Had I known before creating my blog that these tools would save me an incredible amount of time and be extremely helpful to running my blog I wouldn’t have spent hours looking for other tools to use and end up not liking them. I myself can attest that the tools I mention in this post will make planning, promoting and running your blog so much easier. The best thing about these tools is that they are all FREE to use!
- Google EVERYTHING
If there’s one thing you should do, it should be to install the Chrome web browser right after reading this post. Chrome is not only an easy to navigate browser, but also offers many extensions that can come in handy. Another plus to using Chrome as your web browser of choice is that most blogging platforms fun better on it versus other browsers like Mozilla, Safari, and dare I mention Internet Explorer.
Sign up for a Google (Gmail) account if you don’t have one already. With a Gmail account, you get access to so many FREE tools that it would be a waste not to have one. Of these tools, Google Calendar is tremendously helpful for planning out my life. Google Calendar allows you to assign certain tasks to a color so that you don’t get items mixed up. Easily one of the best tools that Google has to offer would be Google Docs. You get just about everything that Microsoft Word offers but for FREE. On top of that its cloud based so you can find all your files on any web-enabled device. When collaborating, Docs is my go-to tool because it has the ability to have more than person edit and contribute to a document at once.
- FREE STOCK PHOTOS
Having the ability to have good looking photos on your blog for free is especially helpful if you don’t have the budget or aren’t willing to pay an arm and a leg for stock images. Another alternative to not paying for stock images is to take your own stock photos, you’ll also get more freedom over what’s captured in the photo. With taking your own photos you also don’t have to worry about any copyright issues that come along with some free stock photos. If you have a nice DSLR on hand you can take them easily with that and if all you have is the camera on your phone, don’t worry, most phone cameras today take very great quality images!
Here is a list of my favorite sites for free stock photos!
My personal favorite of everything I’m going to mention, Canva. Canva allows for you to create everything from a logo to a flyer. Canva is what I use to create all of my feature images (including the one above). It allows for easy customization of premade layout or you can start with a fresh canvas and create all the magic on your own. Do keep in mind that some of the elements that canva offers cost $1 other than that everything about it is FREE!
HootSuite is an amazing tool that allows you to schedule posts across various social media platforms. I use Hootsuite to schedule out my Twitter and Facebook accounts but it has the ability to schedule for much more. You can get a free 30-day trial to see how you like it. HootSuite has saved me so much time and headaches because I don’t have to worry about constantly posting throughout the day, I simply schedule what I want to be posted and the work is done for me. Hootsuite even has the ability to post at the best optimal times when more traffic is bound to see your content.
I would be surprised if you didn’t already have an existing Pinterest account, but if you don’t make one. Pinterest is one of the best free ways to market and share your blog posts. Pins that link to your content have the ability to create a lot of traffic to your blog with only a few pins. It takes just a few people to re-pin a post of yours and your traffic will sky-rocket.
Also if you can find them join Pinterest Blogging groups with fellow bloggers of the same niche. This is a good way to get feedback on your content from likeminded people and also a good way to meet people you can potentially collaborate with.
I hope that if you haven’t used any of these tools you highly consider them because they make running my blog so much easier. If you enjoyed any of these tips please share them with your friends and be sure to subscribe to never miss another post!