Writing a business blog takes forever right?
We know better than most just how time-intensive writing consistent and high-quality business blogs can be. We’ve been doing it pretty much every week (or more) since 2017.
Back when we kicked off our blog we were primarily web design and SEO specialists. And we’ll admit there were times when blog production dropped to the bottom of our to-do list due to lack of time. ⏰
But, we also know just how crucial a strong content strategy is for growing your business.
So over the years we’ve tried and tested a bunch of business blogging tools to help with SEO, improve the quality of writing and shave some precious hours off the process.
In this blog, we’ll share our best blogging tools to help you create blogs faster than ever before.
IMPORTANT! There are zero affiliate links in this blog post. We don’t earn any money out of recommending these companies, we’re here to just give you the best tools for your business.
And don’t worry, these tools aren’t going to set you back hundreds or thousands of pounds. They are all either completely FREE to use or pretty cheap – so they won’t break the bank.💰
There are some key areas that these blogging tools can help in, so we’ve split the blog post into these sections:
Table of Contents
Evaluating Where You Are Right Now
First thing’s first, you’ll want to evaluate where you are now with your blog and how you can improve. That way, you’ll know exactly what you need to focus on moving forward (and what blogging tools you can use to help you do that).
Luckily, we created just the tool for you…
1. Business Blogging Quiz (FREE)
If you have ever wondered how “Good” your blog is, then check out the Business Blogging Quiz. We created this FREE tool that will automatically assess how well your blog is performing.
It will also tell you exactly how to improve your business blog so you can increase your website traffic, rankings and sales.
Click the link below and get your Business Blogging Score instantly.
The Best Blogging Tools for Generating Blog Post Ideas…
“I’ll run out of things to write about.”
Have you ever found yourself saying this? ⬆️
We know that coming up with amazing, traffic-generating ideas is one of the biggest barriers to getting started on your blogging journey.
But if you’re tearing your hair out trying to come up with blog ideas then stop. 🛑
We’ve been consistently blogging since 2017, and trust us when we say we’ve still got loads more to write about.
That’s because we employ a few different blogging tools that help us generate ideas. They hack into what our potential customers are actually searching for online.
Not only do these tools help create blog ideas, but they will allow you to see what terms and phrases people search for on Google. These are known as longtail keywords.
For example, if you bake cupcakes, it’s unlikely that people are just typing “cupcakes” into Google. They are probably searching for things like:
- Where to buy cupcakes in Blackpool?
- How much do cupcakes cost?
- How to make my own cupcakes?
This is a crucial step for SEO, as you can sprinkle these phrases into your content. And this will allow you to be found by search engines.
Using these tools allows you to integrate topics your potential customers are actually searching for rather than guessing. So when they type their query into Google guess who’s blog will pop up first – that’s right, yours.
- Related content: 5 FREE ways to check keyword rankings in Google
2. Answer The Public (Free)
Answer the Public is an amazing tool that helps you clearly visualise real questions that your potential customers have asked via an image known as a “search cloud”.
Simply enter your topic into the search bar, and Answer the Public will produce a “mind-map” of questions that have been searched for.
Remember people ask Google questions they would never ask someone else (or you). So it’s a great way to gain insight into the inner workings of potential customers’ minds.
It’s a useful tool to come up with blog titles, but also individual sub-headings and sub-sections.
The free version gives you up to three searches per day, which will be enough for most small businesses. But if you think you’ll be running multiple searches a day, then you can upgrade to the PRO version. Below, we’ve shown an example of when we put in the phrase, ‘book editor’.
3. Quora (Free)
People ask a lot of random questions on the internet…
How long would it take me to walk to the moon?
Which country in the world has the strangest shape?
If you’ve ever searched for something online then you’ve probably come across Quora.
It’s a free-to-use, search and answer website, that is completely user-generated. This means users generate the questions asked and the answers given.
It’s a really great insight into what people are searching for, and what the common answers (or potential misconceptions) around your industry are. All really juicy information when you are trying to come up with blog ideas.
