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Top 5 Blogging Essentials

top 5 blogging essentials

If you’re new to blogging, or have been thinking about getting into blogging there are a few things you need to know: Blogging is something you dedicate your time to, and so it must be something you actually enjoy doing. Everyone gets into that creative slump once in a while where they lose inspiration on what to write about, that’s okay you’ll get back on your feet. And lastly (well there’s a lot more but for the focus on this post these are the top 3), you’re going to need apps/resources to make blogging a whole lot easier.

In my 4 years as a professional blogger, and now as a full-fledged full time blogger, I’ve come to realize that I’ve relied on apps and resources to help me progress and get some work done on my blog. I honestly could not live without these guys, and I think my 5 blogging essentials will help you too!

1. CoSchedule

I wrote about CoSchedule a few days ago, it’s basically a WordPress plugin/web app that you can use as a blog editorial calendar and social meda scheduler for all your blog posts. I love this because it keeps my entire blog and social media postings organized, and it’s hella convenient. So, if you see social media posts on my blog entries, you can be sure it was posted through CoSchedule. So I can be away for the weekend, but the updates can still be posted without me having to touch a computer. You can try it for free for 14 days, and after that you can decide if you want to subscribe to the service or not. On the second day of my trial, I knew that it was love. I’m subscribed to it for one year.

2. Jetpack Site Stats Plugin (WordPress) / Google Analytics

Every blogger knows to check their site stats for traffic and the behavior of said traffic. I use both Jetpack (for WordPress) and Google Analytics to keep track of how many unique views I get per day/week/month and it’s usually because I like to compete with myself and I feel a little accomplished if I managed to beat my stats from the day/week/month before. Keeping track of your site stats can help a lot with growing your blog because you get a look into what works and doesn’t work for your blog, which posts engage more readers, and it can even tell you which days are best to upload entries based on the average traffic each day gets. For example, my best days to post blog entries for my demographic would be on weekdays, and hardly ever on Saturdays. I think this is because Saturday is when most people choose to go out and hangout with friends and do whatever, instead of staying home to browse the internet (except for me, because I never really go out haha)

I like to use both Jetpack and Google Analytics and have both plugins on my WordPress dashboard. It’s very important to note that you should always take your site stats with a grain of salt! Never take it too seriously and don’t let it affect the way you blog. Treat it as a guide, but don’t ever let it rule your blogging.

3. VSCOcam

This photo editing tool for iOS/Android is my favorite. I never ever ever upload any photo on my blog without editing first and foremost with VSCOcam. I think well edited and themed (meaning the edit style) photos on your blog help in creating more quality content. Edited photos just look 100x better. There’s no doubt it.

And if you’re wondering what my favorite preset is? A6. Even better? It’s free! Yay! I don’t use A6 for all my photos though, I always experiment with different ones to see what kind of mood I want for the photo, so I would encourage you to experiment and find what kind of style you feel you like best — afterall, your blog is supposed to be a reflection of you! So if you like that fade effect, go for it!

4. Unsplash (Free Stock Images)

Sometimes we just don’t have the right photos to use on our blog posts. Take the photo I used for this blog entry for example. Unsplash is a free stock image resource site that is beautifully curated, and the photos are contributions from different photographers from around the world. You’re free to use these images, to alter, edit and do whatever you please with them. Just double check if the photographer requests you to credit them back (most of them don’t, as far as I’ve noticed). When you can’t or don’t have your own photos, don’t hesitate to use the beautiful images on Unsplash. They’re there exactly for you.

5. Pinterest

I hardly pin anything, let alone create boards, but Pinterest is a great resource for blogging tips, tutorials, design resources, fonts, etc. Majority of people I know use it for their fashion/beauty/DIY inspirations but me? I rely on it to stay updated with resources for my blog. To get you started, go to Pinterest and start searching terms like: “Blogging tips” and “fonts typography” enjoy and pin away!

Bonus:

Pocket

I love Pocket because it’s convenient all-around for saving articles I want to read later. So if I come across an article that inspires me, a recipe that I might want to try later on, or an article I don’t have time to read at that very moment, I simply save it on Pocket and access it later on. I use the app both on my desktop browser and on my phone. They both sync across both devices, so you can read your saved articles on the go. The best part? You can read the articles while you’re offline!

Bloglovin’

I only started to appreciate Bloglovin when I downloaded the app on iOS. Currently, it’s the best app for me to stay updated with some of my favorite blogs, as well as stay updated with current trends in the fashion/beauty/lifestyle/travel blog niche. My favorite thing on Bloglovin is discovering other great blog posts to read in their Featured section.

An Ideas notebook/app

Sometimes your inspiration just strikes out of no where. WRITE. IT. DOWN. I’ve made the mistake on too many times of thinking, “Oh that’s a great idea. I’ll remember that for later.” No. You’ll never remember. Your train of thought for this particular blog post idea will never be the exact same as the very moment you have it. Write it down so you won’t forget and be detailed about it. Carry around a small notebook or use your notes app on your phone. Just jot it down. You’ll thank yourself for it later!

 

I wanted to make sure that Pinterest and Bloglovin made it to this list, because theyre really my number 1 sources for inspiration! As a lifestyle blogger, believe it or not, the writing slump gets to me. I have all these ideas floating around in my head but sometimes the rest of it just doesn’t flow or work. I turn to Pinterest or Bloglovin for some creative inspiration for upcoming posts, and they really do help! The more you expose yourself to other blogs, the more you allow your brain to brew ideas.

