Blogging has proven to be an incredibly useful tool for marketers and influencers looking to expand their reach and increase their rankings. The more you blog, the better! The problem for a lot of bloggers, though, is time. How can you maximize your time and still churn out tons of valuable content that helps you get more traffic to your site?
The answer is to work smarter, not harder, by taking advantage of some of the fantastic tools available for bloggers. A recent study found that people spend close to four hours on a blog post. That’s over an hour longer than bloggers spent on their posts back in 2014. There’s a direct correlation between how long is spent on a post and the results it receives.
Spending more time on your blog can be a good thing, as long as you spend that time doing the right things. There’s no reason to spend additional time on all the extra things that go into blogging when you should be focusing your efforts on writing and publishing that perfect post. Having the right tools can help you with everything from coming up with topic ideas to marketing each post.
Top Blogging Tools for 2020
Whether you are just starting your blog or have reached pro status, here are the best tools available to help you reach your target audience.
Tools for New Bloggers
If you’re new to blogging, we have you covered. These tools can help you set up your blog, make sure the posts you write are well-suited for your target audience, and help you build your email list.
Using WordPress as your CMS can be a good idea for beginners who don’t want to worry about coding or building a website from scratch. You can start with a free account, then pay for features as your blog and website grow. There are plenty of free themes and plugins available that can help you amplify your content and create a beautiful website.
Make My Persona
The handy tool Make My Persona from HubSpot is a free tool that allows you to create a buyer persona for your intended audience. The tool walks you through a series of questions that help you better understand who you are trying to target and what types of challenges they might be facing. Use this information to create blog posts that speak directly to your audience and their pain points.
Build your email list by capturing email addresses on your website with Sumo. This free tool is a no-code-required way to capture emails. Upgrade to a pro membership for $39 per month to get additional analytics features, unlimited Sumo-driven revenue, and the ability to store 50,000 emails per month.
Tools for Keeping Content Fresh
After you have been blogging for a while, coming up with new, fresh content ideas can be challenging. Instead of staring blankly at your computer screen for hours on end, use these tools to discover new ways to think and write about the same topics.
Blog Topic Generator
HubSpot’s blog topic generator tool is a total game-changer for bloggers who spend way too much time thinking of ideas for new posts. All you need to do is input up to five nouns, and the tool will magically deliver a week’s worth of blog post ideas. You can get five blog post ideas at a time for free, or you can download a year’s worth of ideas by inputting your information.
Portent Title Maker
One word is all it takes for Portent’s free tool to generate a blog title and give you useful tips for making the blog post engaging. You can refresh it as many times as you want until you land on the perfect idea. Save the ideas you like and forget the ones you don’t. It can be helpful to sit down and generate multiple ideas at once so that you can create your next batch of content without spending too much time in the ideation phase.
Stand out from the crowd with customized surveys that ask your audience what they think of a particular topic or post. With Fyrebox, you can create a survey for free that easily integrates into your website. It can be a great way to see what your audience wants to hear about so they can help you come up with ideas for new blog posts.
Tools to Sound Like a Pro
No matter what you’re blogging about, you want to make sure it is as easy to read as possible. These tools will guarantee your blog reads like a pro wrote it.
Say goodbye to typos, misspellings, and bad grammar with Grammarly. This AI-powered writing assistant is available as an extension so that it can check your work on all of your social sites as well as your emails and website. The basic package is free and includes access to grammar and spelling checks. Premium and business plans are available to make your writing clearer and easier to read, starting at $11.66 per month.
Make your writing clear by keeping it concise. The free Hemingway app will give you suggestions about how to shorten sentences and clarify your ideas so that your readers can enjoy a straightforward reading experience. It points out things like passive voice, run-on sentences, and overly wordy sentences that can be condensed. It will also give you a grade-level score.
If your blogs tend to be research-heavy, you might benefit from using Airstory. This innovative tool lets you sort your research into cards that you can organize and use to turn into a story. The pro package is $25 a month and includes unlimited cards, kanban boards, outlines, collaborators, and up to 100 GB of storage. Larger teams may want to upgrade to the Heavy Duty Writer for $125 a month, which includes up to 5,000 GB of storage.
Tools to Make Your Blog Look Good
Create professional-quality designs without paying a designer by using Canva. This free tool comes with over 8,000 templates plus thousands of images that you can use to create social media posts, website images, presentations, and more.
Death to Stock
Just say no to cheesy stock photos that every other website is using. Instead, try Death to Stock, the photo website that takes a more authentic and artistic approach to stock images. It costs less than other stock photo websites and has fewer restrictions. Plus, the images are usually more interesting and creative than what you’ll find on traditional stock photo websites.
Turning blog posts into video content is a great way to keep your content fresh and showcase it in a whole new way. Fastreel makes it simple to create and edit videos that you can share on your website or social media pages. Start with an image or video, then choose your transition, video speed, filters, and more. You can even add music for free using Fastreel’s vast music library.
Tools for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Even the most well-written blog post won’t get any traffic if it isn’t optimized for search engines. Use these tools to find keywords that will help every post rank.
Use the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress, Magenta, Neon, or TYPO3 CMS to make sure your text is readable and SEO-friendly. If your post is not fully optimized, you’ll get an orange or red light, along with specific recommendations for how you can improve your post. Once you get the green light, you’ll know that your post is perfectly optimized for SEO. Best of all, the plugin is free. You can pay $89 per year for a Premium package that comes with additional features.
Another WordPress plugin is Squirrly, which can help you quickly identify the best long-tail keywords to rank for each post you write. Additionally, Squirrly can show you which backlinks your site has and give you AI-powered recommendations for getting more traffic to your site and increasing your site’s visibility.
Quickly identify how popular your blog post idea is by using Google Trends. This is a free tool from Google that can show you interest in a particular search term over your chosen time period. You can adjust the location to see how your chosen keywords and keyword phrases are trending in different parts of the world. This can be especially useful if your blog post has an international audience.
Blogging is essential for any company or influencer with a digital presence. Blogs can help you get traffic to your site and demonstrate your expertise. These 15 blogging tools can help you stay organized and create rich, relevant content your readers will love. Most of them are free. For those that aren’t, they are often well worth the cost to save you time and let you focus on delivering content that drives traffic to your site and increases your conversions.