(Image Source: Authors Own)
Being a beginner to blogging and social media can be really scary. There seems to be so much information out there and so many different ways to do things. As a beginner, it can be daunting with the pressure of producing an amazing blog layout, photography and content all in one go. It is enough to make you want to give up! I am still learning about blogging and social media therefore to save you time I have shared a few tools and websites below that I use:
Social media scheduling tools
Hootsuite a well-known scheduling tool. I use the paid version at work and the way the dashboard is set out is simple and it is easy to use. What I do not like about Hootsuite is that it still turns the Twitter images into ow.ly links so you have to click the link to view the image, which I view as a barrier. To get round it I schedule Twitter posts with images on Buffer.
Buffer is another social media scheduling tool. The free version is ok but you can only post ten posts on each social network on this compared to Hootsuite where you can schedule more.
Websites to learn about social media analytics
Kissmetrics– is a helpful website that focuses on social media analytics. There is an infographic section on a variety of subjects ranging from how to get more likes on Facebook to how colours affect conversions.
Social Media Examiner– If you are looking to up your social media game. This website is good. With many how-to blog posts and posts going into great detail about how to make the most of those figures.
Buffer blog – Another reason why I like Buffer is the social media blog. I read this a lot for when I want to try different things with the social media at my work place such as A/B testing.
Best website for wanting to find twitter chats in one place
Design that fits – If you are based in the United Kingdom this site lists as many Twitter chats as you can possibly think of. Personally I take part in #bloghour and sometimes #weddinghour both of which I found through the site.
Best site for finding Creative Commons Licencing images
– This blog post lists a wide range of high-quality images that you can use for free to get you going. It is a really good blog post and one of the few I have seen where you can really use the images for free.
Best websites for editing your images
– Second only to Adobe Photoshop in my opinion. This application I have found to be really useful when I am using my laptop (which is so old if I loaded Photoshop onto it, it would just crash) for editing photos. Picasa 3 is so easy for cropping, adjusting light and straightening photographs and is free to use.
Canva -This website I have used for work is good for creating Facebook and Twitter headers. With so many design options, it is really good for those without Photoshop or have limited design skills to make professional looking designs.
Befunky is a website that I discovered recently where you can make lots of different photo collages and upload them for free. You can also create Facebook and Twitter headers with the photos.
VCSO cam – Lots of bloggers use this to touch up their photos for Instagram and social media. I downloaded the app and found that the filters were a lot better than Instagram. It is just as easier to use too. My favourite filters are B1, C1 and P5.
Best site for blog design
Pipdig – Biased, I know, as my blog design is by them. They offer really good professional, modern blog designs that are very reasonably priced. What is also a bonus is that they will add the template onto your site free of charge. The customer service is fantastic, I have tweeted and emailed them on two separate occasions and they have got back to me within about two hours.
Best sites for blogging advice
I Can Build a Blog – I have mentioned Dana before on here as her blog The Wonder Forest is one of my favourite blogs to read. Dana has created another whole website dedicated to building a blog from scratch. Again simplicity is the key and Dana has the habit of answering all those blog questions that newbies have.
The Nectar Collective – Similar to I Can Build a Blog, The Nectar Collective focuses on growing your blog through from the basics to advance. The website is designed well and in my opinion a good example of how good design aids the reader around the site and makes them stay longer. It is essentially the website of my dreams.
Autumn Leaves Blog – I like this blog because of its transparency. Rebecca lists her social media figures each month and goes through what techniques she used that month and if they helped increase engagement or followers. This openness adds value as I am not keen at looking at sites that offer tips on engagement but are not well- known sites themselves.
Zoella – Not her whole blog site but this post (an oldie but still a goodie) on how to edit your photographs was one of the first I read. Zoella was producing great blog photography long before anyone else and is the perfect starting point if you really don’t have a clue.
Best book for thinking up blog ideas
Not a website but a book, 365 blog topic ideas: For the lifestyle blogger who has nothing to talk about by Dana Fox of The Wonder Forest. It does what it says on the tin. A no frills book which has a blog topic idea on each page. It is really good for dipping in and out of or if you get stuck with something to write about.
Those are the sites and book I use. Do you have any other sites to add?