I’ve been blogging since 2009 – which I didn’t realize until now that it’s really be seven years. I always say “five years”… maybe because it’s a nice round number, but my first blog post ever on shutterboo.com is date stamped July 28, 2009. Over the years though, I’ve tried different tools, plugins and trying to find a a formula that worked best for me… and, well, these are my five fave blogging tools!
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) out there and there’s a reason why: it’s user-friendly, they’re always improving it and they’ve got a support forum that’s endless. If you blog, you probably use WordPress, whether your self-host or use wordpress.com. If you don’t… maybe you should.
When I was busy with photo sessions, I always had fresh content – but these days I’m not offering professional services and I’m shooting/blogging for myself again. So having a place to jot down ideas and start posts is a must and Evernote is my favorite platform I’ve used so far. It’s easy to start and edit notes, organize them, categorize them… and there’s an app so I can even access my notes on my phone. It’s been the perfect little note-taking tool.
I don’t know if there’s anyone out in the free world who doesn’t use Google Calendar, but it’s made blogging so much easier. I have… maybe… four Google Calendars that are synced up on one, but the cool thing is I can look at each calendar individually or all together. So I have my personal calendar that I share with the husband and then I have a blog calendar where I can schedule out posts, drop and drag if posts aren’t written yet, plan out my “blogger days” where I spend time taking pictures and writing. Oh, and I can assign it its own color. Because what’s better than making organization pretty?
BlogStomp is a tool I learned about from another photographer. I had previously been resizing all my images in Photoshop and while I had created an action to batch the resizes and the file names, BlogStomp does it faster. And it’s so much easier. And my computer doesn’t hate it as much. Again, it’s easy to use, easy to personalize – with a click of a button my images are resized to the width of my blog, in web resolution and watermarked. I’ve been using it for about three years now… I have no idea why I did it the other way. This one is probably my #1 favorite blogging tool!
So this last tool is still new to me, but I like it enough to share it because while I don’t use it all the time, I love having access to it. Canva makes creating styled and easily shareable assets super easy. SUPER EASY. They offer a handful of elements and styles for free, but you can upload your own backgrounds and images. Several fonts to choose from, color options are endless (brand away, my friends!), and they have social sharing asset sizes all ready for the user. If you’re new to blogging or have been doing it for years, check out Canva – it’s pretty badass.
BONUS: When I first started blogging, I used Flickr as my image host. Since I was using wordpress.com, I had limited storage and Flickr was the rescue for that. I would upload my images and then copy/paste the HTML code into my blog. I actually did this when I self-hosted too. I haven’t tried it lately, but it’s always a good option to have in case server space gets tight… and it’s one that people don’t always think about. You’re welcome. ;)