Tools help us achieve what we want to achieve.
They help up do some faster. They help us build and communicate with our audience. They practically help us do everything.
In this post, I will show you 30 tools that you can use to grow your blog.
Ready? Let’s do it.
Note: I’ve broken the list up into categories.
Essential blog tools
Affiliate Marketing Tools
TablePress is a free plugin for WordPress blogs.
Basically, it’s a plugin that lets you create tables for your posts and pages.
Why is this in the affiliate marketing category?
2 words: Comparison reviews.
A comparison review is similar to the product review, but with 2 differences:
- It reviews more than 1 product or items.
- It only summarizes each product (basically mini reviews).
But anyway, here’s what tables created with the TablePress plugin look like:
As you can see, you can create comparison charts. These are awesome for affiliates.
ThirstyAffiliates is a WordPress plugin that turns ugly affiliate links into something more normal-looking.
It’s like this:
Here’s another WordPress plugin.
This one lets you create a short review of a product that is very easy on the eyes. Which could convert more visitors than with normal, plain-text review posts.
It also gives your search results a bit of a good look. See?
This is a web-based app from the guys at HubSpot. And what this does is it generates a bunch of generic headlines for keywords you enter.
Of course, their generated headlines won’t be usable.
We are in 2016, right? Big-time robots won’t exist until 2050, in my opinion.
However, HubSpot’s BTG is a beast at giving you ideas for blog content. And that’s what you should use it for.
Hands down, my all-time favorite tool right now.
It’s one of the internet’s most popular tool right now. It’s consistently showing up in everybody’s “Resources” or “Tools of the Trade” page. And for good reason, too.
Buzzsumo is a web-based app that pulls up the internet’s most shared content for any given keyword or topic.
It also helps you find influential people in your industry, which is useful for when you’re doing outreach or influencer marketing.
Buzzsumo = a must-use.
This is an editorial calendar (posting schedule) tool. You can manage the calendar right from your WordPress admin panel (CoSchedule is a plugin). You’ll be able to schedule posts, schedule social media shares/updates, and more.
Have you ever wished that you could spot and fix your spelling/grammar errors fast?
(I just sounded like a guy from those infomercials.)
Grammarly is a browser extension and a web app that detects errors and suggests some corrections. And fixing errors doesn’t get easier than with Grammarly’s one-click fixer.
The Headline Analyzer is a free tool from the guys at CoSchedule.
Can you guess what it does?
Yup. It analyzes headlines.
This tool should be something you always use. Before you hit publish on your next blog post or page, head over to the Headline Analyzer, enter your headline, and check your title’s score.
A good score is around the 70s with a B+.
But of course, the higher the score, the better chance at your headline getting clicks.
Here’s a tool that is similar to Grammarly.
Here’s how it works:
- You paste your post into the Hemingway Editor.
- The tool automatically shows you spelling and grammar errors.
- The tool also shows you other suggestions to make your content better (such as your words and sentences).
And you don’t even have to download or pay anything.
I know Quora isn’t exactly a “tool” – it’s a Q&A forum-type website, but the reason why I’ve included in this post is because of what it can do for you – and that is to give you some ideas for your blog content.
Enter any keyword or phrase into the search feature, Quora will give you some question threads that can potentially be your next topic for a blog post.
The content builder from Thrive Themes is my favorite tool. And it’s arguably the best tool of its kind.
It’s a WordPress plugin where you’ll be able to create landing pages (it comes with templates).
You’ll also be able to use it for your blog content. I use it to create all my content on all my sites.
YES, it’s that awesome!
Content Promotion Tools
It’s a tool that is designed for promoting content.
Here’s how it works:
- You connect it to your social profiles.
- You create your persona(s).
- You enter some keywords.
- It monitors the internet for your keywords.
- It pulls up all conversations for your keywords (ex: forum thread).
- You could then post whatever you want in that social post, thread, or conversation.
Pretty cool, huh?
They offer a free version, which is limited. But it’s still awesome.
This is beginning to be one of my all-time favorite outreach tools.
Content Marketer is composed of 2 different products:
- Connector – which helps you with email outreach
- Notifier – which helps you with Twitter outreach
They’re both super easy to use.
If you’re not into blogger outreach, then you should get into it. Content Marketer has everything you need to get going.
14. Ninja Outreach
Ninja Outreach is another tool for outreach.
Sure, I could have put this in my “alternatives”, but it’s just too good of a tool to be there. It deserves its own subheading.
This tool is a browser extension. It feels like some app you downloaded on your computer, though. Ninja Outreach can help you find influencers anywhere and reach out to them.
Their proven templates are sure to give you a high email open rate for any type of email you want to send (ex: link request, expert roundup request, etc).
Email and List Building Tools
This is one of the most popular tools in its niche. It’s probably the easiest one to use, too, which is one of the 2 reasons why I added this one to the list.
The other reason is because it’s free for your first 2000 subscribers.
The other 2 popular ones are Aweber and GetResponse.
Have you ever wondered how some blogs have a cool opt-in form on the top of every page?
You know, right above the headline and under the header and logo.
I used to, too.
