Apologies for this being such a blog-centric post but I find these posts on blogging tips and tricks really useful so I’m paying it back/forward by publishing this. These blogging tips for beginners and pros alike is a list of four brilliant apps, apart from the obvious like Facebook, Twitter, that have literally taken my blogging to the next level. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still small fish but its nice to see the followers on Instagram go up and my blog itself look a little more professional. So without further ado, some of my ‘secrets’!
Canva.com – if you’re not already using this WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! This website is so easy to use and it’s free (there are elements you can pay for but you really don’t need to fork out for those). This has taken my graphics and images to a whole new level. It’s an online platform for adding text to pictures and/or creating collages. There are free templates you can use and you can add grids, lines, text to your uploaded pictures so easily. It has images templates sized for all the social media networks so you don’t have to mess around with cropping images yourself to make sure they fit a Twitter or a Facebook post correctly. Personally for every post I publish now I use this to create a corresponding Twitter, Facebook and Instagram post and if necessary a Pinterest graphic. Sounds like a lot but it’s so easy to use this only takes a few minutes once you find your style. You can also create your own custom sized image which I do for the featured image on my blog homepage.
Unfollowers.com – I found out about this from ‘Ciamhie Mc Digital‘ at the Irish Blogger Conference and this website and app has taken my social media campaign to a whole new level. I’ve written previously about my Twitter strategy which works well if you’re plodding along. If you want to take things to the next level I think this could be it. Since I started using it a couple of weeks ago I’ve gotten over 300 new followers on Twitter and about 400 on Instagram which I find notoriously difficult to build followers on. The handiest thing about this website is being able to easily see who isn’t following you back, I generally give people about a week to follow me back and unless I’m really interested in what they have to say they’re gone. Cutthroat I know but I do target follow people who I think would be interested in my blog and therefore they will interact with me if they follow. If they don’t follow back and interact with me then bye bye.
PicsArt – this is an app I use on my tablet or smartphone for edit pictures I take with either my camera or phone. I have probably only tapped into a small portion of what this app has to offer but if you’re looking for a quick and mobile way of cropping , brightening and adding text to images on the go this is the app for you. I’ve used lots of apps but this is the most comprehensive yet easy to use and you don’t loose any quality on your image which I have found with other apps like A Beautiful Mess.
URL shortener – I find this really useful for sharing posts on the go if I don’t already have them pre-scheduled in Tweetdeck.com. The minute I publish a post I copy the link into this on my desktop and shorten it. The website is connected with my gmail account so as soon as something is shortened it syncs to the apps on my tablet and smartphone so when I’m on the go or if I see somewhere useful I could add my post too I can go in here and either share it directly from the app or copy the short link. The website and app will tell you how many people click the link so you can ‘star’ the popular links so that you have quick access to these for sharing them whenever you want.
So that’s it – four brilliant websites/apps for you to play around with that should hopefully save you time, streamline your graphics and increase your followers.