Don’t Blog Unless You Use These 11 Tools

crazy egg

Are you having a hard time blogging? I know I did when I first started out.

Over the years, blogging has evolved, and many new platforms and tools have been created. Most of the tools aren’t very useful, but a few are.

Download this checklist of 11 tools you should use for blogging.

Here are the 11 tools that have helped make my blogging journey a bit easier and more successful:

Tool #1: Buzzsumo

Coming up with topics to write about isn’t easy. Luckily, Buzzsumo helps with the task.

All you have to do is head over to their homepage and type in a keyword related to your industry. For this example, let’s use the phrase “content marketing.”

buzzsumo

Once you click on the “go” button, you’ll see a results’ table that looks like this:

buzzsumo results

Buzzsumo crawls the web for blog posts and indexes them all… kind of like Google. It then sorts the results by social shares and shows the posts with the highest share count at the top.

You will see what type of content has done well in the past. You can then come up with article ideas based on the list.

For example, I found that one of the most shared titles was “An Internet Marketing Education in 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails. No Charge.

I then came up with my own variation called “Get Your MBA in Internet Marketing with These 12 Guides and 2 Courses.” People enjoyed the post, and it did fairly well. It received 285 Facebook shares and 455 tweets. That’s not too shabby for an article that took me only 30 minutes to write.

Tool #2: Quick Sprout

Did you know there is a content marketing tool on Quick Sprout? Best of all, it’s free.

To start, simply enter your URL or your competitor’s URL here. You’ll see a report that looks like this:

quicksprout

When you click on the “social media tab,” you’ll see a table that looks like this:

quicksprout social media

This table shows all the pages on any given domain and sorts them by social shares. This is useful because if you want to see what blog posts are working well for your competition, just put in their URLs into the tool. The table will show you their popular posts.

By analyzing your competition with the Quick Sprout tool, you’ll gain insights into what is working for your competitors and the type of content you should be producing on your blog.

Tool #3: Open Site Explorer

Do you want more search traffic? Of course, you do.

Open Site Explorer is a useful tool because it sorts all the URLs within a domain by backlinks. And as you know, the more backlinks a website has, the more search traffic it will typically receive.

open site explorer

This will help you get a good understanding of the blog posts on your site that are bringing you more backlinks. You should be writing more posts like those.

The tool also shows you the-most-linked-to posts on your competitors’ blogs. See what is working for them, and try to replicate that on your blog.

When doing this, make sure you don’t copy your competitor. The goal is to one up them and create a better blog post. This way, you can email all the people that link to your competitor and ask them to also link to your post.

And if you need email templates when reaching out to the sites that link to your competitor, check out this blog post.

Tool #4: Emails

Do you know what the best traffic source for Quick Sprout, Smart Passive Income, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and Social Triggers is?

It’s email!

That’s why we all have tons of email opt-ins all over our blogs. You can use tools like Bounce Exchange and OptinMonster to create your own opt-ins.

Once you have a list, you can then email your subscribers through a service provider such as GetResponse, MailChimp, or Aweber.

If your blog makes money, you can always use a solution like Maropost. They charge a lot more, but their deliverability is noticeably higher.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to notify your list of each blog post you release. But if you release more than three posts a week, you should consider a weekly blast to avoid flooding people’s inboxes and angering them.

Tool #5: Yoast SEO

If you are going to take the time to write a blog post, you’d better take the time to ensure your blog is optimized for search engines.

Luckily for you, SEO is pretty easy when you have a WordPress blog. All you have to do is install this plugin and follow the instructions in the video below.

The cool part about the Yoast SEO plugin is that it has everything you need. From allowing you to adjust your meta tags to creating an XML sitemap, the plugin does everything for you. It is great… and best of all, it is free.

Tool #6: W3 Total Cache

Did you know the faster your website loads, the more traffic you will receive? By improving the load time on Quick Sprout, I was able to increase my traffic from 121,311 to 244,923 visitors a month.

I achieved those results back in February 2013, and my traffic since then has continually risen as I’ve improved my load time.

You can improve your load time in a few ways. One of the main ways is to pick a good host. Using WP Engine or Rackspace is a great start.

Setting up a CDN can also help. If you aren’t familiar with CDN, it’s technology that replicates your website across multiple servers across the world. That way, when someone from India comes to visit your website, they are pulling it from a server in India versus the US.

