Are you thinking about starting your own blog? Wondering what blogging tools you’ll need to get started?
You may want to just blog on the side as a hobby. Or perhaps you want to blog as a business and make money blogging.
Either way, you’ll need certain blogging tools to make the most of your blog as well as your time.
Because let’s face it, there’s no point in taking the time to write brilliant, life-changing blog posts if no one is ever going to see or read them.
You’ll want these handy blogging tools to help you write better, work more efficiently, and get your content seen!
Keep reading for the blogging tools I use and recommend to help improve the blogging process and make you a legit blogger.
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First things first. If you’re going to have your own blog, self-hosted WordPress.org is the #1 blogging platform choice of serious bloggers. With WordPress.org, you’ll need to get your own web hosting plan with a reliable hosting provider.
After extensive research trying to find the best web hosting provider to use for my self-hosted WordPress website, I decided to go with SiteGround. One thing I looked at for web hosting providers were their customer reviews, and SiteGround has amazing reviews praising their customer service.
It really came down to the numbers though. Not only are their shared hosting plans affordable, but the numbers really speak for themselves with their impressive uptime and website loading speed.
If you’re looking for an affordable, fast, and secure web hosting provider with outstanding customer support, SiteGround is a great option!
Plus, with SiteGround, you’ll also get access to their SG Optimizer plugin for caching to improve site loading speed. I use the SG Optimizer plugin in conjunction with the premium caching plugin WP Rocket for optimal site speed.
Check out this post for How to Drastically Improve Your WordPress Site Speed with SiteGround and WP Rocket!
2. Divi Theme
I’m a visual person through and through. So I was looking for a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) drag and drop website builder that I could use to design a custom WordPress website without having to deal with coding.
During my research for the best WordPress Page Builder, the Divi Theme by Elegant Themes kept coming up. I decided to give Divi a test drive with the live builder demo. I also tried another page builder with a free version to test out.
I thought it would be a tough choice, but after using the two, Divi was the clear winner for ease of use and customization.
I love all the customization options with Divi! The visual builder makes it easy to customize a website without having to know any code.
Also, their customer service has been awesome! I love the live chat feature. Their support team is responsive and super helpful, always having the answer I’m looking for.
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Blogging is essentially writing. If you’re going to be writing blog posts, you want to make sure you’re using proper spelling and punctuation.
English was my favorite subject in school, and I’ve always been big on grammar. So I LOVE using Grammarly! I can’t even keep track of all the grammatical errors Grammarly has caught for me throughout the years.
It can tell if you’re using the wrong form of there/their or your/you’re. It can also show you where you’re supposed to use or not use a comma. I use it when I’m writing blog posts, emails, and more. Plus, the Chrome browser extension is super handy!
The best part? You can use Grammarly for FREE! If you want to be a professional blogger, Grammarly is an absolute must. Try Grammarly and become a better writer today!
As a blogger, building an email list is crucial for your success! That’s where the Bloom email opt-in plugin comes in. This email opt-in and lead generation plugin will help grow your following with easy to design email opt-in forms for your WordPress website.
You can choose from 6 different display types for the forms: pop-up, fly-in, in-line, below content, widget area, and unlock content. And you can use any of the 100+ pre-made templates or customize your own. There are plenty of customization options!
The Bloom email opt-in plugin is included with the Divi Theme and integrates nicely with both the theme as well as with MailerLite for your email marketing. Talk about easy! Integrations are the best!
Once you build an email list, you need to keep in contact with your subscribers by emailing them regularly. When I was looking for an email marketing service, it felt like they were all missing something and/or too expensive.
That was until I found MailerLite! I wanted something affordable that would allow me to create visually appealing emails beyond basic text emails while also being able to segment subscribers easily. Enter MailerLite!
There’s a free version up to 1,000 subscribers, but the paid plans beyond that are still super affordable! You can also create landing pages, popups, surveys, and embeddable opt-in forms with MailerLite.