Plus, you can follow specific topics and keep tabs on any new questions that are popping up. Below, I typed in the phrase ‘book editor’ and look at all the juicy questions that could easily make great content!
4. Keywords Everywhere (Free and Paid Version)
Keywords Everywhere is a free Chrome extension that helps you with keyword research, and SEO.
It allows you to do keyword research on the go, as you type queries into Google. Once installed it will pop up on the side whenever you do a search and will give you access to:
- Trend data and search volumes for that keyword
- Related keywords to the search term you selected
- ‘People also search for’ suggestions.
It’s free to use but a paid-for version is also available if you want more information on monthly searches and competitor analysis. However, most people will find the free version more than adequate for their needs.
Below, we’ve shown you an example of how this works by searching for the keyphrase ‘business book editor’. We do pay for this tool, but it’s incredibly cheap at just $10 for 100,000 credits (which is a lot!)
5. Semrush (Paid)
Semrush is the creme de la creme of keyword research tools, but with a price tag to match.
It’s is a full-service research tool and allows you to figure out what people are searching for in relation to a specific keyword using their content marketing topic research.
It is a paid tool with prices starting at around $119/month, however, you can sign up for a free trial to see if it would be worth it. This tool is something that we use to get really deep insights into keyword research, rankings, backlink data and more. Below is a screenshot of SEMRush, with us searching for the keyword ‘book editor’ – and this is just surface level stuff (yes, we do geek out over this!)
The Best Blogging Tools for Planning Blog Posts…
“Aghhh, I’ll just wing it, and see what happens.”
Does this sound like you?
We can almost guarantee that this is the easiest way to fall off the content bandwagon. We’ve seen it time and time again in the 90-day content challenge we run within our membership.
The people that fail to plan are always the ones that struggle to complete the challenge. Every👏 Single👏 Time👏.
Putting a little time aside upfront to plan out your content, and organise it into a schedule will give you a fighting chance.
Not only will you not have to worry about what you are writing about every week (especially if you use the brainstorming blogging tools above). But it will also help you plan and prioritise blogging as a task on your to-do list. If it’s written down in black and white it’s not as easy to push it to the bottom of the list.
Everyone plans in a different way, so we’ve got a couple of different blogging tools that will suit depending on your brain works.
- Related content: How to plan 50 pieces of content in 30 minutes
6. Trello (Free and Paid Version)
Trello is an amazing visual planning tool if you have a logical and linear brain. It is a very simple visual planner that allows you to layout all your blog posts via boards and cards.
The cards allow you to add more detail in an unstructured way. This makes it easier to create content plans than something like Google Sheets/Spreadsheets.
You can create columns for each of your products and services so that you can manage what blogs are coming up, and what ones have been done.
Trello is a free tool, however, if you need more than ten boards or want a calendar view then you can upgrade to a paid plan (starting from $5/person/month). But we’ve found that for most small businesses, the free tool is more than powerful enough.
7. MindMeister (Free and Paid Version)
Did you know that mind maps are 30% more effective than linear documents when it comes to generating ideas?
MindMeister is a mind-mapping tool, and it’s a brilliant way to plan out content for people who love to inject some creativity into their planning process.
The free plan allows you to create up to three mind-maps, which should be enough for most businesses. However, if you have a team, or if you really want to get into creating mind maps, then you can upgrade to a paid plan. Below is an example of how we use MindMeister.
The Best Blogging Tools for Creating Blog Post Images…
Have you ever seen a blog post image and immediately known who wrote the blog at a glance?
This is definitely something we’ve managed to achieve throughout pop-art blog images (or so we’ve been told). And while we create a new blog post image for every single blog, there is a definite and distinct theme running through them all.
With over 4 million blogs published every day, and shared all over social media, you need a way to stand out from the crowd.
Creating an eye-catching image for every blog post is a great way to do this and to convey your unique brand personality in the process.
This might seem like a daunting process if you aren’t a graphic designer, but we use one great tool that is simple and effective.
8. Canva (Free and Paid Version)
You’ve probably heard of Canva, it’s got a bit of a love-hate relationship, especially among the graphic design community. We are definitely on the LOVE side for Canva, and it’s a tool we happily recommend to all our clients and MYMO members.
