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Don’t know where to start in blogland? In this blog post, I want to share with your the best blogging tools for beginners to succeed in their blogging journey.
In fact, it’s so easy to get caught up in the plethora of blogging tools that’s available today.
Without knowing where to start can be pretty hectic and confusing, I get you!
That’s why this article is here to help set your mind on the most essential requirements of blogging.
Using the best blogging tools will definitely save your time, ease your workload and help you progress and be profitable.
1. Domain Name
Your domain will be the address to which you’ll send your visitors. Of course, you want to get a domain name relatively close to your niche.
It must immediately speak to your audience and must have the ability to build that first rapport with them.
If you are blogging about Personal Finance, you don’t want your domain to look like this one: www.yourshittyfinance.com.
Like I always say, blogging is like any other business. If you want people to take you seriously, you must look and sound professional.
Don’t know where to get a quality domain? Don’t panic.
You can get one at Namecheap (if you already have a hosting plan). I highly recommend purchasing your domain there for 2 main reasons:
- They have the best price ever, especially for .com domains.
- Customer service is top-notch.
I’ve used Namecheap for almost 10 years now and I’ve never had a single issue with them.
2. Hosting Plan
Secondly, after purchasing your domain, you need to get hosting services that will host your domain and future blog.
A self-hosted blog is what you should aim for. I’ve talked about the disadvantages of using free hosted blogs here.
After almost 3 years of blogging, I’ve been super satisfied with the #1 hosting platform which is Hostgator.
Hosting services exist to support and protect your domain and blog content. That’s why it’s crucial to opt for the best.
If you purchase your hosting plan here, you will receive a FREE SSL for as low as $2.75/month, together with your hosting plan.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and its purpose is to protect your domain by keeping your visitors’ sensitive information safe from hackers.
Note that it’s also an element of trust on your blog because when your visitors see the green padlock, they immediately know that your website is secure.
3. Blog Theme
Thirdly, as a new blogger, your blog theme must be professional and catchy enough to capture your visitors’ attention.
It’s important not to put all your focus on creating the perfect blog though. But you shouldn’t also underestimate the role that your theme will play in your blog’s success.
Therefore, one of your main priority is to give your audience a visual satisfaction when they will land on your blog.
A professional theme is one of the best blogging tools for beginners to invest in.
Some people think that amazing websites have to be super fancy but no!
By visually appealing, I mean that your website should not be boring, old-fashioned and static.
But thanks to theme developers we can have a modern and professional blog for a few bucks.
If you don’t know where to purchase a professional blog theme, you can head over to Creative Market.
If you want your blog to be successful, please don’t go for free themes. Read here why I don’t recommend them.
4. Email Marketing Software
Moreover, your email marketing software is also among the most essential blogging tools you will need.
I won’t stress enough on the importance of collecting your visitors’ emails at the very beginning of your blogging journey.
As a matter of fact, it’s proven that email is the most profitable channel through which you will be making most of your sales, besides your blog itself.
That’s why you should not think too little of this strategic asset.
Personally, I recommend Convertkit.
5. Stock Photos
A blog looks much better and provides a more pleasing reading experience with visual content such as photos, videos and infographics.
Blog posts that contain these kinds of visual elements have a lower bounce rate as they keep the reader interested.
So, don’t undervalue the use of visual components in your articles. Try to bring a balance between text and photos/videos!
Below is a list of the very best websites where you can find amazing photos/videos for your blog:
- Unsplash (free)
- Pexels (free)
- Pixabay (free)
- Depositphotos (paid)
- Shutterstock (paid)
- Creative Market (paid)
6. Photo Creator/Editor
You might be wondering why do you need a photo editor when you’re already getting photos from the above-named websites…
Well, for people to land on your blog, you must be attracting them somewhere. These places are called traffic sources. Apart from Google traffic, every other traffic source deals mainly with visual content.
Again, to be able to gain the user’s attention, you will need to post catchy photos about your blog post. You can hop into Pinterest or Instagram to see what I mean.
So, if you’re not conversant with Photoshop or any other professional photo software, don’t panic.
Actually, there is a bunch of very good photo editing software online and the one I recommend is Canva.
Canva is really uncomplicated and it also offers a wide range of free templates, simple and professional.
Beyond the visual aspect of your blog, there’s another essential factor that you need to pay close attention. It’s your grammar.
You can’t just write articles that contain lots of errors for two main reasons:
- Your blog must be professional enough to keep your visitors interested.
- You need to rank high on Google for maximum organic traffic. If your bounce rate is high, this will be a bad signal to Google. As a result, it won’t rank your articles.
** Bounce rate is a measurement of the time a visitor enters and leaves off your website. If your content is filled with grammatical errors, people won’t spend much time on your site.
That’s why I suggest that you install Grammarly on your browser. This is an extension that will proofread your content and signal every error in your writing.
8. Hemingway App
In addition to the above-named extension, you also want to make use of this exceptional tool called the Hemingway App.
By the way, blogging articles are not supposed to be hard to read with lots of big and fancy words. The truth is your content should be easily readable by a 5th grader.
That’s when Hemingway comes into play. It will analyze your whole text and make suggestions on how you can simplify your content so that it’s easily readable.
You can purchase the desktop app for $19.99 here.
However, it’s an optional tool. I, myself, do not use it because I have gained enough experience with simple writing.
In addition to these blogging tools for beginners mentioned above, there are some WordPress plugins that you will need to install.
Plugins work at the backend of your blog and ensure that it runs smoothly and rapidly.
9. Yoast SEO
As explained in my article SEO for Bloggers, Yoast SEO is a tool you can’t miss.
Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that will help you write SEO friendly article that ranks in Google. As you write your article, Yoast will provide you with its readability and keyword analysis.
On top of that, it will also suggest what to improve so that your post is 100% seo friendly. Isn’t that amazing?
Yoast SEO is free and you really don’t need the paid version at all as a new blogger.
10. W3 Total Cache
Google has over 200 ranking factors and one of them is page speed. If your blog’s load time is super slow, it’s a bad signal to Google.
As a result, your content won’t rank.
There are many factors that can affect your blog speed; super high-quality images that take forever to pre-load, blog settings, the blog theme itself which is super heavy and more…
In this case, you want to get W3 Total Cache, which is an amazing plugin that will optimize a few things on your blog.
Consequently, your blog will load faster and will provide a great user experience to your visitors.
11. LuckyWP Table of Contents
Generally, a blog post must be well presented for the best reading experience. Just throwing up big blocks of text in your article might be confusing to the reader.
What you can do is include a table of contents that will help the reader easily navigate through your article.
Most of the time, there’ll always be one or a few things in your article that your reader will want to disregard.
Either because this is not something new for him/her or because it’s not very relevant to his/her query.
If you’re looking for an easy plugin for this purpose, you can install LuckyWP Table of Content.
You can easily add a table of contents to each of your blog posts.
You can even manually disable it in each post if you feel your content is too short to include a table of content.
12. Google Analytics
Last but not least, one of the most essential blogging tools for beginners (and professionals) you’ll need is Google Analytics.
If your goal is to monetize your blog, its mandatory to analyze and track your traffic.
Otherwise, you won’t know where your traffic is coming from or which content on your blog is bringing the most traffic.
Of course, there are far more types of analytics you’ll be able to track in your Google Analytics dashboard.
To sum up, I must say that if you start with the right blogging tools, there’s no way you can’t succeed.
Of course, your content is crucial but equipping yourself with the best blogging tools and resources will help you take a step further and finally reach your many goals.