Running your blog as a business takes a lot of work. (Whatever you think it takes, multiply that by 5.) To work efficiently and productively, using the right tools is critical. There is nothing more frustrating than being unorganized, unprepared and overwhelmed. As you know, with blogging, that can easily happen. Even with the best intentions, you can become complacent, inconsistent and sometimes even look unprofessional or amateur without the right tools.
After blogging for years, I’ve tested and tried many tools for my blog. Some work better than others. Below are the apps, systems and software that I use on a day to day basis that I consider the best in the biz. For the sake of clarity, I elaborate why each tool below is valuable and my favorite feature of them.
*each link shared below is an affiliate link. If you decide to purchase, I will receive a commission because you used my link.
This is hands down one of the best tools any blogger can and should use. G Suite is Google’s private cloud system for a personalized URL. Basically, it’s your Gmail using your URL. What I love is that I get all of the Google tools – Gmail, Drive, Docs & more all under mattiejames.com. And in the case you think it’s out of your budget: it’s only $5/month (for each email address). Why is this important? An email address with your URL versus Gmail at the end gets taken way more seriously. And in the case you’re not technologically focused, Google does all the heavy lifting for you. They literally walk you through how to set up. All you need is to own your the domain.
My blog has grown tremendously thanks to social media promotion. There are numerous social media scheduling apps/software out there, and they are all pretty good. It simply comes down to a matter of preference. I prefer CoSchedule because since I started using it, my blog traffic has grown. They allow you to schedule social media posts on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Instagram. If you use WordPress, you can schedule posts on your WordPress blog from CoSchedule as well. My personal favorite feature of CoSchedule is the WordPress plugin. You can literally schedule posts right in WordPress right before you publish. It allows me to schedule a new post that same day as publish, the next day, the next month or whatever day I want to promote the post.
This is my go to tool for creating webinars that upsell a product or course seamlessly. It’s the go to tool for infopreneurs who plan on using webinars, lead Magnets, content upgrades and live masterclasses for their online business. It’s compatible with Mailchimp and ConvertKit (if you use the HTML option) which is ideal for those who are just starting their infopreneur journey. Personally, I love the flexibility of LeadPages. You can use it alone with blog posts or webinars or partner it with another software to make a course/product launch more impactful.
Email is singlehandedly the most important tool in my business. I’ll tell that to you anytime on any day without hesitation. What has helped me streamline my email efforts is ConvertKit. It’s what I use for content upgrade and lead magnet sign ups and how I correspond with my email subscribers. It’s ideal for segmenting and grouping your subscribers – which is essential if you have various gateways to your email list. And unlike other email management systems, ConvertKit emails are prioritized in inboxes versus ending up in spam. Because of that, I’ve noticed a higher open rate percentage compared to other email management systems I’ve used in the past.
When I first wanted to start a blog, I didn’t understand how people got to my site after buying a domain. I thought some magical blogging fairy would come in and just make your blog appear. But there is no fairy, there’s just hosting. Hosting is pretty much the digital land your digital home (your blog or site) lives on. Some land is better than others, which is why I use BlueHost. Very seldom do their servers go down and my site loads very quickly allowing you to consume my content on your laptop or via mobile quickly and effectively. What I really love about it is how affordable it is. The programs and software you use for your site can add up quickly and begin to cost an arm and leg. Not in this case. And this is actually something you need that’s less than $100/year. My go to for hosting. Currently what I host mattiejames.com on.