Have you ever wanted to started blogging, only to realize that you didn’t know how to get the job done? The main reason I took so long to start a blog was because I didn’t know how to start or which tools to use. In this post, I’ll give you an inside look at the tools I use everyday to get my job done.
Now, after I've been blogging for a little over a year and have helped develop a number of successful blogs for clients, I’ve seen hundreds of digital marketing tools that make building your platform, starting a blog, or creating an online business easy. The internet is full of free logos, simple photo editing apps, automated Google Analytics reporting, collaborative word processors, and more.
But there are several tools I use on a regular basis that improve my productivity and help me consistently publish new posts each week. From consulting with clients to building Simon & Sons Co., here are the 10 professional tools I can’t blog without.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Want to write better headlines? The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer looks at word balance, headline type, length, and keywords, to give your headline a score between 0 and 100.
For example, here is the headline of a recent blog post of mine, 5 Fail-Proof Strategies to Own Your Work and Be More Successful. CoSchedule rated it a 70, saying that it is the right length but a bit wordy.
Before I publish a blog, I always test my headline with this tool, optimizing based on their recommendation (and my own experience) to find the most engaging headline. Usually I pair it with their 180+ Power Words for Writing Emotional Headlines PDF and DigitalMarketer.com’s headline swipe file.
Because I regularly check Google Analytics for four different companies, Quill Engage saves me hours of review time every week. I’m pretty quick to understand analytics, but having a quality report sent to my inbox weekly is more than incredible. At the time of this writing, over 10,000 users receive reports from Quill Engage, and I am one of them.
Watch their explainer video below to learn more.
Squarespace Logo Builder
This free Logo Builder by Squarespace is very easy to use, even if you are not a graphic designer. Simply search for an icon, write your headline, and download the file. They even show you a preview of your logo on a t-shirt, business card, and web mockup.
I’ve used and recommended this tool to dozens of bloggers in the last six months. Do yourself a favor to give it a try here.
Squarespace has made building this blog and website a breeze, so much that I now build most of my web design clients new sites on this platform as well, like this website I created for Real Food Diets.
Squarespace’s simple drag and drop format makes it easy to create and format posts and pages by bringing in text and images, and its responsive templates allow my blog to be viewed on both desktop and mobile devices. Most importantly, Squarespace has allowed me to focus on the value I’m providing to my readers instead of constantly making website updates.
Google Drive for Work
As a blogger and small-business owner, I rely on our personalized Google Drive account through Squarespace to host all of our files and email. This is such an essential too that I spend 8+ hours each day completely immersed.
I use it for everything—email templates, web copy, blog post ideas, and more. The best part is that Google Drive allows me to sync all my documents between my laptop, desktop, and iPhone, so that no matter where I’m at, I can capture that brilliant idea (even if it’s in the shower).
If you use Bluehost to host your website, you can get a personalized Google Drive for Work account for around $8 per month. When using Squarespace, you can get it for about $5 per month. If you don’t want to spend the cash, you automatically have access to up to 15GB of free storage through your personal Google account.
What’s your web browser of choice? I use Google Chrome, and if you’re also blogger, I’d recommend it too because of the massive library of digital marketing extensions available.
I have a number of favorite extensions like, Page Analytics for measuring Simon & Sons Co.’s web traffic, Buffer for quick social post scheduling, Alexa for traffic ranking, CollorZilla for web design, Facebook Pixel helper to help me see if a website is tracking my Facebook profile, and a Google Link Tag builder for easy GLTs.
Using a durable, fast, versatile MacBook Pro has been the foundation of my work for years. Ever since I bought my first MacBook Pro, I have been more productive than ever. it just works with my brain. Not only am I able to work from anywhere, but I’m able to run heavy duty software like Adobe Creative Cloud along with a couple dozen tabs in Google Chrome.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom have allowed me to design and edit compelling imagery with ease. Because of Adobe Creative Cloud, I’ve been able me to keep all design work associated with Simon & Sons Co., “in house.” This saves hours of wasted time with designers and artists.
Adobe Creative Cloud is still the world’s best suite of creative tools, so using the same tools as the design pros has helped Simon & Sons Co. look just a little bit better than many other blogs on the market.
During August I started scheduling out all of social media posts first thing every Monday morning. Because I know that social media posting is taken care of, I have been able to take on additional consulting clients and focus on better blog content for my readers.
Hootsuite has been my tool of choice for this task. It’s an effective social media dashboard that’s been around since social media was a thing. You know you’re using the best when using Hootsuite, because they’re always working to improve their platform.
IFTTT (If This Then That)
IFTTT is an efficient way to put the internet to work for you. For example, you no longer have to post the same blog content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn. All you have to do is create an IFTTT recipe that links your accounts and it will do the leg work automatically.
I’ve found this to be a very convenient tool for promoting blog posts. Instead of posting the same content on Instagram and Twitter, I’m using a recipe that automatically sends anything published on Instagram directly to my Twitter account.
Now I want to hear from you! Which tools do you use to get the job done?