I first started blogging 7 years ago. There were not anywhere near as many content creating tools available then as there are now. Dozens of different platforms compete for our attention. For someone who is starting on their journey now, it can be confusing. What is the best platform to publish on? How do I share my content? What do I use to make sure my content is optimised? These are only a few of the questions today’s budding content makers are facing.
In truth, choosing the right tools for you doesn’t have to be hard. I tested quite a few before I settled on the combination of tools I use now. I wanted to share them with you because they are simple to use and have free versions that are not time-limited. And that, for a new, growing business, I know is very important.
5 Tools You Need To Write Blogs With Confidence
Collecting and tracking ideas
I have Asana on my smartphone as well as the browser version. I often get content topic ideas out of the blue. I have tried the “I’ll remember it later” technique that failed me miserably. I also tried to capture ideas in notebooks and in the notes function in my phone. The results were also disappointing. The notebook got used for something else. That left me having to scour through pages and pages of handwritten stuff to find my ideas. Technology failed me when my phone died unexpectedly and took all my notes with it.
Asana is a cloud-based project management system that lets me store my ideas online. That means I can access them from anywhere on any device that can connect to the internet. I will never lose another amazing, world-changing idea again. Ever.
Storing your template and writing your content
Google Docs is another great example of how cloud storage makes life easy and less stressful. As long as you can sign into your Google account, you can also access your Google Docs. I have one specifically dedicated to my business content. The template you can see and download from my Resources page lives in my Google Docs.
Google Docs has come a long way. It’s not as packed with functions and tools as MS Word but it does a great job regardless. You don’t need a massive toolbox to write a great blog.
It’s easy to share from it as well if you want another set of eyes on your writing. It’s also easy to add comments and feedback into the document.
What I also love about it is that, unlike MS Word, you don’t have to worry about the version you have. If you created a document in Google Docs, it will open in the app and keep the previous formatting.
Acing your grammar and your spelling
I converted from the MS Office suite spellcheck function to Grammarly about a year ago. I have never looked back. I use it in my browser for everything. Even when I work on captioning videos. It slows down the process a little but I am less likely to overlook a spelling or grammar error by mistake.
Publishing your blog on WordPress.com or WordPress.org
Both are excellent platforms for blogs and they have their pros and cons. I’ll discuss those in another article.
I chose WordPress.org because I wanted added functionalities WordPress.com blogs don’t have. The blog publishing functionality is pretty much the same on both. I like it for the ease it affords me. If I weren’t the techie person I am, I would still be able to wrangle either version of WordPress. It’s not difficult to make your article look polished and well formatted.
One of the major differences between the two is the use of plug-ins. WordPress.org doesn’t allow the addition of third-party plug-ins apart from a specific selection. They do not come with the free version. You have to upgrade to a paid level to utilise them.
Optimising your blog with SEO
Yoast SEO is my weapon of choice for keeping my website optimised. This plug-in works on the .org and .com versions of WordPress. I use the free version and find it excellent value.
There is a great amount of support material to learn how it works. The plug-in is packed with amazing actionable tips to optimise your content. The traffic light set up especially appeals to my slightly obsessive-compulsive nature. I look at it as a challenge to turn all the spots to green.
This plug-in is easy to install and set up. Another tool that I am a little in love with.
Now that you have look at these tools, why not jump right in start writing. Here is a video and a downloadable outline template to get you started.