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This mega list of 160+ of the best tools for bloggers. Is a massive compilation of all the useful tools, resources, facts, guides and tips that bloggers will love. Especially if you are brand new to blogging!
It isn’t the usual best tools for bloggers list though. But actually a massive workflow of all the different stages of blogging. With each section broken down and the best resources for each stage given to you.
You can easily follow this guide from start to finish and it will make sense, even if you are new.
If you’ve been blogging for a while though, it is just as easy to jump around to the sections you are most interested in.
This post is just so jam-packed full of important information from experts all over the web. That you are bound to find some interesting reads and hidden gems stashed away in here.
So keep on reading to get to the good stuff!
- 1 | Before You Start A Blog
- 2 | How To Start A Blog
- 3 | WordPress Themes
- 4 | Legal Requirements
- 5 | Security
- 6 | Website Speed
- 7 | Generating Post Ideas
- 8 | SEO
- 10 | Blog Writing Tools
- 11 | Blog Visuals & Images
- 14 | Email Marketing
- 15 | Blog Traffic
- 16 | Social Media Marketing
- 17 | Make Money Blogging
- 18 | Blog Organization & Time Management
- 19 | Troubleshooting & Support For Bloggers
Before You Start A Blog
If you are considering starting a blog then you’ve probably already read some of the many reasons why you should start a blog.
Whilst earning a full-time income with blogging is possible. You also need a healthy dose of perspective. As a professional blogger, what it takes to blog full-time is not all smooth sailing and easy. There are many things you should know before you start a blog. And many things simply won’t click until later.
Why am I telling you this? It’s not to put you off, but to give you the full picture. So you can get started the right way.
It is important to weigh the positives of blogging with the reasons you should not start a blog. Blogging is not as easy as some will make out, quick success within a few months is not the norm. And it will take hard work, patience and time.
If you still think blogging is what you want to do, after weighing the pros and cons. Then great!
What you should do next is pick a niche for your blog! Basically, decide what you would like to blog about. What topics are you interested in writing about? Maybe you already have an idea! Or perhaps you are not sure and are looking for some ideas?
If you need ideas then here some of the best tools for bloggers including 8 blogging niches that drive traffic and make money. Plus a bonus 100+ blog niches if you need more.
The Best Tools For Bloggers To Learn How To Start A Blog
To get started with creating your blog you’ll need to come up with a name.
You’ll also need some basics before you can start creating and customizing your blog. Like hosting and a domain name, which should be based on the blog name you come up with.
This guide on how to start a profitable blog on WordPress. Is what I recommend using, because it will walk you through step-by-step how to get your web hosting and domain setup through Siteground. As well as getting WordPress installed and a free theme from WordPress.org to get you off on the right track.
After you’ve completed the above guide. Get yourself set up with this WordPress coming soon plugin. As you can have a temporary page up in minutes, whilst you build your blog in the background.
Another important point is to check what are permalinks and how to use them. This will affect the URL links to your blog. So you absolutely must sort this out now. As it can impact on things like SEO. It will only be more difficult down the line if you decide to change it. So do not delay!
One of the best tools for bloggers I have, is a compiled a list of 53 Mistakes to avoid when you start a WordPress blog. All of these can have significant consequences on the success of your blog. So check it out and keep a reference of it later. It is well worth reviewing it periodically as you grow your blog.
With the bare basics setup, it’s time to get a design for your blog. On WordPress, these are called themes. They are a very quick and easy way to get a beautiful website layout. Without spending any time coding yourself.
But before you jump in to picking a theme. Consider these 9 questions to ask before choosing a WordPress Theme.
Here’s some of my favourite places to start finding themes:
It is worth noting that the Restored 316 and StudioPress themes require the Genesis Framework.
Whilst this is an additional cost, the benefits far outweigh this. Including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), well-coded and always compatible with the latest version of WordPress. You can read more here about why the Genesis Framework is perfect for bloggers.
And you can see the magic in action. As this blog is currently using the Restored 316 Market Theme with the Genesis Framework. It has been one of the best tools for bloggers I have invested in myself.
If you still find yourself stuck on what to choose. Because there are just so many to choose from. Then find out which theme is best for your business by taking this quick quiz and get your own personalized suggestion!
This step is boring, but vital. Do not skip this!
If you checked the 53 mistakes to avoid when you start a WordPress blog. Then you might have noticed that I mentioned several legal mistakes. Including ignoring the legal requirements altogether.
I was shocked when I first started blogging about all the legal stuff that was just assumed I would know. But as a brand new blogger, I knew nothing. The trouble is – that trying to figure out the legal requirements without a lawyer is a big mine-field.
