The 5 Best Blog Tools the Pro Blogger Can’t Live Without
Content is king in the blogging world, and bloggers live and die by the quality of their content. But what does that even mean? And where does the average blogger get the right kind of content for his/ her blog, anyway? True enough, some of a blogger’s success rests on ingenuity, but not all of it. That’s where the right kind of blog tools for blogger comes in. If you’re a blogger, you won’t want to be without these five blogging tools.
If you’re a newsjacking blogger, and you’re not familiar with Alltop, you should be. Okay. Okay. We’ll back up a bit. You may not be familiar with the term newsjacking, which means you may not fully understand why Alltop is so great. Newsjacking is the act of taking a trending news story and putting your spin on it, a spin that’s specific to your blog or industry.
For example, if a famous actor admits to having diabetes in an interview, and you’re a nutritionist, you’d write a “newsy” article for your blog about it. Perhaps you’d mention the actor (and link to the trending article) and then offer nutrition advice for those struggling with diabetes. This raises your blog’s relevance with the search engines, making it easier for your potential readers to find.
Now, here’s where Alltop comes in. The whole site is dedicated to the trending stories across the web. It features trends on sites like Mashable, TechCrunch, Wired, and Fast Company to name but a few. This is an excellent tool to use in conjunction with the trending features on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. If you’re stumped for a topic for a blog post, Alltop can be a lifesaver!
It’s easy to get caught up in promoting your blog on Twitter without really knowing if you’re even connecting with real people. Twitter chats offer a way around this problem. They allow you to chat with people in your industry about topics you care about. You can identify Twitter chats by using a pound sign combined with a keyword.
Some people search for chats by inputting their subject of choice in the form of a hashtag into the Twitter search bar, i.e. #foodiechats. However, TwChat saves you a step. Its interface not only offers you a preview of upcoming chats, it has a search function and a calendar of chats to help you find chats of interest. The interface also allows you to sign into Twitter using the TwChat interface.
Naturally, you can post links to your relevant blog posts during chats if it’s a natural fit for the conversation. However, at the end of the day, you should follow the 80/20 rule. Chat 80% of the time, promote 20% of the time. That allows you to be balanced in your approach.
According to the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning by R.E. Mayer, people learn more from a combination of words and pictures than they do by words alone. A picture literally tells the reader how to process the words in a blog post, meaning that if the picture is chosen well, the reader is instantly given a context for the text.
However, unless a blogger has access to a slew of photos through a service like Getty Images, that blogger is at a disadvantage. (Often bloggers can’t afford the cost for services like Getty.) However, Flickr can be a Godsend for the budget blogger. In fact, because it gives bloggers access to free photos via the Creative Commons License, it’s one of the most important blog tools for blogger. (Pixabay and Open Clip Art are two more free photo/ picture sites worth mentioning here.)
One final note on using photo sites. Bloggers need to make sure that the site they’re pulling photos from is marked with the Creative Commons symbol. They also need to click on the “use for commercial purposes” and “modify, adapt, or build upon” spaces below the CC search box. To see the search box, go to Creative Commons .
WordPress may just be the most important blog tool for bloggers that there is. The tool has a free and paid version, allowing bloggers to use the platform according to their budgets.
However, it’s not just that it’s a free site that makes this tool important. It’s the extras that count. WordPress has hundreds of design templates, which means that bloggers who have no design skills can still put up a blog that looks professional. (And with very little effort.) It’s possible to add visual elements to the templates to make them more personalized. However, even on their own, these templates look good.
WordPress has another advantage as well, plugins. There are plugins to create better SEO, to make calendars, to put together slideshows, plus a whole lot more.
5. Dragon Naturally Speaking
Dragon Naturally Speaking helps bloggers write like they talk. This is an advantage, because this allows them to connect with their readers in a more personal way.
Dragon Naturally Speaking comes in many different forms: There are programs for those who work in law, in the medicine, and of course, in writing and blogging. Dragon even has a cloud-based app to make writing on-the-go a snap. The program is compatible with both Mac and PC formats, which opens up this voice-to-text program to just about everyone.
Final Thoughts on Blog Tools for Blogger
A blogger is only as good as the tools he/ she uses. This post covered five of the best blogging tools out there for the professional. These tools allow bloggers to create text on-the-go, to build better websites/ blogs, and to better connect with their readers. And better connections means more traffic and for monetized bloggers, more money in the long run.