Blogging without the right tools is like running a marathon without the right shoes.
You will always struggle to compete with the frontrunners.
This is why I’ve put together this list of some of the best blogging tools that the top content creators and SaaS marketers use to dominate their niches.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading.
Some of the tools I write about are paid, some are free, and some have both free and premium versions.
All of them are world-class tools that will accelerate your blog’s growth.
I’ve categorized them according to their end-use for easier navigation.
Let’s dive in.
Best Site Builders For Bloggers
WordPress is the best blogging platform in the world for numerous reasons, but the following site builders make it even better.
Elementor is arguably the best WordPress website builder out there, with more than 5 million active users.
You can use it to create amazing landing pages, opt-in pop-ups, websites, and so much more without any prior coding knowledge or graphic design skills.
Once you install its plugin to your WordPress site, it gives you a drag & drop interface with a ton of different website elements like CTAs, testimonials, sliders, forms, and dozens of ready to use landing page templates.
Elementor turns you into a professional designer and gives you total control of your site’s appearance and user experience.
It offers both free and premium versions, but if you want to experience its true value, I strongly recommend going for the paid version.
Divi is among the most popular WordPress themes in the world and comes with a website builder that’s comparable to Elementor.
It completely transforms your WordPress editor into a visual page builder with drag & drop website elements like buttons, icons, sliders, image sections, text blocks, and a lot more.
Using Divi, you can turn ordinary articles and blog posts into professionally designed guides with separate sections and color themes.
You can also choose any of the 100+ themes in its library to set up fully responsive landing pages for your lead magnets or digital products.
In short, if you’re looking for the ultimate WordPress theme+page builder, Divi should be on top of your list.
Best Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools
The success of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy depends heavily on your choice of SEO tools. These are the ones that I strongly recommend.
Ahrefs is the best SEO tool in the world by a large margin.
When utilized to its full potential, Ahrefs gives you an unfair advantage over your competitors and helps you find SEO opportunities that no other product offers.
Ahrefs is not just a tool.
It’s a suite of multiple market research SEO and content marketing tools that could’ve been sold separately.
Ahrefs has the world’s largest active backlink database (2.7+ trillion external backlinks) that’s updated every 30 minutes.
This makes it an amazing competitor research tool you can use to analyze your competitors, study their backlink profiles, and find new link-building opportunities for your content.
There’s so much to write about Ahrefs that I could dedicate an entire article to it.
Still, trust me when I say this — your business will grow much faster with Ahrefs.
Yoast SEO is one of the most popular WordPress SEO plugins.
It mainly helps you with two things:
- Setting up a solid SEO foundation for your site
- Optimizing your content for on-page SEO
It adds an optimization widget to the bottom of your WordPress editor, where you can add your target keyword and analyze the optimization strength of your content.
Moreover, it saves your time by optimizing your page titles in a standard format.
Clearscope is a comparatively new tool in the SEO market but it has already captured the attention of several leading content creators.
Its core function is to help you optimize your content for on-page SEO.
It does that by analyzing the top search results for your target keywords and then recommending a list of keywords that you should include in your content.
Using the suggested keywords improves your chances of ranking higher.
If you think that’s a pretty simple function, you’re right.
However, you can’t do it manually without spending several hours researching every keyword.
Clearscope saves you all that time by giving you a list of keywords that you can add to your content in just a few clicks.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the oldest keyword research tool that still rules the industry (because Google offers it free of charge).
It’s primarily designed for advertisers while also offering in-depth keyword research features that bloggers and content creators can use.
You can use it in a couple of ways.
- Input a keyword/topic and find its related keywords along with their approx. search volume.
- Search for a competitor’s URL and find the keywords that Google thinks are relevant to their site.
Keyword planner doesn’t show the exact search volume anymore, so it’s not as useful as it used to be.
Still, if you’re looking for a quick and free keyword research tool, there’s no better option than the Keyword Planner.
Detailed is a handy SEO browser extension (for Chrome and Firefox) that helps you quickly analyze competitor pages and their on-page SEO strength.
To use it, simply visit your target page and click on its icon to generate an on-page SEO report that shows, among other useful information:
- The SEO title, description, and URL of the page
- The total word count of the page
- The number of H1, H2, H3 headings on the page
- The total number of images and links on the page
- Robots and Canonical tags
You can dive deeper into each of those points by going to their tabs.
A hugely popular SEO browser extension, MozBar adds an SEO information toolbar under each search result in Google Search.
The information bar shows you a site’s domain authority, page authority, number of backlinks, spam score, etc.
