When I first started Blog Xpressions, I had no idea what I was doing. I had to research everything on my own to figure how to run a blog. I have no partners, I am a one-woman shop! I do everything on my own from editing and publishing blog posts, creating my own graphics, managing contributor writers, running Blog Xpressions’ social media accounts and doing a little freelance writing. Oh, and did I mention I have a full-time job?
Blogging or being an online biz owner, in general, is a full-time job (depending on your passion for it) and requires so much time and effort. When Blog Xpressions was birthed, it started off as a hobby because of my love for writing and being a motivational resource for women. I feel we lack a sisterhood in our circles of life, so I thought creating this blog would be very beneficial – and it is! Amen! Then, next thing you know, this blog is now booming into an online business! Woo-hoo!
Now that this blog is now a “business” instead of a hobby, I had to do some “goal digging” and research helpful gems that will keep me organized since I am running this ship solo! Below are a list of tools and resources that helps me keep Blog Xpressions a well-oiled goal digging machine! It helps me to stay very organized so I can keep delivering great content to you guys!
Some of these are affiliate links and I will be paid a commission if a purchase is made after clicking on my link. These are services and tools that I recommend because I have used or tried them.
Ready. Set. Dig.
iPage: If you are looking to start a blog, iPage is the web host that I use for my domain name (blogxpressions.com) and WordPress is the blogging platform that I use to create the awesome content you read. I’ve been with them since I have been blogging and the experience has been very pleasant. They offer great deals for new customers! When you host your own blog, you have more control over what you can do versus a free blogging platform.
Fiverr: One of the most important pieces for your brand is your logo. How will others recognize your biz? I am not a graphic artist in any form or fashion! Some of the graphics you see on the blog are designed by freelance pros from Fiverr! The best part about all of this, their services only start off at $5! Yep, $5! I even offer my own freelance and advertising services through them as well. They offer so many services for any business model, not just graphic design. They are a business marketplace.
Hootsuite: One of my favorite tools to use is the Hootsuite platform! Blog Xpressions is present on Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. If I want to see what’s going on in any of these social feeds, how long do you think it would take me? A very long time, right? With Hootsuite, you can manage and monitor all your social channels from one page/screen! You can view your feeds without having to navigate between each platform or the app. This program is a MUST! Saves so much time. Social media is a prominent marketing tool in all successful businesses, so this will be a good way to monitor what’s going on with your social media accounts – at one time! You can even use this handy program to reply to messages and engage with your readers and supporters.
Evernote: Evernote is exactly what it sounds like – a note. Instead of using traditional paper and pen (which I still sometimes use), you can jot everything down – digitally. Evernote is the ultimate go-to for documenting everything. With all their apps and tools, you can save webpages, images, audio, etc. It’s your digital handy-dandy notebook (reminds me of Blues Clues.) You can utilize this great platform on a desktop or their awesome mobile app! Sometimes when I’m out and about, my creative juices start flowing, but I need to jot it down before I forget. I pick up my phone, go to my app, and record or type everything so I don’t forget! And, it all turns into a blog post! Some of the content you read on my site, was recorded in my Evernote app. You never know when you need to notate something quickly – Evernote is the way to go! Plus, get a FREE month of their premium service when you sign up via my affiliate link!
Creative Market: If you can perform basic steps in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, then this is the perfect tool for you for graphic design. This program has pre-designed templates for all business models. For example, I love the Girlboss Logo Creator! Great design work. Since my blog is about empowering women, this design template will be great for me to just pop in my own logo and make it my own without having to design! The graphic designers do all the work for you! Nice! And, as an added bonus, every week, they feature Free Goods of the Week! Yep, you get to download free featured items, so make sure you signup for those emails so you can be notified when the freebies await you!
CoSchedule: CoSchedule is the #1 marketing calendar out there for businesses. Hands down – this is where Blog Xpressions mostly lives. I plan out all my content here. This service saves me so much time. I pay a monthly fee but it is so worth it. If you plan to or if you blog solo, such as myself, there is so much work. So much. Please believe me when I tell you, my time is now sliced in half because of this service. To prove how good they are, I have whole blog post dedicated to their awesomeness. You can even try them out for FREE! That’s how I started off, as a trial member, and then I converted into a paying customer and have not looked back. If you really want to be a productive blogger, I strongly recommend you use this service. Oh, and let me brag a little bit, I am certified CoSchedule marketing strategist!
Pinning Perfect: Remember when I said I had to do a lot of research to find out about blogging? One helpful site that I stumbled upon is Blog Clarity! This site is my learning tool. Melissa Culbertson is a blogging mastermind. She teaches these awesome e-courses on her site to help people like you and me, to become better bloggers and e-business folks! One of the most popular e-courses taught on her site is Pinning Perfect. Did you know that Pinterest is the ultimate traffic-driver? You can get so much traffic on your blog just by pinning. But, there is a science to it all, sign up for this great e-course that thousands have enrolled in, to effectively pin…perfectly! There is a 2-payment option as well. Great price for such an in-depth course! Once you enroll in the course, you have full access to all updates – no added fees!
Content Brew: Don’t you just love that name? Here’s another awesome e-course by Melissa Culbertson. I have actually taken this course and it is so helpful in regards to effectively planning out my blogging content. It helps you brew your content (pun intended)! There is no magic here folks when it comes to planning and blogging. Since I am super mindful (and a little obsessive) about what I post, I have a calendar that I can carefully map everything out with. This course helps you plan and organize better. I highly suggest you sign up for this course. Plus, there is newly released update! Once you enroll in the course, you have full access to all updates – no added fees! Cool beans! I can’t wait to experience all the new changes.
Blog Design for Dummies: And yet another goodie from blogging guru, Melissa Culbertson. Not only is she great at helping bloggers, she is a wiz at blog design. I’ve read snippets from this book and it was language I could actually understand! If you are looking to get your hands dirty with some blog design, this is a must-read!
Blog Xpressions: Of course I was not going to leave Blog Xpressions out! My blog is a great source for advertising your brand, business or event! If you don’t promote and market your brand, how will people know it exists? Blog Xpressions is an all-inclusive suite! Sponsored blog posts, banner ads, product reviews, social media campaigns, plus more can be done right here with Blog Xpressions. The best part – I can do all this to fit your budget!
Alright guys, pay very close attention to this one. As biz owners, we get so bogged down with all the hustle and bustle of writing blog posts, creating images, posting on social, etc. We tend to forget the most important piece – the legal side of blogging. The ladies who own Businessese are lawyers and they can help you protect your blog! This is a MUST! They can help you with sponsorship contracts, terms and conditions for your site, business model paperwork, etc! I interact with them all the time and I even was included in one of their blogs.
Here’s a little bonus gem for ya – Starbucks Coffee! Thought I’d throw this one in here for you. Bloggers need coffee! To keep myself fueled, I always have a cup of good ole Joe nearby. Starbucks locations are always packed – always! Don’t you agree? Aha! But there is a solution – Starbucks At Home! They have so many options to choose from!
I hope these gems help YOU to become better goal diggers! If you have any questions about any of the products or services mentioned above, please leave me a comment below and let’s start a conversation!
If you know someone who would benefit from these tips and find value in these gems, please SHARE!
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