THE TOP 2016 BLOG WRITING TOOLS REVIEWED
Although I do not write many blogs myself I read a huge amount of them and am doing research on a daily basis, so here I’ve composed a list of the most talked about blog tools which I tested myself. People use these free tools to help along with writing a great blog and to save time.
Often clients of mine wish to create a blog to boost their organic traffic and to engage their clients and community. Creating an industry leading blog and developing content, that adds value for your clients and ultimately leads to more sales and an engaged audience requires planned strategy, time and effort. A lot of time and effort, so it’s a serious undertaking.
As business owners, we have a million and one things to juggle, right? Time is precious and the first thing I tell my clients is that you really need to consider, do you have the time to dedicate to this? If you’re stronger at selling, or social media for example perhaps you should invest some money into having a professional content writer look after this side of the business and put your efforts into what you’re best at. This is a simple management technique and often works out for the best.
From health to internet marketing, competition is inevitable. No matter what niche you have carved for yourself, unless you are a natural born writer, if you wish to succeed and not give up within the first few articles or months you will need as many little tips and tricks as you can come across, these blog tools should help inspire you amongst other benefits. Blogging success comes with consistency.
Any given blog piece I write takes me days, the research that goes into it, comes from years of experience and often countless hours of writing, rewriting and editing. However writers do exist that specialise in particular subjects and all you need to do is give them an outline, they will do the rest for you. If time is not on your side, it may very well be the best solution, to simply find a content writer and pay them to do this for you. I cannot stress this point enough. Saying that, even if you do outsource your content writing, some of these blog tools, will still be extremely useful, as perhaps you may be the best person to craft the headline etc.
If however your budget does not allow for this, you find it easy to write about the subjects you love or you want to combine say the efforts of a student writer together with your own expertise to establish a form of long content and regularly produce pieces for publishing, this article is for you.
This list of blog tools is in no particular order, some blog tools will suit some people and others not, however have a read through and try out the ones that seem appealing to you. I have broken them into 5 main areas, blog tools that help with
3. Collaboration work,
4. Concept generation,
and 5. Graphics,
which I believe cover all the key elements of writing a blog. Feel free to skip to the blog tools that most interest you and check out the links and videos provided for a more in depth look at the specific tool.
Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
This is a tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute which could also be used for writing tag lines, headlines or subject lines of batch emails you send out. It scores your headline out of a hundred. Top copywriters score between 50-75%, and this tool could possibly allow you to tweak that headline or subject line enough to make the difference between someone clicking on that link or opening that email to read more instead of skipping or scrolling on by. The editing, in the above example took me less than 5 minutes and according to the EMV score, this small amount of effort gives my article the best chance to get more people to open my link. Also if you’re paying someone to write articles for you, this may be an interesting tool to use to evaluate their writing skills. This is by far the most interest and useful headline tool I have come across and the only one I’m going to include in this section, although some of the content writing tools below fall into this section also.
CONTENT WRITING TOOLS
This tool does a lot more than what the name suggests. I use this tool regularly when writing or reviewing content for websites. As well as giving you the total number of words and paragraphs it also lists the amount of times words are used, a hidden gem for anyone doing their own SEO content writing. It also helps me personally with making sure the writing isn’t too repetitive. If I find a particular word appearing too many times, I will quickly run through the article and switch things up a bit.
It also gives you a reading level score. With any of the guest blog pieces I write, I usually aim for college level and above, as it’s usually for quite a specific audience, but let’s say you’re writing an education piece for primary school level, well then you would be aiming at seeing 7th – 8th grade results and anything above it would be a clear signal that perhaps the vocabulary you used is too advanced for your audience.
Readability Test Tool
You need to form the habit of testing for the readability of your work. We may have a particular form of writing, that even though we understand perfectly ourselves the points we are trying to get across, the general populace may have issues deciphering for, your carefully crafted piece. This tool, like the one above is also very handy if you’re targeting specific age groups, for example when this article is analyzed it is considered easily understandable for 15-16 years olds plus, and therefore pointless getting my 9 year old to read!
You can use the Readability Test Tool in three major ways:
Test by referrer
Test by direct input
Test by URL
Then click the “calculate readability” button and you are done!
If English isn’t your first language or you simply have poor grammar this is a great tool to use. I have come across some fantastic articles and writers that have simply gotten so much grief from the grammar police, that they have been put off writing for life, don’t let that happen to you, either download this tool or invest in a proofreader and keep sharing that fantastic content. Here is a blog piece dedicated to reviewing the tool to give you a good idea of what to expect from it. The one thing this article doesn’t mention is, because this is a chrome extension tool, it also works on your emails, facebook posts etc so many, would find this extremely useful and perhaps get the most use out of it in comparison to all the blog tools mentioned here.
