Beef Up Your Arsenal With Snazzy Blogging Tools
You know that warm, tingly adrenaline-pumping feeling every time you stumble upon something awesome?
Before you think I’m waxing poetic about love here, I am actually talking about the nifty gadgets and blogging tools that make a blogger’s life supremely easier.
Yep, I do get all worked up every time I come across something exceptionally impressive – like a kid with an early Christmas present!
When you are managing, more like juggling several blogs, there are a number of blogging tools that really do make life easier and help you sleep better, if I may add. I have accumulated quite a few blogging tools on my list of must-haves so I thought of rounding it up for fellow bloggers to use to their best advantage.
If you have taken the time to read How To Start A Blog That Matters, these tools should help you blog like a pro. So, without further ado, go ahead and ogle and take your pick on any of these clever blogging tools to strengthen your blog toolbox:
Blogging Tools For Idea Formation
Every great thing starts from an exceptionally great idea and that includes blog posts. Whether you are dealing with some serious writer’s block or simply looking for great blog ideas to pursue, here is a list of blogging tools to use to get your hands on a minefield of awesome ideas:
- Twitter Search. Your Twitter account is not just a micro-blogging site to network and market your products and drive traffic to your blog, you can also use its search function to get a pulse on popular ideas, trending topics, as well as in developing concepts. Best of all, this is one of the powerful blogging tools out there that you can use for FREE. So why use Twitter search instead of Google search? If you want to make use of Twitter for your B-to-B marketing, this is a great way to engage people in your niche and be able to provide them useful information, at the same time, helping you gain better leverage as a thought leader. To use, simply type in hashtag (#) and your desired keyword, e.g. #weightloss, which instantly opens up results of Twitter users who are in the same niche. This will help you determine who’s who, who you should be connected to and what the people who matter in your niche are talking about.
- Freemind. If you are the type who works well with a brainstorming partner, well, consider using this mind-mapping tool. This app is designed to help you pursue different angles and ideas.Freemind is built to help you prioritize your tasks, know exactly where you are in your projects as well as where you are heading to. This way, you can better keep track of projects along with the status of each subtask.
- Google Insights For Search. It’s a challenge to come up with topics that are relevant and interesting with high popularity potential for avid readers. With so many blogs cropping up like mushrooms every day, ever blogger should always be on his toes. Another one of those simple yet exceptionally useful blogging tools, the Google Insights For Search allows you to study and compare search volumes across different categories, time frames and regions. To use, simply key in the keyword you want to search and input all the necessary filters, such as location, time range, type of search and categories in order to derive a more specific and relevant search results.
Blogging Tools For Content Research
After you come up with great ideas for your next post, you will need to conduct researches, interviews and studies to support your ideas. Here are some of the awesome blogging tools to help you support with content research:
- Skype. Who isn’t familiar with Skype, right? You can use this tool for video calls and conferences, file sharing, instant messaging, screen sharing and so much more. This is another free software you can download and use to your heart’s content. To use, simply download Skype, sign up for a free account and add your contacts to make staying in touch a lot easier.
- Qrait. This is one of the blogging tools offered for free but exclusive to Mac users only. This software is capable of collecting online media pertaining to a single topic all laid out in an ultra sleek and crisp interface.To use, you simply need to create a ‘molecule’ or a page where you will curate and collate content and add in ‘atoms’ or all sorts of information you derive from the web.
- Curate.Us. This software allows you to create some visually compelling quotes and clips of web content that you can easily embed in your emails, blog post, websites and forums. It also includes some built-in attribution tracking and backlinks all available for you free of charge. You can display a quote using its highly advanced formatting tools so you can format, edit and share collated content anywhere on the web or embed it to your own website.
- Flickr/Creative Commons. If you are looking for some visually compelling photos in varying license types, then you should include Flickr as one of your primary blogging tools. If you are looking for crisp, professional photos to feature in your website, browse through their database with varying licenses you can choose from.
Blogging Tools For Content Creation
Once you are ready to write down your ideas, there are a number of ultra sleek and exceptionally helpful suite of blogging tools you can use. Help yourself with these online goodies:
- Writer for iPad. With this tool, you can eliminate all the unnecessary distractions so you can focus on coming up with highly interesting content to blow away your readers. This app is available at a cheap price of $ 4.99. Use it like any other writing software, but a look at its features will tell you that this one is built with writers in mind. It comes with Focus Mode that allows you to write in silence, without the annoyance of auto-correction, toolbars, spelling errors, etc. It also has Reading Time, which instantly creates an ideal environment for reading and so much more.
