Blogging tools are something that I get a lot of questions about.
Because most people wonder how exactly I manage to do the work of an entire team.
The truth is, these blogging tools are what allow me to also have time for other aspects of my life, such as:
- My relationships with my significant other, my family, and my friends.
- My part-time Editing Certification studies at George Brown.
- Occasional travel adventures to other cities and countries.
- My training for 10K and 5K running events within my city and across the province.
And my secret? Automation. Lots and lots of automation. In fact, most of these tools are my 24/7 secretary.
Plus the quality of my blogging tools is pretty high!
Why these blogging tools might interest you:
No matter what stage of your creative biz you're at, you likely know the feeling of being extremely overwhelmed.
In fact, a common misconception is that you have to do it all yourself, and figure it all out yourself.
And that's not true at all!
If that feeling of managing way too much is too familiar, you're in the right place!
Just keep on scrolling and you'll find out what tools I use every day to combat what you're going through.
And I highly encourage you to bookmark this for future reference.
*Some links are affiliate and referral-based, meaning I receive a sales commission or some other benefit when you sign up or purchase. However, I only select tools that I find helpful and would recommend to friends and family as well. This is at no extra cost to you. In fact, when you sign up you're directly supporting the site.*
If you want to start a blog that:
- You don't have to be a computer genius to set up.
- Many of the most popular social media and SEO tools and email marketing apps are extremely compatible with.
- You can set up in a short period of time.
Then this is the perfect choice for your business. In fact, this platform is the platform of choice for my clients for that exact reason!
In fact, this platform is the platform of choice for my clients for that exact reason!
WordPress.com is free, but you can upgrade to the paid plan, which gives you access to maximum security, a custom domain, and WordPress's plugins for as low as $5 US.
And if you decide to go with WordPress...
Jetpack is an essential blogging tool as well.
Jetpack is a WordPress.com blogging tool that offers:
- Site monitoring, so that when your site is down, and when it has started working again, you'll always know right away.
- Security and backups, so that your site doesn't have to worry about spammy comments or hackers.
- Related post and publicize tools to encourage your readers to share your posts, and keep on reading.
This tool has saved my ass on multiple occasions.
For instance, on Christmas eve 2016, my site crashed and Jetpack instantly created a backup version of both my homepage and the rest of my blog!
If it hadn't done that, then I would have lost 7 years worth of work.
Other blogging platforms I recommend:
As someone that's been actively blogging since 2009, I've had the opportunity to create blog content for a wide variety of blogging platforms.
So if you want a WordPress alternative, I can definitely offer some suggestions:
- Weebly: a click and drag website creation interface that allows you to set up a website with a custom domain for as low as $8 US per year, and the first year of your web domain is free.
Weebly has a wide variety of themes and click-and-drag widgets to choose from, and even the most technophobic person can figure it out (if my dad, who is terrible at technology can figure it out, you can too).
- Blogger: My first ever blog was Blogger-based, which is why, in my opinion, it's a good choice for beginners that want an option that doesn't require design savvy or much in the ways of a budget to set up.
But what about blog hosting platforms?
I personally recommend Bluehost.
Because it allows users to install popular platforms such as WordPress and Weebly quickly and inexpensively.
In addition to that, it also offers 24/7 support.
That, my friends, is also why WordPress has been recommending Bluehost to its users since 2005.
Content Marketing Automation
CoSchedule is an important part of my blog content marketing strategy and by far one of my most useful blogging tools.
Because it helps me maximize the reach of the posts I publish on a weekly basis.
Whenever I schedule a new post on WordPress, all I have to do is:
- Customize the social media messages for the scheduled times for me to tweet, share, and pin a message relating to my posts.
- Indicate that I want to publish messages on the day the content is published, the day after the content is published, and a month after the content is published, at the best possible time.
And then the best time is determined based on an algorithm of when most of my followers log into their social media platform of choice.
