In order to be successful in blogging, you need to treat it as a business. However, to run a business, you need the right set of tools for blogging because you can’t do everything alone.
I have collected some of the best known tools for blogging that will help you run your blog in the most efficient manner. Many of these tools for blogging are free, a few are paid but well worth the price.
Let’s dive into tools for blogging.
Tools for blogging
This is seriously the best tool for blogging ever. For two years I was stuck with Blogger and then I finally made the shift to WordPress. WordPress is monstrous counting all the goodies that it has to offer. There are plugins which make every task easy. There’s a buzzing community around WordPress who supply everything from themes to templates to hacks. If you installed a new theme and want to customize it your way, just drop a question on any WordPress related forum. You have the choice to customize everything once you install WordPress. There’s a lot to learn and a lot to do.
It can give your blog a unique identity. With Blogger or any other free blogging solution, you’re stuck with the sample 10 templates that everyone else is using. Plus, there’s a threshold of traffic that free solutions can bear.
WordPress is the platform used by professional bloggers. You may not be taken seriously if you continue maintaining a Blogger blog. If you’re still learning the ropes then be with Blogger but if you’re ready to take it to the next level then go with WordPress.
I have seen a lot of people swearing by either Hostgator or Bluehost. At the same time, they’d talk incessantly about their bad experience with some host. Guess what, all these hosts belong to the same company called Endurance International. It has over 54 brands under its fold and Hostgator was a recent acquisition.
It doesn’t matter which one you actually go for in one way. The problems only arise with customer support I guess.
I will briefly cover some of the top theme providers.
Theme Junkie: They have a wide variety of themes available from every industry. Getting on their annual plans would be a cost saving idea as it gives you access to the entire inventory.
Theme Fuse: I got to know of these guys after participating in a giveaway. Fewer people use it, but the themes are excellent and will make your site stand out. Active community.
WooThemes: They have a fine collection of eCommerce themes that anyone would fall in love with.
StudioPress: It provides you with Genesis child themes. I have always loved the clean interface.
Elegant Themes: For some strange reason a lot of people starting niche sites go with this option. Never used it but have heard lots of good things about them.
Windows Live Writer is the one stop offline tool for blogging that I have been using for the past three years. It offers the exact same platform for composing a blog post that you’d find online. There are many options available including but not limited to formatting, easy hyperlinking, saving the draft and directly uploading the post to the platform you are using.
You can easily insert tables, and also add multiple blogging accounts from different platforms.
It’s an idea repository for me and I have blogpost ideas and half complete posts on it. Even this one right now is being done on Windows Live Writer. Of course, did I mention that it comes completely free of cost?
If you’re using Mac then you need an alternative to Windows Live Writer. MarsEdit is a blog editor than can be installed on Mac. It’s however not free and costs $39 for a single user license. The advantages are plentiful. Often while editing posts online, WordPress fails to save them. It won’t happen if you’re using offline editors. They save you all that hassle.
MarsEdit also supports Tumblr.
The WordPress comment spam filters haven’t been working properly for quite some time. Every day I get tons of spam comments on my blog. I have to then manually delete all of them which takes a lot of time.
Disqus is a good solution to spam since people commenting with it don’t get a link back to their site automatically. They have to register with Disqus which again is another good thing for warding off spammers.
Disqus is also instrumental in building a community around your blog. There are options by which others can up-vote and down-vote comments. Also, the new version shows the comments in a threaded fashion.
It’s a backlink monitoring solution. It will keep track of all your known links. With advanced metrics that Linkody has to offer you can see everything from social shares to DA, PA and Moz Rank. Gives you plentiful of data about the quality of links you’re gaining. As they say prevention is better than cure.
E-Junkie can host your digital marketing products. It’s a much preferred destination for lots of marketers who are wary of an initial fee that Clickbank charges.
It would also act as a shopping cart for your products and manage the payments. A wide range of payment processors like Clickbank, PayPal, 2Checkout, Google checkout are supported.
They say the money is in the list. With organic traffic dripping there’s only a few solid ways to retain people as your readers. An email is the strongest option that you have to build a thriving platform to share your blogposts and also do business.
Aweber is one of the best tools for email-marketing. They have consistently the best delivery rates in the industry. Above all, it’s a boon for internet marketers who peddle products all the time. Comparatively, a solution like MailChimp would ban your account if you send internet marketing offers.
Trial starts at $1 and then it’s $20 a month which increases incrementally as per your list size. The list size also refers to people who have unsubscribed as Aweber would still host their email addresses. You need to delete all such subscribers to keep costs low.
The Digg Digg plugin floats on the sidebar of your WordPress blog providing tons of social sharing buttons. It’s free to use and goes along as the reader scrolls down. It’s a favorite among many marketers and bloggers.
Since the death of Google Reader Feedly has emerged as the single best option. They offered synchronization too so that Google Reader lovers may migrate easily. Lots of options on Feedly and a cleaner interface are what attract me the most.
It’s what we use on Linkody for our basic SEO needs. Adding meta title, tags, optimizing the post for SEO, everything is a breeze with Yoast SEO. Plus, it’s completely free.
A lot of writers love it because it helps boost productivity. Creative energies flow in short busts and Focus Booster relies on the Pomodoro technique by setting alarms at intervals of 25 minutes. It is followed by a 5-minute break.
You can also set longer intervals if you so wish. Also the break time can be increased.
