Here’s what I use and what I think you should totally use, too:
1. Sign up for Convertkit. I love Convertkit.
For newsletters, organizing email addresses, sending freebie downloads, creating funnels, you name it,
I use Convertkit for everything.
Here’s how I use Convertkit on my 150 Fun Things for Kids to Do post:
Convertkit makes it easy for me to offer a ‘freebie’ to readers in exchange for their email. And with their email, I can send more specifically-catered messages, information, and posts.
Even after using Mailchimp for seven years–SEVEN YEARS!!–I moved to Convertkit last year and have never looked back.
I love everything about Convertkit since it is the ’email marketing for professional bloggers’. I’d marry it if I could.
2. Use Social Warfare. I love Social Warfare.
I use Social Warfare for my social sharing buttons because I love how easy it is to customize the buttons and how clean they look.
You can see I use the Social Warfare buttons on the top and side of each post.
They’re clear, clean, and very easy to navigate. Social Warfare buttons are my absolute favorite, and I recommend them to anyone with a blog.
3. Use Picmonkey. I LOVE PICMONKEY.
I have been using Picmonkey for photo editing since they first began, and I love this platform.
I’ve been using Picmonkey for:
- making printables
- resizing photos
- re-formatting photos
- editing photos
- creating games
- you name it, you can do it on Picmonkey.
Picmonkey is so easy to use, you can see how my kids used it to make ornaments as Christmas gifts a few years back: Homemade Ornaments for Digital Kids.
When I make ‘pinnable’ or ‘pinterest-friendly’ images for each blog post, I simply:
- Go to Picmonkey and click on EDIT.
- Grab from my computer a blank 700 x 1000 pxl image that I saved and named BLANK 700×1000.
- Then I click OVERLAY and choose a photo from my computer that I want to use. I stretch that image over the blank image to make it fit.
- Then I click TEXT and add text.
- I save the image to my computer and add it to my blog post. Done!
4. Use Hootsuite. I love Hootsuite.
I would also marry Hootsuite if I could.
Hootsuite allows me to interact with all of my social platforms from one easy dashboard.
It also allows me to schedule content across platforms.
Hootsuite makes it easier for me to manage my kids’ schools’ social accounts as well.
5. If you want to schedule pins on Pinterest, use Tailwind. I love Tailwind.
I have used Tailwind for about a year now, and after trying two other Pinterest schedulers, I think this is the best one for me by far.
Pinterest, even with the algorithm changes in recent years, is my number one referrer, so I want to make sure I use that platform wisely. (That means that more people come to me from Pinterest than any other social media platform.)
Once every week or two, for 2-3 hours, I’ll schedule out my pins. Tailwind makes that easy to do.
I use Tailwind Tribes, which allows me to find and share pins with ‘tribes’ of users who I choose. It’s awesome, because as many of us know, sometimes it’s hard to find great content to share–and we certainly should not be sharing ours all of the time! That would get boring for our readers and followers.
You can add pins manually or install a Tailwind Chrome extension which means that anywhere you are on the web, you simply click this little icon and can add the url to your scheduler. I love it.
- Once you’ve set up your account, simply go to Tailwind.
- Click on PUBLISH.
- Look toward the middle of the page and next to the Mobile App button, you’ll see Chrome Extension. Add it.
- Start browsing and scheduling!
You can even go straight to Pinterest, find a favorite board, and then click the Tailwind app icon.
Then you’ll get to a screen like the one below, and you can click on pins in bulk.
It’s much easier to schedule that way.
I love this app.
Before you’re finished scheduling pins for the day (or few weeks!), you can click ‘shuffle queue’ and all of your pins will be shuffled. That way you won’t push out a boatload from the same person consecutively.
Tailwind is easy. Seriously try it.
6. If you have items to sell and want a storefront, use Shopify. I love Shopify.
Shopify is a platform where you can easily sell your products. Super easy.
And they have a very easy WordPress Shopify Plugin which you can use to make it all a lot easier. I don’t use the plugin; I keep my shop on the Shopify site.
I love that with the Shopify membership, I can keep track of abandoned carts, I can connect seamlessly to Convertkit (how awesome is that??!), and I can control coupons and sales.
I. Love. Shopify.
7. If you want to make apparel but not buy upfront, use Printful. I love Printful.
I use Shopify in combination with Printful to make the printing of my t-shirts and apparel easier.
All of these awesome shirts? Created with Printful:
I watched video after video about how to create the proper graphics, how to create mock-ups of each design, and how to position the items in the Shopify store.
It makes sense, friends.
I sell hundreds and hundreds of cool shirts each month.
Check out Printful.
And definitely check out the teachmama shop.
8. If you want to totally rock Instagram, use Link in Profile. I love Link in Profile.
Link in Profile helps you generate clickable links in Instagram.
Take a look at my Instagram feed above.
If you click on the image, you get an enlarged version of the photo with the caption and comments.
But if you click on the url in my profile, linkinprofile.com/teachmama1, it will take you to a page where all you need to do is click any photo, and it will take you to a webpage.
Why do I love Link in Profile?
Because it makes every, single Instagram photo a little more worth my time. Sure, I want to grow my following, but I also want to have followers read my posts and do cool things I suggest and click my links and sometimes even buy things, right?
So I simply add a link (a full link or an abbreviated bit.ly link) to every photo description, and when readers click the url in my bio, they are taken to the page above, on Link in Profile.
On that page in Link in Profile, they can click any image, and they’re taken to the link. I love it.
It’s like a shortcut, kind of. Totally worth the few dollars a month it costs to host the Link in Profile page because I know me, and I know I’d never update a blog page on my own.
9. If you want to schedule Instagram, use Grum. I am new to Grum–and I love, love, love it.
Grum allows you to schedule images from your computer to Instagram.
You can use Hootsuite to schedule to Instagram, but you have to be at your phone to finalize the send. It won’t automatically let you schedule to the platform.
Grum allows you to do that.
And if you want a free month of Grum, use the code TEACHMAMAFREEMONTH.
Go to the Grum dashboard, then click ‘I have a coupon.’ Enter TEACHMAMAFREEMONTH, and you’ll get a month for free.
Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
10. Use WiseStamp for your email signatures. I love WiseStamp.
WiseStamp allows you to make cool email signatures with ease.
More to come!
Need the basics? Want to know how to set up a blog that rocks from the start?
Head over to check out this post:
Quick list of favorites:
- For hosting: Bluehost
- For design: StudioPress by Copyblogger
- Social Share buttons: SocialWarfare
- For email marketing and newsletters: ConvertKit
- For photo editing: Picmonkey
- For scheduling across Twitter and Facebook: Hootsuite
- For scheduling Pinterest: Tailwind
- For a storefront: Shopify
- For creating merchandise and customized apparel: Printful
- For making Instagram photos clickable: Link in Profile
- And? For kicks–if you’re doing a ton of printing (like we do!) definitely use HP Instant Ink. It’s insanity, and it makes your life so much easier. And we both get one month of free ink if you click here: HP Instant Ink.
fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.