This is it. This is a complete list of everything that I could ever use on any given day. This list is ALMOST exhaustive, but I left off a few obvious tools (like Facebook) that you are probably using anyway. The thing about this list, for me, that is most helpful is the order. The most important stuff is first.
We start with photography, which is definitely my top tip for bloggers and those trying to grow their blog. Don’t have a camera? You’re going to need one. You can fake it for a while with stock photography, but eventually, you are going to need your own photos. Editing is also just as important. A terrible photo can be cropped, brightened, and tweaked to become almost perfect.
Writing and publishing are basically the entire point of blogging. However, stand out photography and networking can really boost your blog to another level. Networking is key. Collaboration or using a new technology and launching a product can really turn your blog into something more meaningful.
I listed books last since I so rarely have time to read, but the books I have read I have loved. I only read books that can inspire my business or change my mindset. I want to feel motivated when I read. My favorites are also here.
What did I leave out? Share your suggestions in the Bloggers Get Social Facebook group or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to connect and discuss what tools would work best for you. If you want an in-depth look at how to set up these tools for your business or blog, consider buying a Bloggers Get Social workbook. We also have other courses available on our calendar.
- Genesis Framework
- Restored 316 Designs
- Like this theme? It’s Divi from Elegant Themes!
You’re going to need to pick a domain. Google everything to make sure you don’t take something that is already trademarked! Pair your favorite words together and the topic of your blog to see what you can find. Try to find a name that is under 16 characters so that you can have the same handle for a URL, on Twitter, and on Instagram.
- Namechk is pretty cool to help you search.
Write Your Post
I usually use drafts inside WordPress to keep up with my blog posts, however, I just signed up for Airstory to help me get organized. You can also use Google Docs to write freely from any computer or device! The best advice is to remember that sometimes WordPress crashes, you save and lose an entire blog post. Try to write your posts somewhere else and then import them into WordPress.
As I write, I use Grammarly to show me spelling and grammar edits. And, before publishing, I like to try the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
My Blog Post Publishing Formula
- Once published, IFTTT posts to Twitter, adds the post to Buffer for later in the day, and sends to Facebook. Networked Blogs also sends the post to Facebook. WordPress Publicize sends it to G+. I could do nothing and still have my posts out on almost my networks automatically.
- However, I do manually add in an image Facebook update. I manually tweet an image. I also will pin my post to the appropriate board. If it’s a recipe, the Yummly plugin automatically shares it there. I will “thumbs up” using StumbleUpon. If it’s an amazing post with great visuals (not a giveaway, etc.), I will Instagram it too.
- Once a week I will use Ahalogy and Tailwind to schedule pins for recent posts along with older posts in a given category. For example, in August I re-shared all my old cocktail posts.
Photography + Video
iPhone Photography + Video
- Color Story
- Vimo (add animated graphics to video)
- A Beautiful Mess
- Dropbox and/or Google Photos to seamlessly transfer photos from your phone to your computer
Video + Podcasting
- Screenflow is what I use for almost EVERYTHING including recording my podcast!
- Facebook Live
- I use Audioblocks for music.
- Soundcloud is where I upload my podcasts.
My Blog Photography Formula
- I set up several blog posts at once, outside, in indirect light.
- I use bamboo cutting boards, tablecloths, and dishtowels for backgrounds or
styling. I also have fresh fruit available for drink garnishes or to add color to a
- I usually snap a picture or two on my iPhone to share a “behind the scenes” look
for Snapchat and Instagram.
- I overshoot. I take probably double (or even triple!) the amount of pictures I feel like I need. I do this since I’m not an expert photographer. My settings are not always right. In fact, I usually just turn the flash off and shoot. If I’m indoors or with weird lighting that I can’t figure out, I will then switch to manual and toy with all my settings. I usually just wing it!
- I immediately transfer photos to my computer and use Bridge to organize them. I have folders for every month of the year and inside each folder is the name of the blog post those pictures are for. I save all of my photos just in case. I have sometimes been asked MONTHS (and even years) later for the original high-resolution photo, so I typically don’t delete anything unless it’s out of focus or really bad.
- Every six months, I transfer all photos to an external HD.
Social Media Tools
- Post Planner
- Recur Post
Tools to Make Your Life Easier
- Pretty Link
- Social Warfare
- Yoast SEO
- ConvertKit. Need a cheaper option? Try MailerLite.
- Post Gopher
- The $100 Startup
- No More Dreaded Mondays
- Time Management Magic
- The Happiness Project
- Better Than Before
- Girl Code
- The 12 Week Year
- The Big Leap
- You Are a Badass
- Steal Like an Artist
- The Champagne Diet
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- The Bootstrap VA
- Time Management Mama
Read more inspirational book ideas.