I’m frequently asked what tools I use for blogging. Here are some of the tools and services I highly recommend.
*Note: some of the links below are affiliate links. You can find my full disclosure here.
CoSchedule – CoSchedule completely changed blogging for me. I cannot tell you how much time I save with this amazing editorial calendar and scheduling tool. When I publish a post, I schedule my Facebook at Twitter updates for weeks and months in the future with simple, easy clicks. They’ve got a free 14 day trial. Try it. I guarantee you’ll love it. It’s worth the $10/month per blog that I gain back in time saved.
PicMonkey – PicMonkey is an amazing photo editing tool. The free version allows you to do a lot but it’s worth it to upgrade to the Royale version for $33/year. The Royale membership gets you more effects, touch-up tools, textures, overlays, frames, etc. The best part about PicMonkey? You can use your own fonts! I frequently download fonts from DaFont and am then able to use them in PicMonkey.
Canva – Canva is where I make blog post images for every post on this blog. Nope, I don’t use Photoshop! The easy to use templates allow you to create high-quality images. I’m not a designer and Canva basically lets me pretend I am. One thing I did not realize about Canva is that it is completely free. Canva only costs money (usually $1) if you use their premium stock images. If you use your own images (or stock photos of your own), Canva is free.
Buffer – Buffer is simply the easiest way to share content on social media. I have the Buffer app on my phone and I have the Google Chrome extension on my browser. Anytime I come across a blog post or website that I love, I click the little Buffer icon and easily draft my social media share.
Bluehost – Want to set up your self-hosted blog in less than 10 minutes? How about $3.95 for hosting PLUS a free domain name? There’s a reason so many bloggers trust their blogs to Bluehost. I have always had great experiences with their customer service and really appreciate that when you call you get to talk to a real person. Because of their pricing, I think they are a great place for beginners to start.
A Small Orange – This blog is hosted on A Small Orange. After starting my blog on Blogger, I used to Bluehost and later switched to A Small Orange. I like their “homegrown hosting” style of business and their customer support is incredible. It’s all via chat and they are available 24 hours a day.
Website Design and Framework
Genesis Framework – This blog and my personal blog run on the Genesis framework. It was once explained to me like this – if you were building a house, WordPress is the foundation, and Genesis is a frame of steel. Your house is then finished with drywall, a roof, paint, etc. which is your design. If you’re using Genesis, this is your Genesis Child Theme. Don’t you want a frame of steel? Genesis has built-in SEO and tons of designated plugins to make it easy to change the look and feel of your blog. I would not have a blog that was not built on the Genesis framework.
Restored 316 Designs – This site is a beautiful WordPress pre-made theme by Restored 316 Designs. Not only are all of their pre-mades ridiculously well coded and highly functional, they offer support once you buy the theme. I’ve used their support several times and their response time is phenomenal.
Looking to buy a pre-made WordPress theme? Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a pre-made WordPress theme.
High Note Designs – Lisette is an incredibly talented designer who offers Blogger to WordPress transfer services and beautiful custom design. I have worked with her on custom designs in the past and she continues to be my WordPress guru and friend.
Blog, Inc. – Written by Joy Cho of the popular Oh Joy blog. This was one of the first books I read about blogging and I wish I’d read it sooner. The first part of the book will be much more appealing to a newbie blogger but the interviews with some big time bloggers were fascinating and some of her advice really helped me dig in to my personal blog and take it to the next level.
Epic Blog: One Year Editorial Planner – Though I use CoSchedule for my editorial calendar, I have heard amazing things about Regina’s Epic Blog Planner. The five-star reviews on Amazon say it all. If you’re a paper person, this is for you.