It’s much easier to use (and cheaper) than Photoshop. And it’s brilliant for creating consistent and beautiful images for your blog post.
The free version has tonnes of functionality and allows you to overlay text onto existing photos, or add graphics to your website.
There is also a paid-for version that offers a little more functionality and access to more images and graphics.
The Best Blogging Tools for Editing Your Blog Posts…
Ever hit publish and then realised there is a glaringly obvious, totally embarrassing error?
Oh no, you’ll never be able to show your face in public again😳
Not really, we’ve all been there. But it is a good idea to eliminate as many errors from your blogs as possible.
And we know the fear of errors is one thing that can hold people back from writing and publishing blog content -especially if they aren’t confident writers.
There are a couple of blogging tools that will help you write like you’ve got a team of editors and proofreaders on your team (well almost, they aren’t quite as good as trained humans).
9. Grammarly (Free and Paid Version)
Grammarly is an AI-powered tool that helps you write mistake-free content across loads of apps including Google Docs, Gmail, Facebook and Twiter.
Contrary to what the name would have you believe it’s about more than just grammar (although it certainly does help with that). It will also check spelling and punctuation, as well as ensure the content is clear and easy to read.
Basically, it’s an absolute life-saver if you are writing lots of content. It’s one of our favourite blogging tools!
And the best part is that it’s free, although you can upgrade to a premium version.
Yes, you‘ll still need to read over your work, as some slip-ups will bypass the super-smart AI. But it’s a quick and effective way to check your work for mistakes and make your writing better in seconds. Below, we’ve shown you an example of how it works using this blog post!
10. Power Thesaurus (Free)
If you’ve ever seen Friends then you might remember when Baby Kangaroo (a.k.a Joey) turned to a thesaurus to help him sound smarter.
And while running every single word through a thesaurus is not a good idea – it can certainly help.
Power Thesaurus is a free, community drive app that allows you to find synonyms or antonyms for over 80 million English language words.
Perfect for when your brain stops working after lunch and you just can’t think of a smart-sounding way to say nice.
Ps. amiable, charming and good-natured could all work.
The Best Blogging Tools for Optimising Your Blog Posts…
Despite what the latest marketing doomsday opinion piece will have you believe, Google is very much alive.
And paying homage to the Google Gods can really make or break the success of your blog.
You could craft the most informative, beautifully written blog post, and still have it flop if you don’t adhere to some of Google’s rules.
The algorithm is ever-changing, so appeasing the search engines is an ever-evolving task. We call this optimising content, and we’re taking what we’ve created and tweaked it to give it a better chance of being found online.
However, there are some blogging tools that remove the guesswork and help us adhere to the rules.
11. Yoast (Free and Paid Version – WordPress Blogging Tool Only)
Once you’ve written your blog it’s time to get it uploaded and hit publish.
Well, yes but there are some steps to take before hitting publish to make sure that everything SEO related is in ship-shape for Google (and other search engines).
Yoast is a WordPress specific plug-in that double-checks the soundness of your blog content, and give you practical suggestions for improvement, including:
- Readability improvement (ie. sentences are too long)
- Keyword distribution and density
- Text length
- As well as loads of other features…
It’s one of our favourite blogging tools. It’s great for issuing practical prompts and presenting them in a traffic light system. Perfect if you’re like us and like competing against the machines.
Ps. don’t worry if you can’t get all greens. It’s not always possible but it’s a good goal to have.
The basic version of Yoast is free, but you can also upgrade which gives you access to even more SEO based tools to improve your writing. It is a tool that every self-respecting blog writer should include in their repertoire. We’ve included an example below of how Yoast looks evaluating this blog post for the keyword ‘blogging tools’.
12. Tiny PNG (Free and Paid Version)
Have you ever tried to get on a website or a blog and it just takes forever to load?
Not only is it super frustrating (who has time to wait for a page to load).
