When I relaunched my blog, I knew I wanted to be well equipped enough to make the most of my corner of the Internet. I spent days scouring the Internet for tips and tricks to make sure that I had all the information I could on how to build and grow Hannah Dolled Up, and have narrowed the massive troves of information down to my 10 favourite online resources.
Picmonkey is a fantastic online photo editing website. There’s far less scope that paid-for programmes like Photoshop, but for the average blogger, it’s got everything that you could need. It’s fairly basic and easy to use, and free, with the option of upgrading to premium if you really like it.
I discovered this photo editing app through Little Miss Katy last week, and I’ve been using it for my blog photos ever since. It’s so user friendly, and the finished product looks really sleek and fine-tuned.
Canva is another new discovery. It’s the perfect tool to create stunning Pinterest worthy images, header pictures, and banners of every description. When I relaunched, I used Canva to create my new header, and not to toot my own trumpet, but I’m pretty darn impressed with it.
Ok, Yoast is the best WordPress plugin I’ve come across. Everywhere you look in the blogging community, people are banging on about SEO and how important it is for growth and traffic, which is all well and good, unless you don’t have the foggiest of how to use SEO to your advantage! Yoast takes the hard work of SEO out for you, and skims through your post as your typing it. It marks your post as either red (bad), yellow (meh) or green (good), and contains tips for you to utilise. This is perfect for the SEO illiterate like me, and that’s what makes this possibly my favourite resource ever.
Jetpack is something I’ve used since I first became self-hosted. This plugin tracks stats, traffic, views and is so much easier to get your head around than Google Analytics. It also provides security to your WordPress, and stops people from trying to log in as you!
Pocket is another of the online resources I found when scouring the internet before my relaunch. It installs a little button on your browser, allowing you to save articles and webpages for later viewing. This has fast become my favourite thing, and it was so helpful whilst I was doing my research for the relaunch. You can add tags to certain pages, and browse your saved articles by these, making it so quick and easy to use. It doesn’t just benefit bloggers though, I’ve found it to be a fantastic organisational tool for recipes, and I reckon this would be perfect for students finding resources for their assignments too!
Buffer is seriously one of my favourite blogging resources. It allows you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram posts ahead of time, meaning for those busy bloggers who have a 9-5 as well, it’s an absolute dream. Buffer allows you to go through your Analytics, see what kind of influence your posts may have, how many people it can reach, and how many times someone has interacted with it. It also archives your tweets, meaning that self-promotion is easier than ever.
8. A Planner, Calendar, Spreadsheet.
Ok, this doesn’t have to be strictly an online resource, but it can be if that’s how you work. Personally, I have a note book to scribble down my ideas in, and I input all of this into an amazing spreadsheet created by Hayley over at Tea Party Beauty. It helps me keep track of my ideas, at what stage of producing them I am, as well as my blog stats, a finance tracker and even some handy Instagram hashtags to help self-promote! This spreadsheet really helps me keep on top of my blog, I’m definitely a sucker for routine!
Content and Inspiration
9. Other Bloggers
Coming up with original content in a sea of other beauty and lifestyle bloggers can be a painful and arduous task. No one wants to feel like a copycat, and no one wants to be accused of ripping off another bloggers work. That being said, there is absolutely no problem with looking to your fellow bloggers for inspiration. I scroll through my Bloglovin’ feed and it helps me decide if I’m going to write a lifestyle post or a beauty one, it gives me inspiration for future posts, as well as photography ideas. There’s no harm in using the blogging community for inspiration, just make sure you aren’t blatantly ripping them off! So many bloggers also create post ideas lists, solely to help other blog
10. Twitter Chats/Social Media in General
So this one links back to point 9. I get so much inspiration from chatting to other bloggers on Twitter, and Twitter chats are a goldmine for inspiration and post ideas. talking to other bloggers about products may make you realise that you have an unpopular opinion about a much loved product, or it might spur you on to do a haul. They post ideas on social media really are endless. Not just that, but in this day and age, the news and current events unfold on social media. Perhaps you have an opinion or a point of debate on this? Write a post!
Whilst these online resources are all free, they do have upgradable services which are not. I don’t use any upgradable service, and I find the free basic packages work perfectly for me. These aren’t going to suit everyone, and some people may have other similar resources that they prefer more. If you do, let us all know below!
Do you use any of these resources? Which are your favourites? Let me know in the comments!