The more I write, the more I notice that there are some things that I just can’t do without! When it comes to boosting blog growth, organizing subject matter and sharing it with YOU great people, I need all the helpful tools I can get!
Some of these tools I use constantly and some I just use occasionally, but they are all great time-savers and they do exactly what they claim to do.
There are many apps and programs available to bloggers that are created specifically to boost productivity and to increase blog growth. I’ve listed a few of the ones that I use on a daily basis and that frankly, I couldn’t live without!
1. Bluehost Web Hosting
I use Bluehost web hosting for this site and I have used it for two other websites that I have had in the past. I have always been very satisfied with their customer service and as a hosting provider, they really cover all the bases.
The WordPress platform is unbelievably easy to install on Bluehost and this is the primary reason that I recommend them. They will walk you through the complete installation onto your blog and if you have questions or concerns, they will respond quickly and efficiently.
I think it is important for EVERYONE to benefit from all of these tools and Bluehost and WordPress both really come through with their user-friendly systems.
Use this link for a substantial discount in Bluehost web hosting.
WordPress is a free blogging software used for content management and is the most popular blogging system used on the internet. One thing that I find attractive about WordPress is the fact that it is so user-friendly and beginning bloggers as well as pros can have great success with the WordPress platform and themes.
3. Blog theme
Your blog theme is what sets your blog apart from others. It shows your style and personality. Choose a blog theme and customize it to be distinctly “YOU”.
WordPress offers a variety of themes for websites, some free and some paid. Other places that we’ve had experience with that also offer gorgeous blog themes are Restored 316 and Pretty Darn Cute Designs. Both have many unique and beautiful themes to choose from.
4. Use Tailwind for amazing blog growth
Hands down, the one tool that has helped us to massively grow the number of visitors and page views on our blog is Tailwind.
With Tailwind, you can schedule your pins to post on Pinterest at future times. There is a “Smart Schedule” in Tailwind that pinpoints exactly when your times of highest engagement are on Pinterest and that’s when your pins are scheduled.
Tailwind also has a feature that makes pinning so convenient. There is a Tailwind extension to install on your browser which enables one-click pinning to your Pinterest boards. So easy!
Get a one-month free trial of Tailwind and use that time to experiment to see what Tailwind can do for your website. There’s really nothing to lose..they do not require a credit card for the free trial. Try it and then evaluate the resulting blog growth. If you’re happy, then spring for the paid version!
As Tailwind has helped to grow my blog by bringing more visitors and more page views, ConvertKit is responsible for growing my mailing list. Since starting with Convertkit, my e-mail list has more than tripled in size.
With Convertkit, you can create opt-in forms and content upgrades effortlessly and simply, placing them anywhere on your blog. It is possible to place a different opt-in form after each blog post and Convertkit keeps track of which subscriber downloads which form.
I highly recommend Convertkit to handle your subscriber list. Try it for one month free and evaluate where your list stands at the end of that month. I guarantee that you will see growth!
6. Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin
If you’re anything like me, grasping the concept of SEO and all that it entails is mind-boggling. Enter the Yoast SEO plugin. This simple little addition to your website takes care of everything for you by guiding you to write content that will help your post to rank higher in search engines. It makes you choose keywords and criticizes you until you change things to make its little green light come on. Amazing.
7. WordPress Editorial Calendar
This is a plugin that I have used for a long time on my WordPress site. It is exactly what it says it is: a calendar that allows you to easily schedule posts to be published on whatever day/time you choose simply by dragging and dropping.
The great thing about this calendar is that you can look at the entire month at a glance and see what you have published and what is scheduled to be published in the near future. And… it’s free!
PicMonkey is an incredibly simple photo editing site that I find so easy to use. I use this tool to create blog images, Pinterest pins, and to edit photos.
PicMonkey has lots of fonts and design templates to choose from and makes creating beautiful images a snap! I could not do without this tool in my blogging toolbox.
Try PicMonkey free for 7 days or choose a monthly or annual paid subscription.
9. Google docs
Writing my blog posts in Google docs has been a major convenience simply for the fact that wherever I go, my work goes with me.
Documents can be accessed on computer, phone or iPad, and can even be shared with others if needed which is really convenient if you find yourself somewhere away from your workplace with a little time to work on a post.
Google docs also has lots of different fonts to jazz up your post and images and links and images can also easily be inserted.
10. Google spreadsheets
The main thing that I use Google spreadsheets for is to keep my Pinterest board pinning organized.
I list each board across the top with each board’s rules and enter the date that I post every blog post to that board. That way I can make sure that I am not overstepping the rules of each Pinterest group board by pinning too often or by pinning the same thing twice.
Just like Google documents, Google spreadsheets can be accessed and shared with others.
Buffer is another tool that has helped me to free up my time. It schedules to all of your social media platforms, although I just use it for Twitter.
With the free version you can schedule tweets for the day and with the paid version you can schedule tweets to run for days. Buffer works with Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and more!
12. Google Analytics: To keep up with BLOG GROWTH!
Google Analytics installed on your site will show you everything you need to know to monitor your blog’s growth. I think it is something you should not be without!
Google Analytics provides you with so much valuable information. While you may have to dig deep to get all the details, it allows you to do extensive research on WHO your audience is, WHAT they are interested in, and HOW OFTEN they are visiting.
All of this is information that will help you to target your audience and write for them. This is part of growing your blog!
Last, but certainly NOT LEAST, the single most important tool that we have in our blogging toolbox...Pinterest. Our blog growth can absolutely be attributed to our participation on Pinterest. Pinning our pins, sharing the pins of others…This is what has brought us massive blog growth.
If you are a blogger and are not taking advantage of Pinterest, START TODAY! Set up a pinterest profile, create pins for every blog post, join some group boards, and get to pinning!
This goes hand-in-hand with Tailwind (see our #4 above). Scheduling pins throughout the day in our optimal time slots has brought many, many readers to our blog.
If you would like to join our Pinterest group board, Blogging Superstars, follow these steps:
1. Follow us on Pinterest
2. E-mail your Pinterest URL with your request to join our group board to firstname.lastname@example.org
There you have our favorite tools! If you put your focus on growing your blog traffic and mailing list, then many of these tools are things that you can’t do without! These particular ones will make it easier and simpler than ever.