5 Free Essential Apps For Bloggers

We are the age of The Influencer. Big brands from high street to high end are waking up to our marketing potential. They’ve begun to invest in our social media crazed selves, and why? Bloggers and Influencers make an impact. Our generation (whether its healthy or not) lives with phone in hand. We spend every waking hour scrolling through socials because we’re nosy. Its all well and good to follow but how do you get followed? If you’re committed to establishing your own brand and social media presence then these are the five essential apps you need to download right now.

The beginning of my own blog and ‘content creator’ title followed with a greater understanding of the importance of all things social media. I searched for anything and everything that could possibly help me to improve my content or to better market myself. I cringe at the recollection of my own Instagram page a mere few years ago, a time when I was barely active and posted poorly lit and uninteresting photos! Now, I’m aware of all kinds of Instagram pressures… people work so hard to stick to a theme and us bloggers are doing anything and everything we can to increase our engagement! There’s no doubt that running a blog and successful social media accounts is a full time job, but I guarantee that these time saving, image enhancing apps will make it much easier to manage.


UNUM is perfect for the Instagram obsessed organiser. A planning app which lets you dummy post to your Instagram feed, it allows you to rearrange and play around with image placement. This gives you the ability to find the most aesthetically pleasing arrangement before committing anything to your feed. I love using it to see how new images will look alongside existing content. I also use it to make sure that the image looks good on the feed itself: sometimes I take variations of the same content, uploading them allows me to see which looks best. This app consistently makes my feed look more put together.

Note: The images with the little Instagram logo in the bottom right hand corner are those which have already been uploaded onto my actual Instagram. The others are ones I’m playing around with.

5 Essential Apps

*This post previously featured Planaloy. However UNUM doesn’t have limited post uploads per month, so is much less restrictive and for that reason I prefer it. Since switching over I haven’t looked back.

2. Twitly

For many of us, growing Instagram has been an uphill struggle. I for one, find myself having to work much harder to stay relevant, get decent engagement and gain followers. With so many accounts playing the ‘follow to unfollow’ game to increase their numbers, its difficult to trust that new followers will stick around. As a rule I follow back any accounts that I genuinely like. I then check and manage unfollowers every few weeks using the Twitly app. It tattles on both Instagram and Twitter unfollowers so that you can keep an eye on fluctuating follower counts.

3. Lightroom

If you live in the UK and are anything like myself, you’ll agree that the winter months are hellish. There are many reasons I’m of this opinion, but the only relevant one is that its always dark. Great images are arguably THE most important part of online success, but the weather that accompanies the British Winter make light and bright photography next to impossible. That’s where Lightroom comes in. Lightroom is an editing app which not only allows you to control the brightness and highlights, but also the colour… a few small tweaks will completely transform your photo.

5 Essential Apps

Before                                  After

4. Canva

Canva is basically graphic design for dummies! It’s my go-to app for creating blog headers, twitter banners, and even my brand logo! Its so easy to use and has so many inspiring fonts and templates. It even looks after the technicalities for you, with templates that are the exact sizing needed for twitter posts, headers, blog graphics… the list goes on. Here’s one I made for my City Guide to Rome. I also love Unfold for Instagram stories.


5 Essential Apps

5. Buffer

Hands up those who struggle to keep on top of all of their social media platforms. Keeping your head above water in both the blogging and real world can be tough. My twitter used to really suffer when I was having a busy period, which was so frustrating because we all know what a great platform it is for promoting blog posts! The Buffer app is an absolute life-saver if you’re having this issue, because it remembers for you! All you have to do is set a schedule, queue some tweets, and the rest is taken care of.

I hope you love these apps as much as I do and that they free up some of your time and leave you less frazzled! Let me know if there are any apps that I’ve missed but that are essential to your blogging routine… I’d love to check them out and add them to my own.


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  1. January 18, 2018 / 7:01 pm

    I haven’t heard of some of these! I’m definitely going to check out Planoly! Thanks for the great post, it’s given me some good sources! x

  2. Ivefoundwaldo
    January 18, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    I live in the United States close to NYC, and the winter months also really suck here! I’m so glad you recommended lightroom, so I can brighten up my pictures! Thanks for the helpful post xxx


    • January 28, 2018 / 9:47 am

      I’m so glad you liked it and I hope you like the app too!x

  3. January 18, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    Those are some great apps! I’m going to Lightroom, it sounds very useful! ☺️?

