When you’re blogging for your business every week, it helps to have a few go-to tools to make the job easier. Because let’s face it, creating blog posts and everything that goes with them sucks up time.
There are a few tools I swear by to help me plan, create and promote my content. I wouldn’t be without these beauties now, and I hope they’ll help you in your blogging journey too…
Canva is a great design tool for creating social media and website graphics. If you don’t want to pay a designer and you don’t know how to use Photoshop, this tool is for you.
Most of the features are available on the free plan. You can choose from many ready-made templates if you struggle with design. Just add your content and images and you’re ready to go.
A must-have for the blogging toolkit.
Smarterqueue is a social media scheduling tool. I’ve only been using it since the beginning of 2019, and I’m already blown away by the scheduling features it offers.
It can take some getting used to, but once you have everything set up, it really is a dream. In an hour or two at the end of each week, I can schedule a whole weeks’ worth of content. This will then go out on all my social media platforms throughout the week and I don’t have to worry about a thing.
But one of the best features of Smarterqueue is the evergreen setting. If you have a library of blog posts, set them to evergreen and they’ll be automatically shared each week. Each blog post is added to the bottom of the queue ready to be shared again in an endless loop. All without you having to do anything.
I use Smarterqueue to schedule content to my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn platforms. But I use Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest content. You may think it’s crazy using two social media schedulers, but if you’re using Pinterest to promote your business, Tailwind is the superior choice.
Tailwind has been designed exclusively for use with Pinterest, which means it’s super intuitive and made for that platform.
I won’t go through all of the features as there are many and I’ll post a detailed walkthrough in another post. But it means I can spend a couple of hours scheduling pins at the beginning of the month and I’ll have 30-50 pins going out everyday for the next 30 days.
I literally don’t have to lift a finger for the entire month. The value of this app is insane! And it’s less than £100 for the entire year. That’s an absolute bargain in my eyes.
Keyword Planner and Uber Suggest
SEO is important to boost traffic. When you rank highly in the search engines, you don’t have to spend as much time on social media or money on ads.
But to rank in the search engines you need to know what your audience is searching for online. Then you need to create blog posts around answering those questions. So we need to find popular phrases and keywords your readers are using.
My favourite free options are Google’s Keyword Planner and Neil Patel’s Uber Suggest. I use the Keyword Planner to search for keyword ideas. When I can see a search term with high volume between 1k and 10k or above, I’ll head over to Uber Suggest to get more accurate numbers for that keyword.
This is the first stage of SEOing my blog posts, which moves me on to my next point…
I wouldn’t be without Yoast. It’s a handy WordPress plugin that helps you optimise your posts for the search engines. It works on a traffic light system. Green means your post has been well optimised, red means you need to make improvements.
Any improvements you need to make are highlighted at the bottom of the post. It even tells you exactly what you need to do.
But Yoast doesn’t tell you which keywords you should be targeting. You’ll need to do your own keyword research first. That’s where Google’s keyword planner and Uber Suggest come in handy as mentioned above.
When you’ve found your keywords, Yoast can then make sure you’re using them in the right places within your content.
Mailerlite is my go-to email marketing tool. This allows me to schedule campaigns, automate nurture sequences and keep in touch with my subscribers.
It’s a great tool if you’re just starting to grow your email list and want something reasonably straightforward.
Within Mailerlite you can create sign up forms to add to your website, set up RSS campaigns, automate a string of emails and analyse the data.
Mailerlite is free to use up to 1000 subscribers. You’d then need to go onto a paid plan or look at another email system.
Trello is essentially a digital planner. It’s like a to-do list but with better features in app form. This is what I use to map out my week ahead. I add task cards into each day and tick them off as I go along.
It’s also what I use to plan my client’s content strategies so they can keep track of what I’m working on. This allows complete transparency so there are no surprises – it’s all there for them to see in black and white.
Trello has done wonders for me in terms of my productivity. I like how this holds me accountable to achieve the goals I set out to do for the week.
If you struggle to stay productive, give Trello a whirl. Since discovering it I’ve never looked back!
If you’re looking for a bonus tool, I also use my own content calendar to help me map out my blog posts every month.
What are your favourite blogging tools? Let me know in the comments below…