Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: This post is brought to you today in partnership with Nakturnal. They are the ones who first helped me discover GMass and are sponsoring today’s post so I can share it, and all my other favorite tools, with you!
July 8th marks an important date this year–my blog will be turning 9 years old!!! That’s right, 9 years ago I jumped into this blogging thing with no clue at all about blogs or what I was doing. (As evidenced by that first post which is really not long enough to be worthy of the name.) It 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 also opened up a wild and crazy path of a career that I absolutely love and make more money at than any other job I’ve ever had. I’ve shared this story with you in my post How Anyone Can Successfully Work From Home.
Just a few years into blogging when I began reviewing items and running giveaways I started getting flooded with Facebook messages from friends asking about blogging. 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!
Today I wanted to share some of my very favorite “Must Use” 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! I actually also shared a different post along these lines recently called 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!
Ok! Diving In! If you hope to make any money from your blog someday, I’d absolutely recommend looking at each of these to consider if they’d help simplify your life! I have used, loved, or at least tested each of these!
Tools You’re Going To Need If You’re Serious About Blogging
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 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 awhile 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 there’s no way to get a hard copy of it. 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 proof read 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!
There you go! Those are my very favorite tools! Which tools do you love that I missed? What would you use GMass for? Leave me a comment and let me know!