The right blogging tools can make or break your blog-based business.
Over the last six years of growing my blog from zero to 400,000+ monthly readers, one critical thing I’ve learned is just how important it is to choose the right blogging tools from day one—and to also know when you’ve progressed enough and are ready to move on to the next level of tool.
When you employ the right tools for bloggers on your website (for the stage you’re in), it can literally save you hours of time that’d be otherwise spent on much more manual work.
Not only will these best blogging tools save you valuable time & effort, but they’ll also enable you to actually do things that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without investing in hiring your own team of marketers, writers, virtual assistants or software engineers.
From keyword research to competitor analysis, writing stronger headlines, email marketing, nailing your content outreach, scaling your social media promotion and much more—we’re breaking down all of the top blogging tools you need to be using on your blog today.
Now before you can fully benefit from implementing these tools with your blog, you’ll of course need to have started a blog in the first place. If you haven’t already done that, then head over to my step-by-step tutorial on starting a blog and pick back up here once you’re ready to go.
Without further delay, here are my picks for the top tools for bloggers to put into action today.
35 Best Blogging Tools for Better Marketing, SEO, Writing and Research in 2019
- Google Analytics
- Yoast SEO for WordPress
- Twinword Ideas
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
- Voila Norbert
- Ninja Outreach
- Inbox When Ready for Gmail
- Quuu and Quuu Promote
- Adobe Rush
- SEO Web Page Analyzer
- Nimbus Screenshot
- Adobe Photoshop
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend tools, products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind. When you purchase a tool using my one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep all of my in-depth content free of charge for readers.
Now before we dig into today’s roundup of blogging tools—if you’re totally new to blogging, I’ve put together the ultimate guide to getting started with your blog. Actually getting your blog online and well-optimized (with the right tools) is the first step to laying a foundation that’ll eventually attracts readers. And my 25,000 word guide to starting a blog will position you best for going on to bring thousands of readers to your blog in the near future.
If you haven’t yet gotten your blog off the ground yet, then head over to my ultimate guide to starting a blog.
Still Need to Start Your Blog First?
Check out my ultimate guide 10 Steps How to Start a Blog (on the Side) Today.
Ahrefs has more than earned its reputation as the best blogging tools when it comes to nailing your blog SEO strategies, with a special emphasis on keyword research & competitor analysis.
Having started out as just a backlink checker back in the day, many bloggers aren’t fully aware of how powerful Ahrefs has become as a blogging tool. Their most relevant features for bloggers, is that it quadruples as a content research and analysis juggernaut, keyword rank tracker (with historical SERP movements going as far back as when your blog began ranking for its first keyword), a competitor research tool and on-page SEO analyzer. I know, that's a lot.
New features still come along quite often and they're never released at the expense of their most loved features—they still boast the largest index of backlinks of any blogging tool in its class.
While their Keywords Explorer tool is my go-to these days, Ahrefs really earns its stripes as a backlink analysis tool. When conducting an analysis of either your own backlink profile or that of a competitor you're trying to learn from, you can choose to view columns like only new links, lost links, no follow, or do follow links. You also can group similar links, see just one link per domain or view links by platform. The flexibility lets you easily get to the bottom of your queries.
Here are a few of my daily searches on Ahrefs:
- Top Pages: This shows you a list of the highest traffic-grossing pages for the site you're analyzing
- Best by Links: This view ranks the pages of a site based on the number of backlinks it's received
- Content Explorer: Allows you to quickly generate blog post ideas that put the spotlight on trending topics in your space
- Competitor Research: This'll quickly show the keywords a competitor site ranks for (along with traffic estimates)
Keep in mind that traffic estimates are calculated based on a site’s organic ranking positions, their number of featured snippets, search carousels and everything else in between.
Since 2005, Google Analytics has been a (free) web analytics service built and offered by Google that allows blog and website owners to track and report on their website traffic. Today, it's just one of the blogging tools offered inside of the overall Google Marketing Platform brand, designed for marketers and advertisers to reach more readers.
In the screenshot above (from my own Google Analytics dashboard for this blog), you can see critical data points like how many readers come to my blog each month, the breakdown of new vs returning visitors, how many pages the average visitor views, how long they spend on a page, my blog's bounce rate—and so much more. Here's a step-by-step guide from Google on how to install Google Analytics on your blog.
