Top 10 Blogging & Social Media Tools

Top 10 Blogging & Social Media Tools

*Disclaimer: Affiliate links may be used in this post. If you make a purchase using my link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only work with companies and products that I genuinely love & use myself.  I appreciate your support in advance.

Welcome back, friends. If you are a Blogger, you know the struggle. As much as we LOVE what we do, it is very time consuming and requires a high presence on your cell-phone, computer and social media (if you want a highly engaged audience, anyways). That being said, I have done massive amounts of research and have tried countless apps and tools.

Today, I’m going to share with you the ten tools and apps that have helped me with productivity, planning, social media engagement, blog traffic and gaining subscribers. Although this is not a full-time gig for me (right now), my numbers have skyrocketed since I started using these tools, so I hope you will find them just as useful!

*Side note: In this post, I go over Instagram & Pinterest, however I’m not saying Twitter and Facebook aren’t great tools for Bloggers. 100%, they are. If you’d like, I may do a future post on how I get my traffic through Facebook groups & Twitter. Let me know down below. 


1. PINTEREST

Pinterest. The HOLY GRAIL of blogging and the NUMBER ONE traffic source, for real. Personally, I never knew how important Pinterest was for my blog until I started using it. In a few short months, Pinterest quickly became the source for 80% of my blog views.

Many think of DIY when it comes to Pinterest, but it is so much more than that. Pinterest is basically the visual version of Google. Don’t get it twisted- PINTEREST IS 100% A SEARCH ENGINE! If you aren’t using Pinterest yet, get going. I will link Ell Duclos’ (PS. if you don’t know about her, check out her blog now. She’s such a badass) course down below, which goes over how to use Pinterest from start to finish (including Tailwind, which I will talk about next). I took this course, and let me tell you, it is well worth every penny. 

*Pinterest with Ell: The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest – Pinterest Course

Price: Free


2. TAILWIND

The baby sister of Pinterest. Seriously, Tailwind will become your best-friend. Tailwind is a tool that schedules and auto-posts your Pins literally while you sleep. Again, this is a huge contributing factor towards my growth in traffic.

Once a week, I sit down on Tailwind for about an hour, and schedule all of my pins for the upcoming week (side note: I schedule about 50 pins per day). I include blog posts that are doing well, as well as content from my Pinterest Followers tab & Tailwind Tribes content. I post to my own boards as well as group boards). It’s really up to you. Again, the course I linked above also goes over techniques to use Tailwind to its fullest potential. This is a tool that will become a complete game-changer for your traffic. 

Price: Free Trial (up to 100 Pins)
The plan I purchased: PLUS– $9.99 / month (unlimited Pins)

tailwind


3. INSTAGRAM

I’m sure there is no introduction required here. If you are a Business Owner or Blogger though, you need an Instagram account. Stat. Whether you like it or not, marketing and advertising is slowly but surely becoming all digital, and you guessed it, Instagram is at the top of the list.

It can be an intimidating platform for sure, and is hard to grow with the constantly changing algorithm, however it’s a tool that will get eyes on your product or service. Hands down, Instagram is one of the top ways to promote what YOU do, as almost everyone has an account these days. The blogging community is also very supportive on Instagram, and I have met so many amazing blogger friends through this platform. Give it a try!

Price: Free

*Ps. Come say HI! I’m over at @25thoughts_

instagram feed


4. PLANOLY

If you’re interested in creating an aesthetic & visually pleasing Instagram feed (which you should be), then this is where Planoly comes in. With Planoly (phone app), you upload your photos to the grid to rearrange your photos (drag and drop feature) however you like them best. You can then “schedule” a reminder, which reminds you when it’s time to post it on Instagram. You can do this right through the app. This app saves me TONS of time when it comes to posting on Instagram. You can also write and save your captions through this app, which is nice. A simple “paste” is all it takes when it’s time to post! 

Price: Free
Other Paid plans are available, depends on your scheduling needs.

instagram feed


5. LINKTREE

Another Instagram tool that I am die-hard obsessive with. If you are already using Instagram, you know the deal. You are only allowed ONE link in your bio. If you’re a Blogger or Business Owner, you would probably choose your website link. But there is so much more that your readers want to see. This is where Link Tree comes in.

Link Tree is a website, where you can add all of the links you’d like into one place. Then simply “paste” the link the website gives you, and voila! When your reader clicks the link, they will see many options to choose from. On mine, I have links for my Blog Homepage, Latest Post, Twitter Account, Pinterest Account, and Access Gourmet (the Culinary page I am working on for a friend of mine). Check it out!

Price: Free
Upgraded Plan available for $6 USD / month

linktree


6. GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Google Analytics is a tool you MUST use if you own any type of website, whether it’s for blogging or your business. This is the best way to figure out WHO your audience is and what they want. Using this tool, you can get demographic insights, including where people visit your site from in the world. (Side note: I think it’s so cool that a HUGE portion of my readers are based in the UK. I’m born and raised in Canada, however my Grandparents are from England.)

You can also find out your bounce rate, and which pages on your site are viewed the most. This information will really help you to figure out who your target market is & how to best cater to your readers. It can be challenging to learn at first, so I recommend doing some research.

