3 Essential Tools Every Blogger Should Use

Once you have gotten your blog up and running, now what?  The phrase 'time is money' is true.  You want to spend your time wisely.  Devote your energy to developing great content and becoming a better blogger.  Social media is a big part of getting that hard work out there to readers.  Timing is everything when it comes to social media content.  And there are tools out there to help you maximize your efforts and do much of the work for you.

Scheduling tools for social media content is a life saver!  When you schedule your social media posts is as important as what you are posting.  But who has time to drop everything and post at just the right times?  That is why you need to use scheduling tools to help you do the work.

I use Hoot Suite for my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.  I use the free version allowing me to schedule up to 30 posts at a time.  Free also limits you to three connected social media accounts.  Paid plans start at $19.99 per month.  You can connect up to 10 social media platforms with the paid version.  However, I caution you to explore which social media platforms you will use and how many.  Three is all that I need.

With Instagram, you will get a message on your mobile device to copy and paste content into the app that has been created for that time.  So there is still a little something to manage, but the most of the work is done for you.

Hoot Suite also has a mobile app that you can use.  This really comes in handy when I am on the road.  I can schedule posts while my husband is driving.  Big plus!

Pinterest is a huge influencer for social media outlets.  Pinterest drives traffic directly to your blog.  You need a good scheduling tool for Pinterest.  I tried out Board Booster and Tailwinds in January.  Both tools schedule at prime and various times to help you reach a bigger audience.  I have seen my Pinterest and blog traffic climb by more than 50% in the last month.

Board Booster is a good tool for beginners.  It allows you to create these "secret boards" on your Pinterest account that will, in turn, publish to your specified boards at prime times for you.  So, you just pin those "secret boards" and it will do all of the work for you.  Board Booster is more of a day to day tool for me.

Board Booster costs $5 per month.  You can pin only to your designated boards.  You also have campaign scheduling tools where to can pull content from other boards to your own designated locations.  Or, you could share your content with other boards.  I actually paid for this tool because I felt like it was worth the money.

Tailwinds schedules a certain number of pins per day for you.  This tool integrates fully with Pinterest and can pin directly from Pinterest.  Each day Tailwinds determines the best times slots to place your pins.  This tool also has a mobile app.

Tailwinds have Tribes that you can join to extend your reach.  Pin your blog pins to a Tribe of other bloggers and influencers.  This could really help to grow your audience.  For every pin you share to a Tribe, you are encouraged to share something from another member of the tribe.  Its a share for share concept.

Tailwinds have plans starting at $15 a month.  You will be able to schedule up to 400 pins per month.  Or, if you pay for an annual plan, the price drops to $120 per year with unlimited pins.  You also get 4 months free with an annual payment plan.

If you are just getting started, try out Hoot Suite for free.  You have nothing to lose there and can continue using it in the free limited version for as long as you like.  Board Booster and Tailwinds are worth the free trial periods to decide what works best for your blog.

Scheduling tools work for you while you are doing something else.  It's my set it and forget it tools that make my life so much easier during the regular work week.  But best of all, it helps me to be a better planner.  I feel like I have some direction with my social media content.  You can still post content on the fly.  I encourage it.

While you are getting all organized and scheduled up, create a simple calendar and make a plan.  I am using a Google Sheets Calendar that can be customized for the year.  Directions on how to use this calendar are on the front sheet.  And if you are looking for National Days that you can work into your social media posts to connect with others and drive traffic, National Calendar Day can help you find designated dates/days.

In case you missed my first post, check out 7 simple steps to starting a blog!  Anyone can start a blog that has an idea and content to share.  I'd love to hear from some of your blogging success stories.  Feel free to email or comment below.  Be sure to share this post with other bloggers or share on Pinterest.  Have a great week!