Don’t make the equipment an excuse for not reaching your goal, and with this list, you will get an insight into what’s on this writer and blogger’s (virtual) desktop. Click on the headline to read more about the gear in question. Keep an eye on this page as I will keep it updated.
Some of these tools and resources are free.
Some of the products and services that must be paid for are referral or affiliate links (marked with *), which means that if you buy, I will get a small commission on the sale at no extra cost to you.
You should know that I have personal experience with all the following, which is why I recommend them.
If you want to buy a product or a service, use one of the links here, or ask for an affiliate link in your network, to support a writing colleague.
Table of contents
Cheap website hosting together with mail service and one-click WordPress setup as well as good support. You can also order a domain through one.com when you order web hosting for your new site. My website is hosted at one.com. We will both earn 50 DKK (app. 7 USD) in bonus, which will be deducted at a renewal of subscription if you buy through my link.
WordPress is a free blogging tool used for creating content for your website and blog. The content of my website and blog are of course created in WordPress. This link is to one.com, which has a service where you can create a WordPress blog with a single click.
A nice free theme for WordPress, which I use for this website, and where you can change the layout of content, colors, and fonts. There is also a Pro version with more options. It is important to have a good theme with many setup options to be prepared for any new needs that might arise, and so that you don’t need to code if the theme lack functionality. Please also be aware that it may cost you many working hours to change theme.
BackWPup is a WordPress plugin used for backing up your website and self-hosted WordPress blog. With the free version, you can perform ad-hoc backups, whilst you need the paid service to get automated backups. But I advise you to consider if it would be a better to pay for your website provider’s backup service instead. The link is here for the paid version. For the free version search the WordPress plugin directory. No matter what, a good backup program is a must-have.
MailChimp is used for keeping track of your mailing list and to send out newsletters. A really good place to start when you are a new writer or blogger, and it is free of charge up to 2000 Subscribers. MailChimp has just introduced the possibility of making a series of welcome emails sent out automatically to your new subscribers. You can, for instance, use this feature for a mini-course.
Rainmaker is a WordPress plugin used for creating registration forms. You can get a limited version for free, which I use here for the registration form for my newsletter. The free version has MailChimp integration.
Icegram is a WordPress plugin used for making marketing campaigns on your website. For example, you can create a campaign, where the reader can sign up for your mailing list. I use Icegram, because it can handle multiple languages. The program is free to use in a limited version, which is the one I am using. Ten seconds after you have entered my website a toast shows up in the lower right corner in which you can sign up for my newsletter.
Rainmaker and Icegram are used together.
With Yoast WordPress plug-in, you can improve your SEO of your content so it can to be more easily found by search engines.
A WordPress plugin used to analyze the traffic to your website.
A free plugin for WordPress with a content calendar, where you can automatically share blog posts on social media as soon as they have been published. There is also an option for a paid version on a monthly basis. This offers automatic scheduling of social media posts and recycling of your old blog posts.
Another free plugin for WordPress for sharing your blog posts and pages on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and LinkedIn are included in the free version. There is also a Pro version where you, among other things, can style share buttons.
A WordPress plugin used to generate short URLs (address) of your pages and blog posts so that they are easy to share on social media.
An online mindmap program which is integrated with Google Drive, and that you can use to generate ideas for your writing project. The advantage of using mind maps is that they can be used for brainstorming as well as for creating an overview.
I use MindMup for:
- The storyline of major works
- To keep track of and get an overview of characters
- As an idea generator for blog articles
- Creating an overview of projects
A different kind of program for writers and bloggers who want more, than Word can offer. This program is written by writers for writers.
Scrivener is first and foremost better due to its organizational features (Word, go home). The program operates with folders, where you can divide your work into chapters and scenes. A board showing index cards gives you an overview of your project along with color codes and tags. Finally, I should also mention that you can save your research together with your work. There are many more options in addition to the ones listed here.
I use Scrivener for the following:
- My novel and other major works
- For journaling
- For my Writing Victory Journal
- When I write posts to my blog Life with words
Scrivener costs approximately. 45 USD (350 DKK), and it is a once-in-a-lifetime payment. It is a cheap price for a program with the facilities it provides. Personally the best investment I have made in a computer program ever. My link here is for a 30-day trial period of consecutive use.
Do you write in English? Then Grammarly is a must-have? The program checks your text for grammatical errors, and it’s pretty accurate. Available both as a browser extension (Chrome, Safari, and Firefox), as a desktop app and as an add-in for Microsoft Office. And most of all it is free. A Premium version with more features is also available. If you use my link here, we both get a week of Premium free, when you sign up for the free version, but it requires you to use the link from Chrome or Safari and Firefox.
I use Grammarly for the following:
- Before I publish English blog posts or pages on this site
- When I write emails in English
- When I write Facebook posts in English
- And when I write anything at all in English
Also really good when you write in English. Hemingway can check your text for readability, repetitions, complicated sentences and may propose the use of simpler words. Basically, the app should be in the section of writing programs, since it is, in fact, an editor but I use it for proofreading. Hemingway Editor is free for the web Edition, while the desktop app costs approximately 160 USD, and this includes free updates. The desktop app is integrated with WordPress, and you can, among other things also save your text in Word format.
With the combination of the Hemingway Editor and Grammarly you’ll be doing well when writing in English.