Running a blog is not as easy of a task as people may think. Blogging is really an art that requires the right attitude. To write a good article, you should first do some research, then put all your thoughts together, prepare images and videos. And it doesn’t end here. The most important part is bringing your content to the hands of your audience, getting people to read and share your post.
Looks quite difficult, doesn’t it? However, if you are ready to do this job and try your powers in content writing, here is the list of best blogging tools that will help you during each stage of the writing process – starting from topic choice and ending up with social media promo.
Just keep in mind one thing: tools don’t make the blogger! It’s all about your passion, creativity, and desire. Welcome to the blogging world!
Whatever topic you write about, you might need to add a video to your post. In most cases, visual content helps readers better understand what you are talking about, then turning readers into subscribers. Freemake Video Converter lets you prepare and add videos onto your blog. Cut, rotate, join videos into one file and convert it “to HTML5”. The software will convert your video in three formats (OGG, MP4, and WebM) and provide a ready code which you can copy and paste into your blog post.
Pics are a must-have for a good blog article. However, you don’t want to spend money on images for your blog, go to PhotoPin for free images. The site provides millions of pictures for blog posts. Just choose those that suit your topic more.
In case you don’t find anything to your liking on PhotoPin, here is another great source for free pictures. It’s a subscription-based site. Leave your email and get hi-res lifestyle photos every month. For those who want to get an access to all site photos, there is a Premium subscription available.
Imgflip is a free meme generator full of ready meme backgrounds. You only need to choose the one you like and type your text. If you have a fun category or fun posts in your blog, it’s be best to remember to add some meme pictures. They are extremely popular now and will attract readers, especially if you publish such a pic as a preview for your blog in social networks.
When you’re describing a software or teaching how to use a particular web service, you can’t work without screenshots to make your post more clear and professional. Awesome Screenshot is a nice tool for capturing web pages. It lets you add captions, comments, or annotations to your screenshot, blur private information, and save the result in one click. The extension can be added to Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Snagit is a powerful image editing tool for Windows and Mac OS users. With its help you can take beautiful screenshots for your articles. You can shoot either the entire screen or a part of it. Snagit has a great built-in photo editor which lets you make all the necessary editing. It’s a paid tool, but it’s worth paying for.
Pixlr Online Photo editor is a good alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It doesn’t require any installation, yet it has plenty of options. You can create an image from scratch or edit a previously made picture. Pixlr allows you to work with masks, layers, filters, brushes, and gradients like a fully-functional desktop software. Whenever you can’t find a good pic for your blog, use Pixlr to create one.
Make your blog more interesting and attractive by using GIF’s. They are extremely popular on Tumblr and will help you promote your blog on this platform. Use MakeaGif to easily create a simple GIF picture out of your photos. All you need to do is to add photos, arrange them in the right order, and press “Create a GIF” button.”
As it’s clear from its title, Vid to GIF lets you create GIF images from YouTube videos. What you should do is to copy and paste the YouTube video URL, point to where the start and the end of you future GIF are, and click to create it.
Camtasia is a well-known software for recording and editing screen videos. Available for Windows and Mac OS, it’ll be the perfect tool for those who observe software and need to show how a particular program works. It’s always better to show, than to explain.
Audacity is a must-have if you work with audio. It lets you record screen audio, edit audio files, add effects, and convert tracks to a number of digital formats. This tool is great for podcasters. Alternatively, you can add voice comments to your videos.
Social Sharing and Promo Tools
GetResponse is a powerful email marketing tool. It’ll provide you with a subscription form for your blog and take care about your readers’ emails. GetResponse has over 500 ready templates that you can use to send beautiful emails with new posts to your subscribers. A perfectly written email will bring people back to your blog. Read GetResponse blog for great articles about email and online marketing.
You have probably already heard about Buffer, a free service that lets you share your content via social networks. Add Twitter, Facebook, and/or G+ account and schedule your posts for publishing. If 10 posts are not enough, go for business account for $102/yr. Remember that social media are a must have promo tool!
Hootsuite is one of the best dashboard tools for managing your social account. It supports all major social platforms and allows you to post blog posts automatically, right from your RSS feed.
Tumblr is a popular microblogging platform. If you have fun content, it’ll be a perfect place to leave a preview for your article with a link and a funny pic. Just don’t forget to use hashtags to let people find your post.
Postach.io is a free tiny blogging platform by Evernote. It’s easy to use and just like Tumblr it can serve as an additional promo source for your posts.
Digg Digg is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to add floating social buttons to your blog. Help people share your content with friends with ease!
Da Button Factory is a nice free web service to create call-to-action buttons for your blog. Use it to increase your posts’ CTR.
Quora is one of the most popular Q&A sites where you can promote your posts. Just search for the related questions and leave a link to your article. Alternatively, you may check the most asked questions and write a blog article on the corresponding topics. Pay attention to the question title. You can get useful keywords from it.
Followerwonk can help you find Twitter influencers that can check and share your blog content with their readers. It can also help you analyze your Twitter account and get detailed info about your followers. By contacting the right people, you might get important comments from them and improve your posts.
WiseStamp is a simple web service that lets you add a beautiful signature to your email. You can use it to add your blog and social account links with buttons to every email you send to your readers. It will help you collect more followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other account and thus bring your post to more people.
Keyword Research Search Tools
A good article will get zero readers if it’s not presented in Google Search. To make Google find and rank your article, you should get a right set of words (called keywords) and add them to your title and page description.
Check if the keywords you are planning to use are popular ones. Google Trends will show you the volume for each keyword or phrase. Thus, you can make a decision whether your potential article is worth spending time on.
Google Keyword Planner will also help you check whether a keyword is highly requested and offer related keywords that can bring you a new idea. You can also enter a series of keywords and get results for each of them at the same time.
