Are you having a hard time blogging? I know I did when I first started out.
Over the years, blogging has evolved, and many new platforms and tools have been created. Most of the tools aren’t very useful, but a few are.
Here are the 11 tools that have helped make my blogging journey a bit easier and more successful:
Coming up with topics to write about isn’t easy. Luckily, Buzzsumo helps with the task.
All you have to do is head over to their homepage and type in a keyword related to your industry. For this example, let’s use the phrase “content marketing.”
Once you click on the “go” button, you’ll see a results’ table that looks like this:
Buzzsumo crawls the web for blog posts and indexes them all… kind of like Google. It then sorts the results by social shares and shows the posts with the highest share count at the top.
You will see what type of content has done well in the past. You can then come up with article ideas based on the list.
For example, I found that one of the most shared titles was “An Internet Marketing Education in 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails. No Charge.”
I then came up with my own variation called “Get Your MBA in Internet Marketing with These 12 Guides and 2 Courses.” People enjoyed the post, and it did fairly well. It received 285 Facebook shares and 455 tweets. That’s not too shabby for an article that took me only 30 minutes to write.
Did you know there is a content marketing tool on Quick Sprout? Best of all, it’s free.
To start, simply enter your URL or your competitor’s URL here. You’ll see a report that looks like this:
When you click on the “social media tab,” you’ll see a table that looks like this:
This table shows all the pages on any given domain and sorts them by social shares. This is useful because if you want to see what blog posts are working well for your competition, just put in their URLs into the tool. The table will show you their popular posts.
By analyzing your competition with the Quick Sprout tool, you’ll gain insights into what is working for your competitors and the type of content you should be producing on your blog.
Do you want more search traffic? Of course, you do.
Open Site Explorer is a useful tool because it sorts all the URLs within a domain by backlinks. And as you know, the more backlinks a website has, the more search traffic it will typically receive.
This will help you get a good understanding of the blog posts on your site that are bringing you more backlinks. You should be writing more posts like those.
The tool also shows you the-most-linked-to posts on your competitors’ blogs. See what is working for them, and try to replicate that on your blog.
When doing this, make sure you don’t copy your competitor. The goal is to one up them and create a better blog post. This way, you can email all the people that link to your competitor and ask them to also link to your post.
And if you need email templates when reaching out to the sites that link to your competitor, check out this blog post.
If your blog makes money, you can always use a solution like Maropost. They charge a lot more, but their deliverability is noticeably higher.
As a general rule of thumb, you want to notify your list of each blog post you release. But if you release more than three posts a week, you should consider a weekly blast to avoid flooding people’s inboxes and angering them.
If you are going to take the time to write a blog post, you’d better take the time to ensure your blog is optimized for search engines.
Luckily for you, SEO is pretty easy when you have a WordPress blog. All you have to do is install this plugin and follow the instructions in the video below.
The cool part about the Yoast SEO plugin is that it has everything you need. From allowing you to adjust your meta tags to creating an XML sitemap, the plugin does everything for you. It is great… and best of all, it is free.
Did you know the faster your website loads, the more traffic you will receive? By improving the load time on Quick Sprout, I was able to increase my traffic from 121,311 to 244,923 visitors a month.
I achieved those results back in February 2013, and my traffic since then has continually risen as I’ve improved my load time.
Setting up a CDN can also help. If you aren’t familiar with CDN, it’s technology that replicates your website across multiple servers across the world. That way, when someone from India comes to visit your website, they are pulling it from a server in India versus the US.
Both Rackspace and WP Engine offer CDN solutions with a click of a button, which is great.
But in addition to picking the right host, you need to ensure your website is optimized. A messy website will decrease your load times.
By using W3 Total Cache, you can optimize your blog’s code with a few clicks of a button. Just make sure you follow these instructions or the ones in the video below… and don’t worry—you don’t have to be technical to use it.
Yes, you already know about Google Analytics, but have you directly increased your search traffic because of it?
Chances are you haven’t.
So how do you use Google Analytics to increase your search traffic? There are three specific reports you need to use. Based on those reports, you can increase your click-through rates and rankings with a few small tweaks.
With a few simple Crazy Egg tests, I was able to see how many of you scrolled down and actually read each blog post. With a bit of testing, I was able to increase the number of people who read each post by 62.5%.
It doesn’t matter what kind of a blog you have, there is a goal you are trying to achieve. And it doesn’t have to be a financial transaction either…
From getting people to give you their email addresses to gaining more social media followers or bringing more awareness to your brand or a specific message… the possibilities are endless.
Through the use of Hello Bar, you can achieve all of the above goals plus more. How so? Well, Hello Bar places a fully customizable bar at the top of your website.
Sign up for a free account, pick your goals, and Hellobar will help you achieve them.
My favorite part about the tool is that it has A/B testing built in. So you can test different goals and see which one is yielding the best results.
Do you want to avoid writer’s block? Qualaroo is a great tool to help you generate ideas.
It creates an unobtrusive box that allows you to ask your readers a question. You can ask, for example,
“What else would you like me to blog about?”
Your readers will tell you their opinions. The cool part about Qualaroo is that it will analyze all the responses and show you the commonalities in them. It will tell you which topic is in demand so you can blog about it.
Simply Measured has a handful of tools, and my favorite ones are their free tools.
You can put in your social media handle in one of them, and the tool will tell you the best times for you to send a tweet or share a post on Facebook.
Their reports will break down data such as:
The reason you want to use these tools is because you don’t want to tweet at 8 a.m. when all of your followers are on Twitter at 4 p.m.
Blogging doesn’t have to be hard. There are a ton of free tools out there that can help you generate ideas and increase your readership.
The 11 tools I mentioned above are the main ones I use on my blog. Give them a shot. They’ll change your blogging experience.
What other tools do you use when blogging?