Both Rackspace and WP Engine offer CDN solutions with a click of a button, which is great.

But in addition to picking the right host, you need to ensure your website is optimized. A messy website will decrease your load times.

By using W3 Total Cache, you can optimize your blog’s code with a few clicks of a button. Just make sure you follow these instructions or the ones in the video below… and don’t worry—you don’t have to be technical to use it.

Tool #7: Google Analytics

Yes, you already know about Google Analytics, but have you directly increased your search traffic because of it?

Chances are you haven’t.

So how do you use Google Analytics to increase your search traffic? There are three specific reports you need to use. Based on those reports, you can increase your click-through rates and rankings with a few small tweaks.

Just follow the steps in this blog post.

Tool #8: Crazy Egg

Have you wondered how many people actually read your blog posts? With Quick Sprout, it used to be 40%…until I started using Crazy Egg.

crazy egg

With a few simple Crazy Egg tests, I was able to see how many of you scrolled down and actually read each blog post. With a bit of testing, I was able to increase the number of people who read each post by 62.5%.

How? I followed the 6 principles in this post.

Tool #9: Hello Bar

It doesn’t matter what kind of a blog you have, there is a goal you are trying to achieve. And it doesn’t have to be a financial transaction either…

From getting people to give you their email addresses to gaining more social media followers or bringing more awareness to your brand or a specific message… the possibilities are endless.

Through the use of Hello Bar, you can achieve all of the above goals plus more. How so? Well, Hello Bar places a fully customizable bar at the top of your website.

hellobar

Sign up for a free account, pick your goals, and Hellobar will help you achieve them.

hellobar stats

My favorite part about the tool is that it has A/B testing built in. So you can test different goals and see which one is yielding the best results.

Tool #10: Qualaroo

Do you want to avoid writer’s block? Qualaroo is a great tool to help you generate ideas.

qualaroo

It creates an unobtrusive box that allows you to ask your readers a question. You can ask, for example,

“What else would you like me to blog about?”

Your readers will tell you their opinions. The cool part about Qualaroo is that it will analyze all the responses and show you the commonalities in them. It will tell you which topic is in demand so you can blog about it.

Tool #11: Simply Measured

Simply Measured has a handful of tools, and my favorite ones are their free tools.

You can put in your social media handle in one of them, and the tool will tell you the best times for you to send a tweet or share a post on Facebook.

simplymeasured

Their reports will break down data such as:

  • The words and phrases your users want to see in social media posts.
  • The time of day they use these social media platforms. This way you know when to post.
  • The top users that follow you and the times when they log in.

The reason you want to use these tools is because you don’t want to tweet at 8 a.m. when all of your followers are on Twitter at 4 p.m.

Conclusion

Blogging doesn’t have to be hard. There are a ton of free tools out there that can help you generate ideas and increase your readership.

The 11 tools I mentioned above are the main ones I use on my blog. Give them a shot. They’ll change your blogging experience.

What other tools do you use when blogging?

P.S. If you need help setting up your blog for success go here.

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Comments

  1. Arvind Kumar Blogger :

    Thanks Neil.. These tips are awesome and super. I use quicksprout.com for better checkup of my site.

  2. Conrad O'Connell :

    I’d checkout https://ithemes.com/purchase/backupbuddy/ if you’re looking for a WP backup solution.

  3. Thanks Neil,

    I use most of the tools you’ve just mentioned. Also love Kraken.io to optimize images for the web.

    Looking forward to reading your next post. Hope you have a happy new year!

  4. These all are great tools, and I already use most of them. Other tools that I use include bufferapp, semrush, and Gravity Forms.

    • true ..tools you have mentioned above are also very useful.
      I also use tweetdeck, scrapebox, and hootsuite after my blog post.
      thanks Neil sir

  5. That’s a great article Neil! A great resource for bloggers! Thank you!

  6. Alex Cleanthous :

    Great post Neil! I use most of these plugins, but there area couple I am going to integrate into my site!

  7. Madame Ostrich :

    SEO by Yoast is probably the best thing that’s ever happened to my blog. Installing that alone nearly doubled my traffic. I bought Crazy Egg, but still need to install it. Excited to try it!

