12 Free Apps You Need To Make Your Blogging Life Easier

apps blogging

SOCIAL

TWITTER

Now I thought this was a give in but I have spoken to some bloggers recently that don’t actually use Twitter to promote their blog so I thought I would. I would say 60-70% of my views on any day come from Twitter, so if you are not using it you could be missing out on some hefty traffic.

For me, Twitter works best when I schedule (see buffer below…) around 6 blog promotion tweets a day. This might seem like a lot but remember that Twitter is chronological (probably until Facebook buy it and ruin everything *cough* Instagram) so you need to be pushing out to your followers regularly to make sure you are reaching as many of them as possible. Tagging retweet accounts like ‘Blogging Gals’ or ‘The Bloggers Hub’ is also a great way to reach new audiences.

INSTAGRAM

I think Instagram is amazing for portraying the brand you want your blog to have. It does take a lot of work, effort and consistency to start to really see results from Instagram but it is possible even though we are all very disillusioned by it right now.

Last month (April 2017) I posted on Instagram every day for roughly 2 weeks and my following grew by about 200. You can post a couple of images from a single blog post over a couple of days giving you a few opportunities to remind people to check it out.

PINTEREST

I feel like people either totally get Pinterest and thrive with it, or you don’t understand it at all and just re-pin some pretty living rooms every now and again. I am definitely in the latter category, but I have been trying to make an effort to repin at least a couple of things a day just to stay active. My favourite board to pin to is my ‘Blogging Tips’ board so whilst I don’t rely on this for getting traffic, I do rely on it a lot for learning about blogging, SEO and social media.

I have made it my goal to get to grips with using Pinterest for blog promotion by the end of the year, so maybe I will get back to you on this one…

CROWDFIRE

I use this as a Twitter follower tracker. Some people hate these and some people have no problem with them so if you hate them, look awaaay now.

This app is very different from using ‘bots’ and doesn’t automate activity. It shows accounts that have followed you so you can follow back if you want, it shows you unfollowers and it also shows you accounts that you are following that have been inactive for over a month. I go through this maybe once or twice a month and just tidy things up. I know and you know that blogging is not and should not be a numbers game but if you’re like me and do enjoy watching your accounts grow then this will definitely help you.

FOLLOWMETER

You used to be able to use Crowdfire to get all the same analytics for Instagram but after their Privacy Policy changed it became a lot more difficult so I started using Followmeter instead. I only use the free version which allows you to see followers and unfollowers. There is an option to pay for the premium version that unlocks things like ‘ghost followers’ and ‘fans’ if it really interests you.

BUFFER

Probably one of my favourite blogging related apps, Buffer allows you to easily schedule tweets promoting blog posts. You can set your own schedule or they show you popular times in your country, and you can schedule up to 10 tweets in advance. You can also see analytics for each tweet that they push out like how many impressions it got, how many times the link was clicked etc so it’s really easy to see at a glance how popular certain tweets were.

I think the best feature about this is that you can ‘re-buffer’ a tweet so if a tweet went well and got lots of clicks, you can simply hit one button and it will add it back to your queue.

UNUM

This is my favourite app for Instagram. UNUM connects to your Instagram account and you upload the pictures you are going to be putting on Instagram and it gives you a preview of what your feed will look like and then you can easily move them about to see what will look best! You can also pre-type captions and have them there waiting for when you are going to upload straight from the app. I like to spend a bit of time every couple of days writing up my captions and adding hashtags to save me time during the day when uploading to Instagram. One of my favourite things about this app is that it keeps a record of all the hashtags you use so you just click the hashtag box when you are writing your caption and you just tap the ones you want to insert. and it lets you know when you have hit 30/30 hashtags!

 

apps-blogging

PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOSHOP EXPRESS

I use this app by Adobe to edit every single one of my blog or Instagram pics. If you are a total photography newbie like me then this will make everything super simplistic for you. It allows you to adjust all the usual settings of a photo like saturation, brightness, shadows etc. and has allowed me to get to grips with some really basic editing features.

CANVA

I use this to add text to photos or to create headers and similar things. I made my blog header using it actually! There are loads of fonts and layouts to choose from and they have pre-selected dimensions for most social media things. So, if you want to create a Twitter header you just go on to this and choose the ‘Twitter Header’ dimension and it lets you see exactly how it will look on your profile.

This is also really good for creating a ‘pinnable’ image for a blog post as there are loads of pre-created Pinterest layouts that look really professional.

You can check out Canva with this link!

ANALYTICS AND PLANNING

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

One of my favourite things about having a self-hosted blog is being able to access google analytics. The app does take a little while to get used to. it’s not particularly difficult to use but you do need to know how to get to the information that is most suited for your use. Most likely page views and users. Although I prefer to sit down on my laptop to properly analyse stats, it’s handy to be able to quickly and accurately check stats from my phone.

GOOGLE SHEETS

I use a Google spreadsheet to keep my blog totally organised, so everything from my content schedule to my monthly stats is on there. This app makes it really easy to look at a glance and see which posts I have coming up and need to work on, or if I have an idea for the title of a post I can add it to my ‘Blog Posts’ tab quickly and easily!

WORDPRESS

I wouldn’t bother having this on my phone but I actually use it to upload pictures directly to my blog posts. I find if the image is on my laptop before being on the post it gets compressed a lot and shows a lot smaller and grainier. It does come in handy for other things as well like being able to hit ‘publish’ on a post straight from my phone or fixing any quick typos.

Well, that is pretty much every app I use for blogging! What apps do you use? Have you used any mentioned here, or is there something I didn’t mention that you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments!

 

 Allanah xxx

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  • Jessica Francis

    I cannot for the life of me get my google analytics to work so I need to get on that! So many people talk about how useful it is.
    Also I never new the uses of crowdfire – I’m not a huge fan of getting the automated ‘thanks for following’ DM’s but it looks the app could be pretty good for it’s other uses.

    Thanks for the tips!

    http://www.seeweardo.co.uk/

    • Allanah Methven

      I am definitely still getting to grips with analytics haha it looks so complicated but once you figure out what you actually want to know and where to find it it becomes a lot easier. The best thing is that it’s the most reliable stats available and the ones that PRs and Brands like to rely on too.

      Ahhh the awful automated DM! Just makes you want to unfollow haha! x

  • Buffer is wonderful! I use it all the time for scheduling my tweets. Its so much easier to write them all at once and schedule them throughout the day than to keep coming back to the computer and manually updating every few hours.

    • Allanah Methven

      Yes Buffer is such a life saver! It has increased my referrals from Twitter so much x

  • Fork Veg

    Great blogging tips/apps! I use Canva <3 so easy!

    • Allanah Methven

      It’s great isn’t it!! x

  • The Sunday Mode

    Buffer sounds really good, I’m currently using Hootsuite which is pretty similar I’m fairly sure but maybe I’ll give Buffer a try as well to see what the difference is.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

    • Allanah Methven

      My favourite difference between them is that with buffer you can ‘re-buffer’ previously scheduled tweets so you don’t have to re-type the whole thing again! x

  • Really trying to get to grips with buffer at the moment but I ALWAYS forget to put the actual tweets in! The new Instagram algorithm is literally the bane of my life! xox

    withlovefromamber.blogspot.co.uk

    • Allanah Methven

      I go through phases of being so good at keeping my buffer filled then sometimes forget about it for days! Definitely takes some getting used to!

      It’s such a labour of love now isn’t it! Such a struggle since the algorithm changed 🙁

      Thanks for commenting lovely! x