Keeping a blog afloat is a demanding job.
The tremendous workload is enough to stagger even the most resilient of writers.
There are articles to write, pictures to take, projects to complete, social media to manage.
The list goes on and on, but as luck would have it, the world of blogging has produced a number of tools that can make your life much, much easier. ♥
These tools will do everything from save you time on mundane and repetitive tasks, to give you new and more effective ways to interact with your fans and readers.
While some can come with a hefty price tag, which can be an instant turn-off to new and aspiring bloggers, there are quite a few that have been made available by their designer free of charge…if you know where to look.
Boy, aren’t you glad you have the hook up? ♥
Periscope: If you weren’t already privy, Periscope is a new streaming service purchased by and integrated into Twitter. It’s the new girl on the on the block and she’s getting all the looks, so let’s make friends now before she starts running with the popular kids. Just fire up the app and you are instantly live. Since it is integrated into Twitter you already have a hard earned following waiting for you, all you need is some content to stream.
Little Tip: People love a regularly scheduled live streaming event so setting up a once weekly project or recipe you would like to show off isn’t a bad idea. Remember though, when live streaming there are no camera cuts…everything you do can be seen by your fans.
Editorial Calendar: This free WordPress based tool is a God send that has been hand delivered by cute little baby angels to keep track of your long term schedule at a glance. Those angels have made sure it has the integrated ability to schedule post publishing dates, jot down notes, and even create quick drafts and titles right from the calendar view. Thank you Angels.
Little Tip: For those not running on WordPress, Google Calendar is a handy stand in to keep you on track.
Grammarly: Coming up with content for a blog is only half the battle. Actually putting pen to paper and cranking out articles can be an arduous process comparable to visiting the dentist or the gynecologist. This free app is an quick and easy way to check your posts for spots that could do with a bit of a touch up prior to publishing. Grammarly even provides useful hints and suggestions to help clarify your writing so that your posts come out the way you meant them to instead of like a english paper written by a remedial sixth grader on a sugar rush.
Little Tip: HemingwayApp is another great option that checks grammar, punctuation, and readability. You can use both if you really want to put your mind at ease before hitting publish.
Google Analytics: When running a blog, as in life, success often comes down to something as simple as knowing your numbers. Google Analytics can help with this by tracking your blog’s statistics and giving you numbers you can stare at and over think for hours at a time (or is that just me….) This tool is a great way to keep tabs on everything from which of your posts are trending, to how people find your site. With these numbers in hand you can find and exploit your strengths, desperately hide your weaknesses and trick that hungry lion blogger into thinking you’re not “lame.” ♥
Little Tip: If you are using WordPress a quick search will uncover a plethora of helpful plugins that make using Google Analytics simple, and can give you helpful charts to get a handle on all of your numbers.
Buffer: We are nothing if not big on automation… and Jesus… oh and Chai… maybe some chic comfy pants while we’re at it… okay, but back to the automation thing… Why be constantly dragged away from what you are doing (painting your nails for a post anyone?) when plugins are more than happy to take up the slack. Buffer is a free Google Chrome plugin that makes it effortless to automate your Twitter and Facebook posts. Set up a publishing schedule, queue up some posts, and watch your social media pages manage themselves (all while your nails get the shiny hard coat they deserve.) This tool is perfect for the blogger who wants to maintain a constant social media presence without the constant nagging need to remember to post consistently.
Little Tip: Scheduling your social media posts is an excellent way to save yourself some extra time. Looking into automation software for all of your social media networks can help you maximize your time spent blogging without constant interruption.
Mailchimp: Many established blogs have a weekly or monthly newsletter to remind readers to keep coming back to the site, (true story, it drives traffic like a boss) but managing extensive and constantly changing email lists can be arduous. Mailchimp is a free service that lets you build and send professional looking newsletters and updates to those who have signed up. There are ample ways to integrate it into your site to gather new reader’s email addresses and take care of all of your emailing needs in one convenient package.
Little Tip: If you are using WordPress we recommend the plugin SumoMe, which offers a phenomenal email address collection popup, and can be synced to your MailChimp account to streamline the collection process.