The difference between a blogger who makes $25K/year and one who makes $100K+/year could simply be the blogging tools they use. Would you like to know the secrets those successful bloggers use to grow their business?
It’s true, the right blogging tools lend themselves remarkably to scalability and can make or break your blog-based business!
Trust me, I know that blogging can be hard sometimes. Especially when you are trying to make a living off of it. But never stop improving on yourself and your blog! There is always hope.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.
Best Blogging Tools & Productivity Tips
In this post, we’ll look at tools that help improve your writing, publish faster, and rank higher on Google so that you can attract more visitors and quality leads to your website. You’ll learn about Google Analytics, blogging equipment, online courses, and then some.
But before we get started, it’s important to note that I focused on tools that work with most website building platforms. Therefore, you’ll need to double-check they work with your specific platform before downloading them.
Additionally, regarding platforms, I would consider WordPress. This is the free blogging software that I use and wholeheartedly recommend. It’s the best. Did I mention it was free? That link will take you to the SiteGround page where you can get a self-hosted blog set up.
Okay, below is a list of time-saving blogging tools and productivity tips you need to start using today to help you grow your blogging business. Let’s dive in!
Level Up Your Productivity
As a blogger, your online life can become a whirlwind of chaos and constant information. Finding helpful blogging tools to bring your chaos back into order is very important for your mental health and ability to continue your blogging efforts.
Certainly, there are a plethora of options for a blogger wanting to organize their schedules and mind. Everyone receives an enormous amount of emails in a given day. Bloggers who base most of their operations online – get and send even more.
Writing Quality Content
As you write content for your blog, you want to be sure the process is simple and error-free. Good content should be polished and presentable, and that process does not need to be overcomplicated.
A few blogging tools that make this easier are Grammarly and Open Live Writer. Grammarly removes all grammatical errors and suggests better/more appropriate word choices. Open Live Writer allows you to create your blog post with pictures and graphics and upload it straight to your website from there.
Another of my favorite blogging tools is 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. This month-long workbook by Darren Rowse has helped thousands of people get better at blogging, learn how to reach an audience, and start making a profit with their blogs. Whether you’re starting out or ready to go to the next level with your blog, this book is worth it.
Lastly, the number one thing to remember when writing for your blog is to keep your content readable and relatable.
Make Amazing Videos
Sometimes, bloggers need to broaden their platform and branch out to different mediums (such as audio or video). When the time comes to diversify, you need to have the tools available for creating good video content.
Blogging tools such as Screenflow and Logitech c920 are both excellent for creating quality filmed and edited videos. Yet, be mindful of other aspects of videography, such as mic quality and lighting.
Jennifer Maker’s Camera Ready course can help take your videos from embarrassing to amazing. Indeed, there’s no need to make those cringe-worthy mistakes. Jennifer’s course takes you from “ugh” to “wow” in a simple series of 8 easy-to-implement steps. So, grab the confidence needed to really begin to implement video for future blog posts.
Setting Up Google Analytics
Something all bloggers need to be aware of is how their website is doing. More importantly, they must learn how to rank higher on Google.
Do you know how much click traffic you’re generating, and what things attract people to your blog? What do they tend to click on the most?
Getting a handle on the answers to these questions will broaden your understanding of how to market better and reach out to your audience. A few tools to keep on your radar are Google Analytics and SumoMe Heatmaps.
Allow Tracie Fobes to show you how to set up Google Analytics & Search Console in WordPress.
Google Analytics tracks website statistics like what kind of people are checking out your website while SumoMe Heatmaps keeps track of which things are getting clicked on your blog.
Leveraging SEO & Keywords
I personally employ a 4 Step SEO Framework to scale my blog’s traffic and income: Build – Design – Create – Promote.
Related: SEO 101 for Bloggers & Beginners
Second-only to creating excellent content, accurately targeting your audience is nearly as important. Using appropriate keywords and SEO (search engine optimization) is how you ensure the people you are aiming at, get reached.
SEMrush will keep you updated on your competition and precise keywords. Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins for bloggers who use WordPress as their platform.
Social Media Scheduling
As a blogger, sometimes getting your schedule and new releases on all your social media platforms can be a challenge. How do you Master Instagram? How do you Boost Your Authority with Facebook Groups? Did you forget to post on LinkedIn? Or was it Twitter?
Regardless, you could use some help keeping your schedule and social media platforms straight. Tools like Buffer are here for that exact reason, allowing you to schedule your events at once on all your platforms.
Also, for those bloggers using WordPress – NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster is an outstanding addon that releases your new posts to all your social media networks.
