Blogging

Blog Tools I Can’t Live Without


This post contains affiliate links. View my full disclosure policy for more information.

If you’re a blogger, you know how overwhelming it can be to manage everything. We’re constantly photographing, editing, writing, filming, and posting. But on top of that we manage social media, affiliate links, emails, collaborations, sponsors and deadlines. We plan and attend events. We network and build relationships. It’s a gig that requires heart and elbow grease.

Because I am making an income off my blog, I view it as a small business. Therefore, I have to run it as such. I invest back into my blog so I can make more, whether it’s tools, education, or marketing.

One thing that bloggers don’t tell you is that it’s a lot of work to do it all by yourself. I have spent well over 50 hours a week working on things that are blog related, and the work never ends. There’s always something else to do. I don’t have a virtual assistant, or any kind of helper that I’ve hired (even though some days I wish I had one!). I do it all myself.

Since I am a one woman show, I rely on tools to help productivity. Luckily, there are some tools that make blogging easier for me. Some tools I pay for, and some are free.

So, these are the blog tools I can’t live without. I mean, I guess I can technically live, but it sure would make blogging a heck of a lot harder.

Wow! Great list of blog tools from @mo_meg! Click To Tweet

These blog tools help with productivity, social media management, graphic design, and more!

WordPress Editorial Calendar // This is probably my most favorite WordPress plugin. It was getting overwhelming to try and keep a calendar for blog posts, whether it was on paper or on Google. I don’t even bother with looking at my posts in a list anymore – I go straight to the calendar to see what I have lined up. I will also put in deadlines, outline any ideas, and start drafts. It’s such a time saver and keeps me sane. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if I had to look at a reverse chronological list of posts.

Photoshop // Hands down, the best photo editing software. I edit all of my blog photos and graphics in Photoshop. I use an older version than the latest, and it’s what I know and love. There’s a pretty big learning curve with it, but once you’ve got a feel for it, you really won’t go back to anything else. I don’t have it, but others swear by the $10/month plan that lets you use the Adobe suite.

PicMonkey // One thing that is not exactly user friendly in Photoshop is collages. In Picmonkey, it’s as simple as drag, drop, and resize. I use this feature for all of the collages you see on my blog. If I’m making a long collage for Pinterest, I’ll then pull it in to Photoshop to add the text. I don’t have a Royale account, but many love it and don’t use Photoshop. Others love Canva, although I do not use it.

Google Drive // My absolute favorite tool for storing any blog related files. I keep my income and stats spreadsheet in Google Drive, along with any images of receipts for taxes. I keep my media kit here so I can have access to it at all times. I have a spreadsheet of PR and brand contacts in Google Drive as well. I even have a IFTTT recipe set up to store all of my Instagram photos to Google Drive! It’s just a blogging necessity for me!

Board Booster // I love this Pinterest scheduler! It’s a very “set it and forget it” kind of tool. I try to go in multiple times per week and take a look at what it’s doing. If you follow my link, you get a month free trial to try it out for yourself!

Tailwind // I mention this Pinterest scheduler because I go back and forth with it. I had it for a while, then I got rid of it. Channing and Michelle (my other Pinterest halves) and I just recently started using it again and are trying some other strategies. I do like the simplicity of Tailwind and I think it’s a great scheduler if you’re just starting out on Pinterest! Just like the Board Booster link, if you follow my link you can get a month free to try it out.

(Side note: If you’re coming to the Perform on Pinterest Workshop, we will be going over the differences in schedulers and how to set it up! A girl’s gotta have her secrets on how she utilizes her schedulers, but don’t worry, we will be spilling all at the workshop!)

Post Planner // This is a new tool for me that I have been absolutely loving. One thing that I have struggled with recently is scheduling posts to my Facebook fan page and Twitter. I want to make sure I’m sharing relevant content and archived posts. I love Post Planner because it helps you find engaging content! It’s all right there for you when you go to schedule, so no having to save links. I also hate the scheduler in Facebook itself, because it’s hard to see (to me) what you have planned out.  You can also schedule posts in Facebook groups, as well, which makes it super easy for me while managing Houston Blogger Collective. You may have heard that using Facebook itself to schedule posts is better and ups your reach, but honestly that is all speculation. In fact, this article debunks that very myth. 3rd party schedulers are not penalized, and I have not noticed any decline in reach since using Post Planner. It’s my new obsession, and I found a coupon code to only make it $5 a month (just google it and you should be able to find one)! I paid $60 for the year and it was totally worth every penny.

Buffer // I love using Buffer strictly to schedule out tweets. It’s really easy to use, has a simple layout, and does what I need it to do. I use it differently than Post Planner – I use it to schedule my own content (i.e. when a new post is published), sponsored content, or anything else I need to go out on a certain day. I do not use the Facebook or Pinterest features.

I could probably keep going, but those are my absolute favorites! What are your favorite blog tools?

16 Comments

  • Reply
    Nikki
    May 11, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Some of these sound like great tools! I know as of recently, Be Funky & PicMonkey have been amazing photo editing tools, that are free, but you could pay for certain features! I love using it to make my pictures prettier and add graphics. They’re both such easy to use sites too!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      May 11, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      Glad to help, as always!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    May 11, 2016 at 11:59 am

    WP editorial calendar is hands down my fave blogging tool. I would be lost without it. Great list! I wish I lived in Houston so I could come to the Pinterest workshop!!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      May 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Seriously – that plugin is life!!! We wish you could come to the workshop too!!!

  • Reply
    Lauren Honeycutt
    May 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I love Buffer! It has been SO helpful for scheduling tweets!

    • Reply
      Meg O.
      May 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Yes! Buffer is so simple and straightforward – love it!

  • Reply
    Rachael (@therachaelway)
    May 11, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks for sharing your secrets, girl!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Anchored to Sunshine
    May 12, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I’m obsessed with Buffer! 🙂 Excellent choice

  • Reply
    KIm
    May 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Can’t wait for you to spill the secrets at the workshop!

  • Reply
    Tabitha Blue
    May 13, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Haha, I just need to get an editorial planning life down… I’m not great at that yet. And wish I was closer to attend your workshop, can’t wait to hear all about it!

  • Reply
    tawnya
    May 13, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Some of these I need to use and don’t! Thanks for the tips, Meg! I so wish I could attend your pinterest workshop!

  • Reply
    DaliaC
    May 16, 2016 at 1:37 am

    Right now I’m installing WordPress Editorial Calendar. I didn’t know about this one, but looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for all the tips !

  • Reply
    Jillian
    May 16, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Eek I purchased Coschedule recently for SO MUCH MORE! I wish I would have read this and learned about Post Planner. Thank you for sharing the tips, Meg!

    Jillian
    http://www.cupofcharisma.com

  • Reply
    Being Baneen
    May 17, 2016 at 8:31 am

    I’m just starting out with my blog and these tips are so helpful! Thanks Meg! 🙂

  • Reply
    kristyvmoreno
    May 17, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing all of these! Since I’m new to WordPress, I need to take full advantage of anything that will help me save time. Woohoo!

  • Reply
    Marney
    May 21, 2016 at 5:13 am

    Just wanted to say Thank You for all of your great posts about blogging. I am just starting my blog and it is easy to get overwhelmed about doing it “right” and in the end doing nothing at all. I’ve been pouring through your posts and taking lots of notes. Thank you!

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