Blogging and Design Tools

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I am excited about sharing Blogging and Design Tools with you! I am able to recommend these Affiliate products because I use them first hand! I am often asked about the products I use here on the blog and where to find them. Now you can shop here all in one place! I will be updating this list as time goes on so be sure to check back for the latest recommendations.

51 Blogging and Design Tools to become the blogger you always wanted to be.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

51 Blogging and Design Tools:

I’ve been Blogging and Designing long time. My needs and abilities have changed over time, but these are the best tools I have found for building your blog business. The design world is constantly changing too, and it’s important to keep up with technology to be competitive. Here’s how to create your unique blog and style.

Using these 51 Blogging and Design Tools you can become the successful blogger have always wanted to be. These tools helped make my blog successful and they can do the same for you. It’s a big learning curve, but if you know where to start, you will no doubt be successful at it in the end. The items on this page contain affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. If you have any questions regarding any of these resources don’t hesitate to ask send me an email to info@designerssweetspot.com. Thank you for your support!My office and computer set up, perfect for blogging.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Blog and Website Tools

  1. Have a good email strategy is vitally important in today’s blogging world. This product is fairly new to me, but I must say that so far it’s been amazing. My email subscribers are growing rapidly and now I have the ability to segment my list so my readers only get the information they want to get. Total game changer! This program is far more sophisticated than the other email marketing platforms out there. You can even give it a try for 30 days before you decide to commit.  Try Convert Kit free for 30 Days!

2. Mail Chimp: I have switched to the service listed above, but for many years I used Mail Chimp for my email marketing. It is easy to use and design your own emails. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is just starting out.  Free up to 2000 email subscribers.

3. Scheduling posts on social media is one of blogging’s most time consuming jobs. I use CoSchedule to make this task less frustrating. Coschedule is easy to use, and your whole team can have access to it.  Co-schedule integrates with all social media platforms including Pinterest and even Instagram. I love that it tracks my shares so I know which posts are performing their best and can be rescheduled. You can also assign tasks to team members, and they have an extensive video library of how to courses to make your Co-Schedule experience even better. 

4. Google Keyword Planner: This tool is top for finding the right keywords for each post. Without it my posts would never get read as keywords that people search for on Google bring the most traffic to my website.

5. This site is hosted with Orange Geek Web hosting. They are incredibly helpful and have outstanding customer service. I have tried several other hosts, but Orange Geek is by far the best. My site is running faster and better than ever with their help. Tell Jason I sent you.

6. I have retained an expert to help maintain my site and find unforeseen problems. Imarkinteractive.com is my go to resource for Word Press problems and maintenance. After loosing a huge amount of content this year, I have decided this service is completely necessary for my blog growth and frame of mind. Imarkinteractive regularly backs up my site, updates and maintains plugins and even monitors spam. I am so happy I no longer have to deal with these back end issues that I am not good at.

7. Amazon Auto Links Plugin: This is a new tool I have started using. No longer do I have to search for affiliate products to link to on each and every page of my blog. This plugin automatically displays relevant affiliate content on every page. My results have already been improved a hundred percent over just a few weeks time. You can get this plugin with my affiliate link here. Thank me later!

8. Yoast Word Press SEO Plugin: Essential to knowing how your post will rank in it’s SEO value. Yoast lets you know exactly what to fix and how to do it.  It’s a must have item!

9. Google Calendar: It’s crazy how much time this saves me. I have all my to do lists on my editorial calendar for blogging. Your entire team can share and have access, a must have for serious bloggers.

10. Drop Box: Large documents and photos don’t send well in email. Professionals use Drop Box to get the job done. You can share an publish professional quality photos and documents with this free tool.

11. Google Docs: I keep all my important documents here for sharing, making into pdf’s, writing resumes, free printables etc. Love the mobile apps too!

12. Fiverr.com: Great resources for hiring free lance copy writers, graphic designers, web specialists and more.

13. 123rtf Stock Photography:  My go to place for stock images at a great price.

14. Click to Tweet Word Press Plugin: Another great plugin for sharing your content on Twitter.

15. Word Press Soliloquy Slide Show Plugin: Love this tool for creating beautiful slide shows on the blog. Soliloquy Pro does so much more with slides for Pinterest, and other social media.

16. Buffer: Integrates with Co-Schedule for social media sharing with Google Plus, Pinterest and Instagram.

17. Co-Schedule Headline Analyzer is a free tool for creating great headlines that deliver click throughs and raise engagement.

18. Popup Alley is my favorite WP plugin for popup’s. The Pro version is even better!

19. Pad Squad: Mobile Advertising Platform: Displays ads on all mobile tablet and cell phone devices.

20.Sorvn Ad Network: Display add banners for side bars, headers, etc. Great service!

22. Google Adsense: You can’t beat Google for great ad revenue.

23. Tap Influence: Third party service for connecting sponsors and bloggers.

24. CJ.com: Affiliate ad network for bloggers.

25. Tailwind for Pinterest: Scheduling Tool for scheduling Pins

26. Board Booster: Use for looping boards with multiple pins for Pinterest.

27.  Legull Word Press Plugin: Easy plugin for displaying appropriate legal jargon on your blog.

28. Pinterest PinIt Button Plugin: Floating button for users to Pin your content.

29. Yummly Rich Recipes Plugin: Creates printable pages for your recipes.

51 Blogging and Design Tools to Become the successful blogger you always wanted to be.|Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweeetspot.com

Design and Photography Tools

30. I use a monthly subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud for all my digital designing. The subscription includes access to stock photos, access to the latest photo editing and design software, digital storage and informative design technique tutorials. I use many of these products every single day. My favorites are Lightroom5, Photoshop, Bridge and Illustrator. I am still learning all the technical details but these programs are essential to great quality design and I can’t imagine designing anything without them. On my iPad I use a number of the Adobe mobile apps including Lightroom Mobile, Adobe Draw, Adobe Composition, and Photoshop Express. If you aren’t an Adobe user, just jump in and start using it today. The more you work with it the easier it gets and you will love your work.