Proper Website Management
Another vital aspect to bear in mind as a blogger is that you should always monitor your site. How many visits are you getting? How should you use that information?
Are there any bugs or glitches cropping up? If so, deal with them. Nothing is more disappointing than an out-of-date and slow website; do not run off your readership.
A couple of tools to help with this are Gtmetrix, which helps with improving website performance The other is Google Alerts, which informs you whenever your keywords are used or other sites mention your web pages.
Also, keep on the lookout for other apps that notify you when your website is not busy and for ways to keep your information saved and backed up. No need to lose everything if it crashes.
Blogging Courses I Highly Recommend
How do you advance your professional development since becoming a blogger? You should always look to improve yourself and learn more. Whether that looks like finding a supportive group of bloggers who you can bounce questions off of or taking online courses, do something to better yourself as a blogger and a person.
You should definitely look into these excellent blogging courses that will help with your blog immensely:
- Blog by Number by Suzi Whitford
- Stupid Simple SEO by Mike Pearson
- List Love by Jennifer Maker
- Bloggers Secrets by Savvy Couple
- Pinterest Traffic Trifecta by Angie Gensler
- Becoming a Blogger by Cate Rosales
- Elementor Hero by John Whitford
- Be Your Own Blog Boss by Chelsea Clarke
Hosting Platforms & Email Service Providers
Successful bloggers need to find email service providers and web hosting solutions that push them forward. SiteGround is a hosting website that is affordable and has a 30-day money-back guarantee. Also, the software installs WordPress easily.
If you’re focused on building a great website, not on web hosting complexities then checkout Cloudways. Their managed hosting platform gives digital agencies and eCommerce businesses flexibility and choice in how websites are hosted.
Backed by their 24/7/365 support, you’re guaranteed peace of mind. Simplicity is a concept that is a constant in all their developments and operations.
ConvertKit facilitates email marketing for professional bloggers. It’s an email service provider that allows you to highly customize your emailing list and the messages sent to them. It makes organizing your email and keeping up so much easier and straightforward.
I can’t say enough good things about this blogging tool and company. Whether you’re just starting out or want to take email to the next level, go with ConvertKit. This is one of the blogging tools I use daily!
Related: 3 Must-Have Legal Pages For Websites
Make Money Blogging
As a serious blogger, surely you have wondered how to make money blogging off of your hard work.
Here’s the workflow that I’ve implemented in my business:
- Passion – I linked my passion to a product and a problem.
- Begin – Avoid delays. Don’t get it perfect; just get it going!
- Validate – You must validate your product. Justify before you create.
- Audience – Your number one priority is to build your email list.
- Habit – The secret to your future is hidden in your daily routine.
- Education – Invest in training + blogging tools.
You’ve got to Launch – Grow – Profit – Scale. One way to do that is to start creating video content for online courses or printables for purchase.
If you are creating video content or online courses, you will want a platform to display these in an easy-to-access manner for your viewers or students. Teachable is an exceptional platform for this purpose. It is intuitive and user-friendly and organizes your content well.
SendOwl makes it easy for you to sell digital products direct to your audience, from your blog, social media, or anywhere you can paste a link.
Make It Shareable
Always make your content easy to share. How do you do that? Here is an example. Click to Tweet allows your reader to click on a link that leads them to a “prepopulated” tweet. In other words, the tweet is already written for them. All they have to do is click, making it that much easier for them to share your content. Also, consider putting a shareable link in your signature on emails.
See the example below:
Read Other Blogs
You’ve got to keep up with the competition. Watch what other bloggers like you are doing. With what are they successful, and how can you improve on their ideas? Read what they have to say in their blogs. Did you see something another blogger wrote that you want to catch up on later?
Some of my favorite and most resourceful bloggers (in no particular order) are:
- Amy Porterfield: How To Build Your Email List from the Ground Up
- Angie Gensler: What to Post on Social Media
- David Risley: 10 Smartest Things You Can Do to Promote Your New Blog
- Jonathan Milligan: How to Create A Membership Site In 8 Simple Steps
- Michael Hyatt: How to Choose A Business Coach
- Ryan Robinson: How to Write an About Me Page (for Your Blog)
- Suzi Whitford: 75 Real Ways to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom
Now when you’re ready to save the articles, videos, and stories from any publication, page or app, what blogging tool can you use?
Consider Pocket to save such articles or posts for a later read. It lets you curate your own space filled with everything you can’t wait to learn.
Give Out Surveys
How do you maintain a connection with your audience? Blog surveys are a fantastic way to quickly collect feedback from readers and email subscribers. The results help you gauge what you’re doing well and what you can improve, which ultimately leads to better content.
