Each year I feel like I add on a few more tools that I can’t live without when running my blog. I wanted to share with you my top tools for bloggers.
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Listen to episode 84 – Top Tools for Bloggers
Top Tools for Bloggers
First: a caveat. These aren’t just the top tools for bloggers. These tools are helpful for anyone in the online space creating content. That’s why I’ve named the giveaway the Creator’s Studio Giveaway. It’s for bloggers and CREATORS of content.
I’m going to break these tools down into a few categories. Almost all of these tools I’ve used for at least a year, but if I have used them for less, I’ve used them long enough to recommend them! (PS- I never recommend things just for the sake of money as an affiliate!) Here are my picks for top tools for bloggers and content creators.
WordPress.org – I think that WordPress should REALLY change the name of WordPress.com because it’s super confusing, especially to people like me. I use the self-hosted WordPress.org, which allows more control and the use of ads.
Siteground – I use Siteground for my web hosting after a really terrible experience with Blue Host. I love BH for years, but when I started tracking my site’s downtime (through a free tool called Down Notifier), I realized that my site was down all. the. time. Siteground has been fantastic and I have had ZERO downtime in the months since I’ve moved.
Genesis – I used the Genesis framework on almost all my sites. I just kind of love it.
Studiopress – My favorite themes on WordPress are paid Stuidopress themes. They are gorgeous, functional, and mobile-ready.
Pretty Links – This plugin has really been helpful as a podcaster. I can create easy-to-say and easy-to-remember links that I can tell you on the podcast (or remember myself when someone’s asking). This also makes it easy for listeners to remember and perhaps take action.
Simple Hooks – This is a plugin that works with the Genesis framework and allows you to plug code into different places on your website without breaking things. It’s genius.
Online Tools & Apps
iMovie – I use iMovie to edit video, Quick Time to record screenshare videos (though I plan to move to Camtasia this year), and Audacity as my sound editor, both for the podcast and for videos.
iPages – I use this program to create almost all of my freebies and workbooks. It’s amazing and works much like InDesign or the program I used to use (and I think is now gone), Pagemaker. It is only on mac.
Leadpages – I use Leadpages to create landing pages that convert well and also pop-up sign-up boxes for email. Once you get into Leadpages, be forewarned: you can’t go back!
Popup Ally Pro – This is a great tool for popups and other kinds of sign-up options on your site. You can turn them off for mobile so that you won’t get in trouble with google, and completely customize them with your own fonts and brand colors. Beyond pop-ups, you can have feature boxes (the thin sign-up form many people have just under the header) and those smart bars at the top or bottom of your site. This tool is incredible!
Evernote – I use Evernote to jot down ideas and sometimes write blog posts. I have IFTTT send all my blog posts directly to Evernote so that one day if my blog disappears, I’ll have them somewhere else, saved.
Workflowy – This is a tool if you like clean. It’s great for the bullet journalers because it looks like a bulleted list, super concise and clean. But when you click each bullet, it expands and there’s more underneath. It always looks clean and not cluttered, but it contains a lot of info. It keeps me from stressing.
Picmonkey – I use this image-editing software for all my social media and blog images. I can easily resize one image for all the things.
Canva – I love Canva for longer things and am thankful you can go back in and edit. For the free version, you can create up to a 29 page document.
Audacity – I use this free tool to edit all my podcast episodes, plus any videos I record.
Lifter LMS – I use this for my membership site and courses. It does both! And is really pretty with great integrations to boot. 🙂
CONVERTKIT – I’m putting this in all caps because it’s my FAVORITE tool of all. This email service provider has been a game changer for me for so many reasons. I love the advanced features like automation and link triggers where I can segment people with a simple click and send more targeted emails. Their affiliate program is also killer and is my top consistent monthly income. BONUS! If you want a free month, you can try a free month on me, as they are a sponsor of the show!
ATR2100 – I love this dynamic mic, which is not a attractive as the Yeti, but was recommended by several of the top sound people and podcasters I spoke to for beginners. And beyond. I use this for the podcast and for my videos and interviews. (If you click the link, I also use a similar boom arm and pop filter.)
MYRIANN iPhone Ring Light – This is a tiny ring light that fits on your iphone (though I often use it clipped on my computer). It’s not the most AMAZING light, but will totally up your lighting game and is very portable. I use it DAILY for things like Facebook live videos or course videos.
KCool Octopus Tripod – This little guy is also portable and works with my iPhone. Super simple and easy!
NEWEER LED Light Kit – If I’m at home doing videos, I also have this bigger (though still really lightweight and portable) set of studio lights. The batteries seem to be running out more quickly now that I’ve had the lights for almost a year, but they come with a battery charger. These are great for general soft light and can be adjusted up and down in terms of the intensity.
What are YOUR picks for the top tools for bloggers? what do you think is missing form this list of creator’s tools? Share in the comments or join the discussion in the Facebook community.