Best blogging tools for 2019
It’s time to take your game to the next level with these 13 blogging tools
June 7, 2019
Anybody can write a blog post, heck, anybody can maintain a blog, it’s easy, there are way too many options out there that take care of everything. You don’t need to know how to code, you don’t need to be a tech person, all you need is to read a few lines and click a few buttons. But not everyone can run a successful blog, and even fewer people can write great blog posts, that’s the difference between someone who’s just playing around and someone who’s taking this medium seriously. In this post, I want to share with you the best blogging tools of 2019 for anyone wanting to up their game and take it to the next level. So here we go…
Lead generation, social sharing and even task management are activities any self-respecting blogger should be doing when not working on the blog. And these are some of the best tools to help with that.
When it comes to turning your visits into possible leads (basically, someone who might eventually turn into profit for you in one way or the other), Sumo.com is a great place to start. They provide several tools, such as form creation, allowing you to customize the way you capture email addresses. You can keep user lists and email them with news and offers. Another very useful feature they provide is the ability to add share buttons for every single social network out there. If you’re looking for a way to add them, Sumo can help you do it quickly. And last but not least, they also provide very stylized smart Call to Action bars, allowing you to get your users’ attention into specific offers you might have. Finally, and to top it all, they provide plugins for the most popular blogging and e-commerce platforms, such as:
One important thing to note about Sumo though is that in order to get access to every feature, you actually have to pay. Free accounts have a very nice deal, but if you want the advanced stuff, such as unlimited emails each month, A/B Testing or even removing their branding from the forms, you’ll have to pay almost 40 bucks a month (that is at the time of writing this article anyway).
In a similar way to Sumo, MailChimp allows you to capture leads, but after that it acts as a complete Marketing platform, allowing you to set up newsletters and mailings (with very simple-to-use visual editors) to send to your captured leads. It gives you insight into what your potential customers are doing (are they visiting your site? are they even opening your emails?). You can use their platform to segment your audience based on their public information and target the right people with the right message, helping you improve your conversion rates.
You do have a free plan with MailChimp, although a bit limited, it’s great to test their service and see if they’re a fit for your needs. After that, you start on the cheapest non-free tier of USD 9.99 a month all the way up to USD 299 a month for the premium tier.
I can’t make a list of the best blogging tools without adding Trello in one way or another, this is probably one of my favorite tools out there and I’ll tell you why in a second. If you’re taking your blogging activity seriously, you’ll probably start generating a backlog of article ideas pretty soon. On top of that, you’ll start getting new ideas for your marketing strategies, guest posts requests and many other very possible tasks that will populate your day-to-day. You can try to keep all of that in your head, sure, but pretty soon you’ll start forgetting about some of them. I know I was until I decided to start dumping everything related to my blogs into a Trello board. I literally started with a board called “Shit to do”, where I would write everything I could think of, wherever I was (they have a very nice mobile app you can install). I started that board with a single list: To-Do, that list eventually turned into different ones, when my ideas started to grow into projects. Then other projects and eventually status lists, such as To-Do, Doing, Rejected and my personal favorite: Done.
Trello combines the power of an agile scrum board, with a very simple and slim UI. You don’t need to worry about learning their interface, it’s as simple as moving cards from column A to column B. And the best part, for a personal user such as ourselves, Trello is completely free, and you won’t even notice you’re not using a paid service, I guarantee it.
Image related tools
People usually start blogs because they’re confident in their writing skills or maybe they know they have a message to share, but they tend to forget that in order to promote the work they do, they also need a bit of an eye for design. Lucky for us, there are several tools for bloggers that have been designed to help in this area, either by providing quality content or by making the job so easy that anyone can look like a great graphic designer. Let me show you:
This is, by far, my favorite tool in this list, heck, if I could marry a tool, I would’ve proposed to Canva a long time ago. Basically what Canva provides, is a very straightforward UI that allows you to create amazing graphics. They have pre-made templates for almost everything you need when it comes to blogging, I’m talking about:
- Pinterest graphics
- Facebook headers
- Blog post headers
- and a super big “etc”
They do offer a paid plan, which gives you access to even more graphics and assets, but if you wanted to start with the free account and play around with it, you absolutely can!
BrandCrowd allows you to auto-generate your own logo. Yeah, you read it right, where Canva allowed you to look like a great Graphics Designer for your header images, BrandCrowd will auto-generate a logo for you (actually, it’ll generate dozens for you to pick up), and then it’ll let you customize it. If you’re making a list of great blogging tools, this one needs to be in there, no doubt about it. Graphic designs and taste aren’t things you can usually pickup quickly, and if you’re just starting from scratch, BrandCrowd is definitely a great way to jump-start this process.
It’s not free though, you’re perfectly capable of picking the logo and customizing it without even having to log-in, but if you do choose to download it, you’ll have to pay. Mind you, considering it’s the face of your blog, USD 45 is not that bad, especially because you’re not just getting an image, you’re getting:
- Your logo without a watermark (you can download it for free, but it comes watermarked)
- High-resolution files (PNG and JPG files)
- Vector files (SVG, EPS, and PDF)
- Files with transparent backgrounds
- Multiple logo variations
- Design support for 30 days
So yeah, that alone is totally worth it. You also get to add extra packages, such as:
Brand identity package for USD 39 including:
- 1 business card design
- 1 envelope design
- 1 letterhead design
- 1 favicon.
Social Media package for USD 19 including:
- 20 perfectly sized profile pictures and social media covers for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and many more.
Buyout option for USD 145, meaning once you get it, no one else gets it, it’s unique for you alone.
The extra packages might be useful or not, but honestly, that basic package for only USD 45 makes quite a lot of sense.
