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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

Sarah Arrow started blogging to save a business and it worked! She created her first blogging challenge back in 2007. She's been internationally recognised as a top content marketer, Forbes and MSN list her websites as top ones, and she's the author of many quick start marketing guides. You can find her books on Amazon.

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