Remember when the first iPhone came out and all the jokes about “there’s an app for that”? We thought we were so cool to look in on other countries, learn more about medicine, and in fact, learn more about everything and anything. Today we have many tools available to assist us with our blogs. Just as a note of review, every business owner should be blogging. This helps to establish yourself as an expert and allow you to help your customer with a problem they might have, and then lead them down the sales funnel to an actual purchase. Blogging helps to get that customer to know like and trust you, always an ultimate goal.
You need to plan your blogging, if you are a company of many or just one. Doing this will keep you organized as well as on schedule for upcoming events. If you use WordPress, you can use the Status feature of Edit Flow (a plug in) to move posts to an editor and then to publish. The choices show pitch, assigned, in progress, needs to edit and ready to publish.
CoSchedule is another excellent calendar tool to try. Personally, I am currently using Google Sheets to track things, putting in ideas, dates, and additional information.
Most people new to business or even small businesses hear the words Search Engine Optimization and feel stressed almost immediately. There are so many ideas and companies teaching about it that I could blog daily for a year and still not cover all the information out there.
A great tool for SEO is the Yoast SEO Plugin which helps you optimize your content for search in a way that is easy and painless.
Maybe you are creating content and want to find a way to improve it. In cases like this, try BuzzSumo or Uprise. Both of these are research tools and will help you view lists of content from across the web based on a keyword you search for. The lists show which posts received the most shares.
Another great tool is Inbound Writer. This tool lets you put the keywords you want to rank for and then gives you a green or red status to show your chances of getting organic traffic to your content based on those keywords.
Social Promotion Tools
You have worked hard on that blog. You did your research, used SEO and now you want to get that blog out there. One way that can bring quick results is to include those influential people who are relevant to your niche in your content. Those influencers will see and most likely share that content, which in turn will bring you more traffic and of course- sales.
Ninja Outreach is a great way to find those relevant and influential people tweeting about content that is similar to yours. Use this information to reach out to those influencers with a link to your own content. This tool is also great for getting some ideas for your content.
I have seen that the reach is low on Facebook and even a bit worse on Twitter. What I have decided, based on the fact that I put out a blog once a week, I post on Facebook for 7 days, once a day and vary the times of day that I shoot it out. I try to use pictures from the blog itself, ensuring I have several so that folks are not seeing the same things posted unless they read more detail. On Twitter, I have decided to post twice a day for seven days, also ensuring that I include photos related to the blog itself. I see shares and retweets on a regular basis.
Post Planner offers Queue and Re-queue features to schedule on both Twitter and Facebook. Buffer also allows scheduling with a bucket type system that allows you to categorize the content you want to share.
Personally I am still using Facebook’s scheduling and schedule out a week at a time unless I know I have upcoming periods of time that will require more attention. I love using Hootsuite, and again I schedule out about a week at a time. Both of these tools are free and I find them priceless. Hootsuite is a tool that you can actually use on your tablet or phone as well.
Once someone comes to your blog, you want them to come back, especially if you are self-hosting and selling your products on your site. Unfortunately, statistics are that at least 70% of the folks who visit your blog do not come back. This means that you want to capture their contact details if possible. I did a training on email marketing on my site so I will not go into great depth here.
There are so many trains of thought about capturing the email. Some say put those opt-in boxes everywhere so folks do not have to look for them. I know one person that has the opt-in box on her site the minute you land. Some folks like to put them on the side banner of the page, and some put several different offers on the side bar all in hopes of capturing that email. My approach is different than most in that I am trying to do unto others as I would like have done to me. If I go to a blog to read an article, that is what I want to do. Many times I have not yet decided if I like the author of the article enough to add him or her to my list of emails or list of emails that get sent to Unroll me. (Meaning I do not even see them unless I choose to).
I am using Sumome, It is a free tool that allows you to make it easy for readers to join your email list, share articles via social media and optimize with analytics. The free part of this tool includes :
- Share: makes it super easy for people to share on mobile or web all of your hard worked content
- List builder: create fancy lightbox pop-up to build email subscriptions (working with most of the email marketing systems
- Scroll Box: an email collection box that is triggered by how far your reader makes it down the screen. I use this and have set mine for the lover third of my site. If folks have made it that far, they might get irritated with the box, but they have already unconsciously made the decision if they want to read more of what I put out there or not
- Heat Maps: this helps you see where people are clicking or not clicking on your website
- Google Analytics: making it super easy to view your analytics directly on your site
- Discover: helps you get free traffic
- Smart bar: a floating bar that can appear at the top or bottom of your website, encouraging people to subscribe to your newsletter or go to a specific site
- Image sharer: makes it stupid simple to share your images (with a link to your post) on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
- Mobile Optimized: what more could you ask for, all of the above is free and there is more at their Sumo Store.
Others like OptinMonster. This plugin has a number of different opt-in options, many liking the Exit Intent pop up.
Gone are the days of working hard on your blog and trying to find ways to get folks to share the blog or sign up for your email list. There are many tools available to help you with whatever you might feel is your most pressing need. Use one or use them all, but save yourself time (and therefore money) by checking into which tools can help you.
Personally, I want to save both!
What do you think? What blogging tools do you use? Please leave comments below.