Have you got a blogging essential that isn’t on my list? Let me know, I’m always looking to expand my apps and resources, and other readers might make use of it too! :)

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26 Comments

  • Reply Catnipped (@salviepatootie) 2 March 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I agree with the VSCOcam part, the filters are just minimal yet they look so striking! Haha! Anyway, thank you so much for these tips, Ms. Camie! This is coming from someone who fell out of love with blogging, then getting myself to write, and write again (which is my first love, haha!) Cheers to you and your lovely blog x | Salve Dalmacio

  • Reply chester 2 March 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Just what I needed in time! I think I might try CoSchedule too! I also subscribed to email subscriptions that sends free stock images monthly. Unsplash is one of them but my favorite would be from DeathStock. Thanks for these Camie! =)

  • Reply corinthsuarez 2 March 2015 at 1:13 pm

    Some apps I use for my blog posts or blog related photos are definitely VSCOcam and Phonto and Mailchimp. Phonto is a wonderful app for adding texts to photos so I can make blog header photos on the go because I don’t really carry my laptop everywhere also because I feel lazy to edit on my computer sometimes. Then Mailchimp naman, I use for my mailing list sending. It’s very simple and so easy to use.

  • Reply Veronica Gonzales (@thelifeofvee) 2 March 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for sharing Unsplash! :) :)

  • Reply Mig Karen 2 March 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Wow! This post is very helpful! Thank you for the tips, Camie!

    PS: Stay fab, as always! <3

  • Reply Priscilla Tan 2 March 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Agreed! Especially with Pocket, Bloglovin’ and VSCO Cam. My other favourite plugin is CommentLuv :)

  • Reply Christienne 2 March 2015 at 3:13 pm

    A6 is a lifesaver!

  • Reply Daria 2 March 2015 at 3:45 pm

    This was so interesting to read: such great tips. Who knew about Pocket and Unplash!? I’d say my top tip is to enjoy blogging and always write what you would be interested in reading ;) x

  • Reply Nikki 2 March 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Okay, I never thought that bloggers use stock images too. Thanks for sharing Unsplash! Now I never have to delay my posts just because I don’t have the time to shoot the images for it. (YEHEY)

  • Reply Alissa 2 March 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks for this Camie! I usually use Pixabay for stock photos but it seems like Unsplash is better. Thank you! And oh, I find the WordPress app very useful especially when importing phone photos to my media library, commenting back on comments and viewing blog stats.

  • Reply Kaye 2 March 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Pinterest is a life saver! I love Bloglovin. But I never knew they had an app. I’ll download it right now! Thanks for this Camie! :D

  • Reply Jamie Catt 2 March 2015 at 6:38 pm

    “Oh that’s a great idea. I’ll remember that for later.” No. You’ll never remember.

    HAHA Camie! For some reason this made me laugh. Totally relatable!

  • Reply Cheryle 2 March 2015 at 6:45 pm

    I’m actually looking for stock photos for my projects. Thanks for recommending Unsplash! Their photos are unusual and great! :)

    Cheryle

  • Reply aliyahblogs 2 March 2015 at 8:19 pm

    I’m gonna start on my blog this summer so this is helpful! :)

  • Reply KrstaKatt 3 March 2015 at 10:25 am

    There are a lot of good apps/sites that helps me make the most out of blogging but my ultimate fave would be the classic notebook. I really enjoy writing things down first before putting them up in my blog. :)

  • Reply Elaine V. (@elaividal) 3 March 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks for this, Camie! I might consider going back to blogging again. Hope you can give us blogging ideas when someone’s going on a rut on your next post! You never seem to run out of things to blog. Hee.

  • Reply Izzy 3 March 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Reading this article has inspired me to work on my blog more. Unsplash is a life-saver because sometimes I want to post an article, but don’t have an appropriate and beautiful photo to go with it, so it lays around in my drafts section. Thank you for this, Camie! :)

  • Reply mainemanalansan138859560 3 March 2015 at 11:01 pm

    I also suggest Feedly! I personally find it better than Bloglovin’ for design reasons but I think they both serve their purpose well. I’ve been seeing CoSchedule a lot lately and I think I’d give it a try!

  • Reply Pao Marcaida 5 March 2015 at 12:06 pm

    I love this list, Camie! I rekindled my relationship with my blog again (for the nth time), and I found this really useful.

    For the inspiration sources, you might also like the We Heart It app (I know it’s quite old). At first I wasn’t using it a lot, but then when I started to plan for my wedding, I found myself browsing through it almost every day, mostly for visual inspirations.

  • Reply Renz Bulseco 6 March 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I actually use Stock Exchange (sxc.hu) for stock images for 7 years already (haha!). Checked Unsplash and the photos are actually good. :)

  • Reply kitchen93 9 March 2015 at 1:07 pm

    hi is this a tumblr or wordpress base? thanks!

  • Reply rachelleramilo 21 July 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I learned about Unsplash with this blog post of yours. Thanks for sharing! It’s a really useful site.

  • Reply MannyUrg 22 August 2015 at 8:28 pm

    this tips are so helpful esp I am new to blogging industry..

    thanks Camie ;)

  • Reply MannyUrg 22 August 2015 at 8:29 pm

    *These

  • Reply Katrina 5 November 2015 at 9:04 am

    Hi Camie! :) I’m thinking about purchasing a domain, can you suggest where I can buy an affordable but good one?

  • Reply Alyssa 7 July 2016 at 4:18 pm

    This is useful! I never knew there is this site that allows you to use their photos for your blogs. It helped a lot Camie! Thank you xx

    http://alypheb.wordpress.com

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