Every new blogger wishes they knew more before they finally clicked “publish” on their first post – even those bloggers who did months of research scouring the internet for information on how to make your blog great. Blogging, as in writing, as in everything in life, is a learning process.
I got you covered: Here’s a list of useful resources for bloggers that I wish I would have known about a LONG time ago. Some of these I have been using for quite some time, while others I only recently discovered. All of these resources I have used personally.
Canva.com: For blogging and social media, this is an awesome site. You can create photos with text, or create collages of photos, all specifically sized for blogging, twitter, Facebook, tumbler, Instagram, Youtube. They have blog title and Facebook cover templates, infographic templates, and SO much more. You can be quite creative with much of the tools you need at your fingertips. They have free photos available, as well as photos you can purchase the rights to, thereby preventing any copyright infringement. For average or even proficient bloggers, there’s no design training needed, which makes this a great choice.
In general, because of the wide range of templates available, you can use this for much of your marketing needs, whether your’e a writer, blogger, entertainer or an entrepreneur of any kind. They have templates for posters, banners, ebook covers, album covers, magazine covers, business cards, gift certificates, and more.
Cost: Free, with the option to upgrade.
Upgrade monthly and yearly prices available. Upgrading allows you to do more and gives you access to more photos. (as with most any site)
Hootsuite.com If you want to gain followers for your blog, social media networking is a must. Connecting with people through your blog only goes so far. Connecting with people on social media will bring people to your blog. Hootsuite is one of the top social media management sites. There are others too, but this one has high ratings and I’ve seen multiple author and blogger friends make use of this site. You can not only post to all of your social media sites simultaneously (as in, type one post and you’re done), you can schedule out posts.
Cost: The free version gives you the ability to add 3 social media profiles, and schedule messages.
The pro version: Only $9.99 annually. Allows up to 50 profiles and a slew of other useful features.
Picmonkey.com: Images catch people’s interest. When you post images on your blog, you will increase it’s traffic. Picmonkey is a great online design tool, with extensive features that allow you to add text and designs and anything else you can think of to any of your own photos. You have the ability to let your imagination run wild. This is great for creating blog banners, memes, and many other types of images that can help catch readers’ eyes when they happen to glance through your blog.
Cost: The “Royale membership gets you ads-free editing and a kingly hoard of primo effects, fonts, overlays, and touch-up tools. Choose from either a monthly or annual plan.
Evernote.com: (I’m probably late to the game because so many people know about this one) A great way to organize your ideas. Clip images, write text, make lists. Accessible everywhere you go, even in app form. If you are full of ideas and want to jot them down before you pull together a blog post, this is a great tool. I also appreciate that you can see the images that you attach. Other organizational online tools like Trello.com don’t show you the images when you attach them. (I do also love to use Trello though.)
Dropbox.com: I use Dropbox for EVERYTHING, not just blogging. I feel like I am late to the game here, mentioning Dropbox because most people know about it. But at one point, I didn’t, so maybe there’s still others out there.
If you don’t know what Dropbox is, go check it out! It’s a great everyday tool if you are a writer or blogger. For blogging, if you keep your article ideas or images on your computer, Dropbox is awesome to have on hand. You can keep any kind of images and documents in a cloud online so that you can access them wherever you’re at. It’s a useful way to keep your files safe on your computer in case something happens like….your computer crashes, or is stolen or…you get the idea. You can sync it to your desktop and transfer files easily.
People equate Dropbox with Google Drive. I do not like Google Drive because the formatting transition between Google Drive and Microsoft Word always turns out horrible and I have to fix all these little formatting issues. It’s irritating. Also, Google Drive tends to lag horribly whenever I type. Not sure why, but it happens on any computer I use. My own, someone else’s computer….
in Dropbox, If I’m using another computer, I can open it up from the web, download my file, work on my file, then save it, upload it again, and there’s no formatting problems, everything is the same and I’m good to go.
Cost: The first 5 GB of space are FREE. You can delete and add files constantly without issues so you can usually keep yourself at the free level. Be careful though, pictures take up a lot of space and can eat up that 5GB.
Upgrade options: $9.99 a month for 1 TB of space available.
Have you used any of these? What resources have you found useful for blogging and/or everyday life? Let me know in the comments.
Check out the other posts in this series of resources for writers and bloggers: