In the course of my blogging career, I’ve gone through several resources and business tools. Some have been trial and error, others were a ‘no-go’ from the start, and others have proven time and time again to be a major asset. I’ve rounded up 10 (ok… actually more than that, since some are used for the same thing with different options) of my tried and true tools for you to check out. Hopefully they will help your blog and business as much as they have mine!
I looked at tons of different hosting options for my blog, and for me, BlueHost had several advantages to some of the other choices. For one, they made the entire process fairly straightforward, and while the thought of hosting my own website was a daunting one, the incredible support staff was there to help every step of the way. Plus they have several pricing options. When it comes to making an investment for your blog, I can’t recommend hosting your own site, and using BlueHost, enough!
The Hemingway App
Ok, this is easily one of my favorite writing tools. I write quite a bit on my EverNote app, and then go back in and enter the content to a blog post. But before I do, I just copy and paste that content into the Hemingway App and it automatically reviews the writing and provides suggestions to make it easier to read! How cool is that?
I actually started using Codecademy a few years ago at my full-time job. I didn’t need to know how to code an entire site from scratch, but I was struggling with the lingo. It has helped me not only in my career as an email and digital marketer (I can go in and make subtle changes to HTML emails, or adjust images), but it’s also been a HUGE asset for my blog! Codecademy is free, and it makes a complicated and often intimidating skill fairly easy to learn!
Canva and PicMonkey
Both are graphic tools and editors, and I use both equally.
I love Canva when creating my Instagram and other Social Media posts. Especially for my clients, as we use template branding for their posts, and I can just go in the saved image and make some minor adjustments each time.
PicMonkey makes my heart happy, seriously. I make all of my blog graphics with it, and I while I pay for the Royal Membership, it is 100% worth it! I can import my own fonts, images, save them in the Hub for editing later, and as someone who is no graphic designer, it makes it easy to create beautiful images! Plus their photo editing tools are fantastic! They’ve also created some wonderful templates that make creating even easier.
I’m one of those people that has a notebook with me constantly. Whether it’s for reminders, grocery lists, or brainstorming. But lately, I’ve been making the digital transition. I LOVE Evernote, and it really is a life saver. I have the app on my phone, my tablet, my computer and even my Apple Watch!
Whenever I have a random thought and think to myself ‘Hey! That would be a great blog post!’ I just add it to EverNote, and can go back later and start writing based off that idea. No joke, just last week, I had a random thought, opened the app on my Apple Watch, and made a voice note to myself. I’ve already started working on the content for that future post. Also, it’s super handy for making lists. You can even add website URLS, images and other files. It really is like a digital notebook!
Creative Market, Font Squirrel, and Unsplash
Creative Market has been a life saver, an inspiration, and just an all around place to find whatever font, graphic, layout etc. I could ever dream of. Every Monday they send me an assortment of different files for FREE! Which is a brilliant sales plan, seeing as how I download the free ones, then see a layout I really need, or a new font that would work great on the blog…
You get the idea!
One of my all time favorite purchases was the Lady Boss Branding Pack. B E A U T I F U L
Font Squirrel is a great resource for free, low cost and amazing fonts to make your site or marketing materials really stand out.
UnSplash is a site where incredibly talented photographers offer their beautiful photos completely free. Whether you are wanting an image for an inspirational print, or just a new computer background… this is the place to go!
I have such a love/hate relationship with you…
While staring at data and numbers and graphs makes my eyes sad, it’s also extremely important to your success as a blogger, business owner, even just as support staff.
If your audience is your ‘gold’, then you mine it with data, and Google Analytics provides the most seamless, in depth avenue in which to gather that information.
While data can be daunting, especially if you are just starting out, it’s best to take some time and review the wealth of knowledge Google provides for training on Analytics, from getting started, to understanding your metrics, and showing you how to grow an in-depth understanding of your audience and traffic.
Image Color Picker
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Image Color Picker, except that it makes something fairly technical suuuuper easy!
For example, you’ve created an inpiration/mood board for your blog/business, right? You’ve got some pictures that represent the feel of your brand, with a really lovely color scheme. But when you go to create your branded marketing materials you can’t quite find the same colors.
Easy fix, go to Image Color Picker, upload your photo, and…
Voila! Your color codes are populated to keep for your reference!
I have used Slack in both an office setting, as a freelancer working with clients, and for personal use, just to chat with friends.
It’s part social network, part instant messaging system, and part cloud based mini storage unit.
You can chat, send files, share schedules, have phone and video calls, and search past messages.
Not only does it help keep track of important conversations, it’s also pretty fun too!
Tip: Try their Gif command. You’re welcome.
So there you have it! A few of my favorite tools and tips to help you get started or get further along with your business, blog or brand. I hope these recommendations will help you as much as they’ve helped me!
What tools can you not live without?
*This post does contain a few affiliate links, however, most of these tools are products that I use and love, regardless of any promotion.