Have you ever thought of becoming a blogger? If the answer is yes, then this post is for you. This post will also be good for you if you are a beginning blogger as well. I’ve been blogging for four years here at The Butler Journal. I’ve learned quite a lot during this time frame. I want to share with you 13 tools that you need as a blogger.
Domain & Hosting
If you are serious about becoming a blogger, you should purchase your own hosting and domain. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent free options out there for setting up a blog, but the things that you can do with them is limited. By having your own domain and hosting you’re able to create your site any way that you want to. You also don’t have to worry about your URL looking like www.blogname.blogspot.com. If you plan to monetize your site eventually, it would definitely need to be self-hosted.
I use Bluehost for my hosting. I haven’t had any problems with them in nearly three years of service. They have a great deal for new bloggers right now. Hosting is starting out at $3.95 per month if you purchase a yearly plan with them. A domain also comes with that deal.
WordPress s a blogging platform that a lot of us bloggers use. After you get your hosting and domain taken care of you should add the WordPress software to your blog. WordPress is very easy to use. It has hundreds of themes for you to choose from. The themes are user-friendly.
Grammarly is a program that you can download to your computer that helps with grammar. I’ve been using Grammarly for over a year, and I love it. It helps you with spelling, punctuation placement, and other grammar issues. As a blogger or writer, this tool is a must have! There is a free version and a pro version. I started out with the free version but updated to the pro version. It is well worth the money.
This is the 1st of three sites that I use to help design pictures. PicMonkey allows you to edit and touch up photos as well as make collages. They have a lot of options such as adding overlays or frames to your pictures.
Share As Image
Share As Image is the second site that I use to help design pictures. I don’t use it as much as I used to, but it’s still good to know about.
I had been hearing about Canva, at least, a year before I started using it. In September, I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about. Can I tell you something? I wish I would have started using it sooner. It is my favorite site to edit pictures with right now. Canva already has predetermined design templates available. They have templates for Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest posts just to name a few. You also can see any previous design that you created as well as any picture that you uploaded to their site. Both are features that PicMonkey and Share As Image don’t have.
Morguefile is a website that has free images that you can use. There are hundreds to choose from. The images range in the type and quality. You can use them on your site without having to publish where you got the image from.
If you plan on growing your blog, you should have some kind of social media. I have a Twitter account, Pinterest account, and a Facebook page. You may or may not need all three in the beginning. I would choose one that I was familiar with and start promoting with it.
Hootsuite is a site that allows you to schedule and post stuff to your social media feeds. This site has been a lifesaver! Hootsuite has allowed me to schedule posts anytime during the day or night without having to do it each time physically. I usually set my weekly tweets up every Sunday. One of my followers asked me a couple of months ago when do I sleep. I asked her what she meant. She then proceeded to say that I’m always tweeting after 3 or 4 in the morning. That proves that Hootsuite is doing its job.
Every blogger needs to start collecting e-mails eventually. Doing that can eventually be huge for you. You can create a newsletter for your most engaged readers. Your readers could turn into potential customers depending on what you plan to do with your blog. Aweber and Mailchimp are two of the top e-mail marketing tools out there.
SumoMe is a tool that can help grow your website. They have a fantastic WordPress plugin. SumoMe helps you build your e-mail list by offering several tools that are designed to help you collect emails.
Google Analytics is a tool that shows you your website statistics. It shows you the type of traffic that you have come to your site. It also shows you the most popular sections amongst other things. Google Analytics also has a plugin. It is a MUST HAVE!
WordPress offers several share plugins. Have you ever been on a website and saw tabs on a post that allows you to share it on Twitter or Facebook? That website had a share plugin. There are many of them around. Some work better than others. They are imperative to have on your blog. If someone really likes one of your articles you want them to share it with their friends and followers. Share plugins allow that to happen. Having the opportunity to have your posts shared equals more readers.
You just finished reading 13 tools that you need as a blogger. These all should help you to create the best website possible.
Are you a blogger? Do you use any of these tools? Are there any other tools that new bloggers should use?
If you’re ready to start your blog today check out my step by step guide here. I go into detail and show you just how easy it is to create.
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