A blog is a platform to share a writer’s views on a specific subject in an informal or conversational style. A blog is created by using various blogging tools, plugins, and SEO tools.
Here are some quick facts on blogs and bloggers:
- The number of bloggers will reach 31.7 million in 2020.
- One of the top priorities of 53% of digital companies in the world is blog creation.
- Every month, more than 80 million blog posts and pages are published.
We split all recommended tools, applications and plugins into three main groups: website building tools, design tools and content improvement tools. The suggested tools are not recommended and not compulsory and most of them have viable alternatives. This guide, however, aims at providing the reader with the necessary types of sources.
Group #1: Website Building Tools
Website building tools are used in the website construction without editing or manual coding. Some bloggers prefer not to launch their own websites and run social media pages instead. However, having your own website rewards you with a number of benefits:
- Promoting your self-brand
- Opportunity to monetize organic metrics through banner and/or text advertising
- Gaining full control over the blog design and layout
- Ability to cooperate with other website owners and reach out to a wider audience
SiteBuilder is one of the highly reputed website building tools with over 200,000 users. Due to its simplicity and beginner-friendly interface, you can quickly build a simple website.
SiteBuilder provides its customer with a free domain name for the first year. It also doesn’t force any ads on the website on any plan. It gives a place for website files in addition to the builder. However, if the user doesn’t mind having their website on a subdomain, it is free with no trial expiration.
Having studied different plans, we suggest using the simplest free plan which has the website builder and multiple website templates.
GoDaddy allows the users to create fully functioning websites featuring mobile-optimized designs, social media integration, SEO optimization, and more. The tool has over 300 templates and a drag-and-drop interface that helps to build a website faster. However, the flexibility and mobile options of this tool are limited. More than 18 million customers throughout the world trust it.
GoDaddy offers 4 plans: personal, business, business plus and online store plan. Obviously, personal plan is the best option for a starting blogger. The rates for GoDaddy personal plan start at $5.99 per month. Your website will have a responsive mobile version and website hosting. Ready to use blocks that can be dragged and dropped to build layouts. The photo library has professional images from Getty Photography.
Additionally, it works on smaller screens allowing the user to work using a mobile phone with over 300 templates with suggested uses.
WordPress is a free content management system used to build and maintain websites. Due to its’ ease of use and unique blogging features, it is used by more than 74.6 million websites, including 30.6% of the top 10 million websites, which makes it the most popular system.
Image source: https://wordpress.org/
It is associated with blogging and supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing list and forums and online stores. WP offers four plans including a free plan with the basic customization, 3 GB storage and rapid page-load performance.
One of the biggest benefits of WordPress is that the users are not tied to a web hosting company and can move their website anywhere they want.
Besides, by WP you will get access to a huge collection of extensions, plugins, and add-ons. This enormous access to professional applications allows users to make anything they want.
Jimdo is web hosting service, owned and operated by Jimdo GmbH. This tool allows the users to build their own website with three types of web authoring and hosting services: Jimdo Free, Jimdo Pro, and Jimdo Business.
Image source: https://www.getapp.com/it-management-software/a/jimdo/
The application is offered in 12 languages and more than 8 million sites have been developed using this tool. It has also been used in creating over 200,000 online shops since its launch in 2010. A free plan includes all basic features, with jimdo.com subdomain, 500MB storage, 2GB bandwidth, and HTTPS Encryption.
Jimdo is fast and user-friendly. This tool doesn’t require the user to be an expert in coding. Due to the tool’s flexibility, users can edit their websites and make updates using mobile devices.
It is the best tool for a non-English speaker as it has support teams all over the world. With a little knowledge of coding, the users can access HTML/CSS codes and edit them to their template. A functional website can be created with its free plan, that provides all the basic tools with no time limit. Its sites are automatically optimized for search engines.
Group #2: Design Tools for Bloggers
These are used to design websites and blogs. There are plenty of web designing tools released all the time to help users tackle new challenges. The problem is finding the time to keep up with all of them.
Canva is one of the most popular online graphic design tools. It is getting better and more powerful with many new features over time. Even without proper skills, a user can access many ready-made templates to start with. The templates are customizable, and personalization and branding can be added to the designs. Hence, it is easy to use and user-friendly. It has more than 10 million users across 179 nations and more than 100 million designs.
Image source: https://blog.uncorkyourdork.com/2016/06/24/posts-make-money/canva-screenshot/
The bloggers using this tool have access to hundreds of layouts, elements, text styles, and backgrounds, and can even upload their own content/design to add to visual projects.
Canva is the perfect simple-to-use tool to create some custom featured post images or infographics. With the upgrade of Free Canva to Canva For Work, a user can access the ability to save color palettes, font, etc. or organize design and photos into folders and more.
The premium version costs $12.50 per month.
Stencil is “one of its kind” tool that a user would probably love to use. For bloggers, marketers, and content creators, it is a simple and quick-to-use image development tool. This tool will help the user to get more from social media marketing and create stunning images. It will help user boost social media engagement, conversions, and more.
Image source: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/free-image-creation-tools/
It is free for a maximum of 10 images per month. Therefore, users only get access to limited backgrounds and icons. With the premium version, one can open more options, features, and resources. The subscribers of this tool have access to 800,000 royalty-free quality photos, 50 beautiful templates, 200,000 icons and graphics, and 30+ custom sizes to choose.
