Apps are bae, nahmean? I would like to point out that within one four-word sentence, one abbreviation, one very strange slang word, and one mashup word (?) were all used. I’m the hippest.
But seriously, apps make me happy. Sometimes when I get bored, I just scroll through the newest apps on my phone and look for random things that might be useful. For example…on my phone RIGHT now, I have an app that monitors my sleep cycle by listening to my breathing through my phone’s microphone (creepy? Maybe slightly), an app that tracks my water intake, an app that monitors my heart rate when I work out by placing my finger over the camera, and a billion other ones – but those are my newest and most random additions.
Sometimes apps can be sliiiiiightly pointless and not really that useful like the ones I just mentioned, but some apps really can make your life easier. Especially for blogging. These are five apps that are “must haves” for me when it comes to blogging, and I think they would be equally useful whether you are a food blogger, lifestyle blogger, DIY blogger, etc…
1. Google Analytics
This is a website and a mobile app, and it is extremely useful. It allows you to monitor how many people view your blog, what posts in particular are gaining more traffic, and where your users are coming from (Pinterest, Facebook, google, etc…). It tells you how many users, how many sessions, and how many new users you’ve had that day, which is pretty cool.
WordPress has “Jetpack” that does something similar (and in my opinion, better), but the fact that I can pop open this app on my phone and see my traffic details for that day, that week, and that month is awesome-sauuucceeee.
This one is kind of “Duh,” but I still think it’s worth mentioning. Instagram can be huge for bloggers. You grow and develop a following, which brings in traffic, and it’s generally just a great way to push your content out to a more varied audience.
Also, hashtags are something to definitely utilize if you are on Instagram. They are a wonderful way to reach new users that might not have seen your content otherwise. For example, let’s say I post a gluten free recipe and hashtag #glutenfree. Someone who checks that hashtag to find some gluten free recipes might stumble across my page and follow me. And every new follower is awesome!
Now, this one does have a mobile app, but it doesn’t really do much. The really useful part is the website, and from there you can download the “app” to your computer which creates a tailwind “button” at the top of your browser screen (looks like that small blue logo above), along with a button when you scroll over any image on a webpage, and a button on Pinterest.
To make a looooong explanation short, tailwind basically manages Pinterest for you. You set up a queue of pins that you want pinned from your website, and Tailwind will pin them over time so that you have a steady stream going out. Which is good for two reasons: people are seeing your pins consistently over time rather than one big spurt, and Pinterest doesn’t think that you’re spam. Yay!
So, for example. Let’s say I have posted three posts this week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Friday, I decide I want to add my posts from that week to my Tailwind queue. I go to my website, use the Tailwind button to “pin” the three recipes, and Tailwind asks me which boards I want to pin them to. I select all the applicable boards (along with any group boards I am a part of), and click “schedule.” Then it does all the work for me, and pins are pinning every hour or so for the next several days! It’s awesome. Pinterest is extremely important for blogging – it is BY FAR my heaviest source of traffic. So anything I can do to up my Pinterest following, I will definitely do!
On that note…
This one is kind of “Duh” too, but I have it on here for different reasons than you might initially think. Yes, Pinterest is a power house for bloggers when it comes to traffic, BUT I like it for several other reasons. Pinterest brings me so much inspiration with blogging. If I am stuck in a creative rut and can’t think of any recipes I want to create, I take a scroll (get it….like take a stroll…just put me on Comedy Central, already) through the food category on Pinterest to get some inspiration.
I almost never see a recipe and decide to recreate exactly what I see – it’s more often that I see a recipe that sparks another thought in my head. For example, if I saw a recipe for “Crock Pot White Chicken Chili,” and the picture looks super yummy, it might spark my mind to think of “30 Minute Vegan Chili Verde” or something like that. See what I mean? It’s just a great way to get your ideas rolling.
Also, apart from food inspiration, the amount of motivational things on Pinterest are huge. I have an entire board for motivational quotes (it’s a private board, or else everyone would know I was having an unmotivated day when they see me pin fifty motivational quotes…?). If I’m just not feeling blogging that day, and I feel lazy and unmotivated, and I’m just thinking “Eh, it’s fine. I’m self employed. No one will notice if I take a day (or three) off,” I scroll through this board of motivational and inspirational quotes, and I immediately feel pumped up and awesome and ready to go.
So, yes, Pinterest is a very important app to utilize for traffic, but it’s also wonderful for inspiration and motivation, too!
This is actually a recent favorite of mine. I didn’t even know it existed until a few weeks ago. Commenting on other peoples’ blogs is a big part of blogging – there is an awesome community element here, and it’s one of my favorite things about this job! However, when I started teaching last year, I barely had the time to blog and teach at the same time, let alone keep up with commenting on my blog-friends’ posts, too.
It took so much time to sit down and open up a billion different web pages, read all their blogs, and write comments. So I just didn’t do it. It’s something that I’ve been trying to improve upon in the last few months, and this app was an absolute game changer. Basically here is how it works: it’s a website and mobile app, and you follow bloggers that you like. When you follow them, their new posts pop up on your feed.
Why is this so amazing? Because it makes commenting SO manageable. I get notified throughout the day if a blogger I follow has posted something new, and when they do, I just open the app whenever I get a few minutes, click on their post, and comment right from there. It makes it so that I do several each day rather than 20 in one sitting when I think about it, which takes hours.
It’s been amazing! My favorite of all the apps, actually. I saved my best for last :).
So if you guys don’t have these apps, you should definitely check them out!! Have a wonderful Monday :).