If you wish to take advantage of your time running a blog, select the proper instruments as a result of they’ll prevent some huge cash and energy.
However there are plenty of instruments on the market—and never all of them are value it.
Effectively, I’ve been running a blog for over a decade and have used a whole bunch of instruments in that point. That will help you kind the wheat from the chaff, I’ll listing all of the instruments I’ve used to develop a number of blogs to a six-figure revenue—and what every of them is beneficial for.
Simply need one of the best running a blog instrument stack? Listed here are my 10 most-used instruments for running a blog:
- WordPress – Greatest content material administration system (CMS) to handle your weblog.
- Google Docs – Greatest phrase doc editor to collaborate along with your crew.
- Wordable – Simply add your articles from Google Docs to WordPress with one click on.
- Ahrefs – Greatest all-around Web optimization instrument for rating excessive on Google.
- Notion – Greatest process administration and content material planning software program.
- Google Search Console – Greatest instrument for making knowledgeable Web optimization selections.
- Canva – Greatest graphic creation instrument.
- Snagit – Greatest screenshot seize and enhancing instrument.
- Loom – Greatest display screen recording instrument.
- ConvertKit – Greatest electronic mail advertising and marketing software program.
Need extra? Preserve studying.
Let’s kick issues off with an inventory of instruments you should use to analysis, write, edit, and publish your weblog posts.
What it’s: A content material administration system (CMS) to construct your web site and publish weblog posts.
Why I like it: It’s the most sturdy, Web optimization-friendly CMS in the marketplace. As a result of it’s open supply and so standard, you are able to do virtually something with WordPress with the proper plugins or a very good internet developer. I’ve been utilizing it since I began my first weblog at 15. It’s not the simplest running a blog instrument for rookies, however it’s rather more highly effective than “beginner-friendly” web site editors like Wix or Squarespace when you discover ways to use it.
What it’s: A doc editor.
Why I like it: Google Docs is an easy-to-use free doc editor that makes collaborating with writers and editors a breeze. I’ve been utilizing it to write down my weblog articles for over 10 years. It simply works.
What it does: Uploads articles from Google Docs to WordPress in a single click on.
Why I like it: Google Docs has hidden code that’s introduced over while you copy-paste content material to WordPress. Wordable fixes that by importing the doc to WordPress whereas holding the formatting however eradicating the additional code. It additionally cleans up and optimizes your photos.
Worth: Free as much as 5 exports per thirty days (then $50/month).
What it does: Scores your headlines clickability and Web optimization.
Why I like it: It helps me write killer headlines—which is essential for each clickability and Web optimization. Higher headlines imply extra clicks within the SERPs which, in flip, will help your content material rank increased on Google. The instrument provides you concepts of energy phrases and unusual phrases to make use of to make your headline extra attention-grabbing, and its AI can write and counsel headlines for you.
Worth: Free ($19/month or $99/yr for premium).
What it does: Makes strategies to enhance your writing and fixes grammar and spelling errors.
Why I like it: Typically while you’re within the move of writing, the phrases simply pour out of you—and also you don’t need to interrupt that move by fixing typos or grammar errors. I take advantage of Grammarly post-draft to repair my errors after the majority of the article is completed. It’s additionally appropriate with Google Docs and WordPress in case you get the Grammarly browser plugin, which is good.
What it’s: An AI chatbot.
Why I like it: I take advantage of ChatGPT for researching and outlining plenty of my content material. It may aid you establish matters or concepts you didn’t take into consideration in your preliminary content material define. I’ve additionally began taking part in with it to enhance my content material and my life typically, reminiscent of utilizing it to assist me give you highway journey itineraries for particular wants—like discovering one of the best routes primarily based on climate and areas with free tenting—then flip that journey right into a weblog publish and social media movies.
Worth: Free ($20/month for premium entry).
What it’s: A textual content editor that grades your writing utilizing the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Degree.
Why I like it: As somebody who performs and writes about pretty advanced Web optimization duties on a near-daily foundation, it may be laborious to know if my writing is straightforward to grasp for the entire newbie. Whereas the Hemingway App received’t essentially assist me break down these advanced duties, it can inform me if my writing is overly advanced from a readability standpoint. Whether it is, I can simplify issues extra so that just about anybody can learn it. It’s as much as me to verify it nonetheless is sensible, although.
