If you’re thinking about starting your own blog or want to improve your content and take your blog to the next level, you need the right tools. Keeping a quality blog requires good organisation, great design and excellent content. In this post, I’ll take you through some of my top blogging essentials.
Notebook & Folder
First thing’s first, you need somewhere to collect your ideas. I use my notebook to jot down all the post ideas I have floating about in my mind so that I don’t forget them. No matter how bad the idea, I write it down. It may come in useful later or it may trigger a better idea in my mind when I see it again.
I also read all the time. Especially magazines where I can find articles on current topics or the latest designers and artists. If I like something, I’ll keep the tear sheet in a folder to refer back to for research when I need a new idea.
Once you’ve got your ideas, you need to schedule them in a calendar. I use a weekly planner where I can clearly see which post I have coming up as well as reminders for social media updates and any brands I need to email with my post link. This makes life so much easier as I’m not trying to memorise everything and it ensures that I don’t forget anything important!
Post-it notes are also good for reminders for the times you forget to look at your calendar. My wall and desk are pretty much always post-itted (I need a lot of prompting, clearly).
This could be as professional as a DSLR or as handy as your phone. I’m not made of money (just yet) so for me my iPhone does the trick perfectly well. Good lighting, great props and editing make all the difference. You don’t need to be a photographer but you do need to practise to learn what compositions and lighting work best. There’s nothing worse than a brilliant post being brought down by dark, grainy imagery.
Props come a long way when it comes to getting the perfect shot. They are great space-fillers and can also add some personality and colour into your image. Get some quote cards or collect wallpaper samples. Use pretty patterns and prints found around your home on cushions, rugs and plates. Throw in some flowers or ribbons or beads. Get creative!
You may also want to get a large piece of white card if you don’t have any suitable surfaces at home. This will be a handy make-shift backdrop for your photos.
Top tip: Use Blu Tack to position tube-shaped props in place!
Something light like a MacBook Air is awesome for bloggers on the go. Mine even fits into my handbag! It’s really useful to be able to have my laptop on me for spare moments I can use to work on my blog. Also worth it for times when you’re uninspired by your desk and want to go and work in a cosy café where you can write whilst you people watch.
Photo Editing Software
Photoshop is my best friend. No matter how bad the photo, it can work its magic to make an infinitely better image. I’m not talking slimming selfie edits here, I’m talking taking a quick snap when you’re out and being able to transform it into a blog-able, instagram-able masterpiece. The key things to edit are lighting, colouring and image size.
If you can’t get hold of Photoshop, try online sites such as Pixlr.
Social Media Schedule
Sign up for Hootsuite or Buffer and schedule in your social media updates for the best audience-reaching times. Think about when your readers will be likely to browse social media. Are they commuters? If so, early morning and early evening are good times to post. If they’re teens, go for lunchtime and after school. Read more about building a social media strategy here.
Scheduling my updates means I can get them sorted out as soon as my post has been written without having to wait for the publish date. This means my Twitter and Facebook profiles update with new posts without me having to get out of bed to do it myself.
If you liked this post, check out: How To Create Blog Post Ideas
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