Taking your blog to the next level requires commitment and persistence. But there are a few great blogging tools that you can use to accelerate your blog's growth. The blogging tools listed below are for everyone, meaning no matter what niche your blog belongs in you can benefit from using these tools. I use every single one of these services so that I can vouch for their effectiveness.
Disclaimer: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. By purchasing products using these links, you can support a Cajun in Cali at NO cost to you. Getting the goods you want while showing support is the best of both worlds!
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Hands down, Pinfinite Growth is the absolute BEST investment for any blogger struggling to find traffic no matter the niche. Trust me, friends. I've purchased it myself and have seen dramatic results!
I first stumbled onto Melyssa Griffin when one of her Pinterest pins grabbed my attention. Like most new bloggers, I was looking for any information I could find on ways to improve my blog.
Instantly, I was drawn in by her honest storytelling, silly humor, and genuine desire to help other bloggers. Since starting my blog a year earlier, I'd been struggling to improve my traffic. No matter what I did, I just wasn't getting anywhere. What I needed was results, and that's just what I got with Pinfinite Growth.
Within three months my traffic had almost tripled! In 6 months I went from 4,000 followers to 20,000 followers. The lasting results have continued to blow me away, and I'm sure the program will work for you too! So, if you're struggling to get traction, I highly recommend this program. It truly changed my blog and gave me hope when I was losing mine.
Every new blogger has heard the phrase "start an email list from day one" at least once. It seemed like everywhere I turned I heard about the importance of having an email list. The message was loud and clear, and coming from some very trustworthy people, too.
Eager to make this blog work, I took the plunge with MailChimp, a free email service provider. Almost immediately I started sending out email newsletters and promoting my email list. I hustled and tried every trick I could find; months later my email list growth was minimal. Frustrated, I turned back to the pros to see what they were using to grow their email lists.
That's when I found Convert Kit, a newer email service provider (or ESP) that gives users the flexibility they need to grow an email list! And making the switch to Convert Kit was easy after reading about the many features. Some of the most useful features include advanced list segmentation, smart auto-responders, and flexible opt-in forms. I can now create an unlimited number of opt-in forms to promote as many content upgrades as I want! SCORE!
Since making the switch to Convert Kit, I couldn't be happier with the results. Within a few months, my list had grown by 35% and my open rate had improved by 10%. I love that I can offer multiple opt-ins for list growth and create landing pages to host on my site as well as on the Convert Kit site. The smart tag features are useful, giving me complete control over which subscribers I contact with only the click of a button. Saying "sayonara" to Mail Chimp was one of the best things I did to grow my email list!
It's easy to be fooled by the bright lights, flashy graphics, and cheap prices of hosting services when you first start blogging. I know I did. (Yes, Blue Host, I'm talking about you.)
We all know that hosting is critical to the success of a blog, but when you're first starting out, it's hard to know which host is the right one for you. Like many people, I went with the cheapest option, which turned out to be a huge mistake.
Things went pretty well with Blue Host, at first. But about six months into my three year (yes, you read that correctly) contract, I had a post go viral. The next morning I woke to an alarming email from Blue Host stating my site had been shut down due to the burst in traffic. Frantic, I phoned their support team only to be told that my shared server couldn't handle the traffic my site was receiving. I was encouraged to upgrade my service to prevent this from happening again and improve my site speed.
After a heated discussion, the staff member green-lit my site without more of my money. But from that day forward my site was slow, sluggish, and a pain in the a$$. After multiple calls, chats, and emails back-and-forth with tech support asking for help, I'd had it. BlueHost had upsold me too many times.
Once again, I turned to the pros for advice. The message was loud and clear: switch to Site Ground. Nearly 75% of my blogger friends highly recommended the service. Above all, they praised the dedicated support available with Site Ground, something I knew I needed, given my lack of tech skills.
From the moment I signed up, I was blown away by the service. I couldn't believe how easy it was to switch not only my hosting by my domain name. My site speed has improved tremendously because of my switch, so it's safe to say that I love Site Ground.
As I've said before, my blog was born out of love for photography. And showcasing beautiful images was my mission from the get go. I spent months trying to figure out how to display large images without slowing down my site. Once again, nothing seemed to work.
Then a few of my blogger buddies turned me on to off-site image hosting. They all bragged about the ability to use large file sizes without delaying page load. So, after some research on the best photo storage system, I took the plunge and signed up for SmugMug.
