**This post has also been updated in Feb 2018 with even more tools! I’ll keep adding on as I find new automation tools.
Blog automation tools are truly my saving grace as a blogger. I wouldn’t have lasted over 3 years if I had to do everything the long and hard way. But when I first started my blog, I didn’t know what I was doing.
Even though I did tons of research before I launched, I still learned so much through endless trial and error. And totally missed the boat on automation software that could help me grow my blog quickly.
I was really trying to save money so I stayed far away from plug-ins, tools, and other automation software that I thought would make me go broke. But I finally realized that most of them are pretty inexpensive and many and outright FREE!
What I didn’t realize then is, my time is my greatest asset when running my own business.
So in my ignorance, I stuck it out doing everything manually. And I’m not just talking about the new craze of Manual Pinning!
I sent every email out one by one. And I posted all my Pinterest pins and Facebook and Twitter posts one by one. It took up so much of my time. Lack of automation was just one of the pitfalls of blogging, I fell right into.
I finally came to a place where I knew I couldn’t do this anymore. I desperately needed some automation in my life! As my business grew, I was quickly getting out of balance with taking care of my home and busy little toddler.
The Basics of Blog Automation
I set out to try many different blog automation tools and tested which ones worked and which ones didn’t. This was a game changer for me because putting my blog on auto-pilot allowed me to take care of my son and my home while my blog still continued to grow. Crazy, right?
Automating your blog is simply using a tool, software, plugin, app, or even an outsourced person to complete a task on an ongoing basis that requires minimal intervention. For example, if you’re collecting email addresses (which you should be) then you’ll want to create a series of emails set up in an autoresponder that’ll go out automatically when someone opts into your email list.
There’s no way you can personally send out emails every time someone opts in to one of your offers. That would be too much. Or at least it should be! 😉
In short, automating your blog is necessary for allowing you to streamline your processes and save you TONS of time so you can do what you do best – making great stuff and dominating the world!
Best Blog Automation Tools
To bring some balance to the issue of putting your blog on auto-pilot, the “set it and forget it” mentality isn’t recommended. You always want to be connected to your business and your tribe. Therefore, you always want to allow for communication and contact with your readers and subscribers to happen naturally and consistently and always be ready to respond when they reach out.
To help you put these concepts into immediate action, I’ve put together my favorite list of blog automation tools you can use for your blog.
I love Boardbooster and it’s the first Pinterest automation tool I chose to use. I later joined Tailwind, which I also love, but I refuse to leave BoardBooster. There’s too much to get into in this post for either of these programs, but I’ll give you my highlights.
I use BoardBooster’s looping tool which isn’t available on any other scheduling tool! I chose to use looping in my large and highest performing board. Basically, it keeps that board fresh and active by taking the older posts that fall to the bottom of that board, and loops them to the top. After using the looping feature, my traffic saw a huge spike and it keeps my top performing posts visible.
I use Tailwind to share my content to my top performing group boards. I belong to over 50 awesome group boards, so manually pinning to all those boards is a HUGE time suck! Tailwind makes sure that all boards are covered and I don’t miss any days. Plus, it serves up my posts at their optimal time intervals so I don’t ever have to think about it. Then in the evening, I go to town pinning other bloggers’ content to all my relevant personal boards.
The other main feature I love with Tailwind is their analytics and ease of use, overall. They’ve designed a beautiful and equally useful interface that provides you with all the information you need to grow your blog. To get started with a free month to try it out, just click the link below. Enjoy!
>This offer ends 6/17/18<
SumoMe is a plugin that allows you to get more fans of your awesome stuff to sign up for your offers. Thus growing your greatest asset as a blogger – your email list.
It allows you to add opt-in boxes, pop-ups, and welcome mats all without needing to understand coding. It also displays your blog’s social proof showing how many shares each page receives in social media. As of right now, I no longer use this but it still works great.
I recently purchased the Social Warfare plug-in that worked better for me for showing the social proof of how many times a particular page or post was shared and to which social platform. It also allows me to customize the share bar to my branding colors and is very noticeable – but not in a gaudy way.
On the back end, it allows me to easily upload my Facebook and Pinterest images and meta description, so when my post gets shared – the right information populations in that social post.
Grammarly is technically not auto-pilot in the sense that it’s doing something in the background like some of these other tools, but don’t let that fool you. Grammarly is automatically and seamlessly catching errors in my writing, every time I write ANYTHING on my computer!
Grammarly was something I thought I didn’t need because I had spell check, right? Wrong!! When I finally started using it my writing life changed dramatically. And I saw how many errors I had lingering around in my old posts! Oops. Basically, it’s a tool I don’t have to think about. It’s working constantly every time I write anywhere on my computer. It’s literally amazing.
If you write for business, school, or for any reason at all – you need Grammarly in your life right now!
ConvertKit is the first email auto-responder that was created with bloggers in mind. It allows you to seamlessly and easily create an automated email sequence that will be triggered anytime someone signs up for your newsletter or other offerings.
You can also send broadcast messages anytime to your email list which allows you to still stay active with your tribe on the fly. I no longer use ConvertKit, but I still believe it is a great autoresponder.
I switched my email autoresponder to Active Campaign because of the usability of the platform. It’s a drag and drop setup and works similar to ClickFunnels. The email automation tools are seamless and appear on the screen like an actual flow chart. This makes it super easy to visually see the flow of your email sequences!
The analytics are easy to read and give you great insight on your open rates, click-through, and even why subscribers decided to unsubscribe from your list. These help you learn and continually tweak your processes along the way.
Buffer is what I use to set my social media posts on auto-pilot. I simply sit down once a week and fill up my queue with my posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in very little time. I love this app because it allows me access to analytics to see which posts are doing well and which ones are not.
If I see a post that’s doing well, I can simply repost it with one click. It also gives me the option to use Buffer’s optimal posting times to create a customized schedule based on the activity on my social media accounts. And all this is on my free account!
Your Google Analytics is essential to getting a complete picture of the growth and success of your blog. You can see your traffic numbers and referral sources at a glance, as well vital information on the demographics of your visitors. Best of all it’s totally FREE! They are also constantly adding new updates to give you even more insight. If you haven’t set up your analytics account yet, what are you waiting for?
JetPack is a plugin for WordPress and it works similarly to Google Analytics in that it gives your site states right in your WordPress dashboard. This gives you an easy to view and understand snapshot of your blog’s traffic and sources. It also provides security for your site and protects your site from attacks.
This free app will show you your blog’s information like your real-time stats right from your phone. By the way, Google Analytics has an app too. But the WordPress App (if you have a WordPress blog) is like your blog on the go. You can see, approve, and respond quickly to new comments. You can even start a quick draft of write and publish new content, though you probably won’t do that much. Overall, it’s a great app to check in on your blog remotely when you need to!
Each of these Blog Automation Tools has helped me grow my blog in some way, and I’m so grateful I found each one. That’s why I wrote this post to share them with you. And please share in the comments below if you have any other automation tools that you love!