You can’t be expected to build a house without a hammer and some nails.
Regardless of what you want to achieve out of life, you need to have the right tools in your arsenal.
Blogging is no exception and the Internet has provided bloggers with an embarrassing wealth of riches when it comes to blogging tools.
You’re likely already familiar with some of them, like WordPress and Google Analytics, but what are some of the resources and tools that deserve to get on your radar this year?
1. Ubersuggest keyword suggestions
Continuing with matters related to search engine optimization, Ubersuggest is a terrific (and FREE!) keyword research tool that can help bolster your SEO and PPC efforts. We all know how important keywords can be with search engine optimization (and search engine marketing), but sometimes it can be very challenging to determine where to begin targeting.
Ubersuggest is really easy to use and doesn’t require a login. Start with a keyword or phrase that you’d like to research, indicate whether you’re focusing on the web (or image, shopping, YouTube, news, etc.), and select the language and geography that you’d like to look into. Click to look up and you’ll be presented not only with an expansive list of keyword suggestions, but also the expected volume, CPC, and competition value so you can best evaluate how to proceed.
Keyword suggestions can really help you narrow the focus of your content and then you can target these keywords based on search volume, CPC, and competition. The results can be further filtered down and you can enter negative keywords too. It’s a really powerful launching off point for all your blogging needs.
2. Buzznami content evaluation
You might think that your content is pretty good, but when it comes to matters like this, your solo opinion isn’t really worth all that much. You need to seek out a tool that provides a much more objective analysis and evaluation of your content, auditing it for where it’s strong and where it needs improvement.
Focused primarily in the area of content marketing is Buzznami. They work not only in auditing your content,but also promoting it so that it can get in front of as much of the right audience as possible. Each post is optimized for search engine optimization, and you build up a list of influencers and link partners for each post to get that content out into the world.
When you submit your content for a free audit and analysis, the tool will automatically determine the associated social media accounts for the domain. You can correct these as needed. Your request then enters the queue and you’ll be sent your report via email when it is complete. Buzznami says the typical wait time is only 5 to 10 minutes, and then you can take specific actionable steps to improve your submitted content.
3. MySimpleShow explainer video creation tool
Video has absolutely exploded onto the blogging and social media scene in the last couple of years. Part of this may be fueled by the rising availability and affordability of both smartphones and high-speed Internet. Visual content is hugely popular everywhere, from the blogs themselves to platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. But video creation can feel so incredibly daunting for the uninitiated and experienced veterans alike.
A far simpler and more accessible solution can be found with MySimpleShow. You can literally create your “explainer video” in a matter of minutes, all without any specialized software on your end. It all works from within your web browser. Basically, all you have to do is provide the basic script for your video and the guided process will help you decide the suitable imagery and animations to accompany that script.
You gain access to thousands of illustrations that can populate your video automatically, and then you can further customize it if the automatic selections aren’t quite right. The resulting video, whether it’s to educate the world or to explain your product or service, can then be easily uploaded to your platform of choice to use as you see fit. And yes, you can even make a video for free.
4. FreelanceMyWay for hiring blog writers
There are only so many hours in the day and you are just one person. You might be really good at writing blog posts, for example, but your skills in web development and graphic design may be seriously lacking. While you could invest hours and hours into expanding your skill set, you are still restricted by the confines of the 24-hour day. If you want to get more done, you’ll want more people to help you.
Helping to make the outsourcing process far more accessible is FreelanceMyWay. Instead of having to go through the process of actively seeking out top quality freelancers to handle the myriad of tasks you’d like to outsource, you can turn directly to the marketplace already established by FreelanceMyWay. This includes such professionals as app programmers, logo designers, data entry specialists, admin support, and so much more.
When you post your project up on the platform, you’ll start receiving bids from freelancers in a matter of minutes. The whole process is designed to be as simple, safe and affordable as possible. The freelancers in the network are pre-vetted, going through a three-step verification process with a thorough review by their quality assurance team. The net result is you draw from a pool of pros who have already demonstrated they know what they’re doing.
Payments can be issued using the milestone system, so the payments are only released when the goals and objectives of your timeline are achieved. Best of all, posting a job is completely free!
5. The Hoth bulk DA/PA checker
Whether you’re checking up on your own blogs or you want to peer into your competitors (and potential partners and collaborators), the bulk domain authority and page authority checker at The Hoth can save you a lot of time and effort.
All you have to do is enter the URLs you’d like to check, either on a single domain or with multiple URLs across multiple domains. The tool will then spit out the DA and PA so you can determine “the strength of specific pages and the likelihood for a domain to rank well in search engine results.” This is excellent for research purposes.
6. Skysilk free cloud resources
Everyone seems to be going to the cloud these days, but what about when it comes to your blog? An intriguing option to consider for free cloud hosting is SkySilk. They offer managed cloud services and you can indeed get access to the cloud for free, no strings attached. SkySilk offers one free VPS per user account, that is available indefinitely with no other account requirements. It’s also simple and innovative, and you can leverage the cloud for all sorts of Linux applications and developer tools too. These include such options as CentOS, Fedora, Ubuntu, WordPress, OwnCloud, PostgreSQL and more.
While they are still in beta, you can sign up and test a Linux VPS for whatever use cases you may need. This early access offer allows you to spin up a machine with whatever specifications you want, and test for free. If you want to keep your machine when SkySilk transitions to live, you can do so and begin paying the monthly cost. The free VPS tier will remain available even after SkySilk transitions to live. If you’d like to have more VMs or more storage/resources during the beta, you can inquire directly and they’ll review it on a case-by-case basis. SkySilk also has a rewards program that rewards paying users with redeemable points every month. Rewards include prepaid VISA cards, Amazon gift cards, and account credit. This rewards list will continue to expand, so users will be able to reap the benefits of hosting with SkySilk.
This could prove to be a fascinating testing ground for a lot of your blogging efforts.
7. List of top blogs
When it comes to blogging and creating site content, it’s not just about giving the best value to your audience, it’s also about knowing how to reach existing audiences and also see what type of content is already out there. For this reason and more, it’s extremely important to always keep an eye on other top blogs within your niche and industry.
To help with this process, blogging.org has released their own active list of the top blogs and websites on the internet today, broken down by category. With more than 50 categories to choose from and hundreds of manually selected sites to choose from, you should have no problem finding other relevant sites within your niche, that can act as both valuable partner sites, guest blogging opportunities, or even for direct competitor research.
Put these resources and tools for bloggers to use to win BIG in 2018
With over a billion active sites on the internet today, you simply need to take advantage of the many different tools and resources available. Gone are the days when you can just install WordPress, create content, and start ranking in Google.
It’s now all about the content creation, marketing, research and relationship building process. Take some time to explore what each of the tools and resources mentioned above has to offer, then put them to use on your own website, blog or brand.
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com