Do you have the right blogging tools on your new blog/website?
Hey, listen… You just installed WordPress on your newly purchased self-hosted account and probably even published an article or two.
A dream come true, you are a blogger!
Yes, I know that feeling. It seems all you actually had to do to become a blogger was purchasing that hosting service, which came packed with a free domain (yourfancyname.com)
I remember when I first launched my own website, I literally called my dad, and shouted with excitement,
“I got my own website!”
The wonderful news ever, but little did I know that blogging was a heck of unending tasks and blogging tools which come and go. The blogging world is dynamic; what works today may not work next month.
Looking back, I realized that there are some critical blogging tools I had overlooked, a mistake which resulted in devastating consequences.
I sent potential subscribers into a never-come-back journey, made my contents reach a limited populace and didn't thrill my readers with great info graphics.
Well, in this post, we are going to examine three types of blogging tools which you should have on your website from the word, ‘go.'
1. Email Marketing Blogging Tools
I was good in crafting great long-list and evergreen contents for my blog and I was excited working on my next posts.
Needless to say, I was a busy buddy always on the lookout of new ideas for my next blog posts. I invested huge amounts of time and resources in producing more and more content, with less and less readership.
Well, I was rewarded with hundreds of unique visitors daily who never came back, since there was no opt-in on my site. There was no means to let them know that I had produced a very informative 100 list content related to the blog post they had just read on my website.
Email marketing comes with a little cost, but it is worth it if you want to build a loyal; subscriber base.
When crafting out your emails, there are a number of email marketing strategies you do not want to miss.
While there are over 50 email marketing firms existing today, here are three of the most popular, effective and relatively affordable platforms:
This is an email marketing firm that is being used by several bloggers and webmasters. They offer a 30-day trial period and their emails are usually optimized for mobile users.
With nearly 2.32 billion people owning Smartphones as of 2017, it is imperative that you have mobile-friendly templates for your business.
With Aweber, you will get:
- Over 150 email templates to make your email designs hiccup-free
- Integration with other online services which you are most likely to be currently using. Aweber makes it easier to add customers who have purchased from you into a mailing list.
- Aweber labs. With these, you can easily build your own apps and time-saving tools which will make it even easier to optimize your email marketing strategies.
The only disadvantage is that the platform could be a bit hard to navigate if you are a beginner, and its pricing is relatively high; Starting from $29/month for 1000 subscribers. If you list grows, you will definitely have to pay more.
If you are on a budget and you are looking for a relatively cheap platform to start with, then MailChimp should be your favorite choice.
With MailChimp , you are able to automate email campaigns, create and customize your subscription boxes as well as track your subscribers activity. MailChimp does a great job in rating your subscribers based on their activity such as opens, responses and clicks. You can therefore choose to reward all of your four and five-star subscribers, as well as come up with a way to motivate your one star subscribers.
With MailChimp you also enjoy:
- Low-cost plans.
- Built-in templates and editor to customize campaigns.
- Lots of third-party integration.
- Several Help materials to get you started.
The big perk about this platform is that it is free up to 2000 subscribers and you can send up to 12000 emails without paying a credit card! However, if you are new to the platform, it can really be clunky during the editorial process.
This is perhaps one of the best email marketing software for bloggers and authors. It is actually designed for them (or you, if you are a blogger :))
Launched in 2013, ConvertKit has been growing steadily, though it has a small coverage compared to the others which have been in the industry for long. This is actually an advantage, since their staff offer a dedicated support to its users.
With ConvertKit, you enjoy:
- Customizable automated messages
- Mobile friendly emails
- Easy organization of sequenced courses
- High deliverability of your emails
This is another rapidly growing platform which is packed with really cool and exciting features. For instance, Mailerlite recently introduced a feature in their automation section which allows you set a particular task following a subscriber clicking a certain link
Let's say James sent an email to his 1000 subscribers which teaches them on the importance of crafting great blog posts titles, with a link to the entire post. 250 people happen to click on the link.
For James to target his marketing strategies accordingly, he will set a condition that automatically adds all the subscribers who clicked the link to a new list, named, ‘Great Blog Posts' James will then promote his Great Blog Post course to that list only, and there will be a high conversion rate.