Subsequent up, let’s take a look at instruments that can assist you create a content material calendar and maintain your content material organized.
What it’s: A productiveness software program.
Why I like it: Notion is without doubt one of the coolest software program I’ve ever used. You may customise it to do virtually something: handle your to-do listing, plan a content material calendar, collaborate along with your crew, and rather more. I take advantage of it to maintain monitor of my tasks and targets (each private and enterprise), plan out my content material, journal, take notes about new issues I’m studying, and extra. I take advantage of Thomas Frank’s Final Mind template, which has a steep studying curve however completely remodeled how I plan my life and enterprise.
Worth: Free (premium plans begin at $8/month).
What it’s: A messaging app.
Why I like it: I used to make use of Slack to remain in contact with my crew. Nonetheless, now that I take advantage of Notion, we largely simply talk through that app. Now, I take advantage of Slack to hitch communities with different bloggers and content material entrepreneurs and communicate with masterminds I’ve met through the years. Try a few of these Slack communities for SEOs.
Worth: Free (premium plans begin at $7.25/month).
What it’s: An analytics dashboard on your web site.
Why I like it: Seeing analytics information (e.g., what pages persons are visiting in your web site, how lengthy they’re staying in your web site, and the place that visitors got here from) is essential to make knowledgeable selections about what varieties of content material to provide and the place to advertise your content material. I verify the analytics no less than as soon as every week to see which pages are performing greatest.
What it does: Reveals search traits for matters over time.
Why I like it: It’s tremendous helpful for locating trending and breakout matters. For instance, I used to be lately on the lookout for new matters for my tenting web site and located that searches for “lake berryessa tenting” have risen 70% within the final 12 months.
Search engine marketing and running a blog are two peas in a pod. If you wish to develop your weblog organically, it’s essential be taught Web optimization. Listed here are a number of instruments that can assist you rank increased on Google:
What it’s: An all-in-one Web optimization instrument suite.
Why I like it: I take advantage of Ahrefs for a lot of issues. For me, it’s been most helpful for key phrase analysis and discovering backlink alternatives. My most-used characteristic of Ahrefs is the Content material Hole report throughout the Web site Explorer instrument, as proven within the screenshot above. I prefer to spy on my opponents’ key phrases to see what they’re rating for that I’m not. In fact, that’s simply scratching the floor of what Ahrefs can do.
Worth: $99+ per thirty days (free instruments out there).
What it’s: A software program that analyzes present Google search outcomes to attain your content material primarily based on how nicely optimized it’s in comparison with competing outcomes.
Why I like it: I take advantage of SurferSEO to assist me define my content material in a means that’s extra prone to rank nicely on Google. It has a content material editor with a content material rating system that goes from 0 to 100 to grade how nicely optimized your content material is for a given key phrase (100 being essentially the most well-optimized article). It additionally has a Chrome extension that allows you to use it together with Google Docs.
Worth: $49+/month (relying on tier).
What it’s: A WordPress plugin that helps you higher optimize your pages for serps.
Why I like it: Yoast makes it simple to set your web page’s meta tags, add robots.txt and sitemap recordsdata to assist Google extra simply crawl your web site, and shortly see what pages aren’t optimized for search.
Worth: Free ($99/yr for premium).
What it’s: A instrument to observe and troubleshoot your web site’s look in search outcomes.
Why I like it: I take advantage of Google Search Console to assist me discover pages which are shedding traction on the SERPs over time. Simply go to the “Efficiency” report; then for the date, examine the final three months to the earlier three months (or longer). Something that’s dropped in visitors needs to be thought of for a content material refresh. I additionally use it to maintain tabs on my web site’s efficiency typically and see if it has any points like not passing Core Internet Vitals.
What it’s: A software program that finds widespread questions folks ask on Google which are related to a given search question.
Why I like it: I take advantage of ATP to make sure I’m addressing all of the widespread regularly requested questions folks have round a given subject after I’m writing an article. It additionally helps me to indicate up as the reply for Individuals Additionally Ask questions on Google.
Worth: Free (premium plans begin at $9 per month).
What it’s: A instrument to see at a look in case your meta title and outline are too quick, too lengthy, or simply proper.
Why I like it: I take advantage of it to verify my title tags received’t be truncated (reduce off) within the Google search outcomes. In case your title tag is simply too lengthy (or too quick), you may see it with this instrument and alter it accordingly.
