Successful Blogs Use These 20 Tools to Get Results

Hello ladies, how you gals doing today?

In this post, we look at the top 20 tools used by successful blogs and how we can use them to our advantage. I have broken down these 20+ tools into 5 categories including:

a. Writing/Creation

b. Design

c. Plugins

d. Engagement

e. Video

Disclaimer: please note that this post may contain affiliate links which means that if you buy one of my recommended products I get paid a commission for sharing the link.  I only recommend products that I have tried myself and have experienced success.

A. Writing/Creation

When it comes to writing or creating a blog post I am not referring to your blogging voice or creative flair I am more looking at the tools that you can use to polish or enhance the piece that you created.

Here are six tools that are used on successful blogs to achieve results:

Google Keyword Planner

I have used this for many years to help me create content for blogs, videos, podcasts and even books. It would make sense for you my fellow blogger to use this one to complete some research.

Especially since our blogs don’t exist in a vacuum but because we depend on the Search Engine Results Pages to display our blogs when someone is searching for one of our relevant keywords. 

This keyword tool is great for getting keyword ideas, monthly searches and the level of competition by other businesses for these keywords broken down by country or city.

Wordtracker

This tool is very similar to the Keyword Planner except that it gives what I called the commercial intent ranking of each keyword. This would be good for a business selling products online.

Keysearch

One of the best keyword research tools that I have used in the last 10 years as a blogger will have to be Keysearch.  It is great for helping you untapped niche markets fast.

If you are stuck trying to find a profitable niche that is not too crowded then you can also grab my ebook on how you can find a hungry market fast.

Buzzsumo

This precious tool is good for giving content creators an idea of what is popular right now so that you and I can take advantage of the latest trends.  

You can also connect with key influencers so they can help you promote your relevant content.  See an example in the screenshot below:

buzz sumo blogging trends

The statistics they have on influencers are nothing short of amazing. It is looking at someone’s bio or clout before you meet them in person.  See screenshot.

content marketing influencers

Hubspot’s Blog Topics Tool

I find this very handy as it allows me to take one main topic like Facebook Marketing and break it down into several segments so that I can have content ideas for several months completed in just one click of a button.

Goal Setting Planner Printable

Grab The Goal Setting Planner

This planner is great for you even if…

  • You Suffer From Mom Guilt
  • You May Behind on Everything
  • You Are Feeling All Over the Place
  • Focus on One Goal at a Time
  • You Have a Hard Time Staying Focused
  • You Get Distracted by a Bazillion Things

CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

As the name suggests this handy tool helps you to do a proper analysis of your headline before you hit the publish button so that you can take advantage of the best headline possible for your post.

Check out the score for this blog post below:

Coschedule's headline analyser score

Grammarly

After you spend so much time writing and editing your blog post the perfect 2nd pair of eyes would be using a tool like Grammarly.

It will double check or even triple check that you have used the correct grammar all the way through. I have it switch on even now as I am writing this post.

B. Design

Next up is the design element and I have 5 tools to share with you that successful blogs use to improve the user experience.

Smartmockups

This is a tool that is definitely too cool for school as it lets you do mockups of your products, books, software or almost anything you can imagine.  

It is super amazing because it allows your prospects to experience the product somewhat even before the click the buy now button.  Here is an example for you:

example book mockup

Photoshop, PicMonkey or Canva

These three design applications are great for so many things. Canva is free and you can design all your social media covers, posts and pins in here.

 If you would like a more professional finish as well as the freedom to really customise then take a look at Photoshop or PicMonkey.

Creative Market

As the name suggests this a market for creative people as it offers you the ability to buy templates, fonts and creative packages to save you time and the stress of starting your projects from scratch.
 

Thrive Themes

To round off the design elements I will let you in on one of those well-kept secrets when it comes to themes for your WordPress.org blog.  
 
Thrive themes offers really professional looking designs so that people like me can crank out eye-catching blogs and landing pages from the readily available theme templates as well as the much needed additional pieces to go along with it.
 
Goal Setting Planner Printable

Grab The Goal Setting Planner

This planner is great for you even if…

  • You Suffer From Mom Guilt
  • You May Behind on Everything
  • You Are Feeling All Over the Place
  • Focus on One Goal at a Time
  • You Have a Hard Time Staying Focused
  • You Get Distracted by a Bazillion Things

C. Plugins

As you are probably aware by now WordPress.org has levelled the playing field by giving many people the opportunity to create successful blogs using this open source content management system.
 
Not only can you start a successful blog but to create stunning websites specific to each person’s niche.  
 
One of the things that make this super possible is the humble plugin.  There are thousands of plugins available and what they essentially do is help you to customize your version of WordPress.org to your specific requirements.
 
Here are five (5) plugins that most successful blogs use to keep them competitive.
 

Really Simple SSL

After you get your standard free SSL from your web host you then need to convert your SSL certificate to an enterprise-grade one that your customers and Google will respect using the Really Simple SSL plugin.
 

