Monday, September 29, 2014

My Blogging Tool Box

My Blogging Tool Box - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

Blogging is a lot of work. Fun work, but work non-the-less. {It's no wonder people can make a full time job out of it.} Every blogger has their own approach, their own set of tools to get the job done and it's fascinating to find out what others put into their blogs because everyone attacks the Job-That-Is-Blogging just a little differently.

So I thought it would be fun to share my own little blogging tool box. Just in case you've ever wondered. {Because it helps me to think people actually care what it takes for me to keep plugging out awesome content...and by 'awesome' I mean kind of okay...and by 'kind of okay' I mean please pat me on the back because I have three kids, a home to keep up, a job, and an enormous love of sleep ON TOP OF ALL THIS WRITING I DO #ShamelessPlugForLove}

My Blogging Tool Box - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

ESSENTIAL TOOL #1. Caffeine {the nectar of the blogger} Tweet: Caffeine: the nectar of the blogger {and other essential #blogging tools} via @alannarusnak http://ctt.ec/1b23B+


I always have either a cup of coffee or a cup of tea while I blog.  {In a mug, please and thank you - china tea cups are way too precious for this girl!} There's something about that warm comfort that pushes my creativity and inspiration to the surface.

I go through phases - back and forth between coffee or tea - and lately it's been a season of Orange Pekoe.  Today, however, was a hands-down coffee kind of day.  I had a sick child home from school and it was 11:00 am before I realized that I'd been snuggled up with him on the couch watching the Disney Channel for HOURS.


Put a little JOY in your day! Get a happy mug like mine by clicking one of the photos below! {They're on clearance right now for only $4.99 and every bit as adorable as they appear in the photos!}

{these photos contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on them

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #2. Laptop 

 

My MacBook Pro and I? BFF's if there ever were any. Separation seems to cause phantom limb syndrome and so she comes with me everywhere. The convenience is a beautiful thing simply because I can take her anywhere depending on my mood. I can sit outside at the picnic table beneath the arbor covered in grapevines. I can lock myself away at my bedroom desk if the house is too rowdy. I can curl up in bed or spread across the dining room table or {my absolute favorite} take over a booth at the local coffee shop and indulge in my favorite treat: a Chai Tea Latte {see Essential #1}

ESSENTIAL TOOL #3. WiFi

 

Seriously. What did we do before WiFi? The idea of being stuck at a stationary computer is soul-sucking.

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #4. Inspiration 

 

Nothing can happen without an idea and inspiration comes from everywhere. I am not good about planning out posts but I am good about grabbing something when it happens and turning it into something {hopefully} worth sharing - that's why I'm always sure to keep my #5 tool handy.

My Blogging Tool Box - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #5. Notebook & Pen 

 

I keep a notebook and pen handy in my purse at all times just in case I get a brilliant idea. Sometimes I make bullet point lists of what I want to cover. Sometimes it's nothing more than a title or concept but I like to jot it down before it gets lost.

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #6. iPhone/Camera

 

Most of the photos I use on my blog lately have been taken with my iPhone.  It's always with me, so when inspiration strikes I can capture the image rather than running around the house trying to remember where I left the camera and whether or not it's battery is charged. {Though for this post I actually used my 'real' camera which is a dinosaur of a point and shoot digital that I really kind of hate.} I am constantly impressed with the quality of images I can coax out of a little cell phone - it's genius!

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #7. Lightroom & Photoshop

 

I love the process of editing photos. I have zero training but I have managed to navigate my way pretty well through these programs - at least to the point that my end product is something I'm {mostly} happy with. It takes a lot of time - sometimes longer than the actual writing - but in this age of Pinterest it's imperative that you accompany a post with a great 'pinnable' image that will catch people's eye. {I'm working on another post that shows my photo process. Stay tuned!}

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #8. A Plethora of Font Choices

 

My Blogging Tool Box {my favorite fonts} - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna RusnakI am addicted to fonts like I'm addicted to caffeine. I am constantly downloading new ones to use on my title photos.  {That shape that frames my title on this post? That's a 'L' from the KG Flavor and Frames font. That leaf? It's an 'n' from the Type Embellishments font.}

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #9. Time & Space

 

There is nothing fast about the blogging process. I've read a lot of advice that recommends writing and then walking away for hours - or even a whole day - before going back to edit. I do not work like that. I don't have time to work like that. I do read and re-read and re-re-read but I do it all in the same sitting {when possible} because I like to finish what I start and walk away satisfied at a job complete. 

I am blessed to have every Monday off and I do my best to dedicate that day to writing {blogging or otherwise}. By 8:00 am the house is empty and it's just me and my caffeine infused thoughts and I try to ignore the laundry long enough to write something.


 

 

ESSENTIAL TOOL #10. Networking Outlets


Social media allows me to get every post 'out there' - it's a way to plug-in to an audience that wouldn't find me organically. Upon completion, I share every single post across various networks. This in itself is monotonous and can be time consuming but the payback in readers is well worth the effort.

I also carry a stack of business cards with me just in case I meet somebody out in the real live 3D world who is interested in what I've got to say. It was awkward at first but the more I hand out, the easier it gets.  Having a pretty business card definitely helps - I had mine printed through Vista Print and I was very happy with their quality and service.


My Blogging Tool Box - SelfBinding Retrospect by Alanna Rusnak
  
Blogging is a job. It is also a love. And while my tools will probably change over the years I don't see my passion for this outlet lessening any time soon.

Thank you for reading faithfully. Knowing you're out there gives me the fuel to keep on keeping on!

 

10 comments :

  1. You are such a talented and creative writer! Someday I will be asking for your autograph!!

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    1. Thanks Patty - I wouldn't even make you wait in line

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, friend! I'd love to hear what's in your tool box too!

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  3. "and an enormous love of sleep" -- This is Leanne to a T. Her whole family, actually.. haha. Waking them up in the morning is never a fun task.

    Vista print is excellent by the way! We LOVE and happily endorse that company whenever we can.

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    1. Just wait until you have little Hennebry's running around - the love for sleep never stops but it becomes nothing more than a dream.

      I would totally use Vista Print again - so easy to work with and I ended up with a great business card

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  4. Totally agree with coffee- a warm drink and sitting in front of my PC is how I blog!

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    1. There's no other way! I like to keep a few choices of fancy cream on hand too for a special treat :)

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  5. Thank you so much for this blog post. I'm just getting my blog started so it was fun to read about your toolbox!

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    Replies
    1. So glad you liked it! Good luck as you begin the blogging journey - I'm a few years in and still enjoying it so I wish you the same :) Thanks for stopping by!

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