Are you responsible for a company blog and feel that you are always on the lookout for ways to engage your readers and connect with a new audience?
You should be looking to take advantage of every opportunity in business and if you use your blog effectively, you will find that you can achieve great success.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the best tools you can use to boost your blog.
1. Accentuate Your Social Medial Followers
When it comes to making a splash on social media, it is important to stay in touch with how many followers you have on every platform. You will find that Arqam is a great tool for keeping in touch with your different social media platforms and it will also provide you with a link to each of your platforms.
This is a fairly dynamic tool that operates in real time. Arqam can be bought for £10 and it is fully functional with your mobile site, if you have one, and of course, you really should have one.
2. Block Spam
Spam can make your site look unprofessional, it can take time to clear away and in some cases, it can even damage your site. This is why you should be looking to block spam as best as you can and this is where the WP-Ban WordPress plugin is of great benefit. This toll enables you to block spam commentators, and it is based on the IP address of the user. It is even possible to set up a personal message for people accessing your site from that IP. The plugin can work in a number of ways, allowing you a number of opportunities to block those nasty spammers.
Other systems are available we use www.disqus.com
3. Conquer So Many Aspects In One Easy Move
When it comes to achieving success online, there are so many things to think of. You want to carry out SEO well and you want to utilise social media in the best possible manner. You will find that WordPress SEO, on offer from Yoast, is one of the most effective WordPress plugins and this is because it offers you so much functionality in one easy to use plugin. You can quickly check that your target keywords are in place and you can also make sure that you have text and images in place for Twitter cards.
There is also the added bonus of being able to incorporate Webmaster Tools from sites like Bing and Google. There is also a lot to be said for the Bulk Editor feature which allows you to edit meta and title data in one convenient place rather than having to enter every place individually.
4. Discover Images That Matter
Images can make a massive difference to how you connect to your audience, be it on your site, your blog or even on social media. Sites like iStock and Shutterstock are well known but have you considered using Flickr? This is a site that has been around for a long time but by using the Creative Commons option, you can find great images that are free to use, as long as you use the proper attribution.
First of all, make sure that you are searching with the Creative Commons option on. When you find an image you like, be sure to check out the terms and conditions for that image. You may find that some photographers are only happy to allow you to use their images if you are not doing so for commercial purpose so take the time to check out what is on offer.
There is also Pixabay which claims to allow users to “copy, modify, distribute and use, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission and without paying attribution.”
As always though, there are some exceptions to this broad rule so be sure to check the individual terms and conditions. If you are happy to provide your email address to a site, look out for Unsplash because once you sign up (at no cost), you will receive 10 new images every 10 days.
5. Edit Your Images
If you want or need to edit images but don’t have access to expensive editing software, don’t worry. Options such as PicMonkey and Canva will help you edit quickly and easily. PicMonkey is particularly popular for the number of fonts on offer and you can also add some effects.
Canva provides the options to work in layers, so if you need to change text or backgrounds, this is a great way to do so.
6. Facilitate The Sharing Of Your Content
First of all, look at Google Analytics and see where your traffic is coming from. There is a good chance that a social media platform is directing people towards your site and this is why you need to make it easy for people to share from your blog. Adding in social sharing toolbars make the process easy and social sharing is a strong way to improve your audience and reach out to people.
Look out for the AppSumo app, SumoMe, because this provides you with a lot of functionality. It is easy to set up and use, it uses a drag and drop style of interface. It can be used on mobile and desktop and if you want to see what pages are clicking and sharing to you, you can do so easily.
7. Generate Headlines That People Want To Click
If you use the Portent Content Idea Generator, it will take your keyword or blog post and then provide you with an exciting headline for your article. It will provide you with something that is eye-catching and if you don’t like it, refresh it and try again.
8. Highlight Content You Have Already Posted
It is likely that you have created some posts that will always be relevant and can be read at any point. This is great news but the bad news is that they are difficult to find. With every new blog post, older content gets pushed further down and away, so you want to make sure that new readers can find this great content.
Using a related posts plugin will help direct readers to relevant content that was created before and an example would be YARPP, which is the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin. This provides a level of flexibility allowing you to show a thumbnail or list of related pages, posts or even custom posts. You will also be able to display these related posts in the RSS feed.
For people keen to benefit from an SEO perspective, and shouldn’t everyone, look for WordPress Related Posts. This can provide your content on site but it will also link to external content. The real twist comes with the fact that it will make your content available for other sites that also use the plugin. The only issue with this style of plugin is that can use up a lot of memory, which can make your site slow.
9. Improve The Quality Of Writing On Your Blog
We’ve all found blogs that offer great points but put these points across in a terrible way. Whether the writing is poor or poorly pitched for the audience, the quality of writing will have an impact on the success of a blog. People are looking for simple and short sentences which allow them to grab the information they need and then move on.
10. Jot Down Ideas As They Come To You
When you get a good idea, it is always best to record this idea at the time because if you don’t, can you be relied upon to remember it later? More and more people are using the voice memo feature on their mobile devices to jot down their ideas as they go. If you would prefer to use an app, options like Workflowy, Wunderlist and Pocket List are all of benefit. These are simple apps but they do the job in helping you to create notes, to label them and then come back to them.
