As a seasoned blogger, I’d like to share 5 blogging tools I recommend to help you should you want to start a blog. I’ve been blogging since 2006 and intentionally applying simple living hacks to create a no-regrets approach to life. During the past decade I’ve been everything from a stay at home mom to a speaker at Willow Creek Association leadership events in Ireland, England, and South Africa. Our family has lived in a variety of states and countries, paid off debt, and fulfilled the dream of adopting a child. We’ve leveraged my blogs to crowd source about $200,000 to fund the years we were missionaries, pay for part of our adoption, and launch a number of online churches outside the United States.
While I struggle to call myself a blogger (the titles of Mom, wife, pastor, author, speaker and friend have all seemed more fitting, for some reason), I’ve written more than 1,000 blog posts across a few different websites over the years.
I’m often asked how I find time to write, and the answer is I have 5 blogging tools I like to use to be productive and simplify the blogging process. Writing is my contribution to the blog, and these 5 blogging tools step in to handle what I can’t or won’t make time to do.
5 Blogging Tools I Recommend:
- MailChimp – I’ve used MailChimp for years now to collect the email addresses of blog readers to send them behind-the-scenes updates and products. You can create different email lists for specific groups of people or specific email campaigns you’d like to send. (Scroll down this page and fill out the form that says “Subscribe to receive exclusive content!” in the left hand sidebar if you’d like to join that list.)
- Formstack – Formstack helps me make everything from e-books to pdf’s or printables available via download, it can receive secure payments online, create surveys, and even seamlessly adds new subscribers to my MailChimp email list. I love the clean dashboard display I see every time I want to know how many form submissions or downloads have occurred on any given day. (Full disclosure: My husband works for Formstack.)
- Buffer – This awesome tool allows me to schedule social media shares of my blog posts without having to be on social media at the time I want them shared. Buffer optimizes your social media schedule to share posts when the greatest amount of people are likely to see them for maximum exposure.
- Canva – I am not a designer and have no business investing time in trying to be one. So I use Canva to create images for my blog and even used it to create the cover for my top selling Amazon book. Canva is also my go-to tool for creating the downloads and printables I make available on my blog via Formstack forms.
- Evernote – If you’ve read my book or been around my blog very long, you know I’m an avid Evernote user. To be honest, it took me a few tries to make a system that worked, but now it’s indispensible to me. I keep notes in a “Blog Ideas” notebook and open it on my iPhone or laptop to jot down ideas regularly. It helps me categorize content and identify what I need to write about next. This also provides me a steady stream of ideas when writer’s block hits.
Most of these tools have free versions or free trials you can test out to see how they work for you. I encourage you to give them a try because you’ll spend little to no money but will expand your ability to organize data, email addresses, and content for your blog so it remains a scaleable venture.
The purpose of this blog post is to give you some practical tools behind the “how” part of blogging. Not sure you want to blog and want to dive deeper into the “why” of giving blogging a go? Check out the video from Michael Hyatt to learn 10 Reasons Every Leader Needs a Blog for more reasons why to begin blogging.
Happy blogging, friend!