8 amazing Tools every Blogger should be using
Do you ever get stuck when you want to write a new blog? Perhaps there are many distractions for you or you simply don’t have any fascinating subjects to blog about?
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned blogger, you would always need tools that help you churn out interesting and engaging content for your followers. Hence, we bring you a compilation of tools that can take your blog content from ‘okay’ to ‘amazing’. We usually use WordPress for our blogs and websites so we have considered tools that easily integrate with WordPress.
1. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
Thinking and coming up with quality blog topics can be a difficult task. When you’re first starting out, it takes a while to know what people respond to. You need an attractive title and relevant blog content for your current and prospective audience. To help you get started and make the process a whole lot easier, the folks at HubSpot created a free Blog Topic Generator.
It is an incredibly easy tool to use and it is free. All you need are 3 words. Simply type three words (preferably nouns) you want to blog about into the blank form, select “give me blog topics,” and just like that, you can review their recommendations for a week’s worth of blog post topics. If a week’s worth of blog topics just isn’t enough, you can sign up to receive enough blog topics to cover an entire year. Naturally, the software isn’t perfect and you might have to tweak the resulting topics a bit, but geez, on some days it sure beats thinking! Buzzsumo can help you figure out which articles have been written on a specific topic – which can aid in future topic generation.
Your title is the most essential aspect to generate traffic for your blog, especially in search. A quality title can alone increase the traffic to your blog post by as much as 500%. Less than a quarter of visitors will actually read past your blog headline, which means it has to be shareable and catchy enough for people to continue read your blog.
This automatic headline optimization plugin for WordPress has proven to increase blog traffic by addressing title creation intelligently. For creator Noah Kagan, who took a few extra steps to implement this strategy into his blogging process, the payoff was an increase in blog traffic of 17.8%. The plugin allows you to type in as many titles you can feasibly think of for your WordPress post Different titles are then shown to visitors and shared with others. The back-end KingSumo algorithms will be able to determine the best-performing title, where in-line statistics will then let you know which title to choose over time.
For bloggers on the go, not having the capacity to remember that “Next Big Idea” can lead to numerous lost opportunities. With MindMeister which is just a swipe and click away, you’ll never forget any great ideas.
MindMeister is the one and only online mind mapping tool you’ll ever need to store your brilliant ideas. It is an application that lets you capture, develop and share ideas visually. It can offer some bloggers assistance with breaking down complex concepts and help them show how each idea flows into another. MindMeister also lets you share your mind maps with as many friends or colleagues as you want and collaborate with them in real-time. Whether you’re in a face-to-face meeting or thousands of miles apart, everyone can see changes made in the mind map immediately. Collaborators can quickly comment on topics, vote on ideas or discuss changes in the integrated chat option.
More than 4 million creative experts are already using this award-winning mind map editor for brainstorming, note taking, project planning and tons of other innovative tasks.
Pricing – A free plan gives you access to three mind maps. There are multiple premium plan options, starting at $36 for 6 months with a 30-day free trial.
Running a blog with any kind of Web presence involves tracking information from multiple online services such as Google Analytics, WordPress, and MailChimp. Cyfe is an all-in-one dashboard app that helps users monitor and analyze data scattered across all their online services.
You can use Cyfe to monitor all your marketing channels, collect data, create to-do lists, archive search results and more. It also helps you to keep a track of social media mentions and activity too. For bloggers that need more oomph in their collaborative work, Cyfe gives a long feature list to offer clients some assistance with working together in the cloud.
Pricing – Cyfe provides a free plan that includes five widgets, and paid plan at 14$ for a year for unlimited dashboards and widgets. Widgets for all plans update every 10 seconds, keeping all data current.
The difference between a smart editing tool and the well-known grammar checker, is that only one of these tools can stand out and adjust to your style of writing, and the audience you’re writing for. A great blog post includes great grammar, the writer’s style, and an understanding of the readers likes and dislikes.
Atomic Writer is one tool that not only helps bloggers, but publishers and brands too. Since the tool gives you an idea about your target audience’s needs, utilizing it will offer you some assistance in creating better content. Better content means more engaged readers!
The basic level is the Writer Package. The tool is intended for single bloggers taking a shot at a single blog or a website. It can be installed as a WordPress plug-in or as a Chrome Extension. Atomic Writer lets you pick between these five types of audience levels and examines how well your content matches that particular target audience. You get a score taking into account how closely your content matches your audience. And since the basic Writer’s Package is free, it’s certainly worth trying out!
Pro Writing Aid
Editing your own blog post can be tough task. Fortunately, Pro Writing Aid is a web tool that analyzes your content and produces reports on areas such as overused words, writing style, sentence length, grammar and repeat words and phrases.
Pro Writing Aid points out clichés, unnecessary “glue words” (e.g., who, what, when, where, and why), and redundancies (e.g., “still remains”). It’s a great free tool, especially if you can’t have another person carefully check your work, but you’ll have to pay to unlock features like the plagiarism checker. Pro Writing Aid does have a Chrome plug-in available, but based on the abysmal reviews from the web store it is suggested to stick with the web editor.
Professional looking pictures are essential to most bloggers and businesses. In any case, when you are first start blogging, you might not have the resources to procure a professional photographer or to buy quality stock photographs. Luckily, Stokpic has tackled that issue.
Not only do they have a variety of categories such as fashion, food and drink, landscape, and– my favorite– animals, they also send out premium photos to those that subscribe to their newsletter. All pictures on Stokpic are completely free and have been released from copyright restrictions, allowing people to get high quality photos for personal and commercial use.
Squirrly is probably the most user friendly and visually appealing SEO plug-in one could ever use. While WordPress SEO by Yoast has been the most powerful SEO tool till date, Squirrly is gaining traction and is a much more proactive plugin! Upon activating the plug-in, you provide your email address and are immediately encouraged to start optimizing your articles. Right next to the visual editor, you have a fast and attractive textbox to begin figuring out what phrase you should focus on and it gives a few suggestions. Squirrly also informs you when you have a “keyword stuffed” article. So if your title consists of nothing but the keyword, it will generate a warning.
Choose the “Right Tools” for the “Right Audience”
Any blogger needs to manage time and be as productive as possible. You can only work hard and give your best for a particular amount of time. The fact is that you can’t generally achieve critical results without utilizing the right tools for the right audience! You might also be interested in checking out our blog post on content amplification techniques.
So fellow bloggers, are there any tools other than the ones specified over here that you swear by? Do you have some experience in utilizing the above tools or tools outside this list that you’d like to share with us? Leave your two pennies in the remarks section below.