17 Top Blogging Tools That You Ignore At Your Peril

17 Top blogging tools

Admit it, you’ve cursed the blogging game in the past.

That’s understandable. Because with all the myriad of tasks involved, it does take a toll on you.

For each post that you’ll ever write, you come up with some research and ensure it’s worth your while; then you compose your thoughts and finally write that 1,000+ words article.

But it doesn’t end there – you have work out your SEO, source images and schedule social shares. You do everything in your power to spread the word and hopefully, make your post viral.

Quite a process, right? Also, most bloggers have  a dream of earning a living from their blog.

How many bloggers make a living from their blog?

Bloggers can earn a decent living from their blog and it can be from multiple streams. What are the different business models for bloggers? Here are 11 different ways you can make money from blogging..

Here are some facts and figures on what bloggers earn on average and the top revenue streams..

Top blogging toolsInfographic source: Business2community.com 

Top blogging tools

With the blogging tools available it doesn’t have to be that hard anymore to earn a living from blogging. Let’s take a look at some that are above the mark and can do wonders for your blog.

So here are the top blogging tools that are broken up into these categories:

  • Research
  • Blog management
  • Social media
  • Graphic design
  • Content
  • Traffic and marketing
  • Landing pages and pre-launch tools.

Research

1. BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is my go-to search engine for content research. Just punch in your keywords or the URL that you want analyzed and voila. It’ll give you insights into the most popular content and the influencers sharing it.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you want to know more about what’s trending for “make money blogging”. You’ve got an idea for a post but want to make sure it’s killer. How do you do that? Add the keyword in BuzzSumo and see if it has any potential social-share wise.

List of top Blogging tools

Clearly, it’s a popular topic that can get you some good shares, and if done right, also grow your incoming traffic.

2. Topsy                                                      

Ever wanted to make sense of the bazillion tweets on Twitter since 2006? Now you can with Topsy.

Simply put, Topsy is a search engine for Twitter. You can use its search operators to search all content on a specific topic by a particular influencer, find influencers on new topics, and do a detailed social analytics for three keywords and compare them.

Search by links, video, tweets, photos, influencers or everything.

List of top Blogging tools

3. Feedly

Feedly is my daily dose of reading – be it a magazine, a blog or a newspaper. It’s great for content research and to keep up with what your favorite bloggers talk about. And if influencers pay attention to something in your niche, you should too!

Feedly saves me time from hopping from one blog to another, and gives me my content straight all in one place. You can also categorize publications based on their niche.

Here’s a snapshot of my Feedly:

List of top Blogging tools

4. Quora

Quora is the best Q&A site online. Forget Yahoo! Answers and the like – most content posted there isn’t usable for any serious research.

It’s an ever-growing user-generated database of questions and answers that can be edited by Reviewers. Questions are community-owned and can be edited by anyone.

Simply go on Quora and look for questions posted on topics in your niche. Make a list of these to convert into fresh blog posts. Since you’re writing posts based on demand, you’ll see a likely increase in your incoming traffic. And not just posts – you can create videos, newsletters, podcasts from these questions.

Blog Management

5.  Wrike

I’ve only recently discovered Wrike and I’m impressed. If you run a multi-author blog and maintaining excel spreadsheets of Google docs is getting on your nerves, you’ll love Wrike.

Another scenario: You have a small team that writes for your company’s internal (or external) blog, Wrike facilitates direct communication between various contributors involved and saves you hours.

It’s easy to use, fast and reasonably priced free for basic account or less than $10/mo/user for a five person Professional account).

List of top Blogging tools

You can assign tasks, add new contributors and create folders for your upcoming blog posts – everything you want in a good project management app. In addition, team members can simultaneously edit a task and @mention others to collaborate without having to leave the tool.

The Definitive List of 17 Blogging Tools to Become an Insanely Productive Blogger 5

Social Media

6. Rignite

If you want to turn social activity into something more meaningful and measurable for your blog, try Rignite. You can monitor keyword search streams and schedule new social media posts from a single dashboard.