A good article that thoroughly explains Google Analytics and exactly how to use it:
*A Blogger’s Guide to Google Analytics

Price: Free

google analytics


7. MAILERLITE

Having an email list as a Blogger is so key and undervalued, in my opinion. A lot of people argue that email marketing is dying due to other sources of advertising. While this may be true, your email list is the ONE THING you actually own. For example, what if Instagram decided to shut down tomorrow? You don’t own those followers. With your email subscribers, you truly have a chance to share exactly what you want to share and get the information to your readers in the most effective way.

Another thing to consider is that your subscribers are often the most loyal to you. They are the people who will truly support you, so having a way to directly connect with them on a personal level is key.

MailerLite is my favourite platform to use, as it is very straightforward to learn and use. I send out emails to my list once per month, along with new post updates. Using MailerLite, you can track your new subscribers, un-subscribers, send campaigns, auto-send new posts, set automation flows (eg. when someone subscribes to your blog, they receive a certain email), and make pop-ups for your website. The best part, it’s all free (as long as you are under 1000 subscribers).

Article & Video to Assist with the set-up process:

*How To Start Building Your Email List With MailerLite (article)
*How To Set Up MailerLite for Your Blog (YouTube video)

Price: Free
Other plans are available for higher subscription lists, starting at $10 / month

mailerlite


PHOTO EDITING TOOLS:

As a Blogger or Business Owner, photo editing will be a big part of your business. Whether you are big into photography or not, your readers are likely still very visual, and you will need to find a way to incorporate photos into your website and social media. Personally, I’m no photographer, that’s for sure. For my blog photos, I usually use Pexels, which is a site that offers free stock photos that are unique and high-quality. For my Instagram page, I always use photos I take myself. To help me out, I enlist my trusted photo editing apps. There are 3 that I use on a consistent basis:

8. ADOBE LIGHTROOM CC

By far, my favourite photo editing app. If you are advanced, you can use the curve, exposure, tone and contrast tools. If you’re not so advanced (like me) there are so many presets on Lightroom that make photo editing a breeze. I purchased a preset here, which I use to edit my photos sometimes (you need Lightroom to use these presets). Other times, I will just adjust the brightness and exposure and call it a day. Whatever your level of expertise, there is something for you on Lightroom.

Price: Free
*Upgraded paid version is available (but not necessary for basic editing)

 


9. COLORSTORY

ColorStory is my baby. By far, THE easiest photo editing app I’ve ever used. There are tons and tons of free filters to choose from to enhance your photos. My favourite is the “Crisp” preset which enhances brightness and makes white photos look more crisp and beautiful (no more yellowish whites!) Definitely a must-have.

Price: Free
*Additional Presets & Filter packs available starting $1.29

 

 


10. TOUCH/RETOUCH

This is a great photo-editing tool for removing unwanted objects in your images. I will attach a photo as an example.. The first photo is of my dog Jack on the lawn. With one simple swipe (using the brush tool), Jack is gone! Sad example. But seriously, it’s so easy. Check it out!

Price: Free

 

 


I hope you get a chance to try out some of these tools and apps! Let me know down below YOUR favourites, or if any of these worked for you! All the best to you and happy blogging!

xo,

*Related Post: Ask a Blogger: Q&A with Jessica Lam – Blogger of Diary of a Toronto Girl

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64 Comments

  1. January 23, 2019 / 2:55 pm

    These are all great tools! I have to try out one or two of the photo editors I haven’t used 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  2. January 23, 2019 / 3:43 pm

    Love how informative and easy to read this post is. Also need to try retouch app on my photos. I am a big fan of Lightroom and it did change the way I edit my photos specially for my blog. Loving your blog keep on sharing.

    ❤️Kaye | http://amalog.co

    • January 23, 2019 / 7:16 pm

      Right? Isn’t Lightroom just amazing? I hope you like Retouch just as much. xo

  3. January 23, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing this! I didn’t know about link tree and now I may have to look into it!

    Cyn
    http://www.cynspo.com

    • January 23, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Woohoo LinkTree is where it’s at girl! Can’t wait to see yours on your Insta! xo

  4. January 23, 2019 / 8:21 pm

    Pinterest is a great resource and I love how I am able to get views from pinning.

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:22 pm

      Isn’t it amazing? I didn’t know how important it really was for such a long time. xo

  5. January 23, 2019 / 9:26 pm

    I loved this blog post I found it really helpful and it introduced me to some apps I hadn’t even heard of 🙂 Loved it!

  6. January 23, 2019 / 10:27 pm

    Brilliant. Useful information, especially about Instagram. I’m going to try the photo editors you suggested.
    Thanks,
    Elly

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:22 pm

      They’re really great! Let me know how they go for you, Elly. Thanks for reading!

  7. Clare Kennedy
    January 24, 2019 / 12:38 am

    thanks for cluing me in to the editing apps!