BuzzSumo lets you search for popular topics on social networks by entering a corresponding keyword. Explore what people and bloggers from your niche write about a particular topic and think how you can observe it in a better way.
Content And Optimization Tools
No doubt, you have heard about this software. Evernote is great for making notes and writing drafts. Install Evernote on all your devices and enable the sync option to have your text always on hand. Then just copy a ready text and paste it into your blog.
Google Docs is one more web service where you can write and keep your draft. It has all the main functions of Microsoft Word and lets you access you data from any place in the world.
If you are too lazy to type, use Dragon Dictation App for iPhone to simply speak your text. The app will give you a ready transcript of your voice text, that you can paste directly into your blog. In case you have a complete idea of your post in your head, Dragon Dictation will help you finish the post faster. Learn more tips for faster writing here.
No doubt, the headline is the most important part of your post. Based on your headline, people will make a decision whether to open your article or leave it behind. Paste your title in the Headline Analyzer and get a score for it. Headline Analyzer doesn’t provide ready variants for your title, but based on the date it gives, you can easily improve your headline. If you can’t get a high score in this service, don’t be sad! Here are five tools and tips that will help you create a brilliant headline.
Before posting your article, copy and paste it into Hemingway App. It’s one of the greatest blogging tools ever. The free web service will check your post readability and make suggestions for improving it. It will make your article easier to understand and more comfortable to read.
Grammarly is definitely a must-use. Check your spelling, punctuation, style, and more. The site shows your mistakes for free, but to see the suggestions you need to buy one of the paid plans. However, even with the free plan you can see what to correct.
SEO and Analytics Tools
Without doubt, you must know Google Analytics. What it does is give you detailed information about your blog: number of views and visitors, bounce rate, time rate, customers’ flow, keywords, and many, many other features. If you plan to work hard on your blog, Google Analytics is the 1st thing to get.
One more great product from Google. It will help you check sites that have links to your blog, and find and delete duplicate content that you might have on your site. Google Webmaster Tools will also let you check your site ranking in Google and identify issues with your site.
Semrush is a powerful tool used to analyze you competitors and your blog performance. Paste a keyword or a URL into the search box and learn what keywords your competitors use, what place they get in Google, and other useful information. There is a free limited access that you may get once in 24 hours.
Ahrefs is another tool for keyword and competitor analysis, and to check who links your competitor’s sites in order to find new potential partners. You can also get information about your social media performance.
Serpstats like SEMrush and Ahrefs let you get information about keyword volume, find your competitors and their ranking or traffic.
ScreamingFrog lets you see a complete list of sites that posted links to your blog, it also checks what kind of links they provide. If you think there is a bad link that may negatively affect your site, use Google Webmaster Tools to get rid of it.
The Jetpack plugin provides you with traffic stats right from your WordPress dashboard. It’s not as great as Google Analytics, but it can give you a brief summary of what’s going on in case you don’t have time for a full report.
All in One SEO Pack is one more must-have for your blog. It lets you use your own meta title and description for every post and customize post URL. Thus if you choose correct keywords and create a right title, your post has all chances to rate higher in Google. All in One SEO Pack is highly compatible with other plugins, so you can extend its functionality.
Trello is a nice web service to organize your work. Create columns like “Plan”, “In Progress”, “Ready”, or any other that comes to your mind. After that add cards with your plans into the 1st column and move them from one column to another depending on the status of your work. It will let you see how much time you spent on a task, helping you to plan how you can make it faster the next time.
Make a schedule for your publications and add it to Google Calendar. Turn on notifications and sync your calendar among all your devices to not forget a single event.
Toggl is perfect for tracking time. Add your task to Toggl, press the Start/Stop button, and start working. When your task is done, get back to see full stats of how you spent your time. It’ll help you organize your day more effectively and complete more tasks.
In case you want to monetize your blog, use Google AdSense tool to place corresponding banner ads to your blog. Google AdSense is simple to use, and you’ll always get paid on time.
ClickBank is a popular affiliate network for bloggers. It offers a great number of products, so surely you’ll find something to promote in your posts. Isn’t it great to do what you like and get paid for that?
Prepare images, photos, video, and audio materials for your new post and add it to Dropbox to access them whenever you need.
If you don’t like Dropbox for some reason, you can always use Google Drive for the same purpose. Moreover, all the documents you create with Google Docs will be automatically added to your Google Drive.
Of course you might be using it already, but WordPress should be in this list. It’s a great place to store your blog with a great number of beautiful themes and all kinds of plugins. Better choose a mobile friendly theme to let all readers feel comfortably while reading your posts.
If you want to create your own blog from the scratch and don’t want to use ready platforms like WordPress, go for Bluehost. It’ll host your blog for a reasonable price without any limits.
PollDaddy is necessary when you want to collect your readers’ opinions or feedback. The tool lets you easily create surveys and polls. PollDaddy is highly customizable and very easy to use. Ask people what they think about your articles. It might help you to get new ideas or improve your writings.
GTMetrix helps you check your site’s speed and provides useful recommendations on how to make it faster. Use it at least once per month to see if everything is ok with your blog. Otherwise you may lose potential readers if your site is too slow.
It’s not really a blogging tool, but it can be of much help. HeadSpace is a simple cute meditation tool. Whenever you are stuck writing a post or analyzing your blog, just take a 10-minute break and relax.
Hope this list will be helpful to you. However, we can always make it better. Let’s create a bigger one! Share what tools and services you use for your blogging activity in comments.
Author’s bio: Terry Smith is a freelance blogger, former teacher and web developer. He enjoys modern technology and sharing his thoughts and ideas with other people. You can follow him on Twitter.
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