Alright, I will say this off the bat: I know that a TON of bloggers do “blogging 101” series and “how to blog”-type series all the time. So why would I add in my thoughts to the already saturated mix?
Well, my reasons are approximately three-fold:
- Some of THE MOST common questions I get asked are: (and by the most common, I mean I get emails daily asking these questions) – “What blogging tools do you use for this? Or that?” – “I’m looking to start a blog, where do I start?” etc. etc. So, clearly there’s at least someone who wants to know my thoughts?
- I’ve been blogging (in SOME form or fashion) for almost 10 years. I’ve had this blog for five. So, I’ve made a ton of mistakes along the way (I STILL make mistakes) and I have just come across different tools, strategies, etc. that I figure it couldn’t hurt to share.
- This stuff is so fun for me. I kinda geek out over blog talk. 🙂
Now, while a few posts here or there may have “TIPS” – I am actually going to focus my “Blogging Tools & Essentials” posts more on the things that HELP me with blogging along the way… i.e. actual resources that I use on the regular for my blog.
So, without further adieu, the first blogging tool and essential I want to introduce y’all to is:
*This post is not sponsored by BlogStomp. They have no idea who I am. I am just obsessed with their product and would be lost in the blogging world without it.
What IS BlogStomp?
Basically, BlogStomp is an image resizing and optimization tool. And, yeah, what does that mean? Well, if you are a blogger that loves to include lots of IMAGES in your posts, then this is basically a tool that will make your life SO MUCH EASIER.
If you’re more of a “text” blogger and you don’t tend to include a ton of images in your posts, then this actually is NOT a great tool for you. It would basically serve you almost no purpose.
So, I’m really talking to the bloggers who include A LOT of images in your posts. Such as:
- Photographers (duh!)
- Fashion bloggers
- Food bloggers
- DIY / Craft bloggers
- Any blogger who includes lots of images in your posts (bahaha!)
Now, I blogged for MANY years without BlogStomp – I just got it back in December of 2012. My sweet husband got it for me as a Christmas gift… and I’m kicking myself for not getting it earlier!
I would spend SO MUCH TIME pulling every image into Photoshop to rename and resize it or try and make collages and whatnot. I mean I would spend HOURS in Photoshop.
This was NOT a good use of my time. And I would often get super frustrated because the layouts I’d be working on would get messed up or something. It was bad news bears.
So what does BlogStomp actually DO?
Well, you basically get the app, download it to your computer, and you’re pretty much up and running.
This is what the app looks like when you launch it:
Then, I import my photos:
Now, you can “freestyle” edit your photos or you can “batch” edit them. 9 times out of 10 I freestyle because I like to control the layouts, etc… but “batch” editing allows you to edit a TON at once and super fast.
So, basically, before I edit them, I go into the output and rename the files to what I want them to be named (think Google friendly!):
Then, once I have the name for the pictures picked out, I go in and start editing them:
This is the freestyle mode (above) – as you can see when you select more than one photo, you can see all the different layout options over to the right. Pick the one you want and you’re good to go – just hit “STOMP IT!” and it’ll get saved to your STOMPED folder on the desktop of your computer.
The other thing I cannot leave out is the ability to save different “sizes,” etc. So, for example, in the “STYLES” tab, you can create different default sizes. You can even add your watermark if you want so that your watermark shows up on every single photo. I don’t personally watermark my images, but if you wanted to, this feature is there.
But I have styles for my blog (“WHITE BORDER”) is for my blog and perfectly sized for my blog. I also have one for Facebook images so those can be a little bigger, etc. You can create as many presets as you want!
I’m totally not doing all the features of this app justice. It has a place where you can connect it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and even your blog – so that you can upload photos directly FROM BlogStomp! It’s AWESOME.
My wedding photographer actually did a post on BlogStomp a while back and she does a MUCH better job of explaining how awesome BlogStomp is. You can see her post here.
Anyway. The one catch is that, yes, BlogStomp is not free. A “Single User” account is $49 and that allows you to install BlogStomp on up to two computers. But it’s a ONE TIME fee – and TRUST ME, it is SO worth it!
It changed my blogging LIFE. It makes things go SO much quicker. Seriously! I use it for EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST! 🙂
Any BlogStomp fans out there want to sound off and share how much you love this program? Anyone interested in trying it?
What blogging tools & essentials questions do YOU have? What would you like to see a future post on?