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We all know blogging is hard…
We all know that blogging takes time…
Time to build our writing skills, reading speed, networking ability and that’s not even taking into account the industry-specific expertise required to add value to others’ lives in the form of information.
And we all know that if approached with the right attitude, then over time, blogging can provide an awesome career and an even better lifestyle.
WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY WE ARE ALL HERE READING THIS ARTICLE.
And my promise to you…
Is that once you have finished reading this list of 10 Must Have Blogger Tools, you will walk away with 1 or 2 (if not more!) tools that will drastically help you with your blogging journey from a small trickle of traffic to an industry authority.
There is nothing worse that publishing a post, distributing to your readership and then realising that you forgot to add that “g” to “morning”, so you now sound MUCH more casual than you would have liked as you greet your audience.
No, that isn’t you, that isn’t your blog…
Because you use the best WordPress spellchecker the world has ever seen.
Whether you are searching for inspiration for a new post, researching a potential guest post or just finding relevant content to share with your audience, BuzzSumo will tell you exactly which content types have previously been shared on each major social network.
This is one of the most effective Blogger tools that you can add to your arsenal.
What do your competitors write about?
Where do your competitors share their posts?
Who reads/shares their posts?
If you are going to be a successful blogger, you need to know the answers to these questions and what is the first step in answering them?
Determining who your competitors are, of course…
Alltop is a directory of blogs in every possible niche you can imagine.
Go on, have a look! (Then come back for number 4 in the list…)
Design is key.
If your stuff looks rubbish you will have a very hard time persuading your readership to share, as people don’t like to share ugly stuff.
Canva is a free tool that enables you to craft BEAUTIFUL images to supplement your content, with absolutely no Photoshop knowledge required.
5. Hello Bar
Do you know what the biggest source of traffic is for Derek Halpern’s awesome blog, Social Triggers?
But from where?
Where does he get these email addresses from?
Admittedly, I don’t think Derek is currently using Hello Bar, but you get the point.
You need to generate email subscribers so that when you have an offer or new content to share, you can deliver it straight to your readership.
Hello Bar gives you the opportunity to add a well-designed email opt-in bar to the top of your page that will do exactly that.
This is probably my favourite tool on this Blogger tools list…
It is so easy to use, it’s ridiculous!
Simply add the plugin to WordPress then find a quotable part of your post and then select the “Click to Tweet” icon in your text editor and BOOM!
Your audience is now able to share your article and Twitter handle with their entire following in one click. Powerful…
7. Optin Panda
Now this Blogger tool is to be used with caution…
Content gating is a controversial topic in the blogging industry…
But I believe that when done right, it can be beneficial to both the blogger and his/her readership.
To do this, you must be creating HIGH-quality content.
You must then give that content away on your blog (obviously), and then create HIGHER quality content that is related to the HIGH-quality content to give away in exchange for an email address.
Basically, this plugin blocks or blurs out a portion of your article and the reader is asked to provide an email address in order to unlock your content. This is why it has to be of high value to begin with, in order for this to work.
Blogging is a multiplayer sport.
You need to interact with your team (readers).
And in my opinion, the best way to do this is with comment software Disqus.
Want to know who is linking to your competitor’s post that has just beaten you to the number one spot on Google for that highly competitive keyword?
Open Site Explorer will do exactly that.
Simply paste the link into this free tool and find those link targets.
Ok, yes your content is the best.
And yes, your readership loves you and you are blowing away your competition.
But that doesn’t mean you should get lazy.
No, you still need to be reading/reviewing/stalking the content in your niche each and every week, if not every day.
Feedly will arrange all your content feeds into neat little playlists for you to review at your leisure.
You have the motivation (otherwise you wouldn’t have read this post down to the bottom).
You have the resources (this blog, of course, and all those other awesome blogs about blogging).
You have the 10 Must Have Blogger Tools (see above and please add any that I have missed in the comments below!).
The big question is:
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
Head back to the sofa to finish that episode of Breaking Bad?
Or sit down and start writing, writing to help people, writing to help yourself…
… And writing to change the world.
About the Author
Tom Hunt is on a mission to help entrepreneurs get back ten million hours of lost time by the year 2020. He is the Owner of Virtual Valley, a Company that helps connect Business Owners with top shelf Virtual Assistants. Tom is passionate about helping you grow your business remotely and he often writes about this on his Virtual Valley Blog. Look him up on Twitter here: @tomhuntio.
Image source: Author-owned