Blogging Resources

January 10, 2014


i'm spending this weekend concentrating on blogging.  betsy and i are really going to focus on writing more posts so we have a lot of scheduled posts stored up.  i'm also going to work on things like organizing social media and cleaning up my readers/pinterest.  literally 2 full days of blogging related goodness.

if you want to join us, we'll be hanging out all saturday and sunday.  we can do a google hangout or chat on twitter.  ask me anything!  i'm no expert (except on organizing and planning posts, don't forget, i have over 200 post ideas scheduled.) but i can absolutely direct you to someone who is.  plus, chatting on google hangout is a great way to bounce ideas and keep you from getting bored while you work.  or ya know, if you just want to hear my very chicago accent.  if you're interested, leave a comment or tweet at me, or e-mail or carrier pigeon, whatever, and i'll give you all the info!

and please, feel free to use the comments here to ask questions or chat with people, someone reading probably has an answer for you!

in the meantime, i really wanted to get together a list of great places you can turn to for blogging help.

bloggers: 

kelli at she crab soup.  she wrote a wonderful 'be a better blogger' series and it's the perfect place to start.  she talks about everything from readers/followers to creating a blog mission statement.  if you want to get your blog organized this year and really find your voice, this is very helpful to read.

sarah at venus trapped in mars.  she does saturday sessions and it's a real help.  she covers sponsorship, pinterest, layout, and more.  i know nothing in the area of design, cool graphics, blog buttons, etc.  but sarah devotes these posts to helping you learn just that.

i informed both of these ladies that i'd be featuring them and they were very gracious to extend their help.  they are both looking forward to any tweets, e-mails or comments you want to send them, they love to help and will gladly answer questions!!  and just to chat in general or offer advice.  i mean, sarah's supposed to be working, you're really helping her out.  you can tweet sarah here and kelli here.


programs:

scheduling tweets.  this is a life changer.  i'm a straight up twitter ignorer.  it's true.  i binge on it for 3 hours and then forget i have it for 5 days.  not good news for my sponsors.  so i schedule tweets - 4 per week day, 3 or 4 hours apart, re-tweeting my sponsors and friends and promoting posts with the click of a tiny button in my browser's toolbar.  that way, they're spaced out - still visible but not annoying with 20 tweets in a row.  right now i'm using the free version of buffer app.  you only get 10 scheduled tweets with this (2.5 days for my 4 a day system), and i don't want to pay for the upgrade, it seems way too expensive.  part of my goal this weekend is to research similar programs so i can see if something else exists to help me with this but also always a few more than 10.  any ideas?  i'll keep you updated.  for now, i know hootsuite is an option but it's a little too complicated for what i need.  but if you're just starting out, try buffer.  it's very easy to use so you can get used to the idea.

picmonkey.  yes yes everyone knows, edit your photos with picmonkey.  but i'm here to throw my two sense in - agreed, use it, and don't be scared to upgrade to the paid version.  tool around on the free and if you see yourself wanting to use things with little crowns next to them and getting rejected, just buck up and pay and consider it an investment for your blog.  it's inexpensive ($30 a year i believe) so if you use it often, it's well worth it.

ifttt.  which stands for if this then that.  pretty much you can schedule 12 million things and not ever have to think about it again.  and it's all free.  you sign up and link your accounts and then make your own 'recipes.'  if you create a new post, then it automatically updates it to twitter.  or facebook.  and other things not even related to blogging, like auto backing up your contacts, saving instagram photos to your dropbox, getting the weather texted every morning.  it automates everything you could possibly want regarding your technology, so you never have to waste time again.


miscellaneous:

media kit.  some people aren't sure what they are or if they need one.  most people don't know how to make one.  i'm one of those people, and i learned from the blog maven.

blog calendar.  i use the notepages in the back of my planner, but i used the free monthly pages here to sketch it all out first.  if you need more planning pages to keep track of ideas or sponsors, try this free one here.


do you have anything to add?  any advice, favorite bloggers, or apps you use?  hopefully i'll be finding more great things and writing a second post  on them tomorrow (so i can credit you with your advice and finds!)  what other help are you specifically looking for?  i also have a blog pinterest board, so follow that if you want the updates quickly.

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35 comments

  1. I love this, unfortunately I have plans all day tomorrow, otherwise I would definitely be sitting in my pajamas working on my blog and tweeting you!! I love Sarah and look to her for inspiration, ideas, and help a lot, another blogger you should check out if you haven't already who I turn to a lot as well is BackEastBlonde, her blogging pinterest board is one of my favorites to raid and she often has great blogging related posts and helpful information, and I'm sure she'd answer any of your questions if you tweeted her as well.

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  2. absolutely love the blogging tips from venus trapped in mars! such a great resource.

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  3. this is awesome! I just scanned this but I'm bookmarking it so I can really go through every single link later. and maybe I'll hit you guys up this weekend. :)

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  4. I will be around so I will be popping in all day so put me down for sure! I use tweetdeck for scheduling posts. It has a dashboard or online version. You can schedule tweets but also create lists for different groups of people and it creates a column for each list so if you want to separate certain bloggers or sponsors etc it will let you do that for you. Also Karen from Sew Many Ways (http://sewmanyways.blogspot.com/p/blog-parties.html) has almost 50 blogger tips on her blog for just about anything you want to know how to do.