  8. Jenna
    January 24, 2019 / 3:18 am

    Great post – some of these websites I have never even heard of! Definitely need to check them out soon!
    -Jenna ❤
    The Chic Cupcake

  9. January 24, 2019 / 6:53 pm

    Color Story has to be one of my favorite photo editing apps — it’s so easy to learn and edits photos really well, plus I like the fact that you can add treatments to your pictures to make them more unique.

    Great post! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks, Michelle! And I totally agree- Color Story is so user-friendly which is really nice! xo

  10. January 25, 2019 / 9:55 am

    I love Pinterest but only really use it for fun, I’ve not found it particularly beneficial to my blog views as I get most of my traffic from Twitter, the WordPress reader and search engines. But I get some extra, which is great. I think VSCO is a great app too but I did download Color Story to have a bash at that one too! Great post 🙂

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:24 pm

      That’s awesome, Jenny! I’ve actually heard that from others as well. I guess maybe it just depends on the person and/or the niche? Thanks for reading xo

  11. January 25, 2019 / 10:11 am

    This is such a useful post, I’m bookmarking it for future callback x

  12. January 25, 2019 / 11:40 am

    Thank you so much for writing this helpful post! I’ve heard about how great Pinterest can be for bloggers & I think I need to jump on board now!

  13. January 25, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    I use most of these! I just added link tree to my Instagram a few weeks ago and I am already seeing traffic come from my blog. So, its good to have

  14. January 26, 2019 / 5:28 am

    Awesome post, and so informative! Found a few new apps to use. Thank you so much. ☺️

  15. January 26, 2019 / 12:36 pm

    Great post, really helpful! I need to learn about Pinterest asap, I’ve had it for a while but not had much of a clue to how to use it so I shall probably have look at that guide!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  16. January 26, 2019 / 10:56 pm

    This is really helpful. What a great post!

  17. January 26, 2019 / 11:08 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to some of the apps for my blog I have never even heard of! I really think I can use some of this, I signed up to receive your newsletter so I can refer back to it some. Thanks again! Blessings.

  18. Vansh Tiwari
    January 27, 2019 / 4:10 am

    This is Interesting I hadn’t heard of planoly yet. Thanks for the info Beautiful 👍.

  19. January 27, 2019 / 6:35 am

    I juzt started on pinning three weeks ago and tailwind this week. One pin is already past 1.2k views in two weeks, and has like 40 clicks, so it works!
    I may gwt linktree after reading this. My friends use it but couldnt really explain to me what you just did in three sentences…

  20. January 27, 2019 / 10:31 pm

    Well done girl, these are some of the key tools every blogger needs to succeed online. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Madi Dearson @madidearson.com
    January 28, 2019 / 1:35 pm

    Wow! so much great info! I heard of planloy before but I was sure it was a paid app. Never heard about linktree before and it’s already open on my screen ai I can check it and a few more apps you mentioned. Thanks for this!

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Awesome! Yeah, Planoly offers a paid version, but I use the free! Hope they work out well for you!

  22. January 28, 2019 / 2:03 pm

    These are some really great tips and tools! I want to get tailwind so bad, hopefully this year I will be able to fit it in. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:25 pm

      Thanks Kristin! Why don’t you try the free trial and see how it goes for you? xo

  23. Amy Jane Cheong
    January 28, 2019 / 3:28 pm

    These are VERY good tips! I actually saved this as my favourites. Your blog is so pretty btw, keep it up! 💞✨ x

      • Amy Jane Cheong
        January 29, 2019 / 5:28 pm

        No, thank you for the tips! And you’re very welcome x

  24. January 28, 2019 / 4:38 pm

    I forgot about linktree!!! Glad I came across this – I need to get it again!

  25. hannahcopcutt
    January 28, 2019 / 8:44 pm

    These tools are so useful. I’m trying to increase my traffic at the moment and I get thinking about getting tailwind.

  26. January 28, 2019 / 9:02 pm

    Great post! I loved your insight on all the proper tools to use for blogging essentials!

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      For sure, you’ll get there, but it is a long process lol. So much to it!

  27. Kristen Guglielmo
    January 29, 2019 / 2:05 am

    I didn’t know about some of those photo apps. Thank you!

  28. January 29, 2019 / 2:26 am

    Tailwind is by far one of my favorite blogging tools. It helped me so much with staying active in my blog promotion, even when I was on a hiatus. And I haven’t started an email list yet, so I’m definitely going to check into Mailerlite!

    Charlotte | http://www.thisgirlknowsit.com

    • January 29, 2019 / 5:27 pm

      agreeeeee- Tailwind is where it’s at! You’ll love MailerLite too- so user friendly. xo

  29. January 29, 2019 / 3:38 pm

    Thanks for these info, I should take a look into the e-mail list thingy…

  30. Natasha MacFarlane
    January 29, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    this is awesome!!! Will be trying out some of these! Thank you!

    • February 2, 2019 / 12:38 am

      I agree – we have so much to share with our audience, so I think you’ll find it super helpful! xo

  31. February 7, 2019 / 5:47 pm

    This is such a good post!! I love tailwind. I’ve noticed such a change in my instagram since I started using it. I’m definitely going to look at linktree and planoly.

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