I’ve been trying to write a lot of reminders for bloggers beginners lately here, and it seems those type of posts are received great with beginners as well as those of us who have been in it longer.
We tend to skip basics often, thinking how we know it all and don’t need to be reminded.
Well, I like to remind myself of the good things I’ve done from the beginning because going through all the steps made my blog more successful that those trying to appear experienced from the start.
Here are 5 tools you need to use when you start blogging, that will help your blog and you, perform tasks and save time:
#1 Screenshot taking tools
There are not many niches where you won’t need to take a screenshot for a blog post so get one of these straight away. I use SnagIt, which is a paid tool, but there are free tools that are great and I’ve been using them until recently.
Skitch is a free tool from Evernote and works on Mac computers. It is great for screenshots and adding anotations to them.
If your computer is running on Windows for example, you have Snipping Tool installed with your Windows 7.
Another solution would be one of the browser add ons (both Chrome and Firefox have many), although you will only be able to use those while in the browser and not when needing a screenshot of something else on the computer. When it comes to these, one of my favorites is Aviary.
#2 Video tools
Again, almost any niche can use some screencasts or video tutorials. For screencasts, there are paid tools like Camtasia or free like the new Youtube screencast tool, Screencast-o-Matic (free or paid with extremely low price) and a few others.
I’ve used Camtasia and Screencast-o-Matic and love them both. Highly recommended. Even if you don’t want to create screencast tutorials, you may need to create one to show your VA how to do something, or show your hosting support team what is wrong on your blog when something breaks.
WiseStamp is a tool that lets you sign your emails like a pro. You can use it in a browser and on Windows computers, as far as I know (I haven’t managed to set it up on iMail app on Mac) and it is the best way to create great email signatures.
You can create up to 2 signature versions with the free WiseStamp and that may be enough to cover your needs forever.
The tool lets you add not only the text of the signature, but your image as well, you can use HTML to create anything, automatically add image links to your social media profiles, your RSS feed, quotes of the day and so on.
Definitely a must have for branding and leaving a mark.
#4 Editorial calendar
We can talk about two things here, Editorial Calendar free WordPress plugin and editorial calendar in general. Which ever you choose, just use it.
Editorial calendar lets you organize your posts in advance so you focus your efforts on certain topics in a given period of time, or even show potential advertisers when is the topic related to their business coming up on your blog so you can set up a paid promotion for them.
Knowing in advance what you will write about gives you time to prepare for the topic, do your research, prepare images and everything else you may need.
Adding ideas is as easy as writing down the topic title in the calendar and then expanding on it when you have time.
#5 Google (or other) calendar
I mention Google because it is free and accessible from anywhere, but of course any calendar will do. I combine my iCal with Google to get all the benefits, working locally but being able to access it anywhere as well.
Now, this calendar would serve a different function than the editorial one, although you could put them together if it would make it easier on you.
Several uses of the calendar that will make your blogging and business easier are – embedding the calendar to your blog so people can see when you are available (if you are offering services), setting up repeating reminders (like “promote my Facebook fan page here” every Friday), adding events for all the webinars and Google Hangouts you want to attend and so on.
If you get organized from the beginning, you won’t run into a problem of overlapping events or setting up the same time for two clients.
So don’t forget – going back to basics is always useful because they are the foundation we build our businesses on.
What do you think of these 5?