Blogging can be overwhelming when you first get started. How do you keep up with all the things everyone says you need to do?
First of all, you don’t. Don’t listen to people that tell you you need to be everywhere all the time.
We go into more about that in this post.
But there are some things that have to be done, so you want to get the right tools to help you work more efficiently.
1. Email Service Provider
Email is very important when you are blogging. It is the way you communicate with your “tribe” and keep them up to date with what is going on with you. They may not read your blog everyday and you know with social media algorithms, they aren’t seeing all of your social media posts. Email is the way to reach your readers and connect with them. So if you haven’t started your email list, get started now.
According to law, you can’t just start emailing people about your blog without their permission. And you can’t use your personal email to email them. So you need an email service provider to send out emails and keep email addresses for your business.
I have 2 blogs and I have 2 different service providers. I like them both. When I decided to start a new blog, I thought I would try out a different provider and see what I thought. As of now I like both, so here they are:
ConvertKit- This is the provider I have been using with my homesteading blog. I love their service and how easy it is to understand. They have the capability of complex funnels and segmenting your list. I have had nothing but a good experience with ConverKit, so I highly recommend them.
Cost: $29 a month for 0-1k subscribers
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: ConvertKit
Drip– I started using Drip with this new blog. It was recommended to me by Ruth of Elite Blog Academy, so I thought I would try it. It has the same capabilities as ConvertKit, although they do things a little different. So far it has been great (my list is small right now) and I would highly recommend them as well.
Cost: Free for the first 100 subscribers. After that, it is $49 a month for 101-2500 subscribers
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: Drip Free Trial
2. Pinterest Scheduler
Pinterest is the main traffic source for my homesteading blog, so I put priority on a scheduler just for Pinterest. I want to be able to schedule pins and look at analytics in an easy to understand program.
Tailwind-I have tried several Pinterest schedulers, and I love Tailwind the best. I use it to schedule posts and for Tailwind tribes. It is easy to use and understand. It is also approved by Pinterest, so there is no penalty for pinning with Tailwind.
Cost: $9.99/month after 100 pin free trial
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: Tailwind for Pinterest
If you need help learning how to use Tailwind, Simple Pin Media has a great mini course that can walk you through it all called How to Master Tailwind.
3. Google Analytics
Once your blog is up and running, you need to be able to have insights on your readers and popular posts. Google analytics analyzes who is coming to your blog, when, how often and for which content. It is invaluable knowledge that helps you become a more effective blogger.
To learn how to install Google Analytics, go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXcQ7rVn3ro
To learn how to analyze the data from Google Analytics, go here: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/google-analytics-basics/
4. Photo Editing Software
Adobe Creative Cloud-I come from a photography background, so I have been using Photoshop and Lightroom for many years. It used to come in a disc that was super expensive. Now you can get both for a subscription of only $10 per month. That’s crazy! And they do all the updates for you! When it comes to photo editing, Adobe is the king.
Cost: $9.99/month for Photoshop and Lightroom CC
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: Adobe Creative Cloud
Kelby One offers a membership program where you can learn Photoshop and Lightroom online from the professionals. Here is my affiliate link: $20 off Kelby One Annual Membership
5. Stock Photography Provider
When your first starting out on a new blog, getting everything done just to get a blog post out can be challenging. Although we encourage you to use your own photos if you can, sometimes it is just not possible. We discuss in this post why sometimes you may need to use stock photography for your blog. I also recommend several stock photography sites in this post. Here is my favorite and the one I use most for my homesteading blog:
StoryBlocks- This is a great site with tons of great photography for a reasonable price. They are royalty free photos you can use for commercial or personal use. I have always found something I can use for almost any topic there.
Cost: $149/year unlimited downloads
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: StoryBlocks Free Trial
6. Facebook Scheduler
As recommended by Rachel Miller of FB Page Strategies Course, you should only use the native Facebook scheduler to schedule Facebook posts, so that is what I do. It’s free and easy to use. It’s simple, but if I get more love from Facebook by using it’s scheduler, I need all the help I can get.
7. Social Media Plugin
Social Warfare-This is the only plugin I pay for. Why? It makes social sharing on my blog easier to manage. It shows social shares (which gives your blog social proof) and helps you control what is shared from your blog. It’s pretty much awesome.
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: Social Warfare
8. Landing Page Maker
To sell products or get people to opt in to your email list, you need a eye catching and persuasive landing page to help explain why they should do that thing. You can do an extra page on WordPress, but I have found that nice landing pages convert better.
Lead Pages-I went the DIY way for a while before I broke down and started using Lead Pages for my landing pages. I am so glad I made the switch. Their drag and drop system makes things so much prettier and easier to follow for your reader. They also have things like countdown timers that can help influence your reader to become a customer more quickly. I think they are a great investment for your business.
Here is my affiliate link if you are interested: LeadPages Free Trial
9. Google Apps
I am still scratching the surface with Google apps and all they offer, but here is what I use so far.
Gmail-I use gmail for work so that I can keep track of all the other things (see below) for my blog. It also helps me to sign in to analytics, adsense, search console and other google services I need for my blog.
Google Docs-Just like Word or Pages, Docs allows me to make documents for my business. And they save automatically just in case I forget (or the power goes out or something).
Google Sheets- I love using these spreadsheets to keep track of expenses, affiliate information, and a lot more.
Google Drive- This is where you store all of the documents you have collected. It saves automatically and is online whenever you need it.
Cost: FREE!Check out 9 tools that will help take control of your blogging productivity. #bloggingtools Click To Tweet
First of all, I know that when you are just starting out, it is hard to spend money on your business. How do you justify to your spouse (or yourself) to spend money when you aren’t making any money yet? Blogging in general has very little overhead compared to traditional business models. Hosting, theme, internet and your done, right? That is true, but as you grow you will realize that other tools can make your job ALOT easier and help you save time in your business. Maybe pick one thing that you want to automate or invest in for your business each month or quarter. You will see dividends in extra time for more important tasks right away.
- Think about how you could better streamline your blog.
- Choose a tool that will help you accomplish that goal.
- Save time on that project so you can increase productivity for other projects.
What are your favorite blogging tools? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!
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