50 Tools We Recommend for Every Blogger
Blogging is big business and it is not so easy. There is a common misconception that bloggers just write. But if blogging has been your job or hobby, you will agree with me that writing is just one of the many responsibilities you have to accomplish as a blogger.
Beyond writing creative text, bloggers must develop attention-grabbing topics, create eye-popping visuals, and promote their posts on social media. And there’s the business of blogging that includes tracking time, signing contracts, and collecting payments. All of these must properly organised to accomplish sustainable results.
That is why it is important for bloggers to use tools to make their lives less hectic.
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In this post, we deal with a list of 15 tools every serious blogger needs to excel in their craft and business.
Sometimes it is difficult getting started with writing..You sit down at your computer and stare at it for 30 minutes. You’re experiencing a bad case of writer’s block. The creative juices aren’t flowing.
To break through this mental barrier, try using Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator. This tool will help you brainstorm blog ideas fast. Type in a few terms in the form. The generator produces a week’s worth of blog topics.
Most writers will agree that writing is only 20% of your job. The other 80% is editing. Writers continue to refine their writing to give readers their best work.
Grammarly makes you a better writer by spotting grammatical errors and offering synonym suggestions. It’s like having a virtual editor.
“With Grammarly, we have managed to eliminate almost every type of mistake that could potentially sneak their way through our editorial process. Grammarly has lead us to much higher customer satisfaction rates and fewer headaches for everyone involved in the content creation process,” says James Kosur, chief marketing officer at Presto Media.
Good writing isn’t just about good grammar. You also want your writing to be impactful and enjoyable to read. That’s where Hemingway App comes in.
Simply copy and paste your blog post into the free online tool, and it highlights areas for improvement. Using different color highlights, the tool provides suggestions for removing passive voice, choosing better adjectives or adverbs, and adjusting the reading level of your article.
- Cut Dead Weight From Writing
- Write With Power And Clarity
- Color-Coded Writing Problems, Mistakes, and Errors
- Hard To Understand Sentence
- Very Hard To Understand Sentence
- Complicated Words or Phrases
- Weakening Phrases
- Passive Voice
- Common Grammar Errors
- Readability Grade
- Formatting Features
- Publish Directly To Wordpress or Medium
- Publish For The Rest Of The Web
- Write and Edit Modes
- Import From and Export To Microsoft Word Or Other Editors
- Send Hemingway Highlights To Colleagues
- No Internet Connection Required
Headlines rank as one of the most significant parts within a blog post. If you can’t capture people’s attention in a few seconds, it’s likely that your post will never get read.
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer helps you solve that problem by scoring your titles. The analysis includes the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline. Moreover, you’ll learn whether your title needs an added boost of emotion.
Blogging is very competitive with the growing number of content pieces being published every single day. People want their voices heard. To scope out the competition, use BuzzSumo to explore what types of content get traction. Also, learn who is sharing content and how that content compares to your posts.
“With BuzzSumo you can type in a specific keyword and get a list of the most shared content related to that keyword. That way you can see what was involved and attempt to duplicate the results (or “10x” as they say),” writes Jordan Lore, a content marketer and PPC manager at Wishpond.
Research uncovers that content paired with a relevant image boosts people’s retention of the information by 65%. Therefore, it’s essential that your blog post contains jaw-dropping visuals.
With Canva, you can produce high-quality graphics for your post. Choose from millions of images and hundreds of fonts. It’s drag-and-drop feature makes designing easy for beginners. If you ever need inspiration, check out the brand’s interactive tutorials.
How will your target audience find your content? It all starts with boosting your organic search traffic.
Google’s Keyword Planner is effective for forming keyword ideas, viewing historical statistics, and generating traffic forecasts.
“Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start plugging in keywords that are relevant to your site to see what the competition for each of those keywords looks like. This will help you eliminate the ones you shouldn’t be optimizing for and select the ones that can work best to drive traffic to your site,” states Forbes contributor Jia Wertz.
Content promotion amplifies the reach of your work. So it makes sense to use social media because it helps spread your message to a diverse audience. However, managing multiple platforms is a time-consuming task.
That’s where Buffer comes to the rescue. This platform lets you schedule and publish your content across several social channels. With its powerful analytics, you’ll identify your best content and discover trending topics in your mentions. The free plan lets you schedule up to 10 posts per month for 3 social media profiles.
Email marketing plays an integral role in connecting directly to your audience. Your subscribers are already familiar with your content and want to read your emails. With customizable templates, Constant Contact gives you the flexibility to shape your message. And you can track your success in real-time.
“One of the key perks to using Constant Contact (vs. sending emails manually) is that you can track the successfulness of your emails. Constant Contact tells you how many people opened the message, clicked a link inside the message or forwarded the email to a friend,” says Jeremy Marsan, a business analyst and staff writer for Fit Small Business.
