So, you have started Blogging. Or you are going to start Blogging. That’s fantastic! In my previous article, Start writing awesome articles your audience will love to read, I covered how to start blog writing and hopefully you have been practising. Or maybe you have been blogging for a while and just feel that it seems laborious and tiresome. Perhaps your blog posts just don’t appear to be standing out like you think they should.
Writing blog posts consistently and well takes time. It can feel like a lot of hard work but trust me there will come a time when it starts to flow and gets easier, just like everything else you had to learn from scratch. Please stay with it. Don’t give up because Blogging is one of the best ways to attract potential clients to your business. It builds your reputation and showcases your expertise like nothing else can. And it’s the best way for people to get to know you.
I wanted to share with you five favourite tools I use for blogging. A few of them I have been using for a long time and some I have just started using. But I love all of them. Trust me when I say I have no patience for anything that isn’t easy to use or provide good results.
The newest addition, Grammarly, has me grinning from ear from ear. It is such a fantastic tool that I just keep wondering why I didn’t start using it sooner. And now I am slowly, but happily, working my way through my old blog posts to clean them up.
WARNING: There is a lot of love in this article. I never recommend anything that I don’t like, but these tools are my absolute favourite, so I apologise in advance for any over the top mushiness.
Don’t give up because Blogging is one of the best ways to attract potential clients to your business.
Top 5 FREE Blogging Tools
One of the main reasons I love Trello so much is its flexibility. You can set up Trello exactly how you want. You can use it for whatever and however, you want, and you can use it with teams.
Keep track of everything. Create boards, swap things around, add notes and comments.
I have boards to increase productivity for each week with “To Do Lists” for each day of the week. I have boards for Processes, ones for Blogging Ideas, future goals and tasks.
For me, this is the best tool to get organised with, AND it has a nifty app for my phone so I can use it wherever I am.
You can also attach images to any of your ideas/tasks which is perfect if you are out and about and happen to take photos and think they will be great to use in a future blog post.
Love, love, love Trello a fantastic tool for planning, storage and organisation and it’s so easy to use.
I adore Pocket. I want you to imagine this. You are scrolling through your Facebook feed, and you see a recipe you would love and then an interesting article you think would have some helpful information AND then you see another article about THE place you were thinking of planning a holiday. What to do? You don’t have any time to read them all, and you don’t want to lose them.
Here comes Pocket to save the day. You click on the article, and then you save it to Pocket, you add the relevant tag, and you’re done. Later in the day when you have time, you can go to Pocket and read your new articles.
It is a fantastic resource to have and again it’s free.
Sometimes you need to do some research on a blog post you’re writing. Chances are you will already have relevant articles saved to Pocket. Or maybe you are looking for little bit of inspiration about what to write your next blog post about. Viola, check Pocket!
Well, you get my drift, and I know you are going to love it. Please don’t tell anyone because it is so not Blogging related, but the majority of items saved in my Pocket account are recipes (well we are called Content Kitchen, the food obsession should be obvious don’t you think!)
And to add to the awesomeness of Pocket, it has an app for your phone so you can use it anywhere anytime. Fantastic!
For those of you who want to take Pocket to the next level (and it’s already awesome on its own) take a look at Consuming Content like a Boss: Using Pocket and Lisgo. Seriously cool stuff.
This is my new love. The official description for Grammarly is – “Online Proofreading tool that checks text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector”. But to me, it’s my new best friend.
I thought I was doing OK on the writing front, and I probably was. I use the spell checker, the thesaurus and I edit my work but then along came Grammarly. Now I feel so much more confident with the work I am producing. And I am learning a lot too which is always a bonus.
The readability of my blog posts has improved, and it picks up the small things that I miss.
Yep, I officially have a crush on Grammarly.
How hard is it to come up with an engaging Headline or Title? It’s not that hard to come up with any old headline if you want to settle for dull and boring, which is what I was doing.
But the minute I started to get creative and started producing catchier titles and headlines is the minute I began to get more eyeballs on my blog posts, AND I also use if for the subject lines in my email marketing and guess what? Yep, a higher percentage of opens!
The AMI Headline Analyzer is a free tool that analyzes your headlines and gives you an Emotional Marketing Value score. And you can use it for Lead Magnets, E-books and so much more.
It can be frustrating coming up with a catchy headline, but it is also a little addictive and fun to keep trying to achieve a higher score.
Our article Why Canva is the best thing to ever happen to your business covers Canva in more detail.
But here is my run down on Canva.
Canva a graphic design tool that will have you producing professional quality design material in next to no time. It has ready to use templates, designs and it provides easy to follow tutorials on everything from design techniques to font pairing.
Never again do you have to worry about sourcing great images because Canva has them. Either search through their free images or purchase them for as little as $1 USD. And if they don’t have what you want you can upload your images to use.
Canva has all your templates sorted – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and too much more to mention. Plus, you can choose custom dimensions for your design projects and has pre-designed projects you can change to suit your needs.
Look, I will be totally honest with you. Canva can at times be a little slow to respond, and that can get frustrating. It does seem to have improved lately, and the upside is that they are always updating and adding more features.
All in all, I have a lot of love for Canva, and it has saved me a truckload of money in graphic design work. It gets a big tick from me.
And in conclusion
Ok, Ok I know I said I had five favourite tools, but I have to sneak in one more.
I think I love this one most. I am after all an old-fashioned girl at heart.
The good old-fashioned notebook and pen.
These work a treat. If I don’t have my phone for some crazy reason or it has run out of charge, or I simply want to write, I use this.
Whenever inspiration hits (and it does, constantly) I write it down. I never travel anywhere without a notebook in my handbag!
Tell us in the comments below the tools you can’t blog without! Our community would love to hear about them.