Blog: 12 great tools to succeed
Be a better and more effective blogger
Blogs are more than just writing content. Whether you already have a business blog or are just getting started, helpful blogging tools make the process more efficient and posts more successful.
Pick a platform
Before writing a single word, you need a place to put whatever you create. A blogging platform provides a framework and formats text and images. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very important for blogs; having a SEO-friendly blogging platform is essential for getting your posts found.
WordPress is almost always at the top of every list. (Note that there’s WordPress.org and WordPress.com; both are good for different reasons. Here, we examine why WordPress.org is a great blogging tool.) More than 30 percent of all websites on the Internet use WordPress.org, including major brands such as Spotify, TechCrunch, CNN, TED and many more.
It’s a very SEO-friendly platform that’s easy to set up, easy to use and does not require any coding skills. Control your look with a number of different themes and fonts to fit your style. It is also flexible enough to allow for adding features and plugins (there are more than 45,000 free plugins available) as you expand and grow your audience.
Tackle a topic
Some brands post daily blogs and others have weekly or monthly posts. How often you post will vary based on your objectives. Research shows, however, that blogging consistently increases website traffic. Creating an editorial calendar keeps you organized, but you must fill it with topics. Not sure what to write? That’s ok; more than 50 percent of marketers say content creation is one of the biggest challenges. That’s where these three tools help:
- Google Keyword Planner: Enter a keyword and get a list of terms people actually use to find what they are seeking on the search engine. This is free to use and “local monthly searches” results are especially helpful for coming up with topics to target readers in specific regions. Pro tip: put in a competitor’s URL to see their keyword results.
- BuzzSumo: Have a content idea but not sure how great it may be? Here, you get a list of blog posts with the maximum amount of shares over a given period, providing information on relevance for your target audience.
- Alltop: This is a collection of the best blogs. Browse through to see what topics are popular for a variety of industries. These can spur ideas for your blogs.
Just as you learned in school, spelling counts! Don’t risk losing readers with incorrect verbiage. Grammarly is a free tool that corrects you as you go. Additionally, the Hemingway App helps keep content crisp and clear by highlighting errors.
The right title is vital. Research shows 8 out of 10 people read a headline before clicking a blog post, but only 20 percent of those people actually read the post. Having a great headline not only grabs attention, but also is important for SEO and organic traffic.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer and Linkbait Title Generator tools can help with title creation. And because tapping the right feelings plays so heavily into marketing efforts, the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer lets you know if you’re reaching customers the way you intend.
- All the Free Stock: There are other websites with free photos, but this is a one-stop-shop that searches several stock photo sites at once, doing away with having to run around the Internet to find something. Plus, find free videos, fonts, icons and sound effects, too.
- Canva: This is a popular tool for bloggers because it is simple to use with an intuitive drag and drop interface. You don’t have to be tremendously skilled or hire a designer to create great visuals and social graphics that add a professional look to your blog. Free to use, it also offers an upgraded paid version.
- Snappa: Features include a built-in stock photo library, numerous colors and fonts, layout guides and layer functionality in an easy-to-use editor. If you need to create graphics for social media posts as well as your blog, the auto-resizing is a great time-saving feature. This tool is also available for free or an upgraded paid pro version.
Get some personal assistance
There are times when even if you have all the right tools you need some help using or understanding them. At T.E. Digital, we know blogging is incredibly important to an overall content marketing strategy. Our team has experience with a number of different of tools. If you need some help along the way, just give us a call and we can assist with any part of the process so you can reap the benefits a business blog can bring.