  4. January 19, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    Loved this! I’m from the UK too so totally get what you mean about it being hellish taking photos ? is downloading Lightroom right now

  5. January 20, 2018 / 8:07 am

    Thank you so much for this blog, I am just starting out so it is extremely useful:)

  6. January 21, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    Some great apps here, thanks for sharing.

    Emma X


  7. January 22, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    I’m a big fan of canva and I totally agree about having some sort of scheduling app! I need to download lightroom desperately x


  8. January 22, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    This post is so helpful! I’m for sure going to download some of them tonight, particularly Planoly! Thanks lovely :)!

    • January 22, 2018 / 5:32 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it lovely, I hope you like them as much as I do!

  9. January 22, 2018 / 5:30 pm

    I absolutely adore Buffer, it’s brilliant! Now that I’m on the paid plan, I can schedule a day’s worth of tweets in minutes just by ‘rebuffering’ old ones, which is amazing when you’re in a rush! I’ve heard amazing things about Lightroom but still haven’t downloaded it, that will be this evening’s task!

    Abbey x

    • January 22, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      Oooh I haven’t got the paid version but that sounds like such a cool feature! I hope you like Lightroom!x

  10. January 22, 2018 / 5:44 pm

    Ooh I’m definitely downloading lightroom now! I’m obsessed with photo editing apps and making my images look as good as possible because I find that’s what draws me in most to a blog/social media account 🙂 Canva is my saviour too, what a brilliant tool!
    Alice Xx

    • January 22, 2018 / 5:55 pm

      I hope you love it as much as I do! Its saved some of my pictures!x

  11. January 22, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    I haven’t heard of quite a few of these! I swear by VSCO, snapseed and facetune for photo editing, and UNUM for planning!


  12. January 22, 2018 / 5:52 pm

    This list contains all the useful apps a blogger needs, and buffer has saved my life. I love it!

  13. January 22, 2018 / 5:54 pm

    Such an informative post! I need to start using more apps for my blog and I think I will definitely be looking at Canva and Buffer cause I think they be a great starting point for me!

    • January 22, 2018 / 5:58 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it and I hope you love the apps that you try as much as I have!

    • January 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

      Its so good for light editing if you’ve been forced to take a gloomy photo! I hope you like it if you try it x

  14. January 22, 2018 / 6:02 pm

    I haven’t used half of these apps! I definitely interested in these, thanks for sharing x

  15. January 22, 2018 / 6:27 pm

    I really need to lightroom bc it’s so dark in the uk right now my god!

    Carla x

  16. Hello Bexa
    January 22, 2018 / 6:44 pm

    So many great suggestions Sophie! ? Canva is one of my favourites! I’m going to check out Lightroom & Follow Free now. Thanks for the ideas! ? xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • January 22, 2018 / 8:58 pm

      Aw thank you! I hope you like the other too as much as I do!x

  17. Lisa's Notebook
    January 22, 2018 / 9:03 pm

    I loooove Canva, it’s so user friendly, and I like Buffer too, although I only use the free plan ATM. My current photo editing apps are a combination of Color Story and Snapseed. I’ve not heard of Lightroom but that looks like a godsend, I shall have to check it out, thank you for some great tips! X

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    • January 22, 2018 / 9:16 pm

      I only use the free versions of pretty much anything because I’m cheap haha! I hope you love Lightroom!x

  18. January 22, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    Lightroom sounds amazing, I definitely have the problem with my pics being too dark, especially with how dull the weather in the UK has been recently. Great post, this is really helpful! xx

  19. January 22, 2018 / 11:30 pm

    Great apps. I will definitely check out Buffer and Follow Free – the trick of following to unfollow is tiring

  20. January 23, 2018 / 12:25 pm

    I’m downloading Light Room immediately! I use VCSO at the moment and I like it but I’d like to experiment with other editing apps xxx

    • January 23, 2018 / 9:45 pm

      I used to use VCSO but Lightroom has become my new go to so I hope you love it too!x

  21. January 28, 2018 / 9:00 am

    Just downloaded some of these!! I’m very very new to blogging so your post has really come in helpful! Great post x

    • January 28, 2018 / 9:27 am

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! I hope you like the ones you’ve downloaded as much as I do!x

  22. January 28, 2018 / 9:06 am

    This was very useful blog post. Thanks for sharing it <33


  23. Mal
    January 28, 2018 / 9:19 am

    Thank you for sharing these apps!
    Will definitely use Lightroom & Planoly!

