Important Blogging Tools

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Once you have your blog going and filled it with great content, it is time to set it up to monetize for making you an income. I have created a list of the blogging tool that I personally use and highly recommend. One of the most important lessons to learn here is that without some basic marketing strategies, your blog will never be seen and you won't be making any income from it. You don't have to be a marketing guru, because I certainly am not, but these tools will help you achieve enough marketing skills to set up your strategy so your blog can start making you money. Part of your strategy will be how you want to make an income. Affiliate marketing is one of the most basic ways for a blog to do that. Once you have your social media set up and these tools working for you, these very tools can become your affiliate partners. You don't have to make them affiliates if you prefer to go another direction to earn money with your blog, but it is something to consider. As I stated before, I am using all of these tools and I have also become affiliate partners with them. If you click on a link and sign up with any of them, then I get a small referral fee at no extra cost to you. So you can do the same and not feel like you are making your readers pay extra to help them and yourself. I love that! So here is the list of tools that I have been using and feel are critical for my blogging business success.

Bluehost is the number one hosting service on the internet and I highly recommend them. If you have started your blog with another hosting site and want to change to Bluehost, they will walk you through the easy steps to do that. You also get a free domain for a year or you can use the one you already have. The best thing about Bluehost is you get WordPress for free! I use WordPress because it is so easy and their support team is awesome with help and video tutorials for everything you can imagine! Here is my special link to Bluehost or if you already have them, then let's move on.

 Now it's time to make your logo. Your logo is one of the most important steps besides picking your niche. Your logo should have the name of your blog business and some eye-catching graphic. Your name should some how convey to people the minute they see it what you are writing about. If you are a creative artsy person, you can use a design site and do your own logo. If not, then I suggest you go to Fiverr.  They have styles and prices to suit everyone. You choose your style, your budget, how fast you need it, and they suggest one of their many free designers. The designer will email you with a few choices and you can pick one or simply communicate back and forth with the designer until you have your perfect logo. You can start your free account to Fiverr here.
Pic Monkey is the graphic design site I use the most. It's very user friendly and easy to learn. Their staff keeps you informed and always ready to help. They have good tutorials and their social media templates are an easy way to create pins for Pinterest. You can edit your blog images like a pro with their easy to follow site and the staff is available to pitch in if you need them. I have to admit I was used to using Paint to edit and create images and would get frustrated at the limitations. After a few tutorials on Pic Monkey I felt like a pro. Here is the link to join Pic Monkey and start designing!

Social Warfare is a wordpress plugin that will place a social media share bar on your website with just a click of the button. Once you add the plugin there will be a button on your toolbar and all you have to do is click it and it will place it right where you want it. Having social media buttons for your readers to share your post to their social media is an important way to increase your followers to your site. It's easy to install and set up and I advise you to make sure you add your share buttons to all of your posts. Here is the link to get your Social Warfare plugin.

I talked about the importance of SEO in my post How To Start A Travel Blog. All In One Seo plugin is important for search engine traffic. It helps with adding SEO to your posts and submitting your site map to the search engines so they know that you have awesome content to share. This makes you great at SEO without ever having to become an expert at it. Search traffic is free and helps to increase your site views and followers. Learn all about ALL IN ONE SEO here.
I have to admit it took me awhile to understand how Pretty Link works, but once I did, I soon realized how awesome it is. This is becoming my favorite tool for my affiliate links and blog posts. Affiliate links can be very long and ugly, but you can rename the link with your blog address and whatever you want to call it. For instance you have an affiliate link for Bluehost and it looks like: https://affiliatelinkforbluehost/dfgdfg/d509932/mouseears101/92234#113
So when a reader hovers over the link and sees all of that, they might change their minds in fear or confusion. If you install the Pretty Link plugin, all you have to do is open the app in your WordPress Dashboard, click Add Link. I always choose Permanent from the drop-down menu, then copy and paste your target URL (where you want the link to take you) in the Target box. Next you will type in what you want your extension to look like after the slash. Example: (just type in bluehost) There is a box for a title for your link such as Bluehost Affiliate Link and you can also add notes (affiliate, blog post, etc). Click Submit and that's it. Now you can use the pretty link wherever you would have used the other one. Get the plugin for Pretty Links here.
Probably one of my most important tools is Tailwind. You can schedule posts for Pinterest pins and Instagram images which is a huge time saver. They even have optimum time slots picked out for you. You just upload your pins and images, click schedule and forget about it. You can even schedule the same pin to post over and over on your different boards. If you want to change the time slots they have  customized for you, you can, and add your own. Tailwind will be one of the most important ways to post a large number of pins and images on a daily basis. This will drive tons of traffic to your site. Here is the link to Tailwind.
Revive Old Posts is a plugin that I use to schedule and repost some of my older posts to Facebook and Twitter. This comes in handy when I go on vacation or need more family time during the holidays. A blogging business has to run 365 days of the year or you might suffer in your analytics. Take a week off from posting and sharing on social media and you will see a significant drop in your page views and sales. Sure a sick day now and then will not derail you but a few days to a week and you will feel it. So once you have a large inventory of posts, you can revive and repost some of your most popular past ones. Here is the link to Revive Old Posts.
I have provided you with 8 of these tools that I use and I hope that you can find them useful to your business. I will update and add to this post if I find some more jewels that make blogging more fun and profitable. Please contact me if you have any questions about any of these tools.
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