Over the past few years, I have run a few different blogs. Some were successful, others not so much. We know a lot of our readers are also travelÂ bloggers and are always looking for awesome blogging tools to help set up their blog for success. We wanted to share with you our favorite tools that we use on a daily basis.
Why do we, as bloggers need different tools to help us? Blogging tools are actually essential when it comes to running a successfulÂ blog. We use all of the tools listed below on a daily basis to help run Odysseys With Love proficiently. Some of these we would not even be able to run the website at all without. Using these tools also helps free up time away from the computer and our smartphones. This way we are able to spend more time with our family, making memories and experiencing new things.
One thing about Odysseys With Love is that as a family we are trying to earn an income with what we are doing here. Some of the tools we use are specifically for that. Others are to help make the website pretty and to keep our readers coming back forÂ more information. More views we have, the better chance that we make an income from the website.
In order to run and optimizeÂ a blog correctly, you need to have a blog page hosted on a hosting company. I have been running a website through iPage for a while now with Megan Nance Photography. If I have ever run into an issue with our sites, I jump onto their 24/7 chat window and we are able to get the issue sorted out fairly quickly. $1.99 Coupon Code: LOWESTPRICE, you can choose to only have one year of service for a little bit higher price and remove the extras. We also install WordPress through their CPanel and MOJO Marketplace, and it is just a one-click install.
I am constantly on Canva creating graphics. We recently upgraded to the Canva for Work. We upgraded so we would be able to use their images for our Pinterest and blog banners. Canva also has 1,000’s of templates from logos to media kits that you can use even on the free side. We also use Canva for our YouTube cover art and so much more. Canva is free to use, but many of the graphics and images on the site do cost money to use. If you upgrade to a flat monthly fee, it opens up many of these graphics.
Constant Contact – Email Marketing
Have you seen our Magazine? We send out a monthly magazine using Constant Contact to our readers that choose to sign up for our email list. This means that these readers have a first look at the magazine and they are also entered into our monthly giveaway. WordPress and Jetpack offer an email subscriber signup list, but this only sends out emails as you write a post. You can not send out an email to your subscribers with other details and information. We signed up with Constant Contact through iPage, which is free for your first 500 email subscribers. If you are using another hosting provider, head over to Constant Contact and sign up for their free trial.
One thing I have noticed is Pinterest is one of the largest search engines driving traffic to our website. Before finding Tailwind, I would spend a lot of time pinning images and repining onto different boards to keep my pins always active. Tailwind does this for me now. I can schedule my pins for different times of the day, or I can schedule repins to revive old pins that would otherwise be dead. I use this a lot for not only my blog post pins but also for the pins in my Things We Love Board.Â This board is filled with our Amazon Finds. Sign up for a free month of Tailwind HERE.
I am going to slip this one in right here. I actually use the all apps plan since I also create YouTube videos and other things. Yes, I still use Canva, but Photoshop and Lightroom organize my images and I am able to fully edit them to how I want. If I wanted to, I could create all of our graphics in Photoshop, but canva is so much easier. Lightroom has been a lifesaver as a photographer. I am able to organize all of my images for both Odysseys With Love and for Megan Nance Photography. I am able to also edit them right in Lightroom. Unless I am going to do a photomanipulation or I am doing heavy editing, I rarely ever open Photoshop. If you choose to go with the All App plan like we have, you will also get After Effects and Premiere Pro. Both of these I use when creating our YouTube Videos. I did create a “Master Template” for Premiere Pro that I just drag and drop our video clips into and then work on matching the frames to the music or if we are doing a voice over.
Cameras! and Video Cameras
Blogs heavily rely on images and graphics. The best camera is the camera that you have. A cell phone works wonders when you’re on the go. Want to invest in your blog, purchase one of the cameras listed below and watch a few YouTube videos to learn how to use it. I will be teaching a beginners class here on the blog also for the “momtographer.” YouTube is another addition to your blog. We use the Action camera listed below also 99% of the time. These two things have been the biggest investment for blogging tools for us.
There are things that we all can do, for the things that we can’t do, there is Fiverr! I couldn’t get our Logo out of our minds and onto Photoshop. I went to Fiverr and contacted an artist there about the design we had in our head. We ended up getting our simple logo, but it is who we are. You can go over to Fiverr and search for anything that you need or want to be done. You will always find someone within your budget that will be able to get it done to your liking. Things like Graphic and Design, Digital Marketing, Writing and Translation, Video and Animation, Music and Animations, Programming and Tech, Business and then you also have the Fun and Lifestyle sections. Have a service you could offer? Go ahead and offer it on Fiverr.
I don’t know about you, but I misspell things all the time. I sometimes use improper grammar. When I found out about Grammarly, I had to install it to my browser ASAP. It has been a huge relief.