2. Image Archive and Design Blogging Tools
When it comes to content marketing., image is worth a 1000 words. The world is almost being driven by visuals. To give your posts that pump, you need great images to accompany them. However, getting great images is much of a hustle.
Most professional companies charge more than $20 for a single stock photo, and considering that you are publishing new posts every day, this can be quite costly.
Most of the images you will find online are copyrighted, and do not really showcase your own personal brand.
To stand out, you will need unique specific and non-generic pictorials. There are several free websites where you can outsource completely free high quality images and in this section, we will highlight some of them.
- All photos on this platform are released under the creative commons public domain license
- Pexels: All the photos are free for personal and commercial use with no attribution required
- Pixabay. The site contains over 500 000 high quality photos and graphics
- Negative Space. This site makes it easier to grab what you need since it uses a smart filter which allows you to sort the results based on the color, Copyscape position and the category
- Good Free Photos: The site is updated daily and the photos do not require attribution
- Largest collection of hand-picked free stock photos for startups. …
- StockSnap. …This is a home of thousands of beautifully taken photos free from copyrights
- … The photos cover a variety of niches and you are likely to find what you are looking for
- ISO Republic.
From the list above, you can easily outsource great images for your site. However, you will also need to tweak them a bit to fit your personal brand.
To accomplish this, you need some designing tools including:
This one is my favorite and albeit it's a favorite for most bloggers as well.
Pinterest is becoming a very vital search engine in today's world, and thousands of people are dashing into it to find great compelling content to read.
If you are not using Pinterest as your source of traffic, you may want to read How Pinterest Can Turn Your Boring Writing Portfolio Into a Lead-Generating Machine
Canva even has Pinterest templates which you can tweak to fit your content and your business brand.
The other cool thing about Canva is their design school where you learn how to use Canva to design different graphics for different purposes. For example, you can learn how to make book covers, Social Media Images, Info graphics, blog headers etc.
Apart from Canva, there are also other design tools which you can consider using. Some of them are free, while others will require a small investment. You may also need to hire a great designer if you are not into graphic designing, though most of these tools are easy to use.
This is another great online tool to design beautiful visuals for your blog posts and pages. Visme is both an online presentation tool and an infographic tool
You can watch it in action on YouTube
Other Designing tools:
3. Social Media Management Blogging Tools
The rule of the thumb is to spend 20 % of your time creating content for your blog, 50% promoting content and 30% reading other people's work.
After penning down a killer content, you need to let the world know that this content exists.
If the world fail to know, then your killer content is as good as nonexistent. People need to find you.
One good thing about website traffic is that it refers to people! People are social. To reach them, you need to be social. Engage in various social media platforms, and always ensure that you are offering value.
However, this process requires a lot of dedication and understanding the behavior of your potential readers. When are they awake? When are they asleep? When do they read? and what do they read?
To do well in your Social Media Marketing campaigns, you need great blogging tools and an actionable plan and stick to that. The good thing is that there are several social media tools that can help you stay organized.
Some of the best social media scheduling tools ( blogging tools) include:
This is one of the giant players in the industry, but its success is because of its stunning features.
The Buffer platform supports several social media sites such Face book, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Chrome extensions, Android apps etc.
With buffer, you are able to calculate optimal schedule time and adjust your campaigns accordingly. The site also has a powerful analytics dashboard which enables you to monitor how your schedules are performing.
Their free and paid pricing plans also give you flexibility that you desire. You may upgrade and downgrade at anytime; no long-term engagements.
This is, in my opinion, the leader in the social media management industry.
Though it is almost similar to Buffer, Hootsuite focuses on general social media management which includes scheduling, engaging and monitoring. while buffer is specifically designed to give more emphasis on the scheduling, ignoring the other functions.
The platform supports several social media networks such as YouTube, Face book, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Chrome extensions, Android apps etc.
With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts, post videos, bulk images as well as, recycle old posts.
Other notable features of the platform are team functionality and optimal schedule calculation, which are very vital in your social media marketing strategies.
Other Social Media management blogging tools to consider include:
- Every Post
- Sprout Social
- Agora Pulse
Over to you…
Do you have necessary tools in all the three categories mentioned in this post? We would love to know some of your favorite blogging tools in the comments section below.