You’ve launched your blog. But now you want to take it to the next level. And the only way to break through is with the right toolset.
And with the recent launch of Pagezii’s Blog SEO plugin, we wanted to build a list of blogging tools for beginners with the help of fellow digital marketers.
So, browse through the expert-recommended tool list, and read up on how each can help you improve your blog.
Blogging Tools for Beginners – The List
- Pagezii Blog SEO WordPress Plugin (Blog Analytics)
- Hemingway Editor (Writing and Editing)
- Grammarly (Writing and Editing)
- Buzzsumo (Research and Topic Creation)
- Canva (Images and Graphics)
- Keyword Planner (SEO)
- Google Analytics (Blog Analytics)
- Yoast (SEO)
- Social Warfare (Blog Promotion)
- Headline Analyzer (Writing and Editing)
- ViralTag (Blog Promotion)
- Big Stock (Images and Graphics)
- AddThis (Blog Promotion)
- Spyfu (Research and Topic Creation)
- Ubersuggest (Research and Topic Creation)
- Twitter Trending Topics (Research and Topic Creation)
Now you know the tools. But don’t stop here. Keep reading for the inside scoop for each.
Pagezii Blog SEO WordPress Plugin
I use the Pagezii blog SEO plugin every day. Because it gives me a bird’s-eye view of our blog’s health.
The dashboard gives me information like average SEO score across the blog, our typical communication style through Pagezii Reader Profiles, and a detailed breakdown of social shares.
And when I want to drill down to the nuts and bolts of our blog, I can analyze specific posts. This gives me all the blog performance data I need for a select batch of content.
This plugin is a must-have for any content marketer using WordPress.
Pierre de Braux, Content Strategist, Spiralytics
We use a bunch of different tools for planning, creating, optimizing, and promoting blog content, but none are quite as useful as Hemingway Editor.
The Hemingway Editor assists with the actual writing and editing by identifying readability metrics to determine how easy an article is to read. This is important to us, especially for more technical clients using confusing industry jargon.
In most cases, the easier an article is to read, the more likely it is that people will read it.
I’m not saying that people are unable to read at higher levels. But when articles are difficult to read, readers have to invest more time and effort to understand the content.
In the online world, readers only settle for the best and most convenient.
Emma White, Marketer, Multi Layer Media
As a content creator, my most used and very much loved tool is Grammarly. I use it for all my writing, no matter how large or small the piece may be.
I tend to write in a passive voice without thinking about it, and can also get a bit comma happy. Grammarly always points out a sentence that needs changing to an active voice and lets me know that I don’t actually need that 6th comma.
It’s also a fantastic tool for spotting words that you’ve used a lot. My main offender is the word ‘great’, so I use Grammarly to point out when I’ve used it a little too often and switch it out for a more powerful word.
Grammarly also acts as a form of proofreading. If you’ve missed a word from a sentence without realizing, or muddled a few words, they will be picked up on and pointed out.
P.s. Yes, I did run this response through Grammarly!
Dave Gregory, Content Manager, SiteVisibility
I find Buzzsumo really useful for content writing – mainly when it comes to generating ideas. And more importantly getting an insight into the type of content that is working well for other people and appeals to our audience.
On several occasions, I’ve been able to use points raised in other successful blog posts and pieces of content in our own posts to explore them further or use them as a reference.
It’s also a good way to see where your competitors are performing well and to find important influencers in your industry.
Rebecca Caldwell, SEO Strategist, Mash Media
Canva is an amazing free app on desktop and iOS that allows you to make polished images, charts, infographics and edited images in an easy to use interface.
I use this daily, even just making a collage means I don’t need to ask the graphics department.
Matt Edstrom, Head of Marketing, BioClarity
When it comes to successful blogging, it’s important that you’re creating content on topics people are searching for.
And to make sure you’re not wasting time writing an article no one is looking for, be sure to use Google’s Keyword Planner.
The Keyword Planner is a great tool to help kickstart your keyword research and content idea brainstorm process. It also helps build out your content map by making sure there’s a notable amount of search volume around the topic and target terms you want the article to rank for in search engines.
David Akara, Founder, Verhaal
One tool I can’t live without is Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, I’m able to tell how effective my marketing strategies are for my blog content.
