This post contains affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure here.
I’ve gotten asked quite a few times about what I use to do things here on my blog. Like, why did I choose MailerLite? Or what do I use to make my graphics? Or how did I grow my Pinterest account? So I thought I’d write a post about some of the tools that I use here on the blog!
Blogging can be a complex job. Bloggers wear many different hats and have many different tasks to do – from writing to designing graphics to marketing and more. There are tons of tools that I use regularly for different things. But here are the top 10 tools that are most helpful for me on a daily basis when it comes to running The Inspiration Lady!
For building and maintaining an email list – Free up to 1,000 subscribers
We all know by now how important it is to build an email list as a blogger or small business owner. Creating opt-ins, designing newsletters, and everything else involved in email lists can be complicated, but MailerLite makes everything so much easier for me! This is the third platform I’ve tried and it’s definitely my favorite. It offers everything that the more expensive email marketing platforms offer but for a MUCH better cost. Right now I’m spending $35 per month for the number of subscribers that would cost me $99 (or more) per month with ConvertKit. And it’s free for up to 1,000 subscribers!
For managing Pinterest – $9.99/month
I’ve mentioned many times before how important it is for bloggers to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their blog. Actually, almost 90% of my page views come from Pinterest, and Tailwind plays a HUGE part in that! It’s essential if you want to grow Pinterest. Tailwind helps me with Pinterest in so many ways. It allows me to schedule my pins easily, it sends them out at regular times throughout the day, it allows me to join Tailwind Tribes, it gives me in-depth analytics, and more. You can actually try out Tailwind free for 1 month if you use this link here!
For creating graphics and printables – Free option
As a blogger, there are so many designs that you have to make. Pinnable images, promotional graphics, printables, ebooks, Instagram quotes, etc. If you’re not super into graphic design or you don’t want to spend a ton of money on a photo editing software, Canva is the answer! Canva has a free option, it’s super easy to use, and it even has pre-made templates to choose from if you’re having trouble creating designs. You can also create a template and go back and use it again and again for every graphic so that all of your designs are cohesive. If you upgrade to the paid option, you have even more options for your designs and you can save your brand color palette so it’s easier to use!
For staying organized – Free
As a blogger, you sometimes have a lot of things going on. You have blog posts to publish, photos to post on Instagram, due dates for sponsored posts and guest posts, emails and newsletters to send, and more. Google Calendar helps me so much when it comes to scheduling it all in to make sure it’s all done on time. I use one color for blog posts, one color for newsletters, etc and add them all into my calendar. Then I take a look at it each morning to see what needs to be done. Ever since I started using it, I’ve felt so much more organized!
5- Yoast SEO
For search engine optimization // Free option
I’m not someone who’s super knowledgeable about SEO, so the Yoast SEO plugin is a lifesaver for me. It allows me to make sure that each of my blog posts is optimized for search engines. It gives you a rating (red light, yellow light, green light) and gives you suggestions on how to improve the SEO of the post until you receive a green light. It’s super easy to use, it’s free, and it’s SO helpful!
For scheduling tweets – Free option
Twitter might honestly be my least favorite social media platform, but I’m trying to use Hootsuite to help me change that! If you use Hootsuite’s free plan, you can schedule up to 30 tweets and create streams for things like certain hashtags to help you find new accounts to connect with. They also have paid plans that allow you to do things like track your analytics, add multiple accounts and boost your posts.
For tracking page views – Free
Google Analytics is essential if you’re a blogger! If you don’t have it, you’re definitely missing out. You should set it up the second you create your blog, honestly. It does so many helpful things. It tracks how many page views you get, what posts people are reading, the demographics of your audience, where users are finding your content, and so much more. It can do a lot to help you track your blog growth, come up with ideas for future content and products, and get to know your audience better. Google Analytics can seem kind of complicated if you’re new to it but here’s a helpful guide from Dana Nicole Designs!
For grammatical errors – Free
I use Grammarly‘s free Chrome extension to help improve my blog posts. It automatically checks for typos and grammatical errors that sometimes crop up. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t always catch 100% of errors, but it does catch almost all of them. I usually have a couple of errors in each blog post that wouldn’t have been caught if it wasn’t for Grammarly so it’s definitely worth the free download!
For editing images – Free option
A Color Story was created by two of my favorite bloggers from A Beautiful Mess. They’re known for their beautiful images and colorful brand and they brought that beauty to this photo editing app! I just recently started using this app to edit my photos for Instagram and my blog. It’s a free app with free filters, but there are some really pretty filters that you can purchase too!
For selling digital products – Starts at $9/month
I use SendOwl to sell my ebook and workbook here on The Inspiration Lady, and I plan on using it for all of my future digital products. Their plans start at just $9 and they don’t take a percentage of your sales, like other platforms. So whether you’re selling 10 items per month or 100 items per month, you’re still only paying that $9 and keeping all of your profit. They also allow you to create promo codes, set up affiliate programs for your products, upsell, and more. They’re the best choice when it comes to selling digital products, in my opinion!