If you’re looking to start a new blog, check out this list of some of my favorite blogging tools.
Blogging is, obviously, one of my favorite activities. Even before I had The LITMO Life, I created personal blogs in high school and college (obviously, never stuck with them because you can’t be hired by a snooty law firm if your whole life is on the internet!).
Since beginning The LITMO Life, I’ve had several people ask me how difficult it is to start a blog. The truth is: not difficult at all! All you need is a few simple tools to get you going and here, I’ll talk about my favorites.
WP Engine is the best place to host your blog if you plan on running WordPress (and most blogs these days do!). It’s super high performance, it’s made with high-quality blogs that have a lot of visitors in mind and it’s not super expensive. I didn’t start my blog out on WP Engine, but I should have, since I am just going to end up migrating soon!
And of course, you need WordPress! WordPress is the platform on which this blog and, as mentioned, most other blogs today run. It enables you to quickly set up a gorgeous website and easily add new blogs every day. Even for the website newbie, WordPress is the god of website building.
Elegant Themes is my personal favorite for blogs. A theme is the overall look and feel of the site. For The LITMO Life, I use Divi by Elegant Themes and I use a few of their other tools, as well. For example, my pop-ups are created by their plugin called Bloom. Elegant Themes has a bunch of absolutely beautiful themes for any niche and they’re mostly really easy to use.
Google Keyword Planner
Now that you have your blog all setup, you’ll have to figure out what to write about! Google Keyword Planner will help you do research on what keywords people are searching for and how high the competition is on those keywords. Their algorithm is such that you need to be running ads to see detailed information, but you can still get some help even without those ads.
Yoast SEO is a plugin for WordPress which helps you optimize your posts for a certain keyword (once you’ve chosen it after doing the research, of course!). It’s super simple to use – all you have to do is plug in the keyword and Yoast will tell you exactly what you need to edit to make your post rank highly for that keyword.
Hootsuite is currently one of my favorite social media tools, though with me, that’s often subject to change. Hootsuite allows you to schedule your posts in advance (I use it for Facebook and Twitter) so that you can set a few posts to go and forget about it! Beats spending all day tied to your computer or smart phone.
Mailchimp is my favorite tool for building an email list. With Mailchimp, you can easily set up automation, you can create campaigns to send to your subscribers, and best of all – you can do all these things in style! I’m a huge fan of Mailchimp.
Canva is for those of us who really suck at graphic design (like me) and don’t want to spend a ton of time learning photoshop. Their incredibly simple software helps create stunning graphics, whether it’s a logo or a pic for your blog or even an infographic.
BuzzSumo is another tool to help you figure out what to write about. You can type in a word or term and BuzzSumo tells you what posts got shared the most for that word or term. It’s also really helpful when you’re out of ideas – don’t ever copy someone else’s posts, but let BuzzSumo help with inspiration!
After using all these tools, you’re going to want to know how your blog is doing. Enter: Google Analytics. Google Analytics is perfect for number junkies who want to know exactly how their blog is performing, who is coming to their site, when, how old they are, etc.
The blog sharing tools aren’t just centered around Twitter and Facebook anymore. Pinterest is a great tool for anyone looking to drive traffic to their blog. You can also cruise through other people’s blogs on Pinterest and help find people to connect with in your field.
There you have it – my favorite blogging tools. So what’re you waiting for? Go get started on your blog today!