31. Every blog post here on the blog has at least one graphic for Pinterest and Facebook. I make all my graphics with Canva. It’s very user friendly and I am able to share work with my other team members and virtual assistants. I began with the free program and recently upgraded to Canva for Work. The options for designing are endless. Canva is also available for my iPad and iPhone. There are beautiful templates for everything from business cards, social media graphics to letter head and blog graphic templates. You can buy single use photography and graphics, or upload your own. You can even use your own logos and blog colors. I love that the pixel sizes are already in the template, all you have to do is choose a font and a photo to begin designing. You can get great results every time! It’s easy to save your design work as a template and use it over and over again for consistent marketing and brand identity.

32.Photography is one of my passions. There is so much to learn about taking beautiful photographs. If you want to be successful at blogging, good photography is essential. The Ultimate Photography Bundle is one of the best investments you can make for your photo education. This bundle has more than $4000 worth of courses and ebooks by top professional photographers. However, this product has limited availability. You can get it for about $147.00 when it’s on sale. What a super deal! Sign up for my email list below to get notified when it becomes available again.

My Computer and Digital Tools:

33. My computer is a Macintosh desk top with a big screen and loads of memory. When I first started blogging I used an old lap top with missing keys and a cracked screen. It is amazing what the right tool for the job can do for your work. Since, I use my computer every day, this is the biggest investment I have in my business. The large screen makes it easy to edit photographs and design just about anything. For mobile design and video I use my iPad or iPhone. All  my devices share data, so I can have access to any of my designs any where I go.

34. In addition, my Wacom Intuos Design Pro Tablet is a new toy for me. I am learning to use this freehand design tool for the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator programs. Love this new design technology!

Products for Designing:

35. Singer Sewing Machine: I love to sew and often blog about my sewing projects. I am a stickler for getting the job done with minimal cost and effort. Here are some of the tools that I use for quick, professional results on all my projects. I use an old fashioned Singer Sewing machine that has all the bells and whistles of a new design. I have a serger but don’t use it that often, my Singer has overcast stitches on it that gets the job done almost every time.

 

Products for Photography for bloggers. |Designers Sweet Spot|www.designerssweetspot.com

Products for Photography:

36. The photos on this blog are shot with a Nikon D5300. I use three different lenses, an Nikkor AFS 35mm, an 18-55mm and a 55-300mm. This camera has made all the difference in the world in my studio photography. It is WIFI enabled, has great video, adjustable viewing screen, etc. The investment was around $1000 for a package with two lenses, two batteries, charger and carrying bag. Definitely worth the money, and I don’t plan to upgrade any time soon.

37. My lighting kit is the second most used tool in my photo studio, having great lighting is essential to success with any photography.  Lumars Lighting Kit is a reasonably priced kit for any level of photographer. The kit runs about $50.00 and comes with three adjustable lamps, two umbrellas for diffusing light, a carrying case and bulbs. No matter where you live, indoor lighting is almost always a problem. I use this kit for staged indoor shoots, food photography, and video.

38. The photography accessories I love include my Gimars tabletop tripod for my iPad and iPhone (it also attaches to my camera tripod). This nifty product will hold a large size iPad or cell phone in various positions for angled or flat photography. Cost is about $29.00.

39. For travel I enjoy using my Mozerat Fish Eye and Macro Lens for my iPhone cell phone. With these additional photography lenses I can take great photos anywhere I go. They are easy to pack and carry on the road, under $20.00.

40. Nikon Point and Shoot Camera is my other go to item for travel. I don’t like to take my bulky DSLR along on trips. It’s too heavy to carry and I am afraid it will be stolen. The Point and Shoot takes excellent photos, weighs practically nothing and is easy to carry. The quality of photos on this camera in all respects is comparable to my DSLR. My family loves to use it too! Only $100 investment!

Books and References

41. How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone: Learn how to make your brand stand out against the competition with unique fonts, colors, graphics and more. A must read for anyone developing their own brand identity.

42. Blog Fuel Podcasts: Love listening instead of reading? Listen in on how to make your blog business successful each week. I listen to podcasts while I am doing dishes, folding laundry or driving my kids around town.

43. The Blog Post Tool Kit by Gina Luker from The Shabby Creek Cottage is another one of my favorite how to blog resources. Gina is a writer and master blogger, she has dozens of tips and tricks for making your blog post successful. Learn SEO, post writing, social media strategies and blog planning in this one affordable resource.

44. Create if Writing Pod Casts: Another great resource for writers and bloggers.

45. Multiple Streams of Income:  This series of books is a must read for anyone in business.

46. The Art of Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar:  Classic business savvy for anyone in business.

47. What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: Important information for the day when you need to raise more capital.

48. Kelby One: Excellent source for learning anything with photography.

49. Creative Live: Here’s how to learn even more digital design, photography and more.

50. Genius Blogger’s Tool Kit Bundle has dozens of books and courses on blogging. I am still working through them all! Thousands of dollars worth of information is in this bundle. This one tool will be the best money you have ever spent learning how to blog. As this product only comes on the market a couple of times a year, if would like to be notified when it comes back on the market sign up below. You won’t regret it!

51. Ultimate Blog Planner by Adeline GainlySimple, undated blog planner to plan your yearly content.

 

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