Running a successful blog is a lot trickier than it may first appear. You can start a blog investing minimal time and effort, but it will be necessary to adjust if you see a growth in popularity. Managing your time, moderating comments, responding to other bloggers, and dealing with advertising are just a selection of the day-to-day challenges. With careful planning, though, you can ensure your blog does not get out of control, simplifying processes that can be demanding. The following tools all offer ways to streamline the running of your blog, allowing you to focus on providing the best experience for your readers.
#1 Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is an established WordPress plugin that optimizes a blog for the search engines. You can use the advanced settings to make detailed changes to your site, but the standard installation will still provide adequate optimization. There are various competing plugins, but Yoast SEO is established and frequently updated.
Ahrefs is a must-have tool for every blogger from the moment they decide to write their first article. It helps you research keywords and analyse competitors.
Why is keyword research important? Well, most niches are very crowded. There are hundreds or thousands website owners competing for the same audience as you do. For this reason you should be a smart blogger from day one if you want to succeed and do it somewhat fast.
Creating content is a hard work and you need to create the right time of content that your target audience is actually interested in. This is when tools like Ahrefs or SemRush are coming very handy. With their help you can identify what your audience is looking for, what your competitors are doing and then do it better. Easy peasy, right? 🙂
In hindsight, I wish I had discovered Ahrefs much earlier in my blogging career. Despite its relatively high cost it could have saved me hundreds of hours wasted on useless articles about things that no one is actually looking for. I could have spent this time on writing what was really important instead of producing content I thought was needed.
#3 Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a collection of tools for tracking search engine performance. A site owner can quickly check to see the indexed pages, crawling errors, linking properties, and various other functions. Search Console is the easiest way to see how Google views your blog, ensuring you stand the best chance of ranking posts for relevant keywords.
A good blog will require a supply of quality images. The main choices include taking photos yourself, paying for stock images, or using free options with a Creative Commons license. PhotoPin has a search engine to find relevant images that can be used with a Creative Commons license. By including attribution to the image owners, the tool can provide a large supply of free images.
Building a list ensures you can consistently contact your readers. Drip is one of many email marketing tools, but it offers a number of features that separate it from the crowd. A visual workflow builder lets site owners determine the messages readers receive in great detail. The advanced targeting ensures subscribers get a tailored experience based on the decisions they make.
A popular blog will naturally acquire a following across the main social media sites. Managing these different sites can be time-consuming, so it is important to develop a simple process. Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to create posts, schedule posting times, and analyze engagement levels.
Most successful bloggers take a strategic approach to content creation. Understanding the type of content that is resonating with audiences ensures your own posts find a readership. BuzzSumo looks at the number of social shares posts receive, helping bloggers to find popular themes and subjects they can tackle.
Pop-ups are common features on blogs, promoting products and email newsletters to visitors. OptinMonster is one of many (and my personal favorite) tools you could use, offering a large selection of attractive templates and design elements. Rather than showing a pop-up on each visit, though, the tool lets you set exactly when a visitor sees the message, increasing the likelihood of a person taking action.
Server problems and hacking issues can lead to a loss of content and important settings. UpdraftPlus is a WordPress plugin that backs up your blog, with the option to send data to Dropbox, Google Drive, and other alternatives. You can schedule backups, automating the process to ensure you can always restore the blog if required.
#10 CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
A good title is essential if you want to increase your audience. The Headline Analyzer from CoSchedule analyzes headlines according to factors like emotion, power words, and readability. Before posting on your blog, run your title through the tool to ensure there are no errors reducing the impact of the post.
There are so many competing blogs online that simply creating content is no longer enough. Every top blogger will have a strategy that allows them to cater to their audience and build new followers. By using these tools, it is possible to operate your blog with a high level of efficiency. There are many other options you can choose, but starting simply will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed. The essence of a great blog is still, of course, great content. However, using tools and techniques to better run a site ensures you don’t get bogged down in the time-consuming and tedious processes that can hold you back.