Wondering what the best blogging tools are for WordPress websites and blogs? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll give you just that – nine of the best blogging tools available on the web to help you craft better blog posts, boost your traffic, rank on Google, and more.
Nine of the best blogging tools for WordPress websites and blogs
1. Sumo (formerly SumoMe)
Sumo is one of the sweetest free blogging tools out there. It allows you to add social sharing buttons, email capture forms, and various analytics to your blog. There’s also a paid version that gives you access to more advanced features, like a/b split testing and more intricate templates.
Sumo is one of my all-time favorite blogging tools because it allows you a lot of versatility and power, even at the free level.
For example, Nate Desmond increased his email list by 1000% virtually overnight using Sumo. He’s not alone; Robbie Richards collected 4,635 emails with the tool. How would you like to see the same results?
How to get the most out of Sumo
While installing the Sumo app is incredibly simple, just putting it on your site isn’t enough to start collecting emails like a machine. Here are a few tips to take full advantage of Sumo’s tools.
- Follow Sumo’s guide to getting started with list builder.
- Optimize your popups for conversions.
- Offer multiple ways to sign up; Welcome mats, exit-intent popups, inline content upgrades, etc.
- Don’t let those new emails go to waste – make sure you’re sending them something every week or two.
You might also like these WordPress marketing tools.
Canva is probably the best tool on the web for creating custom images that you can then use either on social media or as part of your blog posts. Think, featured images, in-content images, etc. Basically, anything to make your blog more visually appealing.
What I like about Canva is the quality of templates that they offer. One of the most important factors to succeeding with blogging and social media is having great images that please the eye.
How to get the most out of Canva
One of my favorite kinds of images to share is the quote overlay. This is where you take an image and add one of your favorite quotes to it. According to Twitter’s own data, tweets with quotes got 19% more retweets than those without.
Another great use of Canva is creating custom banners for your blog posts. These could come in the form of your featured images, section headings, or images to explain a key point.
Grammarly is probably my favorite blogging tool on this whole list. It helps you ensure proper grammar and spelling in your articles automatically! Great writing is a key to executing your blog content strategy.
How to get the most out of Grammarly
Install the Grammarly browser extension (it’s free!). While it’s not compatible with everything (like Google Suite), it does work with WordPress. Now you can type right into your WordPress content manager and it will underline incorrect words or phrases.
You can also type directly into the Grammarly app. This makes it easy to click on the correction without interrupting your flow.
4. Yoast SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is easily one of the most important pieces of blogging or website management. One of the best blogging tools for SEO is Yoast SEO, which makes sure you cover all the SEO basics and all your pages and posts are properly optimized.
What I like about Yoast is its extreme simplicity of use. All you have to do is follow their instructions after you’ve created a page or written a post and you’ll ensure basic SEO on every page.
How to get the most out of Yoast SEO
Once you’ve installed the plugin, simply write your pages and posts as you normally would. Once you’re done, scroll down to see Yoast’s analysis of your page. Fix anything in red or orange until you hit “good” SEO, or a green “Y” next to your publish button.
Note: You don’t need to have green lights across the board. While Yoast gives you a good idea of what you need, SEO isn’t an exact science. Sometimes you want “stop words” in your keyword or slug. Sometimes you can’t put a keyword on a page enough times to satisfy Yoast without sounding robotic. That’s OK – it won’t affect your rankings by much. Use it as a guideline, not as the law.
Also, another cool thing Yoast does that most people don’t realize is allowing you to change the social sharing information of any page or post. You can create a social-friendly image and copy to display instead of the default featured image and meta description.
Pro Tip: Don’t just rely on Yoast blogging tools to fix everything. Make sure you set up your SEO settings properly!
While we’re on the topic of SEO, I wanted to mention Ahrefs. Ahrefs is a tool that allows you to do keyword research to ensure you’re targeting the best keywords with the highest traffic and lowest difficulty to rank for.
While this tool isn’t free or cheap, they do offer a free two-week trial. Alternatively, you can use their competitors like Moz or SEMrush (who also have free trials, hint hint). Whichever one you choose, if you’re serious about ranking on Google, I highly recommend a keyword research tool. Without them, you only have access to Google Keyword Planner, which doesn’t really help you find the right keywords.
How to get the most out of Ahrefs
Ahrefs has many uses, including keyword research, competitor analysis, content explorer (which shows what’s getting the most shares for any topic), and backlink tracking. This is a pretty comprehensive tool, so I can’t school you in everything it does in just a few paragraphs.
