There are so many tools out there that are meant to make blogging and business easier for you. But with so many options how do you pick the right ones for you? It has taken me some time to find which ones were right for me, but I finally have my top 10 blogging and business tools I can't live without!
Blogging and Business Tools I Can't Live Without
You can't have a blog or website without having an awesome hosting company. My preferred host is SiteGround. I switched to them earlier this year from BlueHost and I cannot be happier! They have amazing customer service and I am no longer experiencing down time.
If you are looking for a host or thinking about switching, I would definitely consider SiteGround. The transfer from my old host was practically seamless and they handled everything.
2. Google Analytics and Google Search Console
I am counting these as one because they go hand in hand.
Google Analytics is the standard analytics tool because it can be used with WordPress, Squarespace and Blogger sites. I believe you can even add it to Wix and Weebly sites. If you don't know how to install it, then check out my post on How to Install Google Analytics for Blogger and WordPress.
Google Search Console is great for SEO (or search engine optimization) work. It ties into Google Analytics because it shows you which keywords people search for that you come up for in the results (which no longer show up in Google Analytics). It also helps you verify what content is being indexed, find any crawl errors, alls you to submit your sitemaps and more.
Be sure to check out my post Google Search Console – What Is It, Why You Need It and How to Set It Up to learn how to set it up for your site.
You need some kind of design program to make the graphics for your site. My personal preference is using Photoshop and I have used it for years now. I create my own templates so I can reuse them over and over again.
However, if you are not ready for Photoshop there are free sites like Canva and PicMonkey.
Have you ever considered getting MeetEdgar? Well if you want a cheaper alternative, then you should check out SmarterQueue.
It saves me so much time with its looping feature. Basically, I create categories of posts and fill it with content. Then I put that category on the calendar and SmarterQueue basically just loops the content for me! Super simple.
I even use it in my Facebook group, The Lovely Entrepreneur Society. That is how my daily threads go out each and every day. I set it up once and forget it!
While I use SmarterQueue for Facebook and Twitter, I use Tailwind for Pinterest!
It is my favorite scheduling tool for Pinterest. It makes it so easy for me to schedule a couple of months content at a time.
The best part in my opinion though is Tailwind Tribes! I think it is still in beta, so you need to have a link or be invited to a tribe in order to participate but they are INCREDIBLY useful! You add your content for others to share and then you share from other members in the tribe as well. Finding tribes filled with relevant content means you will always have fresh pins to share!
I will be the first to admit that ConvertKit is not the cheapest of platforms when you are just starting out. There are ones like MailChimp or MailerLite, which I have set up for others even though I haven't used them myself.
However, I think it is totally worth the money. Email marketing is super important. Some say that email marketing provides the highest ROI. But it is definitely in how you use your list that matters.
Some of the reasons I decided to start out with ConvertKit are the clear and easy to read stats, the easy way to resend an email to subscribers who did not open it, the ease of creating email sequences (think about email courses or welcome sequences) and of course the segmenting of your list. To see more reasons, read my post Why I Started with ConvertKit for My Email Marketing Platform.
So this tool is for if you are a service provider and not just a blogger. It is a client management system!
I love Dubsado because I can keep track of leads, send contracts, send invoices and get paid, set up workflow automation and so much more. They have added their first phase of bookkeeping and they have so many features planned.
For 20% off use the code blogmelovely.
8. Haute Chocolate
You know all the pretty photos I use for my blog post images? I get them from Haute Chocolate.
It is a beautiful stock photography site geared toward women. And there are a TON of feminine styled photos. It makes my job so much easier because I have my go-to site for photos.
Akismet is an ABSOLUTE MUST if you have a blog. It helps prevent SPAM comments. Now I don't think anything can possibly catch every single SPAM comment, but I very seldom see one on my blog.
10. Google Drive and Dropbox
Once again I am going to group programs together. These are tools I use for the organization of my blog and business.
Google Drive is such a versatile tool. You can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, etc. Plus you can upload your own documents to access later. I use this tool when working with clients. I create a shared folder and they can upload any images, documents, videos, etc. that I will need to use.
I also use Dropbox, but for a slightly different reason. I use Dropbox when I am delivering client files. I also use it to store my stock photography, education PDFs, and so much more.
The tools I use for my blog and business are meant to make my life easier overall. Could I go in and manually post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.? Of course I could. Is it practical? Not at all.
So when I find a tool that can make me more productive, I definitely try it out.
I know not everyone is in the position to pay for tools for their blog or business at this point. But I would ask you to consider if the time saved could be turned into time spent on money-making activities. That is how I look at it.
But of course, there are amazing free tools as well to get you started. Start where you are at, then move up and invest when it makes sense.
What is one blog or business tool that you can't live without?