Let’s face it! Blogging is an important part of any digital marketing strategy.
Having a blog allows you to create relationships with your target audience. You are able to show your expertise in a specific field and your customers have a way of talking to you through their comments.
By consistently creating valuable content in a certain field, you establish your brand as an authority in that field. Further, you will get more traffic and with proper strategies, you will be able to convert those visitors into customers.
For you to be a successful blogger, you need to create, organize, publish, and promote your content. This process requires a lot of time and in most cases, most bloggers do not have the luxury of time.
We have compiled a list of tools you need to build a successful blog. We have divided these tools into seven categories, namely
- Domain Name & Web Hosting
- Blog Design and Themes
- SEO Tools
- Email Marketing Tools
- Affiliate Marketing Tools
- Social Media Management Tools
- Graphic Design Tools
Without much ado, let’s get to it!
1. Domain Name And Web Hosting
Coming up with a domain name is an important activity for a successful blog. If it is possible, use a domain name that has your main keyword.
For example, if you are in jewelry industry, find something like www.beautifuljewelry.com. This helps in search engine results ranking.
Web hosting is also critical. The choice of your web hosting company should be driven by reliability and affordability. You want a web hosting company that will sustain a large number of visitors on your site without crashing.
Some of the best service providers under this category are:
You will get affordable domains on this platform. It is advisable to have your domain name registered under a different service provider from the one offering your hosting services. This makes it easy for you to change hosting services without much trouble. Namecheap is ICANN accredited domain name registrar and it sells domain name registered by a third party. This means that you have a higher chance of getting your preferred domain name.
It is among the 20 largest web-hosting companies in the world and number one in India. It hosts about two million domains. It offers unlimited hosting space, email accounts, and bandwidth depending on the plan you choose. You can get started at less than $3 per month. In addition to its affordability, Bluehost is reliable. Once you have your blog up and running, you will not worry about downtimes or your blog loading at snail speeds. Other benefits include access to a wide range of web-hosting options and a user-friendly interface.
This is probably the largest web-hosting company in the world. It has very affordable plans with excellent features. It is very popular with budding entrepreneurs as well as large companies. You can choose to have a virtual private server (VPS), shared, dedicated server depending on your requirements. Recently, the company launched the HostGator WordPress Cloud, which is a premium hosting service they are offering for those using the WordPress platform.
2. Blog Design and Themes
Once you have identified your domain name and the hosting company to use, then it is time to think about your blog design and themes to use for your blog.
One of the largest platform is WordPress. It supports excellent themes that you can get either free or at a premium.
We are always cautioned that we should not judge a book by its cover. However, the truth is, human beings are visual beings. They are driven by what they see. If something looks good, they tend to favor that over something that is not as good.
Therefore, it is always good to have beautiful blogs that are appealing to the eye.
These two tools will help you achieve that.
These are WordPress themes designed to enhance conversion. When starting a blog, you want it to achieve some goals. Thrive Themes are designed to help you achieve those goals with a lot of ease. Thrive theme enhances your website speed by automatically compressing the images you upload. Its lightweight code ensures faster load time. You will also find the smart conversion features as useful tools for conversion optimization. Thrive is designed for user engagement and readability. As such, you can be assured that your website visitors will find it easy to use and read content. Other benefits of using Thrive themes include easy to use page generators, highly customizable theme, landing page templates, and mobile responsive design.
Thrive Content Builder
This is a plugin from Thrive Themes designed to help bloggers create amazingly looking content for the reader. Once you have written valuable content, it is now time to make it look amazing. With no coding background, this can be a challenging task. However, with Thrive Content Builder plugin, you will be able to do it with a click of a button. This tool will help you add elements on your page to enhance the readability and conversion of your website content. You will also get informative tutorials on how to use Thrive Content Builder hence making it an easy option for many bloggers.
3. SEO Tools
Now that you have your domain name ready, your website hosted correctly, and you have the right website design, it is now time to ensure your website is search engine optimized.
You will achieve this through search engine optimization (SEO).
Wondering how to do SEO?
Well, don’t worry, there are tools to help you achieve this goal, and I will discuss those tools in a few.
First, let me explain why SEO is important for your website.
Search engine optimization is the process through which a web page is designed, through technical and creative elements, to ensure it ranks high on search engine results pages.
While this can be a challenging process, there are tools that have made this possible for novices in SEO to do it like pros.
Here are two of these tools.
