2019 is coming to an end soon. You know what that means? It’s reflection time! And with the big 2020 milestone coming up I would like to reflect on the must have blogging tools I’ve used this year and that I recommend going into 2020.
Over this year I have come across some awesome tools and services that have helped me so much with this website and all the extras managing a blog entails.
So in this post I’m going to share with you the must have blogging tools and services that I have found to be so important to me when it comes to running my blog.
My Must Have Blogging Tools and Services
An Awesome Host
Lets face it, none of us would be doing much if we didn’t have somewhere to host our blog.
That is why having an awesome host is my #1 must have tool for my blog.
I recently moved my blog from HostGator to SiteGround.
Now I’ve never had any complaints about HostGator, I’ve been using them since waaaaaay back (I’m old in internet years too).
After moving BloggingYourBlog.com to SiteGround. Holy Speedy Difference Batman!
The site is soooooooo much faster now.
And the SG Optimizer that you can use is so nice. (You get this included with your hosting with the Grow Big Plan and Go Geek Plan)
Between SiteGround hosting and their Optimizer tool they give you my page speed scores with Google PageSpeed Insights went from in the 20s to the 90s!
But wait there’s more!!!!!! (cheesy, I know)
You also get free SSL for your domain and daily backups.
And with the Grow Big and Go Geek, you can also get free WordPress migrations. So that makes life super easy if you want to transfer your blog to them.
I did have some issues with using the free transfer tool, HostGator apparently had something that was blocking it from going through.
But SiteGround moved it themselves for me. It took about 4 hours total from the time I opened the ticket to get the transfer done. So that was super awesome.
I really have never been awed by customer service of a hosting company before, but SiteGround has made that a first for me.
I would recommend using SiteGround as your hosting service to any blogger.
The best suggestion I can make when signing up with them is to take the 2 or 3 year plan to help keep your costs down for the next few years.
Pinterest is my #1 traffic source for this blog. And Tailwind has contributed to that fact so much.
If I didn’t have Tailwind I would hate to think how much of my time I would have to spend doing everything for Pinterest manually to get the traffic results I’m currently getting.
Adding to the time saving benefits that Tailwind provides, it also gives you the ability to use Tailwind Tribes.
Tailwind Tribes gives you even more opportunities to get your pins in front of new potential readers. I even bumped up my sub to get a Tailwind Tribe PowerUp, this way I could utilize the Tribes even more.
You can try out Tailwind for free before you pay for a subscription.
My main recommendation with Tailwind is to go with the year subscription. Not only will choosing that option give you a better price over the year long period, you also get unlimited pinning ability with it.
I was able to increase my views from Pinterest 200% with Tailwind after switching to the year long sub from the monthly option within just a few weeks.
This is one tool I just started using recently. And honestly I don’t know what took me so long, because I’m in love with this thing. So it’s for sure getting on my must have blogging tools list.
Elementor is such a time saver for designing pages on my blog. And it gives me many more options to have my site looking good without trying to beat the website into submission with coding by hand.
I will for sure be putting this plugin onto all my WordPress sites. Yeah, I know, I’m late to the game on that.
I have purchased the Pro version of Elementor for this site to see what all it has to offer. It gives you even more options and templates to use for your WordPress sites, and so far I’m loving the Pro version.
If you don’t want to pay for Elementor, then you’re in luck, there’s a free version that still gives you TONs of design options for your site.
I would recommend trying out the free version of Elementor. I guarantee you will not be disappointed, and you can give parts of your blog a makeover!
Where would any blogger be without a mailing list?
I guess only talking to you all on our blogs lol. That’s why an email service is one of the must have blogging tools for any blogger.
Now I’m all about saving money and cutting costs where possible. I have bills to pay and don’t make my full time living from this, so this girl has to count pennies too.
And this is where MailerLite is my best email service friend.
MailerLite will let you use their service FOR FREE for up to 1,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month.
After you hit one of those awesome numbers then you can start out at as little as $10 per month.
If you would like to hit those numbers sooner rather than later check out my post on Opt In Freebies You Can Use to Grow Your Mailing List.
MailerLite also has a super user friendly interface that makes setting up automation for your emails a breeze.
Canva makes Pinterest success possible for me. I can make great looking pins with Canva. Because lets face it, Pinterest requires pretty pins since it is after all the Pretty Google.
Along with pins, I can create graphics for the site and for social media too.
It is one tool that has so much use.
It’s helped me so much that I actually did splurge and get the premium subscription for the added benefits that come with it. But that is something that is an individual choice, it just made sense for me due to the extent at which I use Canva.
The free service you get with Canva is great, and I really recommend that everyone get and use a free account with Canva.
Creative Market ties in with Canva for me.
