I was writing and I did not have the time or means to go out and stage it. Now, I know that I will always be able to find something that is good quality and will fit with my blog.
If you establish your blog and start getting regular readers then you may like to offer them a newsletter. It could be weekly, monthly or however often you like. If you decide to offer a newsletter then you will need a site that can help with this. I have always used MailChimp although I have not been very good at remembering to send newsletters out to the small number of subscribers that I have! There is a free version which I use and then you can upgrade to extra services. The free version lets you have up to 2,000 subscribers, so it is perfect for people who are just starting to build an email list up.
If you plan on hosting competitions on your blog, either through brands or by yourself, Gleam is great for this. It is free to use although you can upgrade for extra options. It is really easy to use and very popular among bloggers.
Having a blog means that you also need to be signed up to all of the main social media channels to get a consistent online presence and that can be a lot of work. Tools which automate this are worth their weight in gold. I use Tailwind (Affiliate link) for my Pinterest account. If you sign up using my link you get a free month of premium. I started on a free account but as my blog grew I decided to up to a premium account as I know that you can get a lot of traffic from Pinterest, so I felt it was worth it. That was a year ago and I am happy with the results so far.
I use Planoly (affiliate link) for keeping up with my Instagram account. Instagram is the platform that brands love so I feel that it worth investing in it. Planoly is free but there are limits on how many posts you can automate. As you can also automate stories as well as grid posts it was not enough for me, so i decided to upgrade so I can automate unlimited posts on my account. I have been using Planoly for nearly two years now and I have always been really happy with it.
So there are my nine best blogging tools which I use myself. I hope that you have found it interesting and if you have any questions then please do get in touch. As always, I love hearing from you.