Being a blogger in the blogging world is hectic, to say the least. Rewarding and fun, yes. But, stressful and hectic at times, too. That said, if there are things we can do (or have readily available + accessible to us) to make things a little less stressful, it’s important that we take advantage of those things and utilize them as much as possible.
That said, here is my handy dandy list of SIXTEEN apps that every blogger and #girlboss needs to download and have on their phone right now!
Facebook groups I’m a part of
I’ll be honest and say that before I became a blogger, I never thought I’d use Facebook for my blog, whatsoever. But, I am so glad that I did for so many reasons. Making a business page for your blog/small biz is a necessity for your success. Not only that, but there are tons (and when I say tons, I mean tons) of groups that you can join, simply by going to the search bar in the Facebook app or on the website and typing in whatever it is you are looking to join, whether that be for blogging, specific blog niche, small biz owners, Pinterest groups, etc. The list goes on, trust me. So, if you have not yet made a Facebook Page, go ahead and do so. And once you do that, make it a priority to join at least 5-8 Facebook groups — you’ll connect with like-minded individuals, as well as get the support that you really need. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll make a few close friends, just like I have!
Like I stated above, it is very important to have a Business Facebook page for your blog or business. Having a page will allow you to reach people, put yourself out there even more than you have, connect with others, and even run ads! That said, the Page Manager app lets you do all of this from one place: the app, itself. Sure you can manage your page via the Facebook app alone or on the Facebook website. However, organization is key when it comes to being an entrepreneur. With that being said, it’s nice to have your biz stuff in one place, while having your personal life in another place.
Canva is my best friend (sorry, babe 😜😉). Seriously. Because blogging can be intimidating, due to the fact that there are so many bloggers nowadays. So, whether we admit it or not, we are always feeling as though there is competition. Which there is. That said, having a way to create and produce beautiful and quality graphics (Pinterest pins, banners, logos, planners, lists, worksheets, etc.) is key to making sure your readers come back and continuously enjoy reading what you have to say and whatnot. Canva is free and offers so, so much. I HIGHLY recommend using Canva. I could go on and on and on about Canva, but I will stop. But, you get what I mean!
Pinterest is my second best friend. Like Canva, I could go on and on and on about my love for Pinterest. I’m sure you all know of Pinterest (and probably use it), so I won’t go into great detail right now about what it is and why you should use it. But, what I will say is that you need Pinterest. And not just a Pinterest, but a quality Pinterest account. I made a post recently about the anatomy of a quality Pinterest account and pins, so make sure you check it out! Be sure to follow my Pinterest, too! xo
Pexels is great. Goodbye are the days of only having the option to use those super weird and fake stock photos that were really awkward and whatnot. Pexels (along with StockSnap, Unsplash, and Reshot) offers free (yes, free!!) high-quality images for private and commercial usage. Pictures are uploaded by photographers, bloggers, regular users, models, etc. and have thousands, if not millions, of pictures for anything you’ll ever need pictures for!
If you’re in the biz world in any way, then chances are you’ve heard of MailChimp. Rather than using ConvertKit, I have opted to use MailChimp instead, since I’m fairly new to the ‘blogging for business’ world, meaning that prior to making a blog that is monetized and will hopefully and eventually become my full-time job, I blogged in a way that resembled that of a personal diary. But since I re-branded and re-launched Sincerely Shirley in February of this year (you can read more about that here), I went with MailChimp because they have a generous free offer for those with less than x amount of subscribers. I will soon have to either start paying for MailChimp services or possibly switch over. But, for the time being, MailChimp is a great email service platform. It’s easy to use and has a lot of awesome features and whatnot. Yay for MailChimp!
The Google Analytics app, which you can read more about here, is super nice and beneficial. Being able to know how your site is performing, the visitors that you get, where your visitors are from/located, the demographics of your visitors, what pages and posts are doing the best, what links are being clicked on the most, etc., is crucial information to have. You should always be in the know about how your site is performing and Google Analytics allows you to do just that! Before you use the app or the site, you will have to create a Google account and then set up Google Analytics on your blog/website, too. The process is super simple and straightforward and you will definitely reap the benefits of doing so. In fact, I use the app (and the website) multiple times a day, so that I am always aware of how Sincerely Shirley is doing. It helps me better gauge who and what needs to be done in order to provide my readers with the best, most quality information and experience. Click here to be brought to the Google Analytics page that will help walk you through the process of signing up (for free, of course) and using the site and app!
Instagram, Instagram, Instagram. Do I really need to explain why Insta is so great and why you need to use it to grow your business and/or blog? Regardless of all of the algorithm stuff, Instagram, if taken seriously and used correctly (utilizing the business page option, using hashtags, tags, + locations, responding to all comments, commenting on other peoples pictures, finding Instagrams that are similar to yours and following them and interacting on their pages and the pages of those who have liked them, following them, too, and using the analytics of your Instagram) will allow you to expand your network, grow your business, connect with so many cool people, businesses, and brands, and put yourself out there more. I highly recommend finding a handful of resources (guides, webinars, e-books, e-courses, articles, posts, and videos) on the subject of Instagram and research, research, research! Arm yourself with as much social media information as possible, so that you, too, can be a successful Instagrammer.