To put it simply, MonsterInsights is a dead simple Google Analytics plugin for WordPress—that allows you to view your GA data directly within your WordPress dashboard.
This plugin makes our list of the best blogging tools because it allows you to easily connect your WordPress blog with your Google Analytics account (without hiring developer or writing any code yourself)—a task that can sometimes be a bit more complicated than most new bloggers bargain for, depending upon the WordPress theme you're using.
With the click of just a few buttons in MonsterInsights, you can set up relatively sophisticated event tracking, eCommerce tracking, form submissions and more features that'll help you better understand your blog readers as you grow.
4. Serp Robot
Serp Robot is a free Google rank checker that tracks the position of your blog’s articles for the keywords you input.
It’s forte is accurate rankings—hilarious when you consider that’s the only job of a rank tracker... but not as hilarious if you’ve ever tried using a rank tracking blogging tool.
Most rank trackers miss the mark, big time. Accurate tracking is key to understanding your blog’s health (as it relates to your ability to deliver organic search traffic), as a heavy decline could hint at a potential manual penalty from Google.
Quite possibly the most-installed WordPress plugin of all time (made by an independent company), Yoast SEO is indispensable amongst the best blogging tools.
Whether you're running a personal blog or working in marketing and SEO for a company that's put you in charge of managing their corporate blog, Yoast SEO is a powerful free plugin that's been designed to help make your blog as search engine-friendly as possible.
After installing the plugin, you'll immediately see the above mini-SEO dashboard at the bottom of every post on your blog once you're in editing mode. All you need to do is input your focus keyphrase (target keyword you want the article to rank for in organic search), and the plugin will give you a detailed analysis of how to write a better headline, meta description, alongside recommendations on the number of links your article should contain, the number of times your keyword phrase should be mentioned, article length and more.
If I had to go down to using just one of these blogging tools on my site today, I'd choose Yoast SEO.
BuzzSumo’s Content Research blogging tool generates a list of the most popular blog posts on a given topic—and you get to view pre-validated ideas for blog posts.
With Buzzsumo, you can also monitor your blog's mentions across the web as they happen in real-time. This makes them very useful amongst the best blogging tools specifically for marketers—since you can reach out to unlinked brand mentions and turn them into new links for your growing blog SEO strategy.
The question analyzer features the ability to search and lists out questions asked on a particular keyword phrase your readers may be searching for—which is important if you want to capture featured snippets.
Miss the old (free) Google Keyword Planner? Well, Twinword Ideas is the next best thing. It's a free keyword research tool you can use to learn which phrases you should create targeted content for (in order to bring more of the right readers to your blog from search engines).
Twinword Ideas—a free blogging tool from the team at Twinword—gathers keyword data directly from Google, making it more accurate than most other completely free keyword research tools out there today.
In addition to just the basic search function, you can view “Popular Topics” together with data that calculates how much SEO competition there will be on the topic—suggesting how difficult it'll be for your blog to rank high in organic search results. Unlike Google's original Keyword Planner tool (no longer a completely free resource) that gives a range of monthly search volumes, Twinword Ideas lists exact search volumes you can count on.
What I like about SimilarWeb is their ability to turn the often inscrutable numbers into easy-to-understand colorful graphics. Insights that might take hours to glean elsewhere when relying entirely on numbers, can be drawn pretty quickly with the graphic presentations on SimilarWeb.
The free version of SimilarWeb makes our list of top blogging tools because it lets you see everything that the paid account does—with the exception that your time range is restricted. With a free account, you can see a blog's website traffic analytics for the past 3 months. With a paid account, you can see detailed traffic reports for six months. It also displays worldwide traffic, broken down by country. There’s also a category rank showing your blog's popularity within it's niche.
You can analyze data on visitor locations, how much search traffic you're getting, referring sites, social traffic, keywords you're ranking for, paid advertising data and similar sites you're competing with today. Traffic figures should be taken with a grain of salt though. SimilarWeb tends to underestimate traffic count for sites averaging below 50,000 visitors a month, while often overestimating traffic for others.