PhotoScape is quite popular among beginners. It has two versions: a free version and a premium one. With a ton of awesome options for adding some flair to graphics and online images, the free version is already enough. The application is available in Mac OS as well as Windows OS.
Image source: https://mac.filehorse.com/download-photoscape-x/screenshots/
- Full image editing tools including resize, crop, miniature, bloom, HDR, and Dehaze.
- Image Adjustment features.
- Transformations, including tiny-planet, stretch, fisheye, reflection, and perspective.
- Color adjusting features.
- Add film effects, duotones, and light leaks.
- Add frames.
- Insert elements, texts, images, and many more.
The pro version unlocks additional editing tools, options, and features, including stickers, additional film effects, and much more.
Group #3: Content Improvement Tools
These tools are used to improve the quality of website and blog content. These tools help the user to rectify the errors and produce a clean and error-free content. Some of the useful Content Improvement tools are:
Grammarly is an English language writing-enhancement platform’s proofreading and plagiarism-detection resources check for a writer’s adherence to more than 250 grammar rules. It has over 6.9 million daily active users.
The free version of Grammarly helps a user to detect the punctuation, spellings, plagiarism, and writing style errors. The premium plan unlocks features such as advanced punctuation, grammar and sentence checking, and plagiarism detection. It uses over 8 billion webpages and vocabulary enhancement suggestions for plagiarism and correction.
However, the transmission of writing to Grammarly’s server restrict the software from guaranteeing 100% security.
Grammarly checks business, casual, medical, and technical style errors and is best for contextual errors.
Grammarly also supports integration on Firefox, Google Chrome, LinkedIn and MS products.
EssayPro is an online platform that provides high-quality help with academic assignments. Although their main focus is handling write my essay requests, these professionals sometimes shift from academic sector to content marketing assistance. In the end, all online editing and proofreading tools are controlled by machine algorithms not able to provide ideal text editing that would not need human proofreading.
Image source: https://essaypro.com/
When marketers have to deal with unintentional plagiarism or rewriting poorly written parts of content, they often seek help from the outside. Instead of using multiple tools and apps, it is sometimes better to trust a real person with experience in content editing.
Hemingway Editor is a word processor and proofreading tool can be accessed online or downloaded. It helps users to write in a clear, simple, and powerful manner. A user can check the presence of adverbs, complex and dull words/phrases, and passive voice, ensuring the natural flow of the sentence. Hemingway also highlights the issues and common errors using color codes.
Image source: https://www.jeanniesullivan.com/notebook/simplify-your-writing
It enables writers to apply italic and bold font styles, and add bullets and headlines to a text. It can also be integrated with online publishing platforms such as WordPress, Medium, etc. Hence, writers can directly use it in their online writing platforms. This feature of Hemingway Editor is quite useful since there is no need to copy and paste the long texts.
The online version for Hemingway Editor is free of cost. However, the desktop version costs $19.99. It is available in both Mac OS and Windows OS.
Copyscape is an online plagiarism-checking site that identifies sites that have copied the content without permission. It is used to check plagiarism of corporate websites, blogs, marketing materials, online publications, or any other online content.
Image source: pintherest.eu
It finds similar online content without making the judgment of originality.
Copyscape also offers a comparison tool in which the user can compare two online or offline content. By pasting the URL or text, it will show the matching texts side by side with word counts and summary statistics.
It provides a limited number of results in the free version.
The Premium version is available on a pricing model based on content length. It starts at only 3 cents per search for the first 200 words. After that, it costs 1 cent each for an additional 100 words.
Group #4: Search Engine Optimization Tools
Search engine optimization is a practice to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to the users’ website. It is a methodology of strategies, tactics, and techniques and the tools used are called SEO tools.
Moz is a tool used to improve the Search Engine Optimization of a website. It also provides keyword research tools, keyword generator, and link analysis. A standard package costs $99 per month.
Image source: https://moz.com/devblog/moz-analytics-db-free/
It contains tools design to improve search engine visibility. Link Explorer, Keyword Explorer, and Rank Tracker are some key features of the tool. Besides, Moz can help a writer to check the blog spam score.
Moz is capable of identifying some key signals related to websites that have been banned or penalized. There are 27 spam signals in total. We have described some of those signals below:
Yoast WP plugin is easy to understand and use, and it is a popular WP plugin. It is a powerful tool that makes a writer’s site more SEO friendly. We can use it to improve text readability, add relevant tags, meta titles, and meta descriptions.
Image souce: adoreddesigns.com
It is available for free. However, the features of the free version are limited. The premium version costs $69 for one site.
Ahrefs helps to find keyword combinations and implement them in the writer’s blog. It helps in keyword research, backlink checking, etc. This platform is usually used for improving link building and content marketing ideas. A lite Ahrefs package will cost you $99 per month. The number of keywords, campaigns, and reports that can be tracked are the factors that differentiate a lite package from the more expensive ones.
Image source: https://ahrefs.com/
Siteliner helps to find duplicate content and rewrite it. It also helps to add proper links to the initial sources in order to avoid plagiarism.
Image source: https://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tools/free-seo-tools/
This tool helps to uplift the search engine ranking for the website. It is a free SEO tool that checks content and flags the corrupted and broken links. However, the premium version costs 1 cent per page scanned.
In this article, we discussed multiple website building tools, content improvement tools, design tools, and SEO tools that can boost your blog performance. These tools are very important for a blogger as they help to create a beautiful and successful blog. Use these tools or their equivalents and your blog will thrive!