I love blogging. I love having a creative outlet where I can talk about fashion and beauty and my life to balance out the things I talk about during the workday, like infrastructure and workforce. However, there are things about blogging that stress me out.
I love to write. It’s the thing about blogging I love the most; give me a topic, and I’ll give you 500+ words with a smile on my face. I wish all parts of blogging came as easily to me as writing does. But they don’t, so through trial and error, I’ve found ways to make those stressful parts about blogging a little easier. I’m finally at the point where I can whip up a collage without stressing myself out over it, and I actually enjoy editing photos now. It’s all because of the programs I use.
I’m not saying this is the easiest way for everyone, just that it’s what works best for me. With that being said, here are my favorite programs for bloggers.
Lightroom // Anytime I had to work in Photoshop, I felt panicky. I would do the “auto tone + auto contrast + auto color” on photos, and every single photo taken in that series would look differently. Lightoom is so much easier. I actually use this tutorial, apply those settings to each photo in the series, then tweak them a little if needed. My photos look better, it takes much less time, and I still have my sanity in tact post-editing. I think pricing may depend on what Adobe Suite you use, but I pay $10 a month. (If you’re a student, there’s a student discount!)
Powerpoint // Another way that I avoid Photoshop. I know that a lot of bloggers use Photoshop for collages, but I just feel extremely overwhelmed if I’m doing anything besides popping photos into the collage. Powerpoint makes things like removing the background of a photo so simple, and you can easily save your files as a photo. (PS – Here’s a post about how I make collages in Powerpoint!) If you don’t have the Microsoft Suite, you can get Powerpoint, Word, and Excel for less than $8 a month.
Hootsuite // If you’re unfamiliar with Hootsuite, it’s a social media scheduling program. After I schedule a blog post, I immediately schedule the social media for the post, and then it’s done, and I don’t have to think about it. You can utilize features like “autoschedule”, which will schedule tweets for times that will have the most impact. Hootsuite has a paid package, but I had it for a year, and I wasn’t impressed, so I just use the free version.
(PS – I also like Buffer a lot! Unlike Hootsuite, when you go to schedule a post in Buffer, the photo from the link will automatically pop up. Buffer also has a “requeue” feature, which allows you to tweet anything you’ve already tweeted through Buffer again. The only downside to Buffer is that when you hit the @ sign and start typing a username, it doesn’t search for users the way that Hootsuite does. I use Hootsuite for blogging, and Buffer for my professional social media and the YP account that I run.)
Canva // Yet another product that helps me to avoid Photoshop. I’m really bad at design, and I love that Canva has templates that I can just pop things into, and they’re already sized for social media. You can even use color codes to match the brand colors that you use! This site has made me go from dreading design to actually enjoying it. The basic plan is free, but the monthly plan is only $8 and I’m definitely considering the investment.
Ahalogy // Pinterest is the social media for driving traffic to your site. I use Ahalogy, which allows me to upload my pins, and autoschedules them for me. (You can schedule them, I just prefer not to.) Ahalogy also allows me to schedule pins from other Ahalogy users, and Ahalogy users are also sent special sponsored opportunities. There are other great Pinterest schedulers out there like Boardbooster and Tailwind. (My friend Jenny is the Pinterest queen, and she has a lot of great articles on her site Confetti Social about different schedulers.) Ahalogy is a program that is free, but you do have to apply to be part of the network.
Shew, that was a lot! I want to hear from you – which programs do you use to make your life easier? See any on my list that you want to try out?