Video example of Pocketlist for the iOS:
11. Kick Out The Procrastination Tools
Having apps at your disposal and being able to access the internet is of great benefit but you don’t want to spend too much time on these sites. If you find that you waste your time on sites like Facebook or Twitter, use the Stay Focused app (which is a Chrome extension) to set a time limit for use on a particular site. If you use Facebook too much, set your Facebook time to 30 minutes and once you have clocked up 30 minutes in a day, you cannot access that site for the rest of the day.
There are other options for other browsers which you can use if you are the sort of person that would load up another browser to get around your ban.
12. Look For Topics That Are Popular And Relevant
When it comes to grabbing traffic you need to give people what they want. This is why knowing what the trending topics are can be of great benefit and the Buzz Sumo app can provide you with insight into what is hot on sites that are like yours.
If you provide a domain name or a topic, you will learn what the best performing articles are, what is being shared on social media, who the key influencers are with respect to that style of topic and a lot more interesting things. If you are looking to connect with a particular audience, make sure you give that audience what they enjoy.
13. Make Sure You Use Webmaster Tools Accounts
The Webmaster Tools on offer from the main sites like Google and Bing are of great benefit and they are free! These Webmaster Tools will help you identify any issues with your site, allowing you to perform better for search engine result pages. You will also be available to see what pages are connecting with your audience, allowing you to see what works for you and what people want to read.
14. No Follow
If you link to another site, you are sending a message to the search engines that you approve of the site you have linked to. Every time you do this, you are providing another site with an endorsement.
There may be times when you have sites that you don’t want to endorse, you may think the site is dodgy, and if this is the case, you should make the link a No Follow link. The NoFollowr plugin makes it easy to do so and with one click on the checkmark, you can change a link from a follow to a no follow link.
15. Optimise Your Images
When it comes to having the best impact with images, it makes sense to optimise your images. A lot will depend on the design of your blog but most blogs dint need images that are bigger than 500 x 500 pixels. If you place a full size image on your blog, it will have to resize the image and this takes time. If you optimise and resize your image in advance, you will be able to boost the running time of your site. Some of the best apps for reducing the file size of your image include CW Image Optimizer, Smush.it and EWWW Image Optimizer. These plugins will optimise the file size of your image and do so with lossless compression which ensures that the quality of your image isn’t impacted on.
16. Pre-Populate Your Tweets
If you want people to share your content, make it easy for them. You can pre-populate your tweets for sharing which means that visitors don’t even need to think about what to say when sharing your content, they can just click and the tweet will go, CoSchedule is a great tool to use.
17. Queue Up Posts
When it comes to sending content out, if you are only able to post or get online at certain times of day, you will likely end up missing out on an audience. This is why being able to queue up blog posts and social media posts will help you to reach a greater audience. Hootsuite and Buffer are great tools for sharing content on social media sites and SNAP, provided by NextScripts, is a WordPress plugin that allows you to share social media posts and shares. This is an intensive plugin but it provides a number of benefits so is well worth checking out.
18. Recirculate Previous Content
You don’t need to bring old blog contents to the front of your blog to help more people read it. All you need to do is tweet links to previous posts. If you don’t have the time to look through your previously published articles, use Revive Old Posts to schedule a time and date to post on your social media platforms.
Having a content calendar is a great because this will allow you to maximise your campaigns and bring your activities together. There are a number of different WordPress calendar plugins to choose from but CoSchedule will be of benefit as this will not slow down your site.
This is a site that provides a drag and drop calendar option that can be synced with your WordPress blog. It will also sync into your social media platforms, allowing you to schedule posts as well.
20. Test The Time Your Site Takes To Load
When it comes to how long it takes for your site to load, the quicker the better for SEO purposes and for retaining users. If your site doesn’t load sharply, users will click off and try another site. To check how your site performs, use Pingdom.
21. Understand What Google Analytics Has To Offer
All blogs should use Google Analytics because the information on offer is vital and understanding this data will help you to do more of the good things and less of the bad things when it comes to connecting with an audience.
22. Visualise The Hot Spots On Your Site
A heat map visualisation of your site will help you to see where people are clicking on your site, where they scroll to, where they arrive from and where they come to a halt in the buying process. The Crazy Egg option can be set up in less than a minute and it will provide you with invaluable data about your visitors are accessing and utilising the blog.
23. Write With Focus
If you need to get in the zone and block out distractions when you write, opt for OmmWriter. This app provides gentle music and offers up backgrounds that are said to provide tranquillity while at the same time promoting creativity. This is available for iPad, Mac and Windows and your writing can be saved as a PDF or text file.
Watch OmmWriter in action:
24. eXperiment with Simple Code Changes
25. Yell For Offers
If you want to draw attention to your site, provide offers. The Hello Bar app is fully customisable and it comes in a banner that sits at the top of the web site. You can change the font, text, colour and even the URL and it can be used to offer a call to action or even a button that ensures the users take that action.
26. Zero In On The Best Resource
These are all great resources but when it comes to the best app or resource, Evernote takes some beating. It can help you to write notes, take images, save articles and even share content. It can be used on all devices and it is really easy to use so if you want a helping hand for a wide range of tasks, call on Evernote.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts, anything working well for your blog?