7 Effective Tools You Need as a Blogger
To get blogging right, you need the help of tools that will save you time, money, and energy. Let’s dive into some simple but effective tools that will get you covered as a blogger.
1. Google Trends for Brainstorming Content Ideas
In order to run a successful blog, you need good content ideas. That will be the foundation of your blog. Topics have to be in demand and relevant to your business.
Google Trends is a tool you can use to explore topics and get data about search queries from Google Search. You’ll be able to learn about the main trends in your industry, and get specific keyword ideas to target in your articles.
You’ll also get information about whether a topic is on a rising or falling trend.
Finally, you’ll know if a topic is seasonal, so you can plan your blog’s content calendar accordingly.
2. Grammarly For Writing
Your blog needs to look and be professional. To do that, aside from good web design and visual elements, your articles shouldn’t have any grammar or spelling mistakes.
Grammarly will help you with that. It’s an AI-powered tool you can use to identify mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and more. You’ll also get ideas for improvement in real-time.
The free plan gives you all the features you need as a blogger. But if you want more advanced features for writing great copy, consider going with the premium plan for $12.00/month.
Make sure you also install the Grammarly browser extension, which you can integrate with tools like Google Docs and Gmail.
3. Yoast SEO For Search Engine Optimization
If you want your blog posts to rank high in search engine results, you need to work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plug-in that allows you to improve readability standards and ensure your technical SEO is on spot. After you install this free plugin, it will appear on your blog pages and will analyze their content. Then, you will get a score, issues, and areas for improvement.
Here are the most important features you can take advantage of when it comes to SEO and user-friendliness:
- Focus Keyphrase: For any of your blog posts, you can set the keyword you want to rank for and the plugin will analyze the page’s content and provide feedback to increase the chances of ranking for that keyword.
- Google Preview: This feature shows you a preview of how your website will show up in search results. Click on “Edit Snippet” and you’ll be able to change the SEO Title and Meta Description of any article.
- Readability: Yoast SEO also finds issues and suggestions to improve your web pages for users, not just search engines. For example, the plugin warns you if you use to ]o many sentences starting with the same word or if you‘re using passive voice.
- Social Media: Yoast SEO allows you to customize the preview for social media, including a title, description and upload an image that will be displayed on social media.
Aside from keyword research and link building, you also need to work on the technical aspects of SEO.
Yoast SEO offers a lot of technical help too. For example, it will check if your website has canonical URLs so you never end up with duplicate content. It will also check that you have proper Schema.org structured data implementation, and noindex and nofollow options for every web page.
Finally, it helps you identify OpenGraph tags for every page or article on your blog.
Yoast SEO comes with all the basic features free of charge. However, you might require more advanced features (e.g. internal linking suggestions, content insights, and automated publishing). In that case, consider getting Yoast SEO Premium for $89.
4. Canva to Create Visual Assets
There are many free online tools you can use to create stunning visual content for your blog. Among these, Canva is our top pick for you.
This free tool offers a graphic design platform with ready-to-use templates to create social media posts, infographics, newsletters, presentations, and posters, just to mention a few.
You can use Canva for free. However, this tool also features paid plans (Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise). Consider these if you need unlimited access to advanced tools and illustrations, or if you might benefit from professional design features.
5. Mailchimp to Promote Your Blog Posts
In our article about the best digital marketing tools, we suggested Missinglettr to promote your articles. That’s still an amazing resource to repurpose your existing content and turn your articles into social media campaigns.
But if you’re planning to promote your content primarily through email marketing, consider using Mailchimp.
This is one of the best options if you have tight resources or if you’re considering different options and want to test one out before committing to it. That’s because this tool comes with a free plan where you can add up to 2,000 contacts and send up to 10,000 emails a month.
6. Dropbox to Store Your Files
Using a storage tool is necessary if you want to keep all of the content on your blog safely stored and easy to access at all times.
Dropbox is one of the best free file storage tools to save and access your content. Dropbox’s free plan comes with 2GB of storage, but you can get 2 TB (2,000 GB) for $9.99/month, or you can go with an unlimited plan if needed. If you have many files you don’t want to lose, Dropbox is the way to go.
7. Google Analytics to Track Performance
Google Analytics is hands-down the best free web analytics tool. You can use it to track and report website traffic. It shows you how your blog is performing and how users are interacting with your blog. It will also help you better identify and target your audience.
Use it to find out which channel brings the most traffic to your blog, and which articles are performing the best.
To find out how to make the most out of these blogging tools, follow the infographic below.