I have gotten a few questions about what kind of blogging tools I use to write this blog, so I have put together a post with the tools that help me write and grow this blog.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something after clicking one of the links in this post.
General Blogging Tools
FindingNorth is a self-hosted WordPress site. WordPress is a blogging platform that is really easy to use and to set up. If you are willing to do the work the possibilities are almost endless. I’m definitely still finding new amazing features. There are additional plugins for anything you might need and wordpress integrates with most services.
My favourite WordPress Plugins:
- SumoMe – A great plugin for collecting emails and social media sharing buttons. It has some great features and tools. While there is a paid version of Sumome, I use the free version. It works really well for my needs.
- ConvertKit for WordPress – This plugin connects to my ConvertKit* account and embeds a sign-up form for my mailing list at the bottom of each post. I can easily change what form to show depending on the post. You can see an example of the form on the bottom of this post (and of course sign up for my email list!).
- Akismet – Akismet looks through all the comments on your blog and deletes spam comments. This one is essential, you will get spam comments and with Akismet you don’t have to do the work connected to it.
- Yoast SEO – This is a great bloggers SEO help. You pick a keyword for your blogpost, and Yoast will tell you all the ways you can improve the ranking of that keyword and your post. It’s really helpful for a SEO novice like myself.
Hosting – I use Dreamhost* for hosting. I highly recommend it, it’s both easy to set up and easy to use. They always respond quickly if I have any problems as well, which is important.
E-mail marketing – I use ConvertKit* to manage my subscribers and newsletter. I recently made the switch from MailChimp to ConvertKit. I don’t have anything negative to say about MailChimp, but I have amazing things to say about ConvertKit! It features great tools for analyzing your results, and ways to automate the email process. I can make email courses, sequences and newsletters. It is also easy to segment my subscribers to target specific groups of people. I love it so far, and the amount of subscribers has increased after switching to ConvertKit*!
Social Media Blogging Tools
BoardBooster* – BoardBooster is a great pinterest scheduling tool. It lets you schedule your pins ahead of time and makes sure you pinterest is active and thriving at all times. I love Pinterest, but I also know that I tend to spend a lot longer time there than I need to. Having BoardBooster saves time and makes me more productive. I love using BoardBooster to schedule out my own pins, that way I know for sure that I put my content in front of new people regularly. They offer a free trial of a 100 pins, so you can try it out to see if it works for you!
Tailwind – Tailwind is also a Pinterest scheduling app, and it’s easy to use and is really flexible. I used this one for a long time, but I haven’t regretted my move to BoardBooster.
TweetDeck – Tweetdeck is my twitter tool of choice. Not only does it let you schedule tweets ahead of time, it also allows you to set up activity streams to track tags, users and notifications. It’s really helpful when you want to stay on top of your twitter game!
There are two people who has helped me a lot in my blogging journey. Abby Lawson runs two blogs: Just a Girl and a Blog and Building a Framework and Lisa Jacobs blogs about marketing your creativity. They both talk very clearly about blogging. Abby focuses more on the technical side of blogging, while Lisa talks a lot about habits and how to plan for success.
I’ve talked about Abby Lawson’s Building a Framework* e-book before, and for good reason: Abby has built not one, but two blogs. They now provides full time work for her and her husband, as well as an income to support her family. She has a lot to teach, and she does it with practical steps to help you get where you need to go. Her blog about blogging, Building a Framework, is the first place I look when I’m trying out something new! If you are not ready to spend money for training just yet, I would recommend her free email course 7 days to start a blog – I took the course and started my blog on day 5!
Lisa Jacobs at MarketYourCreativity has dedicated her blog to helping others market their creativity. She has a lot of high quality free content and training as well as great paid courses and e-books. She’s an excellent teacher and mentor, and I have learned a lot from her. She focuses on planning and how you can set yourself up for success. Lisa uses the phrase If I knew I could not fail I would ______ to push herself and others forward, and it really helped me clarify what is important for me.
Some other favorites
- ByRegina – Regina seems to be active at all times and are constantly giving out great information and motivation.
- Create&Thrive – Jess Van Den runs a successful jewelry shop and blog, while teaching other creatives how to thrive doing what they love.
Photo Editing – I use Photoshop for most of my blog pictures, mostly because it’s the program I know best. If you want a free photo-editing option, I love Canva or PicMonkey. Both are good options, but PicMonkey wont let you save projects. Canva has templates for almost everything you might need and it super-easy to use.
Design Elements – I love CreativeMarket*, it has unlimited design resources from fonts and templates, to photos and themes. What I use most from the CreativeMarket is the Top View Scene Creator* – it has more than 1700 items that you can place the way you want to, to create your own styled photos! It’s been super helpful so far. If you are on their mailing list you get notified about free items and deals every week!
My favorite sources of photos:
- Pexels – database of free photos
- Death to the Stock photo – Month curated photopack
- Turquoiseandpalm – Alli takes beautiful styled photos, and if you sign up for her mailing list you get free stock images every month!
- Itspinkpot – Same as with Alli, Chaitra takes lovely styled photos
I hope this helps those trying to start a blog, or wanting to grow their existing blog. Please ask if there is anything you want to know more about. I would love to know about blogging tools you use so I can add to this list!