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  5. Love this post!! I always feel like I have so much to learn about blogging!!

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  6. This is an awesome idea - I have 70 drafts but I really need to get going!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  7. I never got around to learning IFTT, but this is a reminder that I really should. Looking forward to Sat & Sun!

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  8. I'll be honest, I've never used picmonkey. Fail.

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  9. I love this - thank you so much for posting these...!!!

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  10. Wow this is so awesome!! I can't wait to use all these resources and check out what Sarah and Kelli have to add. Will definitely try to ask advice if I get some good blogging time in this weekend.

    PS - ahh where would I be without picmonkey...

    xx
    Lisa @ The Skinny on Health

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  11. what the....did you get my comment? i submitted and it disappeared?!

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  12. Such a great idea, lady!! That makes me want to get more motivated which, these days, is very very rare!

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  13. I'm so glad you're doing this this weekend. I was already going to devote this weekend to errands and blogging! So, I'll be in and out working on the blog. Starting by trying to catch up on my blog reading. haha

    Also, hootsuite seems complicated but trust me you can learn the base level stuff like scheduling tweets in no time. After you get used to using it for scheduling then you can play around and see if you like any of the other features. I'm lucky enough to have access to Sprout Social (a pretty powerful social media monitoring platform) because of my job, so that's what I use.

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  14. I'm working on packing up my gear for the trek to you now! Computer, Planner and pen all ready to go : ) Hoping people can join us!

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  15. The SITS Girls are doing a build your tribe sign up to help you to meet other bloggers in your niche and help each other out through re-tweets, pins, advice, or just to connect to bloggers. The sign up is posted here http://www.thesitsgirls.com/community/one-week-build-tribe/

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  16. I'm still super jealous of your all bloggy weekend!! I'm always available via Twitter and email!

    I love bufferapp, I use it for all my scheduled Tweets. The analytics tab offers some great info! I'd still be interested to hear if you find another option though.

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  17. I want to crawl inside your brain and learn how to be an eight as organized as you. I'm in awe. I have to go through some of these links. I'm feeling the need for a blog overhaul, in every way. Change the design entirely, become better with posting on a schedule, finding the right blogs to sponsor... I just have no clue where to start, and it's kind of overwhelming for me!
    PS- Muji is MINE!!!

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  18. I use IFTTT, but it doesn't always do things for me and then I'm stuck trying to figure out exactly what didn't get done and what I need to go back and manually do so I hesitate to use it for too much. Have you ever had that problem?

    Love this blogging weekend, thing, though! Any particular hang outs going on at the moment?

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    1. I think we will be doing the hangout in 1/2 hour to an hour or so

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  19. There's a program called Evernote (http://www.evernote.com) that's free to download. You can create little "notebooks" to organize things. You can add URLs, create checklists, and it comes with an add-on for your browser so if you find something online you want to add to a notebook, you can just click the button in your browser and it syncs up with the program. I believe they also have an upgrade you can pay to get as well. I was using this to keep track of my sponsors and making sure I was tweeting enough, doing the requisite posts and e-mails, etc. It's a great program and really easy to get the hang of.

    Also, Kaitlyn @ Wifessionals had a feature every week called "I Wanna Know...". Not everything was about blogging, but she had a lot of good answers to common blog questions.

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  20. this is so amazingly helpful oh my gosh! thanks for the fabulous tips!

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  21. All of these are GREAT tips! :)

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  22. Over 200 post ideas scheduled?! You are a machine. I have TWO. So that is your stockpile minus 198 :)

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  23. I love this post! I'm always looking for new blogging resources and tips.. And you have no idea how jealous AND inspired I am that you have 200 post ideas scheduled! I have about 5, haha, and usually, lately, that number is 0. I really need a bloggy weekend soon!

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  24. Oh! Almost forget - I also have a roundup of a blogging type posts & advice here:

    http://starlettadesigns.blogspot.ca/2013/08/favourite-blog-posts-on-blogging-new.html

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  25. I'm interested if you find a program similar to buffer. I'm horrible at twitter, trying to be better but still spurty.

    I agree 1000% with the paid version of picmonkey.

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  26. I've been considering paying for the full version of Picmonkey and I've never heard of ITTT. Definitely checking it out today.

    Blogging resource posts are my favorite!

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  27. I've been thinking about upgrading my picmonkey... I want to say you can try it for $5 a month... some really cheap price anyway. I did it wayyyyy back in my beginning and then just kind of forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder!

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  28. I wish I saw this earlier!! Can we do it again?

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  29. I so wanted to do this, but then we ended up with visitors for the weekend....I was even going to work out the time difference so that I could be awake when you were....lol.....I hope you do it again, I would love to try join in!

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    1. We'll definitely set up another one! At least a text chat, so more people can join in!

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  30. IFTTT is officially on my radar. My posts automatically post to my Facebook page but it does it in a way that's boring and even I would skip them. It's just the link. I have no idea how to undo it. I recommend Hootsuite for Twitter. There's no limit on scheduling and it's SUPER easy to use. Plus you be "on" Twitter through the app/website.

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  31. This is super helpful! Sad that I didn't get to catch you guys on Sunday...I use Hootsuite now to keep my twitter & facebook page updated and it lets you schedule things

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  32. Great resources all in one place and I am in awe of your post stockpile! If I have like four ready to go then I pat myself on the back!

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