This allows me to publicize my posts strategically, at non-aggressively publicize my latest post at times that work for my social media followers.
And if they miss one of the posts, they can always catch the one that shows up at a different time and day.
I also find this tool useful for promoting my services and packages that I offer on my website, via an automated social media marketing campaign.
Buffer helps grow my social media following, by keeping a constant flow of marketing and entrepreneurial tips in my content queue.
The best part of Buffer is that whenever I read a marketing-related article that I find helpful I can:
- Add my thoughts on the article I just read to my content queue
- And allow Buffer to do the work of scheduling it at a time that works for my followers. Just like CoSchedule Buffer has an algorithm for determining when the best time to schedule content actually is, and yes, it actually works!
All I have to do is be signed into my account, and then all I have to do is click on the Buffer chrome plugin.
Then I can quickly and easily allow me to customize a message about anything I'm reading online.
Zapier is an essential time-saving, content automation tool for every part of your biz.
It's perfect for everything from thank you emails to new subscribers and customers, to social media messages about your latest blog posts.
The perfect companion for Zapier, because every content automation tool that's not available on Zapier, is often available via IFTTT.
Productivity & Project Management Apps
Trello is my accountability partner.
Because it allows me to compile a time-sensitive, colour-coded list to keep marketing strategy, business, and client projects going.
I love it, because ever since I started using it, I have my entire week planned out, and actually finish all the things that I need to finish, but don't always remember to do.
*Updated 2018*: Just started using this tool to keep all my blog ideas, research, meetings, and etc, in one place. Basically, it's a notetaking online interface that keeps all your information safe, and easily accessible from your laptop and phone.
It's filling the only gap Trello doesn't fill: brainstorming and important dates, links, and info.
That's exactly why...soon after signing up for Evernote I set up the Evernote powerup so that I can attach images and articles I want to use as research.
Anyone who has ever collaborated with me on a project has started off by scheduling a call on Calendly. And the best part of it is the fact that its interface resembles what you'd see on a receptionist's computer terminal when scheduling an appointment at a doctor's office.
In other words, it's super easy to use, because all you have to do is select a day and time, and type in your info.
This app is the built-in proofreading tool of choice for my blog, all my emails, and my client projects.
I use it primarily to double-check everything from typos to some of my most common errors, such as way too many commas.
A major part of web content writing is simplification.
This app helps me simplify and add power to the words I write-through checking stuff like passive voice, and the length/ how easy to read a sentence is.
G-suite powers everything from the emails that I send and receive, through my rosemaryrichings.com email address, to Google classics such as:
- Google Hangouts
- Google Docs
- And Google Calendar
All these tools are an essential part of how I keep myself organized, run my blog and biz, and how I communicate with my clients.
A useful email marketing tool for bloggers and content marketers.
Because it has an easy to set up RSS template, which notifies readers every time you publish a new post.
It's a straight-forward interface overall and takes very little time to set up and master.
So...out of all the email marketing platforms, it is on my top ten list of blogging tools.
MailChimp is a cheaper alternative to Aweber that allows you to automate your entire email marketing funnel sequence.
It's the perfect choice for businesses with a small, niche subscriber list.
MailMunch is a useful platform for building email marketing lists, via non-annoying, customized popups.
You decide when you want the popups to show up on screen, and customize the design, text, etc, and Mailmunch will automatically add subscribers to your email marketing platform of your choice.
If you do any marketing via email whatsoever, and you use Gmail this app will send follow-up reminders your way, to remind you to follow-up with prospective customers.
Or you can simply write an email, and schedule it at some other time or day.
Out of all the blogging tools that are out there, this is the tool of choice for feature image graphics.
BeFunky is a collage maker, photo editor, and design tool that is definitely my tool of choice for all my social media graphics.
Your photo on awesome juice. Not even kidding! One of my personal fave tools for editing photos, because it's a user-friendly interface that takes very little practice to figure out.