I'm talking about blogging all week. See all the posts in this series here.
Now that I’ve laid out how much time it takes, I want to be clear that we’re not exactly spinning yarn here. There are a plethora of tools and resources to help you grow, manage, and maintain your blog. I’ve tried a lot and have settled on a few.
Here are my must-have blogging tools:
Typepad. I built my blog on the Typepad platform and couldn’t be happier about it. I go into all the reasons why I love and stay with Typepad here. It drives me batty that a huge percentage of “serious” bloggers will try and tell you that self-hosted Wordpress is the only way to go. Typepad makes my blogging life about 4,000 times easier than all of my Wordpress friends.
But there are other platforms with a huge online presence, too. Squarespace has been making a splash. And two of the best (and biggest) bloggers I know are still using the free Blogger! Which just goes to show that you don’t need to pay or need all the bells and whistles to have a wildly successful blog.
Mail Chimp. I’ve only been using Mail Chimp for less than a year, but I have a major crush on it. Mail Chimp is an email delivery service, and first I put all of my email subscribers there, and now it’s what I use to deliver the Secret Posts.
Mail Chimp is intuitive and friendly to use. You can build newsletter and email campaigns by just dragging and dropping where you want pictures and text. It’s fun to use and now my blog emails look so pretty.
Evernote. When I’m on the go, Evernote is how I keep track of the ideas and To Dos that float through my mind. I have notebooks for the blog and for our life and they all sync wirelessly from my phone to my iPad to the computer. So if I make a note in my phone while standing in Target, it will be on my computer when I get home.
I can keep a notebook for Friday Links and for sites where HH is featured. I can snap a picture and keep it in Evernote to remind me to do a post about it. It’s a handy and easy little tool. (Side note: I just started experimenting with Wunderlist this week, which I’m still figuring out. I’ll report back.)