I am back with another big guide on the best tools for blogging where you will get to create awesome blog posts without having to sweat it out.
As a blogger, you must use the tools and time-saving techniques to take your blog and blogging journey to another level.
Without the help of blogging tools, it will be very difficult for you to gain considerable success in blogging. That is why these best tools for bloggers will be very helpful for you.
Invest in resources that will help you move in the right direction.
This is going to be a long post with lots of information on the uses of each tool and how it can take your blog to success.
Let me tell you that in the beginning, you may find it a bit difficult and time-consuming to learn the correct use of tools. As time progresses and you get more hands-on with them, you will find the daily tasks getting much easier.
Let’s get down to seeing these best tools for blogging.
The blogging tools mentioned below are for beginners as well as for the advanced users. But I shall start with the very basic steps of choosing a blogging platform and setting up the blog, for our beginner readers.
Choosing a blogging platform – wordpress.org
There are many blogging platforms but by far the best one is wordpress.org. If you are serious about blogging then this is the platform that you should use.
WordPress powers more than 28% of the web and this number is rising every day. It has many advantages over the other platforms.
It is very easy to use and adding posts, pages and images can be done quickly.
Its code is simple and search engines can index the content faster.
Choosing a domain name
Choose a domain name that is easy to remember and type. If you choose a niche keyword phrase domain name then it will be good from an SEO perspective but don’t fret if the domain name you finalise does not have the niche keyword.
However, make sure that you don’t pick an exact match domain name.
For further reading on choosing a domain name, refer to this guide from Moz.
Registering the domain and taking a Hosting Plan
The next step is to register your chosen domain with a domain registrar and take a hosting plan. It is a good practice to keep the domain registrar and the hosting company separate. This will ensure that you don’t face any problems if you plan to switch to another hosting company.
Hosting Plan: This is very important as you do not want too much downtime for your blog. A good hosting company ensures that your site is up and running most of the time, ideally 99.9% of the time.
You can check the uptime of your website with this tool.
Setting up the blog with a good Theme
There are many themes that give a new look to your WordPress blog. They are both free and paid. The paid ones are definitely more advantages. You can go with either the free or the paid themes.
Themes help you to change the design of a website quickly and plugins help you to extend the functionality of your website.
This blog uses Schema by MyThemeShop. Most of the pro bloggers use Genesis by Studiopress. It is a bit expensive but is also very useful for the growth of your blog. There are many customisable options that take the blogging experience a notch higher. The results also show for themselves.
The Best Tools for Blogging to make your life easier
Once the technical part of setting up the blog gets over, the actual task of writing content, promoting it and monetizing the blog comes into the picture.
(A) Writing Tools for Bloggers
Many of us have experienced something called ‘writer’s block.’ There are some innovative ways of overcoming it. You have to get into the practice of writing. The more you write, the better you will get at it. Fortunately, we have some good writing tools for bloggers.
There are writing tools for Mac, PC, mobile and online. Once you start using them, these best tools for blogging will significantly help you in becoming a better blogger.
They not only help you write faster and better, but also improve the readability of your blog. This gets you more readers.
This is a free online tool and helps you to write distraction-free. It also checks your text for readability and highlights parts of your text that are complicated to read or are dense. These suggested improvements to your writing help in making it easy to understand even to a layman and make it shine.
(B) Finding keywords for SEO optimized articles
When your blog is set up, you want to start writing articles. Always research keywords and then write articles based on those keywords. Keywords are those specific search terms that people type into search engines to find information.
So, you should conduct a keyword search to find the search volume and competition level.
This will help your article get found in search engines and increase your organic reach. Doing a keyword research will tremendously increase the chances of your blog’s success.
This is a free tool by Google and gives the search volume for a particular keyword when you enter the seed keyword. By telling the volume and secondary keywords of the main keyword. it also helps in generating new ideas for blog posts. The search volume is also an indicator of how probable is your article of being found in organic searches.
Another useful keyword research tool, it presents the most common searches related to a search term in a graphical presentation. This makes it easier to find related keywords.
