Blogging Tools I Couldn't Live Without
Other possible title ideas for this post included 'how to post photos and pictures that have no correlation' or 'artsy shots of my favourite plant' but hey, I settled on my original plan... chatting about my favourite blogging tools. I mean, I could live without them (apart from the internet - not sure about that one) but the title hang a ring to it y'know.
I'm not sure about you but I'm always keen to learn every blogger's tips and tricks, I see a post like this and I'm all over it. I'm so pleased to be part of a community which shares their successes, losses and experiences. We can all grow and learn from each other whether you're a new blogger, an old blogger or a 'haven't even got a blog yet, but I'm thinking about it' individual.
Sharing is caring, so I thought I would share what I use to create my blog posts and across social media which make blogging easier, more fun and creative.
the ultimate online creative's playground
I first got introduced to photoshop when I was around 15 from Morgan, he showed me how to use it properly and it's a skill that's stuck with me since. However, over the last 9 years or so I've grown to love a variation of different Adobe Programs all for different reasons. The Creative Cloud subscription availability means being able to try a wide range of them for a certain amount a month (so much cheaper if you're a student!) There are two in particular which I use every time I create a blog post or add graphics to my blog:
So even six months ago I was still editing every single one of my blog photos individually in Photoshop (argh, how I don't miss that!), nowadays I've discovered the complete joy that is Lightroom. Lightroom enables you to add collections of photos, easily edit every aspect you could possibly need (exposure, curves, sharpen... everything and more) and then add presents if you fancy. Once your done you can simply just export them and they are ready to use. It's a photographer's dream!
I honestly think even the least computer savvy person could get their head around this program. A little practice and you soon learn how to edit your photos in your own style within a few plays. Another thing to note is this has probably cut my editing time in half, which for me makes the process of taking and editing photos a lot more enjoyable.
I've been dipping my toes in with InDesign for years but since having to use it constantly for my university course I have found out how amazing it really is. Generally making any type of publication on their is straight forward, from magazines to blog buttons. Easy peasy. It's all a case of building frames around one another, a simple system which allows the creative eye to do all it's good work.
What have I found it particularly useful for though? Creating my blog posts! Gone are the days of simply uploading a photo and writing words. I got bored, I needed to make something more creative. Nowadays I'll arrange my edited photos on InDesign before uploading to my blog. I have just found it to be the right level of creative that I need on here.
Scheduling made easier
Scheduling isn't an awful lot of fun but It is definetly made easier with Buffer. A simple tool which allows you to schedule tweets, Facebook Posts, Pinterest and even Instagram these days. It also gives you helpful analytics to help you gauge what posts do better and terms of clicks and engagements. What I love most of all about Buffer is how personable the company is, their quirky messages and helpful tips. Don't even get me started on how much I love their blog.
Why scheduling works? I see quite often on twitter bloggers noting that their not keen on a scheduled tweet but my stats show quite clearly that when I post schedule tweets regularly throughout the month, my views go up. (In fact they doubled in March, more on that in another post!). I think the key to scheduling tweets is to keep it interesting, different and in your own tone. Don't get too robot-ey 🤖
the online notebook
I used to be strictly a pen and paper kinda girl, barely ever using notes on my phone or laptop alike but that all changed this year. See when I write down in a notebook I don't feel accountable for my plans and ideas - they all just fall by the wayside. However, if my notes make it onto Evernote, that's how I know they're going to happen!
My Evernote is used for three main sections Blog, University and YouTube, I'm now thinking about adding a section for Instagram as I try and get more serious about it. In these sections I draft posts, or uni work, clip inspiration from the internet, create lists and tick boxes.
How I plan a blog post in Evernote:
1. Add tick boxes at the top (photographs, writing, social schedule and link check)
2. Pop a title in and write a line or two about what the blog post is regarding
3. Write the content, maybe break it down into subtitle is it's a longer post
4. Go back through, re-read and add in any links to older posts (where they fit in)
cos i'm a handwriting nerd
I love writing, fonts, brush lettering... you name it. It appeals to me. Whilst I have been learning to do Brush Calligraphy manually and loving it, I do also like doing it digitally. I have been using Procreate since around about Christmas time, it's essentially an app which allows you to draw and write and download it in PNG (nice transparent backgrounds ahoy!). I've used it in Vlogs and Travel Posts alike. It's really fun and it gives a great personal touch to your content.
At the moment I actually do it with my finger, which is a pain if I'm honest but I have finally ordered the Apple Pen so soon we should see some much better procreate creations from little me over where. Woo!
Of course there is so many other obvious tools I use, from my cameras to my laptop etc. but I thought it would be fun to talk about a few that maybe not everyone uses. Please add your own essential blogging tools down below - sharing and all!
Until Friday, have a gooden' 🤘🏼✨