Let’s face it—there are solely 24 hours in a day. You don’t need to waste your time manually sharing each weblog publish on social media or sending particular person emails, do you? These instruments will automate a few of these time-consuming duties for you.
What it’s: A social media scheduling instrument.
Why I like it: Posting the identical factor to 4 completely different social media channels is each a ache and a waste of time. Buffer makes it in order that I can push updates throughout channels from one dashboard and see how they’re performing with out logging in and posting from every channel individually. I additionally employed a freelancer and educated her to schedule all my weblog posts to all my channels on Buffer for a double-whammy of time-saving awesomeness.
Worth: Free (premium plans begin at $6/month per channel).
What it’s: An electronic mail publication automation instrument.
Why I like it: I really like the truth that ConvertKit is extraordinarily intuitive and straightforward to make use of. I’ve tried Mailchimp, BirdSend, and a handful of different electronic mail advertising and marketing instruments—none of them had been so simple as ConvertKit. I additionally love that its highly effective automation options enable me to arrange customized electronic mail drip campaigns which are tailor-made to particular person segments of my viewers, which will increase engagement charges by permitting me to create extremely personalised emails.
Worth: Free as much as 300 subscribers (then begins at $9/month).
What it’s: An automation API.
Why I like it: What’s to not love about automation? I take advantage of Zapier to ship me an electronic mail when somebody fills out one among my Typeforms to inquire about my providers, however you are able to do a lot with it. Try its listing of use-case examples to get concepts.
Worth: Free as much as 100 duties/month (begins at $19.99/month for paid plans).
Final however not least, I’ve a collection of instruments I take advantage of to create photos, movies, screenshots, and extra.
What it’s: A drag-and-drop picture editor.
Why I like it: I take advantage of Canva to create featured photos and social media share photos for all of my weblog posts. It’s extremely simple and intuitive for a non-designer like myself to create high-quality graphics that look professionally made. It additionally has an AI photograph editor to automate—or no less than help in—the method.
Worth: Free ($12.99/month or $119.99/yr for premium).
What it’s: A display screen capturing and enhancing instrument.
Why I like it: I’ve used plenty of display screen seize instruments, and this one has been by far one of the best. We use it at Ahrefs for all of our display screen captures to indicate you find out how to use our instruments. I additionally use it in my blogs so as to add further info when wanted and in my customary working procedures for freelancers.
Worth: $62.99 (free trial out there).
What it’s: A display screen recording instrument.
Why I like it: It’s merely the simplest strategy to report your display screen and share it along with your crew, weblog readers, or whoever. I take advantage of it to report tutorials, how-tos, and different movies to assist my staff be taught SOPs and to indicate precisely find out how to do sure duties in my YouTube movies.
Worth: Free (limitless video begins at $8/month).
What it’s: An audio and video editor.
Why I like it: Descript is rather more highly effective than a easy audio or video editor—it has cutting-edge AI software program that means that you can do issues like “greenscreen” any background, take away all of the “ums” and “uhs” out of your audio, and simply rearrange clips. It even has an AI instrument that may clone your voice in case you overlook to say one thing. Fairly cool in case you ask me.
Worth: Free (paid plans begin at $12/month).
What it’s: An AI picture generator. Duh.
Why I like it: It’s enjoyable to create completely distinctive customized photos on your weblog posts primarily based on textual content prompts utilizing AI. Whereas it’s not nice but, it’s come a great distance and shortly will be capable of create photo-realistic photos to make use of in your content material. I additionally use it to sometimes give me enjoyable issues to share on Instagram.
Worth: Free ($12.99/month or $119.99/yr for premium).
What it’s: A free-to-use, high-quality inventory picture library.
Why I like it: I take advantage of Unsplash to seek out high-quality images to make use of within the Canva graphics I create for my weblog posts—reminiscent of featured photos and images to visually present what I’m discussing within the textual content. I used a picture of a truck on my web page about truck driver statistics, for instance.
Having the proper instruments for running a blog will help you produce higher content material sooner, get extra out of your weblog articles, and develop at an exponential fee.
The instruments on this information are those I’ve personally used and, for my part, are value investing in (in case you have the necessity for what they do).
Questions or feedback? Ping me on Twitter.