JC Blogs: My Top Blogging Tools (that I wish I had discovered sooner)
Whether you’re blogging about a hobby or as a way to boost your business site’s traffic, there’s one thing in common — it’s hard work! You don’t only have to write the content, you also have to find pictures, decide on the format, work with sponsors, the list goes on. On top of this, if you’re a business you will have to make sure your content is optimised for your targeted keywords and on-page SEO. If you’re not sure how to do this then we recommend going to an agency like Home Service Direct to find out how optimising your site can benefit your business. A lot of the time, a blog about a passion project can quickly turn into a business so you’ll want to use the best blogging techniques from the get-go.
Now I’ve been blogging for over 2 years, I have a very solid number of tools I use to help with the blog and social media. From using a FAQ page schema generator to ensure the content is correctly marked up to help with my SEO to post scheduling tools, I’ve tried a heap out over that time but these are the ones I always go back to and the ones which I wish I had known about when I first started blogging, as they are just so useful.
I yap on about Buffer enough I know but it is just the easiest tool to use to schedule tweets. Although other apps may have more analytics or fancy features but Buffer is just fast, easy to use and boom, all your tweets are done for the day. The re-buffer functionality is essential, making it easy to reshare any popular tweets so it’s not a pain to have to re-do any of them. I’m also investigating Hiplay at the moment too which is similar to Meet Edgar in terms of being able to automatically share evergreen content (posts that are always relevent), making it even easier to drive traffic from Twitter without even thinking about it.
Canva is by far the best tool to use in terms of creating graphics. Photography is definitely not my strong point when it comes to blogging, nor is graphic design – but using this you can create some really professional looking images which are ideal to use for social media. I use it for all my pinterest images on the bottom of posts and you can easily create one version of it and simply copy it each time so you don’t need to do anything other than change the words. I definitely find images with words do so much better on Pinterest so it is worth taking a bit of time out to create an image, and it’s only 5 mins with Canva!
Unsplash is kind of a tool but more of a site – it is the best thing for totally free, no copyright images to use for your sight. As I often have a few posts on here which are me yapping about things like blogging and life which don’t really lend themselves to specific images, I find unsplash an absolute life saver. Yes, if I had more time then I’d take more stock photos myself but this way the images on the blog don’t look average or rushed and it allows me to get more blogs complete and out on time.
The only tool I’ve found that is an absolute babe for instagram is Mosaico. The lovely Katy put me onto this one and it is so good. You can essentially plan out your feed by uploading photos into it – it also allows you to pre write all your captions and saves various bunches of hashtags which you can then use depending on the photo you are posting.
You can then set alerts to push the photos into instagram and post. I love that you can put images in before instagram to see how they work on your feed – it also has an awesome ghost mode where you can remove photos from your existing feed to see if it works more cohesively. It’s perfect if you have a theme but even if you don’t, I find it really useful.
Another one which is handy for instagram but I honestly sometimes use it to edit my blog photos too before transferring them from my phone to my computer. VSCO is a photo editing app and I think it’s the best I’ve used out of all the ones on the phone, though snapseed it pretty good too. It has a heap of filters which aren’t too overbearing and it allows me to mainly brighten up my snaps and hopefully make them look a whole lot better.
For those times when I’m being very organised with pinterest (and I do recommend getting into pinterest as it is the best traffic driver) then I go to tailwind. Tailwind works in that it gives you a browser extension where instead of pinning directly to pinterest, it lets you put the pins in a queue which then post throughout the day. By posting more regularly it helps your pins be seen by more people. It also has a heap of good analytics with it which really help seeing as the pinterest app has now ruined its notifications and it’s so hard to see whether a pin has done well or not!
My final one is Yoast which unfortunately is only available for wordpress users but is a must have plug in! Essentially it helps a heap with your SEO, ensuring that every post is ready and prepped to have the ultimate SEO it can get. I think it does a load of stuff in the background too but I find the little check list under posts very handy – reminding me to do silly things like meta descriptions and photo titles and all that jazz. Often people forget all the little details that are needed to have great SEO, which is why hiring a seo pro is always useful, but having a list that you can work through makes this process so much easier. You can get the same by keeping a checklist handy but you know, I like a little tool that does it for me!
So there we go, these are the tools which I wish I had been using ever since my first (rather embarrassing) first blog. Do tell me what your essential tools are, I’m always wanting to add to my growing list!