They keep saying blogging is out. Like tracksuits, boot cut pants, giga pets. Relics of the 90s, to which I say fuck ’em. Who cares if blogging is in style? Having an open place to say whatever you want in a time when voice and personal narrative is more important than ever is pretty special. Just starting a blog? Here are some of my favorite . . .
useful blogging tools for the modern writer
You’ve seen it in your Facebook Ads. Make spreadsheets fun and colorful and engaging! I caved. I use Air Table to create my content calendar for my blog. It allows me to track post names, dates, topics, meta information, photos and more. I can’t say that I always stick to the content calendar I create, but in desperate times it acts as a reminder of posts I have yet to write, and the preferred order in which I write them in. I am but a work in progress.
If you use WordPress for your blogging, you probably know Yoast. If ya don’t – you may be missing out on some followers. Yoast is the #1 plugin for SEO on WordPress and so super easy to use that you don’t actually need to know SEO to gain some benefits from it. There’s a free version that lets you review each post to see if it passes their internal SEO TEST.
I hate to break it to my twitter followers, but I’m not actually tweeting all day every day. Buffer lets you dump all of your thoughts into a queue which spaces them out and auto-publishes on your pre-determined schedule. This way you’re not just spamming your twitter friends for the 20 minutes per day you have free to tweet (whoops!) Buffer lets you schedule for pretty much all the major social media channels and there’s a free version, which works just fine for me.
If you’re a new blogger, you may want to consider branding. Canva can help you create a lookbook for your site, including color schemes, font choices, and overall look and feel. I use Canva when I want to pull together a quick promotional image for social media but don’t want to open up photoshop and design something from scratch. You can make so many things on Canva, like logos, facebook posts, instagram posts, posters and more.
Scheduling for Instagram is archaic – it sucks. You can’t push new posts to instagram, you can’t scehdule, and you can’t natively regram. While I would argue that all of these negatives are actually what makes Instagram so unique – it can be a bummer for a social media manager or blog-promoter who just wants to set up some content and let it roll.
Mosaico fills an empty space in your Instagram planning by letting you load up images into a queue and see how they’ll all look in a grid. (Ever see a really nice looking grid? It’s probably not luck.) You can also set reminders to your phone so when it’s time to post a new instagram, you’ll get an alert. Mosaico also lets you build instagram hashtag groups to easily copy-paste into instagram all at once. If you’re like me and hate hashtagging in groups, this is more than a necessity.
Unsplash provides 100% free to use images of high quality with more uploaded every day. While I’d previously used Pexels as my primary source of free imagery, I’ve found Unsplash to have a larger gallery with images that better fit my particular blog.
Don’t mess with the “can I use this or not?” game on google images. Just jump on Unsplash.