Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Six Need-to-Know Blogging Hacks that Have Helped Me!

Happy New Year!

Whilst I am not quite a fan of new years resolutions, I can definitely see why people see January as the perfect marker to start something new. As exciting as starting a new job, embarking on a new hobby or simply making the decision to be more sociable can be, the big push out of your comfort zone can be a daunting journey.

This is the same for starting a blog. Being a writer and creating your own content is fun and fulfilling - one reason why many of us spend so much of our free time doing it! But the risk of sharing your life and having complete strangers judge you and your writing can be scary. 

Believe it or not, I have been an on and off blogger for years, starting and abandoning blogs for different reasons. In 2007 when blogging was brand new, three of my girlfriends and I started this blog. When that fizzled out, I decided I would embark on my own little project here. Years later, I started this with a colleague of mine, before beginning this one (my longest term blog apart from madelinewilsonojo.com) 

But praise God, I think I have finally overcome my fear of commitment!

In my ten year on/off journey, I have certainly learned a few things- namely, if there is a way to make blogging life easier, take it. I am about to show you how BUT it must be said that I am in no way a pro! I am not the most sophisticated blogger, just a lady who has learned a few things on the way.

Here are six hacks/tools that I have discovered on the way which has made life as a blogger much easier!

1. Canva - an online graphic design tool for beginners. You can create anything from social media pictures to e-book covers, posters, invitations and more! My Instagram wouldn't be the same without it!

2. CreateHER stock photos - How do you think I get those beautiful photos for the blog? I got tired of taking photos of myself or asking hubby to take them for me. Just sign up to their mailing list and you'll receive good photos each month, which you are at liberty to use as you wish. The best thing is that they are free! I am sure a quick Google search will give you other sources of stock photos. 

3. Selfie stick/ phone tripod - now that we have mentioned the above, what about when you do want to take photos of yourself, and have no fancy camera and no help? The answer is you make do with your phone, and make it easier by investing in a few props - easily purchased from Amazon!

4. Grammarly - Lord knows I am a stickler for punctuation and grammar, but even I make mistakes sometimes! Grammarly is a great app which checks typos and mistakes on everything you write online (I may be wrong, but maybe your word processor too!). From Facebook , to your emails to your blog, Grammarly will ensure you don't look the fool infront of the world wide web. And, oh...it's free to download!

5. Colour Note - Use this or any note taking application to make notes on future blog posts. I use it to schedule my posts, and to start future blog posts when I can't get to my laptop, like say...when I'm on the tube (London's underground transport system - in case you are not a Londoner!)

6. Buffer - I always wondered how content creators had time to tweet, update statuses, post photos and upload videos all at once. They seemed to be everywhere at the same time! Then I came across the concept of scheduling. An online tool like Buffer allows you to schedule your tweets, Instagram posts, and Facebook statuses in advance, so you are not stressing about it in the day.

I would like to throw in one bonus one, and that is to write without apologies. Taming your writing and overthinking will stifle your creativity!

I hope these help and have hopefully encouraged you to begin your blogging journey. Please, please, please do! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have about blogging below or even add some of your own hacks. And if you do start your blog, post the link below. I would love to have a read!

Cheers to 2018!



  1. These sound very useful. Canva has helped me create awesome graphics that look really pretty. I love using it.

    1. Isn't Canva just great? I am beginning to think that it's the not so secret secret. Ha! Off to read your blog :-)

  2. These all sound very useful!!I actually use picmonkey for my graphics I will definitely look into canva. Thanks for sharing!

    - Avalon from www.simplyavalon.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you for your suggestion! Will have a look at Picmonkey now. :-)

  3. I think I may well look into Buffer, because at some point this year I'm definitely going to need to start scheduling my social media posts! Hope 2018 is going really well for you so far Madeline :)


    1. Hi Gabrielle, thanks for passing through :-) Buffer is the best, especially if you have so many other responsibilities to juggle! 2018 is so far so good. I also hope you are having a great year so far!

  4. Absolutely needed this! I was trying to find a much more effective way of balancing my blog I started in November and my job, I'm going to including this on my strategy plan - thank you so much! You have a new follower!

    1. Hi es, I am glad that this had helped you so much! Thanks for the follow. What is the name of your blog?

    2. Hi Madeline no problem at all! My blog is called Essie Eats! www.essieeats.com x

  5. This was very very useful for me (as a new blogger). Glad to have stumbled across your site - will take a look at your other posts. Canva definitely seems like something I need (pictures are sometimes the hardest thing to decide lol) Thank you again x

    1. I am so glad you found this useful! Canva is a must if you'd like to create eye catching graphics simply. Good luck on your blogging journey, I am headed over to yours now.

  6. Hahahaa...all that blogs? Wow sis!! Well halleluyah for the commitment now. I haven't of buffer before. Will definitely be checking that out. Thanks for the useful tips.


    1. Haha! It's amazing isn't it? Buffer is great. It will definitely help you in balancing all those activities.

  7. I knew there was an app for scheduling tweets and other posts but couldn't put a name on it. Thanks for this info. Twas indeed helpful.

  8. This is so handy! I've bookmarked them x


    1. Hi Sheena. I am glad you found these so useful! Thanks for reading

  9. Canva is my favourite photo editing site ever! I'll check out buffer because I always find it hard keeping up with all my social media! Thanks for this post ����

    1. Hi Sarah, I am happy you took something away from this. Do you have a blog? Please leave it below.

    2. Sorry for the late reply, my blog is apieceofsarah.com!

  10. Taming your writing and overthinking will stifle your creativity!
    Wow, I needed to see this.

    1. Again, thanks for reading! Yes, just write recklessly! Edit later.

  11. I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories.
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