Every blogger has their things. The things that make their life more organized, and easy. We make so many practices in our head that it’s just second nature the way that we flip from screen to screen just to get one post out. What are my favourite blog resources? I’d like to share with you my most used programs and websites that keep me up and running.
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase after following an ad this blog will receive a commission, at no extra cost to you! Things like this keep Wine and Mommy Time up and running.
A great tool to find content inspiration. The thing with Pinterest is that not everyone realizes that it’s a search engine, not social media. Think of Pinterest as Google Images, on crack. Pretty sure you don’t go on Pinterest to see what Suzy’s weekend escapades were. Nope, you’re looking up Nursery Decor, and Baby Food Recipes. Anyway, it’s a great resource to either help you research.
2. Google Docs
The bulk of my writing happens in Google Docs. I love that it has an easy-to-use interface and that it has a downloadable app. Some other great things about it: It saves your work as you go, no lost work yay! Also, it loads fast. No waiting forever for a program to come up. You can access it from everywhere.
Google Docs is a great way to transfer pictures from your phone to your computer without having to plug it in and pull the files out. It updates in real-time between the app and online which I love. I honestly have nothing bad I could possibly say about this free, must-have part of my process. Typically I will do the rough draft in Google Docs, read through a couple of times, make some tweaks and then finish it off on my next step.
Having all of your writing in Google Docs also means that you are not using precious disk space on your computer, it’s in a cloud.
3. WordPress Dashboard
Well duh, I need this to make the posts do the thing and get on the interwebz. I copy and paste what I have written in Google Docs into a new post on WordPress. This is where my final draft happens. Obviously… Seeing as it’s where you make your work go live.
Once I have done all of the editings that I want to do. I let Grammarly take over and show me where I can improve. It’s an extension you install in your browser and it’s very helpful. It’s the world’s best proofreader, no joke, it actually is. You can even use it on resumes, making sure you’re not plagiarizing, and most obvious, it makes sure you’re using the right lingo and punctuation.
Grammarly keeps me in check. It’s like that English teacher you had back in high school who helped you look good rather than tearing you down for your errors. Okay, maybe I’m digging a little deep into that one, but still. It’s a really important part if you want to be taken seriously as a blogger or writer.
4. Yoast SEO
What the hell is this SEO I keep seeing and hearing about? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This, in and of itself is a topic all it’s own, so I’ll keep it simple. Think of Yoast as the Grammarly of making sure that your content is visible when searched in places like Google. If you can’t be found, what’s the purpose to keep going? Well other than to be creative that is. But you get my drift. Yoast is a plugin that you install on WordPress. I always make sure that my post’s readability and SEO are green.
Other posts you may like:
- A Glance Inside My Workspace
- Passive Income – How I made my first $100 blogging
- Why You Need Your Own Mommy Blog + 30 writing prompts
5. Stock images
Free stock images. One of the most important parts of the process. With no images, you’re not visual, which means no one will share you. Also, it’s always more appealing to read/look at something with images. When you were a kid would you read the stocks in your parents’ paper? Nope, I bet you skipped right through to the comics didn’t you. No shame, we’re visual creatures.
Most of my post title images, along with Pinterest optimized images come from one of the three mentioned. When looking for images, you use a simple keyword. It’s so easy I don’t think I need to explain this one. They’re free images. That’s what it’s all about.
Check out the result below of the first images that pop up when I simply type in wine. There are so many more results than these but this gives you an example of how to get some free stock photos for your posts.
This is where I make all of the images, downloads, and printables you see on this blog. Even down to the Mommy Minder, everything imaging is made on Canva, by me. Canva is an online program/website that you can make images from scratch, and also from templates. It’s really easy to use, and it’s nice to not have to have another program taking up room on my laptop. Check out some of the screenshots below to see it for yourself!
Below is a look at the main page that lets you choose what kind of design you would like to make. As you scroll through their options there are even invitations, certificates and more!
Here you can see my dashboard. You can use images you’ve already made your templates if you choose to, also, it’s a great way to see what you’ve already made. Along with making it really simple to scroll through and see if you’re always delivering a consistent brand image.
This is what it looks like when you are creating an image. As you can see, there are layouts to choose from, text you can add, elements and so much more once you really start playing with it.
After I save my Canva creations I will plop them into TinyPNG. TinyPNG is another web-based tool. You simply put the images you want to compress into it and out pops images that are significantly smaller, space wise. I then upload the compressed images to my dashboard in WordPress to be able to get them into the posts for ya’ll.
All you have to do is drag and drop the images you want to compress and the panda will do all the work! You will quickly have compressed images ready for you to upload to your blog.
Think of this as a notebook online. You can use it as your workbook. They even have an app which like Google Docs, updates in real time. You use Trello like you would if you had a pen and paper in hand and had to make a bunch of lists and tasks. But it keeps everything in one handy, dandy spot. They have an app as well which is helpful because you have access to it at all times. Trello doesn’t have to be blog specific, you can use it to organize your life as well. I’m trying to use this more and more so I can just get all of my notes/tasks into one place. That way I won’t lose track or forget. I’m getting there. It’s a process.
Even if you’re not a blogger you can use Trello to organize your life, school, work, everything really! Think of it as an online workflow. Or, maybe a vision board! Check out what my editorial calendar looks like currently in Trello below.
One of my last steps. You need to monetize the blog somehow. While it isn’t expensive to run one, it also isn’t free. Share-a-sale is a huge network of companies who you can apply to. Being an affiliate means that if someone clicks a link from them from your specific link then you will receive a commission. Share-a-sale has by far more merchants than any of the others I’ve seen.
Easy to use and chalk full of great information. From how much you get per transaction per merchant. To what other people are earning with particular merchants and more. If you’re going to monetize, I highly suggest signing on with Share-a-sale. It’s free to you, and you have tons to gain.
10. My phone
For obvious reasons. I keep lists going constantly of random post ideas that come to mind. If I need to take a picture, you bet your butt I’m using my phone. Currently, I am using a Huawei P10 which has an incredible Leica camera. Yes, the same brand as the oh so special camera from Eurotrip.
Between photos, my Google Docs app, Google Drive, Trello and my various social media apps, plus Pinterest, my phone is one of the most important tools of all. Other than my laptop obviously.
Do you have any other suggestions? I’d love to hear below in the comments!
Need to save this for later? No problem! Use my social buttons to either share with a friend or save to places like Pinterest!