It’s hard to believe that Tea for Me Please is turning 13 later this year. Blogging can be a lot of work, but it’s also extremely rewarding. This post isn’t necessarily tea-related but my fellow tea bloggers might find it helpful. Here are a few of the tools for blogging that I can’t live without.
Spell check isn’t perfect, and editing my own work is not always easy. For that reason, Grammarly is one of my most important tools for blogging. It is a browser extension that checks my spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage in real-time. It has really helped improve my writing because I’m more conscious of the mistakes that I commonly make. In addition, the time that it takes for me to finish a blog post has easily been cut in half. The free version works just fine, but I subscribe to the premium plan for the additional features.
Keeping up with social media is always a challenge. I’ve been using Hootsuite for years because it allows me to view all of my platforms in one place. It is especially helpful for organizing Twitter lists and scheduling links to be shared. In addition, Hootsuite is a huge time saver for replying to comments and tweets without visiting each social network. I currently use the free version but will upgrade to pro when I have a lot of client work.
Planoly helps me to plan and schedule Instagram posts. With it, I can stockpile images for my feed and stories as well as visualize what they will look like in my feed before they are posted. I spend a lot of time riding trains, so I’ll often use that time to plan all of my posts in the mobile app, including captions and hashtags. I love being able to access it to my desktop too. The free version works well but does have some limitations. I pay for the Solo plan every month.
I have ZERO artistic abilities, so making graphics for the blog has always been a struggle. However, Canva is a web-based platform that makes it super easy to design high-quality images. They have tons of templates that are already perfectly sized for all of the different social networks. I use it for all of my header and Pinterest images, as well as for more advanced projects like the Tea Blogger Directory (I swear I’m still working on it!).
I have been using the free version for years but recently upgraded to the pro plan. That allows me to have my logo and brand colors ready to add, access to their graphics library, and the use of their awesome background remover tool. It has been a game-changer. Out of all of my tools for blogging, it is the one I rely on the most.
I spend a lot of time editing images for both my blog and social media. Adobe Lightroom has been my go-to for both of those tasks. Using pre-sets I’ve already purchased makes editing much faster and easier than manually adjusting every little thing. Having the creative cloud subscription also gives me full access to Photoshop. My husband is an artist, so he’ll often help me out with things that I don’t know how to do. We recently used Photoshop to add in steam for the perfect finishing touch on an Instagram picture.
I use Google Keep to record all of my tasting notes from tea reviews and keep track of blog post ideas. You never know when and where inspiration will strike! It is so helpful to be able to search my notes when I need to find something. I love being able to access them from my phone or the desktop. My notes can also be viewed and edited directly in Gmail. This app comes in handy for taking notes on the fly when I take classes or attend conferences like World Tea Expo.
I know that many of my readers are also bloggers, whether they write about tea or other topics. Are there other great tools for blogging that I missed? Let me know about it in the comments!
This post was originally published on June 15th, 2020. It was last updated on June 21st, 2021.