For example on my blog, SimilarWeb estimates the monthly pageviews for May at 960,587.
The actual pageviews for May? Only 736,679.
Laser sharp accuracy isn’t the purpose of a blogging tool like this, though.
SimilarWeb doles out what Ahrefs doesn’t—helping you to visualize every channel that sends your blog traffic (and take action to learn how to write blog posts that'll repeat your successes).
CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer makes our list of top free blogging tools because it quickly checks your headline for balance, length, keywords, sentiment and scores it on a scale of 0 to 100.
Based on your first analysis, you can play with the wording, length and order of words to see if you can get a higher score. It's important to note though, that even a headline analyzer tool isn't always perfect—it wants headlines to conform to a template that might be best in ranking for some keyword phrases, but isn’t always a guaranteed best choice. That being said, it’s an excellent blogging tool for writers to get a feel for how their headlines will likely be perceived by readers.
The premise of this free blogging tool is deceptively simple—Hunter scrapes the Internet for email addresses, and allows you to enter a domain and see all of the emails associated with that company (that have made their way into the Hunter database). It's my go-to email finding tool today.
Whether you need the email address of a CEO, content manager or social media rep, Hunter's email finder feature will return either their exact email address or their best guess based on other company emails they've uncovered. What ups the ante with this blogging tool, is the bulk feature, where you can upload a list of domains or contacts, in order to find or verify contacts for a larger scale outreach campaign.
The free plan limits you to 100 searches a month (which is more than enough for implementing a thoughtful blog SEO strategy).
11. Voila Norbert
Voila Norbert’s remarkable in the way it's able to process even hundreds of raw CSV files, and feed you highly accurate contact information for your blog outreach campaigns.
Primarily build to become one of the top lead validation blogging tools, Voila Norbert also integrates with other tools like Drip and Pipedrive, making it particularly useful for sorting your leads and lining up campaigns to launch quickly.
12. Ninja Outreach
Ninja outreach is on this list of the best blogging tools because it's an all-in-one outreach tool that you can use to connect with influencers, pitch guest posts and build relationships with other bloggers in your niche—at scale.
Its primary function as a link prospector can be accessed within the Outreach section. Enter a topic to find the top blogs you should connect with, with several columns highlighting social stats, SEO metrics, traffic figures and contact info for the people you should get in touch with and email with your collaboration idea.
The features column even shows whether or not the target website is currently accepting guest posts—making this amazing amongst the top tools for bloggers who want to land more guest posts and attract high quality links as a part of their SEO strategy.
The stand-out feature that makes Clearbit one of the most useful blogging tools for content creators, is its awesome integration with Gmail. Once Clearbit is installed, you can click on a contact you're about to send an email to—and you'll get a mini widget with a short bio about the person, their website and company they work at.
It’s useful for not only personalizing your emails during an outreach campaign, but for also testing & validating whether or not a particular email address you have is accurate 😉
If you've been blogging for any amount of time, and have ever gone through the (hilarious) process of trying to copy & paste a blog post you wrote as a draft in a Google Doc—and get it loaded into WordPress, then you know how much of a nightmare the re-formatting will be. Wordable is one fo my favorite blogging tools because it's saved me literally hours of my life.
Once you've signed up for Wordable's free trial, you'll download their plugin and install it on your WordPress blog. Then, in literally one click, you'll be able to instantly export Google Docs into a WordPress post or page on your blog—without any formatting challenges. Seriously. It's incredible, and it'll even import images using the titles you've given the files originally within your Google Doc.
FocusMe has a special place on my list of the best blogging tools because of how much it, well... helps me stay focused when I need to get critical work done.
As a website and app blocker, FocusMe aspires to help you kill energy-draining multitasking and limit the amount of time you spend on distracting websites. Its promise of efficiency is set on the belief that setting a daily 2-hour curfew for a specific website or app can translate to 25% higher levels of productivity.
The makers of this special Chrome extension for Gmail realized just how obsessed we’ve become with emails today—and sought to rein in that obsession, so you can spend more time on the tasks that'll actually help grow your blog (rather than answering every single email as it comes in).
Once installed, the extension helps you batch process emails and minimize how long you spend on each email—by adding a "Show Inbox" button and alternatively a "Hide Inbox" button for when you're ready to either dive into email or hide your email inbox from sight. Personally, it helps me think twice about opening up my email inbox.
