My Favorite Blogging Tools + My New Brand Reveal

 One of the keys to being successful is having the right tools. Below are some of my favorite blogging tools. Some of them are even FREE - you're welcome, wallet ;)
*this post contains affiliate links 

No, I did not disappear off the face of the earth - I'm still here.

It's been awhile since my last post and I've been busy since then. First off, I started a new job. I'm super excited about it, but the only downfall is that I have to stare at a computer screen ALL. DAY. LONG. So when I come home, staring at a computer screen is the last thing I want to do, and is sometimes painful because my eyes are strained from earlier that day. I'll need to make myself an eye doctor appointment soon so I can sort all of that out since I don't plan on taking a blogging break anytime soon.

Another thing I've been doing, if you haven't noticed, is finishing my rebrand!!!! I am so proud of what this blog is now. I decided to customize my template myself and it feels so much more like me. Not only that, but the intentions behind the blog have changed as well. Check out my new Start Here page and see what I mean. I now feel like I have a better direction for this blog and it feels fantastic!

Now that I have Krysta Lynn Blogs where I want it I can move forward without any hesitation. One of the keys to being successful is having the right tools. Below are some of my favorite blogging tools. Some of them are even FREE - you're welcome, wallet ;)

Trello //  Let's start with the planning stage. Trello is a project management tool. It's amazing when it comes to laying all of my ideas out. Trello has these things called Boards, and on those Boards, you have different Lists, and on each list you have Cards. I know this sounds a little confusing, but I promise you it isn't. Think of it like a digital whiteboard covered in post-it notes that have all the info you need. Currently, I use Trello to organize my blog post ideas and social media content. They have both a free and paid version, but the free version is really all you need.

NameCheap //  If you don't have a custom domain for your blog, I highly suggest you get one. It looks more professional and it doesn't have to cost you a lot either. Originally I purchased my domain from GoDaddy. They're a popular domain provider, so I didn't think twice about it. It wasn't until my domain was coming up for renewal that I decided to look into my other options. NameCheap is like their name implies, very affordable. I was able to purchase my domain for $3.99 for the first year. The renew fee isn't bad either and it's still lower than GoDaddy's fee. The thing that really got me to switch, though, was the privacy I would be getting. NameCheap provides you with WhoisGuard to protect your personal information. I don't know about you, but I don't want anybody knowing my info without me telling them.

Unsplash //  I kind of suck at taking photos. That's why sites like Unsplash exist! You can find a variety of beautiful, free to use, high-resolution photos. There are a lot of free stock photos sites out there, but I always check Unsplash first because the quality is just amazing. Seeing all of these photos just motivates me more to learn how to take my own.

Canva //  Once I have those beautiful photos, Canva helps me create my blog post and social media templates. The things you can create in Canva are limitless. I made my blog posts title, twitter cover photo, logo, business card, and email header all in Canva. I've used PicMonkey in the past and really loved it, but the unique thing about Canva are the templates they have made for you already. If you're not the most creative person in the world, you can still make really amazing graphic and documents. I'm really not the smartest when it comes to font combinations - but that work is already done for me when I put together my images. I don't have to think twice about it because Canva's done all the work for me. They have a free and paid version available. I would recommend getting the paid version if you can. It's only $12.95 a month and you'll have the ability to resize your designs (which is a lot more convenient than you might think), add custom fonts, set color palette's for your brand, and more.

Buffer //  This is my favorite social media scheduling tool. I feel like Buffer doesn't get enough credit for being great. It's so easy to set up a custom schedule to post on your various social media platforms. My favorite thing about it is the plug-ins you can get for your browser. When I used Hootsuite in the past (and I still use it for some things as well), I would see something I wanted to share and then had to redirect into Hootsuite to schedule it. With Buffer all I have to do is click the little icon and then it's sent into my pre-set scheduling queue. Ummm...that was easy? When it comes to social media sharing I like to take as little steps as possible. There is free and paid versions available. If you get the $10 a month version you're able to schedule on Pinterest as well, have up to 10 social accounts, schedule up to 100 posts per social profile, and a few other neat extras.

Mailerlite //  When it comes to Email Marketing, Mailerlite does it right. It's super simple to create gorgeous and unique emails, you can create landing pages or embedded forms easily, and you can send out autoresponders with the FREE version. When I first started looking into which email marketing software would be best for me, it was important that I was able to have an expensive looking platform, while not spending a ton (or any) money. A lot of free accounts don't give you many options, but with Mailerlite you get everything included. The only cap you have is on the total number of subscribers. The free version allows up to 1,000 subscribers, and for me, that's still a lot of damn subscribers! Even if you had up to 10,000 subscribers, you're still only paying $35 a month with Mailerlite, compared to MailChimps $75. Just do the math, friends.

What are some of your favorite blogging tools?

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