If you don’t know about Creative Market, it’s a websites with loads of graphics, fonts, templates and more.
The best part is when you sign up for an account, each week you get 6 freebies!
Just from that alone you can amass quite a collection of usable graphic design goodies you can use for your websites. You just have to make sure to check the freebies each week, they go up on Monday.
Keeping track of everything that needs to be done has never been one of my strong points.
And as you know, having a blog comes with a TON of stuff you need to keep track of and ideas you need to remember.
If it wasn’t for Todoist I would probably have 15 million balled up pieces of paper on my desk with random thoughts written on each one and no idea where to start.
If you have never heard of Todoist, it’s this handy app that you can use on your phone and also tie it in with the Todoist browser extension to jot down what you need to get done. This can all be set to what days you need to have certain things done on.
It’s kind of like a notepad and caledar app all in one.
And you get emailed your tasks that need to be done for the day each morning. I love this feature, with the email I can go over what needs to be done for the day while I’m drinking my first cup of coffee and checking emails.
During 2019 Keywords Everywhere went to a paid platform for using all the features. That was sad, it was such an awesome free tool that was easy to use since it was a browser extension.
That meant I would have to pay up to get keyword research done fully or find another solution.
I’m happy to say I found another solution and it is UberSuggest.
You get all the stuff Keywords Everywhere had, the only catch is that you have to go to the UberSuggest site to get the info instead of it being available on your search page you’re using.
But what UberSuggest offers that Keywords Everywhere didn’t is the ability to see what content is available for various search terms. And you can see what keywords other websites rank for, what their traffic is, and much more.
Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast has been an essential tool when writing blog posts and making sure that all the SEO points are met each time.
This SEO plugin makes it easy to make sure your keyword phrase is used the right way and at the right frequency. And you can also easily make sure you completed all the major SEO points for your post or page.
It also makes it easy to set up Pinterest rich pins, along with having all your meta data done correctly.
A Checklist for My Blog Posts
I am absent minded at times.
And when it comes to the small little things in a long process, I tend to forget the smallest.
So I made a blog post checklist to help out making sure that all the points are completed in making a blog post before publishing it.
Another part of making blog posts that I can get hung up on is coming up with the blog post title.
To help me out with my blog post titles I created a cheat sheet with blog post title formulas. This way once I have my keyword phrase I can just take the cheat sheet out and run down the list until I find the right fit.
Doing this shaves off tons of time I would waste trying to think of one from scratch.
Google Drive and Docs
If you have a Google account, then you have access to Google Drive and Google Docs.
These are used so much when it comes to keeping track of things with blogging for me.
I can use one computer to write up some rough drafts or keep notes. And this way if I’m on my Chromebook or Tablet I can access those drafts and notes.
Google Drive and Google Docs are so convenient, and if you haven’t tried them out yet go on and give it a go.
Honorable Mentions Must Have Blogging Tools
There’s a few that I wouldn’t say are “must have blogging tools” but they sure helped me out when it comes to getting things done for my blog.
I need music to help me zone out and get in the grove of things, so my Pandora sub is a lifesaver for my productivity.
Wait Ultimate Bundles a place to buys stuff or be an affiliate! Yep.
But, the Genius Bloggers toolkit that went on sale a few months back was a knowledge goldmine. And I soaked up every bit that I could.
I know that there were some who said that experienced bloggers wouldn’t find any use, but I don’t think that’s true. I for one always look forward to being able to see how other bloggers do what they do. And for the price of less than one small blogging course you got a crap ton of content in that bundle.
They also have other bundles if you want to increase your knowledge about money, productivity, and other subjects.
If you would like to sign up for their affiliate program so you know what all is going on sale and a great opportunity to make some extra cash helping promote bundles you can sign up here.
Astra WordPress Theme
After moving the blog to SiteGround, and grabbing Elementor, I decided to give a new theme a try.
I needed a WordPress theme that was fast and that also utilized Elementor’s abilities.
After some research I found Astra, and it’s been great. I’m loving the theme and the customizations that come with it.
Answer the Public
This is another tool that I like to use during keyword research.
Answer the Public is great to use to see what people are searching for when asking questions about a topic.
If you ever find yourself sitting there with an idea about a topic, but you’re not sure what exactly people are wanting asking about it, go over to Answer the Public and it will tell you all the questions people have been asking.
I like to use Visme to make infographics.
Visme is like Canva, but even better for infographics.
It’s a nice compliment to my graphic creations on my websites and blog too.
Must Have Blogging Tools Recap
- Good Hosting for My Blog (Currently Siteground)
- Creative Market
- Yoast SEO Plugin
- Blog Post Checklist
- Blog Post Title Formulas
- Google Drive and Docs
Have you found a tool or service you use for your blog that has become essential for you?