To make things more complex the new rules under the GDPR. Give you even more considerations to think about.
I am not a lawyer but here are 3 legal mistakes most bloggers make with tips from a lawyer. This article really helps to break down some of the rules and provides valuable resources to help you get it right on your blog.
Also, when you’ve browsed to other websites you definitely would have come across a cookie consent prompt. Including the one included at the bottom of the page on this blog when you first visited.
If you are wondering how to create one yourself. As you need to get consent from visitors to put cookies on their computer. Then check out these 3 best cookie consent plugins for WordPress.
You could also consider using the Jetpack plugin for this. As it also has a cookies and consent banner which is easy to implement. This is what I use on this blog.
Next up, is another boring topic. Bare with me!
But this is just as vital as the legal requirements. You’ll want to protect all the hard work you’ve put into your blog, right? Especially since you’ll be making a lot of changes to your blog as you progress.
Start off by learning how to restore WordPress from backup using UpdraftPlus. This plugin is free and can be connected to a Google Drive or Dropbox account for the minimum daily backups you need. This is one of the best tools for bloggers you can start with.
Another of the best tools for bloggers is the Akismet WordPress spam plugin to help block spam comments and contact form submissions. You might think that spammers won’t find your brand new blog. But believe me, spammers and bots will find you before real visitors do.
Lastly, as a blogger, you will end up having to manage a lot of passwords. Each of which needs to be secure. Using weak passwords will only increase the risk of your blog getting hacked. Learn how the password manager LastPass can help you out with creating strong passwords and remembering them all!
Are you wondering when you’ll get to actually writing some content? This is one of the reasons blogging is more hard work than it looks! There’s a lot more to do than just writing.
All this extra legwork will be worth it in the end. After all, you want people to hang around long enough to read your content, yes? Of course, you do!
So here’s where we take the blog you’ve built so far and ensure it’s lightning fast with some of the best tools for bloggers. Which will benefit both your ranking in Google search and keeping visitors on your
Why? Because Google uses page speed when factoring your blog’s ranking. And secondly, there are plenty of studies that show that slower sites result in more visitors abandoning a webpage. And why decreasing page load time can drastically increase conversions.
The Best Tools To Measure Your Website Speed
But how do you know how fast your blog is? Well, first you should get an overview and comparison of the top 5 website speed tests. This guide will give you an idea how website speed tests can differ and what to look out for.
Some of the most popular ones are:
Out of these, Pingdom is my go to tool. It is clean and easy to use. But still has detailed stats if you are looking to take a deep dive into the Pingdom speed test tool.
Many of the best tools for bloggers will even give you suggestions on what you can improve. There’s even some included at the end of the post I mentioned a little earlier. But if you’ve followed along through the previous resources. You’ll have found many of the major influences already covered.
There are several mistakes you need to avoid when you start a WordPress blog that impacts on speed. Choosing a quality host and theme are also important factors which we covered in earlier sections.
One factor that has a huge impact on web page speed, that hasn’t been covered yet, is images. But this will be covered later when I talk about finding images for your blog, editing images. And finally how to optimize them for the web.
So keep on reading below for it!
Generating Blog Post Ideas
Before we look into images though, we have a few more tasks to do first. You need some ideas on what to write about, right? Perhaps you have ideas already. That’s great if you do!
But eventually, you might need some help with coming up with ideas. Here are some amazing resources to help squeeze out some ideas when you find yourself stuck:
- 193 Blogging Ideas For Starting a Blog
- 21 Smart Ways To Generate Unlimited Blog Post Ideas
- The best types of blog posts to have on your new blog
- BuzzSumo for researching trending topics
- Massive list of 8,000 blog post ideas
The Best Tools For Bloggers To Optimize Their SEO
Once you’ve got ideas for a blog post. The next step is to pick an idea and find keywords to rank it for in Google.
If you are completely new to SEO then you’ll want to start with a SEO guide for beginner bloggers. Before then moving on to find the best keywords for your business and effective ways to find profitable keywords in your niche.
Backlinks are also an important part of SEO. But you need to make sure you get quality backlinks to your blog. Not just any old fluff.
You’ll want to consider Yoast SEO and installing their Yoast SEO WordPress plugin on your blog. Whilst many bloggers recommend this as one of the best tools for bloggers, most don’t tell you how to set up the Yoast SEO plugin properly!
It is also important to learn about Google Analytics. Including how to set up Google Analytics and start monitoring the important metrics. How else will you know what traffic methods are working? Or how many visitors you’re actually getting?