Signing up for SmugMug was another game changer for me. I love that I can upload full-size images to my posts and pages rather than compressed versions. Hosting off-site allows me to share my images in their full-sized glory.
For a nominal fee, I can upload as many photos as I want. And organizing my images is simple using their photo uploading system. I can protect my photos from theft with right-click protection, prevent social sharing, and even sell them right from the site.
Best of all, the service integrates with my favorite photo editing software, allowing me to push newly edited photos with the click of a button. This service has changed my website and how I manage my photos. There are so many reasons to use SmugMug; I can't recommend it enough!
Blogging is both a written and a visual art. Readers are drawn in by beautiful images and stay for the creative, value-driven content. There is one tool that I believe took my images to the next level, and I'm positive that it can do the same for you.
I've written before about my love for Lightroom, my preferred photo editing software. Talk about a game changer! This program has given me a new respect for post-production and encouraged me to take my photography more seriously.
Learning to use Lightroom's many tools can help you create the beautiful images that will capture reader's attention. Using pre-made presets and brushes can help make your photographs pop! No more boring images for your blog!
And like I just mentioned, Lightroom's SmugMug plugin makes is super easy to upload your finished images directly to your cloud storage system. This saves SO much time and helps streamline post-production.
Lightroom has given me complete control over my work without the headache of learning Photoshop. I highly suggest that any blogger wanting to improve the look of their site to consider using Lightroom.
Y'all, Grammarly is one of the best blogging tools out there! I don't care who you are or what your educational background is, Grammarly can help take your content to the next level.
I'll admit, I was skeptical at first. After all, I've got a Master's Degree, so I should be able to write a blog post, right? Wrong! The very first day I created my Grammarly account I was blown away by the number of errors and suggestions Grammarly made to one of my blog posts.
It wasn't long before I upgraded to the premium version, and, boy, am I happy I did! For only $100 a year, I get my very own grammar coach. No more Yoast remarks about passive voice! Hallelujah!
Best of all, Grammarly easily interfaces with Gmail, Google Docs, and WordPress, the 3 tools I use most. It gives detailed feedback about grammar errors, makes suggested edits, and highlights areas for improvement. My writing has improved 100% since I enrolled in Grammarly, and I'm sure yours will, too!
Evernote is yet another one of the great blogging tools available for bloggers, yet so few people are using it. I use Evernote EVERY SINGLE DAY to help create and organize my content.
It's where I house incomplete blog posts, ideas for future posts, content calendars, and more. I also keep copies of all my blog content for safe keeping and quick reference.
With Evernote, I'm able to create custom "notebooks," or folders, to organize my content. My favorite thing about Evernote is that I can sync content between multiple devices; this means I can work on a post idea on-the-go using my iPhone app and later access the content directly on my computer!
Another one of the greatest blogging tools around is Google Drive. Now, you may be asking yourself how Google Drive could make blogging easier. So listen, friends, and you shall hear.
I use Google Drive for just about everything! In fact, Google Drive has become the brains behind my business. While I use Evernote for content and SmugMug for photos, I use Google Drive for anything business related: spreadsheets of links, affiliate programs, expense reports, and more.
Also like Evernote, Google Drive has an excellent sync function. This means I can access documents, images, or spreadsheets from any device. Want to announce an affiliate sale quickly? No problem! I just head to Google Drive to grab my affiliate link and a related image before popping over to social media to share the news.
The best part about Google Drive is the cost; 15GB of storage is FREE! And upgrading is cheap, so even if you run out of storage, it still won't break the bank.
PSSST...Have You Heard? I've started a new blog all about beginner blogging!
I'm sharing all my best tips and tricks on my new blog, CarlieDayle.com. I want everyone to experience blogging success. Stop struggling and start learning NOW!
Have Any Blogging Tools You Want Listed?
Well, there you have it, folks. These are the blogging tools that I've used to launch my blog into overdrive. They've helped me take my blog to the next level, and I'm sure they will work for you, too. Sure, these tools require some investment, but, for anyone looking to turn their blog into a business, these are the blogging tools you need.
Do you have any blogging tools that are serving you well? If so, be sure to leave a comment below and tell me all about what's working for you.
Stay tuned for even more blogging content in the weeks to come. I've got a few more posts chock-full of helpful tips and resources that have helped me grow my blog over the past two years.
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