Saturday, 30 January 2016

8 Worthy Blog Investments Guaranteed To Save You Time


There comes a time when blogging demands just a little too much time than you actually have to spare. The content, the graphics, the searching for the perfect stock photo, or taking your own and editing them, the social media promoting, the socialising with other bloggers in your niche, and those bloggers outside of it, there just isn't enough hours in the day, especially if you have something else more important to be doing, like your day job. With only two hands available and none to spare, it's time (har har) to make some investments, and I don't just mean the money grabbing type.

You can't do everything successfully on your own.
You are but one person. It's time to bring in the big guns.

The following investments, some free, some for a fee, are guaranteed to save you time. I know they will, because they've saved me tons of time, time I now spend getting over 7 hours sleep a night, time I now spend having movie nights with my parents, time I now spend on less productive things, like buying books. People from all over the world created these resources so you can spend your time on the things that matter most, let's check out what exactly these resources are.

Picmonkey and Canva


When it comes to editing images and creating any of my graphics, these are my two go to programs. I've never been a fan of Photoshop, nor is it something I ever particularly want to spend time getting to know, but in terms of ease of use and simple, affordable software that I trust, these are the best I know of. PicMonkey is the easiest image editing software I've ever used, and it's absolutely perfect in terms of creating simple, attractive graphics, as shown in this tutorial. Not only is it amazingly easy to use, but you can use any of the fonts you have installed on your computer, and with the use of royale, gain access to features, editing possibilities and illustrations used by professional photographers and designers.

Canva is without a doubt on the best free programs out there, and I use it for almost everything else other than my graphics. Content upgrades, my free Goal Planner and Blog Planner, and even promotional banners, it's definitely worth spending a few hours getting to grips with. With access to free templates, even more free fonts and illustrations, you can create beautiful, super good-looking graphics in a jiffy, but it gets better. You can save even more time by using their stock photos available for just $1 each, and what's more, they have a HUGE range of free illustrations, perfect for any blogger to use on any graphic. You can check out how I use Canva with this tutorial on blog graphics, and this tutorial on content upgrades.

Sumome


Without a doubt one of the easiest, simplest and quickest installations I've ever added to any of my blogs, Sumome has changed how quickly people can share my content on social media with share, check out my google analytics while on my blog, and how easily I can grow my email list with welcome mats, scrolling boxes and smart bars. It is seriously so good, and it's free features make installing the program absolutely worth it. Other bloggers pay a fortune for programs such as Leadpages, but Sumome allows you to achieve something similar for a serious budget slashing price, and it's share feature is genuinely my favourite feature from the program.  haven't even gone into how advantageous Heat Maps has been for in terms of blog layout and design. If you haven't at least checked it out Sumome, you should go and do that now.

Buffer and Hootsuite


In terms of getting to grips with social media updates, these two tools are most definitely your best and make keeping up with promoting your content easy as typing it up, setting it, and leaving it to do wonders. There's obviously a lot more to it, and your updates, and what you're promoting matter, but in terms of being able to prepared your posts hours, days, even hours in advance, the time saved is unbelievable, and I wouldn't have seen my referrals get to the level they have. It took time and effort and careful attention, but after a few months, I'm perfected the times at which to post, what type of update gets the best recognition, and more. I may not be as experienced in Hootsuite as I am with Buffer, but I can guarantee that Buffer is the best tool I've ever used for scheduling updates, and it's even better when used to avoid taking blogging breaks. Spending a few pennies a month allows for really getting ahead of the game, and I'd recommend it hugely.

Evernote and Scrivener


I recently started using Evernote to help keep everything blogging related organised and in one place, and in comparison to my Sticky Notes on Windows, it's definitely a mile ahead (although I definitely still use Sticky Notes, I can't live without them!) I'm still in the midst of organising Evernote so it works perfectly for me and keeps me organised in my haphazard nature, but it's certainly enabled me to keep track of my post ideas much better, actually outline entire posts, and keep my Blogger Love content all in one place. Before Evernote, Blogger Love was saved in Bookmarks, links were collected in all places, and some posts were put into the post immediately to save losing them, but now with Evernote Chrome extension, I can save them all in one place. In comparison, I haven't used Scrivener, but through conversations with other bloggers, it's definitely helpful on a level with Evernote, if not more, and it's perfect for authors alike. Unlike Evernote, Scrivener doesn't have a free option, although you can trial using it for a set period of time.

TinyPNG


I recent resource I've added to my belt in the last few months, TinyPNG has really made a difference in terms loading time on Nellie and Co. and the quality of my graphics. After checking out Marianne's post on the effect graphics have on blog loading time, I decided it was time to buckle down and make the simple change, and by jinger have I noticed a different. While using TinyPNG won't save you time in terms of actual preparation with your post, it will save you time in term of loading, for both you when previewing and checking out your blog, and your viewers, something everyone will appreciate.

What Investments Have You Made That Save You Time?

10 comments:

  1. Oooh yes SumoMe and Buffer are lifesavers! I use GIMP, but basically it's the same concept as Canva/PicMonkey. Mailchimp/Tinyletter are also extremely useful for mailing lists, and VSCOCam helps me edit all my photos right on my phone. Best thing is, they all have a free trial <3 <3 I think I might try out Evernote!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many useful tools around, and it's super interesting to see the tools other people use in place of the ones I do, like Gimp instead of Picmonkey and Canva, and Tinyletter rather than Mailchimp. I confess, I use Picmonkey to edit my Instagram photos too, bah, I'm a loyal user. Evernote is so worth a shot, good luck Alyssa! :)

      Delete
  2. SCRIVENER IS MY ONE TRUE LOVE. <3 (Although I haven't used it for anything bloggingish? But it definitely saves me time as a writer. :P) And I would be a mess without canva. Like I do love picmonkey? But canva saves me so much time because I can save previous templates and just upload new photos/change fonts, whereas with Picmonkey it's starting from scratch EVERY time. Not so fun. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're a such a Canva promoter where-as I'm all for Picmonkey, it's quite fun to see the comparison. I do like creating my own templates in Picmonkey to save me the time and problem of no having templates, but Canva does cut out the DIY part of that, so I can't blame you! :)

      Delete
  3. PICMONKEY FTW!!! It's certainly a lifesaver, and I love how user friendly it is! Their fonts are my favourite! I love experimenting with them often! :D
    I use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets. It's really useful, especially since I'll be either asleep or at school during twitter's peak times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm signed up to Hootsuite, but I confess, I love the simplicity of Buffer and how user friendly it is in comparison, but that's just me. I've seen your photography improving lately Mishma, keep it up! :)

      Delete
  4. I've been looking for something like TinyPNG for AGES! I ran a check on my blog and my graphics and one of the biggest things that are slowing it down!

    Also, PicMonkey is my life :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, so glad I could give a helping hand then Harvey! Hopefully this will help you speed up your blog :)

      Delete
  5. I literally just heard about Canva from Cait @ Paper Fury and I LOVE it! I've also just recently heard about Scrivener too so will definitely be checking that out. These are all really useful. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome hunny! Hope you come to love those tools too! :)

      Delete