My Favorite Blogging Tools + Resources

favorite_blogging_tools

I’m pretty sure I’ve never written a post about blogging in the history of this blog, but when I find something good, I like to share it. Whether you’re a blogger or not, I think you can find some of these useful, especially if you’re a writer, freelancer, designer, etc. I’ve been blogging since 2009, so I’ve learned a thing or two and have found lots of tools along the way that I use and love. I hope my favorite blogging tools help you as much as they’ve helped me! 

Writing/Editing

Grammarly Bad grammar irritates me, especially if I’m the one guilty of it. Thankfully I have Grammarly in my arsenal to save me from embarrassing myself when I’ve overlooked something. I use the Google Chrome extension and it corrects my mistakes in WordPress, Gmail, Facebook and wherever else I may find myself typing. 

Coffitivity I don’t know about you, but I can’t focus if I listen to (most) music and try to write. Same goes for absolute silence. I need a bit of background noise, and research shows most people do. This website streams café sounds to get your creative juices flowing. Perfect for when you can’t go to a café and need to get work done. From Coffitivity:  

According to a peer-reviewed study out of the University of Chicago, “A moderate level of ambient noise is conducive to creative cognition.” In a nutshell, this means being a tiny bit distracted helps you be more creative. This is why those AHA moments happen when we’re brushing our teeth, taking a shower, or mowing the lawn! If we’re not focused too much at a task at hand, we come up with awesome stuff. In the coffee shop, the chatter and clatter actually distracts us a tiny bit and allows our creative juices to start flowing. It sounds crazy, but it works!

Ommwriter is nice when you just want to zen out while you write and focus on your words, the sound of your keyboard, and some nice, soothing background music. 

Hemingway is like having your own personal editor looking over your shoulder as your write, but in a good way. It highlights sentences that are long and complex, offers suggestions to “make your writing bold and clear,” points out the passive voice, and lots more. 

Photography

Photography Concentrate is a product I wholeheartedly recommend and one that has made my photography much better. They make awesome photography tutorials that are intuitive, fun and well-designed…I think they’re an absolute must for anyone looking to improve their photography! If you want to learn how to shoot your DSLR in Manual, I recommend Extremely Essential Photography Skills, if you’re learning Lightroom, then go for Super Photo Editing Skills. They have a library full of different PDF tutorials with videos to go with them.

Adobe Lightroom is essential for photographers, both hobbyists and professionals alike. It’s not as overwhelming as Photoshop, and it was built with the photographer in mind. I saw an immediate difference in my photos when I decided to invest in Lightroom, and I’m so glad I did! 

Unsplash offers beautiful stock photography all with a Creative Commons Zero license, which means you can use the photos however you want, wherever you want, for free. While 99% of the photography on my blog is my own, these images really come in handy when I need something specific, that’s still up to my standards (no cheesy stock images here!) and is aesthetically pleasing. 

Blog Graphics

Canva is perfect for the graphic design challenged and is a website I’ve been waiting for someone to make forever! I use it to make graphics for this blog and social media, and am so glad it exists!

PicMonkey is another great source for making blog graphics. I also sometimes use it to quickly resize photos.

RSS Readers

Feedly I read many different websites, on all sorts of topics, and subscribe by RSS using Feedly. Ever since Google shut down its RSS reader, this has been my go-to. Easy to organize your reads by topic, share to social media, and search for favorite sites.

Web Hosting

Host Gator Ever since I switched over to wordpress.org and self-hosted this blog a few years ago, I’ve been with Host Gator. They not only helped me transfer my blog from Tumblr (LOL) to wordpress.org, but they’ve also been equally helpful every single time I’ve contacted them; quickly resolving any issue I’ve encountered on my site. Also, my site has never been down because of Host Gator; the one time it was down was because I tried to find a cheaper hosting plan via Fat Cow (huge mistake!) and they couldn’t even get my site up and running.  Thankfully, I switched back to Host Gator and have been worry-free since. There are lots of hosting companies out there, and you don’t want to go for the cheapest deal you can find– not that Host Gator is expensive– it offers plans that start at less than $4 per year for newcomers!

WordPress Themes

Elegant Themes Before I did a redesign on my blog to its current clean, minimalistic theme, I used Elegant Themes. You pay a yearly fee (plans starting at $69) to have access to its entire library of themes. Perfect for the finicky, like me, or those with several websites who don’t want to shell out $50+ per theme.

Etsy My current theme I bought from Etsy of all places. I know–I wouldn’t have thought of looking there either! Alas, the Google gods pointed me in its direction and I couldn’t be happier. Beautiful, modern themes for amazing prices. Any questions I had about my theme were answered super quickly (within 30 minutes!) by the designer. They also have sleek logos, blog buttons, and more!

Misc.

Favicon Maker If you ever want to change your favicon, this is all you’ll need.

Invoice Generator I use this to bill clients for various projects and like it because all the text inside of the template is completely customizable, and it automatically calculates tax and shipping.

 

Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, you’ll help support the running of this site (I’ll make a small commission,) at no cost to you! Thank you!

Comments

  1. Salina says

    Thanks for the awesome advice, Christine! I’m starting my own blog for this upcoming trip and thought I’d check yours out for some inspiration- of course your blog had the most perfect post! :) Nos vemos pronto!!

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