By Morgan Borer
Before the age of the Pinterest – a bottomless pit of fashion, food, craft, wedding, home décor and career inspiration — where did college girls spend hours upon hours in hot pursuit of the perfect chevron canvas? Where did fashionistas go to find the ideal fur vest and plaid button-down combo? Who did bakers turn to for the perfect roasted garlic mac n’ cheese recipe? Maybe they dug up their grandmother’s cookbook, yellowed and stained from years past.
Before Instagram, who would have seen our (not so) professional photos of pink and purple macaroons? Would we have drooled over a photo of the glossy New York skyline, posted by some young celebrity in NYC? Probably not. Without Tumblr, where would we find articles such as “The Do’s and Don’t of Time Travel?” Where would we find a Marilyn Monroe quote for our Twitter bios?
Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are three of the most popular sites for inspiration-seekers everywhere. Bloggers turn to these sites for color, design, photography and writing inspiration. They allow bloggers to share content ideas and promote visual graphics, as well as interact with other bloggers across the globe. They are helpful to manage and maintain a blog in order for it to grow and become successful. While Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are instrumental for blogging success, there are several other websites bloggers should use to better their blog. While the list might seem never ending, here are ten helpful online programs for bloggers:
1. Google Analytics – Focus on your readers: who they are, where they come from, how they find your content. Analyze their characteristics and behavior. Also learn about your site traffic and strategies to keep visitors interested and engaged in your blog.
2. Thesaurus.com – This online dictionary and reference source is one of my personal favorites. I find myself on this website every time I write an article, blog post or research paper. Boring adjectives are so 2013.
3. Bloglovin’ – Create an account or get the mobile app to find and follow your favorite blogs. This tool enables you to “like” and recommend blogs as well as connect with Facebook and Twitter to post your activity and connect with new friends.
4. Mashable – With 34 million monthly visitors and 14 million followers on social media, Mashable is the largest independent online news site that covers everything from entertainment to world news. It provides 24/7 updates to keep you in the groove, especially with social media and technology.
5. DaFont – Save the boring Times New Roman font for research papers. Here, find and download creative, quirky fonts that you probably wont see in an everyday blog. Font themes range from “Fancy” to “Techno” and many in-between. This site even also allows you to create an account and submit your own fonts. Cool!
6. Klout – Learn how influential your blog is across social media platforms. Klout measures multiple pieces of data to give you a “score,” a number between 1-10 that represents your influence online. It can also help you grow your influence to reach a bigger audience and improve interactions with followers.
7. Pixlr – Since I don’t have Photoshop on my Mac, I use Pixlr whenever I want to edit an image. This online photo editor allows you crop, re-size, and fix any photo. This is the perfect alternative to Photoshop, I guarantee it.
8. EHow – Instead of thinking “Oh, I’ll Google it,” whenever you have a question, visit ehow.com to overcome challenges you face online. For example, the “Internet” category provides advice about Internet safety, and web design and development. An example article is “How to Keep the Header in Place on Tumblr,” which is complete with step-by-step instructions. This. Is. Awesome.
9. Style.com – As a fashion blogger and certified style addict, style.com is a must-read for me. Look no further for story ideas and inspiration – this site provides Fashion week images, in-depth reviews of shows, and front-row photos of celebrities, designers and socialites. It keeps you up-to-date on the hottest fashion and beauty trends.
10. Problogger – Basically, this website is a blogging bible. Everything you ever wanted to know about blogging content, infographics, layout design, how to make money blogging, search engine optimization – it’s all here. There are even blogging workbooks available for purchase on the site. Viola!
Do you have any more sites to add to this list? Comment below!