After creating some content and optimizing it for SEO. Eventually, you’ll want to check how you’re ranking. The Google Search Console can be used to check for free your keyword rankings. And the Moz Link Explorer to check your website authority and overall health of your blog. And don’t forget to look out for any big SEO mistakes you might be making.
The Best Tools For Bloggers To Find Keywords
There is also a variety of tools dedicated to helping you find keywords:
- KWFinder (5 searches free per day, then premium)
- Keywords Everywhere (Firefox and Chrome extensions)
- Ubersuggest (free)
- SEMrush (premium)
- LongTailPro (premium)
- Google Keyword Planner (Google Ads) (free)
- Keywordtool.io (free)
- Google Trends (free)
Blog Writing Tools
Finally, it’s time to look at some of the best tools for bloggers that will help to boost your writing!
The first thing you’ll need to work on is your headline. The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is perfect for analyzing what you come up with. To see if you can tweak it for better results.
And as a bonus, if you scroll to the bottom and find the download now button. You can download their free PDFs jam-packed with power words to give your headlines even more punch.
Boost your writing by simply redrafting with some of these amazing articles and tools:
- How to write a blog post – every step from brilliant idea to hitting publish
- Grease-slides – How to Transform Forgettable Blog Posts into Irresistible Content
- 7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful
- 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer
- Grammarly is an amazing tool to help proofread your blog posts.
- Yoast SEO WordPress plugin also has readability scores, check them out to see if you have room for improvement!
Blog Visuals & Images
With any website or blog post comes the need for visuals. But as a new blogger – how can you get access to quality images for blog posts or social media without spending a fortune?
Image Stock Resources
Whatever you do, don’t make the same mistake this blogger made that cost her $7,500!
Instead, try these websites that might have the answer for you. As you can get plenty of quality images for free. Even for commercial use, so long as you know where to look.
Just make sure to check out each sites License to make sure you know what you can and cannot do with these images.
Pexels is one of my favourites for free stock images, they have a huge collection with new contributions all the time. Plus no attribution required.
Pixabay has another collection of images, and works similar to Pexels.
Ivory Mix currently has 550+ free beautiful stock photos with new ones added each month, for signing up to her email list.
Haute Stock also have some of their own unique stock images that they will share with you in exchange for signing up to their newsletter. Similar to Ivory Mix they also release new images each month.
Death to Stock is a monthly paid plan (starting from $12), with access to 2500+ unique photos that you won’t find anywhere else. With new ones added each month.
Image Editing Software
Perhaps once you’ve picked a stock image you want to edit it, make changes or overlay some text. If you do, then you’ll need to use an image editing tool to get started. Here are some of the most popular and best tools for bloggers, that range from free to paid.
Canva is a free and
But be aware you cannot resize your image canvas once created. Unless you use the paid version of their membership starting at $9.95 per month.
BeFunky is free to start like Canva, and has some really interesting but niche effects like their fun looking Cartoonizer, filters and touch up tools. But expect to pay $4.95+ for the ability to use most of these effects.
PicMonkey is an alternative to Canva, but doesn’t start off as free. To use you’ll need to pay $5.99 per month.
GIMP is a free image editor that installs locally to your PC. Whilst it is completely free. It can be challenging to learn.
Photoshop is probably one of the most well-known image editors out there. While it is not a free tool, starting at $9.99 per month. It is a powerful tool but also tricky to master.
If you take lots of screenshots of your PC’s screen to use for tutorials, then Gadwin Printscreen has been an invaluable tool for me. You can also find 4 alternative time-saving screenshots tools here.
Once you’ve got your images edited and ready to use. You need to consider optimizing those images for the web.
It can have an influence on your efforts to optimize your website speed. Which as mentioned earlier is a vital feature that Google considers when ranking your blog.
Rather than struggling and trying to figure out this careful balance by yourself. Save yourself some time by considering these tried and tested methods instead.
An alternative tool to Windows Photo Viewer, only with so much more to offer. Whilst you can’t edit images like you would in Canva, Photoshop or GIMP. The IrfanView software has been the best tool for bloggers, I have found so far for compressing images.
And believe me, if you’ve read my post on using IrfanView for reducing image sizes for the web or my comparison of many popular WordPress image compression plugins. Then you’ll know I’ve tested this method against a lot of other tools. And shown clear evidence to support my claims!
If you follow my image compression guide it’s as simple as File > Save for Web… and using one of the two settings I’ve provided for you.
Just keep in mind, that there is a monthly limit of 500 compressions per month with the plugin.
