Here’s an analogy to understand why you need the best blogging tools to get the job done.
You’re battling with putting together an IKEA wardrobe.
It’s a hard slog.
You forgot a vital screw and had to start from scratch.
Then you lost the Allen key and had to hunt another one down.
Chaos was in full swing in no time at all.
As essentially, the tools weren’t all in place to do the job properly.
The nuts and bolts failed you and you ended up with a pretty non-efficient wardrobe with pieces missing.
This, my friends, is exactly what can happen with your blog.
You can think all the pieces are in place, when in actual fact, you’re not quite making the cogs turn in an optimal way.
I’m going to give you all the instruments you need to turn your blog into an effective, brand-building machine.
Let’s break it down…
RESEARCH & IDEATION TOOLS
The blog research and ideation stage is going to be a critical part of making your blog work for you.
Knowing your audience and what they’re searching for is vital. And to be honest, many brands make the mistake of basing their chosen topics on assumption, rather than fact.
The result, as you can imagine, is not particularly high readership and engagement levels.
There are tools you can use to combat this and make sure you’re digging deep into topics your audience is actually going to soak up.
Keywords are going to tell search engines all about the content of your page. They should also mirror exactly what your target audience is searching for.
But remember, it’s not just about ranking for any old keyword, though. You need to focus on ranking for relevant, quality keywords. The kind that can result in the new visitors you want to engage with you.
And you can do this easily with the following:
KW Finder is a solid tool that shows both search volume and keyword difficulty for your chosen search terms.
The interface is pretty good to look at and it’s also incredibly easy to use, which is a pro point for both SEO experts and novices.
Google Adwords: Keyword Planner
This free keyword tool has been a favourite for many years… and with good reason.
It’s a great option for those starting out and planning a new blog, but also a partner in crime for sites that are growing and producing more content.
Let’s be honest, you’re most likely to be targeting Google as a search engine. And this tool lets you pull information directly from Google.
It also gives you a snapshot of the average monthly searches and what the competition is like.
Pretty useful, right?
And after you’ve got your keywords straight in your mind and you invest in keyword management, you can start to plan topics.
THE IDEATION STAGE
All of that keyword research is going to be leading up to creating your topics. The kind of topics that are super attractive to your reader.
You know what they want to search for.
You know what the competition is like.
And now you need to craft those keywords into topics.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
This is a nifty little tool that lets you put in a noun (or keyword, as it may be) and it will generate blog topics around that.
1. Enter your keyword(s), you’re allowed up to 5.
2. Access your free week of blog topic ideas.
You have the option to unlock a whole year’s worth of blog topic ideas for a fee, if you enter your details – which of course, is up to you!
This content ideation tool looks into and presents to you the most common questions that people want to know about your target keywords.
It’s pretty useful.
Instead of wondering what your target audience wants to know, it asks the major search engines for the intel, first-hand.
It helps you to find out:
- The language, phrasing, and exact words that are being used around your keyword
- It even gives you answers to the questions with extra snippets of information that you can leverage to create the asset
- And the amazing thing is it shows you the questions that users aren’t finding questions to in the search results
Here’s a little glimpse of it in action:
It’s simple to use and will give you a ton of targeted ideas – win-win.
CALENDAR SCHEDULING & PROMOTION
It’s going to make your life a hell of a lot easier if you can have your blog posts nicely lined up and ready to go out, rather than struggling over which topic to post as publishing day looms.
It can be overwhelming.
And that’s the last thing you want to happen, as it can make you not do it at all, which is the case for many companies.
When you’re scheduling your blog posts to be published, now is the perfect time to construct your social media strategy.
Here’s the thing: If you don’t promote your blog posts properly, you’re missing a big trick and they could fade into oblivion. The digital world is competitive and you need to push from every angle possible.
Luckily, there are amazing tools that let you schedule your blog post publishing, along with all your social channels – so you can kill multiple birds with one tool-like stone.
Let’s take a look at the best of the best.
AgoraPulse is a highly flexible tool offering a multitude of publishing options. The highlight is that you can schedule your content in advance at a preselected date and time.
It allows you to publish content only once, or schedule again, or regularly. All you have to do is schedule and then sit back and relax.
And this goes for evergreen content, that’s best-performing, so you can keep up a steady stream of reliable content. Along with new, fresh content of course.
You can categorise by time slot and topic, so your time is always aware of what’s going out and when.
It’s truly great stuff.
Buffer is going to be purely for promoting your blog.
Essentially, it’s a social media management tool that lets you both easily plan and schedule content to the major social media networks (Buffer currently supports Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest) from one central dashboard. And it works smoothly for both web and mobile.
It’s easy to use and your content gets published at the best time for the platform and audience.
And the kicker is that you can customize the content to your liking for each individual social channel, changing the tone of voice, emoji use and hashtags for each network.
There’s a simple to view calendar showcasing all your scheduled content, so everything you need to see is available in one fell swoop.
It also has a great insight tool so you can analyse what’s working and what’s not, steering clear of making the same mistakes on repeat.
See it in all its glory here.:
Email marketing is another smart and essential way to promote your blog.
Have a great, extra-valuable post?
Perfect, but if you have a readership ready and waiting to hear about it, you need an email list.
There are some handy tools out there that can help you build an email list, as it’s not always the easiest feat.
Here is a couple of the best.
And get this – you don’t need crazy coding skills to be able to do this. It’s pretty easy to set up and use.
You can even create exit intent pop-ups, which basically make an appearance just as a visitor is about to leave. And this is based and preempted around previous insights.
Optin-Monster has a ton of design options available, so you can easily create an on-brand pop-up box that fits seamlessly with your site.
There are three main options available:
The choice is yours. Just make sure you choose what’s most fitting for the style and tone of your website.
Once you have the sign-ups, you’ll have a solid email list of potential customers who are interested in the value your blog posts bring them day-to-day.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST BLOGGING TOOLS
Remember that all of this is worth nothing without engagingly-written, on-point copy that reels the customer in.
I’m talking blog posts that make use of storytelling techniques. Content that uses choppy copy and steers clear of huge, clunky paragraphs.
And above all, content that truly resonates and creates value for your target audience.
The most golden tip I can give you is to base ALL of this on your research. Truly knowing your customer and what they find valuable, not just based on assumption.
As if you don’t, you could see those nuts and bolts start to come loose and leave you with a big heap of IKEA wardrobe on the bedroom floor.
And that’s not a pretty sight.
Konrad and The Creative Copywriter team