The more I talk with other bloggers, the more I realize that none of us really knew what we were getting into when we started! Yeah we had a basic idea, and maybe even did a little research, but until you truly get started & try to make it into something you don’t understand how much it’s going to take behind the scenes. I’m still figuring a lot of it out! And as much as I love my little baby blog I still have a lot farther I want to take it. So for those of you in the same situation or if you’re thinking about diving in to try it out yourself, today’s post is dedicated to 5 of the websites that I couldn’t blog without!
*This post contains affiliate links which means if you sign-up for any of these services I may receive compensation! All of these are things I personally use & stand 100% behind!
I am HUGE on keeping organized. For as long as I can remember I’ve always kept a planner & lived off of a truly ridiculous number of sticky notes. One of the first & most important things you learn as a blogger is how important it is to have an editorial calendar. I usually prefer hand-writing things down but when it comes to blog content, things change a lot and that becomes messy very quickly. That’s why my favorite part of Trello is being able to drag & drop “cards” on a massive calendar.
Basically I can write down the topic for a post and then place it on whichever day I want it to go live. If something changes all it takes is a click and drag to whatever new date will work. So simple and soo easy! You can also put what time it’s due, check it off when it’s done, and a bunch more options.
While the calendar is the main feature I use Trello actually has far more features I’m still exploring. You can group cards together into different lists & topics. You can create pure checklists if mountains of sticky notes each day aren’t your thing LOL. And you can even invite other people to collaborate on cards/boards/calendars. Plus all of this is free! There are “power-ups” you can purchase to do certain things but so far I haven’t even needed that.
You can go to the Trello website to get started here: https://trello.com/home
This one is specifically for fashion bloggers, but if you are a fashion blogger than it is an absolute MUST!!! Style Collective was created as a way for bloggers to meet & help each other out. It’s sole purpose is helping women be the best bloggers they can be. A membership was one of the first things I felt was worth spending money on to help my own blog.
There are forums to ask the other bloggers any questions you might have. There are places to leave links for blog posts and social media so you can support & be supported. One of my favorite parts is access to a wealth of e-books. They cover topics from how to attend NYFW, to FTC rules, to how to pitch to brands. They have a library of stock photos & worksheets & media kit templates. I could just go on and on about everything they offer. It’s truly unparalleled. I couldn’t imagine tackling the fashion blog world without all of the knowledge I’ve gained from being an SC Sister.
To join Style Collective go here: Style Collective
I can spend hours on Pinterest. Not even for my blog but just looking around for myself LOL. Unfortunately most of us don’t have hours free every day to waste on things like that. Pinterest is a big driver of traffic to my blog. So I definitely need a way to work on pinning even when I can’t be on the computer. I think most bloggers have heard of Tailwind by now but if not, it’s basically a way to schedule out when you pin to boards.
Instead of directly hitting ‘pin now’ Tailwind allows you to schedule a pin for later and then automatically does it at the right time on its own. It even looks at your analytics and times its pins to when you get the most hits. Basically you can sit for an hour or so once a week, pin A LOT, and then Tailwind will take over and spread the pins out over the week to when they will most help you.
There’s also a new system they’ve been testing out called Tailwind Tribes, which is basically like a Pinterest Group Board. It allows you to pin to a shared group where all the other members can then pin from. I’m part of about 10 tribes and it’s probably how I get most of my blog traffic. A lot of groups have a 1:1 rule which means for every one pin you put on the board, you need to schedule & pin one from another member. I’m part of some broad blogger groups & some that are only fashion so I know my content is being spread to a good audience.
You can join the tribes for free but to use scheduling and the rest of Tailwind there is a cost: Join Here
I am not great at graphic design but the discovery of Canva has made my blog graphics look much much better. Canva allows you to upload your own photos and insert them into various pre-set designs and layouts. You also can use it for 100% customized graphics. Though I rely more on using one of their designs and then switching up all the colors, fonts, sizes, etc.
They have options for different social media graphics and take care of the sizing for you. For example I can choose Twitter Header and get the exact dimensions for that, including where the profile pic will pop up, or Instagram photo and get the perfect square. They take all the hard work out of graphic design and make it as simple as can be for us challenged in that area!
To start making your own graphics for free go here: https://www.canva.com/
Oh the dreaded e-mail list. We all hear what an important part it is to building your blog audience. But let’s be real-it’s partly terrifying and definitely confusing. There are a few options out there that really target themselves to bloggers. I appreciate that MailerLite is free for the first 1,000 subscribers. And they keep track of your subscriber list. When it’s time to send out an e-mail all you have to do is create it.
The ability to pick a template, upload photos with a click, and customize colors makes it really feel like the message going out is personal from me to my readers. It allows the e-mails to be cute and personable, but without me first spending hours banging my head on a desk trying to do my own formatting. I also love the analytics so I can see things like the percentage of how many were opened or how many links were clicked. That way I can know what is working and what is not.
To sign up for MailerLite go here: MailerLite
If you have any questions about any of these websites please let me know in the comments!!