Are you having a hard time coming up with ideas to blog about? I did at first and still do on occasion. Now there are all kinds of free tools to help you brainstorm about ideas and also see which topics are trending. Obviously it makes more sense for you to blog about trending topics in your niche since you want eyeballs – and lots of them – reading your blog. Don’t even think about blogging unless you use these five blogging tools.
Blogging Tool #1: Quick Sprout
To start, simply enter your URL or your competitor’s URL here. You’ll see a report that looks like this:
When you click on the “social media tab,” you’ll see a table that shows all the pages on any given domain and sorts them by social shares. This is useful because if you want to see what blog posts are working well for your competition, just put in their URLs into the tool. The table will show you their popular posts.
By analyzing your competition with the Quick Sprout tool, you’ll gain insights into what is working for your competitors and the type of content you should be producing on your blog.
Blogging Tool #2: Buzzsumo
It isn’t easy to come up with topics to write about. Luckily, Buzzsumo helps with the task.
All you have to do is visit Buzzsumo and type in a keyword related to your industry. For this example, let’s use the phrase “content marketing.”
Buzzsumo crawls the web for blog posts and indexes them all like Google. Buzzsumo then sorts the results by social shares and shows the posts with the highest share count at the top.
You will see what type of content has done well in the past. You can then come up with article ideas based on the list.
For example, one of the most shared titles was “An Internet Marketing Education in 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails. No Charge.” You could easily use this to write a blog post of your own and change the title to “Get Your MBA in Internet Marketing with these 16 Ebooks and 20 Emails.”
Blogging Tool #3: Open Site Explorer
Do you want more search traffic?
Open Site Explorer is a useful tool because it sorts all the URLs within a domain by backlinks. And as you know, the more backlinks a website has, the more search traffic it will typically receive.
This helps you understand which of your blog posts are delivering the most backlinks. You should be writing more posts like those.
The tool also shows you the-most-linked-to posts on your competitors’ blogs. See what is working for them, and try to replicate that on your blog. When you do this, don’t copy your competitor. The goal is to one up them and create a better blog post. This way, you can email all the people that link to your competitor and ask them to also link to your post.
Blogging Tool #4: Emails
The best traffic source for practically any blog is email. You want to make sure you have all types of opt-ins on your blog to make it easy for people to add themselves to your mailing list.
As a general rule of thumb, you will want to notify your list of each blog post you release. But if you release more than three posts a week, you should consider a weekly blast to avoid flooding people’s inboxes and angering them.
Blogging Tool #5: Simply Measured
Simply Measured is a social media analytics platform and I like them because they have a handful of really cool, free social media analytics tools.
You can put in your social media handle in one of them, and the tool will tell you the best times for you to send a tweet or share a post on Facebook.
Their reports will break down data such as:
- Words and phrases your users want to see in social media posts.
- Time of day they use these social media platforms. This way you know when to post.
- Top users that follow you and the times when they log in.
The reason you want to use these tools is because you don’t want to tweet at 8 a.m. when all of your followers are on Twitter at 4 p.m.
Blogging doesn’t have to be hard. There are a ton of free blogging tools out there that can help you generate ideas and increase your readership.