Let’s face it, blogging is getting more digital than ever. There are seemingly a million tools popping up to help us with every platform and enhance what we are up to. Of course, some sites are more of a necessity than others, and you don’t need me to tell you Why you should use wordpress for your posting over any other tool. I figured it was time to do a little reboot of my blogging tools series and start with 10 handy websites / apps which I highly recommend!
I think I’ve yapped on about Buffer enough on this blog but it wasn’t one I couldn’t include! Buffer is a tool I use for all of my Twitter scheduled tweets and I have used the Pinterest scheduling bit too. Overall one of the best things out there and has by far contributed to a heap of Twitter referrals. I have a whole post on how to schedule your tweets using buffer if you’re keen to know more!
I honestly credit Canva as the tool which really makes my blog feel like it is a little bit more profesh. See that big graphic up there? Well I do them all on Canva and it couldn’t be easier to create graphics. Have a go playing around with the different fonts, backgrounds and styles to find the perfect balance. They do have some preset styles which you can buy, but if you’re sneaky you can pretty much just see how they look then figure out how to put the elements together yourself.
Once you are happy with the design you’ve created, you can pick the optimum size for the platforms you are targeting such as Pinterest or Twitter. Then next time you log in, all you do is copy the design, tweak the text or background and bam, new blog graphic done in all of 5 minutes. You gotta get on this!
Pingroupie/Viral Woot/ Tailwind
I’m lumping these guys together to help those who are interested in Pinterest and handy tools to help that platform. Starting with pingroupie, one of the tough things with Pinterest is that initial following – and group boards help with this. But then how do you find the group boards?! Well pingroupie is the answer – it’s essentially a giant list of Pinterest groups including info on how many contributors and followers each board has. If you then click and search on one the board will usually tell you how to join or you can message the owner. Easy!
The second on this list is viral woot, one I’m not totally sure on but is still worth checking out. Essentially it works on points, so if you follow people on Pinterest you get points, and people can then follow you which spends the points. It can be handy in terms of growing your following initially.
Tailwind is the final one here, recommended to me by the lovey Kelly. Tailwind is the ultimate if you want to be super organised and start scheduling your pins. This is really useful if you are targeting the US audience which is most active overnight. It has a heap of analytics but the most useful thing I’ve found is the chrome add in, so instead of clicking the Pinterest add in, you use the tailwind one and you can add it in the normal way but it just goes into your queue and gets pushed out at the right times. If I was more organised, I would use it more for sure!
Broken Link Checker
The Broken Link Checker is something which has been mentioned a heap on social media lately – the joy of broken links. If you are focusing on SEO at the moment then clearing up your broken links is a very useful task. Simply throw your URL in and it will pop up all the broken links on your site. Then when you have a free hour whilst your watching good TV, start having a go at clearing them all out!
This is one I use when I have a specific post which I want to be a bit more shareable (like this one!). Essentially you put your term into BuzzSumo and it will show you a list of blogs which include that term and which have been most shared. I find it really useful to try and get some good ideas on how to present a particular topic, take a travel post, are people sharing a post which is focused on photos, or one which shares 5 things to do in the area or one which hones in on the food?
This is a good one for your SEO key word as well (read this post for more info) as you can use this to optimise for the key word which will be most shared or most searched for. The Google key word finder is also a really handy website for this too.
Portent Content Idea Generator
Portent Content Idea Generator is similar to the BuzzSumo but gives you handy titles and ideas on what to write. Again, you pop the keyword of what you are writing about in the generator and it will pop out a title of what to write about. You can easily press the little arrow button and keep generating more ideas until there is one that you are ready to write about!
Dropbox is a tool I use like all the time but one I always forget to mention. If you are like me and take most of your photos on your phone on the go, then figuring out how to get them super quickly onto my laptop where I usually blog from can be a right pain. So I have the Dropbox app on my phone then when I’m writing a post I will go through my snaps and easily pop them into the Dropbox for them to appear on my laptop. It’s free if you only use a small amount of space so I usually then transfer the pics from my Dropbox to my blog folders.
I also use it the opposite way sometimes too if I want to share an old picture or one taken on the big camera, I’ll drop in and grab from the app. So much easier than faffing about with cords or trying to email things to yourself!
Is it just me?
Super simple but total lifesaver – you know when you get a random tweet saying that “oh hey, I can’t get on your blog?!” And the panic sets in that you’ve somehow totally broken your blog for it to never be seen again. Well, 99% of the time it’s actually just something weird to do with their connection and not actually a deathly problem with your blog. Simply use a site like this, throw your blog URL into the box and it will tell you if it’s down for everyone or just a local problem for one visitor.
Now for one which is just an app but one which has changed my blogging photography game! You see, photography is probably one of the things I find hardest about blogging – it isn’t something which come naturally. I also really hate editing photos. Most of the snaps on here are not edited, well until I started using this gem.
Not only does VSCO have a million and one filters but it is just really easy to edit the important things – exposure, contrast, temperature, clarity and saturation. Then when you have similar photos, you can simply edit one, then copy all the edits and paste them onto the other snaps – so quick and easy, even I can be bothered to edit my photos!
So there we have it! A few more handy tools which will help you in the blogging world. And really it’s either 9 or 11 depending on how you want to count so I’m going with the good old ten. Now tell me, what handy tools have you been using?