Finally, finding a photo online is not that hard, you just go to Google.com and type in your blog post’s title, or one of the keywords and then click on images. That’s it, right? Wrong, Google simplifies the process too much, to the point you can just get any photo without regards to royalties. This is a really big issue, especially if you’re trying to make a living (or at least make some money out of your blog). If you’re using photos on your site, you need to pay for them or, thanks to My Stock Photos, you can search great, and most importantly, free images for you to include on your site.
Writing help tools
Because no matter how great of a writer you think you are, it never hurts to get someone to review your work. These great tools will do that for you, they’ll look at your grammar, your syntax, and your structure and will provide feedback. These aren’t specific for bloggers, any writer has use for them, but there can’t be a best blogging tools list without touching on this category.
So here they are:
Grammarly will review your text and provide feedback about it. For free, you’re a bit limited, you get things like spelling mistakes and a total score based on a set of goals you set for your text. You can set goals like: wanting to have an informative general and informally mild article or a descriptive formal article aimed for experts. Based on your goal setup, Grammarly will review your text and tell you how close you are to them. Additionally, if you were willing to spend some money on it, Grammarly will provide:
- Feedback on word choice
- Wordy sentences
- Inappropriate colloquialism
- Intricate text
To name just a few. You can also get an actual person to review your text and get Grammarly to look for plagiarism by checking your text against academic databases. In order to get those extra features, you’ll have to pay around USD 12 a month for them.
ProWritingAid, just like Grammarly allows you to write your content with a digital coach looking over your shoulder. That’s the best kind if you ask me. It’ll instantly tell you the places where you can improve and the best part? You don’t have to do it on their own platform, they provide plugins for many common platforms, such as:
- MS Outlook
- MS Word
- All major browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox & Safari (sorry IE)
- And GoogleDocs
Just like Grammarly, they also provide Plagiarism checks, although that service is not included by default on their offering. But leaving that aside, their UI is very easy to use, they provide real-time analysis with great suggestions for improvements and all of that for free. Yeah, you can try their service for free, eventually, if you want the full experience though, you’ll have to pay.
The basic package starts at USD 60 a year all the way up to USD 210 lifetime, so you only pay once. You can add Plagiarism checks on top of that, going from USD 70 a year, to USD 310 lifetime, or just pay for the checks alone, ranging from USD 10 for 10 checks to USD 200 for 1k checks.
Hemingway allows you to quickly evaluate your writing by copying your draft into their UI and getting an immediate analysis. Oh yeah, for free. No paying, no signing up, just write and get instant feedback. It’ll give you feedback such as:
- The number of adverbs used, and the max number you should be focusing on.
- How many sentences are hard to read
- How many sentences are very hard to read.
It’ll basically rate your readability, and if you ask me (and most of the professional bloggers), this tool (or one like it), is a must-have.
Finally, the last writing help tool I want to talk about is Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer. This little page will gladly review your article’s headline and guide to towards improving it as much as possible. It takes into account the length, the type of words you use on it and it even makes suggestions where you can improve upon.
For example, my original title for this post was going to be: Best Blogging tools for 2019 but after iterating a few times and following the suggestions provided, I landed on the subtitle: It’s time to take your blogging game to the next level with these 13 tools which I think is a more engaging title, don’t you?
This product is completely free and you can start using it without the need to signup, which is another major benefit, just go and get feedback.
Because a good Blogger needs to understand how the game works, SEO tools are a need. Mind you, you also have to write quality content in order to get people interested in your articles, but right after that, comes SEO. You need to understand how it works and how to use it to your favor in order to drive as much traffic as possible. Here are some tools that can help you in that regard.
Google Keyword Planner
GKP, this is Google’s free keyword planner. Yeap, free, and you can use it by entering your keywords (the ones directly related to your product/service) and letting it suggest others related ones. It’ll show you search traffic for them and you can then go on and plan your ads strategy. That being said, you don’t need to complete the process and buy the ads, you can just take those keywords and target them on your articles based on the ranking this tool gives you.
Broken link checker
Broken Link Check is an online…, well, broken link checker. The name is not original, I’ll give you that. But it’s a very useful tool none the less. When blogs grow and add links on their articles (as one should), those links tend to change, especially if you’re liking outside websites.
External websites don’t need to notify you when they change their URLs, in fact, they’re not even forced to add redirections to the new URLs. So the only way for you to make sure you’re not linking to the big 404 out there in the interweb, you’ll need to periodically check your blog for broken links. Doing that can be a very tedious task, so having a system do that for you, and for completely free doesn’t get any better.
Ubbersuggests is one of those mandatory tools bloggers need. If you’re expecting your articles to be found on Search Engines Result Pages (also known as SERP), and you want them to also rank high, normally in the first page, then you need to do keyword research. And what does that mean? You need tools to help you understand what kind of keywords to target on your blog, how difficult is it for you to rank high for them and even, who else is already ranking for those keywords? Ubbersuggests is the tool for you, why? Because it’s completely FREE, other tools will give you a small glimps of the results, and then will try to charge you for the entire list, but this app is ready for you to use. They offer keyword research, domain research (it’ll tell you about your backlinks, domain authority, and other interesting SEO factors), it’ll even show you some content ideas based on the keywords you input (also based on other, already published, articles and the social impact they have had). So, whatever tools you try to use from this list, remember to bookmark this one, you’ll thank me later!
That is it for my list of best blogging tools for 2019. I tried to stick to free tools or at least, the ones that provide a free tier to start with because I feel like those are the ideal tools for beginners.
What about you? What are your favorite ones and which ones have you tried from this list? Feel free to share and comment below, I’d love to hear back from you!
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