Ready to take your blogging to the next level? Here is my blogging toolkit and what I recommend to others on a regular basis.
Brandon Cox’s Blogging Toolkit
A Beautiful WordPress Theme
WordPress is the software that runs your blog, but your “theme” is the front-end. It’s what people see. You’re looking at one right now. When you install WordPress, it will come with several nice-looking but common themes and you can even find more free themes in the WordPress repository. To customize your blogging toolkit — when you want to make it uniquely yours and get premium features, you’ll need a premium theme.
My favorite marketplaces for premium themes include…
- Elegant Themes (especially the Divi theme)
- Studiopress (home of the Genesis framework)
- Themeforest (a bit overwhelming, but start by looking at Avada, Enfold, or X)
Blogging Toolkit – Content Creation
Within WordPress is an excellent writing system. You can write using a nice what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor. You can also easily upload photos, documents, and other kinds of media using the Media Upload tool. It will all be resized and aligned according to your preferences. But at some point, you may also want to get creative and go beyond what the basic editor allows, especially with video. Here are my blogging toolkit suggestions:
For Creating Graphics
- Pixelmator (my go-to app for graphics creation)
- Canva (create social media-ready graphics quickly)
- Snappa (very easy-to-use graphics-creation tool)
- Final Cut (Apple’s pro video editor – complex but powerful)
- Motion (Apple’s tool for special effects – even more complex)
- VideoMakerFX (an easy way to create great video content)
- Blubrry Podcasting (for podcasting from WordPress)
- Audacity (for editing audio files)
- AudioJungle (for audio files, background music, etc.)
Marketing and Promotional Tools
Blogging is great, but for whom are you writing? Who is your audience, and how do you get your content in front of them? Here are some of my favorite tools for promoting and distributing my blog posts.
Email List Growth and Management
- MailChimp (my favorite email list app)
- OptinMonster (a great list-building plugin)
- SumoMe (an amazing collection of tools for your blog)
Social Media Tools
- SocialOomph (for managing multiple Twitter accounts)
- Buffer (for scheduling posts to all kinds of networks)
Affiliate Marketing Help
- Affilorama (amazing site for learning affiliate marketing)
- Connect with Influencers (a course by a master connector)
- LinkedInfluence (a course about how to use LinkedIn for influence)
Other Favorite Apps and Tools
- Dropbox (my favorite cloud storage solution)
- Brydge Keyboards (awesome keyboards for Ipad)
- Mighty Deals (great deals on creative design resources)
- Fiverr (for hiring someone to do a small creative job for $5)
And by the way, my blogging toolkit is ever-evolving. I will add and remove tools from time to time.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.