I highly recommend you read through this Ahrefs guide. It’s very thorough and helped me learn a lot about the tool when I was first starting.
Pro Tip: One of the quickest and easiest ways I’ve found to discover high volume, low competition keywords is by plugging your competitor’s sites into the site explorer. Then, navigate to the “organic keywords” tab under “organic search” on the left-hand side. Finally, filter to positions with a max of 20 and keyword difficulty with a max of 10 or 15 and shift through to find the gold.
6. Revive Old Post
Revive Old Post is a nifty tool that makes sharing your posts easy and automatic. It integrates directly with your WordPress posts and randomly picks a post from your archive to be shared at intervals you choose. Here’s how it works:[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yV7FcUr9HQg]
While the tool isn’t as cheap as some others on this list, it reduces the amount of time you need to spend remembering to share old posts or even think about social media. If you’re like many other blog and business owners who don’t like taking the time to constantly update their social feeds, this is a great tool for you.
How to get the most out of Revive Old Post
If you don’t want to invest in the premium version, there’s also a free edition of Revive Old Post. It works with Facebook and Twitter, which probably are the main networks you’re interested in anyway.
When configuring the plugin, the recommended getting-started setup is to have it share posts that have the minimum age of 30 days. That way, you can actually “revive” them back from the archives (like the name of the plugin suggests). You can also exclude your pages and focus on your blog posts primarily. You probably don’t want to be sharing your “about” page all too often, right?
7. My Stock Photos
Finding high-quality, free to use images is a major battle every blog writer fights. Great imagery is a crucial piece of a great blog article. The next entry on our list of the best blogging tools – My Stock Photos – helps you do just that – find amazing, high-quality stock images. Free of charge.
You really can’t beat free. Just don’t go overboard on adding tons of random pictures to your posts now that you have access to them. Make sure they’re all relevant and add value.
How to get the most out of My Stock Photos
While the standalone images can make great featured images and text breakers, the real magic happens when you use these pictures in combination with the other blogging tools on this list. For example, you can upload them to Canva to use as the background and overlay text on them.
8. Design Hill
The other image tools on this list had to do with finding and creating your own images. While free is definitely for me, sometimes taking on these projects yourself simply doesn’t cut it. Maybe you don’t have the time or maybe you don’t have the skill. Either way, Design Hill is a graphic creator marketplace where you can hold contests to have all kinds of images created for you.
I used Design Hill for my own logo design. I received dozens of designs to choose from. While some of them were cheesy stock designs that I could have made myself, others were really great. I ended up choosing this one:
How to get the most out of Design Hill
While overall I was pleased with the tool, there are a few things I realized. Namely, the site is less than intuitive. Maybe I was just anxious to start and didn’t feel like reading the instructions, but hey, who wants to listen to instructions?
When starting your design, here are a few pointers:
- Try to give the designers a good idea of what you want. Find and upload other designs you like and want to be similar to.
- If you sort of like a design, but it’s not perfect, give the designer some feedback. They’re always willing to change things and work with you.
- Don’t be afraid to eliminate designs you don’t like, and even designers if you feel they’re not working for you.
- Rate some of the designs so people can understand better what you’re looking for.
For an alternative solution – something very similar to Design Hill – you can also check out 99designs. A bit more pricey most of the time, but it’s actually home to a much bigger design community than Design Hill, and they’ve been on the market for a long time.
9. Live chat
While not the most obvious choice for a blog, having live chat capabilities can help you better understand your readers. You can ask them what they’d like to read about, get their feedback on your writing, and get an understanding of their biggest pain points.
There’s a handful of tools that we like when it comes to live chat. Each of them slightly different, so based on your needs, some might be better for you than the others. You can see them all here. And if you don’t have the time to read that, you’re probably going to be more than satisfied with Zendesk Chat:
How to get the most out of live chat
One of my favorite ways of using live chat is to collect survey results. You can create an automatic message that goes out to all your website visitors asking them to answer a question or fill out a survey.
You can create the survey with a tool like TypeForm. The shorter the survey, the better your results will be. My best response came from a two-question survey, which was really just one multiple choice question and an optional free text entry asking for any commentary.
The blogging tools on this list have helped me grow my email list, find and rank for awesome keywords, and build a deeper connection with my blog audience. Plus, most of them are free or affordable.
If you have any questions on the blogging tools mentioned above or would like to add a tool of your own, leave us a comment below. We read every one!