Working on a time-bound manner forces you to focus on the essential and get more done. Plus, most writers sit all day long which is bad for health. If you’re constantly reminded about taking 5-minute breaks you’d stand more often which is good for you.
We frequently use Google Docs for sharing documents, work details, outreach emails sent, guest blogging requests sent and accepted. Google Docs is dynamic and can be updated online by the people who have access to the same document.
It removes the hassle from keeping on uploading the same file again and again. I have seen firsthand a lot of editors preferring Docs compared to traditional word files.
It’s a really good video recording tool. The videos come out in high quality and you have the option of choosing either system audio or external mic. There are various video editing tools in Camtasia itself. You can reduce the noise in the audio with a few clicks. When I make videos I add an intro section, the main video and an outro plate. Camtasia helps me piece everything together. Pretty good.
It shows not only the traffic stats but also where the traffic is coming from and how well they are converting. There are tons of hacks around Google Analytics that can make it a grand powerhouse.
In simple words it shows you why your traffic is not converting. There are various tools that will help for blogging like heatmaps which show you where your visitors are clicking the most. It’s really helpful if you want to increase your conversions manifold.
Webinars are very helpful into converting leads to paying customers. The reason behind it is that not many people show the courage to conduct webinars. Only few take the trouble. In this age of low attention spans, this is something that hooks your audience every single time.
Alltop collects latest news stories from the best sites around the world. It’s an aggregated news channel and you can have a quick browse for a bag full of content ideas. Everything from the latest changes to the biggest gets a mention here. On the home-page is a section that shows the most popular stories.
It is available both as a browser extension and a WordPress plugin.This is a great tool for blogging. It has grammar intelligence to check for accurate grammar on your blog posts. It also shows you if you’re making any spelling mistakes.
It’s an online repository of images with creative commons attribution. What it means that the pictures are free to use as long as you provide a link back to the original site. Most websites providing free images ask for a backlink. In the case of Photo Pin, they make the task pretty easy by giving the HTML code that you can use for providing the link back.
If you have a group of freelancers or people working for you on a project then collaboration is necessary. There’s of course Basecamp which is a Project Management software, however Trello does most of the things while being free.
It’s easy to plan and schedule the tasks based on what you want to do today or later.
Lucky Orange provides advanced analytics when compared to Google Analytics. There are visitor recordings and Mouse heatmaps. There is a real time visitor map that shows where visitors to your site are coming from.
The visitor recordings feature automatically records visitor browsing sessions. You can see mouse paths drawn over by HTML. The tool supports all kinds of browser and is stable over multiple platforms.
The real time analytics feature shows you the country of the visitor and also shows which top countries consist your traffic.
It’s not limited to that alone; you can see the top referring pages, realtime related tweets, accurate stats.
The form analytic features shows the abandonment and the conversion rates. It shows which are the most commonly omitted forms. That can help you design forms better. There is also the option of providing live chat support.
It is an extremely effective tool to communicate the emotions of your blogpost. Many times an image alone is not enough. With some text around the image i.e with a meme it becomes very attractive.
Buffer is a tool to share things online. However, BufferApp is not that complicated and also has a browser extension that you can use.
SproutSocial creates amazing tools for blogging. It is a social media management tool for your Facebook, Google plus and Twitter accounts with a special focus on Twitter. There is no learning curve involved in mastering this tool. It can connect to Feedly for automated sharing of your blog posts. The special Twitter focus allows you to discover people to follow. There is the home tab which gives you a quick summary of the demographics and stats related to your audience. The Messages tab shows you the number of mentions made, comments, notifications from social profiles etc.
Publishing tab allows you to push updates. You have the option to choose from either pushing RSS feeds or the Queue option to send updates at set intervals.
The ease of use makes it better than other competing products. SproutSocial starts at $39 per month.
It is an online tool that lends clarity to your writing. Hemmingway highlights long and complex sentences. It also shows you the mistakes that you are making with sentence structures. It works like this — a yellow highlight means that the sentence is too long. A red highlight indicates that the readers will get lost trying to follow it.
It’s a handy tool to check your article before you hit the publish button.
Portent is a free online tool that will suggest article titles for you.
While testing it I found that it also gives handy suggestions on writing the post.
IFTTT can help you automate a great of online tasks easily. For example, you can set it so that every time you publish a post, it gets saved to DropBox. If someone tags a photo of yours on Facebook, it gets saved to Google Drive. Or whenever your grandmother’s birthday comes you get an email alert.
For any of this to work, you need to go and create trigger events that would initiate a specific action.
Once done hit on create recipe and you’re good to go.
It’s so powerful that if you’re doing round-up posts, IFTTT triggers will gather the events surrounding that specific word, using Google alerts and compile the post for you.
If you’d like to automate your life then IFTTT is the way to go.
You can literally put the internet to work for you.
One of amazing tools for blogging is this Q/A site. Interestingly the founder initially worked on Facebook( which is great for wasting time) and Quora is something that is so dripping with information and quality answers that I love it beyond any site.
Quora can give lots of article ideas for your posts. Also, if you have doubts regarding anything the community is ever ready and charged to take on anything. It’s not just the average people answering questions. I have seen internet celebrities and founders of popular startups share the stage on Quora.
So here you have the list of 30+ amazing tools for blogging to make your life easy. Let us know what you think about these tools for blogging.