The basic blogging toolkit every business owner needs
Content marketing is a big deal, and it’s essential to have the right tools to do it well. I’ve spent the past year researching and testing these tools, and I’ve rounded up a list of the best tools for blogging, so you don’t have to! This list will help you get started with content marketing, write better blog posts, and efficiently manage your content production and workflow.
Digital marketing and online tools and products are a multibillion-dollar industry, and finding and picking the right tools to support your blogging workflow can be overwhelming. Finding the perfect system and marriage of tools can be challenging
Please note this post contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you.
Best SEO research tools for blogging
Search Engine Optimization research is the process of investigating what factors affect search rankings. To rank highly in Google, you must understand the ranking factors to optimize your content thoroughly.
Many paid and free tools are available for SEO research, such as Moz’s Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty tool (both of which also have free versions). Using tools like Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) or Screaming Frog SEO Spider would be best to check how well your site is optimized from an on-page perspective.
Keysearch is a keyword research tool that helps you find keywords for your content. It’s completely free and pretty easy to use. It’s a great beginner SEO research tool and provides an adequate report on specific blog post keyword research. I’ve found that Keysearch is excellent for doing search queries to produce outlines for a particular blog article I’m working on and if I’m looking for additional long tail keywords to add to one specific blog post.
As you begin typing in what you want to write about, Keysearch will give you suggestions based on the words or phrases it thinks will be popular with readers. Then, when you click on those suggestions, Keysearch shows you some helpful information about them: how many searches are done each month, the number of people looking for these terms, what sites rank highly for those searches, which websites get more traffic because they have relevant content, and how competitive the market is and how many other people are trying to rank well for this term.
Ahrefs is another tool that helps you research your competitors; compared to Keysearch, Ahrefs is a more robust SEO tool. It can help you find backlinks to websites, providing insight into their content strategy. It’s also good for finding keywords that rank well in the SERPs. I found Ahrefs to be excellent for doing bulk SEO research, as it’s a very powerful tool for scouring the web for top-ranking keywords and pages for your specific industry based on your competitive landscape. Ahrefs also provides excellent reports and deeper insight into web pages and keywords that you may overlook or haven’t thought of. In short, Ahrefs is a great tool to invest in for collecting SEO research for an extended period, where you can utilize the data collected as a starting point to develop your content production.
Ahrefs has a $99/month and an enterprise-level custom plan ($99K+). The former will let you start immediately and includes some cool features. At the same time, the latter is ideal if you have multiple employees using Ahrefs across various projects.
In terms of SEO research, I often use Keysearch and Ahrefs together to get creative ideas for content throughout all my content platforms. Utilizing the SEO tools available will simplify creating content ideas because it’s no longer a guessing game. You have the data to understand your content decisions, saving time and wasted effort on creating content that doesn’t serve your business.
Best brainstorming content tools for business blogging
In my opinion, next to writing or creating a piece of content, brainstorming is the most fun when it comes to blogging for your business. However, sometimes your creativity may run out, sparks don’t fly, and you need help coming up with ideas that complement your research. Writer’s block can be a real bummer so investing in support tools for your blogging is an excellent investment.
Writing AI tools have become extremely popular over the last several years. At first, I was extremely wary of them since I couldn’t imagine an AI tool replacing a human being writing content. However, my opinions have changed after giving these a try; they’ve helped a lot with the blogging process. I would highly recommend incorporating an AI writing tool to help simplify the process of creating outlines for your blog content.
Copy ai is a tool that helps you generate content ideas, find inspiration for your blog posts, and find the keywords for your post. The tool will show you sample articles about the keyword you’ve chosen, giving you options to change those samples or create something entirely new based on them. I found that for creating blog outlines and social media short-form content, Copy ai has many options to choose from. However, their long-form blog post feature (Blog Wizard) is still in its beta mode and is not yet super sophisticated to create polished pieces of content; you’ll still need to edit and polish the content pieces before making complete drafts of your blog posts. However, it saves immense time developing and brainstorming outlines for your articles.
I’m not as familiar with using Jasper ai, but based on my research of the tool, Jasper is definitely made for long-form blog posts and email marketing templates. Jasper ai is a content marketing tool that helps you identify what your audience wants to read about, but it also has some other neat features. For example, Jasper’s algorithm can tell how likely someone is to share an article by analyzing their past shares and likes on Facebook. This can help you decide whether or not your particular piece of writing will be shared enough for it to be worth publishing on LinkedIn or Medium—or whatever other platform(s) you have in mind.
The most important thing about Jasper is that it’s simple! When creating an account with this tool, there aren’t any complicated steps required; instead, all you need is the URL of your website (or blog post), a name for your group of publications (which shouldn’t take long at all), and then voila! You’re ready for action!
