Blogging is one of the best ways to grow your business online. Blogs give you the opportunity to showcase your brand as an authority, publish consistent content and get more traffic to your website. However, just like with social media marketing, paid advertising and other online marketing strategies, there are several different steps and tasks involved with blogging.
Creating, organizing, publishing and promoting content can take a lot of time. Luckily, there are some great blogging tools that help make the process easier for marketers who want to implement blogging into their content marketing strategy.
We’ve compiled a list of the best blogging tools and here are some tools you should be using to pull in your target audience.
The first step in your blogging process is to build a place for all of your content to live. WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) available and it’s perfect for blogging. WordPress powers over 74 million websites and is particularly popular among businesses. Some of the key benefits of WordPress for blogging are:
- Ease of use
- Simple content editor
- A wide selection of themes/templates to create a professional looking blog
- A variety of free and premium plug-ins that allow you to add cool features to your blog without needing to know how to code or develop
- A built-in blogging feature
- Painless integration with several other tools you may use
- A very helpful and active support forum and community
- You can have multiple users with different permission levels so your entire team can contribute
If you have an existing site that was built somewhere else, you can easily add it to WordPress. Your Web hosting company or Web developer can help you set this up.
2. Google Keyword Planner & Long Tail Pro
Once you have WordPress, you’re probably going to want to just jump right in and start creating blog posts. But before you do, you need to perform keyword research. Arguably one of the most important steps for blogging is keyword research. It’s all about finding the different terms and phrases that your target audience will use to find the specific content you’re publishing.
Some businesses resort to just guessing what keywords they think people would use. But with the help of these two tools, you can get a more in-depth look at the exact phrases people are using.
We combined these two tools on the list because they go together so well. The Google Keyword Planner and Long Tail Pro allow you to enter in seed keywords and get a list of suggested search terms along with their search volume (the average number of people that search for that specific term each month on Google).
The main difference between the the two tools is that Long Tail Pro gives you more information and has extra filtering options.
If you want to take your keyword research to the next level, you can take some of the keywords you got through the Keyword Planner and plug them into Long Tail Pro. This tool focuses on what’s known as long tail keywords. These are phrases that are generally over three words long and have a lower search volume. The benefit of these keywords is they are less competitive, more targeted to a specific audience and there are a lot of them.
You have your keywords chosen. Now, you need to come up with some different blog topics and titles focused around those keywords. There are numerous ways to come up with blog topics. But one of the most powerful methods is to find existing blog posts with your keywords already in them. It’s best to pick blogs that have seen success with social shares. That’s where BuzzSumo comes in.
BuzzSumo lets you find blog posts that have been highly shared on social media. You just do a search for your main keyword and you’ll get a list of the latest and most shared blog posts related to your search. You can even search content your competitors have been sharing to see what’s working best for them. Then, you can create better versions of their most successful content to get more views.
The trick is to make a piece of content that’s inspired by what you find through BuzzSumo, not just the same blog post reworded. Take a look at the posts that are getting shared the most and figure out how you can create something better. For instance, if you come across a blog post called “10 Facebook Marketing Secrets You Need to Know.” You could use that as inspiration to make a round-up post like “20 Facebook Marketing Tips From the Pros.”
4. Yoast SEO Plug-in
One of the most popular ways to get traffic to your blog posts, particularly if you don’t have an established audience, is through search engine optimization (SEO). Organic search traffic comes from people who use Google, Bing or other search engines from looking up specific phrases. Once they receive their results, they can enter your site. This is why it’s important to have a high rank on search engines, so you get more traffic to your blog.
There are a variety of factors that impact SEO, but the two major categories everything falls under are:
- On-page factors: Such as meta titles, Web development, urls, the actual content on each page and page structure
- Off-page factors: Such as backlinks, mentions of your company/website online and social factors
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plug-in designed to help you improve some of the most important on-page SEO factors–even if you aren’t experienced with Web development and SEO. This plug-in takes care of everything from setting up your meta titles and descriptions to creating a sitemap. Yoast even helps you tackle the more complex tasks like editing your robots.txt and .htaccess.
Some of the settings may seem a little complex if you’re new to SEO and WordPress, but Yoast created a complete tutorial to help you get everything set up. And the team at WPBeginner made this handy video to help you get set up quickly.
Having a blog post full of text makes your content less appealing and will immediately turn visitors off. Adding in visuals like infographics, charts and other images can help break up your content and make it easily digestible.
The problem that a lot of bloggers run into is figuring out how to integrate images into their content. This leads to bloggers loading their posts with stock images that aren’t eye catching or of any value to the post. Canva is a free tool that makes it easy to create custom graphics to go with your blog posts.
Whether you want to make infographics, featured images or just a few visuals to go within your posts, you can do it all in Canva.
One of the best things about Canva is it comes loaded with templates so all of your graphics can be sized perfectly for each specific social media site. If you want an image to be easy for your readers to Pin, choose the Pinterest template. Or maybe you want something that people can Tweet. You’d then just choose the Twitter template.