Another good tool, it gives keyword suggestions that many of your competitors will not find and rank for.
I found this tool very useful as it gives the keyword difficulty too. This can be a very powerful tool in the hands of the bloggers. The free plan allows you a limited number of searches and if you upgrade to the paid plan, you get more searches and suggestions.
This is by far the best keyword research tool that is out there and combines the power of many search tools. You get a limited number of searches with the free plan.
(C) On-page SEO
Writing SEO optimized articles is very important, especially for the beginners. This greatly increases your chances of coming up in search results.
Many factors impact the SEO of your website, namely the on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Yoast SEO Plugin
A very handy plugin that helps you in on-page SEO is the Yoast SEO Plugin. Simply install it on your WordPress site and when you write a blog post, this plugin will give you the checklist of the items you need to work upon to make it SEO friendly. Yoast gives you a nice green dot when you are ready to publish your blog post. It takes care of your meta titles, descriptions and also creates a sitemap.
(D) Blog Topic Ideas
When you have decided your niche, make sure to write on topics only related to that niche. But how do you get good ideas for topics?
One way is through keyword research to see the searches of that keyword. But before that, you have to arrive at the keyword that you will research.
These blog topic ideas generator tools will be very helpful for this task.
This is a question and answer site for real people. Once you are on Quora, you will see the real problems and questions being searched by people online and people like you and me give answers to these questions. It is a goldmine of information and ideas.
Search for questions by typing a keyword from your niche and go through what questions people are asking and discussing. You will get a ton of ideas.
If you want to see viral content for any keyword or topic, then this tool is just right. It lists down the most shared articles from different social media. You will get great insights on what’s being shared and talked about. You can replicate the learnings from the top posts on your own after adding your own personal touch and perspectives.
(E) Content discovery tools and blog reading
As a blogger, you should read extensively on topics in your niche. But, we know that time is scarce and there is not enough time to go to our favourite blogs and search for fresh articles. Of course, a way around this is to subscribe to the blog posts via email and be notified of fresh content.
But this is not the best way as emails tend to get lost among thousands of others in the inbox. The content discovery and blog reading tools are very handy here.
Register on Feedly and add your favourite blogs there. Whenever fresh content is posted, you get to see it in the content feed. It also gives you the option to add as a favourite and come back to it in your free time.
This is another very useful tool. Install the Pocket chrome app and when you find an article interesting, you can save it to your Pocket and put tags for easy search later on.
Suggested Read: How to Be a Successful Blogger So It Changes your Life Forever
(F) Headlines generator tools for writing irresistible headlines
Good headlines compel you to click on an article to read. So, devote a lot of time to come up with innovative headlines. Some good tools that will help you to come up with irresistible headlines are:
Simply enter the keywords into the Portent tool and see the tool at work. You get a brand new headline but if you’re not satisfied with it, then you can always tweak it or refresh it for a fresh headline each time.
Somewhat similar to the Portent tool, in this, you can enter up to three keywords and it gives you five headline ideas at a time. This tool proves that there’s no such thing as running out of blog ideas.
(G) Analyse Headlines
Writing good and engaging headlines for your blog posts means half the battle won. Headlines are so important that the decision to click on the article is taken there itself.
Fortunately, we have a very useful tool that shows the quality strength of the blog title.
There is a wonderful tool to help you analyse the clickability of the headlines. You can use this tool to maximise the clicks of your titles.
To use the tool, simply put the blog title into the analyser and see the results for yourself. You can then tweak the title to make it more clickable.
(H) Finding and editing images
Reading a long piece of text can become very monotonous. It tends to turn readers away. Images add an interesting element to a long piece of text and make it digestible. Ideally, after every 300 to 400 words, there should be an image. Adding visuals to your blog posts like a graph, a picture, gif or an infographic image helps in holding the reader’s attention for long.
Some tools that help you to create images or get images are:
Getting beautiful stock photos for the online stock image curators can be complicated and you have to take membership of the site. Death to the Stock Photo is one of the new sites that offer high-quality stock images delivered to your inbox every month. Do check it out.
