Saturday, 25 June 2016

7 Free Blogging Tools All Bloggers Need

7 Free Blogging Tools All Bloggers Need Advice newbie lifestyle

When I first started blogging (Over two years ago now, I know time flies) I didn't really have a clue what I was doing! I wasn't aware of the amazing blogging community and I definitely didn't have a clue about all the websites and tools out there, that make the whole blogging process so much easier. This isn't to say that blogging still isn't hard, but I find life is a lot simpler and less stressful now I am using these seven tools, as part of my blog.

So if you are a newbie blogger or have been blogging for a while and just looking for some new resources to make the blogging process easier, you are in the right place! From editing to organisation and scheduling to spell checking, I have it sorted! These, of course, aren't the only tools out there for bloggers! Oh no! There are hundreds, thousands even! But here are my seven personal favourites that I think all bloggers need for improved, more professional blogs! Enjoy!

#1 GRAMMARLY
Now if you are like me, when you write a blog post you feel like you have so much to say you just don't know how to form that into coherent sentences that are spelt correctly as well as being grammatically correct. I make lots of mistakes in my blog posts, I know I know that's bad! Slaps wrist!

Seriously though I do double check it I just find it really hard to spot my own errors plus the whole process is kind of boring and I would much rather be working on something else. However, I understand the importance of good grammar and spelling (I mean who wouldn't if you actually want your blog to get noticed) This is where my secret weapon comes into play- Grammarly!

Grammarly is a free website which you can sign up to which checks your work for spelling and grammar errors. Not only do I use this tool for blogging I also use it for college and assignments. You can copy your writing across or you can add it in as a plugin to Google so it checks for errors, as you write the post on blogger! Pretty handy if you ask me! This site picks up so many more errors than Word would ever do! Definitely, give it a go to help your blog ooze professionalism! You can check out Grammarly HERE. 

#2 PICMONKEY
Now I wish I could sit here and be all fancy- saying that I use Photoshop to edit my photos. Unfortunately, I don't. However no need to worry my friends, Picmonkey is a cheap, poor student, friendly alternative to Photoshop. Okay yes, there is paid options but for the most part, you can get by with just the free stuff.

I was thinking about doing a whole blog post about how I edit my photos for my blog, let me know if that is something you would like to see. Basically, Picmonkey provides you with a fantastic range of free tools you can use to edit your photos. I use crop, brightness, contrast, saturation, clarity and sometimes straighten when I had a drunk five minutes and took the photo on a wonk  (who am I kidding, I don't drink?). They also have filters and clip arts you can add in if that takes your fancy.

I also add text to my photos as well! If you would like another tutorial about how to add in your own fonts to Picmonkey from Dafont, I can do that for you. As the font, I use you can't actually find on Picmonkey you have to import it in yourself. It's super easy, don't worry! I mean if I can do it, I am sure you can do it too.

7 Free Blogging Tools All Bloggers Need blogging lifestyle beauty UK


#3 BUFFER/ HOOTSUITE
If you are a blogger and want to boost your traffic to your site, I strongly recommend you using one of these sites to schedule your tweets. No one can sit on Twitter all day, scrolling through and tweeting links to their recent blog posts! We are all busy bloggers and don't have time to remember to share links to our latest posts 10 times a day. To resolve this issue, what you need to do is download one of these apps (or both, if you want to live life on the edge) Buffer works on the desktop as well!

Simply sign up with your Twitter account, write some Tweets, add a link and a few pictures then schedule for later. What's great about these apps is that you set up your own schedule with pre-set times you want your tweets to go up so you don't have to set it manually each time. Buffer allows you to schedule 10 tweets at a time on the free version. As you do not want to spam your followers, this is probably fine for most of us bloggers. I use both apps, as I like to schedule tweets at night which I do on Hootsuite, as Buffer alone is not enough. So if you do find yourself desperate to schedule more tweets you can just use both. Tweetdeck is another site you can use on your desktop, but I didn't get along with it so I can't really recommend it to you guys. You know me, I like, to be honest!

So now you have your tweets scheduled you can sit back, worry free and actually get on with the things you need to do, instead of worrying about sharing a link to your latest post every hour!

#4 GOOGLE CALENDAR
I went into depth about how I use Google Calendar for my blog, in this post; How To Create An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog  so I won't go into too much detail here but basically if you love the bullet journal system but aren't very creative and find it hard to keep up with, this app will be for you. I write down all my tasks in grey, all my college work in pink and all my blog posts are colour coded to correspond with the colours I use on my spreadsheets (Which I will get to in a moment) Once you have chosen a colour, you can choose the date, time etc. and it appears in your calendar. Once I have completed a task, I add the thumbs up emoji, if it has moved to another day you can simply go back and edit the date and it moves it for you. For blog posts, I add the camera emoji next to an event it means that I need to take photos for that post and if I add the notebook and pen emoji it means that I need to write that post. Sometimes I write posts on my phone and send them over to my laptop by email, if this is the case I add the email emoji to signify this.

