To be a successful blogger you can't just sit down, write a post and hit publish. Check out 4 blogging tools I use every week to make blogging easier.
4 Blogging Tools I Use Every Week:
1. Ideas Worksheet
Maybe you can relate but a lot of my blog post topics come to me at random. I might be laying in bed, taking a shower or changing my sons diaper (this seriously happens, probably because I change so many of them I'm on autopilot and my brain just wonders) and a blog post idea pops into my head. Prior to being the organized blogger I am now I'd write my idea down on a piece of paper or in a note on my phone. I never wrote my ideas in the same place. Then when I'd go to write my post I'd look all over for my original idea. Not the most productive way to go about blogging. Hence I created my blog ideas worksheet.
It's nothing too fancy but it's exactly what I needed. I write down the possible blog title and the category it falls under. There's room for 20 ideas per sheet. So when an idea comes to me I go to my printed worksheet, sitting right on my desk and jot it down. I can't tell you how much this worksheet has helped keep my thoughts together.
2. Editorial Calendar
Overtime (more specifically after an abundance of late nights writing posts the day before they needed to be published) I realized that I needed to plan my posts ahead of time. I had heard of bloggers using editorial calendars to plan their posts so I decided to give it a try. What a world of difference this step makes!
My editorial calendar makes me focus not only on what I want to write about about but also why. The reason I blog is to help creative entrepreneurs and bloggers. When I consider the reader benefit before I write the post then I'm far more likely to write share-worthy and insightful posts. To be completely transparent here's the questions I answer in my editorial calendar for each post before I sit down to write:
- Desired post date
- Related posts
- Reader benefit
- Will the post include a free printable?
- Will the post include outside and/or internal links?
It may seem like a lot of things to consider but it makes writing the post so much easier. If I'm including a free printable I typically work on it days before I write the post so I have it ready. I also like to consider the posts SEO strength. I research keywords ahead of time plus I skim through my archives to see which of my previous posts I can link back to that would benefit my reader further. Linking to pages in my website has great SEO benefits as well (aka deep linking).
My editorial calendar also includes a checklist for each post to remind me of certain tasks I need to complete before I click publish and what I need to do after it's published to promote it. I honestly don't know how I ever managed to blogged without my calendar.
3. SEO Checklist
Next in my list of blogging tools is my SEO Checklist. Prior to scheduling my post I run through my SEO checklist to make sure my post is optimized! I cannot stress enough how important it is to optimize your posts. You didn't spend all that time researching and writing for your post to never get seen by Google. Putting in a little extra SEO effort will be worth it. As bloggers we want to reach as many people as we can. So why not reach people who are actively looking for what we wrote about.
My SEO checklist makes optimizing simple. (Read more about my SEO checklist in my previous post: SEO Checklist: 10 Tips for Squarespace Bloggers). I guarantee you'll be able to optimize your post like the pros.
4. InDesign and Photoshop
My last essential blogging tools are InDesign and Photoshop. I use my InDesign branded template to create my blog post image and Photoshop to save the image for web. When your a blogger it's really helpful to have templates that allow you to quickly and easily create images that are inline with your branding. It's also really important to upload a low resolution image to your website instead of a high resolution image. High resolution photos will make your site run slower. You only want to use high resolution images for printing. Photoshop has an option to save for web.
Get My FREE Blogging Tools!
To be a successful blogger you need to take it seriously. My 4 essential blogging tools help me be proactive, productive and overall a better blogger. I can't blog without them. I want to help you become a better blogger as well. Get access to my ideas worksheet, editorial calendar and my SEO checklist! To access my tools all you need to do is subscribe to my FREE resource library. My library contains helpful worksheets, printables and guides.
What are your blogging tools? What makes you a better blogger?