By default, every time you upload images to WordPress it likes to create a few size variations which all count towards this. Based on the default settings, a WordPress user will get on overage 100 images compressed per month.
If you want to get more image compressions per month you can adjust which of these extra sizes the plugin compresses in the settings. Or the other option is to pay a small fee per each image over the 500.
Building an email list is something many recommend you do as soon as possible. Whilst this is true, it should not be at the expense of the previous topics. Your efforts in email marketing can be wasted if you don’t have
Email marketing in itself can get complicated. There are many Email marketing service providers out there. All with their own pros and cons. I recommend taking your time to research them.
MailerLite is what I use as they have some powerful automation tools. Plus they are free to use for under 1,000 subscribers. Which is perfect for new bloggers on a budget.
To reduce the chances of your emails ending up in the spam folder, setup email authentication. This will also get rid of the additional information added to the end of your sender email address.
The best part about MailerLite is their compliance and support with GDPR. They even have a comprehensive guide on how to create effective opt-in forms that still work under GDPR.
And if you have no idea where to start with email marketing then this perfect article will show you what to send your email list.
You could even learn about how to segment and nurture your email list using quizzes. Because who doesn’t like fun quizzes?
But before you get carried away with creating emails. It is crucial to have an enticing opt-in freebie. So make sure you know how to create amazing content upgrades for your blog.
OK, so here’s the thing. Whilst you need all of the previously mentioned aspects of a blog. None of it will mean anything if you don’t get traffic to your blog.
Whilst you shouldn’t endless chases page views. As email has a much better return on your investment. You’ll always need a baseline of traffic to your blog to convert into loyal readers first.
We’ve already covered SEO previously. Which is a great leap in terms of aiming for more traffic. But SEO can sometimes take a long time to kick in. Especially when you just start out.
In a lot of cases, it can take up to 6 months to see results. So don’t panic if you don’t see results from your SEO efforts straight away!
The Best Tools For Bloggers Social Media Marketing
One popular method of getting traffic, outside of SEO is Social Media. Some people are even able to get incredible results from growing their social media followers quickly.
Social Media can be time-consuming so make sure you use your time effectively. You could even try this method of doing your Social Media in 1 hour a day. But despite it being potentially time-consuming, social media can be one of the best tools for bloggers to quickly drive traffic to their blog.
The best way to approach Social Media though, is to focus on one social media network at a time. And work on it until you start getting results. Don’t make the mistake of spreading yourself too thin. You shouldn’t feel like you need to be on every platform.
There are tons of tools that will help you manage, schedule and create social media posts. Here are some of the best tools for bloggers, especially beginners to help you get started:
- Tailwind (premium scheduler for Pinterest or Instagram)
- Buffer (free to premium scheduler for most platforms)
- Hootsuite (free to premium schedule for most platforms)
- RecurPost (free to premium scheduler for most platforms, but with added bonus of content libraries)
- Social Warfare (free to premium social media sharing plugin for WordPress)
- Shareaholic (free to premium social media sharing plugin for WordPress) Make sure you change this Shareaholic important setting first though!
- MiloTree (premium follow or subscribe pop-up for most platforms)
It is also important to make sure your blog posts are optimized for social sharing. So make sure you are not making any of these 4 mistakes that cripple your blog posts social media sharing.
Want to get traffic from Twitter to your blog? Then learn how to grow your audience and blog traffic with Twitter! There are even some great options you can use when just starting out to rock Twitter with free tools.
Just keep in mind that since early 2018, duplicate Tweets have been banned under their new Twitter rules. If you continue to post duplicate content you run the risk of losing your account. Consider trying retweeting your own tweets sparingly, which can boost your reach and engagement.
Here are some more of the best tools for bloggers to help you specifically with Twitter:
- Click to Tweet plugin for adding tweet boxes directly inside your blog posts
- Better Click to Tweet + Better Click to Tweet Power User Guide
Pinterest is a popular platform among bloggers to help drive traffic to their blogs. Why? Because it is one of the best tools for bloggers to bring major results and fast!
The problem with Pinterest is that it is rapidly changing all the time. And it is not easy to learn. Sometimes it’s just not obvious what Pinterest doesn’t like you doing.
One of the absolutely best tools for bloggers to get started with Pinterest is with Carly Campbell’s Pinteresting Strategies. It is super affordable ($47) for a Pinterest course and covers everything you need to know as a beginner. Many people have had amazing results from this course. It has even been recently updated to reflect all the Pinterest changes that have been ongoing in 2018.
Don’t make the mistake I did and put off getting this because of the manual pinning side of this. Tailwind is great, but only once you’ve figured out Pinterest first. I regret not getting this course sooner as it would have saved me so much time and headache!