I have used this system for most of 2016 and I couldn't recommend it enough if you want to get your blog organised. Your app will also link to your computer if you search Google Calendar and sign in...pretty convenient eh?

7 Free Blogging Tools All Bloggers Need UK Bloggers lifestyle beauty

#5 EXCEL/ SPREADSHEET SOFTWARE 
Although I have fallen in love with the bullet journal system- nothing will beat a good spreadsheet. I use spreadsheets to organise my blog schedule, post ideas and stats. Why I choose to monitor these things in a spreadsheet and not in a bullet Journal is because I am a bit of perfectionist and I am always changing my blog schedule. Posts are always subject to change at short notice, so the idea of crossing things out in my bullet journal, kind of makes me feel a bit uneasy.

That said, there are so many other things you can track and keep a record of in a spreadsheet for your blog. If you earn money from your blog, a spreadsheet would be a great way to track your finances. One handy trick I love about spreadsheets is the fact that you don't have to write every date out when planning for the whole month. You just write the first couple and drag it down and it fills the rest in for you. Spreadsheets make blogging quicker and more efficient but definitely not as creative as bullet journals. Although maybe not for everyone, I would definitely give it a whirl if you are curious. If you would like to see a blog post about how I organise my blog using spreadsheets, I would be more than happy to do that for you!

#6 VSCO CAM
Like many other bloggers out there, I have tried my fair share of photo editing apps for Instagram, none of which have worked for me. However, don't fear VSCO Cam is here! VSCO Cam is the best editing app for sure, well the best one I have tried. Unlike the other apps I have tried I actually feel like this one makes a difference to my photos. There are some great free filters, okay not the biggest selection but enough to get by! However, the best part of this app for sure is all the options you have to edit your photos. From tints to clarity and highlights to grain, you will be hard pushed to want something that they don't have.

Saying that, they could have added some border options or somewhere to add a blur to a photo, just in case you wanted to edit some personal information out of a photo. But these are only very small flaws. This app, helps you edit and create very professional photos, perfect if you want to start taking your Instagram feed more seriously. If you want really fun, exciting features, this app isn't going to provide that for you. But if you want to edit your photos in a more professional way but the thought of forking out on software or apps make your stomach churn, you should be downloading VSCO Cam right now, what you waiting for!

#7 CANVA 
The ultimate Godsend of all websites for anyone but especially graphic designers and bloggers. This site gives you so many options!!!! Like seriously if you are ever struggling with what sizes your blog header needs to be or your Pinterest graphics then canva is the place you need to be.

Canva gives you pre-made layouts for so many things you may need. From posters to letters, Pinterest graphics to banners and headers. Canva has got it all for you! It's super easy and quick to use, all you do is sign up and start creating. You can create your own templates or use some of the pre-made ones as the foundations for your creation. I would just add you need to be careful that you check for a little button on the bottom of the template that says 'Free' if it has a dollar sign, it means you have to pay for it- which would be a bummer if you designed a really cool header for your blog but couldn't save it because you aren't prepared to pay!

Asides from that there is no catches, lots of options and things you can add to make your graphics for your blog and social media professional and sophisticated! What's not to like?

What tools do you use to edit your photos, organise your blog ideas and admin? Is there anything you use for your blog, that makes you life a million times easier? Please let me know in the comments below, I am always on the lookout for things to improve my blog!

Thanks for reading, as always x

Want to make my day? Follow my social media here: Twitter Instagram Bloglovin 
SHARE:

42 comments

  1. I use Buffer but might try Hootsuite now! I have recently started spreadsheeting my blog information and using google calendar but I am going to try and use them more! xx
    www.blossomofhope.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should! I have a blog post coming up soon about how I use spreadsheets for my blog- so you might find that useful x

      Delete
  2. I'd never heard of Grammarly before, but it sounds super helpful!
    Great post.xx.

