7 Essential Tools for Bloggers
Guest post by Nicole Starbuck
About the Author:
Nicole Starbuck is a mental health blogger and recovering perfectionist changing the world one thought at a time. She’s the co-founder of Jumpstart Positivity, an online community empowering people through positive thinking and impactful change.
7 Essential Tools for Bloggers
In 2012, I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to start a blog. Midnight crazies aside, blogging has been a creative outlet for me over the past several years. I've since been able to turn my hobby into a business and impact people all over the world.
It's been an amazing journey, and I couldn't have done it without the help of a few useful tools. Here are seven essential tools for bloggers.
My best ideas come from pen and paper, but if I want to spread the word, I need a computer. I like laptops because they're lightweight, easy to carry, and make it convenient to continue working even while I'm traveling. However, lately, at my home office, I've been hooking up my laptop to a monitor.
This has reduced the strain on my eyes and made it easier to work for extended periods of time.
If you don't already have a computer, or are trying to squeeze the last bit of life out of a dinosaur of a machine, invest in a laptop to increase your productivity. Having a dependable computer will make it easier to share your message, no matter where you are.
Believe it or not, up until a couple of years ago, I still had a flip phone. It was inexpensive, but it was nearly impossible to do anything but make calls on it. When I finally got a smartphone, I could check emails, jot down ideas for new posts, and even update my website on the go.
I'm not one of those people that's on my phone all of the time, but it's super convenient to use my phone in a pinch. Having a smartphone has definitely been worth the investment in growing my blog.
Okay, so ergonomics isn't a blogging tool per se, but it's still really important in the life of a blogger. I've personally experienced the negative effects of poor ergonomics in the form of neck pain, backaches, and sore fingers.
Do yourself a favor and set up your office for success. Maintain proper posture and use a cushioned mouse pad, keyboard pad, and desk chair as appropriate for your height.
I'd be lost without my calendar. Basically, if it's not on my calendar, it won't get done because I'll literally forget about it. Google Calendar has been my favorite scheduling tool, and it syncs directly to my phone. I also use my calendar to outline my editorial content.
This makes it easy to view my plans for the week or month.
If you're not already using a calendar to manage your schedule, I highly recommend it. Digital calendars are my jam, but if paper planners work best for you, go for it!
5. Social Media Scheduler
So we all know that being active and networking on social media is an essential part of building your blog and growing your following. But what you may not know is that you can save yourself tons of time by scheduling your posts in advance.
I've saved countless hours by batch posting my social media posts weeks, or sometimes even months in advance.
Different schedulers have different features, some of which may be free or paid, so feel free to experiment to find out which one(s) you like for which platform(s). I personally like using Tailwind for Pinterest, Later for Instagram and Facebook, and Hootsuite for Twitter, although you can definitely use one scheduler for all of your platforms.
6. Mailing List
We all dream of making big money on our blogs, right? One of the easiest and most effective ways to monetize your blog is by building your email list. Unlike social media, which is subject to algorithms, your email list is something you own and allows you to communicate with your audience directly. I've been using Mailchimp to build my email list, but there are a lot of other great service providers out there.
Regardless of which mailing list management tool you use, make sure you include plenty of different ways for your readers to subscribe. Some of the most methods include:
Popup (set to half of the average on-page time)
Landing page (as a separate webpage)
Sidebar (to the left or right of a post)
In-feed (in the middle of an article)
Call-to-action (at the end of the article or social media post)
If you're having trouble growing your email list, try offering one or more freebies. I currently offer five personal growth freebies as an opt-in incentive. This can be a great way to give your audience a taste of the value you can provide, which can often encourage them to keep coming back for more (and potentially even buy something!).
I can't tell you the number of times setting a timer has saved me from leaving my laundry in the dryer or burning my food on the stove. In all honesty, I probably would have already burned my house down by now if it hadn't been for my trusty timer.
Setting the timer on my phone has also saved me from forgetting important calls and meetings. If you're forgetful like me, use your timer to remind you of important events, switch tasks, or even take a break.
There are lots of incredible tools that can make your blogging life even better. From computer hardware to program software to home office upgrades, even simple changes can make a big difference in your overall productivity.
Which of these blogging tools are you using already?
For more personal growth resources, subscribe to the Jumpstart Positivity newsletter here: https://jumpstartpositivity.com/subscribe/
Follow Jumpstart Positivity: