Blogs have become a part of daily life for most people. Some are readers looking for news, tutorials, or entertainment. Others pen posts to espouse a point of view or provide added value for readers. And many blogs these days are associated with businesses for the purposes of increasing SEO opportunities and reaching new consumers.
But despite the ready availability of blog content for readers, the act of blogging is not as simple as sitting down to write a daily post, especially for those unfamiliar with the practice. Successful blogging is a multi-faceted undertaking that requires more than simple skill at turning a phrase.
Bloggers must produce quality content on demand. And while a strong background in English and a well-developed voice certainly help, productivity requires organization, time management, and discipline.
Luckily, there is no shortage of blogging productivity tools designed to help the average blogger increase productivity, and you can even find a variety of free blogging tools. Whether you need assistance creating a blog from scratch or you’re interested in optimization, promotion, and analytics in addition to writing posts, the tools you seek are out there. Here are a handful that will set you on the right path for successful blogging.
As free blogging tools go, you really can’t hold a candle to WordPress. The penultimate blog creation site allows anyone to easily build, customize, and launch a blog. Sure, you could go it alone with HTML or Java if you’re so inclined. Or you could try out other free blog creation services.
But if what you’re seeking is the best blogging productivity tools available, WordPress is the place to begin. After all, you can’t start posting until you have a platform.
You could hire a professional editor or you could use this app. It’s definitely pricy at $29.95 per month for usage, but if you blog for a living, bringing home the bacon requires you to produce content that is as error-free as possible. And sometimes spell check just doesn’t cut the mustard.
The app is designed to check not only spelling and grammar, but also sentence structure and even writing style. This means you’ll get clean copy every time. And along the way you can pay attention to changes and become a better writer. Plus, if you’re a working blogger, you can write off the expense come tax time. Remember, free blogging tools aren’t always the better choice.
Blogs that consist of nothing more than blocks of text are visually unappealing, which is why you rarely see blogs without the addition of graphics. But you don’t necessarily want to pay for graphic images or waste your time creating them in Photoshop.
In this regard, Creative Commons is a blogger’s best friend. When you consider how much time and money blogging productivity tools like this one can save you, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it out sooner.
The site searches several outlets (including Google Images, Flickr, and more) to find content that you can modify as you see fit or use for commercial purposes, as is, without paying a dime for royalties. There are few free blogging tools more useful than this one.
There are plenty of timer apps designed to help writers stay on task. But as blogging productivity tools go, the Pomodoro technique is unique. It is based on the idea that breaking work into short intervals (25 minutes) can significantly increase focus and productivity.
And you can find Pomodoro Timers for free on sites like Online-Stopwatch.com. Or you could simply set an alarm on your computer or mobile device to remind you that it’s time to get up and walk around for a few minutes.
This storage and sharing program may not immediately strike you as being amongst the most useful blogging productivity tools out there. But when you think about how easy it is to access content from any device via Dropbox, you’ll begin to see the utility inherent to the app.
As a blogger, an idea may strike you anywhere. And while you can use an app like Pages to jot it down, you don’t want to have to retype it once you get home. Dropbox allows you to share your blogging efforts across all of your devices, making it easy to write on the go, pick up where you left off on another device, and access, edit, and post blogs from anywhere.
Once you’ve written your blog posts, optimization is the next step. And there are definitely blogging productivity tools designed to help you find trending keywords to include in your blog posts.
SEMRush is one such program that comes with a cool twist. You can use to it check out the competition and see which keywords are bringing them the most traffic. Keeping your enemies close is a useful business strategy, and SEMRush can help you to track your competitors and make their successes your own.
7. Social Oomph
You don’t have to blog for long before you see the value of adding social media to the mix. But there can be a lot of extra work involved in spreading your efforts across your many social media profiles.
Never fear: there are blogging productivity tools designed to help you with your social media conundrum. Social Oomph, in particular, supports biggies like Facebook, Twitter, and more so that you can easily manage tasks like scheduling updates and monitoring mentions.
Technically, this app falls under the category of free blogging tools, but you’ll have to shell out $35/month for a full set of features.
8. RSS Feed
With so many social media platforms at your fingertips, you might mistakenly disregard other useful free blogging tools. But if you forego an RSS feed for your blog, you could be missing out on a truly incredible opportunity to stay connected to readers.
In truth, blogging productivity tools are only useful insomuch as they allow you to more quickly and easily produce and post content. But you also need to ensure that your content is reaching your audience. RSS feed makes sure that interested parties have easy access to new content without having to come directly to your site.
Growing your readership is no easy feat, even with plenty of free blogging tools at your disposal. This is where Optinmonster can help. While many sites front load popups for membership sign-up, readers may simply click through them without filling them out because they are keen to get to the content they’re seeking. Optinmonster turns the tables by prompting a popup when visitors move their mouse as if to exit the page.
The benefit of blogging productivity tools like this one is that you can let your readers do the heavy lifting for you. Instead of chasing down leads, let them come to you.
10. Google Analytics
Measuring success with free blogging tools was never easier or more comprehensive than with Google Analytics. Technically, it’s a slew of tools designed to help bloggers track traffic, conversions, geo-data, most (or least) popular content and searches, and even mobile visits, plus a lot more.
This data can help you to hone your efforts for optimal success, giving up on strategies that don’t seem to be paying off. Where blogging productivity tools are concerned, this back-end suite of tools is hard to beat.