Starting a blog from scratch is no easy feat. You need a lot of time, a lot of patience and most of all, you need to be organized! Here is a list of my top 10 tools I use to run my blogs and make sure I am set up for success!
You’re thinking of starting a blog. Or you already started one.
But you’re feeling overwhelmed about it all. It seems that your to-do list keeps growing and growing and you don’t even know where to begin.
I’ve been there and I know exactly how it feels like!
Back in 2018, when I started my travel blog, I was excited with the prospect of sharing my adventures with the rest of the world. However, the more my blog grew, the more lost I felt with running my blog.
There was SO much to do that I felt like giving up!
The #1 strategy I learned from my blogging experience is that being organized is crucial. You need to be on top of things in order to keep growing and you need to develop a strategy that works for YOU.
If you’re interested to know what these tools are, then keep on reading!
Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post.
You might be thinking duh WordPress is a must regardless if you’ve got it under control or not.
Hear me out before you decide to click off this post.
Yes, WordPress is a must but I really want to talk about here is hosting.
Why am I mentioning this?
Well, SiteGround has stellar customer service and whenever I run into a problem with my blog (or break it which I’ve done many times), I can get on their online chat and they’d solve the problem for me for free!
Having a good hosting company that can help you with any problems you have, especially if you’re not tech-savvy like me is a crucial tool to help you grow your blog and run it smoothly.
So, if you want a great tool for your blog, I highly recommend SiteGround!
I use Photoshop for everything.
To design my blogs, to create Pinterest covers, for my Instagram .. you name it!
I’ve been using Photoshop for 11 years and I’m self-taught in it.
If you’re not tech-savvy and or don’t want to pay a monthly subscription for it, fear not because there is a free tool that works just as great as Photoshop.
And that is Canva.com
If you want to create amazing graphics for your blog that make you stand out from the crowd in a much simpler way than Photoshop than Canva is the tool for you!
Why am I listing Photoshop and Canva as tools?
The reason is that you need to design graphics for your blog, especially if your main traffic is from Pinterest. So for me, Canva and Photoshop are helpful tools and I am sure you will find them just as helpful too!
Staying on the editing bandwagon, Lightroom is a tool you should consider using if you want your photos to stand out and attract your target audience.
For my travel blog, Lightroom is the only photo editing tool. I purchased a preset bundle from Etsy and use that all the time.
It gives my photos a bit of a pop and it helps make my brand stand out and be different from the rest.
Having a user-friendly functioning theme is essential to have to make your blogging experience that much smoother.
If you have a theme that 1) gives you a lot of problems and 2) turns off your readers, it will cause a lot of unnecessary stress that you don’t need.
I purchased both themes for my travel blog and for this blog.
I love how customizable and easy to use these themes are!
If you don’t spend money on themes, don’t you worry. WordPress offers free themes and there’s a ton to choose from!
A planner? Yes, a planner. A physical planner.
There are a ton of online planning tools, like Trello for example. For me, online tools don’t work.
I prefer to have a tangible notebook where I can write what I want to accomplish that day, open it every morning before I start my day and get cracking with my to-do lists.
The Happy Planner is my go to when it comes to planners. I love how they’re divided according to every month and they come in different sizes too. Ps, you can also find them on Amazon!
Ballin on a budget but still want to make sure to find the right keywords to help your blog rank higher on Google?
I use Uber Suggest for that! It helps me find high volume and low competition keywords to help me rank higher on Google and increase my organic traffic!
SEO (more on that in future blog posts) is important for your blog and if you want to get more visitors. That’s why keywords are important!
UberSuggest is a free tool which works great to help you get started with SEO.
Pinterest is an amazing tool to 1) grow your audience and 2) get ideas and inspiration!
Over on my travel blog, Pinterest is my number one source of traffic. 95% of my traffic comes from Pinterest!
I also use Pinterest to get some ideas for blog posts, design covers etc.
If you have a blog and don’t have Pinterest, I HIGHLY recommend you signing up for an account and if you’re thinking about starting a blog, Pinterest should be your top priorities.
My all-time favourite Pinterest course is Pinterest Ninja. My strategy changed after taking the course and over a year, my traffic grew by 400%. Yes, 400%!
It’s no secret that bloggers make use of stock images to enhance their blog posts and there’s no shame in that!
There are a ton of websites out there that provide all kinds of stock images for free or with a monthly fee. Depending on your budget, you can pick a provider that’s best for you.
My all-time favourite is Unsplash. I use it all the time for my travel blog and I am planning on using it for this blog too when the time comes!
All pictures are free but they do encourage you to give credit to the photographer which is fair and I encourage you to do that.
Another favourite of mine is IvoryMix. If you subscribe to their newsletter, you will get a bundle of stunning stock photos for free!
I love using Google Analytics! It helps me keep track of my traffic trends and help me figure out what I can do to keep increasing my traffic.
Google Analytics gives me how many people visited my blogs every day, monthly trends and as well as my top sources. You can also set goals to help you grow your blog even more.
While blogging is not all about numbers (in my opinion), it’s good to keep track of your traffic and my favourite way to do so is through Google Analytics.
You can either access Google Analytics from your laptop or PC or you can even download it on your app!
Starting a mailing list from the very start is a good strategy to adopt to grow your blog.
I had my travel blog since 2018 and only started a mailing list two months ago 🤦🏻♀️
However, with this blog, I decided to start one asap! Mailing lists are proven to increase your traffic.
The best service I found is Convertkit. Convertkit is created for bloggers by bloggers and it’s so easy to use! They also have a free plan where you don’t pay a dime until you reach 200 subs.
Furthermore, their customer service is stellar too!
Give ConvertKit a whirl and I highly encourage you to start a mailing list now!
These are my top tools I use for my blogs. Of course, there are other options out there. Find what works best for YOU!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave it in the comments section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be more than glad to help you!
Don’t forget to follow me on my social media AND pin this post to your Pinterest boards!