When setting up a new blog, you should also set up tools that you will use for your blog. There are obvious tools – like social media. And, if you have a WordPress blog, you will need these essential plugins. But there are also other useful tools that you will need. Let’s take a look…
Social Media Accounts
Even if you only plan to use one social media for your blog now, you may want to secure your username for the major social media platforms. You can search for available usernames on Namechk.com. Search for your domain name and see which social media accounts have that username available.
Or if you want to use a different username (example: My domain is bucalily.com, but my social username is bucalilyblog), simply enter it in the search field and within seconds you can see the availability on each social media platform. The most popular social media platforms are:
Gravatar is a free service that allows you to upload profile pictures for your email addresses. It is a WordPress partner, so you will notice on your User Profile in WordPress that your profile image is a Gravatar image. Also when you leave comments on other WordPress blogs your Gravatar profile image will appear next to your comment.
You definitely want to set-up a Gravatar account!
Custom Email Address
A custom domain email address is email@example.com. It looks more professional than using a Gmail or Yahoo email address. And when you create an email list, most email service providers require you to have one.
Plus, your newsletters have a better chance of landing in your subscribers’ inbox if they come from a custom domain.
I created my email through the cPanel and then set up my free Gmail account to send and receive email as my custom email address.
Email Service Provider
When you have a blog there’s a good chance that you will collect email addresses to send your new blog post or email newsletters to your readers. The best way to do that is using a third-party email service like:
Right now, I use the Jetpack plugin to send out my RSS feed (my new blog posts) to my readers. I don’t plan to monetize my blog, so Jetpack is a great solution for me. If you plan to monetize, a third party service like the ones mentioned above are the best choice for you.
If you are not already using Gmail for your email address, I recommend that you set up a Google account and Gmail email address. Google provides so many awesome free tools for bloggers (or anyone really). My favorite Google tools are:
Also the Google Chrome browser is packed full of useful features like Chrome extensions, Inspect element, and the ability to log into two separate Google accounts at the same time.
And the best part – most Google products are free!
Free Scheduling Tools
You probably already know how time-consuming it can be to promote your blog. It’s a good idea to get set-up with some social media scheduling tools.
I mostly use free schedulers such as:
- Buffer for Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram
- Recurpost for Facebook and Twitter
- IFTTT to automate sharing between social media accounts and sharing from my blog to my social media accounts.
Image Editing Software
One thing you will quickly learn is that images are very important for your blog. If you plan to promote your blog on Pinterest you should use vertical images. If you plan to promote your blog on Facebook or Twitter, horizontal images are better.
I use Canva for almost all of my image creation because I find it easier to use and love that I can create a template and edit it for each new blog post. I use Picmonkey when I need to create an image with a transparent background such as a logo.
There are other tools that you can use for your blog, but these tools should help you get started.