But if people get tired of waiting and bounce off the page then this can negatively affect your Google stats. Which can cause them to rank you lower than they would if your website was super speedy.
One of the ways that you can stop this from happening is by compressing your images so that they take less time to load. You can use a free web-based app called Tiny PNG helps to compress the image size.
It’s a really simple thing that you can do to help improve your site speed and overall Google ranking.
This is us, showing you Tiny PNG by compressing this image of Tiny PNG (how meta!)
13. Pic Resize (Free)
Got the ideal image but it’s HUGE, or needing to be cropped down?
Having images that look good, and are appropriately sized for your blog is essential in making it look good.
And luckily Pic Resize helps you with just that. Allowing you to resize image dimensions, and crop out sections that are necessary quickly and easily.
Once you’ve done this you should still pop it through TinyPNG to compress the image size and make sure it loads.
The Best Blogging Tools to Make Your Blog Look Good…
While we’ve all been led to believe that looks don’t matter, that just isn’t the case for your blog posts (or websites in general).
Have you ever been on a website and left straight away because it’s a wall of text?
Of course, the content and what you are saying really matters, and there is no point in creating a beautiful blog with no substance.
However, creating a visually appealing blog post is arguably just as important as writing amazing content. And the last thing you want is for people to not read your super amazing blog because it doesn’t look good.
Getting people to click on your post and stay there requires a balance of content, SEO and visuals.
Especially when there are some really simple solutions…
15. Depositphotos (Paid)
We always recommend that you have professional images that you dot around your website and blog posts. This helps add personality and ensures people know what the person behind the site looks like.
However, we know that sometimes stock images are needed, and when that is the case we recommend Depositphotos. It’s a bank of royalty-free images, videos, vectors, illustrations, and music, that you can use on your website.
It is a paid tool (either on-demand or subscription-based), but we find that it’s much better quality than many of the free tools out there. And you can be confident that they are licensed to use for business.
Just be careful of those super cheesy stock photos. You know the ones, where everyone has a psychotic smile and are way too happy!
16. Death to Stock Photo (Paid)
Sick of cheesy stock images? Enter Death to Stock Photo. The clue is in the name really but this website provides the most amazing images that look, well, non-stock-photo-like!
There are no cheesy smiles or fake-happy looking people. Here’s an example of one of the images that came up when we typed in ‘office’.
17. Pixabay (Free)
If you’re on a budget, using a free stock image website like Pixabay can come to your rescue! They have literally millions of stock images you can choose from. And the best thing is, they are free. Although, it’s nice to ‘tip’ a cup of coffee sometimes to the photographers!
If you want to do even more than just create images, check out this blog post on how to make your blogs look good.
The Best Blogging Tools for Collecting Leads on Blog Posts…
Ultimately the aim of creating a blog post is to make sales. However, while we’d love for someone to pop on a blog page and buy straight away it’s not always realistic.
People need to come into contact with various touchpoints before they buy from you. And that’s why it’s important to drive people towards an email list so that you can stay in contact with them and nurture them towards the eventual sale.
We’ve recently launched our new SEO and blog management service, and this prompted us to look into who bought from us on launch, and whether they were already on our email list.
And guess what…they all were.
In fact, we found that:
- they were on our email list for at least 12 months before investing in our 1-2-1 services
- they are engaged, email subscribers (ie. they open, click or reply to emails)
So aiming to get people off your blog posts and onto an email list is a good one to have.
But how exactly do you do this? Well below is a good example using one of the tools we recommend. 😉
18. ScoreApp (Paid, with Free Trial)
One of the BEST ways of gaining leads from your blog post is by creating a quiz. Quizzes are fun, interactive and offer a ton of value. And our favourite quiz software has to be ScoreApp.
ScoreApp allows you to create beautiful quizzes easily. It’s so easy to create your quiz, and it comes with:
- Beautiful landing page designs
- Results page designs
- Personalised feedback depending on the results your audience gets
- Category scoring – so you can give people a score for different categories
19. OptinMonster (Paid)
OptinMonster is a very powerful, and intuitive lead generation tool that allows you to create beautiful and eye-catching opt-ins, pop-ups. Their ultimate goal is to help turn blog visitors into email subscribers.