    • January 28, 2018 / 9:36 am

      No problem, I hope you find them as useful as I have!

  24. Soffy
    January 28, 2018 / 9:22 am

    I’m a new blogger so this was definitely very useful for me! Thanks for sharing x

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

  25. Creative Nails
    January 28, 2018 / 10:49 am

    I hadn’t heard of some of these apps – will definitely be checking them out! I hate the whole follow/unfollow thing – I don’t understand why people go through the effort of it when people can find out you’ve unfollowed?! It’s such a waste of time!


    • January 28, 2018 / 11:10 am

      I hope you like them! Me too, its such a waste of everyones time! x

  26. January 28, 2018 / 11:13 am

    You shared some really important things. I have been blogging for the past 8-9 months and I never use any apps. I do everything manually and always wait for the time of the day to take pictures when the brightness is perfect. It has become my full time job. I still need to learn a lot. thanks for sharing these great tips. 🙂

  27. January 28, 2018 / 3:49 pm

    Just downloaded Lightroom yesterday and I love it already!

  28. January 29, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    I hadn’t heard of panoly and lightroom before this, i’m about to go and download them, thank you x

    • January 29, 2018 / 8:40 pm

      They’re absolute life savers, I hope you like them as much as I do!x

  29. January 29, 2018 / 8:36 pm

    Lightroom and Canva are my go-to photo editing apps! I love using them both! I haven’t heard of Planoly but it sounds like a very useful app! This is a great list! Thanks for sharing!

    • January 29, 2018 / 8:41 pm

      They’re so good aren’t they! So glad you liked it lovely x

  30. January 29, 2018 / 8:44 pm

    I don’t know what I’d do without Canva and Buffer! They make blogging so much easier!x


    • January 29, 2018 / 8:45 pm

      I’m the same, they save me soo much time and effort!x

  31. January 29, 2018 / 8:58 pm

    Thanks for this post it so helpful – I’m going to check out the lightning room one. I LOVE canava, it’s so helpful. Going to check your other posts and tips now:)

    • January 29, 2018 / 9:11 pm

      I’m so glad you found it helpful and I hope you like Lightroom as much as I do! x

    • January 29, 2018 / 9:15 pm

      Thanks lovely, they’re such good apps aren’t they!

  32. February 14, 2018 / 5:59 am

    Can I substitute the Lightroom with my VSCO presets? I love using VSCO with all of my filters from social media up to my blog.


  33. April 30, 2018 / 2:25 pm

    I am a brand new blogger and this was so helpful! Thank you so much loved this post. X

  34. June 27, 2018 / 6:20 pm

    Thank you for this post!! Ive been looking for apps just like these and especially for the new blogger that I am!

    • June 27, 2018 / 9:40 pm

      You’re welcome, I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  35. September 30, 2018 / 10:19 am

    I’ve seen so many bloggers rave about Planoly, so I might actually have to have a go – anything that makes Instagram easier. It’s just so difficult to keep on top of!
    I’m about to check out Twitly too, I’ve been looking for something that keeps track of Insta unfollowers, not just Twitter.
    Thanks for sharing!!

    Naomi xo

    • October 1, 2018 / 10:11 am

      I loved it but am now using UNUM which doesn’t limit you quite as much! I hope you find them helpful x

  36. December 12, 2018 / 12:41 pm

    Need to invest some time in Lightroom as I currently suuuuck at using it, haha! But just downloaded Planoly which will definitely help with my struggling Instagram game! And Twitly to combat this stupid follow/unfollow game! Super helpful post, thank you!

    • December 12, 2018 / 7:01 pm

      I find it absolutely essential- especially at this time of year when theres not a lot of light! I’m so glad you found this helpful! x

  37. December 30, 2018 / 8:46 pm

    I use Canva and Buffer but how have I not heard of Planoly?! I need to get on this, I’ve never really had a ‘theme’ to my Instagram but hopefully this will help!


    • December 30, 2018 / 10:28 pm

      Instagram planning apps have completely changed the game for me and really helped to improve my content this year- I really should update this post, but I prefer to use UNUM now instead of Planoly as it allows you more uploads per month! I hope you find them helpful regardless x

  38. January 15, 2019 / 8:44 am

    Oooo I’d never heard of Twitly before! Downloading as I’m writing this comment to have a looksie… thank you for writing this it’s been SUPER helpful!!

    • January 15, 2019 / 8:55 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful! x