When you run a blog by yourself, you are basically a one-woman show. You make photos, edit video, write blog posts, answer emails, distribute posts, scout locations, manage finances, fix coding problems (the list goes on) by yourself. I’m a firm believer in automation and investing in tools that help you save time or learn because when you work for yourself, time is your most valuable resource.
These are my top 12 blogging tools you should buy if you are serious about becoming a full-time blogger. Only people who invest time and money into their business will be successful in it and these are my recommended tools to invest in.
Pinterest is one of my main sources of traffic. I use Tailwind to bulk-upload pins and quickly write captions. It also automatically posts to Pinterest for you, so you can spread out pins throughout the week instead of uploading them all at once and bombarding your followers.
Twitter ain’t dead, people. I love using Hootsuite to schedule all my blog post Tweets for the week – or even month all in one go. You get 30 free tweets a month, or you can upgrade to the full plan for more.
Yoast SEO Plugin
I’ve mentioned using Yoast before, but I’ll say it again: SEO is important. This is a free plugin with paid upgrades and, even if you only use the free version, it’s vital that you install onto your blog.
Again, SEO is important. I always consult Keywordtool.io to find the best title for my blog posts or keywords to use to ensure that my posts earn a lot of hits.
Plann is an app that helps you plan your Instagram feed, store hashtags and even plan your Instagram stories! I use this every day to manage what I’m posting and when. I’m visual, so I use this app to drag upcoming posts around to see how they will look in my feed. They also have some analytics available.
Smart bloggers have an email list that they use regularly to build a community and earn steady traffic. Mailchimp is the best place to start because you can start free and then upgrade when you need it.
Data scares a lot of bloggers, but it shouldn’t. You should be looking at Iconosqaure every single day to see how well your Instagram posts are doing, what to post more of, what to post less of and when the best time of day to post is. It even breaks down top hashtags and has competitor insights. I look at my dashboard every day.
I’m a list person and love using Trello to digitally keep myself organized and plan well. If you aren’t planning well or staying organized, you can’t win the blogging game – there’s just too many moving parts!
Drop the gmail address and yourself a professional email. It’s just $5 a month.
Final Cut Pro
Using video on your blog? Well, you should be, as it’s the hottest new form of blogging. Skip Adobe Premiere (it’s hard!) and instead invest in Final Cut Pro. It’s so easy to learn – I was able to pick it up in an afternoon. You can also find a lot of Final Cut Pro “actions” like filters or motion text graphics to up your video game.
My favorite way to edit photos for my blog and Instagram is Lightroom. I grew up using Photoshop and Photoshop actions, but Lightroom is the best way to manage and organize a large number of photos. I use VSCO presets to make sure all my photos feel the same. I also love the cropping feature to quickly make different sizes of my photos for different outlets.
I put this last because it’s the best. Hopper HQ is my secret Instagram weapon that I use while traveling. It’s the only service that will post to Instagram for you. I repeat, this service posts to Instagram for you. Yes, it’s real. No, they aren’t going to steal your info. No, they don’t break Instagram’s API rules. I still prefer to post manually when I’m home, but it’s a lifesaver when I’m traveling. When I’m abroad and either don’t have wifi/service, or don’t want to wake up at 3am to post at my regular PST time, I use Hopper to post for me. They even offer first comments for hashtags! GAME CHANGER!
I stand by all these top 12 blogging tools you should buy. Even using just one of these tools will help you become a better blogger. I’d love to know if you use any of these or know of any other awesome tools that should be added to this list! Leave a comment below.