Jasper ai, and Copy ai have compelling features that ease your blogging workflow. Both offer comparable prices, with Copy ai offering a free plan, and Jasper ai does not. Depending on how much you invest in your content writing, utilizing AI technology is worthwhile in the long run.
Best grammar and spelling tools for blogging
Grammar and spelling come with writing blog posts, and having a digital assistant help make your writing sound more polished is a plus. My only recommendation besides investing in an editing tool is to read out loud when doing your edits. This is the best method to catch run-on sentences, split infinitives, unnecessary consonants and anything that make your sentences and writing, in general, hard to read.
If you’re a blogger or content writer, Grammarly is an excellent tool to use. It’s free and will check your posts’ spelling and grammar for errors. While Grammarly can’t catch everything (for example, it doesn’t know what the word “caught” means), it does catch many mistakes that most people don’t notice until much later—like misplaced commas or incorrect verb tenses. And if your goal is to write well-written sentences with correct punctuation and fewer typos.
Besides checking for spelling errors, Grammarly Premium also offers plagiarism detection. If someone else has written something similar to what you have written before, it will show up with a red flag next to it so that you can avoid accidentally duplicating someone else’s work.
Best tools for images and media for your business blog
If you’re looking for free image and media tools, these are my favourite options. I recommend creating your photography and video media. However, sometimes you can utilize stock imagery and editing to create unique images that suit your blogging needs, saving you much time with content creation. It also forces you to get extra creative with utilizing these media pieces and slice and edit them into your unique imagery and look. I’ve gotten extra crafty with combining these tools to support my blogging workflow. It has saved me loads of time, so I can focus on providing quality written content with media to add an accent to the blog articles. I haven’t felt pressured to create extensive shot lists since I’ve adjusted my creative content workflow.
Canva is super popular and well-known and probably doesn’t need much of an introduction for its premium features. It’s a design tool that makes it easy to create beautiful designs for social media, websites and print. The Canva library has over 1 million images, graphics and templates, which lets you create infographics and presentations using templates, so it’s perfect if you want something quick and straightforward.
Canva has a range of tools, including image editing, collage making, a drag-and-drop interface & more! All these tools are available within the tool itself – you don’t have to search for different sites or apps to use before you start creating with Canva.
Unsplash is a website that offers a massive library of high-quality stock photos. The photos are free to use, but you can donate money to support the site.
Unsplash has been around for years and is my favourite media tool for blogging. It’s an excellent resource for finding royalty-free images, meaning they don’t cost anything.
Using Unsplash and Canva together has helped immensely and shaved off many hours with images and media content to support my blogging. I now reserve high-quality images for cornerstone blog content that serves my business.
Best tools for blogging project management and workflow
With blogging comes many different responsibilities, from research to production, editing, and posting schedule; keeping track and maintaining an effective workflow is crucial to a productive content management system.
Notion is a tool for creating and organizing your ideas, information, and to-dos in one place. It’s a powerful, flexible tool that helps you work smarter, faster, and more effectively. Notion is a tool that’s great for individuals who are writers. As a blogger, we have plenty of documents and articles to write. With Notion, I was able to streamline my entire content writing and production system from research, outlines, drafts, editing, and polishing my articles to be ready for posting. Gone are the days when I used google docs and folders to organize my posts. I often forget where I placed the file or what I named the document. Notion provides an excellent database organizer where you can customize the entire space to your preference. It’s given me visibility to content I would otherwise miss if it wasn’t in front of me on the database.
The only downside was that there was quite a learning curve before I fully grasped Notion’s power. There was also a lot of research and trial and error done to create a custom content production system on Notion that worked.
If you’re not into customizing a database and enjoy spreadsheets, Airtable is perfect for you. Airtable is a standard digital spreadsheet that helps you manage your projects. You can use it to organize content marketing, blogging, and social media tasks in one place. In Airtable, you can create separate tables for each aspect of content creation and promotion. Airtable is super easy to use and helps keep your detailed information organized and in place.
The only downside of Airtable is that certain upgrades with functionality require some experience with excel formulas, which, if you’re unfamiliar, can be pretty challenging to master.
Using Notion and Airtable together has helped streamline different aspects of my business; however, for my blogging project management and workflow, Notion is the clear winner with its database organization, writing tool capabilities and customization options. It helps me stay creative without losing track of creative ideas.
Invest in the right blogging tools to grow your business
There are a lot of quality content marketing tools out there, but I’ve narrowed the list down to my favourites. These are the best ones for helping you build better blog posts and social media content, so you can be sure that your readers will love what you’re putting out there.
Book a call to find out how we can help you with your content marketing goals.