Thursday, 22 March 2018

The Best Apps for Bloggers

Best Iphone and Android Apps for Bloggers Productivity Photo Editing Social Media

Hey Owlets,

These days you seem to be 50/50 bloggers and “normal people”, so apologies to the people who live their lives offline, as this is going to be another blogging related post. However, if you love social media (which I’m assuming you do, as you’re here), have a read and you might find something you love! When you decide to start a blog, no one seems to mention how much hard work it is and you can’t always afford to invest in smaller things like apps right away - but fear not, as there are a huge variety of apps to help you along the way, and today we’re running through my top 10.

Best Iphone and Android Apps for Bloggers Productivity Photo Editing Social Media

1. Social Pilot

Buffer was my holy-grail until they changed the system recently. After a bit of digging around the internet, I found Social Pilot and it’s amazing! On the free version you can schedule up to 30 posts across 3 different social accounts at multiple times across the day. It’s much more visual than Buffer, so it’s easy to see what you need to top up and when, and it saves so much time!

2. Google Analytics

When I first started my blog I never looked at GA, and I now wonder how I survived. Google Analytics shows you how many people are or have been on your blog, what pages, where the traffic is coming from (i.e. Facebook, Twitter etc), and you even have access to demographics such as age, gender, location etc. While I don’t use all of these, it’s very useful information to have as from that you can work out what social networks are most worthwhile to promote on, what posts you should push more, and what topics are most popular so you can write similar posts In the future.

3. Canva

Without a doubt, Canva is my favourite app from this list - whether you’re a blogger or not it’s something you need, and it’s helped me on more than one non-blogging related issue. The app is essentially a beefed-up photo editor. As well as simple photo editing, you can create collages, add text and even full blown documents. Canva has every template that you could ever think of - I use it to create graphics for Pinterest, but I’ve even known bloggers who have made books that they’ve gone onto sell, all with this app. If you don’t already have it, you need it.

Best Iphone and Android Apps for Bloggers Productivity Photo Editing Social Media

4. Photoshop Express

I know, you’re thinking “I thought this was a list of free tools” but I promise you it is! While Photoshop is exorbitantly expensive on a PC, the phone app is free and just as good. On first glance you get all of the basic photo editing tools you need, with a few that are useful for more advanced users marked as “pro”. However, when you click pro you are prompted to sign up for a free account and that unlocks all of the features without paying a penny. I don’t think many people realise this, but I can’t explain how helpful it is to have a full-blown editing suite in my pocket.

5. IFTTT

No, the keyboard didn’t get stuck - it stands for “If This Then That” which took me an embarrassingly long time to work out. It’s effectively a sharing app, but it means that if you post something on one site, it will automatically share to any others. You can add “recipes” which instructs what you want it to share, so if Facebook then Twitter, if Instagram then Facebook etc etc. If you’re only using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram then you might not need it as they now offer sharing within their own virtual walls. However, I still use this as I don’t have to remember to share, or rely on Facebook that’s probably stopped working again. It’s also great for sharing to more obscure social networks - there’s definitely some that I’ve never heard of! It’s also a great way to get around Buffer’s new limit of three social accounts, as you can set up Facebook to Google+ or Linked in, so your Buffer posts still share to those sites for free.

6. Dropbox

I honestly can’t believe how long I lived without Dropbox for, because I always lost my memory sticks (remember those??). Dropbox is basically a cloud system, so you can upload anything from one device and access it on another. I realise for Apple lovers you have iCloud, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve needed something and iCloud has thrown another tantrum. When I’m travelling I like to upload photos for my social posts, and when the time comes to post I can access them from the Dropbox app on my phone, or from the website on any device. The free version is a little limited, giving you 2GB of space, but if you’re only uploading the odd file for on the go then it’s more than enough.

Best Iphone and Android Apps for Bloggers Productivity Photo Editing Social Media

7. Stumble Upon

I love this app for two reasons - the first is it’s a great way of getting traffic to your site with minimal effort. Once you’ve signed up, you can select your interests and add your own websites for people to find and they stay in there forever, provided your account stays active. I put a post in last year and it’s just hit 12,000 page views! The second reason is because it’s amazing for un-sticking writer’s block. With a free account you can browse all of your interests or select one in particular (like fashion, beauty or photography), which means you can quickly see a wealth of posts to inspire you - in fact I’m writing this blog post because of an idea I got while Stumbling!

8. Pinterest

I feel like this is just more of the same but Pinterest is great, both for inspiration and for finding new readers. Think of it as a search engine, rather than social media. You can type in pretty much anything and find an endless list of visual results to inspire you. Equally the images have to get there somehow, so make sure you add your own pictures to promote your blog posts. I’ve only just started using it, but there are countless stories of Pinterest-famous bloggers.

Best Iphone and Android Apps for Bloggers Productivity Photo Editing Social Media

9. Planoly

Have you ever looked at a blogger’s account and wondered how their feed looks so perfect? Well this is their secret weapon. Planoly is essentially an unpublished version of the Instagram feed where you can endlessly move the images around until the whole page looks great together. I started using this just before Christmas - because I love bold images and bright colours my feed doesn’t look quite as coherent as others, but it has helped a lot. The other thing I love is that you can connect your Instagram feed to see what’s already posted, so you can make everything match. The free version only allows you to upload 30 photos a month but I’ve only ever hit that limit once, so unless you’re on the app all day everyday, the free version is plenty.

10. Prime

This is another app that supports Instagram, and it’s another that I wouldn’t be without. The concept is simple - this app tells you the best time to post each day, which doesn’t sound a lot but it’s made a huge difference, especially now Instagram is restricting the feed more and more. As an experiment I posted when it wasn’t Prime time and got less than 200 likes. I deleted it and reposted at the recommended time, and received over 400 as well as some comments. If you want people to see what you post, you need this app.

Best Iphone and Android Apps for Bloggers Productivity Photo Editing Social Media

I hope that helps if you’ve just started blogging, or even if you just needed a boost. Let me know if you liked this style of post as I have a few similar ideas that I’d love to write in the future. What’s your favourite blogging app? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest