Blogging used to be a very personal thing. People would open up a Livejournal account and complain about their relationship issues, share personal thoughts and collect favorite links.
Now blogging is a straight up career path. Subjects are chosen based off of the profitability of their traffic predictions.
Hours are spent crafting the perfect content and narrowing SEO and social strategies. And though it may take a year or two to reach the black, blogs can be monetized and used to make thousands a month in revenue.
You can find that success, but you need to take your blog seriously. Apart from regular content and promotion, these tools are your best bet at launching your site into the big leagues.
I've seen bloggers having no email list whatsoever. Or bloggers waiting for when they will have some traffic to put a “Subscribe” call-to-action there.
I am a firm believer that an email list is a blogger's biggest asset and one should start collecting leads from day 1.
GetResponse is the most robust online marketing solution which is also affordable. For just $15 a month you get access to their email marketing features. And for $49 a month you access advanced marketing automation features, webinars, landing pages creations and everything you need for your online business. Check out the full GetResponse review from Deb Anderson.
[Freemium with advanced free plan]
Want really specific and thorough data on your website traffic? SERPstat is one of the best analytics tools out there, and for good reason. Get very detailed reports, launch campaigns globally, and get research you need to set your targets.
SERPstat has some pretty awesome features you'll find nowhere else including:
- URL-level competitor analysis: Unlike other tools offering you to analyze domains of your competitors, SERPstat digs deeper allowing you see which pages you compete with and how you are lacking
- Missing keywords: Speaking of how you are lacking, SERPstat lets you see which keywords your competitors are ranking for which you don't use
- The variety of filters including the ability to see when your (or your competitors') pages rank on Google pages that have other features (like answer boxes, shopping results, images, videos, etc.)
Compared to similar tools, this is an inexpensive tool, starting at $39 a month. If you are dealing with heavy traffic and plan for that to really grow, it is an invaluable resource.
Where are your backlinks originating from? Is someone mentioning your brand out there on the web where you can't easily see? How are your targeted keywords doing, and should you be making some changes?
From the position of your site, to the visibility of your content, you can track it all from Majestic handy and functional dashboard.
They have three plans, starting at $49.99 per month and moving on from there. They do offer discounts for annual pricing.
As a blogger you are probably trying to handle more than you can do. You research, create and promote and if you are like me, you have almost no time left to analyze.
This is where Cyfe makes perfect sense: It allows you to create an unlimited number of marketing dashboards to track and archive lots of data. The best part, you get a bird's eye view of everything you are storing.
For example, my dashboard widgets include:
- My social media accounts growth (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube)
- My to-do list
- My site Google Analytics numbers (referrals, daily visits, conversions)
Cyfe is incredibly affordable. You get unlimited everything for only $19 a month.
Buzzsumo has a free option that gives you a limited view of what is trending right now on the web. But their reach power comes in their premium content analysis and research features, which start at $99 a month for up to five users, ten alerts, and ten trending feeds. Watch this quick Buzzsumo Tutorial to see how it works.
This site is best suited for those bloggers who monetize their blogs with their own products. Yotpo helps you collect and publicize user reviews about any product or service you are selling on your blog.
Legit user reviews are your most powerful marketing tools. There have been lots of case studies about the power of user reviews. Yotpo makes it easier to engage your readers to prompt them to leave reviews as well as publicize those reviews in a most convincing way.
It is becoming more common for people to have multiple WordPress sites, both blogs and otherwise. Managing them all can be a pain, but it is way easier with ManageWP.
This tool creates a dashboard for all of your WP sites, so you can keep track of them and edit them all in one place. Their free service is more for managing updates and backing up your sites all at once. But premium has cloning, trackers, and more.
Make sure you choose a reliable host for your WordPress sites too.
CoSchedule is one of my all time favorite tools. It connects with your WordPress blog and acts as a dual editorial calendar and social media scheduler. You can assign tasks to users who will see the project updates in their dashboard.
And it all shows up in a grid calendar that is easy to read and update. Then schedule posts to go out for each one automatically at the time of publication. I can't recommend this one enough.
You need more than stock images if you want to stand out. But creating graphics takes time and skill that not everyone has. If you aren't a graphic design, or you are and just don't want to spend ages on different graphics for your site, Canva is a must have.
Easily create infographics, presentations, cover photos, vectors and more from their online generator, customized and original, at professional levels of quality.
Come on, you know Evernote. It is one of the most popular content curation and organization tools to ever hit the web. But if you aren't using their premium version, you are missing out.
With so many apps cross-compatible these days, and so many features and side tools, you can do just about anything with Evernote. Definitely check out Skitch, which is my own personal favorite product from the Evernote team.
Of course, if you are taking your blog seriously, here are a few free tools you should have handy:
- Sitegeek: Pick the best and most reliable host
- Page Speed Tool: Analyze what slows your page down
- Askimet: To avoid spam clutter
- Broken Link Checker: Track and fix for SEO and user experience
- Mobile-Friendly Test: Preview your blog on mobile
- WP SEO by Yoast: Take care of your blog SEO: control your post titles, use Twitter cards, etc with great documentation for newbies
Do you have a tool you think is important for serious bloggers? Let us know in the comments.