Friday, 9 May 2014

Guest Post: Apps for Craft Bloggers

Today I'm sharing a guest post by Anna from The Dusty Attic, all about apps!

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In writing this post I got to thinking - what do we craft bloggers get up to in a normal bloggy week? Well, we make stuff to start with. Then we photograph the heck out of it. Write blog posts. Share those posts on social media. Think of more stuff to make. And so the cycle continues! All of this without even mentioning the rest of our (usually pretty busy) lives. So how can our smart phones help us out?

As a craft blogger I use my iPhone a lot (other smart phones are available). Snapping photos, blogging, reading other blogs I follow, not to mention Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! I don’t always get the chance to get my laptop out when my little girl is around and so I often find myself doing stuff on my phone that in an ideal world I would be doing on my laptop. But such is life, and with millions of apps available for smart phones, it’s made my life a whole lot easier.

So today I thought I would share the love and let you all know about some of the apps that I use on my iPhone that assist me as a blogger. You can get most of these apps for iPads and tablets as well as for Android and Windows phones.

Blogging:

Most of the bigger blogging platforms have their own apps – WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr for example.

I use Blogger and within their (free) app you can do basic stuff like viewing, editing and writing posts, although adding photos can be a bit of a faff. The way I use it is for writing draft posts, and then adding links, photos and other finishing touches on the laptop. This means I can draft posts on the go, and they are sitting there ready for when I get the chance to sit down for more than 5 minutes!!

The WordPress app is a lot better (I use it for work) – there’s a lot more information available such as blog stats and various settings available too.

I use Bloglovin (another free app) for keeping up with all those other blogs I follow, what I love about Bloglovin is that you get suggestions of other blogs you might like based on the ones you already read! Fab!


Photo editing:

Before you even think about posting that snap of your latest make you need to swipe it though some sort of photo editing app. You can of course use the standard ones that come with apps like Instagram.

Sometimes a quick snap and an Instagram filter is fine – but for product photos or images that have come out a bit under- or over-exposed, for example, I use Afterlight (currently $0.99 on the App store, Android version coming this year). It has loads of editing tools – the current version has 15 adjustment tools, such as contrast, exposure, saturation and so on, as well as 56 filters, 66 textures and 75 frames as well as the standard cropping, rotating and other basic tools.


Social Networking:

I’m addicted to social media, and love that all of my bloggy friends are less than 140 characters away!! Using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is one of the easiest ways to publicise those blog posts you have spent ages writing. But keeping up with all of your tweeting and facebooking can be tricky, especially if blogging isn’t your full time job.

I like to use the Hootsuite app (free on the App Store and Android) for scheduling posts on Facebook and Twitter. You can write and publish your post in the morning and then schedule some Twitter posts while you are on the bus to work, while having your morning coffee, or even at the gym! Haha, that’s me at the gym, on the exercise bike, scheduling blog posts. Not. But you could!


Organising:

Being a craft blogger, not only will you have your blog to update and social media to procrastinate on and use for promoting, you may also have an online shop, another job (wish I could be a craft blogger full time, but have to pay the bills!), kids to look after, a home to run, a busy social life – and not to mention any crafting for yourself – phew! How do you keep track of everything you’ve got going on?

I use an app called Weave (free on the App Store – not currently available for Android) to keep track of my many to-do lists and want-to-do lists in categories such as home, blog, crafting and baking.

You can set up different projects (the categories I referred to above) and assign to-dos to them, or you can create one off to-dos that don’t fit into a project. You can also track your finances, great for keeping a record of your income from advertising and sponsoring, as well as any expenses (I’m thinking craft supplies here!!).


Inspiration:

There is a ridiculous amount of internet out there people – and it’s sometimes easy to look at so much that it all becomes a glitter-filled blur.

And that is why I like to use Pinterest. I use it like a scrapbook, or rather, a collection of scrapbooks. It helps to curate all of my inspiration in one place, so that when I suddenly decide to crochet that pair of rainbow socks I saw on someone’s blog last month, I can easily head over to my Pinterest crochet board and go straight back to that post.

What I love about the app is that in addition to being able to track the things I find, Pinterest also (helpfully) has categories that you can browse or search through. Spare 10 minutes? Have a little bimble into the Pinterest app and look through the ‘home’ category for some d├ęcor inspiration. Want to make something with Nutella for dinner but not sure what? Peruse the ‘food’ category.

OK, so it can be used for evil, in that you just pop on for 10 minutes and three hours later you are still scrolling through the wedding category (even though you only share your heart with the cat) – thank you infinite scroll…


These of course are just a few apps that help me as a crafty blogger!

What apps do you swear by?

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Anna is a blogger from way up north near the Lake District. As well as writing her blog the Dusty Attic, she also sells her felt brooches and accessories from her Etsy shop. She is a social media-aholic and loves that she also gets to blog as part of her ‘proper’ job! When she’s not blogging for work or play, she can usually be found creating a little something from yarn, felt or fabric, or (if it is a sunny day and not too windy) walking up a hill or by the sea.

You can find Anna here: Blog | Shop | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

 Fancy taking part in my Guest Post series? Click here for more info.

4 comments:

ga447 said...

Great information and I use all the apps. I love them all, I do have some issues with Bloglovin, I can't respond in comments with some of the blogs not all. I have to respond to you on Blogger.

Stacey (FreshStitches) said...

These are all such great resources! Thanks for the list!

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks for the great post, Anna! x

ga447 - oh, that's annoying! Glad you can still comment though :)


bairozan said...

Great post! I have a smart phone but I just use it for viewing my social media. It's good to know how to make a better use of all these applications :)

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