The Top Tools For Blogging

When thinking of tools for bloggers we realized there’s already lots of postings which talk about software and analytics resources out there, but what many failed to do is connect the dots between what a blogger does and wants in return for their efforts.

The bottom line is most bloggers, whether writing a personal journal or for a business blog, have two core goals. To create content people connect with, and to convert readers into blog/brand enthusiasts.

In this posting, we’re going to look at tools of all sorts for achieving these two specific goals.

Content Creation

Everything starts with creating informative and compelling content. If you aren’t grabbing the reader’s attention and filling their needs by answering some question, your content is doomed. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered so read on.

Writing Great Posts

It all starts with a great piece of writing. Here are a few tools to help you keep your grammar in check, readability on target, and to create the best writing that you can:

BONUS: BanProNET’s own Scott Bannon recently posted a comprehensive and definitive guide to writing great blog postings, and includes lots of tips for everything from topic selection, title creation, upping your writing speed, and even getting Google to quickly index your posts. Check it out over at O`Bannon’s Leap!

Curating Content

Content curation can play a vital role in your content production workflow, and when done right help to increase the engagement of your visitors with your website.

A well-written post with a good mix of useful and entertaining curated content is the key, with a general rule-of-thumb being that your post should contain between 65-80% original content and 20-35% curated content.

There are two primary methods of content curation. First is keeping notes of great items you want to link to at some point as you’re staying up to date on other blogs in your niche or industry, and the second is to search for great content at the time you’re writing your own blog posts.

For content note-keeping these tools will serve you well:

And for content searching there are a few resources beyond Google worth checking out:

Adding Media

Eye candy in a blog post is essential anymore. From high-quality graphics to video, if you want to keep eyeballs on your page you need something that generates interest beyond the writing.

The upside here is there’s no shortage of options for you. YouTube can serve all of your video embedding needs, however, there are also many other players in the video space which allow for embedding on your own pages such as Vimeo or Veoh.

For images, it tends to become a lot more tricky. Unlike the majority of videos which creators hope will be shared around the web, image creators tend to be a lot more protective of where their graphics are placed, which leaves you in the position of navigating often obscure and confusing usage and copyright licenses.

Fortunately, there are resources out there providing royalty-free stock photography that you can use with ease. Some are paid, and some aren’t. Here are some of our favorites which are absolutely free to use graphics content from:

Content Promotion

Once you’ve created your great piece of content, then you need to get it in front of people. While accurate numbers are hard to pin down, the general consensus is that over 2 million new blog postings are published online each day.

That’s only blog posts. Add in articles and pages added to websites daily and you may begin to see the enormity of the task in getting your piece of content to rise above the crowd.

The hardest part was covered above, and that’s just creating great content. Now let’s look at some quick steps that can be taken to give your great content a little extra push up the mountain.

Social Networks

Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and so on are all potential platforms for sharing your content and reaching more people, but be careful which content you share on which platform. You have to account for user intent with social networks, and if you just jump in front of people shouting “look at me” it can be counter-productive and damaging to your reputation and brand.

When utilizing social networks always be sure to engage with users on their level and terms. In other words, rather than throwing pasta at the wall and hoping some sticks, pick one or two social networks and really get to know them. Understand completely what users are doing there, what they want, and give that to them.

It may not seem like you’re really doing much to promote your piece of content at the moment, but if you’re engaging it will turn into eyeballs on-page and can boost your brand image too.

Every Blog Post Is A Video Script

Video content is the fastest-growing sphere on the web, so take advantage of the fact that when you write your blog posting or article you’re also writing a script that with a little bit of TLC can be converted into an engaging screencast or presentation style video.

Converting your content into videos expands your online distribution options for it and will help you to reach a whole new group of people and potential customers.

Online Influencers

Every social platform and niche market has its own set of online influencers, people who have put in the work to build their followings and establish themselves as voices. Reaching out and establishing relationships with those in your field, or at least who are somewhat connected to your field, can be game-changing for a new blogger or small business.

How to do this is a deeper topic than can be adequately covered in a few paragraphs, fortunately, Christina Newberry has covered influencer marketing in-depth on the Hootsuite blog already.

Email Marketing

Finally, we come to the oldie but goodie, email marketing. Over the years SPAMMERS have caused a negative cloud to bloom around email marketing, but even that hasn’t changed the fact that email marketing is still the goose laying golden eggs for those who do it right.

Social networks and other platforms may have bulk traffic numbers, but it’s all public and impersonal. With permission-based email marketing, you’re being invited into someone’s personal and private space, their Inbox.

This means the connection is already established. They’re wanting and waiting to hear from you. Don’t abuse it, don’t overload them with fluff. Give them value, cherish and respect the intimacy of the relationship.

There simply is no other marketing online that offers the level of ROI which email marketing does, when you do it well with a personal touch.

We created this posting as a sort of checklist format, and hope the resources and information offered here will help to grow your blog by leaps and bounds. Happy blogging!

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