Another great feature is that you can still compose new emails while the inbox remains hidden, so you don’t have to worry about new emails popping up and stealing your attention. You can also assign a frequency limit on how many times you want to check your email in a day—plus allocate specific time limits for each email.
Marketing. Like it or not, recent blogging statistics illustrate that you’ve got to promote your content if you hope to build an engaged audience.
While I'll be the first to tell you stick with free email marketing tools like Mailchimp as you're just getting started—that won't be the best blogging tool for growing your email list in the long-term as your business scales and you can afford invest in blogging tools like ConvertKit that'll do more to create things like automations & sequences that can generate revenue from your email list while you sleep.
Your email subscribers are just a small step away from becoming paying customers of your online course, eBook or service offering. ConvertKit's functionality is designed specifically for bloggers, and is affordable (starting at $29/mo) for their jam-packed feature list including building your email list, making landing pages, setting up automated emails, messaging subscribers and templates to start with. They also integrate directly with WordPress and other top blogging tools, making it a crucial dashboard for an experienced blogger.
Sumo actually bundles together more than twenty different useful blogging tools into one single package. Here, I’ll talk about their three social media optimization tools.
We all know that posts with images get shared more, right? What if your blog visitors also want to share the images they find in your blog posts? That's easily done in just one click with Sumo’s Image Sharer tool. Beyond that, the Sumo Highlighter makes it easy for readers to share snippets they like from within a blog post by highlighting it (for other readers to notice) and tweet about it.
Sumo share is a slick, well-optimized set of social sharing buttons that you can embed within a blog post or along the side of your blog, so that readers are encouraged to spread the word about the content they like on your blog.
As any new blogger will know, building an email list is essential to eventually learning how to make money blogging.
OptinMonster lands on our list of the best blogging tools because of how effective it is at capturing the email addresses of your readers. It can be set up on any page of your blog (they have an incredibly easy-to-use WordPress plugin too) and their tools give you the ability to even A/B test different messages to learn the most effective ways to incentivize your readers to join your list or even complete a purchase.
The social sharing buttons I use on many pages of my blog are powered by AddThis—and best of all? This is a completely free blogging tool you can install in minutes.
Beyond just the social sharing widgets, they offer a suite of other blogging tools like the ability to populate follow buttons across your blog, link promotion tool bars that can direct readers to a specific page of your site, email list building popups and even related content bars that can be placed strategically within your content to keep readers moving on to the next article.
SocialSnap is a WordPress plugin that adds beautiful social share buttons on your blog, with more customization options and faster loading than anyone else on the market.
Unlike other blogging tools and plugins that add social buttons to your blog, SocialSnap is built to be lightning fast and won't slow down your page load speeds one bit—an important factor in your overall blog SEO strategy. Plus, their share buttons are available in multiple formats as a floating bar, sticky widget, above or below blog posts and even as pop-ups.
For how minimalist and straight forward this free WordPress plugin is, it's become one of the highest return blogging tools I've installed on my site.
It's as easy as it gets when it comes to embedding quick and easy tweetable quotes or content you want to encourage readers to share anywhere within your blog content.
As your blogging business grows, making and selling online courses will be a natural evolution along the path to monetizing your blog. Teachable has long been one of the easiest-to-use online course delivery platforms that can not only serve content to your students—but also collect payments on your behalf.
All you need to do is create your course content, design a sales page using their simple builder, and then connect Teachable to your PayPal or Stripe account—then you're ready to start selling courses to your readers. Check them out and sign up here to learn more.
Quuu users like me receive high-quality daily content recommendations from the niches you choose to share about on your social channels. You can then schedule this content to automatically publish on regular intervals throughout the day or week—keeping your audience engaged.
Much of the content you'll be sharing is courtesy of bloggers who’ve signed up to have their content vetted by Quuu’s Promote program. The payoff for using Quuu Promote is that you'll get access to a veritable traffic source that keeps giving for weeks to come. Every time I publish a new post on my blog, I submit it to Quuu Promote.
It’s a win-win for both stakeholders—both content curators and bloggers who want to drive traffic, get more shares and build a brand.