So, take them into consideration when you are designing products and posts for the future.
SurveyMonkey is well-known and accepted as a way to provide surveys to your readership and customers. Use it to drive your business forward by using their free online survey tool to capture the voices and opinions of the people who matter most to you.
An alternative to SurveyMonkey with a slightly different presentation is Typeform. It makes collecting and sharing information comfortable and conversational. It’s a web-based platform you can use to create anything from surveys to apps, without needing to write a single line of code.
Use Quality Themes & Landing Pages
Always strive to make your site more lucrative. For instance, if your customer purchases a product from you and a landing page pops up with a thank you note (plus a promo code), it might encourage them to purchase from you again.
Landing pages are for many more things than just grateful messages. They can show related products, monthly sales, or new content. LeadPages is a reliable site to go to for quality lead pages and lead boxes.
Also, finding a good theme for your blog page is something that really catches your viewer’s eye. You would be surprised how often an unpresentable page causes a potential customer to leave your page. Themeforest has plenty of themes for reasonable prices. But if you want to build websites quickly and easily, then consider StudioPress, the industry standard, and market leader.
“If people like you they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
Create Webinars That Convert
After you have started to make video content for your blog, you may want to consider doing some webinars. That gives your audience a more connected feeling with you (being able to attend a webinar live).
A webinar is an online event that is hosted by an individual, organization/company and broadcast to a select group of persons through their computers via the Internet. (A webinar is sometimes also referred to as a “webcast”, “online event” or “web seminar”.)
Now if you are on a low-budget, Google Hangouts is an option to hold a webinar. However, using a platform like Webinarjam may be preferable. It is specially designed for webinars and has many additional features.
Perhaps you need a little hand-holding to get you across to the finish line. Beth Anne Schwamberger does a fantastic job with her Craft Your Brilliant Webinar course.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
~ Jim Rohn
Employ An Online Shopping Cart
One of my absolute favorite blogging tools has to be ThriveCart. Here is a software that helps you to promote and take payments for physical products, digital products, subscriptions, and services to your customer.
This isn’t just any ordinary product distribution system. ThriveCart is the number one cart platform for marketers desiring to create high converting checkout pages, upsells, sales funnels, affiliate campaigns & more.
Become Productive By Outsourcing
As a parting tip: bear in mind that you cannot do everything yourself. Sometimes it is more cost-effective and less stressful to delegate some jobs. Perhaps that may mean blog outsourcing.
Blog Outsourcing could be the secret ingredient for scaling your content marketing. It all boils down to hiring someone who is an expert in a different area to do the required job for you.
If you are looking for a directory of remote workers, check out Hubstaff Talent – it is free. And if you are having trouble fixing a bug or glitch on your website and you are sick of trying to figure it out yourself, Codeable can help.
Related: Busy Blogger’s Guide to Outsourcing
Too many people think blogging is difficult. The thought of setting up a website and writing loads of posts is too much to bear for a lot of people. So, they end up forgetting about it and losing out on all the benefits a good blog can bring.
Yet, reasons abound as to why blogging should be part of your business growth strategy. Employ the right blogging tools and you can generate more leads, foster trust with your readers, and improve your rankings on search.
However, to reap these benefits, you have to invest time, effort, and money into your blog strategy. The good news is that at every stage, from planning to search engine optimization to promotion, there are excellent blogging tools available to maximize your blogging efforts.
Use this new knowledge wisely. Invest in the areas you need the most help with now, and slowly branch out from there. You have the makings of a successful blogger inside you.
Hopefully, all of these productivity tips and blogging tools that I highlighted were helpful and encouraging. Cheers and happy blogging!
Other Helpful Resources
There are a lot of people putting great content out right now to help businesses through this crisis. So, rather than reinvent the wheel, here are some great additional resources for you to check out for tips on things like working from home, scaling your business, email marketing, handling financial crisis and more:
- How to Work from Home and Stay Productive with Chris Ducker
- How to Write a Blog Disclaimer with Raelyn Tan
- Create Your Coronavirus Contingency Plan with Racheal Cook
- How to Write A Post That Gets a Ton of Comments with Elna Cain
- The Top 5 Tools to Scale Your Business with Jenna Kutcher
- Bold Leadership in Uncertain Times with Tara Newman
- Simple Ways to Increase Website Traffic with Elna Cain
- Be Proactive not Reactive with Chris Ducker
- Email Marketing 101 with Smart Blogger
- How to be of Service to the World Amidst Crisis with Kelly Roach
So good buddy, are there any essential blogging tools I missed that should be added to the list? What other blogging tools have saved you time, increased your productivity, and made you a better blogger?
Share with us in the comments below!