When I found out that all it took to get that up on your site was an easy-to-use plugin, I was surprised. I thought you would have to hire some expensive pro coder.
But no. All it takes is a free WordPress plugin.
Note: Plugmatter has a paid version for their Optin Feature Box that has more features and customizations.
SumoMe isn’t your ordinary WordPress plugin. It actually has a bunch of apps.
They have a few particular apps that I want to show you here. And those are:
- List Builder – the popup form
- SmartBar – the sticky bar above the page
- Scroll Box – the slide-in form in the corners
- Welcome Mat – the page-size form that loads on top of the page
I used these apps on all my sites before I switched over to another (I’ll show you in a second).
I didn’t switch because SumoMe’s apps were crap. It’s all because of personal taste, I guess.
But still, Sumo’s email tools are all free (with paid versions).
18. Thrive Leads
Ah, yes. The one I chose over SumoMe’s email apps.
This is a paid WordPress plugin. But it’s totally worth it.
You can integrate the plugin with a bunch of email marketing services, including the popular ones I mentioned earlier.
With Thrive Leads, you’ll also be able to create every single opt-in form imaginable. Including the popup, the widget, the scroll box, and even the 2-step content upgrade form.
Highly, highly recommended!
Audacity is a tool for podcasting. Probably the best of its kind. Very popular.
If you’re planning on starting a podcast, this is the right tool for you.
This tool is for recording your screen. Great for video tutorials and reviews.
If you’re thinking of giving your readers more than text and images, Camtasia should be on your list.
Hands down, the best image editor for non-designers.
This easy-to-use web-based tool is awesome. It’s perfect for bloggers like me and you.
Canva’s free and you can almost do anything with it to create stunning imagery.
Some great other image tools are Snappa and ShareAsImage.
Images are important for our blogs, right?
And so are screenshots.
Screenshots make it easier for our readers to understand what we’re trying to teach them.
And Evernote’s screenshot tool, Skitch, is the perfect tool to do that.
It’s a free, safe download. A lot of the pros use it. So why don’t you, right?
A cool alternative would be Jing or Snagit.
Ahrefs is a research tool for links, content, and competition. It’s arguably the best.
Pros like Brian Dean use and recommend it.
A couple great alternatives are the Open Site Explorer and Majestic.
24. Check My Links
Check My Links is a browser extension that, you guessed it, checks your links (or any web page’s links).
It’s that simple.
It’s free. It’s great.
LTP is one of the most popular keyword research tools around.
The founder, Spencer Haws, did really well with this one.
The keyword data is very accurate. It’s easy to use. It’s simply awesome.
A few others I’d recommend are KW Finder, KeywordTool.io, Ubersuggest, and of course…the Google Keyword Planner.
MozBar is a browser extension from Moz.
Basically, it automatically pulls up the Moz data (Domain Authority, Page Authority, etc) from every domain you visit. It also pulls up data in the Google SERPs.
It’s free. And it’s a useful tool to have when you’re doing competitor research.
27. SEM Rush
Here’s another popular SEO tool.
It’s used by some of the biggest experts in SEO and online marketing. SEMRush is a tool that’ll help you research, and beat, your competitors.
A buddy mine, Robbie Richards, published a post on his blog that shows you 24 differents ways to research your competition using SEMRush. It’s pretty cool.
Social Media Tools
Buffer is this tool that lets you schedule social media posts for free.
It can be used for Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus for pages, and Instagram.
Buffer will also show you how many clicks your posts get, which is pretty cool and useful if you want to do some tests.
29. Click to Tweet (by CoSchedule)
Here’s another WordPress plugin. It’s from the guys at CoSchedule (or TodayMade).
What this does is it places boxes within your content with tweetable links.
I’ve heard great things about TweetDis, which does the same thing, basically.
We’ve talked about SumoMe’s email apps. Now it’s time for some of their others (yes, they have more).
Sumo’s social media tools are probably the most popular ones out there right now.
The “Sumo Icon” is practically on every other site I visit. And maybe you’ve noticed it.
Anyway, their Share app is my, and thousands of others’, favorite social sharing buttons.
They have tons of icons in them, including all major social sites, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and more.
They’re nice and clean, also. And they look great on smaller screens, too.
As for their Image Sharer, it places up to 3 sharing icons on any image on your pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest).
A great alternative for the Share app is the Social Warfare plugin (I would use it, but it doesn’t have the Buffer share icon).
My Favorite Tools
I will leave you with a list of my favorite tools (from this list). Check them out:
- Buzzsumo and Quora
- Canva and Skitch
- Content Marketer and Ninja Outreach
- Grammarly and Hemingway
- SumoMe’s Share and Click to Tweet
- Thrive Leads + Content Builder and Mailchimp
- SEM Rush, LongTailPro, MozBar, and Ahrefs
And remember, if you have any questions about any of the tools I mentioned, or anything about blogging really, hit us up in the comments below.
And don’t forget to give this a quick share!
This post was written by Julian, a blogger and digital marketer with about 3 years worth of experience. You can find him sharing advice at Blogging Aid and on his favorite social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.