But what sets them apart is the Campaigns feature. Campaigns are a guided social media strategy where you can create a series of posts across multiple platforms on social media.  For example, you can create a campaign to share a blog post 3x per week for 6 months.

List of top Blogging tools

Research says that re-sharing old posts can work magic for your blog in terms of traffic. Each post in the campaign can be slightly tweaked so as not to annoy your followers.Campaigns can be targeted to schedule a series of posts, grow your list, host contests for your fans, or promote a discount.

The Definitive List of 17 Blogging Tools to Become an Insanely Productive Blogger 7

With their campaign-level analytics, you’ll know what’s working and what’s not.

7. Rival IQ

Let’s face it – in today’s super-competitive online world, the gap between being a blogger and a marketer is non-existent. If you’re a blogger, you want to know how to market well. You want to be constantly analyzing what’s hot, paying attention to SEO and “spying” on your competitor’s successful digital activities. If this sounds like too much work, there’s good news.

Rival IQ is one of the most robust competitor analysis and marketing intelligence tools there is. Simply set up your “Landscape” with your blog/website being the focus “company”. You can add as many competitors as you like.

List of top Blogging tools

In short, in a few seconds of signing up, you get:

  • How your competitor blogs are leveraging social media
  • How well you rank in comparison to them
  • What content was posted
  • What’s working for you SEO-wise, and what’s not
  • Detailed and summary reports

Under each detailed report, you get a ton of metrics to compare (social audience, engagement, applause etc). I added HubSpot as a competitor in the landscape and here’s what I got:

List of top Blogging tools

If you’re after a deeper analysis, give Rival IQ a try (they have a 14-day free trial).

8. Triberr

Tribber is a community of bloggers and influencers who come together to share each other’s content. Think of it as a very responsive, supportive bunch of bloggers in your niche who are happy to send more traffic your way. It’s a social network for bloggers that sends over 2 million new visitors to member blogs.

Just like any other social network on the web, the principle is to be nice and give before asking. But there’s more to it – you can start your own Tribe as an expert on a certain topic. It’s natural that this will tie in tightly with your blog.

Also, join as many relevant tribes as you can and be active on them.

Graphic design

9. Death to the Stock Photo

Did you know that the human mind craves visuals? A vast majority of us are visual learners (65%). Photos and visuals are stimulating and engaging, thus making your pages “sticky” and keeping readers hooked. But the problem is cost.

That’s why I love Death to the Stock Photo – it’s a free photo database that delivers a fresh hi-res pack right in your inbox each month. There’s one for every ocassion!

Here’s their plain English license summary if you’re interested.

10. Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is a neat little annotation tool for screenshot and picture that sits as your browser plugin.

You can capture full page or the visible part, delay capture for drop-downs and menus, and capture a selected area. This tool is super-handy when you want to explain a point using a screenshot (just like I’, doing in this post).

List of top Blogging tools

Landing Pages & Pre-launches

11. LeadPages

LeadPages offers slick ways to create a mobile-responsive squeeze page, launch page, event registration or sales page easily and quickly. It has an intuitive user-interface that can get your new page ready in less than 10 minutes. Plus they have some nice free templates too.

12. LaunchEffect

LaunchEffect is a free, responsive, one-page theme that you can use as a placeholder before your new shiny blog is launched and collect subscriber emails. It’s a smart way to get your blog to work even before it’s launched.

Upon signing up, a visitor is redirected to a special URL that they can use to share with their friends, which you can then use to track referrers and reward them once your blog is launched. Pretty neat.

Content

12. Headlines

A cool plugin by KingSumo, Headlines lets you run A/B tests inside WordPress. It costs $99 for a lifetime and works in three steps:

– You come up with as many relevant titles for your post
– Readers are shown different titles as they share your posts
– The best-performing title wins overtime.

You also get detailed, inline reports about headline performance. What’s not to love?

13. Hemingway

Got grammar gremlins? Fret not. Hemmingway comes to your rescue.

