There are many parts of running a business that demands a diverse range of tech. The standard WordPress blogger can find themselves in over their heads with the abundance of tools out there. A first-time blogger needs to have a wealth of resources at their fingertips, not just in terms of driving traffic, but inspiring them to create content and to remain productive. Let’s run through a few of these.
We should start here! The WordPress site itself is a treasure trove of resources for any beginner blogger. There are so many different components that you can make the most of to get your website up and running. The WordPress site itself has an abundance of features, giving you the option to set up your website with ease, choosing from the various WordPress themes that give you an overall tone to your website, as well as various video tutorials that can run you through the basics. As there are so many website tools out there, for the beginner blogger, WordPress should have pride of place. As you get more experience, you may find yourself veering away from the WordPress approach, but as far as a beginner’s tool is concerned, it’s very valuable!
Incredibly underrated for bloggers, Google Docs used to be a one-stop shop for productivity, especially for those that needed to create on the move. But now, Google Docs is one of the most important programs that allow you to create slides, spreadsheets, and documents in abundance. The great thing about it is that it’s free! There are a lot of tools in Google Docs for any blogger, namely the ability to export documents as PDFs. And because of the cloud, you’re able to access them from any other device, giving you an air of continuity. And, it must be said, the major boon of Google Docs, as far as productivity is concerned, is the speech to text function. If you are a busy blogger, and you are not particularly nimble with your fingers, the add-ons, like Speech Recognition SoundWriter and Google Keyboard for smartphones will learn to recognize your voice. You’re able to dictate hundreds if not thousands of words in a very short space of time. As far as productivity is concerned, Google Docs has so much going for it!
Social media is integral to getting a blog far and wide, and as far as social media management software is concerned, this is the top of the pile. Yes, there are others out there like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, but Sendible gives you a few extras. You’re able to have multiple services per account, not to mention more than one account. This gives you the ability to recraft your social media marketing. You can post, not just to your own social media page, but to other individuals with the click of a button. And with this tool, you get the various reports and analytics in an easy-to-read graph. You’re able to see exactly the number of followers you’ve gained recently, but who these people are, how many followers they have, and their own individual influence.
You might think that social media is the best way to develop a relationship with people on an individual level, but Quora is undoubtedly more important, especially for bloggers. While on the surface it’s very much a standard Q&A engine, it is the perfect way to generate ideas for blog posts, as well as ways to find long tail keywords. If you looking to engage with your followers and you don’t know where to begin, Quora can provide an insight into what people are interested in right now. It’s invaluable, not from a marketing perspective, but purely from the fact that you can get an honest opinion of what is capturing the imaginations of people out there right now.
Blog Topic Generator by HubSpot
You can’t underestimate the power of a title or headline. You may have the best content in the world, but if there’s no title or headline that grabs the reader, your blog will remain lost in the online ether. When you’re stuck for an idea, or you don’t know how to arrange the words in your title, all you have to do is go to the topic generator, put in a few keywords or search queries and hit the button and you’ll see a bunch of options, which you can either use or they can spur you off into a new direction. It’s overwhelming to continually create content, so if you find yourself struggling with the writer’s block, this tool can provide almost infinite inspiration.
Granted, this is for those people with a more business-oriented approach to blogging, but if you are looking at it purely from the perspective of driving leads to your website, this social media network is essential. LinkedIn Pulse is a self-publishing app that encompasses writers, industry experts, as well as bloggers. Similar to guest blogging, it gives you more visibility, as those that use LinkedIn are a very distinct audience. They’re people looking to further their career, develop contacts, or push their business into the stratosphere. The great thing about LinkedIn Pulse is that it’s incredibly easy to use. So even if you have niche knowledge that doesn’t go on your blog, LinkedIn Pulse may very well be worth your time to get perspective from other professionals.
Blogging is all about relevance. You can very easily get bogged down in the SEO techniques and other accouterments, but when you are starting out it’s about sticking to your guns, trusting your instinct, and ensuring that your content is relevant to what you want to communicate. It’s also about productivity and targeting the right audience so you are able to spread your content further, but a lot of bloggers can get distracted with the right tools that generate the numbers and traffic. By all means, use these tools to help develop your blogging skills but don’t let them get in the way of what you really need to communicate.