Tools for blogging (and social media)

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

Need a hand with your social media?

Each blogger uses a different set of tools when it comes to blogging, there are no right or wrong tools, just ones that work better than others for you. In this list I’ll explain what I use the theme / plugin or tool for and why. If any resonate with you, then click through and take a look. I only recommend products that I use and love.

Here are the tools I use for blogging and social media, and what I use them for.

1. The Blog as the Social Media Hub -The Dynamik theme for Genesis

You’ll need hosting and a domain name to get your website online. I hear Hostgator is pretty good, you can use the zero to blogger code to get a discount.

Setting up  WordPress as a website tutorial are here http://www.zerotoblogger.com/hosting-and-domain-names/ this page will get you started, the main membership site has a small cost (reduced to £37 at the moment) .

The website or blog itself  - Many of the awesome Genesis features, wrapped up with the customisation ability of Catalyst Themes. If you’ve ever wanted to create a stunning looking theme, this is the piece of kit that you need. I’ve reviewed the Dynamik theme here.

Dynamik is perfect for beginners as well as the more experienced WordPress user. The functionality is awesome. I love it. In the coming weeks I’m going to share with you the recent sites I’ve built using Dynamik to show you it’s flexibility. In the mean time, know that my award winning Birds on the Blog is built using Dynamik :)

2. Aweber & WP Subscribers

Aweber is without a doubt the best email service for deliver-ability, you can do all the basic things you’ll need to build and engage your list.

WP Subscribers is just the best email list building tool ever and we cannot recommend either of them more highly. The support for WP Subscribers is excellent. If you only ever by one plugin for your blog, buy this one – header option, custom widget optin, in post optin, pop-up optin (that’s highly customisable) the functionality is amazing. There is a small learning curve but there are plenty of helpful videos for any aspect that you may struggle with.

3. CommentLuv Premium

When you leave a comment on this blog, if you have a blog yourself then Comment Luv will show a link to your latest post. Comment Luv premium allows you to chose 5 of your best posts to link to, and has three other plugins built in. Including the hyper-useful “tick this to prove you are not a spammer” box aka GASP plugin.

Andy Bailey, the plugin creator, is approachable, offers excellent support and ensures that Comment Luv Premium is always up to date with more goodies added to the plugin all the time. I used to use  the plugin “ReplyMe” to let people know when a comment has been responded to on this site, this has being added to CommentLuv and tested, so that’s one less plugin  :)

4. Product Creator Pro

If you have ever grabbed one of the free reports in the free social media guides section over at Sarkemedia.com you’ll see a great looking report. A professional cover and good looking report can be expensive if you are not a graphic designer. We use Product Creator Pro and My Ecover Maker. Product Creator Pro might seem expensive at $49 a month, the amount of time saved (it’s drag and drop) and amount of use I get from it makes it excellent value for money. It can even convert your PDFs to be Kindle ready :). You can also just use it for one month and cancel the subscription when you are done.

Ebook covers are a doddle with My Ecover Maker, you can also make banners and simple headers as well as buttons for your blog.

5. Snagit

Snagit is screen capture software and an image editing tool. It does so much! We love it, and use it on a daily basis to capture screen shots for the tutorials and things that we demonstrate  throughout this site. It’s fairly easy to use as soon as it’s downloaded, which is good to know (if like me) you are not into following instructions :)

6. Hootsuite & Jugnoo

Managing multiple social media accounts is easier when using a tool like Hootsuite or Jugnoo. From scheduling tweets to social analytics, Hootsuite and Jugnoo can help you get better social media results. I’m looking at moving all my stuff to Jugnoo in the new year.

7. And finally, it’s not quite a tool but it’s something really useful and it benefits a good cause –  Fb Influence is a course by Amy Porterfield to help you make more money from Facebook. If you click through my link an buy or book onto the webinar, any revenue earned will go to educating two little girls in Africa.

What tools do you use for blogging?

 

 

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Sarah Arrow

Blogging an issue for you? Social media not quite working how it should be?That's okay I understand. I started blogging back in 2006 and grew into a kick-ass blog coach as well as creator of Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), I'm frequently listed as both a top content marketing expert and as an influential marketer.
You want your blog to make a difference, so subscribe hereand stay in touch, my updates will help you achieve content marketing success.

15 Comments

  1. Hi Sarah ~ great list. I use most of these tools too. And I like to add Scribe (scribecontent.com) for quick and easy optimization of your blog content. Premise (getpremise.com) to build wordpress landing pages and membership sites. And Livefyre (livefyre.com/) a very engaging comment management system. Cheers! ~ Juan
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    • Hi Juan, I love Scribe too. I used to love Premise as well, but I’ve had one to many battles with it to love it any more (mainly the membership aspect and the social sharing part).
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the list :)
      Sarah Arrow recently posted..Tools for blogging (and social media) My Profile
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  2. Great list Sarah – looks like I’m using most of the things on here, though I’ve never heard of Product Creator Pro. The price tag only looks high because I’m not sure I’d get enough use out of it, but it’s definitely worth taking a closer look at. Thanks for the tips!
    marquita herald recently posted..The Power of Pen and Paper: Love Letters to StrangersMy Profile
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  3. I use most of the tools you listed, but CommentLuv is one I have to single out because it has been so effective. Andy has done a tremendous job with it and I have noticed that since he added ReplyMe engagement has been steadily rising.

    Can’t say enough good things about it.
    Jack recently posted..The Etiquette of UnfriendingMy Profile

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  4. These are all great tools. I often tell people even within my presentations at WordCamps about StudioPress. All of their child themes are great and I do a lot of major Genesis child theming… so it is a piece of cake these days…lol.
    Nile recently posted..Graphic: Blogging Is Not A Glamorous JobMy Profile
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  5. I have never heard of Jugnoo but anyway it is nice list of tools. I would love to thank you , Sarah
    Thanks very much!
    Paul recently posted..wowMy Profile

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  6. In my opinion, one of the best tools for every blogger and their readers is CommentLuv Premium. I think that it helps to make communication between people more honest and they both will be sure that they are not spammers

    Julia Spencer’s recent post.. Happy Happy Bundle: 5 FlashCards for $17 only!

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  7. Hi Sarah,

    you are sharing an awesome amount of great tools in your post.

    When I started and since I checked out a lot of themes and I am still really pleased with the Suffusion theme since it has so many option for personalisations and doesn’t cost anything.

    Do you find Jugnoo better than Hootsuite?

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Cheers
    Yorinda
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    • Hi Yorinda, at the moment I am looking at coming off of Hootsuite in the New Year and moving totally to Jugnoo. It has so many useful benefits when it comes to measuring your metrics, that it has become impossible to stay with the limitations of Hootsuite.
      Sarah Arrow recently posted..Great WP plugins for finding free imagesMy Profile
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  8. Jugnoo is fantastic. I have been using it for quite a while now. Seriously top notch!
    pet insurance reviews recently posted..Pets BestMy Profile

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  9. Hi Sarah

    Okay this is a great list!

    Let me see. I uses Dynamik for my secondary sites. AWeber for my mailing list.

    I don’t use wp subscriber but I heard many thing about it recently.

    Hootsuite, buffer etc…I used nearly everyone ofthem and personally, I dodon’t think 24/7 is enough for me to use all of them.

    Excellent round up and thanks for sharing!
    Reginald recently posted..Optinskin vs Hybrid Connect – Best Mailing List PluginMy Profile
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