Quite simply, the app makes your writing bold and clear. Just add your content in the text box and click Edit.

Here’s a sample I inserted:

The Definitive List of 17 Blogging Tools to Become an Insanely Productive Blogger 11

It tells you whether your sentence is hard to read, very hard to read, and if you could do with simpler phrases. It also marks any adverbs and usage of passive voice. Based on this, you get a Grade out of 10.

Traffic & Marketing

14. WordPress SEO by Yoast

If you’re serious about blogging, sooner or later you’ll pay attention to Search Engine Optimization or SEO. If your content is optimized, search engines like Google and Bing will send you more visitors by putting your posts in the search engine rankings, thereby increasing your conversions.

SEO by Yoast makes optimization easy and you can do a ton with it. Just set the parameters once and it’s taken care of forever.

You have other alternatives in the marketplace too, such as the All in One SEO plugin.

The Definitive List of 17 Blogging Tools to Become an Insanely Productive Blogger 12

If you’re interested to esplore further, there are other alternatives in the marketplace too, such as the All in One SEO plugin.

15. MailChimp

MailChimp is a popular email marketing service that knows how to combine usefulness with humor. Secondly, they have a great customer support system in place which never ceases to impress me.

It’s used by more than 7 million people. One of the reasons is the low cost to entry barrier with their Entrepreneur plan – send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers for free (forever). As your list grows, you start upgrading to paid accounts.

Other Essentials

16. Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is a secure backup and archiving service for anywhere on the web. You can offload all your critical content into the cloud and pay only for storage you use. There is no minimum set up fees involved.

If you have a huge blog, Amazon S3 can help you scale it without putting too much load on the servers or eating up bandwidth. No more running out of bandwidth in shared hosting accounts and no more paying extra in lump sum (as in the case of VPS or dedicated server). Pretty cool!

17. LastPass

Losing passwords is such a pain. LastPass remembers all your passwords in a simple and sophisticated manner.

Just save your website’s username and password in LastPass and you’ll never have to worry about forgetting them, ever.

All your accounts and passwords get stored centrally in your “vault”. When you first install the app, it shows you a list of all passwords stored insecurely on your computer that need to be imported to the vault.

You’re saved form the hassle of remembering all passwords – all you need is a Master password. Plus they have an app so you can always be carefree on the go.

Over to you

There you go – your go-to list of blogging tools that will skyrocket your productivity. Some of these tools are pretty advanced, so you may not need them right away. But many are fairly straight-forward for the new or intermediate blogger.

Did I miss anything? Which one of the tools is your favorite? Let’s talk in the comments!

Author bio: Pooja Lohana is an Online Business Coach + Writer & Editor. She helps entrepreneurs shine their blog and copy, and simplifies online marketing so they can make more sales and live the Un-9-5 life. Check out her step-by-step course on breaking into freelance writing.

 

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Comments

  • http://www.internetlocallistings.com/ Internet Local Listings

    So many great recommendations. We use Hemingway and All-in-one SEO. Canva is a great option for free, high-quality graphics. We usually use that and get great results!

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      Canva is a neat tool. I use it often. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

  • http://www.joomblocks.com JoomBlocks

    Thanks for the tips! I was wondering, is Rignite being used for this blog as well? I see so many post on Twitter and FB that I cannot imagine them to be manual :)

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      Haha, good question. Jeff’s the right person to ask :-) But in my opinion Rignite is def. worth a try.

  • http://headandheartcafe.com/ Raymond Philippe

    I’ll be visiting or revisiting some of your suggestions. Several have fallen of my radar, some are new to me. I recently started using http://coschedule.com ( no affiliate link ) as a blogging/social media tool.

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      Haven’t tried coschedule yet, but keep hearing about it. Will give it a shot one of these days! Thanks for the recommendation.

      Pooja

  • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

    I’m a big fan of Atomic Reach (improve your writing), Title Experiments (free multi-headline tool) and LeadIn Pro (see who fills in forms).

