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The Top Five Tools For Professional Bloggers

Blogging is a great way to earn money from home, and if you’re an expert in a particular field, then you’ll probably already have plenty of brilliant content ideas. While you can start out by mobile blogging via your smartphone, if you’re aiming to become more professional, then you’re going to need access to certain tools and equipment. Trying to decide what’s essential can be tricky, but don’t panic!We’ve rounded up the five most important things to keep in your kit.

A Laptop

Whether you’ve been blogging for a while and you want to step things up, or you’re setting out on a journey to make blogging your main income,a good laptopis absolutely essential.Understandably, not everyone has the budget for a brand new MacBook, but there are a few things to consider when you make your final choice.

If you’re planning on taking your laptop out and about, you want to make sure it’s not only durable but also lightweight. Anyone who is planning on producing a lot of video or image content will need to consider how fast the processor is, and will also need more memory than someone who is just writing text articles. If you’re absolutely baffled by technology, a quick Google search is an excellent place to start.

A Blogging Platform

Once you’ve got something to create your content on, you’re going to need somewhere to post it – and there are plenty of great blogging platforms to choose from. Before you decide which one to go for, you need to ask yourself a few questions; are you planning on posting wordy articles or just pictures? Do you have some basic coding skills, or do you need everything to be laid out for you? Do you have a fixed idea of how you want your site to look, or are you happy to compromise? Currently, the most popular blogging platform is wordpress.org, which powers more than 30% of websiteson the internet. It’s great for anyone who wants to self-host with a custom domain name or monetize their blog, and it allows you complete control over theme and layout customization. For something a little simpler, but with less freedom, Blogger is a great platform to get started on, while Tumblr or Squarespace are the perfect choices for anyone who simply wants to post photographs and images.

A Camera And Accessories

If you’re planning on adding images to your blog, you’re going to want to make them as beautiful and eye-catching as possible, so it’s a good idea to invest in some good camera equipment. Digital SLRs can be expensive, so if your budget doesn’t allow for a brand new model, opt for second-hand instead. Keh Camerais a great online marketplace for pre-used cameras, lenses, and accessories, and they stock all the top brands such as Canon, Nikon and Leica. Alternatively, try searching for a second-hand model on Craigslist or other selling sites – the added bonus here is that you could end up negotiating yourself a bargain. Admittedly, you won’t be able to pay via card, but if money is tight, accessing cash off credit cards is a quick and easy solution. As well as the camera itself, you’re going to need to think about any additional accessories and equipment you might need; if you’re shooting indoors, the correct lighting set up is the key to brilliant photographs, while anyone taking close-up shots will almost certainly need to grab a tripod and some zoom lenses.

Organizational Apps and Tools

Any professional blogger will tell you that the best way to get ahead is to be as organized as possible, with everything from content and photographs to time management and advertising. There are plenty of great tools and apps that are available both online and in physical format, so whether you work best digitally or by making good old-fashioned lists, there’s something for everyone. Asana is a brilliant app that allows you to set tasks, add notes, and schedule them for a specific date, and also includes a separate inbox for notifications. If you work better manually, there are tonnes of templates for blog post ideas, schedules, and notes; a quick search on Pinterest will throw up loads of results, or alternatively draft one of your own in a simple Word document. Staying on top of your social media posting is also incredibly important, but if you have multiple accounts, this can be tricky. Hootsuite is by far the best tool for anyone serious about their social media presence; it allows you to schedule posts across several different platforms, and also includes useful insights and analytic information so you can keep track of your reach and engagement. It is a paid service, though, so if you’re on a tighter budget scheduling within the apps themselves is a good option.

Stat Monitoring Software

If you’re going to be blogging professionally, particularly if you’re planning on working with brands on projects and collaborations, you’re going to need to keep track of all of your statistics. Blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger include statistic monitoring with their basic packages, but the amount of information you have access to is fairly limited. An external analytic tool will provide you with far more detailed reports, and most of them are completely free to use – you simply install a piece of code into the body of your website, and you’re ready to go. Google Analytics is one of the most popular choices for bloggers; it gives you as much or as little information as you like, and includes details on the location, age, and gender of your website visitors, how they came to arrive at your blog, and how long they stayed for. It is quite complex, though, so if you find it baffling, it’s worth looking up a few tutorials online to make sure you get the most out of it. For something a little simpler, try Clicky or Momently – they’re both easier to get to grips with, but be aware that the free plans are fairly limited.

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