Blogging resources: the 6 most useful resources for bloggers to help you save time and effort

Blogging Resources

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Blogging is freaking hard work! Writing your blog posts is the fun part, after that managing your social media can take a lot of time and effort that we would rather spend working on our beautiful posts and pictures! To save there’s a few blogging resources I use that I’m going to recommend here.

If you do decide to purchase through these links I may receive a small commission to go towards my yarn fund! I only ever recommend products that I personally use and that I have absolute faith in! 

Blogging resources: the 6 most useful resources for bloggers to help you save time and effort
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Pinterest: Boardbooster

I’ve frequently that Pinterest is the new google and it really can be a huge source of traffic. By creating stunning pins and contributing to the community you can drive a massive amount of traffic to your own blog. The very basic steps of driving traffic starts with:

  1. Create visually stunning vertical pins: horizontal pins just don’t get repinned as much as vertical ones. Make them long and beautiful to give yourself the best chance!
  2. Have well organised boards for your own pins and other peoples. Well labelled boards with good cover photos attracts followers; keep your boards relevant and order your most important boards to be at the top
  3. Follow lots of board in your niche: my Pinterest reach almost doubled practically overnight when I went on a following spree and found lots of boards to follow. Not only does this get you seen but it puts more content on your feed for you to pin
  4. Pin Pin Pin! Pin regularly, multiple times a day. And not just from your own blog, the majority of your pinning should be quality content from other people.

Step 4 is where Boardbooster comes in. I’m sure we’d all love to be able to pin hundreds of amazing pins at the optimal times everyday; unfortunately most of us have jobs, families and other commitments that make it hard for us to be so organised.

Here’s the fun part: Boardbooster creates secret boards for all your boards, you pin to these and it automatically moves them over at regular intervals for the world to see! So you can spend your sunday night pinning a load of pins and these are slowly filtered out to your boards over the course of the week. At the moment I have enough pins queued up that I could disappear for 3 weeks and no-one in Pinterest would ever know!

In my opinion this is enough for me to use Boardbooster. However if you needed any more convincing they do board cleaning, link checking and reports to ensure your boards are running smoothly and you have all the information you need to optimise them. Once you have a good base of pins you can also use their looping feature which which delete and repin some of your old pins to get them seen again. Pretty Snazzy eh?

The basic package for boardbooster is $5 for 500 pins a  month, which is all I use so far and totally worth the time it saves!

 

Facebook: Smarterqueue

Keeping on top of facebook and Instagram can be a real headache, especially if you have a day job. There are lots of websites out there that will queue up your social media posts and post them out regularly on your behalf. My absolute favourite out of these so far is Smartqueue. It provides you with customisable categories and a schedule to drag them onto giving a very visual and intuitive system to work with.

My absolute favourite thing about Smartqueue is its approach to evergreen content: content that will be relevant months -or even years- down the line. Content like this you can mark as ‘evergreen’ and Smarterqueue will re-add them to the bottom of the queue once they’ve been post, as many times as you like. Forever if you want it to!

Everything about Smarterqueue feels intuitive and easy to use and has saved me so much time! I haven’t personally posted to my facebook all week but Smarterqueue has my queued up until August if I need to.

I talk about Facebook because that’s what I use the most, but Smarterqueue will manage your Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter too so you can have one big push to get everything queued up and then relax for a few weeks. Use the time wisely! Make some amazing content!

ps. £15.99 a month (or less if you pay yearly) is the basic package, however click any of the smarterqueue links above and you’ll get a 30days free trial instead of 14 days! Top notch!

Photo Editing: Pixlr or Canva

I like to use both Pixlr and Canva and they both get me different effects for different amounts of effort

Pixlr

Pixlr is like free photoshop; it has most of the tools and a lot of the useability. It’s very useful but flawed which can be frustrating if you are used to using photoshop. If you are using a chromebook (like me) text on it can be very frustrating. It uses the fonts which are installed on your computer (which for me… is none). Personally I use a workaround: I insert the text as images which takes time but gets the effect I want.

Pros: Very flexible, lots of freedom to do exactly what you want.  Free!

Cons: Can be a bit glitchy, can be fiddly for text if you’re on a chromebook.

Recognise this?

Canva

Canva is very powerful for what it is but it is limited. What a plain simple white box within the edge of your photo that’s 6 pixels not 10? Not going to happen in Canva, open Pixlr. However if you are less fussy than that and want to make something pretty and -most importantly- quick, then Canva is your friend. The have a huge selection of free backgrounds, pictures, fonts and shapes for you to make your own graphics and put them together in seconds. What would take me a good half hour in Pixlr takes mere minutes in Canva and looks amazing. Not to mention they have lots of preset sizes for your common social media pictures making it a snap to make yourself facebook/twitter/pinterest ready!

Pros: Very fast, very very easy to use. Pro option means you can add your own fonts. Free!

Cons: If you have very specific needs in mind it’s quite limited.

 

Fonts: Google Fonts

Free fonts, and a large selection of them. What more could you need? You can type in the box to see what your words look like and search for your favourite ones. And if you’re like me and need a workaround, zooming and screenshotting does work, even if it’s a little inelegant.

Mail List: Mailerlite

Once you start getting into the swing of things you may want to build yourself a mailing list. When I first started I made myself a mailchimp account. I then struggled to find a way to get a contact form for potential subscribers to sign up (I was probably just being dumb but doesn’t change the fact that it wasn’t intuitive). I then saw an article on Mailerlite and thought I’d try that instead.

Blogging resources: the resources I use for my own blog including boardbooster, smarterqueue, pixlr, canva, google fonts

Mailerlite was a breath of fresh air, sign up forms were easy to make and easier to use. Creating beautiful emails is a breeze. They even have options for research where you can send out 2 slightly different emails and see which performs better.

Mailerlite is free until you have 1000 subscribers which is fabulous. However, if you click on any of these Mailerlite links you will be credited £16 to your account for when do reach 1000 subscribers to give you a head start. Pretty exciting!

 

Used any other sites to help you blog? Got any more recommendations for bloggers out there? Give me a comment below!