Blogging in general is challenging, you need to come up with things to write about that are relevant to your niche, you need to provide valuable content that will help your readers solve a problem and keep them coming back, making sure that you offer a great user experience through easy to read posts and pages, making everything visually appealing, making sure everything is grammatically correct and so on.
This is why anyone who is thinking about starting a blog or has been blogging for years, needs his or her own set of tools and software. Having a set of easy to use and effective tools at the ready can and will save time, and make the blogging experience much easier and allow you be more structured, creative, innovative, and create something that will also be scalable with time.
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There are literally hundreds of tools and software available online today, free and paid. So, here is a list of just a few of the many best free tools and software for bloggers.
Writing And Editing
Blogging is all about writing and editing and is the main function of any blog. So not surprisingly, there is a whole jungle of tools, products, and services available, but knowing how to use and making them work together is the real trick here.
Grammarly: This is a powerful and irreplaceable Chrome extension that is both very handy and free for anyone who writes a lot. Grammarly highlights and corrects both grammatical and typographical errors with one simple click.
Grammarly works extremely well with WordPress as well as social media. Grammarly is completely worry free, simply install it on chrome, and it will always be there to lend a hand. Grammarly also has some powerful paid options, but the free version is more than adequate for most.
Free App From Hemingway: Hemingway’s free app will check the structure and density of each sentence, offering good and constructive feedback. Using the Hemingway app will allow bloggers to easily spot and rewrite any sentence that winds up being either too complex or confusing.
Social media and blogging go hand in hand, since social media is a powerful channel that enables bloggers to distribute content, and more importantly because it directly relates to the community being targeted. As you become more successful as a blogger who uses social media, the more viral your content will become. Again, there are many tools available that work well for bloggers.
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Buffer: Buffer is a very easy to use, lightweight app for desktop or even mobile devices that allow you to manage your social media accounts. Buffer has a free version, but for only $10/month you can upgrade to the pro version.
Hootsuite: Hootsuite and Buffer function much in the same manner, the only difference here is the interface and social media scheduling. It’s a really good idea to have a look at both and decide which one works better for you.
However, if you choose the paid version, the tools tend to differ more significantly. Another thing Hootsuite allows you to do is integrate ads into the top tier plans and has a slightly different range of analytical dashboards compared to Buffer.
Having and managing a content calendar comes highly recommended by bloggers everywhere. Without one, you can find yourself getting distracted and wandering off course. Filling in your calendar months in advance with useful content will allow you strategize, prioritize, and effectively monetize your content.
Trello: Trello has a treasure chest full of great tools, and the content calendar is one of the best.
You have the ability to break down and separate lists into different categories such as writing, editing, published, brainstorming and so on. Trello’s free calendar allows you to set due dates on posts, which gives you a viewable way in which you can manage times posts get published. Trello integrates nicely with Google Docs and a dozen other popular tools.
Graphics And Design
Once you have finished adding content to your blog post, it’s time to get visual. Visual content really makes your posts and articles stand out, they can really make the difference when it comes to getting attention, and ultimately backlinks and social shares.
Vectr: Vectr is a free vector graphics software that is perfect for creating innovative graphics, logos for your blog, newsletter headers, social media banners etc. Vectr allows you to import and export files in vector graphic form, this means that no matter how you scale any images they will remain sharp and clear.
Vectr is available online and can be downloaded to your desktop, and the best part is, if you have never worked with vector graphics before, Vectr has a whole library full of helpful vector graphics designs tutorials.
Pixlr: Pixlr, however, is a raster graphics editor, which makes it perfect for editing and types of photos or images for your blog. Pixlr has a good selection of tools and filters making it a good alternative to Photoshop.
Link Building Tools
Link building is an important part of any successful blog. Simply put, link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. Link building is important for SEO and page rank.
There are two fundamental ways that the search engines use links:
- To discover new web pages
- To help determine how well a page should rank in their results
Here are two link building tools I recommend.
NinjaOutreach.com: Ninja Outreach is an all purpose influencer marketing tool. Ninja Outreach allows you to connect with other bloggers, get mentions on other sites, get guest post opportunities, and get in front of their audiences. This will help create more traffic, get more links, improve ranking, and create more site authority.
THE HOTH: The HOTH is a multifaceted, long-term link building service that allows Agencies and Publishers to focus on making money, instead of wasting time and energy building links. This means you can rank more sites, in less time, for less money than ever before.
These are only a few of the many tools available that will help enhance your blogs user experience and keep visitors to your site coming back for more.