8 Tools I Use For Blogging

by - Thursday, September 13, 2018



It's been 5 years since I started blogging and this is the first time I'm writing this post. Isn't that weird? I thought it's something no one wants to know because I think most bloggers have better blogs than mine. But since I can be categorized as a seasoned blogger now, and I have met newbies in the blogging industry recently on Twitter, I thought maybe this post would be of help to them so they wouldn't have a hard time streamlining their blogging process.

So here are 8 tools I use for blogging:

Photoshop

Let's get the big man out of the way. Most newbies aren't savvy with Photoshop so I try not to push it to them as the tool of choice (it's of the same vein as recommending only DSLR cameras). Photoshop (and DSLR) are good if you have them and can use them but you don't need them in order to make quality blog posts.

Why I'm listing Photoshop here? Well, because it's my go-to tool when I need to make and/or edit images for my blog. As a graphics blogger, it's kind of relevant.

To newbies who has Photoshop but don't know how to use it, do know that I started out the same way. I am self-taught and I can now proudly say that I am 'intermediate' in my skills. Don't disregard it completely. Use other tools but be open in learning how to use it because it's so helpful. I'm planning on writing more tutorials on it, so stay tuned for that. I would also love to hear any requests down in the comments.

Canva

For quick image creation, I use Canva. Canva has limitations, but if you're looking to make something quick and simple, Canva is good.

They have templates for the kind of images you are planning to make so it's much easier to conceptualize when you've come with barely an idea on how to execute.

Sometimes it's as easy as changing photo, and changing text.

If you're not in a hurry, you also can try starting from a blank page and adding elements yourself. I highly recommend this route, since a lot of newbie bloggers now use Canva and we see them use the same templates as the rest. It's easy to spot the newbies this way.

When it can't be helped but use the templates, try to change the overall feel of the image, like the filter that's been applied to the photo automatically, and change the font styles, change or add more colors, remove existing elements then add new elements such as frames. This way you're using a template but you made it totally your own.


Skitch Interface

Skitch

Skitch is what I use for annotating screenshots in tutorials. It's made for that so it's easier to put arrows, text, shapes. These annotating elements comes in different colors but I love using pink because it stands out in the image so it's easier to spot.

Planoly

Planoly for both web and mobile. This is the tool I use for planning my Instagram feed. What I love about this is that it syncs between the two so I can upload from my computer and it would show in mobile, or I could upload from mobile and it would show on my computer. It saves from a lot of transferring pictures to and fro.

When I started my Instagram account for my blog, I just post whatever I made on Photoshop. Mind you, I try to put variety to it but at that point I didn't really have a lot of material to work with. I became bored and uninspired, and the feed was too cluttered for my taste.

When I started using Planoly, I was able to upload the pics I was planning on posting so I could see how they would turn out in the feed right next to each other. Before long, I started to see a pattern and it was an aha moment because it gave me an idea how I could plan the images I'm going to need.

And because I was uploading more pics than what I was posting (I post every other day, or 2 consecutive then a skip), I was able to collect images and I won't have to worry that I don't have anything to post when I have to.

Planoly Interface

Buffer

For scheduling promotional tweets, Buffer is a good tool used by seasoned bloggers. What's good about Buffer is they shorten your url links so you have more word count to use for descriptions and hashtags. You also get to choose which images from your link you'd like to post with the tweet.

Buffer also queues your tweets to go out one by one at the best times, so you won't have to worry about that.

This can also be used for scheduling for Facebook, but I have no experience with that so try that out as well if you have a Facebook page. It could save you a lot of time posting promotional links manually.

Tip: If you do schedule promotional links, make sure to still be present in Twitter (or Facebook) from time to time and engage with your audience.

Evernote

The tool I use for note taking on my laptop. Evernote comes in mobile app, desktop app/program, and on the web but I use the web one only. I like how clean UI looks compared to the desktop app.

Evernote is so useful for keeping data. For example the links to my blogs and social media platforms I keep a list of those so when I need to post them online, I just copy and paste instead of typing every time and risk mistyping.

Things like blogger tags/awards, I visit the blog where I was nominated and copy the information (rules, questions, links, images) into Evernote so when I'm finally ready to make a post it's all there and I won't have to search for the blog where I was nominated.

I also use this for listing the RT accounts I use when promoting my posts. Then just copy paste.

What's cool with Evernote is that you can create different notebooks for different projects. Like for me, I had one for my blogs, one for my freelancing, and one for my wedding planning 2 years ago. These notebooks can be shared and synchronized with other users so it's easier to collaborate. Example is my wedding notebook. My then-fiance and wedding organizer could view, edit and add notes to it so it was easier to go through details one by one.

Evernote Interface

Iphone Notes App

For jotting down ideas and writing blog posts when I'm away from keyboard I use the notes app on my phone. It's so handy and I could easily email the note to myself so I can edit it on my laptop before posting.

Crowdfire

I use Crowdfire to easily track my following/followers on Twitter. It's so easy to know when someone unfollows and you can unfollow them back right from the app. You'd also have the lists for the fans (followers you don't follow back - so you won't miss anyone), the non-followers (those who never followed you back), and the inactive followers (I make a habit of checking this list every few months, you can filter the list for max 6 months inactivity so you can trim your follows to those who are only active on Twitter).


That's all I have as of now. I am currently trying out a few more apps for image editing and for tracking Instagram followers. I'll update this post when I've enjoyed them and incorporated them into my blogging routine.

How about you? What tools are you using for blogging? Anything you can recommend?

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2 comments

  1. Hey, Dawn! Such a great post for someone like me who only use iCloud Notes to arrange my Instagram post captions! I remember using Skitch way back when I’ve started Blogging back in 2013 too!! When it comes to watermarking my photos then I use Watermark app. I need to get on using these software and apps ASAP as my contents/drafts/sketches are all over the computers and iCloud/Dropbox not forgetting notebooks 😅😅😅

    www.myrabeautydiary.com

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    1. I have lots of notebooks too! Although I enjoy jotting down notes, it tends to get crazier with time. Maybe I just like relying on the search button to find stuff.

      Your Instagram captions are so organized! You don't need to take tips from me. Hehehe

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