Being organised is a real pride of mine when it comes to my Chrome bookmarks bar. I have a folder for my work items, one for my tools that I use across work and my website, and one for blogs.
In this post, I’m going to go over five of the tools that I cannot recommend enough. I should also mention, to give my recommendation some weight, I’m not paid any commission for these. A lot of blogs recommend sites because they have an affiliate link and commission attached.
If you’re a bit of an analytics and numbers geek, you’ll love Hotjar. When you sign up you’re prompted to add a snippet of code to your site. Once this is activated, it will track every visit to your site.
Now, this isn’t a load of numbers and that’s it. Hotjar provides an easy to view look at how your site it performing from a user-experience point of view. With heat maps, visitor recordings and actionable polls and surveys, it’s a more in-depth view than Google Analytics.
I had heard about Canva months ago, but because I knew Photoshop reasonably well I dismissed it. I checked it out again and tried a pro account free trial and was blown away.
Offering templates, icons, photos and other illustrations, it makes design easy. Not only that, it keeps all your designs on the site for later use. Something I found really handy was their magic resize tool. It takes a square Instagram design and magically resizes it to a Facebook cover photo (or whatever you choose). Most of the time it was pretty accurate too, with only minor adjustments needed.
Buffer makes scheduling large amounts of content very easy. Unlike most social media scheduling sites where you have to pick a time for each bit of content, Buffer works backwards. You tell it how many times you want to post in a day, for example, 10 posts. It then tells you the best times and puts your content in the next available ‘slot’.
You can get away with a free account, but you are limited to 10 scheduled posts and a handful of accounts connected. Pro works out about $10 and that’s a monthly payment.
On my website, I use a plugin that works almost like music scheduling software to rotate my blog posts and fill my buffer queue automatically.
It’s really great having your own website. It’s a base for you to smack your own personal brand, but it does come at a cost. Hosting, themes, plugins, marketing (sometimes) and even the tools listed here. It’s nice to have your website make money for you too.
Amazon has an affiliates program, which means you earn commission from the sales on the site. When I talk about a product in a blog post, I can add a special tracked link to that product on Amazon. My associate’s dashboard tracks that and every time someone buys something I get some cash to pay off my hosting fees.
This platform is a bit like bitly, but far more powerful. If you’re not sure what bitly is, it’s a link shortening service that tracks link clicks. Po.st works in a similar way, except its a link tracking service that shortens your links too.
Find out which countries find one blog post more exciting than another, or which links get more response than others. If you’re posting a lot of links to your site this is a vital bit of kit to keep an eye on.