- Dragon Naturally Speaking. Don’t have time to write your ideas? How about dictating them? Once you get the hang of articulating punctuations then you can look forward to cutting your writing time into a fraction of the time you usually spend. This is a great plus for bloggers dealing with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome! The base package will cost you a bit as it is priced at $99.99. To use, you simply talk and watch it type out everything you say, making writing content and composing emails easier and faster.
- Scribe Fire. If you are managing more than one blog, like me, then you should consider using this free Chrome and Firefox extension that will allow you to post conveniently to all your blogs.
- Seo Blogger. If you are an avid Google Chrome User, the ability to optimize your post as you write might be a great incentive that’s well worth switching over to Firefox. This is a Firefox plugin that helps you find some of the most sought after keywords, which you can view from your sidebar. By installing the SEO Blogger, you will be able to search for viable keywords to use and add it in a bottom box of your SEO Blogger pane for you to remember and use.
- Market Samurai. If you are dead serious on generating income off your blog, then you need this keyword research tool that lets you get ahead of the ranking game. By using targeted research, you can save time, money and effort by writing articles that are relevant and niche-focused. I have to say, this one is a personal favorite of mine and I am pretty satisfied with its performance, I must say.
Blogging Tools For Syndication
As you know, great posts deserve a wide audience. Problem is it doesn’t go viral on its own, well, unless you have managed to establish a fan base. Now, if you need a launch pad for all your articles, then consider using any of these innovative blogging tools:
- Repost.Us. Have all your content syndicated instantly to another website, blogger or publisher with just a few clicks, even with no prior business relationship. Available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. You can also use it to search for relevant articles related to your website.
- Bit.ly. Share your great ideas across your different social networking sites. In fact, you can submit up to 26 different social media sites at one click. It earns a thumbs up from me with its analytics feature. The Pro Plan is available at $ 10.00 per month which allows you up to 1,000 submissions.
- HootSuite. Like Bit.ly, HootSuite, is one of those blogging tools designed for sharing your content across multiple accounts with a single click. You can use it even from your mobile phone, which also allows you to collaborate, track results as well as customize its interface and assign tasks and monitor mention. This base model for HootSuite is free.
Blogging Tools For Monitoring Metrics
When you are seriously writing to rake in a fortune, then you are fairly familiar with the metrics game, right? If you are eager to keep track of your ROI, evaluate performance or keep track of progress, then you should have some of these powerful metrics blogging tools. In the bloggers’ universe, content may be king on the web, but conversions is definitely its tight cousin!
- Google Analytics. This one doesn’t deserve further introductions. As the leading web-based analytics, Google Analytics allows you to keep track of your ROI on advertising, free. It features Analysis Tools, Content Analytics, Social Analytics, Mobile Analytics and Conversion Analytics as well as Advertising Analytics.
- Yahoo! Web Analytics. Another one of the equally robust blogging tools, this one also helps you keep track, measure as well as analyze your blog data — again, for free. Its a highly advanced reporting tool you can use that comes with historical and real-time data to help you gain insights on how you can improve your blog and ultimately, your business.
- Google Webmaster Tools. Are you keen on getting detailed reports of your blog visibility on Google? Then add this to your blogging tools, as it is available absolutely free.This tool can help you detect any potential issue as well as the overall health of your website. It also allows you to understand traffic and how you can optimize it better to improve conversions. If you have an existing Google account, simply log in and add your website, along with follow the instructions on how you can use Google Webmaster Tool for your own site.
- Google Website Optimizer. This is a perfect tool you can use to test your blog’s content. Its key features include the ability to tap into readers, eliminate guesswork and increase your conversions – available for free. This allows you to listen to your visitors, by creating an experiment list to study certain pages of your website and its potential for conversion.
It is quite amazing to know most of these blogging tools are powerful and are mostly available for free. While you want to live and breathe your blog until you start cashing in, you don’t really have to be tied by it. With these blogging tools, blogging is no longer a tedious and overly taxing job.
Over To You
I am pretty sure there are a number of blogging tools I have missed or have not discovered yet. Care you add to the list? I would love to hear about what’s included in your blogging arsenal. If you have something to add, please do share.