One of the questions I hear all the time from bloggers is – what should I be paying for? So, I wanted to share my 8 blogging tools worth paying for. I have excluded domain name registration (a given) and hosting (as this can vary greatly). Many of these tools will work for you regardless of what platform you blog on (WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, etc.).
VaultPress – Backup and Security for WordPress sites
$9/month (plans start at $3.50 per month)
VaultPress is specific to WordPress sites. I HIGHLY recommend you get this plugin if you are on WordPress. VaultPress has saved both my sites (and many of our client sites) multiple times. Restoring to a previous version is fairly painless (and definitely less painless than losing your entire site). I chose to use the Premium version at $9/month for all my sites. Along with backups, it has some additional security features. But you can probably get away with the $3.50 per month site to start with if you are a new blogger. One of the reasons I recommend VaultPress is that it does not store your backup on your hosting server. It is on their offsite digital vaults. That means if something happens to your hosting provider, you can easily switch to a new host and restore from a backup and be up and going in no time.
Canva – Simple Graphic Design
$12.95/month (there is a free version, but the paid version allows you to set color palettes, upload fonts, save templates and so much more)
I love Canva for Work. I love having all my colors stored (so I don't have to remember all the different hex numbers I use). I love having the ability to upload my own fonts (the fonts I use on my sites weren't in their system). The number one feature of Canva for Work is the magic resize. Create your graphic for one social media platform then click the other platforms you want to create for and it magically resizes your design. Super helpful. Almost all the graphics you see on my site were created in Canva for Work including the pinnable image for this post.
Photoshop/Lightroom – Photo Editing and organization
I don't actually use the Photoshop part of mine, but I use Lightroom all the time. I use Lightroom to resize and watermark before uploading to my blog. Resizing is one of the recommendations for optimizing your photos for SEO. These two softwares are extremely powerful and I know I am not using them to their potential.
Buffer – Social Media Scheduling
$10/month allows you to have 10 social profiles per platform and 100 scheduled posts per profile (free version you can have 1 social profile with 10 scheduled posts)
My office actually pays for Buffer for me. I have all our work profiles and my personal profiles set up. My VA uses Buffer to schedule out tweets and Facebook group posts. There are many scheduling tools out there, but I love being able to access my work and personal ones at the same time. You can easily schedule to just one platform or all of them at once.
Google Apps/GSuite – To get my domain specific email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have a blog, you should have an email at your blog. Like I have email@example.com. Google Apps makes this extremely easy and affordable. Here are fabulous instructions for doing this from the amazing Katy Widrick. If you don't have an email for your blog, put that at the top of your todo list.
ConvertKit – Email marketing
$29/month (up to 1,000 email subscribers)
Yes, MailChimp is free for up to 1,000 subscribers. As are many other email marketing services. However, ConvertKit was built for bloggers and has some amazing features. Being able to tag people when they click on a link, segment, automatically put them in a sequence, so powerful. ConvertKit is also very intuitive for me, and I don't find MailChimp easy to work with.
Tailwind – Pinterest Scheduling
I will be honest in that I don't know a lot about Tailwind. My VA wanted to use it for the Pinterest tasks she is doing for me so I agreed. Tailwind and Board Booster are two of the most popular Pinterest schedulers right now.
Social Warfare – Social Sharing Plugin for WordPress
$29/year for 1 website
Social Warfare is a social sharing plugin for WordPress that is amazing. I can't actually remember who recommended it to me (but thank you). I love that it is so customizable (you can make the colors whatever you want, put the sharing buttons where you want, and so much more.
There are truly hundreds of blogging tools out there. Blogging can be done extremely inexpensively or you can shell out hundreds of dollars per month. The tools above total $90.94 per month plus a once a year charge of $29.00. Could I give up a few? Probably, but I (or my VA) use each and every one of them weekly.
Welcome! My name is Glenneth and I live in beautiful East Tennessee. I wear many hats: CEO of The Visibility Method, SEO & Google Ads Expert, content creator, and more. I love technology, social media, and weight lifting. My favorite place to hang out is the hammock in my backyard. My favorite colors are pink and orange. My favorite team is the Vols. And I LOVE to get email so please drop me a note and say hi!