Over the 13 and a half years of blogging about sex (that’s right — since April 2006!), many folks ask me about the tools that I use. Here are some of my favorite tools, the ones I’m in almost every day, the ones that are now the core of the work I do here at Sugarbutch.
All of these include affiliate links! If you sign up through one of them — first of all, thank you! Second, if you want me to help you set it up or walk you through how I use it, I’m glad to share some of my best practices as appreciation for using my links.
1. You must have a mailing list. Try Convertkit
You have a mailing list, right? You gotta set up a mailing list. The free services are great — don’t pay for something until you use the free service and outgrow it.
When you start noticing you want more features — like segments, or drip campaigns, or tags, or landing pages — take a look at Convertkit. It starts at $29 a month, and it does all the fancy email tricks that you can imagine, plus it’s beautifully designed, intuitive, and plugs in to all the major web apps.
2. And you want to promote your blog posts on social media. So, Coschedule, obviously
In 2019, it’s not a blog if there isn’t all kinds of social media attached to it.
Coschedule is a social media manager — like Buffer or MeetEdgar — plus an editorial calendar. You can have multiple users all working on the same blog and create to-do lists and other assignments. I love their “Requeue” feature, which will automatically recycle certain content on social media based on criteria. For example, I have about 25 tweets in a Requeue folder called “holidays,” and set it to be active around Thanksgiving and let it run through the New Year. It automatically rotates through the tweets, publishing one a day at the “best time” (as determined by Coschedule — but I could set specific times, if I want).
I use it to push all my WordPress posts out to social media after one is made.
Starts at $40/month, but there is a referral and benefits program that cuts that in half if you write a blog post about it, and can get the price even less with more referrals.
3.Once you grow, you might want to offer webinars! Crowdcast is the best
There are many platforms for this. Zoom is a common one, which is great for discussions and meetings where you want to see everyone on the call. But if you want to do more of a lecture type webinar, look at Crowdcast. It includes a chat, a place to ask questions and then mark if you are currently answering that question, polls, and the ability to bring someone on screen with video or audio to talk to you. Plus, replays at the exact same link.
Starts at $49 a month. Worth it. Sign up here.
4. You gotta make everything pretty — Canva is better than Photoshop
Maybe don’t tell Photoshop I said that. I’ve been a photoshop user for e v e r and I love that program, but honestly? I have barely opened it up since I started using Canva. It’s so much simpler and all of it is right there.
It includes all sorts of design templates for just about any image you can imagine — book covers, instagram posts, facebook event covers, featured images, business cards, resumes, brochures, flyers. On and on. And they’re adding more all the time. Now there’s a Pexels integration, too (which is still one of my favorite photo stock sites).
The only one on the list that gives you money, rather than costing you money.
You know what this is by now — Patreon has been making a splash in the blog world for years, and it seems to only be growing. I really hope they will get themselves sustainable, the creator world needs this service so desperately! It has seriously changed what Sugarbutch is for me the past five years. I’ll ever be grateful for the structure it offered, and all the people who support me through it. ( Here’s my own Patreon, if you’d like to become a patron. Like a patron of the arts! Thank you!)
5. Last, but not least: WordPress.org, not .com
First of all, watch out for the adult content rules on .com. Make sure you know what the guidelines are, whether or not you decide to adhere to them.
And while we’re talking about it …
It’s not a resource, but you gotta brush up on the kinds of content that are allowed on every platform. Guy New York has collected a round-up on the various content platforms and what is allowed and not allowed.
WordPress.org is different, and gives you more control than the .com. Your mileage may vary here, and you should consult your web designer to figure what is really best for you. Even though there are small differences, sometimes they can mean everything.
Those are the essentials, in my opinion!
What am I missing? Leave your very favorite, top five web apps for blogging in the comments.