    Hope you’re having a good holiday season, Neil!

  8. Thank you. So many useful websites that can help me to build more traffic.

  9. Thanks Neil. Great post. Happy New Year 2015!

  10. This is an incredible e-mail. I am a little overwhelmed by everything I’ve just read. It took me three days to set up my WordPress self-hosted site… I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to computers and other gadgets. I can use all the help I can get. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  11. Nataliya Yakushev :

    SEORCH is another great on-page SEO and content marketing tool, similar to SEMRUSH. I’ve never heard of Buzzsumo until I read this article, thanks Neil!

  12. Qualaroo is great for writers block!

  13. ha ha.. interesting specially for hellobar and quick sprout. nice huh!? 😉 between nice post… a very happy new year 2015 @neil. enjoy!

  14. Niel bro, which is the best free Email marketing tool ? Or does it have to be paid for making a blog pro.

  15. Many Thnx for sharing Neil, I didn’t know about Quick Sprout. I also recommend and use the other tools because they do make blogging a lot easier.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  16. Best Tools List For US. Thank you

  17. Hello Neil
    The article speaks lot. Actually except open site explore, I haven’t any of the above. Thanks for sharing all the other tools here.

  18. Neil,

    This blog post is terrific! Holy potatoes, I just learned a lot. I cannot wait to get home and use some of these tools. Thanks so much for sharing.

  19. Thanks Neil. Very helpful post. Love the website analyzer tool.

  20. The information about BuzzSumo is very interesting. Thanks for sharing this with me 😉

  21. What a time to present a perfect gift. I actually didn’t know about the social media part of the quick sprout tool so thanks.

    I just try everything you recommend and take the lessons therefrom. I am a little edgy about those email templates but i will sure try them and probably provide you some feedback.

    From this one blog post I have learnt much more than I anticipated, so I will say it’s a beautiful day today, new tasks and exploits.

    Neil you are one of the reasons 2014 is/was beautiful, I am in love with you…. Quick Sprout

    • Uche, thanks for the positive feedback. I look forward to hearing much more from you. Please let me know if you need help with anything at all!

  22. Priscilla and her Books :

    These plugins look really cool. I’ll take a look and see which fits my blog best!

  23. MyInvestmentsPub :

    Thanks Neil…..for your wonderful tools…….

  24. We put the hello bar on some of our clients sites…it is nice for analytics as well

  25. Shiva Guru Balaji :

    Hey thats a good collection of quality tools. I’m glad that i’m using some of them.

  26. ds domination review :

    this is awesome. I am very familiar with most of the tools, but about 4 of them are totally new to me. golden nuggets! thx!

  27. Awesome Piece of Text Neil. You forgot to add Potent Title Generator. That’s also a good and essential tool for bloggers, right?

  28. This is very nice post. Thanks for the list, I have used some of them, but it’s always good to know some other tools that might help.

  29. Neil, I tried few from these awesome tools. I really add buzzsumo and crazy egg in my content strategy but never tried quick sprout and others. Now I am adding few more tools. Hopefully looking for better results. Thank you for adding good tools in one place.

  30. Thanks Neil, for sharing these important tools befor blogging.

    Apart from these 11 tools there are many tools you can find, but yes, As I have used few of them I can say that these are the main important tools that can help you to improve your blogging and can make your blogging a successful one.

    Thank you again and a very Happy new year…

  31. Hello Neil,

    I always find great contents from your side, really useful tools I have checked just after reading this blog. I will work with all these for my blogging journey. You always come with a superpower post.

    Thanks for sharing..!

  32. Hey Neil,

    Indeed a great post it is.

    I am planning to start a blog section on my site and write the post myself but i don’t have any experience of writing stuff!!!

    Can you please suggest me where can i start from? I mean some basics on how the post should be?

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

    • Hi Dyna,

      If you are looking for inspiration for your next blog posts you can find the news in your area of interest on BlogsRelease.com. Hope that helps!

      Shirley

  33. Really nice collection of these tools. I knew some of them before but some of them in the list above seem really important and they were unknown to me.

    Thanks for highlighting them Neil, keep writing!

