I chat about my blogging strategy a lot on Instagram stories and a couple weeks ago, I asked you all if you’d be interested in a post dedicated and almost everyone who voted said yes! So, a different post then the blog is used to, but here’s my top 5 tools for blogging (and really project managing your sewing/social media).
Handmade by Lara Liz is almost a year and a half old and to say I’ve learned a lot in that year and a half would be such an understatement. Before starting my own blog, and before starting sewing, I was (and still am) an avid blog reader. I love lifestyle blogs and now love sewing blogs. Starting my own was a bit of a dream come true – I love it and always love sharing with all of you.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve been trying to streamline my blogging process – from the tools I use, the way I produce content and the way I write posts. I’ve talked about this before, but I write my blog posts in “real time” meaning basically what you see on the blog is most likely what I sewed up the past week. This requires me to stay super organized and have a good process for getting my content to you ASAP. So without further ado, here are my top 5 tools for blogging that I’ve learned I can’t live without.
One | Later
My work schedule is crazy sometimes and sometimes I don’t get great cell phone service so having a service that I can schedule my Instagram posts ahead of time is a huge time saver and Later is just that. Now, with the change in the Instagram API, I can actually have them “auto” post which is even better. (PSA: The free account version of Later includes auto posting as long as you have a business account!) I usually spend Sundays doing “blog prep” and scheduling my Instagram is a huge piece of that.
I also use their linkin.bio service which allows me to link content directly from my Instagram. Note that this is a paid feature, but a feature I find totally worth it. It makes, hopefully, the life of my readers easier. I also pay extra for Later because the free version has caps on the number of posts per month so I like the flexibility.
Price: $19 a month for lowest paid version, Free version also available with all features except Linkin.bio!
Two | Asana
Oh, Asana, what would I do without you? Prior to finding Asana, I tried to remember all the things I had to do for my blog in my head, which would basically give me tons of anxiety about what I was bound to forget. Now, I log everything into Asana and it is truly giving me blogger peace. I break each and every project into a million steps (order pattern from PDF Plotting, cut out fabric, sew up garment, photograph garment, blog garment, schedule Instagram/Facebook). This allows me to make my to do list less daunting and breaks it down into smaller parts so I can knock some of it out of the way when I have a spare moment.
I also have multiple “projects” set up based on my blogger networks I’m apart of, sponsored work, test sewing, blog series, etc. which allows for ultimate color coding!
Price: Free! Best news ever, right?
Three | Google Photos
It’s no secret around here that I use my iPhone for all my blog photos. Honestly, it makes my life so easy because there are no cords to hookup, software to load it into or anything. I take the photos on my iPhone, come back inside on WiFi and they all sync up to my Google Photos. Google Photos is amazing because it backs all your photos up to the cloud (then you can delete off your device to save room!) and also has albums, sharing capabilities and search functions. I can search sewing machines in my Google Photos and it pulls them up. A super awesome feature I think!
Price: Free unless you need additional storage which it’s then a small fee for more storage ($20 a year for 100 GB or $10 a month for 1 TB)
Four | Tailwind
I’ll be the first to admin that of all my blogging duties, I lack in Pinterest abilities the most. When I am good at Pinterest, I use Tailwind to schedule all my pins. It’s so easy to use and you could schedule a whole month of pins in less than an hour. I am no pro at Tailwind, but trying to become one, but until then my favorite blog posts about tailwind are Cathy’s tips on how she grew her Pinterest follower count and Sarah’s tips on using Tailwind. I am trying to get way better at Pinterest, so here’s my shameless plug for following along on my Pinterest journey?
Price: $9.99 a month, but there’s a free trial that you can try out here!
Five | MailChimp
I use MailChimp to send out my weekly(ish) email blast to all of you! I tried to use Convertkit but I don’t think I need all the bells and whistles just yet. MailChimp is so easy to use and features drag and drop newsletter templates. I now can put together a newsletter in less than an hour. Not on my email list? Come join us – click here to subscribe. I send out updates on what I am sewing, life updates and other random musings!
Price: Free up to the first 2,000 subscribers!
So those are my favorite tools! If you’re interested in starting a sewing blog, I would highly suggest reading Maddie’s Sewing Blog 101 series – tons of good info there! I’d love to hear what your favorite social media/blogging tools are in the comments below!
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