✨Other Instagram apps to consider getting that will help you rock the Gram✨
preview || plann || planoly || mosaic
9. Podcast app
What better way to learn all of what there is to learn about blogging or biz than to listen to those who have mastered success within their profession!? Podcasts offer a way to listen to your favorite blogger or biz woman (or man) while working, working out, driving, laying in bed, etc. Simply subscribe to your favorite podcasts (post coming soon!) and listen to them while they give advice, resources, stories of their mistakes, and what does and doesn’t work for them. You will come to find that Podcasts are just another reason to learn more about what it is you love to do, all while feeling like you have someone to relate to!
If you know me well, you will know that I love notebooks, solely because they allow me to quickly jot down any thoughts, lists, tasks, or ideas that I have. That said, the notes app on your phone (or a different one from your phone’s app store) is a great way to take notes at networking events, jot down post/product ideas, and so much more! Get into the habit of taking (quick) notes and it’ll be a major stress-relief, I promise!
If you’re using WordPress.org (like me) or WordPress.com, then I highly, highly, highly recommend downloading the free WordPress app. Doing so will give you the ability to look at drafts, publish posts, track your visitors and get information regarding them, check out what all is happening on your blog/site, and jot down any post ideas and whatnot! The WordPress app is yet another stress-reliever and makes blogging a bit easier.
Also, disclaimer: the app needs some help and more features. But, what the current app is now is still usable and makes things easier on me when I am not right next to my MacBook (which is rare, but still happens from time to time).
When it comes to blogging or being a #girlboss, networking is crucial for growth and success. That said, it’s important that you step out of your comfort zone and attend conferences, events, and groups so that you can meet others, meet others who are doing what you’re doing, put your name out there, and market your blog/biz. Eventbrite has free and paid events and if you’re from St. Louis, there are a couple of upcoming conferences and speakers that are for women, from women. There is always information to be learned and taking initiative and going to events to do so, will benefit you in so many ways. I also highly recommend having business cards made (need some help? shoot me an email!) and with you at these events. Why? Well, because you never know who you’ll come in contact with. Trust me! Click here to browse events near you + here to make a free account!
Meetup is somewhat related to Eventbrite. However, Meetup is a group-based app, in that you join (for free) and/or request access (depending on what the admin has set the group to) to groups that interest you. Because I am from St. Louis, I have joined a few groups for women in biz, public speakers, networking, and People of Color! I have been so grateful to have met some awesome people who have helped me in more ways than one. I highly recommend that everybody join Meetup (you can do so by clicking here) and put yourself out there. Because I’ve said his and I will say it again: you never know who you’ll come in contact with! And, once again: bring your business cards with you every time, no matter what!
14. An influencer app
If you are wanting sponsorships, collabs, and/or recognition from big named brands. then you definitely need to take advantage of the various influencer platforms (apps and websites) that are accessible and available to you. While some may charge you, there are a few that are really useful. Here are a few influencer-based apps that you should look into and consider using:
I love Medium. Ever heard of it? If not, allow me to explain 😀 Medium “is an online publishing platform developed by Evan Williams, and launched in August 2012. It is owned by A Medium Corporation. The platform is an example of social journalism, having a hybrid collection of amateur and professional people and publications, or exclusive blogs or publishers on Medium, and is regularly regarded as a blog host.” I have found such useful (and, at times, relatable) and well-written and detailed posts. I scroll through the app daily, too! In fact, I have found social media and blogging help, as well as posts regarding relationships and mental health. If not for your blog or biz, you should utilize Medium, because you’ll find some awesome reads and authors!
Fun fact: I published my post, “You Talk Like a White Girl” on Medium (view it by clicking here) and was super proud of myself.
I’ll be the first to admit that my boyfriend and I are total nerds about the things we are passionate about. That said, we LOVE Quora. If you haven’t heard of the glorious Quora, it is a is “question-and-answer website (and app) where questions are asked, answered, edited, and organized by its community of users in the form of opinions.” But wait, there’s more! Not only can questions be answered by regular men and women who may have experience and/or interest in whatever it is you’re inquiring about, but scholars, authors, CEO’s, and professors also answer questions, too! Topics are endless and questions are answered fairly quickly, too, which I love. I use Quora multiple times a day and even though I am usually always able to find an answer to my question without having to ask, I have asked a few questions and received well-informed and detailed answers (which is required). So, if you’re in need of help, advice, or information, use Quora.
Shout out to Quora because I was able to master the art of SEO and Pinterest.
I hope this list of apps ends up helping you all out and makes blogging a little less stressful for you! Let me know if you have any more app suggestions or questions in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and love to you all! 💕💕💕💕💕