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      Atomic Reach looks pretty solid. I’ve only dabbled into it once.

      • Jeanne Sachs

        Hi Pooja! Here’s a link to our new app for Chrome http://bit.ly/1wWimjw and would be happy to give you a personal “tour”. I can also send you a guide on how to use it if you’d like. Let me know!

        • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

          Hey Jeanne, happy to take a tour. You can reach me via email. Thanks!

    • Jeanne Sachs

      Thank you Mark! Appreciate the “shout out”!!!

  • http://BlogsRelease.com/ BlogsRelease

    Thanks for this list Pooja! It’s so useful to see a list of great tools in one place. We use a couple of these already but would like to try out LastPass, Triberr and RivalIQ. What about content finder platforms? Would love to hear your opinion.

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      You’re welcome! How do you mean ‘content finder’? If you mean research, one more tool I’d add to the list is Feedly.

      • http://BlogsRelease.com/ BlogsRelease

        Yes Feedly is also a fantastic tool! We created a visual press release board for bloggers to find the freshest content. Would love to hear what you think.

  • http://www.magneticmemorymethod.com/ Anthony Metivier

    Instant bookmark! Great to see some tools I’m familiar with but need to start using in a dedicated manner and some new ones.

    My favorite go-to is Hemingway. Run everything through it and then through Grammarly – it’s magic. Bonus points for re-running through Hemingway and back through Grammarly again.

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      Thanks Anthony! :-) Good to see you here.

  • http://www.timemanagementchef.com/ Tor Refsland

    Great
    article, Pooja.

    In addition to your list, I`m using the following tools:

    – Aweber (autoresponder)

    – Canva (graphic / design)

    – Hootsuite, Buffer and SocialBro (Social Media)

    Tor Refsland

    • http://www.wellpaidwritersclub.com Pooja

      Thanks Tor! Yep gotta love Canva and Buffer.

      Pooja

  • adsy.me

    I would also suggest Zapier if you want to create some smart automation between services (think of it as API management for non-coders / dummies), incl. some of those above mentioned. And also Typeform to create great looking forms (far better than Wufoo or Jotform in my view). Re: project management, I use Trello. I wrote an article where I explain how I mixed Typeform, Zapier & Trello to create a lead generation workflow, if you’re interested: http://blog.adsy.me/how-to-create-a-lead-generation-workflow-with-typeform-zapier-and-trello/

  • http://JoyHealey.com Joy Healey

    My favorite is WordPress SEO by Yoast. Looking forward to checking out some of the others. Thanks.

  • http://reflections-imperfections.blogspot.in/ Neha Mishra

    Very helpful. I’m looking forward to trying few from the list. Thank you Pooja!

  • Shoshi Inbal Rozner

    Hi,
    Wonderful article., very helpful. I can’t wait to use some things you wrote about them
    Thank You
    ShoshInbal

  • Hanna Cutts

    We use proofhub to organize our work and this tool is really handy as well as useful. This tool has helped me to increase my productivity by four folds. I think this tool should be in your list.

  • http://zotabox.com Zotabox Marketing Tools

    Hi Pooja, have you considered packages of onsite marketing tools like sumome or zotabox?

    Our Package of 10+ tools result in less conflicts and are very user friendly. Our tools include social buttons, stylish popups, promo bars, chat etc.

    The website owner can add multiple customizable tools to their website in seconds with full integration with the major social networks, e-commerce platforms and email service providers.

    Please give me a shout if you want to find out more.

  • http://www.chrismccorkle.net Chris McCorkle

    This is a really great list – I would add buffer here too…

  • http://nicholeelizabethdemere.com Nichole Elizabeth DeMeré

    Hi Pooja! I’d also recommend Visage. (http://visage.co) It’s a design tool that makes beautiful visual content.

  • http://blog.kozzi.com/ Kozzi Images

    Hey Jeff, great list. I would love it if you would add Kozzi Images and the Kozzi Images Blog to your list. We have tons of great articles and over 2 million images. http://blog.kozzi.com/