Pretty links

Once you have set up your blog/site and created several posts a clever way to track engagement is by tracking what links people are clicking in your posts.
 
 You can even make your affiliate links prettier by using this plugin hence the reason why it is called pretty links.  I have used it for many years and it helps me track the engagement level on specific links on my site.
 

Milotree

This plugin is a recent addition to my toolkit and I find it absolutely amazing! In a few clicks, you can have a friendly popup on your blog or website encouraging visitors to follow your social media profiles.
 
They can even subscribe to your email list.  My followers have already grown 50% in a matter of days from installing this simple plugin.
 

Yoast SEO

I have been using WordPress.org for well over 10 years now so I have a lot of experience of plugins that help you ensure your posts are optimized for SEO.  I have also used many SEO plugins over the years.  
 
I am not going to list the other here but trust me when I say that the Yoast SEO plugin is really good and has improved over the years.
 
Just get a green light and all is good to go. From keyword density, right through to alt attributes tags on your images, this plugin is the real deal.
 

Social Warfare

Another recent addition to my bag of tricks is the Social Warfare plugin.  It is very good in allowing your website visitors to easily share your content with their networks.  
 
It is also quite good at tracking your performance on those social media networks.
 

D. Video

If you are hoping to cater to a varied audience then you may want to consider how your audience consumes your content.  As you can imagine in any given setting people have different ways of learning or consuming content.

Edgar Dale’s Learning Cone

When you consider Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience you will realise that the more engaged people are with your content the better their experience as well as the more satisfied they will be because they gain a result.  See Edgar’s Cone below:

Edgar Dale's Learing Cone

So s you can see in the learning cone people retain about 10% of what they read, 50% of what they see and hear and about 90% of what they do.  Now you are armed with this knowledge as a blogger you will try to get to as close to 90% as possible by giving each visitor to your site an experience that involves seeing, saying, writing and doing wherever it makes sense.

Here are 4 ideas to get the most out of videos for your audience:

Facebook Live

Many successful blogs go out of their way to give their audiences an experience like no other and one clever way to accomplish this is by using Facebook Live.  

It may sound scary at first but after giving it a try I quite enjoy doing it regularly.  It is a really cool way to get your audience to engage with you and you can take that video download and post it on other platforms.  

Facebook also loves this type of content so the cost per view when running ads can be as low as 0.02 cent.

Vimeo

Of course, you can use the forever free Youtube platform to post your videos but if you want more control over who is seeing your video or if you want your video to be gated a clever platform to use is Vimeo.

A plus account works out at less than $15.00 a month and it gives you full control over who has access to this content.  The performance compared to Youtube is also better.

Filmic Pro

I have been using this smartphone app for a few years now and I really love the ability it gives me over the standard smartphone camera.  

As a user, I can really tweak the exposure, frames per second lighting (especially in the absence of daylight) and the overall quality of the content.  At $9.99 one time price it is a steal of a deal.

LinkedIn Live

Very similar to Facebook Live but as the name suggests this is recorded using the LinkedIn platform. If your prospects hang out on LinkedIn then this is the best place to reach them.  

LinkedIn loves this kind of content so you have a better chance of reaching your audience compared to a standard post.  See screenshot below for organic views of my LinkedIn Live video:

LinkedIn Live organic video views

E. Engagement Tools

Now that your visitors have arrived at your site and you have educated them and influenced them what happens next?

Many successful blogs implement strategies to help their audience become more successful by offering them access to their newsletter, a checklist, workbook, e-book, e-course or a paid membership or course.

Here are some tools that will give you the ability to help your visitors to take that next step.

ConvertKit

This is a really cool, email marketing provider that gives you the ability to capture leads and give those leads access to more content like newsletters and e-courses.  

It is very intuitive and easy to use that you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.  They offer lead capture forms, landing pages, email sequences, triggers as well as tagging.  

They also integrate with many third-party applications like Milotree and many other landing page software.

Thrive Leads

Offers you the ability to run split tests with a view to finding the form that gives you the highest conversions when it comes to capturing leads.  

They have very professional lead capture forms when compared to ConvertKit so, in essence, the two used together yields much better results.  They also have a great exit pop feature.

Thrive Comments

This neat little plugin gives your visitor the option to leave a comment using their social media logins or generic details like name, email and website address.  

It also gives you the option to take the commenting a step further by allowing the user to join your email list and see related posts.

They can also share your content on social, vote on your content or acquire badges based on the total number of comments he/she leaves on your site overall.

 
thrive comments
 
 
20 Tools that you are not using to get eye popping results
 
So in order to be one of the successful blogs online, you may want to consider implementing one of these 5 must-have tools on your blog to get the results that you need and to see a return on your investment. 
 
 
That’s all for today ladies please subscribe to the podcast and tell your friends about your experience and of course please leave a comment or feedback about what your thoughts
 
What you would like me to cover in future posts?  Until next time enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of your week. Bye for now.
 

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