An online presence is critical for bloggers to build their brand and attract new readers or clients. A website makes it possible for you to show off your skills and portfolio.
From site building tools to templates, HostGator gives you everything to launch your website right now. The WordPress Hosting plan also empowers bloggers to manage website content more efficiently.
When you’re engulfed in your work, it’s easy to forget how much time has elapsed. Knowing the time it takes to complete specific tasks helps you manage your time efficiently. Toggl makes sure you never lose a minute of your billable time. To increase client satisfaction, you can send reporting straight to their inboxes. No Wifi? Not a problem. The tool offers offline support.
When tax season rolls around, scrambling for pertinent documents will only add to your frustrations. Every professional blogger needs accounting software to create, send, and track invoices.
Wave helps you stay organized and run a better business. Within the software, track income and expenses to understand your cash flow. You also can connect your bank accounts for transactions to appear in your bookkeeping.
It’s difficult to stay productive when you receive hundreds of emails per day. Without even noticing, a few crucial emails might slip through the cracks, causing more chaos. Sortd maximizes your productivity by turning your inbox into an organized workspace. Tori Reid, a contributor at Lifehacker, writes:
“With Sortd you can sort your emails into actionable lists. Just drag and drop an email from the left pane—your inbox—into one of the lists you’ve created on the right. You can use the lists for follow ups, receipts, or anything else you see a need for.”
Whether you’re signing brand partnership agreements or a new client contract, you don’t want the burden of paperwork. You need a digital solution.
DocuSign starts the signing process with quick access to your documents. Trust that your electronic signature is secure and legally binding. The platform uses the strongest data encryption technologies to protect your privacy.
We live in a mobile culture. You constantly bounce around between multiple locations. So it’s common to forget your laptop that contains all your work files somewhere.
Dropbox solves that problem by giving you access to your files from any device. Forgot your laptop? Just open them from your mobile phone. The tool also makes it convenient to collaborate on projects with your partners or teammates.
16. Quick Sprout
Enter a URL into Quick Sprout, and you get an analysis of the site’s performance and content. The “Social Media” tab shows you which posts from the site have been home runs, and you can take inspiration from the highlights on the list.
The trending topics section on your Twitter homepage can be a super spot for grabbing ideas from the latest news. You can tailor your trending topics to go uber-local (the big cities near and around you) or even receive fully tailored tweets that take into account your location and those you follow. (Click the “Change” link at the top of the Trends section on your Twitter homepage.)
18. Google Calendar
Calendar tools like Google Calendar can be repurposed as editorial calendars. If publishing one post per day, you can save your ideas as all-day events and move them around the calendar as needed. If you plan on scheduling multiple posts, add a calendar event to the specific publish time. Zoom in and out to see what you’ve got planned for a given day, week, or month.
An alternative to Google’s Keyword Planner, Keyword Tool returns up to 750 suggestions for every keyword you enter.
(For yet another keyword tool alternative, take SERP Stat for a spin.)
20. Google Docs
Many bloggers go straight to the writing editor in their blog software (WordPress, Ghost, etc.). You can also consider writing in Google Docs for collaborating with others and tapping into the extra power of Google Docs’ spelling and grammar tools.
Every month, receive an email with links to a new collection of free, high-res lifestyle photos. The site offers a premium subscription as well to be able to access and search its full archive.
Death to Stock's features are:
- Good high quality photos
- Offers contribute images
One of the 53+ places we scour to find free images, PhotoPin lets you search millions of Creative Commons photos from Flickr.
Grab screenshots and annotate with notes, arrows, and icons. Skitch connects directly to your Evernote account so you can save all the screengrabs you take.
24. Meme Generator
Sometimes a simple meme says more than any other image could. Meme Generator lets you create a meme from scratch or use an existing meme character to add your own saying. Created in 2009, MemeGenerator was the first online meme generator and today, continues to give users the ability to create memes free-of-charge and avoid the tedious proccess of repetedly copying images into a program and adding text sections manually. Overall, Meme Generator is a great tool to use as a means of breaking up students’ projects or presentations. It can be used to highlight a key concept by making it jump out from the rest of the material and its often-humorous nature can help boost retention of the content. Employing modern slang and pop culture references also furthers this tool’s use as an effective, simple means of making subject matter more relatable to the students.
Photoshop is the king of image software. Gimp is like a free version of Photoshop. Most all major features are there, and amateur designers can get all sorts of things done with layers, masks, photo effects, and more.
Official documentation lists the following features::
Each task requires a different environment and GIMP allows you to customize the view and behavior the way you like it. Starting from the widget theme, allowing you to change colors, widget spacings and icon sizes to custom tool sets in the toolbox. The interface is modulized into so called docks, allowing you to stack them into tabs or keep them open in their own window. Pressing the tab key will toggle them hidden.
