5 Essential Tools for Blogging

blogtools Over the course of the several weeks that I've been blogging again full force, I've found a few "tools" that help to keep me organized and productive. In no particular order, here they are:

  • Google Calendar.  Until recently, I've had twice-weekly blog post ideas planned out for at least a month and a half.  I'm planned out for the entire month of June, and into the second week of July (I need to come up with some more ideas).  I've created a color code for myself: an unwritten blog post is pink and a drafted/scheduled/completed post is green.  Duh.  Red light, green light.
  • Canva.  I looooooooove Canva.  It has CHANGED. MY. LIFE.  I make almost all of my graphics with this free web app that I learned about from Kenzie of Hello Neverland.  The only graphic I didn't make was my EmilyMakes! header because I wanted to use a special font from dafont.com.  Canva has tons and tons of free pre-made graphics and all the essentials: shapes, lines, banners, photos, etc.  There are plenty of free photos and graphics, but some of the stock photos cost $1.00.  A DOLLAR.  I personally haven't used any because I haven't had the need yet, but it's good to know they're all there.
  • Buffer.  I learned about Buffer from my friend Nnenna of Star-Crossed Smile.  We went out for dinner one night and did a lot of blog talk.  She recommended Buffer and I haven't looked back since.  It's great because I can schedule tweets and Facebook posts.  It shows some basic analytics, like how many clicks I got from my tweeted links.  It auto-shortens links to bit.ly. It automatically schedules tweets based on a time table I set, so I don't have to go through setting a time for each tweet.  It's much much prettier than Hootsuite and it has a great iPhone app that I can use to schedule tweets on the go.  My ranting and raving doesn't even scratch the surface of all the reasons I think it's a great tool.
  • The Wordpress App.  Okay, so I admit it: I'm a bit of a crazy person when it comes to checking my stats.  I'm working on it.  But what I love about the Wordpress app is that I can also write blog posts on the go, throw in ideas to just a quick draft, add/edit any keywords, and preview posts before they go live.
  • My DSLR.  I have a Canon t2i and I LOOOOVE it.  I had previously had a Canon point and shoot, so when I was shopping around for a DSLR, I knew I had to get a Canon.  I can't speak for other people, but I love using my own photos as much as possible, and it's important to me for those photos to always look top-notch.

Something else to note: I use Hostgator  as my hosting service and I'm really very happy with it.  If you're looking to self-host your site or change your hosting service, I definitely recommend Hostgator!

What are some of your favorite tools for blogging?  Leave a comment because I'm always looking for fun new productivity tools :)

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter!  Subscribers get free desktop wallpapers and coupon codes to my Etsy shop.