I’ve been blogging for over 3 months now and I’ve learnt so much in that time so I thought I would share with you some of my essential blogger tools that help me write and promote my blog (in no particular order). Disclaimer: this post contains some affiliate links.
After asking the blogger community on Twitter about which websites are best for scheduling tweets, the most recommended website was Buffer so I decided to try it and so far I’m loving it! It’s super easy to use and it allows me to share my blog posts throughout the day without having to sit in front of a screen all day. With a free account (which is what I have) I can schedule up to 10 posts at a time which is plenty! I’ve been using buffer for about a month now and it’s one of the best things I’ve discovered since I started blogging, I’m tweeting links to older blog posts which are getting more views and the tweets are being RT’ed and liked and it’s really great to see!
I use Pinterest to promote my blog by creating a board dedicated to my posts and I add a new pin everytime a new post goes up on my blog. It’s a great way to direct traffic to your blog, especially for things like hair and nail tutorials because so many people use Pinterest to find tutorials.
Reddit is another website I use to direct traffic to my blog. I’m still learning how to use Reddit but from the 3/4 posts I’ve added so far my views on those posts have risen quite a bit which is great! All I do is add a link to my chosen post to the subreddit that corresponds to that post and then anyone who’s interested in that topic is able to find a post relating to it. This may be a bit obvious to say, but don’t post LOADS to the same subreddit, I did this and I’ve been banned from that particular subreddit😂.
I absolutely love canva. I discovered it about a year ago to make the thumbnails to my youtube videos and it’s so easy to use. I’ve recently discovered the different kinds of images you can make for example wedding invitations and facebook headers but I use it to make my pinterest graphics which is the image that goes with the link to my posts. You can choose to upgrade your account but I find there’s no need because there’s plenty of things you can do with a free account.
I’m going to explain how I use blogfoster but if you want to know what blogfoster does then click the link. I first discovered blogfoster when I started my blog but for some reason (I can’t remember why) I didn’t connect my blog but I wish I had because I’ve recently started using the insights tool and it’s so simple, all you do is insert the code they give you into your HTML on your blog and it monitors how many page visits you get each month. It may take a little while for it to pick up your monthly page views for example, after using it for couple of weeks, I only had about 600 recorded views but my blogger stats showed since I started my blog I’ve had over 6,000 page views and 4,000 of those were last month. However, these stats have changed drastically from the last time I checked them so I think it just takes a bit of time to adjust to your blog. Insights also show me a breakdown of who is visiting my blog i.e. from which countries, which websites are directing the traffic to my blog etc.Now, I’ve also connected my Pinterest, Twitter, my blog Instagram account and my personal account so I’m excited to be able to track how all of my social media channels are performing! It also shows you how much money you could make from a post on each site so it’s really useful.
Grammarly is an absolute lifesaver for me and this is the tool I most recommend for bloggers because it checks your spelling and grammar. I often make silly mistakes while I’m writing like pressing the wrong letter because I’m typing so fast or I don’t add a comma where there should be one etc and Grammarly picks up on all of those things. I wish I had discovered it while I was still at university so that I could have used it in my essays! Grammarly is free to use but you can choose to upgrade if you want. Grammarly also sends me weekly progress reports showing me how many words I’ve written, how many words have been checked etc and compares it to the other Grammarly users.
I’ve always loved using twitter but since becoming a blogger I use it so much for a number of things, the biggest thing being sharing posts but it’s also been really handy for getting advice from other bloggers and discovering new blogs. It’s also very useful for finding people to collab and guest post with (look out for a couple coming in the next few weeks!) and for getting PR opportunities from companies (look out for some of those too!). Read my blogger’s guide to Twitter here.
I’ve seen so many printables for bloggers but none of them was quite how I wanted so I decided to make my own! I decided to make one that keeps track of my social media for new blog posts to make sure that I share each post to all of my social media accounts (although I don’t use facebook, I know many bloggers do, which is why I included it). You can get my printable at the bottom of this post. You can find printables for so many different things on Pinterest from blogging to finance management to just everyday things. I found one for university last year and it was so useful to keep track of my assignments and homework for each class.
Awin is where you can have access to thousands of companies and join their affiliate programmes. In order to get an account with Awin, you need to pay £5 but you do get that back with your first payment from your affiliate links (when you have earned a minimum of £20). The programmes you can join include New Look, Forever21, Boots and Crabtree and Evelyn, to name a few! If you want to join a programme, you need to provide the link to your blog and explain why you want to join the programme/how you can benefit that particular company and then they either accept or reject you, depending if they think you’re a good fit for their brand. It’s very useful to have so many affiliate programmes in one place and you can join as many or as little programmes as you’d like and some companies even contact you asking if you want to join their programme and you can choose to accept or reject their invitation.
I have found a few courses that are free when accessed by email like this one about starting a money making blog (it pops up when you go on the site) but the best course I have completed (which I did in about 2 hours if that) is How To Pitch Like a Pro (Even If You’re Not) which as you can probably guess, teaches you how to pitch yourself to companies to sponsor you or to give you a product in return for a post etc. It’s aimed at people who maybe don’t have the highest number of page views or don’t have a big social media following but it could be useful for any bloggers who want to start working with brands but aren’t quite sure where to start/how to do it. To read my review of this course, click here.
I’ve been a member of a couple of facebook groups for bloggers for a little while now but I’ve recently joined a few more. There are groups for different things like driving traffic to your site or Pinterest advice etc. They are great places to connect with new bloggers and ask any questions you have. I’ve added the links to some of my favourite groups below.
#Blogstravaganza – Opportunities, Blog Share & Support
UK Blogger Opportunities
The Blogging Mastermind Community
Official UK Bloggers
I would highly recommend all of these tools to any bloggers who aren’t using them already! If anyone can recommend any other tools to me then I would really appreciate it, I would also love to know if you use any of these – let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, Em xo
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