MozBar very useful for competitor analysis and allows you to quickly measure the strength of the sites ranking in Google Search.
Keywords Everywhere is another very useful browser extension for SEO and keyword research.
Once activated, it shows you keyword ideas, along with their estimated search volumes in Google Search, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, and 12 other websites that internet marketers frequently use for keyword research.
Best Email Marketing Tools
Building an email list and regularly engaging your subscribers is crucial for your blog’s growth. Here are the best email marketing tools that will help you do it.
ActiveCampaign is a complete email marketing automation suite you can use to build, grow, and engage your subscriber base and convert it into paying customers.
Apart from all the basic email marketing functions such as email campaigns, list management, and segmentation, ActiveCampaign also offers several advanced features.
For example, you can create automatic subscriber workflows, design drip campaigns with a drag & drop designer, automatically assign tags to segment and manage your subscribers, and use email tracking for personalized messaging.
Additionally, it comes with a complete CRM solution that helps you manage your customers better and engage them with more meaningful email content.
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool created specifically for bloggers, content creators, and digital product sellers.
It comes with advanced marketing features such as drip campaigns, landing pages, and tag-based subscriber segmentation.
Plus, it seamlessly integrates with other marketing platforms and site builders to help you offer a uniform user experience to your audience.
You can use it free of cost for up to 1000 subscribers or choose one of its premium plans based on your subscriber count.
To grow your email list and convert your website visitors into subscribers, you need to use different types of opt-in forms on your site.
This is where OptinMonster comes in.
It is a leading conversion optimization tool that offers lightbox popups, floating bars, scroll boxes, and several other types of forms you can use to capture email addresses on your website.
It also offers advanced features such as exit-intent detention, which serves to show your opt-in forms to visitors when they’re about to leave your site without converting.
Plus, it comes with 100+ templates, dozens of integrations, and in-depth analytics to help you understand your audience behavior.
Sumo is much more than an email capture tool. It offers several different types of opt-in forms like popups, welcome mats, scrolling forms, etc., along with detailed analytics and countless integrations.
You can also use it to add social media widgets and sharing options to your site.
Sumo also offers advanced tools like Heatmaps to give you a deeper understanding of how your audience is engaging with your content.
Unlike Optinmonster, Sumo also has a free version that comes with all its basic features.
Best Content Writing Tools
You can’t grow a blog without consistently publishing high-quality content. Here are the best content writing tools to help you.
Grammarly is a game-changing tool for anyone in the blogging and publishing business.
It turns vague, unclear, and difficult copy into accurate and easy-to-understand content.
Beyond spelling and grammar checks, Grammarly evaluates your content for clarity and reader engagement by suggesting easier alternatives to complex words.
The tool also helps you replace long and unnecessary sentences with shorter and more meaningful ones.
You can use its settings to choose your target audience and the tone of voice you’re aiming for, to get more accurate suggestions.
It offers a free version that’s good enough for most users, but if you’re serious about creating better content, consider going for its premium version.
Is there a better collaborative writing tool than Google Docs? Not in my knowledge.
It is by far the best document creation and management tool, especially for freelancers, startups, and small content teams.
Apart from giving you world-class word processing features, it offers free cloud storage and collaboration features for team projects.
This means your content strategist, writer, editor, and higher management can all be a part of the same document and share their input in the same interface for better communication.
Copying your content from Google Docs to WordPress can be a real mess sometimes. Users face all kinds of problems, like missing images, uneven text alignment, irregular line spacing, etc.
Wordable solves all of that in just a few clicks.
It saves you tons of time by copying your content from Google Docs to WordPress in exactly the same format.
A must-have, in my opinion.
Trello is one of my favorite project management tools because of the variety of ways you can use it.
It’s a great tool for content creators and bloggers to dump their half-cooked ideas into or brainstorm new ideas with your team members.
Trello’s Kanban-style interface is also ideal for organizing your content projects using different cards and boards.
For example, you can create separate boards for ideas, finalized titles, in-progress articles, finished drafts and published posts.
It allows you to assign each card to a different owner, set deadlines, and make the owners responsible for the project delivery.
Best Visual Content Tools
Adding images, screenshots, gifs, and other types of visuals to your blog content is a guaranteed way to increase reader engagement and drive more traffic.
Here are some great visual content tools to help you do that.
Canva is the world’s leading graphic design tool that’s so feature-rich and user-friendly that you’ll never need to hire a graphic designer again (at least for creating your blog images).