And finally, make sure you are embedding the pins into your blog posts. By using this SEO friendly method for your Pinterest descriptions that won’t teach you the
Pinterest Group Boards
Whilst group boards have lost some favour lately. They are still important for getting exposure when just starting out. This Pinterest group boards hack will help you find and join 100s in minutes.
Many people still refer to using PinGroupie to find group boards. But there is a new website on the block that might be a better and updated alternative for finding Pinterest group boards called PinSprout. Which has some curious and interesting stats for each group board.
Sadly it doesn’t look like all the group boards are listed yet. Which might just take a little time to index them on its system. But once it is fully up to date, it could become one of the best tools for bloggers to find quality group boards.
And if you find yourself looking for more Pinterest tips, then here are 50 ways to improve your Pinterest strategy. Now that’s a crazy amount of tips all in one place!
Facebook has quite the reputation of a dwindling organic reach unless you spend lots of time in Facebook groups. Facebook is big on promoting you to spend money on ads. And whilst this works from my experience when done right. As a new blogger you might not have the budget to put into ads.
I know I struggled with this terribly. I knew I could get results easily from Facebook but I just couldn’t sustain the cost. Which wasn’t much to be honest, but with zero income. It looks like a mountain!
Because of this, I recommend starting with Pinterest and Carly Campbell’s Pinteresting Strategies for a set amount of $47. And try it out for a few months to see if you can leverage the free traffic from there.
If not, or you want to try Facebook sooner for results. Then consider implementing a solid Facebook strategy.
But if you really want to leverage the power of Facebook then consider this amazing course on Facebook ads for bloggers. There’s even a free intro guide if you want to trial the idea before committing to an in depth online course.
The Best Tools For Bloggers To Find Hashtags
Hashtags often go hand-in-hand with social media. These days even Pinterest uses hashtags. Some of these best tools for bloggers and resources will help you find valuable hashtags to use in your social media posts:
- Tailwind for Instagram has its own Hashtag finder
- How to use hashtags on Pinterest
- The Ultimate Instagram Hashtag Library
Make Money Blogging
There are numerous ways that bloggers make money. What works for you will depend on what you blog about.
Some of the best tools for bloggers include:-
Affiliate marketing which can vary immensely. Means you promote someone else’s product and receive a commission if someone buys it through your link.
Consider joining some high paying affiliate programs that fit in with products your audience would benefit from. Just make sure you know about how to properly disclose your affiliate links as it is another legal requirement.
Sponsored posts, these you also need to disclose like affiliate links. This is where someone, usually a brand pays you to write a blog post on a particular topic or product. Learn where to find sponsored posts as a new blogger here.
Selling your own product, think about creating and selling an eBook or eCourse. Or you could sell a physical product depending on your blogging niche. If a course sounds too daunting though, you can always create other digital product ideas instead.
Services, if you don’t have a product to sell. Then instead you can consider monetizing your blog by offering a service.
Again, depending on the niche. Some bloggers offer Virtual Assistant services, by handling someone else’s social media. So they don’t have to! Think about what you can do, that someone else might want to outsource to save themselves the hassle.
Additional Ways To Make Money Blogging
There’s also, a great article by Abby on Just a Girl and Her Blog that covers the basics of how to make money blogging using the above categories. Or you can read about 15 different ways to make money as a blogger.
And lastly, here are some extra resources that might help you on your make money blogging journey, plus income reports to give you some idea what to expect:
- Make Money Blogging in Just 6 Months – Here’s how!
- 14 Free eBooks to Grow Your Blog and Income
- How I Made My First $100 blogging – Ana | The She Approach
- My First $200 from Blogging — Allison Lindstrom
- How to Make Your First $500 Blogging Without Feeling Overwhelmed | In Search of Sheila
- How I Made My First $1,000 Blogging – Ana | The She Approach
The Best Tools For Bloggers To Organize & For Time Management
At the end of the day, blogging is a huge task. There’s no way you can do everything from just your head. You need somewhere to plan, organize and make notes. So here are some of the best tools for bloggers, to make your life easier:
- Trello + Butler For Trello
- Google Drive
- Google Calendar
- E.gg Timer
Troubleshooting & Support For Bloggers
And if you find yourself stuck, there are plenty of places to get help as a new blogger. All you have to do is ask!
- Ask questions here on the blog, through the comments sections
- Ask good old Google
- You can try the new Pinterest Communities or try this master list of 191+ new Pinterest communities for bloggers if you’re looking for a specific niche.
- Facebook Groups to help new bloggers
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