Numerous digital photo imperfections can be easily compensated for using GIMP. Fix perspective distortion caused by lens tilt simply choosing the corrective mode in the transform tools. Eliminate lens’ barrel distortion and vignetting with a powerful filter but a simple interface.
The included channel mixer gives you the flexibility and power to get your B/W photography stand out the way you need.
Perspective Transform, Sample Colorize
GIMP is ideal for advanced photo retouching techniques. Get rid of unneeded details using the clone tool, or touch up minor details easily with the new healing tool. With the perspective clone tool, it’s not difficult to clone objects with perspective in mind just as easily as with the orthogonal clone.
GIMP includes a very unique support for various input devices out of the box. Pressure and tilt sensitive tablets, but also a wide range of USB or MIDI controllers. You can bind often-used actions to device events such as rotating a USB wheel or moving a MIDI controller’s slider. Change the size, angle or opacity of a brush while you paint, bind your favorite scripts to buttons. Speed up your workflow!
The file format support ranges from the common likes of JPEG (JFIF), GIF, PNG, TIFF to special use formats such as the multi-resolution and multi-color-depth Windows icon files. The architecture allows to extend GIMP’s format capabilities with a plug-in. You can find some rare format support in the GIMP plugin registry.
Thanks to the transparent virtual file system, it is possible to load and save files to from remote locations using protocols such as FTP, HTTP or even SMB (MS Windows shares) and SFTP/SSH.
To save disk space, any format can be saved with an archive extension such as ZIP, GZ or BZ2 and GIMP will transparently compress the file without you needing to do any extra steps.
26. Share as Image
Turn text from any webpage into a shareable image with the Share as Image browser extension and bookmarklet. The Pro plan ($8/month) even lets you add custom branding to the image and choose from a huge number of background photos and fonts.
Tools to distribute your content far and wide
We wrote about the topic of content distribution tools in more depth in a separate blog post as well. Click through that post for even more ideas for tools and resources to try when promoting your content.
Emotional Marketing Value checks for emotional words in your headline, and the analyzer tool returns a score of EMV words compared to total words in the headline.
28. Click to Tweet
Built by the team at CoSchedule (which also makes a helpful WordPress calendar and scheduler), this WordPress plugin makes it simple to highlight snippets of your blogpost for readers to easily share on Twitter. For sites not running WordPress, consider a tool like clicktotweet.
In a single WordPress plugin, Filament contains a group of useful features including Flare, a social share button plugin that makes it easy for others to share your blogpost on Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, and more—even spots like Hacker News and Reddit. Other Filament apps include: MailChimp subscribe form, Google Analytics tracking, all-in-one profiles, code management, and share highlighter.
30. Digg Digg
Digg Digg was built by our Buffer engineers a couple years back, and it’s been a staple on the Buffer blog ever since. What we’ve found most helpful with Digg Digg integration is the flexibility of where you can place the share buttons: floating to the left or right of the article, pinned to the top or bottom of a blog post, or manually wherever you wish inside your theme.
Signing up for webmaster tools can reveal a lot of SEO opportunities for your blogposts. For instance, see where you rank in search engine results for certain keywords, then build links to your most popular keyword posts to increase the rankings even more.
MailChimp is one of the biggest and best (and free) ways to send email to your list of contacts. You can set up automated campaigns that deliver each new post that you write, or you can create campaigns from scratch. MailChimp offers free accounts for those with fewer than 2,000 contacts in their list.
Run A/B tests of your headlines with this WordPress plugin from KingSumo. If the cost is a bit steep ($99 lifetime charge), you can try out the other Sumo plugin, SumoMe, which offers some handy tools for growing an email list, analyzing your blogposts, and sharing content to social media.
A web-based writing tool that integrated with WordPress, medium and a few other platforms. It uses AI technology to help you improve your content.
This will pull you away from all the distractions and help you focus on writing. Available for Mac OS, and the cost is affordable.
36.. Open Live Writer
Best desktop editor for Windows OS, and you can publish directly from your desktop.
Desktop publishing tool for Mac that supports WordPress.
I use this to take quick notes on my iPhone, and it’s available via cloud syncing.
Similar to Buzzsumo but with more data.
Search for your keywords in a search box of Quora, and you will get unlimited ideas for your blog content.
Enter your keyword and it will give you post ideas.
42. Google Trends
Check the currently trending topics or find the search trend for any keyword of your choice.
A comprehensive title generator by TweakBiz.
Call it a content idea generator or a title generator – it functions as both.
The only viral topic generator you need.
46. ProWriting Aid
Another popular grammar and spell checker tool. Supports multiple platforms.
Use images with an appropriate license which you can use on your blog.
Another great site where you can download high-quality images. You don’t have to give credit links.
Subscribe to any blog feeds or search for your interested topic to discover new blogs to subscribe to.
A “read it later” app which is also a productive app. Integrated into all the reading apps mentioned previously and lets you save articles for later reading.