This is the most used WordPress SEO plugin. It is easy to use and it is free. Furthermore, it gives you the functionalities you need to ensure your site is search engine optimized. You do not need to be a coder to use this plugin –in fact; you do not need a coder to help you optimize your site. You can do it all by yourself using this plugin. With Yoast SEO, you will be able to control your meta descriptions, titles, set up to five targeted keyword, manage sitemaps, and do other SEO tasks. You can get more functionality by registering for the premium version.
With over one million users, SEMRush is one of the best SEO tools you can have as a blogger. It is used by both small businesses as well as large ecommerce businesses such as eBay. This tool will help you conduct technical SEO audit, position tracking, semantic core collection, organic traffic generation, competitive intelligence, and backlinks audit analytics among other SEO tasks. This is a premium tool provide the required to enhance your SEO.
4. Email Marketing Tools
You’re now done with search engine optimization, designing the website, as well as hosting it.
The next thing is to start doing email marketing to ensure your brand establishes authority in your specific niche.
You first start with capturing the emails and building your email list. Then you need to have a strategy on creating emails for your subscribers both promotional as well as informative emails.
Building an email list is the most difficult part of email marketing. However, with the tools I will discuss here, you can create an email list and keep your audience engaged without having to spend a lot of time on it –(as a blogger, you also want to spend more time on generating income from your blog not making sending emails).
Here are some of the tools.
This is a great tool for email marketing. It offers a 30-day free trial and they do not ask for credit card. In addition, you will be able to integrate with Google Analytics and it also enables importation of contacts from third party. It offers flexible plans which starts at $15 per month.
As I had indicated when introducing this category, capturing the emails is an important step in email marketing. Email marketing works best if you get permission from your website visitors to send them emails. Thrive Lead is a great tool, created by Thrive Themes, that helps you to capture the emails. Thrive Leads has an API integration for most popular email service providers including GetResponse. Thrive Leads has different plans. You can get it at $67 one-time fee, which includes 12 months support.
5. Affiliate Marketing Tools
Affiliate marketing involves marketing other people’s products or services and getting a commission when people purchase the product or service.
Now that you have your blog ready and email marketing set, it is time to find something you can sell on your blog.
Through affiliate marketing, you can take other people’s products and promote them on your blog and you are paid when people you refer starts buying the products.
To succeed, you must identify a product that you would want to promote as well as a service provider that will help you track and collect your commission from the merchant.
Payoneer is an online-money-transfer service provider. It offers merchants an avenue to pay and get paid for the goods and services they procure and the ones they sell. It offers an affiliate program where they give you a commission for the people you refer to them. Once you signup for their affiliate program, you get a unique link that you will use to refer people to their site. Once they signup, you are paid a commission once those you refer gets at least $100 in payment.
This is an affiliate network where you can get several products to sell from different merchants and track your sales from the same platform. The network has over 2,500 merchants and you can choose any of their products to promote on your blog. The platform has a $50 payment threshold hence making it a darling for many budding affiliate marketers. In addition, they have affordable fees for using the platform.
6. Social Media Management Tools
Social media is a big part of any blogger’s marketing strategy. However, social media marketing can be a time-consuming task.
First, you must understand your audience and give them the content they love. You must create the content, and post it on the most effective times of the day.
Doing this can be challenging, and that is why you need social media management tools.
A social media management tool allows you to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Buffer has a free plan as well as a premium plan. With the free plan, you are limited on the number of social accounts you can add as well as the number of posts you can schedule per day. The premium one gives you more flexibility as well as more features.
as a social media management tool, HootSuite makes it easy for you to schedule posts on popular social media platforms. The user interface is a dashboard showing all the integrated social accounts. It is one of the most popular social media management tools due to its flexibility and affordability. It has both free and premium plans.
7. Graphic Design Tools
As a blogger, you will need to create visually appealing images for your blog posts as well as social media marketing.
This can be a challenging task if you do not have graphic design skills. However, several tools discussed on this section will help you do this with ease.
It is a graphic-design platform that offers over one million photographs for you to use and design as you wish. It is a great tool to use especially if you do not have graphic design skills or you want to design something quickly. It is a free platform; however, some of the graphics and images may require some payment for you to use them.
It is a Windows-based program for creating and editing screenshots. As a blogger, you will need to take screenshots as you explain something to your readers. Picpick will be a great help.
To be a successful blogger, you must understand the tools you need to succeed. This article has provided you with a brief overview of some of the tools you can use. It is our hope that you will find them useful and helpful.