Anybody who’s been blogging for long knows there are a huge number of blogging tools available on the net. Obviously nobody has the time to test them all, so the question naturally becomes, which are the best blogging tools for you?
To aid you in this difficult quest I’ve compiled a list of my own 10 favorite blogging tools that hopefully you’ll find useful.
Use them wisely and I’m sure they’ll help to smooth the path of your blogging journey.
If you have a favorite blogging tool of your own, drop me a note in the comments below!
10 of the Best Blogging Tools
Having a good, reliable hosting service is vital for a blogger, indeed for anyone conducting their business on the Internet. SiteGround is one of the best and most respected web hosts, and the only one I recommend on this blog.
SiteGround was ranked first in the Facebook Poll for Best Hosting Service (2016 and 2017), and HostAdvice gave them a rating of 9.7/10 based on 1059 reviews.
Thus far I’ve had an excellent hosting experience with them, with fast loading times and no problems or crashes. I’ve also received excellent support from their highly trained staff (both via email and online chat.)
Read more about SiteGround in my review here.
Greenshot is a great (and free) Windows screen capture tool that includes many of the same features as its larger non-free competitors.
The program is quick and easy to download and install, with little in the way of setup required. It uses the ‘Print Screen’ key by default for its hotkey. You can get different types of screen capture by combining that key with, for instance, Alt or Ctrl.
Before Greenshot I was capturing screenshots and partial screenshots by pressing ‘Print Screen’, loading Paint, pressing paste, then using the ‘Select’ tool to select an area of the screen to save. Greenshot cuts out several of those steps by effectively turning the ‘Print Screen’ key into the Select key for me.
Once I’ve selected a screen area to save a menu appears allowing a choice of saving the image, sending it to the printer, editing it in Greenshot’s editor, or opening it in Word, Excel, Paint, Powerpoint, Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird.
WP Smush is my favorite image compression plugin, and is one plugin that I make sure I install on any new website.
The benefits of WP Smush are many:
- easy to use
- optimize images on the fly
- improve site speed and performance
- automatic compression
- ‘Bulk Smushing’ option
- free to use version.
There’s a Premium version of WP Smush which eliminates image size limits, but at $49 per month is probably a bit expensive for the average blogger. That being said, the free version should more than satisfy the average user.
A good image compression program or plugin is also great for SEO, as increased site speed can only help to boost your ranking in search.
As thousands of bloggers have discovered, Pinterest is a great platform to quickly boost your blog traffic and grow your blog. Pinterest (like Google) is primarily a search engine, only much easier to rank highly for newbie bloggers.
After SEO, Pinterest tends to account for most bloggers traffic, and often takes the number one spot for those who’ve blogged for less than six months.
Fortunately you don’t need to spend a lot of time mastering Pinterest, though you do want to use tried-and-true techniques to get the best results. Carly Campbell is a well-known Pinterest expert who’s created one of the best Pinterest courses, ‘Pinteresting Strategies.’ Read my review here.
One of the great things about Pinterest is that your ‘pins’ have a shelf life of many months, unlike Facebook or Twitter where your posts and Tweets are only good for a few hours or even just minutes.
For some more expert advice and great tips, I recently asked some experienced Pinterest experts for their best tips, which they kindly provided in this post.
Tailwind is the best known and most popular scheduling tool for Pinterest. With Tailwind you can:
- Add pins automatically
- Schedule pins at optimal times days and even weeks ahead
- Analyze your performance
- Easily join many new ‘Tribes’ (groups)
Overall Tailwind is a great time-saver, allowing you to automate instead of spending many hours weekly manual pinning (which can get tedious and boring pretty fast.)
Tailwind has a free trial, and for unlimited pins an annual fee of $120. There are various add-on costs for more functionality, as described on their pricing page.
Viral Content Bee (VCB) is a powerful platform that allows you to share your content for free, piggybacking on the social networks of bloggers and other influencers. (VCB is very similar to another site, JustRetweet, which unfortunately shut down in March 2018.)
You can be assured that almost all content available to share is usually of a pretty good quality, as VCB’s moderators won’t approve low-quality projects otherwise.
You won’t be considered a reliable contributor until you’ve reached a given number of VCB projects. They’ve also included a ‘Report as low quality’ button on each project so that users can warn moderators about any poor or suspect content or websites.
To give you an idea of the kind of ‘power users’ who’ll be among those sharing your content, check out the following image:
As you can see, each of the people sharing in the image has about 50,000 followers, and they’re sharing my content with all those followers for free! And you can continue earning points by doing your own sharing, followed by spending those points to have your own posts shared, as often as you like.
That’s about as close to free advertising as anything I’m aware of, and also a great help in your quest to have your content go viral, so please alert me if you find something better!
For much more information on Viral Content Bee, as well as some useful tips to maximize your use of their platform, read my in-depth review.
After Pinterest, Twitter is the best platform to help build a large following for your blog.
And if you implement the ‘follow/unfollow’ method using Crowdfire you’ll be rapidly rewarded with a large following if you persevere.
The basic idea of the follow/unfollow strategy is to first follow a large number of people on a regular basis (using Crowdfire’s platform for simplicity.) After two or three days have passed then use the ‘Unfollow’ feature to unfollow all those who haven’t followed you back. Then repeat the process by following a new batch of accounts.
See my review of ‘How To Gain 100,000 Twitter Followers‘ for much more detail, and discover how to increase your blog traffic with your Twitter following.
You’re probably already aware that YouTube is owned by Google. The importance of this is that whenever a search is done on Google, Google searches for results on YouTube in addition to websites and blogs.
Thus as well as being a great site to watch videos, YouTube is also a search engine where people can search for various terms of interest to them.
For bloggers this means that as well as having a massive audience to watch your videos, it’s also a good boost for your SEO to have your content on their platform.
If you’re not interested in creating your own videos however, you should still at least be embedding YouTube videos into your posts on occasion. It helps to make your posts more entertaining, allows people to take a break from reading, and encourages visitors to stay on your site for longer.
(I’ve included simple instructions for embedding videos in this post.)
Yoast is definitely one of the most popular and powerful SEO plugins. Apart from its power and versatility it’s also very beginner friendly, offering a comprehensive solution for all your SEO needs. If you’re looking to optimize your SEO, Yoast is easily one of your best options.
Since it makes the majority of their SEO tasks quick and easy, many bloggers consider Yoast to be a must-have plugin.
Its main features include:
- Meta keywords and description management
- Add SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to every post and page
- Manage duplicate content
- Built-in content analysis
- Built-in readability score analysis
- XML Sitemaps and Search Console Integration
- Social features
You don’t have a lot of control who sees your blog post updates, but nearly everyone checks their email.
Therefore I recommend using email marketing software such as Convert Kit to enable you to collect email addresses from visitors to your site.
For an example, see my offer of a free PDF at the bottom of this post. That’s called a ‘lead magnet’, an enticement to encourage you to offer your email in exchange (powered by ConvertKit.)
This lead magnet also pops up on your screen once you scroll two thirds the way down a post (if this is your first visit.) These placements and settings can all be altered according to your preferences in ConverKit’s settings menu.
Their editor is easy to use and support is fast, friendly and effective. The biggest downside for newbie bloggers is the cost, $29 per month, which may be a bit pricey for some.
Do you have any favorite blogging tools of your own? Let me know in the comments.
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