Sitting down to write a blog is a daunting prospect for most people. The good news is there are a lot of tools out there that purport to help. The bad news is, there are a lot of tools out there that purport to help… too many! Every minute spent trying a new blogging tool is a minute that could be spent writing, so we’ve tested many of them and put together a list of our favorites!
Top Tools To Creating Awesome Blog Posts!
Every killer blog post starts with a great idea, but sometimes the muse is fickle. These tools help you connect the dots and come up with ideas that will delight your audience.
Quora is a great forum for getting answers, sharing knowledge… and also generating ideas! Many subjects have their own topic sections here, and you can learn what real people are asking about in real time. This site is a great first step once you’ve settled, broadly, on what you want to write about.
Portent’s Title Maker is another great ideation tool that takes you from a broad topic to a refined idea. Let’s say you know you want to write about hats – just enter your keyword into the idea generator and see what comes up. A few might be terrible, a few might be laughable, but soon you will come up with a prospective title that at least gets your creative juices flowing.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator gives you a little more functionality than Portent’s Title Maker. You input several nouns and they are stitched together into a list of prospective titles. This is great for coming up with lists of titles for writers to work from!
Evernote is a must-have tool if you spend lots of time reading and reviewing headlines. This tool allows you to clip lines of text, URLs and headlines, annotate them with your own notes, and save them to review later. Ever have a moment of inspiration while reading and think “Oh, I should write something like this, but add some ideas from this other article?” With browser extensions and browser tools, Evernote allows you to snap those ideas without breaking your flow.
Buzzsumo is a fantastic tool for ideation. You can drop in topics and see what else has been written, with social shares and other engagement numbers. This is a must for competitor research as well, but that’s another post…
Write Faster and Better
A blank screen is hard to find, and often just writing without distractions can be a killer. These tools help you write distraction free and write better!
Eggtimer is a great tool, and not just for writing. The functionality couldn’t be simpler – you just set a timer for however long you want to write, and it notifies when the time is up. As someone who is eternally distracted by the wonders of the interweb, having a big timer ticking away in my browser is a great way to keep myself on task.
Hemingway is a great tool for those of us
whose predilection trends continually towards the verbose who have trouble writing simply. The text editor section is simple and distraction-free, or you can simply copy-paste text into it. The app highlights text that breaks a number of good-writing rules, and gives you a word count and readability score.
ZenPen is an awesome distraction-free text editor for your browser. If you’re like me, you spend far too much time formatting headline styles, hunting down that perfect link, or spending dubious ‘research’ time down the internet rabbit hole. ZenPen cuts all that out, and gives you a completely blank slate on which to write simple and clearly. Pair this with Eggtimer (above) for the ultimate writing power boost!
Grammarly puts the power of language into your hands. This is like a spellcheck ons teroids, helping identify over 25o types of grammar mistakes and pitfalls of unclear writing that plague even the best writers. Best of all, you can add this as a chrome extension to use in your emails, forums, other in-browser text editors – anywhere you do your writing!
Headache-Free Blog Images
The original site for the dankest of memes, this isn’t just for impressing friends and coworkers – it can be a powerful tool for creating images that can be shared easily. Simply upload your image or choose from their library, add your own captions and download or share.
Sick and tired of overpaying for stock photos? We are too! Luckily Death To The Stock Photo has hundreds of free, high-quality images availbe, and will send more to your email every month!
Spread Your Blog Far And Wide
Even with a great idea, strong writing, and awesome images, your post is still going to fall flat without some promotion. Here are a few tools to help you spread the word.
Bonus double recommendation! Buffer and Quu are a great tag-team for promoting your blog post. Buffer allows you to schedule out promotional social media posts for weeks and months to come, while Quuu (for a fee) will place your post in front of other social media influencers to add to their feeds!
Click To Tweet by CoSchedule is a free plugin for WordPress that is designed to make sharing your content even easier – simply use pullquoutes and custome messages inside your posts to allow your readers to share what they want to share.
So, there you have it –
14 tools that will make your blogging life easier. This is by no means a complete list, but if you put these tools to work, you can spend more time doing the writing that will bring in more traffic, leads, and sales!