As a concept, blogging is very straightforward. Just open up your laptop and start writing about something you’re passionate about. It feels like there are very few things you need, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
In reality, all bloggers need to have a bunch of essential things that’ll make your life easier. Keeping that in mind, I’ve written a list of the fundamental things you must get your hands on right now. If you tick everything off this list, then your life as a blogger will be much easier and less stressful.
A Portable Device
To start things off, you need something to do all your work on. For many, the obvious answer is a computer. But, I think your go-to device should be portable. In my eyes, bloggers will get a lot more from a laptop or tablet as you can take it everywhere you go. So, if you’re on a long train journey, you can still blog. Or, if you go somewhere else – either on holiday, visiting friends, or possibly as part of a brand deal – then you still have a device to work on.
All in all, it just means you don’t lose out on blogging time. If you use a stationary computer, then you can only work on it in one place. Yes, nothing is stopping you from getting a main computer and a second device. However, this will be extremely expensive, so I think one portable device of your choosing is ideal!
A Content Management System
On to a more technical thing, every blogger needs to get their hands on a good content management system – or CMS for short. If you don’t know what this is, then it’s basically something that helps you publish all of your blog posts. It’s a hub that allows you to edit, preview, post, reply to comments, and so many more things!
Without a good CMS, you will find it much harder to run your blog. It keeps everything in one place, and there are so many for you to choose from. WordPress is probably the most popular and well-known CMS platform as it’s mostly free, comes with plenty of support, and can help you publish some pretty excellent posts.
I’m not going to promote one specific content management system, it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your needs. Instead, I’ll link a video below this that shows some of the best ones available right now.
Even if you’re not a blogger, then you know the pain of slow internet speeds. Waiting for things to buffer and load can take vital minutes out of your day – and this makes a huge difference when you blog for a living.
Let’s say you’re researching a new topic for a post, and all the pages you’re looking at take ages to load, any videos you’re watching are stuck buffering; it’s a massive pain in the backside. Not only that, but it can impact the way you manage your blog as you may post less frequently because it takes far too long to upload files, and so on.
Everything is made much easier when you have fast internet. Thankfully, this has become more and more accessible in recent times. These days, you can find companies providing internet at speeds of over 1gb per second. This means everything will load instantly, and you spend less time waiting around. As a result, you can spend more time blogging, researching topics, and so on.
A Backup Internet Source
Following on from the previous thing, you also need a backup source of internet. I’m not saying everyone needs to pay for two different broadband connections; that can be a bit over the not. However, it’s essential to have something to fall back on if your internet goes down for a few hours or longer.
What happens when your primary internet source suffers technical issues? It means you can’t really do anything at all. This can completely mess up your blogging schedule and ruin the day you have planned!
Luckily, most of you will already have a secondary source of internet in the shape of a smartphone. I really recommend that you choose a network provider that offers fast mobile internet which you can use as a WiFi hotspot. So, if your home internet goes down, then you can connect to your phone and use mobile data as a temporary backup. Bearing that in mind, it’s also a good idea to find a network that gives you plenty of data per month, and that provides a strong connection in your home!
As a bonus, you can also use this backup source when you’re on the move and have no WiFi to call upon.
A Schedule Planner
One of the many secrets to a successful blog lies in your posting schedule. It’s vital that you create regular content that doesn’t dip in terms of quality. For many, it’s very hard to keep writing different posts all the time, or they just go days and weeks without posting as they forget.
As such, it helps when you have a nice schedule planner. You can use an app or a physical notebook type thing; either one is fine. They both do the same kind of thing; give you a platform to write to-do lists and come up with a good schedule for every day/week.
By doing this, you can plan your weeks around a blogging schedule. As a general rule, I think three posts per week is the minimum you should aim for. Remember, a good length for a blog post is anywhere between 500 – 1500 words. So, you don’t really have to write massive pieces all the time! Use your new schedule planner to stick to a schedule and get more work done. It helps you get into a blogging routine where you’re constantly updating your site with new content.
A Complete SEO Tool
If you don’t know, SEO refers to search engine optimization. In short, this is how well your blog performs in search results. If your SEO is good, then your blog appears high up the results and is one of the first few links people see. If your SEO is terrible – which it tends to be when you start out – then you probably won’t make the first or second pages.
Consequently, every blogger needs to find a complete SEO tool for their blog. This is a tool that lets you see how good your blog is currently doing in search engines. It also allows you to tweak things here and there to improve the optimization of your site. By using one of these tools, you can drive your blog up the rankings and gain loads of exposure.
The benefit of good SEO is that it leads to more traffic for your blog. You expand your audience, which means you end up making more money from adverts on your site, and brands take notice of you.
Social Media Accounts
It seems obvious, but I thought I’d put this in here just to drive the point home. When you’re a blogger, you’re also an avid user of social media. It’s something you have to embrace if you want your blog to be successful.
Social media allows you to promote your posts to thousands of different people, interact with your audience, and build a large following. It’s a tool you can use to your advantage, so there’s no point shying away from it. I have two main pieces of advice; use the social media platforms that best suit your blog, and create an account for your blog.
As an example, let’s say you have a cooking blog where you post recipes ideas and food-related content. Here, your best social media tool will be Instagram. It’s a great place to post images of food you’ve made and link back to the corresponding posts. You can also use the story feature to give small video snippets as well.
Going back to the point on social media accounts for your blog, I just think it’s an excellent way to separate your personal life from your blog. It helps build a brand image as well, which makes your blog more recognizable. Even if you have a personal blog where you blog about yourself, it makes sense to have one account where you’re focused on the blog, then maybe use a private one that’s for personal use.
Very, very, briefly, I want to finish by saying you need to use Google Analytics. Basically, this shows you everything you need to know about your blog. You’ll see traffic stats, where your traffic is coming from, how long people stay on your pages for, and so on. By using these stats, you can work on different things to increase engagement and improve your blog!
So, there you have it; the complete list of things every blogger needs. Make your way down this list and ensure everything gets ticked off – good luck!