One of the best marketing tools for any business is a great blog. In fact, some blogs are a great business in and of themselves. Having a great blog can establish you as an expert in your field and make you the go-to source for insight, tips, tricks and even factual, reasoned news articles. When you become the go-to source for news and information, that will also position you as a trusted resource for product sales as well.
The truth is, however, that running a blog can become a full-time job in and of itself. Most business owners have a business to run, which means they don’t have a lot of time to manage a comprehensive blog. Thankfully, there are a number of tools that can help you do both. Here are 7 blogging tools that can help increase productivity so you can run a business and a successful blog at the same time.
WordPress is one of the premier blogging sites for a reason. One of the great things about WordPress is that it can be used either as a standalone hosting site or embedded into an existing website. WordPress is extremely user-friendly, with a streamlined, easy-to-use interface and an active support community. There are also a number of different plug-ins available to customize your site and your content to your specific needs. WordPress also allows multiple users to add and curate content, so you don’t have to do it all yourself.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Creating a great blog is something of a wasted effort if no one can find it. Keyword planners work in two ways. First, they help you understand what people are searching for, which tells you what the most sought after topics will be. Secondly, they help search engines connect with your content. You can’t go wrong by allowing the creator of one of the most popular and powerful search engines help you get your content connected to it
Once you know what keywords people are searching for, you want to understand what they are finding when they search. BuzzSumo helps you find the most popular content on the web so that you know what your competitors are offering and what is working for them. In some cases, you may want to write similar content, but in others, you may want to take a completely different tack. Ultimately, however, BuzzSumo can help you keep your finger on the pulse of what is gaining traction and what is not.
A good blog requires a lot of maintenance, but it doesn’t have to be done by one person. Individual posts can be written by a wide range of contributors and even curated by a number of people. In some cases, a blog that is planned for posting several weeks down the road can become topically relevant based on current events, or even an older blog post can become ripe for recycling. Trello is a powerful project management tool that can help ensure you are posting the right content at the right time and that you always have fresh content in the pipeline and ready to go.
5. Readability test tool
Possibly one of the biggest mistakes that business blogs make is overloading their blogs with industry jargon and advanced concepts. While you do want to use your blog to establish yourself as an expert in your field, you can’t actually do that by posting blog content that no one can understand. The sad truth is that the average college freshman actually reads at a 7th-grade level and their skills don’t improve much in college either. The readability test tool will help ensure that you are writing content that your readers can actually understand.
Most people that use social media have come to understand that posts will be read far more frequently if they are accompanied by eye-catching images. The same is true of your blog. While you can certainly pay for images, it can sometimes be difficult to wade through all the many different licensing requirements on different sites. In addition, the more content you post, the more you have to pay for images. Pixabay is a completely free site that is also free of various licensing requirements. While the selection may be a bit more limited on Pixabay than other sites, the beauty of it is you never have to worry about licensing infringement.
Just having great images is a good start, but personalizing your images is even better. Canva is a free service that allows you to customize your content or even create entirely new content from scratch. Blogs should contain a good mix of words, images, infographics, and even videos. Canva not only helps you create the content, but it also has a wide range of templates that will help you size the content for exactly what you need to use it for.
One of the most important aspects of creating and managing a blog is ensuring you are using the best tools for the job. While Trello might not be the right project management app for you or WordPress be the right hosting site, it is important to find the tools that work best for you and your needs. After all, even though you can theoretically screw in Phillip’s head screw with a standard screwdriver, a good carpenter won’t be very productive if they aren’t using the right tool for the specific job they need to do.