It comes with hundreds of thousands of images, icons, design elements, and ready to use templates for every industry imaginable.
It is particularly useful for content creators who need to create images, memes, or infographics for their articles or social media accounts.
The tool gives you a drag & drop designer in which you can create the highest quality images in no time.
Canva is free to use, but you’ll need to go for its paid version to get higher quality images.
Annotated screenshots help you create richer content that’s more actionable and easier to understand.
SaaS content creators, in particular, regularly need to use product screenshots in their tutorials and how-to posts.
This is where Evernote’s Skitch comes in handy.
It is among my favorite screenshot tools because of its ease of use.
Moreover, it gives you all the features you need to create screenshots with annotations, highlight different objects, or blur image sections.
Skitch is only available to Apple users, so if you’re using Windows, try using Evernote’s browser extension that offers almost the same features as Skitch.
Like Skitch, Greenshot is another useful screenshot tool. I like it because it allows several options for highlighting or hiding any parts of a screenshot.
If you’re not using Skitch or Evernote for screenshots, Greenshot is a good alternative.
Unsplash is the only site you need if you want to get free high-quality images on almost any topic in the world.
It’s a publicly curated library of high-definition images that are ideal for bloggers and content creators.
Best Analytics Tools
You can’t grow your blog if you don’t track, monitor, and measure your traffic. Here are the best analytics tools to help you do it.
Google Analytics is Google’s free tool for website traffic monitoring and analytics.
Setting up a Google Analytics account should be one of the first things you do after starting a new website for two reasons
- You should monitor your website traffic from day 1
- Setting up Google Analytics takes only 5 minutes — sign up for free and copy a line of code to your site.
Once activated, Google Analytics will show you live traffic numbers for your site along with your best-performing pages, traffic sources, and many other details about your audience.
Google Site Kit
SiteKit is Google’s official WordPress plugin that adds a new dashboard to your WordPress admin area.
In that dashboard, you can see a complete snapshot of your site’s search performance, traffic numbers, top pages, best keywords, etc.
What’s the benefit?
You’ll save lots of time since you won’t need to individually access Google Analytics, Search Console, or Google Adsense to see your site statistics.
To set up SiteKit, you simply need to install and activate the plugin and connect it with your Analytics, Search Console, and Adsense accounts.
Best Social Media Marketing Tools
Social media marketing is crucial for building a loyal following for your brand and driving referral traffic to your site. Here are the best social media marketing tools to help you with it.
Buffer is a social media scheduling app that you can use to post content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and several other top social networks.
It is ideal for busy marketers who can schedule weeks of social media posts in advance to go out on fixed timelines.
If-This-Then-That (IFTTT) is a brilliant app that helps you completely automate your routine marketing activities.
Based on If-Then conditions, IFTTT connects all your apps to a single platform and automates their functions using automation “recipes.”
For example, you can create a recipe to automatically add any new articles from a site to your Buffer schedule and tweet them on a fixed timeline.
Click to Tweet
With Click to Tweet, you can create tweetable quotes in the middle of your blog content.
What’s the benefit?
People are more likely to tweet useful quotes as compared to complete articles and with Click to Tweet, they’ll be able to tweet quotes from your content along with a link to the full article.
It has proved to be an effective Twitter marketing strategy for many high-traffic blogs.
Best Content Research Tools
If you want people to take your content seriously (and link back to it), make a habit of backing your arguments and opinions with solid data evidence and research studies.
Here are a few resources and tools to help you find reliable data.
When you search for a topic on AnswerThePublic, it gives you a huge list of questions that people are asking about it on different search engines.
This helps you understand your audience’s needs and gives you keyword ideas you can further explore in Ahrefs or any other keyword research tool.
Statista is one of the world’s biggest data platforms with thousands of research studies, survey results, and trend analyses.
It’s a goldmine for content creators looking for relevant data references to make their arguments more credible.
You can also use the data on Statista to identify audience needs and trends in different industries.
BuzzSumo helps you find the most popular articles and blog content on social media.
If you search for a keyword/topic on BuzzSumo, it shows you the most frequently shared content about it.
You can also use it to identify influencers in your industry and reach out to them for partnerships and link-building opportunities.
Are You Using the Best Blogging Tools?
Most of the tools I’ve mentioned in this article have free versions. Nevertheless, If you’re serious about growing your blog fast, I’d urge you to go for their paid subscriptions.
Don’t worry about the cost, because these tools will help you create much superior content than your competitors, which will result in more traffic, leads and sales.
If you have any questions about using these tools or want more info about growing your blog, just shoot me an email.