Being at the cutting edge of blogging means you’re constantly on the look out for the very best online blogging tools that will hopefully help you grow and develop. Over the years, my choices have changed, but there are some tools that are so consistently brilliant that I really couldn’t see myself living without them.
In this post, I go through five of my favourite online blogging tools, each one helping to further my creativity and develop my online projects.
This post contains affiliate links, marked with an *. I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something I have recommended, at no extra cost to you.
Canva is an online blogging tool that I use almost every day. It’s quickly become an utterly invaluable part of my creative toolkit.
It’s routinely astonishing that a majority of the features of this ever-improving design tool are completely free to use! For bloggers working on their own, without the need for close-knit team working, using Canva’s free tier is a no brainer.
I recently bought Affinity Designer, a vector design app for MacOS, but I’ve barely used it because Canva is just so slick and so easy to use. Getting started is super easy thanks to thousands of pre-existing templates and achieving the final look you want is equally simple.
If you’re new to Canva and new to creating digital artwork, start your Canva journey in their Design School where you’ll find a plethora of tutorials.
Notion is another online blogging tool that I can’t quite believe is free to use.
From the moment I started using Notion, I could tell it was something that I would end up using routinely. Sure enough, Notion now provides the basis for all my online projects, allowing me a space to brainstorm, plan and organise almost every aspect of my creative workflow.
The power on Notion oddly lies in its simplicity. Every page starts more or less blank. You can use your page to simply write down your ideas, but as you grow and develop your creative workflow, Notion has the power to grow and develop with you. A series of content blocks unlocks more features and adds more complexity and relationships between your data as and when you need it.
I started using Notion to manage the content on Here To Travel. Over time, as my ideas and workflow has adapted, I’ve needed Notion to adapt too and it always has done. I now have multiple databases, each working in tandem allowing me to focus my attention and prioritise my tasks efficiently and effectively.
Once again, if you’re a sole trader and mostly working on your creative projects alone, Notion has no content limits on its free tier. If you need team working, the monthly cost is modest and well worth it.
In the past, we’ve paid to use Buffer to manage our social media scheduling. After a review though, we decided that our money could be spent more wisely on boosting our performance on a platform that was already working well for us. Following the review, we switched to using Tailwind exclusively.
If Pinterest and Instagram are your primary social media platforms, Tailwind is easily the best online tool for managing your profiles. While most other social media managers try to cover the basics on ALL the major networks, Tailwind instead focuses on really finessing how you schedule and interact with Instagram and Pinterest only.
The tools on offer are completely unrivalled elsewhere, making it a very easy decision to pay monthly to use it. If growth on Pinterest and Instagram are part of your strategy, Tailwind is the way to go.
Earlier in the year, after several years of use, I decided to stop using Google Analytics in favour of using a self-hosted install of Matomo.
I made the decision based on two factors; privacy & complexity. It’s no secret that Google’s entire business model is based on data collection. Recently, I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with the way Google operates and was unhappy that my readers’ privacy was at risk. In terms of complexity, Google Analytics is an increasingly complex tool to use, making the usability experience somewhat unpleasant.
Matomo is a free alternative to Google Analytics that offers just as much insight into activity on your web projects without any privacy concerns or complexity. Privacy is ensured by clear settings and, because the app is self-hosted, full data ownership.
Last, but certainly not least, it’s WordPress.
While there are legitimate arguments over whether WordPress is the best content management system (CMS) available, it’s difficult to argue against its popularity. At the last count, WordPress powers 35% of all websites on the Internet.
I pitched up in the WordPress camp several years ago and, while I’ve looked into alternative options, I’ve always ended up sticking to WordPress. Development of the platform is rapid and consistently stable with exciting new features being released every few months. This makes being a WordPress publisher right now pretty exciting.
Couple the new(ish) block editor with my go to theme choice, GeneratePress* and their sister plugin, GenerateBlocks (both of which are in use on this website) and you end up with a powerful and practically unbeatable publishing solution.
Which online blogging tools could you not live without?
Which online blogging tools could you not live without? Share you recommendations in the comment below.