You can integrate these into your blogs, and on other pages on your website to drive people towards your email list.
OptinMonster is a paid tool, however, the entry-level package is very affordable, and has all the essentials for building a lead generation campaign from your blogs.
20. Thrive Leads (Paid)
Another one that we love is Thrive Leads which focuses on driving uses from your blog onto your email list.
It allows you to create visually stunning opt-ins in the form of pop-ups, widgets, in-line forms, screen locks as well as others.
Thrive Leads is also a paid plugin, that you buy as a yearly subscription, however, it’s well worth it for those serious about making their blogs work for them.
The Best Blogging Tools for Measuring the Success of Blog Posts…
Before you kick things off with your blogging you need to know your starting point.
What pages or blog posts are the most read on your website?
Where do your visitors spend most of their time when on your website?
Knowing this is invaluable because it allows you to understand what is working, and more importantly what isn’t. From this, you can tweak and optimise your content to do more of what works. And if you’re struggling to see rankings, check out this blog post on why you’re not ranking in Google (and how to fix it).
So how do you measure your website traffic?
21. Google Analytics (Free)
Google Analytics is a brilliant free web analytics tool that helps you analyse your website traffic in pretty minute detail.
While the background workings are pretty technical (involving code, and tracking links), Google Analytics allows you to access easy-to-read reports that will give you insight into who has visited your website, how they found you, what content they consume and how they behave on your site.
If this sounds a little scary, then don’t worry Google has a free course to help you get started with Google Analytics. Below is a screenshot of our daily users from Google analytics. It’s good to know!
22. The Hoth Rank Checker (Free)
The Hoth Rank Checker is a free tool powered by Semrush that helps you identify your website’s top traffic driving keywords. Simply put, what are people typing into Google that is leading them to your website.
It’s a great way to figure out what is already working, and how to utilise these current top-performing keywords to boost you to page one.
Think of Hoth Rank Checker as a soft “quick-wins” identifier. It will still require some work to boost these rankings, but it’s a good place to start.
It’s completely free, and the same website can also give you access to other tools such as backlink checkers, and keywords planners – but the rank checker is our favourite.
23. Fat Rank Chrome Extension (Free)
Fat Rank Chrome Extension is as it sounds another Chrome extension tool to help with on-the-go keyword ranking research.
After installing the extension, simply visit a website and click the Fat Rank icon to find out where that website currently ranks in Google, and which page URLs are ranking.
Again it’s a great, free, way to figure out what pages and keywords your website is already ranking for and might help with some potential quick wins or areas to focus on.
Below is a screenshot of us using Fat Rank to determine where we’re ranking for the keyword ‘write blog post headline’. This shows us we’re number 12, so with some more tweaks to that blog post, we should be able to get to page one! Handy to know, right?
Does this sound like a little too much work?
Phew! That’s quite a lot of work and quite a lot of blogging tools to get your blogs in tip-top performing shape.
Loads of people think blogging is just banging out some words, uploading it to your website and hoping for the best.
But the reality is that in order to produce successful blogs, that actually drive traffic (and sales) there is a little more to it than that.
And while these blogging tools will help you shave hours off your blog writing sessions, they will still involve some time on your part.
If this all sounds like a little too much work then you might want to consider our SEO content writing and blog management service. It’s a full blog writing and SEO service, that could shave 10 hours off your to-do list every week.
Just think about what you could be doing with that time?
We take care of:
- Generating search-drive blog ideas
- Writing the blog content
- Keyword research
- Planning the content
- Creating blog images
- Edit the blog (using a professional proofreader)
- Optimising the blog
- Ensuring you can collect leads
- Measuring the success
- Uploading it to your website
Basically, everything that we’ve covered above is included in our SEO and blog management package.
Not sure if this service is right for you?
Don’t forget our free blogging tool!
Take our Blogging Superstar Quiz – a quiz that tests how well you’re doing in the 6 key areas that make a successful blog post to see if you’re all sorted or need some help.
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