Hi everyone! How are you all doing? I have been pretty stressed out this past week. Our country is starting to see its second wave of Covid patients and it’s mainly concentrated in my area this time. So they’ve taken more measures again and we’re now under curfew since last night. Which is weird to think about. So let’s not think about that and focus on fun stuff instead! For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, That Artsy Reader Girl’s prompt is “Freebie”, which means we all get to choose a topic ourselves. I’ve decided to talk about my blogging process and list the “tools” I use to bring these posts to you!
To host my blog. I used to have a personal blog over at Blogger/Blogspot, but WordPress feels like it has more options and tools. This is the only tool I pay for, together with the name of my blog. Everything below is free!
Doesn’t need any explanation, I suppose. GR is how I keep track of the books I want to read and the ones I have read, including what I thought of them.
This is an alternative to Goodreads, but it looks a bit more modern. And it’s not owned by Amazon! The website is still in beta, so don’t expect a fully finished/polished experience with all the features you know from GR, but I really like it so far! Its recommendations tool seems to work better than GR’s, you can even filter on the pacing, theme or page count you want!
I write all my blog posts in Google docs before I copy-paste them to WordPress. I also keep track of ideas and plan upcoming posts in separate documents.
When I take pictures of books or goodies from unboxings, I use the free Pixlr Editor tool to make some quick edits. Crop the image, resize it, play around with contrast, colour vibrance,… I don’t need some expensive editing software for those things, so Pixlr Editor is my best friend.
Canva is a super useful tool to make graphics, like the one you can see at the top of this post! Pick a stock photo, slap some text on top of it, and you’re done. You can make super fancy graphics as well, from invitations to posters and more, by the way. And it’s free to use, although you can pay to unlock more photos and fonts.
For my posts on upcoming book releases, I always make a collage of 8 book covers. I used to do that in Pixlr, but now I much prefer Photojoiner. Just pick the dimensions of your output image, how many photos you want to combine, upload the photos and arrange them in the lay-out. That takes about 2 minutes, while in Pixlr it took me 15 minutes because I manually had to resize the book covers.
I’m still relatively new to ARCs, since I’m a bit… shy…? about requesting them. But Netgalley is a great way to find these early copies. You can request books, but there’s also a section “Read now”, where you can just download the ebook and start reading. That’s how I found Dark Skies and Firefrost (my review of the latter is coming very soon!).
I love graphs and numbers (nerd alert!). And I love keeping track of how this blog grows. That’s what I use the Google Analytics tools for. I can see how many people visit my blog and which posts are popular (and which ones aren’t).
After publishing a new blog post, I go to Twitter and Facebook and post a link there to bring people to my blog. To be honest, social media isn’t how most people come to my blog, I get most of my visitors through organic search (aka Google and other search engines). But yeah, I still post on social media.
Do you use these tools? Or do you have other things you use for your blog? Let me know in the comments! Stay safe and healthy, and happy reading!
Ooh, that is super helpful advice about Pixlr, which I’ve never heard of! I got worried Adobe was gonna come after me if I kept using my old Photoshop program (possibly irrationally, but just in case…) so I quit using it and I’ve really missed the option to just easily adjust contrast & colors, which is pretty much all I ever knew how to do with it anyway.
Photoshop is ridiculously expensive, imo. Especially for the basic stuff I need. Maybe if you’re into “professional” editing it might be necessary, but for simple stuff it’s waaay too much money. Glad I could help you 🙂
I couldn’t blog without Canva. I hate creating graphics, but Canva makes it as easy as possible. I’m seriously considering getting the paid version so I can support them.
I’ve just got back into blogging so I definitely appreciate these, my hiatus lasted 4 years :/
Here’s my TTT if you want to take a look https://readwithstefani.com/10-books-i-want-to-read-by-the-end-of-2020/
Storygraph looks really interesting. I love using Canva, it’s just about simple enough for me to understand!
I should use Goodreads more, I’ve been a slacker with that. Some of these are new for me so thanks for sharing.
Canva is a tool I want to look at more.
Canva is super useful! I mainly use it for simple stuff, but with some practice you can make pretty cool things!
I need to check out Storygraph.
I just recently started trying out The StoryGraph for myself and it’s pretty cool. I can’t wait to see what it grows into.
Lauren @ Always Me
Canva is an awesome tool!
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.
Great post! I love Canva – you can create some really nice blog graphics using it. I’ve just started using google analytics – I find it really interesting.
Thank you! Yeah, Canva is super useful!
I didn’t realize PhotoJoiner or Pixlr Editor existed! I’m going to start using them, so thanks.
My TTT .