For the most part, blogging is really fun. I personally don’t blog full time (I have a regular old 9-to-5 job that I absolutely love) & I blog on the side as a hobby. Even though it’s a hobby, I do spend a significant amount of time writing, taking pictures, posting on social media, etc. etc. And like I said, most of the time being a blogger is really fun, but sometimes it’s really hard work. (I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be a full-time blogger–kudos to you guys).
My friend/fellow blogger Sam (check her out at F-perfection.com!) and I have this joke that bloggers never sleep. Every time we’re brainstorming new posts or thinking of yet another Instagram caption, we say “well, bloggers never sleep.” Being a blogger is about sharing your life with your readers, and to some extent, it’s always in the back of your mind. I can’t tell you how many notes I have on my phone about blog post ideas or how many lattes have gotten cold because I have to get the perfect picture (ugh I know, I hate that I get caught up in “do it for the Insta,” too). That said, I’ve tried to strike a balance between just living and putting more effort into blogging. It’s always a process.
Thankfully for all us bloggers out there, there are lots of apps/tools that make this whole “being a blogger” thing easier so our entire life isn’t consumed by blank WordPress templates & the never-ending blackhole of Pinterest (unless you want that, then you do you). Here are some of my favorite apps that making blogging a little easier.
In celebration of the launch of our new Landscape Series, we’re featuring four artists from the #VSCO Community to get a deeper look into how they approach landscape photography. Visit the link in bio to see how the Desert presets from the Landscape Series connect Natalie Allen with the Arizona terrain she calls home. Link in bio or head to, http://vs.co/desert Image by natalieallenco
There are a TON of photo editing apps out there but my personal favorite is VSCO. It has pretty advanced editing features for exposure, clarity, saturation, etc. plus a bunch of free (and paid) filters. When I Instagram for Ampersand, I usually edit my pictures first with VSCO and then again in the Instagram app. Also, the majority of my blog photos (like the one above) are edited with VSCO. Additionally, it has a feed feature similar to Instagram if you want to share pictures there as well. Download the VSCO app here.
Story behind the design: Madison – Virtual Assistant | USA Madison quit the security of her full time job to work for herself as a Virtual Assistant, helping small businesses with social media management and their online presence. “People often think that being self-employed is a huge job risk because there is no security. But for me, it feels like there is much more security. As a business owner you know what the state of your business is but as an employee, you really don't. As an employee you could get fired tomorrow, without warning, but that doesn't happen as a business owner. As long as you have a plan and goals in place then take that leap and give it a try! My only regret is that I didn't make the switch sooner.” #mydesignstory #canva [Madison used Canva to create business cards for her new venture. “I love that the design perfectly matches my brand and it also is an example of the type of work that I can produce for clients so it's almost like a business card and mini portfolio in one!”]
I recently discovered Canva.com (after hearing a LOT of hype about it at a blogger conference) & it’s a lifesaver. Basically it’s like Photoshop for dummies aka perfect for blog, Pinterest, business cards, & newsletter graphics. Oh, and most of its services are free (you can get an upgraded paid version, but for basics it’s $0, yay!) Well, I recently discovered that there’s also a Canva APP which is a total game changer. Now you can make all your fun graphics on the go. Download the Canva app here.
This is probably my favorite app on this list. IFTTT, or “if this then that,” is an app that helps you do things automatically. Less thinking, less time, less effort. For example, I set up a rule that if a blog post goes live, it automatically gets tweeted from my Twitter handle. I have another rule where the post gets pinned to a specific Pinterest board. There are HUNDREDS of “rules” you can choose from but you can also create your own based on what you need. As a blogger, I spend most of my time writing but a lot of time promoting my posts on social media, so it’s nice that IFTTT takes out that last step. Download the IFTTT app here.
Google Drive/Google Docs
In college, I lived & died by Google Drive. It was the easiest way to do group projects (fun fact: my 20+ page group-thesis was written exclusively in Google Docs). Now Google Drive is perfect for collaborations, guest posts or just sharing blogging ideas (Sam & I do this daily). I love both the Google Drive & Google Doc app because they make it easy to edit/view things, plus everything is super streamlined. Download the Google Drive app here.
This is a fairly obvious one, but I didn’t have the WordPress app for the first two years of blogging. I’m pretty sure most bloggers can attest–you get ideas for blog posts at the most random times. I have about 5 drafts in WordPress right now for future posts so it’s nice I can jot my ideas down right in the app. One time, I even wrote a full post & published it on the WordPress app…all during my morning commute on the bus (this post to be specific). You never know when inspiration will strike you. Download the WordPress app here.
Bloggers never sleep. These apps make it easier to be one. Have an app that you absolutely love for blogging? Drop me a comment below. &.