I use it to track traffic, location, keywords, and demographics to see if my blog is reaching the right audience.
And because blog SEO is key to driving long-term traffic, I rely on Google Analytics to track our blog’s growth and performance through search console data.
Caitlin Thayer, Project Manager & Social Media Strategist, UCSA International
The tool that I can’t live without as someone who writes blogs for various clients across a range of industries is Yoast.
It’s an incredible plugin that we use with our WordPress sites which make SEO within web pages and blogs a breeze.
All you have to do is identify your target keyword(s) and Yoast will tell you exactly how to alter your blog to get the most out of it SEO-wise.
Sometimes it’s as simple as making sure you have over 300 words or adding a subheading, to making sure you don’t have stop words in your SEO title or that your images have alt descriptions to support your keyword.
You don’t need any previous knowledge or experience with SEO to use the plugin and use it well. We recommend it to all our clients, and we won’t build a website without it.
Frank Strong, Founder, Sword and the Script
I’m a big fan of Social Warfare Pro for social share buttons. I grew tired of free options that didn’t keep up with the changes to social media – and specifically share counts. So I read reviews and settled to buy that one.
To my delight, Social Warfare Pro has options to reclaim share counts, if, for example, you lost after implementing a new blog theme.
The fact is social shares are important for social proof. Study after study has shown people are more likely to share content that’s already been shared.
Jon Clark, Founder, Fuze SEO
Here is my favorite tool for blogging: CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
While SEO can certainly help with the visibility of your blog content, if the headline is not enticing, it may still go unnoticed.
This headline analyzer will help you construct a headline worth clicking on.
Rachel Ritlop, Blog Consultant, Confused Millenial Lifestyle Blog
Viraltag is a social media scheduler that’s perfect for blogging.
It allows you to share across the traditional social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, but also Pinterest!
You can also set content up as evergreen (content that’s not time-specific), so whenever there is an opening in your social media schedule you can easily revive old content.
Perryn Olson, Marketing Director, My IT
I can’t live without my image subscription to Bigstock.
Social media posts with images are much more likely to be seen and clicked.
Grabbing images from Google is free, but you have to keep in mind copyright restrictions. So play it safe with Bigstock.
Connor LaCombe, Founder, Be Seismic
I setup an AddThis account for almost all my clients and personal websites.
AddThis has incredible analytics and offers great social widgets for any platform.
You can embed AddThis with HTML, or take advantage of plugins for your CMS like WordPress.
They also offer tools like a related posts widget, email list building widgets, and pop-up widgets.
Mary Clare Bland, Chief Strategist, Bespoke
I use Spyfu to analyze keywords and external links that are driving the most traffic to a site.
It also shows what’s working for competitors. This gives me ideas for new articles based on keywords and links that are proving the most effective.
After I write an article and it’s posted on a third party site, I go back to Spyfu to see how much traffic it’s generating and the quality of this traffic.
Greg Golinski, SEO Outreach, YourParkingSpace
I always use Übersuggest when writing blog articles.
It gives you a huge list of potential keywords that you won’t find in Google Keyword Planner.
It’s a great tool to find long-tail keywords to integrate into your articles so that they rank higher in SERPs.
Twitter Trending Topics
Andrew Chwalik, CMO, First Rendezvous
As a marketer and blogger, I’m going to share an obvious tool but one that offers us some of the most interactive topics on the internet.
That tool is Twitter Trending Topics.
What better way to develop a blog post that generates interaction and sparks interest than sourcing story ideas from potential readers themselves?
Some of our most popular posts have been related to trending topics on Twitter, assisted by sharing with appropriate hashtags.
Scroll through the list and pick out a few that can relate to your brand identity.
A post doesn’t need to be entirely focused on National Pancake Day, but why not relate it to your message and reap the rewards that come from sharing a story about a trending topic?
Blogging Tools for Beginners – Take Your Blog To The Next Level
The rights tools help get the job done. It’s no different when it comes to your blog.
So make sure to use these recommended tools to get your blog off the ground. They’ll help you write and edit, promote, and finally, analyze your content.
Want to add to the blogging tools for beginners list? What’s stopping you? Make sure to leave your suggestions in the comments for other bloggers and content marketers to learn and grow.