And to top it off, MailerLite integrates with other tools I use, such as the Divi Theme, Bloom email opt-in plugin, and WooCommerce. This makes it super easy to manage everything! And there’s also an app now for easy access on the go. I’m so happy I found MailerLite!
Another popular email marketing service used by many pro bloggers is ConvertKit. You can now use ConvertKit for FREE for up to 500 subscribers! Give both MailerLite and ConvertKit a try to see which email marketing service provider you like best.
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Get your content shared on social media to grow your social media following and also increase traffic to your site! With the Monarch social media plugin, you can choose from more than 20 social sharing networks to display on your website to create custom sharing options for your visitors.
You also have the option to add sharing buttons in 5 different locations: floating sidebar, above and/or below content, on images and videos, pop-ups, or fly-ins. The Monarch social media plugin is included with the Divi Theme and integrates nicely with it, making it easy to have social sharing buttons throughout your site.
I use Monarch for the sidebar share buttons and the pop-up at the bottom of my blog posts. The only downside with the Monarch plugin is that there isn’t a way to add social sharing buttons with a shortcode.
So I also use the Sassy Social Share plugin to insert sharing buttons above and below my blog post content with a shortcode. I actually prefer the Monarch plugin. If it had the shortcode feature for the social sharing buttons, I would just use it.
Pinterest is a HUGE source of traffic for blogs and websites! Countless bloggers credit Pinterest for their success in getting their content seen and driving massive traffic to their sites. And the best part, Pinterest is free!
If you don’t want to spend all day every day Pinning on Pinterest to try to get people to visit your blog, I recommend using Tailwind to schedule your Pins and automate your Pinning.
In addition to saving time with bulk scheduling Pins, Tailwind also has other super helpful tools, such as Tribes, interval scheduling, Board Lists, and more. Definitely check it out! You can try Tailwind for free with your first 100 Pins.
If you want to stick to manual Pinning or try a mixed strategy with both manual and scheduled Pinning, the Pinteresting Strategies Course is a huge help!
I don’t know how I got by trying to design anything before Canva. This free online graphic design tool makes designing graphics for your website or social media a joy!
I use Canva to create featured images for my blog posts, Pin graphics for my blog posts to Pin to Pinterest, and more. It’s definitely one of my fave blogging tools!
It’s easy to use and the pre-made templates are super handy! You could say I’m a die-hard Canva fan. I’ve tried other free graphic design tools, but they’re just not as user-friendly or they don’t have as many design options. I’ll be sticking with Canva!
There’s also a Pro version to kick your design level up a notch with custom fonts, transparent backgrounds, GIFs, and more. You can even sell Canva templates with a Canva Pro account, which I plan on doing eventually.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important component for gaining visibility and traffic for your site with search engines, such as Google.
According to Wikipedia, “Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.”
But SEO can be overwhelming and confusing. It can also be challenging to rank high in online searches. Luckily, the Yoast SEO plugin makes it super easy to improve your site’s SEO right in WordPress as you’re editing your blog posts.
You can also use Yoast to help get your Pinterest Business account set-up!
As I mentioned before, there’s no point in writing a blog post if no one is going to see it. Part of writing a good blog post and getting people to read it is by giving it a compelling headline (i.e. title) that people will want to click on to open.
How will you know if it’s a good, click-worthy headline though? That’s where headline analyzers come into play and help out. My favorite headline analyzer is CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, so I start with that one. I’ll run several different headlines through it to see how they rank.
I also use the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer from the Advanced Marketing Institute as well as Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer. If the score is fairly high with the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, I’ll run the headlines through the other two analyzers to see how they rank with those.
I then try to choose a headline that scores fairly high across all three analyzers. This strategy helps me determine the best headline to go with for my blog posts.
Most of the above blogging tools are free with a few paid ones that are well worth the investment (you gotta spend money to make money, right?). With these blogging tools and resources, you’ll be well on your way to blogging like a pro!
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