When I started blogging I had no idea that the whole blogging world existed – that there were other bloggers doing the exact same thing and I had no idea that the whole blogging community was right there to be part of and embrace.
Because it was all so new it meant it was a giant learning curve and I had to teach myself things, Google constantly and ask for advice before finding my preferred way of completing any task. But, to make life easier for anyone else starting their blogging journey I thought I’d write about a few things that have changed my blogging life since I found out about them.
Rafflecopter – Duplicate Giveaway
I have always run giveaways and up until about 18 months ago I would set each one up manually, adding each option and painstakingly setting them all up one by one. But, then I discovered the Duplicate Giveaway option on Rafflecopter and haven’t looked back.
This allows me to use one giveaway as a template and each time I run a new giveaway I can just duplicate the last one and just amend the brand names, the question that I like people to comment and answer with and the text of the tweet – as well as changing the T&Cs with the brand, prize and end date. This has saved me so much time.
Grum is a recent discovery of mine. It lets me schedule Instagram posts – which I do once a day at most and it makes it so much easier to add hashtags and really concentrate on what I’m posting. But, in between the scheduled posts I still post two or more times a day as and when I feel like it to keep my feed as natural as possible.
I really found the blogging community when I found Facebook blogging groups and they are somewhere I always go for advice or information.
Canva is my go-to website whenever I need to create graphics for my blog, social media, giveaways or anything else. I have templates set up and just edit them each time I need to create something new.
PicMonkey is a great online tool to edit pictures, add fonts or overlays and create graphics for your blog. I use it alongside Canva and with both I have pretty much all the design software I need for those little blog jobs.
Boomerang for Gmail
Firstly, if you don’t have Gmail it really is worth looking into. I use it to read and reply to my blog emails – and I have set it up so blog emails are automatically sent to my Gmail address and I can reply direct from my blog email through Gmail too.
But, Boomerang is something else. It lets you schedule emails from your Gmail account which is amazing if you’re scheduling a post and want to ping the link over to your contact when it goes live. This saves so much time and is a great admin tool.
With Hootsuite I can schedule tweets, Facebook updates and pretty much any other social media activity. It means I can schedule a post, schedule the social media for it and then move on to the next task. With the free plan you can connect up to three social profiles which is plenty for the average blogger.
Google Drive has so many different aspects – spreadsheets, documents, drawing… It’s pretty much the Microsoft Office of Google but can be accessed online from anywhere. I’ve found with blogging that anything I can access remotely really helps and I use Google Sheets for all my blog accounts and record keeping and Google Docs for creating invoices. They have many other uses but I use them on a daily basis and would be lost without them.
I have always had an iPhone but when I got a Macbook my blogging world got so much bigger! I could suddenly use AirDrop to transfer photos from my phone to my laptop. I could use iMovie for simple video editing and really without that I would never have made the step into vlogging.
There are so many other Apple benefits but I am very much still in the learning phase – I’ll share the amazing things I find when I’ve mastered them!
Getting a Wi-Fi Memory Card
I have never had the latest cameras with built in wifi and so, up until recently I had to take all Instagram photos on my phone and had to take the memory card out of my camera to use the card reader on my laptop to transfer photos across. But buying a wifi memory card changed my life.
I could transfer photos from my camera to my phone instantly on days out and could transfer photos to my computer just by turning my camera on and connecting the laptop to the camera’s built in wifi. I now have wifi memory cards for each of my cameras and wouldn’t be without them.
Getting a remote control for my camera opened up so many possibilities to me. I was able to be in photos for a change and could take photos of myself without someone else having to be there to press the shutter button – or having to use the timer and run backwards and forwards.
So there are the things that have changed my blogging life. Do you have anything to add? I love finding new products and new ways of doing things that help me to save time, cut corners without compromising the end result and make me more productive. Tell me about your favourite blogging discoveries.