I am all about productivity but I’m also a minimalist. I have the bare minimum of apps on my phone and also use only the blogging tools that really make my life easier. There are so many tools out there that actually just take too much time to learn and use, that they don’t make getting a task done any faster. I want to share with you the best blogging tools for productivity, organization, design, and earning money.
The Best Blogging Tools
Blogging tools I use for social media, photo editing, and graphics
- Tailwind. I use this to schedule new and old pins on Pinterest as well as schedule out pinning other people’s content to my own and group boards. I haven’t actually used this as much the last three months because I hired a VA (virtual assistant) to do this for me. It does cost to get a Tailwind account, although I don’t remember how much (over $100 for the year I think). You can do a free trial. This is a very important tool that can bring you so much traffic and one that I 100% recommend unless you are going to hire someone to help.
- Triberr. This is a tool that you can join “tribes” and retweet each other’s content. It would be great if you had some cool tribes, but I’ve never taken the time to join others. I do stay with this, though, because even having 5 retweets on a new post from that group is a nice way of getting it seen by more people, especially when it’s sponsored.
- HootSuite. I occasionally use this to schedule tweets. In my everyday life, I tweet when I feel like doing so, but on press trips, there isn’t always time so I might schedule out some tweets based on my scheduled itinerary. You could also use this to schedule a new post to tweet out every 12 hours for the first couple days it goes live.
- Canva. Everyone is using Canva which kind of sucks because you can see on Pinterest and on feature images that people have similar designs. I still find this useful because I don’t use any preset designs on there and I make my own up. I have the paid version which is $10/month and I can add my own fonts. You can pay to have the premium and then add your own fonts as well. It will help you keep the theme on the Pin matching your website.
- Adobe Lightroom. I got this after getting a new camera last year. I paid for the Adobe Lightroom 6 on its own and didn’t do the CC monthly payments or the whole Adobe set. I did a one-time payment that was around $150 for the software. I know that you can download this illegally but I do suggest buying it as it will help you have security with your images especially when there are updates to the software.
Hosting, email, & theme choices
- Avada Theme. I loved my theme, Avada and it’s so customizable and is one that doesn’t slow site speed. It was a great investment and I consider all that it can do a great tool for my blog.
- Bluehost. For beginners, Bluehost is the best option out there for hosting. You can read this post about how to start a travel blog that details exactly how to set up a Bluehost hosting travel blog for just $2.95 if you use my link.
- Siteground. For those who are not beginners and outgrowing the host they are on now, Siteground is amazing. I was with them nearly two years but once I reached around 100,00 UMV, I had to upgrade.
- Performance Foundry. If you are getting over 100,000 UMV, I recommend Performance Foundry. They are AMAZING and with the price tag of $125 per month, keep in mind that includes an hour of WP development help. I actually let go of my developer because my host was doing everything for me. It’s a steal.
- CloudFlare. I use CloudFlare to cache my site and make it load WAY faster. It also makes changing hosts easier and have no downtime.
- Mailerlite. I use Mailerlite for my emails. I send an RSS weekly with new posts and a monthly newsletter. I switched to them from Mailchimp as they were a lot cheaper and easier to use. They have it set up to help you switch from various email systems you might already be signed up with so it’s an easy process. Totally worth doing it and if you do, you can get $20 off with my link.
- AWIN. Affiliate Window is the main website I use to keep all my affiliate programs in order. I am a partner with Etsy and Agoda on here, primarily. You can join all the hotel and flight affiliates through here.
- Rstyle. Rewardstyle is what I use to link to all the outfits I wear and earn commission when someone buys the clothing. You can make widgets and there is a plugin you can add to WP that makes this even easier.
Outsourcing & learning
- Fiverr. Fiverr is where I go to get little things down. For example, I wanted a HTML email signature with my logo that matched my blog theme. Instead of wasting time googling how to do this, I just hired someone for $5 to do it for me. I love using Fiverr!
- ServiceScape. If you are working on a big project like an ebook, media kit, or a huge blog post guide then you can hire someone qualified to proofread and edit it. Just use their filters to sort by your budget and the type of work required. You guys have seen my spelling and grammar for years – I NEED an extra set of eyes on the important stuff and ServiceScape proofreading is the easiest most affordable way to get those eyes, all while knowing the person doing the editing is actually good at it.
- Upwork. I use Upwork when I want to get work done that is a little more intensive. I have hired a girl to help with Instagram, a guy to help with SEO, and more. It saves time, is affordable, and if you find someone you like you can easily give them more work.
- Skillshare. Skillshare is a learning tool. I have used this to learn how to set up a monthly newsletter, how to use shortcuts for editing on Lightroom, and how to prep and ebook. It has been really helpful. You can actually get two months free trial with my link. Here’s a full review of their platform.
- Keysearch. This is the best investment you’ll make in your blog if you want to earn money and get more page views. This is an SEO tool that I swear by, and it’s likely why I have over 320,000 UMV now. It’s easy to use. You just enter the keyword you want, see if many people are searching it (to know if it’s worth writing about), and then see if you rank in the top 10. They give you a list of the top 10 currently with their stats like DA, PA, and backlinks and you can see if you would outrank their rankings.
Websites that put brands in touch with bloggers
- Izea. This is the primary website that I use to be matched up with brands. I mostly promote them via Facebook posts and have most recently done a couple of campaigns with Hertz.
- Socialpubli. I have done less campaigns with Socialpubli, but the ones I have done are for Twitter and are travel-related tweets that pay around $50/tweet. It’s easy money for articles that I would tweet anyway!
The following are extensions (like plugins) you can add to your browser toolbar. I’ll give a brief description of each so that you know what they are used for.
- MyAwin. Add links from exact pages of affiliate websites you are with on AWIN and get the affiliate deep link.
- CJ. Add links from exact pages of affiliate websites you are with on CJ and get the affiliate deep link.
- Link Ninja (rewardstyle) Most fashion brads are on Rstlye, so you can be on any website like Free People, and if you see a dress you want to link to, just click the Link Ninja and it will give you an affiliate URL.
- MOZ. So you can check DA’s of websites. This comes in handy when someone wants to interview you or offers “exposure”. You can quickly check their DA and see if it’s worth your while. It’s usually not!
- Hootlet. If you use HootSuit to schedule tweets, you can use Hootlet as an extension. This works if you are on a random blog post you like and want to tweet it, not immediately, but add it to your queue of tweets. You just use the extension to schedule it.
- Page Ruler. Page ruler is great for design because it measures pixels of your website. Ever wondered how wide your side bar is? Or the images on your blog? Just use this extension to measure the pixels.
- Tailwind Publisher. Like HootSuit, this is the same thing where you can Pin from a website and add it your queue instead of pinning it right away.
- ColorZilla. I use this when I make pins or do design changes on my website. You can use the “pick color from page” tool and find out the exact HEX code of something.
- Grammarly. This is a spell check plugin that will underline spelling and grammar errors when you make them on any website: WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Emails, etc.
I wrote a blog post about the plugins I use on my site. Many are just to keep things working, but some are actually there for productivity like “Revive Old Posts”. You can read about the plugins I use on my website here.
I hope these tools for blogging help you! If you want more posts about blogging, check these out:
- How to Make Money Blogging
- Best Plugins for Bloggers (coming soon)
- Weekly Tasks I do as a Blogger
- How to Start a Travel Blog (from Scratch)
There are some affiliate links in this post which means that if you purchase something from a link here I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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