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (behind only their parent company Google)?
With many millions of people searching for answers to the pressing questions they have every single day on YouTube, that makes it one of the most useful blogging tools to help build your audience, attract more viewers who want to learn from you and grow your influence. In their push to increase the watch time users spend on YouTube, bloggers that publish longer-form videos that keep viewers engaged, will be rewarded with climbing the organic rankings.
26. Adobe Rush
Adobe Rush is the company's most recent video editing product—a pared down version of their immensely popular Premier editing software—geared toward helping bloggers and creators to shoot, edit and share online videos as quickly as possible.
Rush makes my list of the best blogging tools because I'm far from a professional video editor. It helps me to take the simple videos I record (like my tutorial on how to start a blog) and edit them into visually appealing content for my blog and YouTube channel in a matter of minutes.
Whether it's video or podcast transcriptions, captions to include with your YouTube videos, or even foreign subtitles on your content that starts to attract an international audience, Rev is my go-to destination for fast, high-quality services in this world—landing it squarely on my list of the best blogging tools.
Now, one of my favorite aspects of blogging—building high quality links and getting your content discovered by new audiences.
LinkMiner is an Google Chrome extension that identifies opportunities for you to build links to your blog content, by spotting broken links on the websites you're viewing. Once installed, LinkMiner will highlight all 404 errors (broken links), so that you can then contact the blog owner with a similar resource you've already created and ask for your link to be placed where that broken one previously was.
This blogging tool is a free SEO analyzer you can use to get actionable advice on improving the pages of your blog.
Just enter the URL of the page you want to analyze to get a free report. Based on the quick analysis, your page will get an overall SEO score, followed by a report with specific implementations you can quickly make to improve your page score and get it in better SEO shape.
From optimizing your images in order to keep page load speeds down, to designing high quality featured images for your blog posts, these are the essential image and video-related blogging tools you need to be using right now.
I discovered Loom just over a year ago and am completely blown away by not only its versatility as a (free) useful blogging tool for recording high quality screen-share tutorials, but at just how effective it is at also capturing direct to camera videos from my computer.
Loom's features also include the ability to quickly (and either privately or publicly) share the videos you record with just one click—pasting into your email, over Slack or otherwise. Colleagues or customers can even weigh in with comments on your videos, or you can export the videos and upload to a destination like YouTube.
This app for Mac lets you resize and compress images in just a couple of clicks, making it essential amongst blogging tools you'll want to employ as your traffic grows.
With Pichi, you can achieve up to 95% compression without any noticeable drop in your image quality. Images will upload quickly and as a result, the pages of your blog will load faster. Every additional second in page load time can drop conversions and conversely signal to Google that your content shouldn't be ranked as high in organic search results.
32. Adobe Photoshop
For truly unrestricted image editing and customization, Adobe Photoshop reigns king amongst blogging tools.
On the flip side though, it can be one of the most complex blogging tools to learn from scratch if you've never experienced it before—the incredibly wide range of customization options to edit and even create visual content means there's a steep learning curve.
Visme is a free online design blogging tool that lets bloggers create custom designs, blog images, infographics, social posts and more for your blog—all without having to learn a complex set of tools or skills.
After signing up, you’ll be able to choose from hundreds of templates to hit the ground running, and you'll be able to create visually appealing graphics in a matter of minutes.
Unsplash has a massive free stock photo library, making it a go-to amongst my favorite tools for bloggers.
Studies have shown that blog posts that feature an image every 75-100 words get double the shares compared to those that don’t have regular visuals embedded throughout. Their powerful search function isn’t the only way to look for pictures either—you can also browse collections sorted into familiar themes. Their library boasts a collection of 810,000+ photos from photographers across every walk of life. You won’t be disappointed in your search for the right blog images.
Trello is a collaboration and project management tool through and through. Sign up is super easy (and free with some slight limitations). From creating projects, to assigning team members to specific tasks and tracking the progress of a project, it's easy to get a visual view of how things are progressing on your blog.
Want to kick off a new blog post? Create a new card on your editorial board and assign the right team members to get started.
What’d I miss?
Are there any essential blogging tools I missed that should be added to the list?
Share with me in the comments below!