  34. This is a great list, and there’s a lot of good advice here. I had a few aha moments and took away plenty of great notes. 🙂

  35. thanks for the Awesome tools,

    my favorite one Quick Sprout tools it Awesome and i try always 🙂

  36. These all free tools list helps me a lot to analysis the website, content marketing, FB page as well as other things which always need to identify when, where and which area we need to implement for better results.

  37. Hello Neil,

    Tons of Thanks for this post!
    These tools are great for getting more traffic to your blog.

  38. Neil, definitely great post.Thank you

  39. I love the Buzzsumo tip, it is in my bookmarks now. Thanks for sharing!

  40. Spaghetti Crunch :

    Ohh nice article and very informative, hope that will work over my blog too.

  41. Great tips. Thank you for sharing. i will try them and come back with the result.

  42. Thanks a bunch Neil Patel. I find these tools very useful. I am going to do my best to deploy all of them to my blogs and also help others know about them.

  43. Angelina Fomina :

    This post is great. A lot of the tools I didn’t know about and they surprised me. Can’t wait to check them all out and the additional guides you linked to.

  44. Will these tools tell you geographical centric data?

  45. Nicely said as always Neil. May we add one more tool of major importance to us, SproutSocial. Because great content should be efficiently shared too!
    Happy new Year to everyone!!

  46. Michael, that’s definitely a good one that I have found helpful over the years.

  47. Some of these tools (or all of them) are very cool indeed. I’ll try them. Thanks for the tips and I wish you a wonderful 2015 Neil (and everybody reading this)!

  48. As usual, an awesome post Neil!

    I have one request. Could you make a post where you mention the best books you ever read about internet marketing or productivity which changed your life?

    Many thanks!
    Rubel

  49. Thanks Neil…this information is really applicable and I would say quicksprout.com it’s really helpful website.

  50. Hey Neil,

    Part of what is always so helpful about your posts is that not only do you suggest techniques and tools, but you also give us supporting numbers from your own tests, which really makes it resonate. Will definitely use some of these tools this coming year. Thanks

    Travis

  51. Thanks for another great post. I use most of the mentioned tools already but good to see I’m not the only one. Keep up those posts.

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  53. I kove SEO Yoast and use that on most of my sites. I really like the idea of Qualaro for content ideas. Thanks for the tips.

  54. Resham Panth :

    I must confess. You have the answer for almost all the questions that I have related to Blogging and Internet Marketing! How do you do that? Do you have a tool that tells you what exactly the reader is looking for!
    Thanks for the list. It is a must have list for every blogger! I am working on a new tech blog. The problem I am facing is how to find out the best competitors that I can compete with? Ofcourse I won’t be able to rank higher than Mashable or Techcrunch or other established blogs (for now). So how do I find out the competition that I am supposed to fight with?
    Secondly, How do you manage your Social Media? I have profiles with a few hundred followers but the engagement is very low!
    PS- Can you please write a post that can help all Tech bloggers?
    Thanks,
    Resham Panth

  55. Hello Neil,

    In your list of blogging tools, I’d say I love using buzzsumo, Google Analytic because they are easy to use and they provide good result.

    WordPress SEO by Toast is also a must have plugin for WordPress users.

    I wonder why Google Webmaster tool is not in the list.

    Thanks

  56. Jason Halle :

    Thanks Neil, for sharing these most important 11 tools for blogging.

    As I have used few of them I can say that these are the main important tools that will surely help any blogger to improve his blogging performance and can make his blogging area a successful one.
    It was good reading this and came to know about few more tools hope these will be helpful for me too.

    • It’s my pleasure putting this together! If you have any other questions or need help, please don’t hesitate to ask

  57. SKing Foundation :

    Amazing post kicked out of your mind to help achieve the peak in blogosphere.Thanks a lot in my own pleasure way.That’s great.
    SKing Anup !

  58. W3 Total cache is somewhat harder these days. Instead, I started using WPRocket which is a great alternative, simple to use.

    Except that, I use most of the tools mentioned over there. Here is my list of tools I use for managing 25-30 blogs http://bloggingio.com/best-blogging-tools/

    Hope you will love it.

    Thank you

  59. These are some great tools! I’ve been blogging for a few years and only recently discovered a new tool, Copyleaks after an incident where I found another site was scraping my content and using it as their own. Copyleaks now notifies me anytime there is duplicate content of mine elsewhere on the web. Definitely try it out-it’s free to start!

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