You don’t need much to start a blog. If you can write, you can blog. However, there are plenty of resources to help make your blogging life easier. In case you get overwhelmed by all of the options out there, I have compiled a list of my all time favorite resources for blogging. Each of these services makes my life easier when it comes to blogging.
To be totally honest, I currently do not have a fancy computer, photoshop, or a super expensive camera. Yea, I write on an old laptop that takes more time to boot up than I would like to admit. Every once in a while I head downstairs to use my husbands old monster gaming computer. It is fast, but the ambiance is not quite my thing. I do have an iPad which is lovely for blogging on the go. Overall, I do not have my dream set up. I am on my way there. The following resources make my life easier.
If you get overwhelmed with all your options for blogging, I understand! I have compiled a list of my favorite resources. I will describe what they are and what they can do for you.
Here is my list of resources I recommend for bloggers:
PicMonkey is an online photo editor. It is free, which is awesome. I pay for an upgraded membership at $4.99 a month, which gives me ad-free editing as well as access to more features. You can do basic edits, effects, add text, create collages, and do touch-ups with PicMonkey. It is not a perfect editor, but it gets the job done. I do wish there were more fonts, but for the time being, it does so much for me. It is extremely easy and user friendly if you are new to blogging and editing photos.
I LOVE Inlinkz. Inlinkz helps me manage my blog hop, as well as link-ups. If you are considering hosting a blog hop or link-up, Inlinkz helps you organize your events. It is free, but I pay $1.99 so that all my blog hop guests can include a photo button. Inlinkz also collects data for you, such as how many people viewed the blog hop or link up, collects email addresses, and stores all the information from past events. The widget is easy to install.
Rafflecopter is a great tool if you want to host giveaways. I use the free feature, and it has been fantastic. It is super easy to use and install on my blog. I highly recommend Rafflecopter for giveaways.
4. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates statistics about a websites traffic. Google Analytics is a superb tool for bloggers. It gives you stats on your blog for FREE. It has a wealth of information, as well as real-time analytics. You can spend a lot of time there if you want. You can see things such as the bounce rate for your blog, page views, and new vs. existing visitors.
5. Google PageRank
Google PageRank Checker is a free service to check your google page rank instantly. Google PageRank is something that I found out about a few months back. You may be asked what your page rank is if you ever do a sponsored post or apply for a network. There is not much to it other than entering in your blog URL and seeing where Google indexes you. But it is a useful tool to know about, at least.
Recently, I have been enjoying Sverve more and more. Sverve connects female social media influencers and businesses. You can apply for sponsored posts, network with other bloggers, and share tips (blog posts). I have found lots of fresh inspiration for content on Sverve. It is a great networking site, one of the best I have found (and there are lots out there).
Evernote is software that is designed for note taking and archiving. You can create folders, checklists, and store clips of images from the internet. I am more of a pen and paper gal, and cannot get rid of my yellow steno pads. However, I know lots of bloggers who swear by Evernote. It is a great tool if you love organizational softwares, and the last I checked, is free.
8. Passionfruit Ads
Passionfruit manages blog sponsorships including payment processing, image hosting, HTML, and reminders. I am a huge fan of Passionfruit. I have found it super easy to install on my blog, and well worth the investment. You can do free swaps with other bloggers. There is a cost of $89/ year, but I think it pays for itself rather quick, and is well worth it if you plan to offer sponsorship placements on your blog.
9. Blogsy for iPad
I have tried LOTS of blogging apps for my iPad. Many of them have sucked. Sorry to be so candid. I have literally cried from lost posts. Well, I found Blogsy and I love it. If you plan to ever blog on your iPad, download Blogsy. There is a cost for this app ($5, maybe?), but it is worth every dollar.
Mailchimp is an online email marketing solution to manage contacts, send emails, and track results. Do you ever plan to send bulk email out? If so, Mailchimp is the best thing yet. It is FREE, which is amazing. Mailchimp automatically cleans your contacts, deleting people who unsubscribe and never letting you add them again. If you want to be ethical about sending emails, consider using Mailchimp. There are definite laws about how to compile and send emails out regarding blogs, and Mailchimp is a great way to protect yourself and be good to your contacts. Plus, there are lovely templates for creating campaigns and emails that look pretty on computers and smartphones.
Gosh, am I forgetting anything? If so, leave a comment!
What other blog tips do you want to hear about next time?