    Amy
    www.thenoiseinwonderland.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so glad you mentioned grammarly because I am a terrible speller and I rely on my friends to tell me if anything is spelt wrong at the moment! Think it will be really handy for me so thanks for sharing X
    -Alice
    alicejlorna.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So am I Alice and it really helps me out! I am sure you will find it really useful too x

      Delete
  4. I use Canva and VSCO cam so much! They're really easy to use and can make things look much more professional! I use a spreadsheet in Google Sheets to keep everything to do with my blog organised so I can see everything wherever I am :)
    Hannah xx
    www.hannahemilylane.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw that's a really good idea! I never thought of that x

      Delete
  5. I use quite a few of these! I agree with you, Picmkonkey is so easy to use and I love how many of the features are free, it makes editing photos so easy to do xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love picmonkey because you can add your texts etc. I just wish it wasn't as slow sometimes x

      Delete
  6. This post was so helpful- so many to keep a note of! Grammarly has already been downloaded whilst reading this! Lydia Eve, www.lydia-eve.blogspot.co.uk xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw! I am sure you will find it so useful! x

      Delete
  7. I love using Canva for blog graphics and VCSO for my instagram :)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

    ReplyDelete
  8. I recently discovered hoot suite (love it) and just about to look at grammarly it sounds great!
    Great post x

    katielou99.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you so much for sharing these blog tools, I shall definitely be trying some of these out soon. I love using picmonkey to edit photo's for my blog and I've just recently started using buffer which is so so useful xx

    petiteseverina.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats okay! Buffer makes my life so much easier x

      Delete
  10. Amazing, thank you for this post! My blog is so tired and in need of TLC, I could really do with trying these out! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope you get on well with them x

      Delete
  11. Ooh, this list is nice. You can try Pixlr, too, as an alternative to PicMonkey. Its features are almost the same as the ones found in Photoshop. :)

    Jorj | Mad Cherry

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ohh I will remember that one for future, thank you x

      Delete
  12. I love using PicMonkey, it's so easy to use, I've just noticed that they've recently put the 'blogger font' on there too, but it's a premium feature:( I'm definitely going to try out Grammarly, as I always make typos's! Xx www.geraldineswonderfulworld.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aww, I didn't notice that! That is annoying though! haha, I always make typos too and Grammarly saves me!

      Delete
  13. wau this is awesome just excel my mortal enemy but loving Grammarly
    galantosfun

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw it's not that bad once you get the hang of it :)

      Delete
  14. I love using Picmonkey when I edit my blogpictues. I love VSCO and I use it on a daily basis!

    awkward-overload.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love using Canva! It's amazing :)

    Blessings,
    Edye | Http://gracefulcoffee.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it is indeed! I don't know what I would do without it :)

      Delete
  16. Nice post! Could you do a post on how you use Spreadsheets to organise your blog? I am still really afraid of them.
    Róisín
    totallyro.blogspot.ie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! You are in luck, that post is going up on Saturday! So look out for it x

      Delete
  17. I have just installed grammerly and oh my! I think this is the most amazing thing and it genuenly got me really excited!

    mybeautyandbrownies.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha! It's so good and helpful! It's great if you aren't good at spelling, like myself x

      Delete
  18. Is Picmonkey an app for the phone or a website?

    lushieuk.blogspot.com
    x

    ReplyDelete
  19. Canva and VSCO Cam are brilliant and so so helpful! I think I'm going to have a look into Grammarly. I've heard many great reviews!

    Jemima x
    anotherrantingreader.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  20. I use all of these but grammarly - so I might have to give that a try! I find that organizing my blog on google calendar and spreadsheets works better for me than on paper because I change my editorial calendar all the time. Thanks for sharing what you use!

    - Courtney
    courtneylthings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. I use almost everything on here, Buffer & PicMonkey are favourites of mine.
    Was really surprised that you didn't mention photoshop express on there, I always use it to brighten and clarify photos.

    Rebecca Claire, libfemblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wow, absolutelly loving the post! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hey! Thanks for sharing this information - appreciate the effort you put in.

    I just wanted to run something by you; Have you heard about Rawpixel?

    You’ve probably seen our images all over the place. We’re the leading stock photo contributor in the world. We’ve just launched our website where we give away the best free design resources out there.

    We’d be stoked if you could add us to this list. Check us out onwww.rawpixel.com.

    Looking forward to you joining our community of creatives.

    BE INSPIRED. BE RAW.

    Nica

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love this post! Thanks for sharing! I use picmonkey and Canva, although when I put text over my photos they never seem to look as good as yours or other bloggers :( guess I just don't have the eye for it! I have heard of grammarly and am actually going to start using it now! I've been feeling the fear about blogging recently so maybe this will help me feel better about what I'm posting! I'm embarrassed to say I don't know how to spreadsheet! Or how to really use excel (yo' if you wanna do a post on spreadsheets I'd read the fuck outta that!)...

    Amber Love Blog

    ReplyDelete
  25. i am loving your blog design and tools
    http://www.seoindiarank.com/in/chennai/seo-company-in-chennai

    ReplyDelete

Blogger Template Created by pipdig