Today I wanted to share some of my very favorite “Must Use” blogging tools and resources. I’ve had to learn everything the hard way, which is why I love to share my knowledge with everyone else so they don’t have to battle through it all!
If you hope to make any money from your blog someday, I’d absolutely recommend looking at each of these blogging tools to consider if they’d help simplify your life! I have used, loved, researched or tested each of these!
Essential Blogging Tools You’re Going To Need:
I know, I know. As an entrepreneur, this can seem counterproductive and it’s something I balked at for a long time. However, it wasn’t until I outsourced the things I could do, but wasn’t great at, that my income took off. A few things that are no-brainers to outsource are Website Design & your IT Support. Many companies like Virtix IT will give you complimentary consultations so you can see how they can best benefit you, and what your needs and budget work best with. Especially if you plan on expanding your blog to become a site with several offers, or one that integrates products or services you sell, advanced IT support is crucial.
You might also consider hiring a Virtual Assistant to take over tedious tasks that eat up hours of your time. I found that bringing someone on helped free up huge chunks of time to allow me to focus on growing and finding more streams of income.
Use Google Products (Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Sheets, Docs)
So I give the whole scoop on how much I LOVE the Google set of products in this video here where I taught you how I use Google Calendar to organize my life. (seriously, it and my Google Sheets are my brain!). The Google products are basically like Microsoft Office Suite, but FREE and you can access them anywhere you have internet. A-MAZ-ING. All you have to do to access them is sign up for a Gmail email account. It’s also my favorite email provider.
So Gmass basically takes all of the amazing Google services I know and love and raises them to the next level! GMass is a powerful mass emailing service that integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Google apps and Google Drive. It has the ability to send emails as either a brand new email or as a reply to a previous thread and offers up to 8 automatic follow-ups that you can set and forget (because people are really busy and sometimes you just need to send a gentle reminder).
It also breaks daily sending limits, avoids spam filters, and allows for unlimited personalization in mass email campaigns. Recently, they added a feature where you can get your emails proofread by an English expert to correct common spelling and punctuation mistakes, and give suggestions on how to improve your email’s grammatical & contextual strength <—a must for me as I’ve always loved writing but am atrocious at spelling and grammar. Comma placement is my kryptonite.
This is great for me because as a campaign leader for Social Fabric I often have to send out Mass emails regarding campaigns. This is so much more elegant and personalized than just bcc-ing everyone and then having one, long, messy stacked message that it’s easy to lose things in (ask me how I know).
Like many of the other options I’m recommending here it is free to install and use send 50 emails per day. This is what I use for me! The installation process is quick and easy. If you do a bunch of mass marketing there are also several monthly subscription choices available with different affordable pricing options. If you’re coordinating with a team, doing social media promotion, or running campaigns this is definitely something to consider.
I didn’t have WordPress for very long when aaallll the spam comments started rolling in.
(P.S. If you’re serious about blogging you NEED to be on WordPress, so I’m just going to assume you are for the rest of this post. For an entire video on this check out So You Want To Be A Blogger: Getting Started on WordPress )
Worpress has a lot of amazing plugins to help you make blogging life a lot more simple. For a while I had my Virtual Assistant going through and deleting all my spam comments for me but it was taking waaaayy too long for her each day. Then I found out about Akismet. They filter all the comments and automatically detect spam and delete it for you. They do have a free version, but since I make a profit off of this blog I opted for their Professional version that’s only $5 a month and well worth it!
Another WordPress Plugin I adore is EasyRecipe. It’s how I insert printable recipes into all of my Recipe posts, which I feel is very valuable. I hate it when I find a favorite recipe on a blog but I can print it off. After destroying one laptop while cooking I don’t bring them into the kitchen anymore! If you post about recipes or food this is a must-have! They also have a fancy paid version, but I’ve been totally happy with the free version for my needs
I *adore* these guys for grammar checking my blog posts. Again, I use the free version. I just go into my account and copy/paste my blog posts in before I proofread them myself. Again, they have a premium version but I’ve loved their free services. I actually *don’t* recommend the Grammarly extension, though, as it really bogged my computer down. I’d go with the GMass feature for email proofing instead, but this is great for posts or papers!
Extra Posts To Read & How I Became a Serious Blogger
My blog just seemed like something fun to do as a stay at home mom who loved writing and photography. Since then my blog has grown, morphed, changed, and matured. It has opened up a wild, crazy path of a career that I absolutely love as well! I share my complete work from home journey here in my post How Anyone Can Successfully Work From Home.
I have another post: How To Be An Amazing and Well Paid Blogger Right Off The Bat, in which I share all my training videos I put together for the different contributors on this site. You can go here to repin that to save for later!
I had been blogging for just a few years when the messages on Facebook and email started pouring in. My friends were curious about my new job and had questions! . After repeating the same schpeel over and over and over again I decided to get smart and created a Facebook Group called So You Want To Be A Blogger where I put the answers to all my FAQs. If you’d like to join we’re not super active but I still have everything in there!
There you go! Those are my very favorite blogging tools! Which blogging tools do you love that I missed? Leave me a comment and let me know!