It is a very useful tool for bloggers because it is a wonderful screen capture and markup app. You can visually highlight an image that you have captured to explain your point. It allows you to clip a part of the screen and highlight it with the use of arrows, text shapes and stamps.
It allows you to do basic cropping and supports PNG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF, BMP, and PDF formats. You can easily save the images to Evernote. It is a free tool and a must-have in any blogger or content marketer’s arsenal.
This tool is very easy to use and you don’t have to know a word of designing to design amazing featured images, infographics and other visuals for your blog posts or social media accounts.
Canva has templates for almost all your graphics requirements. As far as images are concerned, it is one of the best tools for blogging.
(I) Grammar and spelling check tool
How would you feel if your awesome idea of the blog post, compelling headlines, proper keyword research and lots of time to create the blog post does not click with the readers? What can go wrong, you wonder. Perhaps it has got to do with your writing, grammar and spellings that puts readers off.
There is a very good tool to check all of this. It is called Grammarly.
Install the Grammarly extension to your browser and say goodbye to the grammar and spelling errors. It is an online grammar checker that performs checks for spellings, grammar, punctuations and a few other important things related to writing.
As you type, it will scan your writing for any errors and give suggestions. I have been using it since a few years now and have found it to be extremely helpful.
(J) Landing Pages, Lead Magnets and Subscription Boxes to collect email addresses
Among all the marketing tools, email marketing has the highest ROI. Your email list is invaluable. You can establish a direct relationship with your email subscribers. Even if you are just starting out as a blogger, start building your email list. You will be in a strong position later.
Your task of collecting email addresses of your incoming traffic will become easier by creating lead magnets and subscription boxes. There are excellent tools to help you with this.
This is one of the most trustworthy landing page builders available today. Creating good-looking landing pages that convert well, either for sign-ups, affiliate offers or any other goals is now very easy.
It’s drag and drop feature makes it very convenient even for a newbie blogger to create pages.
Sumo is a WordPress plugin, that has many free tools within in it to increase the traffic to your site, capture emails and build your list etc. You’ll receive a pop-up, scroll box, scroll bar, smart bar, and list builder. It’s paid version is even more powerful.
This is another alternative to LeadPages and has a very comprehensive drag and drop page builder.
(K) Email Marketing Tools
Email Marketing list is so important. You can market to your list and build engagement.
Never underestimate the power of email marketing. Who said email marketing is dead? Your blog monetisation strategy can be made a reality with email marketing. So, in addition to social media, use email marketing to spread the word about your articles.
Emails give you the flexibility to reach out to your email contacts directly and that is immense power at your disposal.
Some of the best email marketing tools for bloggers are:
Start sending emails and building a personal online association with your subscribers. When your email collection and email management tools are set up, get into the habit of attracting and retaining quality customers.
(L) Organisation of blog ideas and small to-do tasks
Inspiration strikes anywhere and the brilliant idea for the next blog post should be captured before it vanishes into thin air. We have tools for such tasks too!
A tool for all your ideas. Capture ideas or create complete blog posts on Evernote The Evernote web clipper lets you clip from any part of your screen.
Again, a great organisation tool and a very useful one for people who work in teams. It can be used as an excellent blogging tool also and you can create an editorial calendar. The tasks are arranged into cards and you can have many cards on your dashboard.
A simple list for maintaining your to-do tasks and ideas. When you capture your ideas, break them down into manageable tasks. It gives you reminders for incomplete tasks so that you never miss anything in your to-do list. Install the Chrome extension.
This app records your time spent by monitoring your web activity and gives you a consolidated report of your time usage. Useful if you have to keep a tab on your time spent.
Keeping a check on unproductive sites gets easier because you know what you do online.
Over to You
So what’s your list of best tools for blogging? There are more tools and some of them do almost the same functions but it is the ease of use of one tool over the other that makes the difference. Start using them today and see the difference in your posts.
If you liked the compilation of tools, then please share in on your favourite social channels. I would love to hear your inputs and suggestions to this list, in the comments below.