Blogging may look like the easiest job on earth but what goes into a single blog post is way more than just writing and publishing. The full-time bloggers especially like to keep things organized and use some professional resources to turn content into a presentable blog article. From content calendar management to photo editing, there are plenty of resources that turn the process easier for us. I recently posted an Instagram story about a project management site Trello and I received a lot of responses asking about its applications. So I thought of listing down my top favorite blogging resources (some free, a few paid) which cut my blogging time into half. In fact, I have no idea what would have I done without a few and probably would have stopped blogging already *okay probably not*! If you are planning to start blogging or looking for some great tools for your current blog, this list will come handy!
All the blog banners and the social media posts you see on my blog are made on Canva.
This is a life saver for all the non-design professionals! Canva is a design website for creating quick and impactful social media posts, blog banners, Pinterest graphics, logos–you name it! You don’t need to hire a designer or invest time into any fancy editing or design software as Canva has umpteen free design templates. You can also upgrade to the paid version to have access to more features and stock photos, but I have been using the free version as my blog design needs are quite simple. What I like most about Canva is a drag and drop feature which makes it easy to use. You just need an awesome eye for design and color aesthetics and your blog design is covered!
No, I am not dissing other design softwares like Photoshop in any way, I am sure it’s a fantastic tool that does much more than Canva, but for simple social media graphics and blog design, Canva is much easier and quick!
Cost: Free but paid upgrade for advanced features
This is my go-to editing app for blog photography. I had downloaded several apps before that but unfortunately, they were not as user-friendly and multi-featured as Snapseed. I prefer using the manual features like brushing, selective editing, and detailing to learn editing better instead of relying on inbuilt filters. Snapseed is also free to use and it has recently launched some really good photo filters in case you are short on time and want to get things done quickly.
Trello is a visual collaboration tool for planning projects and ideas. I don’t remember who introduced me to Trello but I am absolutely grateful they did *here are virtual brownies for you*. I call it a life manager because I don’t only schedule my calendar, deadlines, and project updates but also keep timers for personal chores like salon appointments, personal budget management (something I have started doing recently). It works in the form of boards that you create for each project. Since I am a virtual manager, Trello especially comes handy to me to manage client’s projects but I also manage my blog calendar up on these boards. For advanced features, you can always upgrade to their paid plans!
Cost: Basic plan is free but there are paid plans for advanced features
I prefer taking first-hand photos for the blog but I also use free stock pictures sometimes when I am unable to shoot for any reason. Freepik and Pixabay are two great resources to fetch tons of free stock photos. Pixabay has more horizontal, larger resolution pictures perfect for blog banner, whereas Freepik’s stock is relevant for Pinterest and social media graphics. The only drawback is, it’s difficult to find local oriented free stock images on these sites so whenever required, I create my own blog layouts.
I use a lot of automation and scheduling for blog. HootSuite has turned out really effective in scheduling social media posts for the week. It’s best to post similar content across several social media forums which would otherwise be quite time-consuming. I do all the scheduling on Mondays and smartly cross this to-do off my list. You can get scheduling for three social media accounts for free, but if you want to post on more accounts, you will have to buy their plan.
Cost: Free scheduling up to three social media accounts and paid plans beyond that.
I use Tailwind for scheduling pins and using analytics to see which of my pins are most successful. It helps me tweak my Pinterest sharing habits to boost performance. I mostly use Tailwind to schedule pins from magazines or sources from other bloggers. I find boards management a really convenient feature of Tailwind. Instead of pinning blog graphics on Pinterest boards individually, Tailwind has the option to create an accumulative, one click pinning board, All you have to do is pin the required graphics to that board and it’s automatically posted on all your favorite boards.
Cost: Free Trial followed by plans that start from $9.99 per month.
These are not the only resources that I use for putting a blog post together, but surely some of the main ones that have turned blogging quite convenient for me. From content organization, designing, to scheduling, these tools cut the blog management time in half. I hope they help you not only in blogging but also in facilitating your work projects. Also, I would love to hear about any other handy resources that you swear by. Brag all about them in the comments below.
Let me know if you want me to review any of the above tools seperately. I will create detailed How-to posts. Until next time!