As I sat down to write this post about my top blogging tools for beginners, I realized that I’ve now been blogging about health and wellness for 8 1/2 years.
Whoa. Time flies.
(If you’re curious what my original blog looked like, feel free to go check it out here. And note how far my photography skills have come 😉
I’ve had this post on my mind and on my heart for quite some time now. Every year that I’ve blogged I’ve learned something new, and I’ve also been blessed to have some incredible mentors over the years.
So I wanted to pass some of the information and resources I’ve gathered over the years, both from my mentors and from my own trial and error as a wellness blogger. These are some of the blogging tools for beginners that I wish I’d known about earlier on when I was first starting my blog.
There’s more than one way to do it
Now just like with food and lifestyle choices, what works best for me won’t necessarily be the best thing for you. And if there’s one big lesson I’ve learned since I started blogging in 2011, it’s that there is most definitely more than one way to be successful at anything. And that goes for blogging, too.
It’s so important that you listen and take information from people who are more experienced than you in whatever area it is you’re looking to grow in, but then get out there and be willing to make it your own.
Feel free to get started with one or a few of my favorite blogging tools for beginners that I’m listing below in this post. But you’ll also need to recognize when it’s time to pivot and try something new. (That one’s retweet-worthy, yes?!)
You’ll gain more confidence as you gain experience as a blogger. That also holds true for every other experience in your life as well. Don’t be afraid to just get started, and make adjustments as you go.
Now, I’m writing this blogging tools for beginners post assuming that you’ve already got a platform on which to blog, like WordPress, Squarespace or something else. I have used WordPress myself for years and I truly love it. I recently played around with building a Squarespace site, but I ended up deleting my Squarespace account because ultimately it just didn’t have everything I wanted as a blogger. (Also, I adore my web designer. She’s worked on numerous projects for me over the years and she always nails my vision. Her name is Courtney and you can find her here. Be sure to let her know I sent you her way!)
Once you’ve got your blog up and going, I recommend you get started with these 5 essential blogging tools for beginners:
No. 1 | An email list
Starting my email list early was one of the best things I did for my business. Your email subscribers join your list voluntarily and are more likely to convert to paying customers. I think of my email subscribers as my community, my people. They are the ones who truly want to see my content, week after week. When I send out my weekly emails, that’s where I really share what I’ve been up to, what I’m loving, what I’m making in the kitchen and more. This is where real connection happens.
YOU own your email list. On social media, everything is influenced by the decisions of others, like when the algorithms change. And what would you do if social media disappeared tomorrow? How would you reach all your followers? You better hope you have their email address because they’d want to keep hearing from you. Believe it or not, people DO want your content.
Also, a message is 5 times more likely to be seen in an email than on Facebook. WOW.
I’ve tried a few different email providers over the last 8 1/2 years and there were things that I liked and disliked about them all. I switched over to Flodesk a few months ago and I’m loving it. The email templates are gorgeous and everything is so intuitive and easy to use. If your blog content needs to be as visually appealing as possible (and I think most people want to see beautiful content), then I couldn’t recommend Flodesk more.
The pricing for Flodesk’s monthly plans is great, especially compared to some of the other email marketing platforms. And right now, you can get Flodesk for 50% off your subscription plan. Click here to access this offer and start building your email list (and emailing them regularly!) right now. Seriously, do it! Do not wait to build your email list.
No. 2 | A Good Freebie
Now that you’ve got your email list set up, you need an amazing offer so you can get people to sign up for your email list. It’s time to create a free resource that’s valuable to your audience and will either help them to solve a problem or make their lives easier in some way.
When people go to download your freebie, they’ll be taken to your email list signup form so you can capture their email addresses and grow your list.
I created all of my freebies (including my newest one, my Trader Joe’s Shopping List) in a program that I’ve been using for years, Canva. I love Canva so much and love how easy it is to create gorgeous PDF’s and graphics.
I also create all my pins for my Pinterest boards within Canva and again, it’s just so easy and simple to do so. Canva makes me feel like somewhat of a graphic designer!
No. 3 | Go-to Photo editing tools
Sometimes I use my Canon EOS Rebel T7i to take photos for my blog, and sometimes I just use my iPhone. But I almost always edit my blog photos in some way to ensure that all of them have a similar, consistent aesthetic.
The two editing tools I use the most are the Lightroom and Foodie apps for iPhone.
I use the Lightroom app to make adjustments to exposure, contrast, colors, highlights, shadows and sharpening, and to add filters.
I use the Foodie app to make the same adjustments, but I prefer to use this one for food photos.
However you decide to edit your photos, I do think it’s important to have some sort of formula or a visual feeling that you consistently follow with your blog photos. Even if you don’t have an expensive camera or stellar photography skills, you can still make photos look nicer, more visually pleasing and more cohesive with great photo editing tools.
No. 4 | A Scheduling system for pins
I’ll admit, it took me a long time to get interested in using Pinterest. I wish I would’ve gotten started with it a lot earlier because now I understand what an incredible tool it can be for driving traffic to your blog. After all, Pinterest is a search engine, did you know?
I always found it so overwhelming to create pins for Pinterest and to take the time to post multiple times every…single…day.
Then I started using Tailwind, which is a social media scheduling tool for Pinterest and Instagram. (I only use it for Pinterest right now.)
Why is Tailwind so great for Pinterest? Because it will automatically pin for you at the best times for more engagement, reach and website traffic.
Once a week, I create pins in Canva, then I schedule an entire week of pins in Tailwind. It takes me about 45 minutes total. My pins will then be pinned throughout the week by Tailwind, and at the best times of day so that more people engage and reach my pins, sending traffic to my website. It’s not only helped to simplify and streamline my pinning strategy, but it’s also increased my website traffic as well. I love it. And I also love the Pinterest analytics that Tailwind provides with my account.
Want to try a free month of Tailwind? Click here to take advantage of this offer!
No. 5 | SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is another one of those topics that overwhelmed me so much, I avoided it as much as possible for too long. For far too long!
After attending a blogging conference last summer and hearing a few experts talk about SEO, I finally realized just how important it is to optimize my website pages, including my blog posts, so that more people will find my content when they search Google and other search engines.
Now I don’t have a super in-depth understanding of SEO (remember that “always learning” part at the beginning of this article?), but I’ve learned enough now to understand how to use basic SEO, like using keywords in blog post titles and in the search preview. I try to always keep my audience in mind and the words and phrases they would use when going to Google to find more information about a particular topic. What would they search for? I also always put my keywords in the alt text of my blog and website images.
Thankfully, I’ve also had a wonderful SEO guru who I’ve worked with for some time. Clem has taught me so much about SEO and optimizing my website and my blog, and I highly recommend her for anyone who is looking for guidance or assistance in this area. You can find Clem on her Instagram page and contact her there, and remember to tell her I referred you!
Whether you decide to work with someone like Clem or learn about SEO on your own, just make sure you’re doing some kind of SEO, and don’t wait to start. People need to be able to find you when they’re searching for what you know about and can help them with!
More about my health coach training
If you’re into wellness and becoming a health and wellness blogger specifically, I’d love to share more with you about my training to become a health coach.
I studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition from 2011 – 2012. Integrative Nutrition is the only school that explores more than 100 dietary theories.
Getting an education at Integrative Nutrition not only empowered me to transform my own health and happiness and that of my family’s, but it also helped me to launch a fulfilling new career as a health coach and wellness blogger.
And be sure to contact me directly so I can tell you more about the exclusive savings offer (up to $2,000 off the cost of tuition!) that I’m able to share as an Ambassador for the Integrative Nutrition program!
Disclaimer: This post on the best blogging tools for beginners includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.