The benefits of bold and clear writing cannot be overemphasized they say. I’ve used the tool and personally I don’t get it, almost all my articles are highlighted as having troubled areas and personally this just upsets me. However many people do recommend it, so I’ll add it in here and let you be the judge. As mentioned the tool highlights different troubled areas and has a scoring section to the right explaining what the different highlighted sections mean. It is an easy tool to use, hit write and copy your article into the editing space, then hit edit and see the troubled areas. I think to use it correctly, would take some getting used to, but saying that it does immediately help with simple sentence structure and grammatical errors.
If you don’t use google documents, I strongly advise you to start doing so. This isn’t just a good blog writing tool, this will end up becoming an essential part of your day to day business, trust me! With your gmail account you get 15GB of space free, this allows you to, if nothing else keep a backup of all your work on the cloud. So you can take your article with you and access it on the phone, if a thought strikes you as you’re moving along the day. Gone are the days when you jotted a thought down on a paper napkin till you returned to your desk, now you can carry around all, or most anyway, of your documents with you. . Google drive which contains, google documents amongst other tools is an amazing collaboration tool which I’ve often used myself. It allows people from across the globe, right up to the desk next to you, to effectively collaborate simultaneously on a document. It is easy to use and has too many features to cover here, however if you’re not familiar with it, I recommend watching some youtube videos and familiarising yourself, you will never look back, I promise.
CONCEPT GENERATION BLOG TOOLS
Here you need to be quite broad with the term used as anything too long winded will return a screen stating that they didn’t find any matches, before you know it, within about 5 attempts you will have reached your daily limit and asked to sign up for a free 14 day trial.
So the best thing to do is enter a broad topic into the search bar. For example, let us assume you want to create a blog post around the keyword “fashion.” The search brings the highest performing content based on the total amount of social shares. This is a good way of establishing what is popular.
Now, it is up to you to create a title and blog post that is better than those on the list. The one point I would make here, and yes, I know it’s a bit of a contradiction to the purpose of this tool, but don’t just rely on topics that have already created a lot of buzz. Another option would be to have a look through and find something that hasn’t gone viral yet or had a lot of shares, looking through the list that gets generated could just confirm that your idea is fresh and uncovered territory, so keep that in mind too.
HubSpot Blog Topic Generator
In this example I entered the keywords : blog, writing and tools.
Do you find it hard to think of new fresh topics for your blog? After a dozen or so articles that may very well be the case, as your blog grows it becomes tougher to think of more interesting topics. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator is one solution. This high powered tool can provide you with ideas for your next post. Just type in the fields with 3 keywords that you feel like writing about. Depending on your blog, your approach, and what you want to accomplish, the tool brings out various topics that may work for you. You can use this tool to generate basic ideas and to stimulate your brain; the topics generated could then be tweaked. Also remember that you can hit the “try again” button if the first five ideas do not catch your fancy or match what you were really looking for. This tool is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re suffering from a touch of writers block.
Google analytics is a tool with massive power. It can give you details that will help you develop your voice and include information that is specific to your readers. You can determine your visitors location, what browsers they use, who referred them to your site and so many other elements which you could tie in and include in your posts that would give a reader that feeling that you are speaking to them directly.
Furthermore, if you know your audience enjoyed the quality of the post and the subject, and to determine that you look at data such as bounce rates, your next subject could be something related to that post. Use past data to create high-quality blog content in the future. This tool does come with a steep learning curve, however thankfully it is well documented and there is lots of tutorials online to help you. Also remember that the basic information on the main dashboard and an hours tutorial may be enough for you to retrieve the data that matters to you.
When thinking of a top quality blog, your mind (or mine at least) wanders immediately towards a post full of links, images, and other things. Piktochart is for creating infographics, posters and reports and personally, I think it’s pretty cool and easy to use. Also if you don’t have long form content in mind and instead perhaps a list of bullet points, often the best thing to do with that information is turn it into an infographic. Again you can contact a professional to design these for you if you have the funds to do so, or you can do it yourself by using this tool. It handles the process and is an easy way to create something eye catching with a high shareability potential.
Start by choosing a template that matches your content and the style of your blog. It offers a variety of features like colours, text, and fonts giving your infographic, poster or report the detail and uniqueness it deserves.
After reading the above points on these blog tools, I’d like you to take one main point away from this.
There is a difference between ordinary blogging and blogging with a purpose. If you want your words to generate positive results, you’ve got to let your knowledge and drive show, and to do that effectively in a way that’s worth sharing and hopefully driving more customers to your business, these blog tools are free and definitely worth checking out.
Please do share your opinion and experience with any of these tools with us. If you haven’t tried them I advise you to do so today. And if you believe that I have left out some key tools, please include them in the comments below as it will be useful for other readers.
Don’t forget, if you find content creation overwhelming, you can get in touch with us today and we will be glad to help you source content for your website and social media channels.