Hey blog fam! We recently did some changes to our website and thought we would share some of awesome I deas for speed optimization, productivity, and expert blogging tools for 2020.
When it comes to blogging essential tools and resources there are certainly a large number to choose from when you do an internet search.
There are a ton websites recommending these tools. The below list is for all new bloggers and even bloggers who may want to make some changes to improve your website.
Having recently changed web hosts the Blogtips.uk site has seen an instant benefit in the area of website load time.
If you’ve been looking for solid tips to step up your blog game, then keep reading.
This post will answer the question “what are blogging tools” and share how you can use these tools to improve your website/blog.
We promise anyone using these tools will find them to be easy to use and a great way to add enhancements to their blog and create a fantastic user experience for their readers.
We will be looking at some specific blogging categories, and the different tools we use and recommend here at blogtips.uk
Lets get it!
Expert Blogging Tools For 2020
This first recommendation is really not so much a tool but a suggestion. Blogging is like any other venture.
In order for you to have success you need to have the right mindset about the whole thing.
Related Post: How To Start A Blog
Success requires a us to put out just about everything we have inside of us and it demands it upfront. Yep you gotta pay it in advance to see the fruit of all your hard work.
If you strive to be a pro athlete, successful fortune 500 CEO, or even a local business person In your community, it requires a high level of commitment.
The work involved in achieving a higher level of success will require you to go above and beyond.
In the online world of blogging you will have a huge to do list. Researching content, writing content, setting up your website, and even maintaining your site.
All this while keeping a positive mindset. The thing about blogging for me was none of my family or friends really understood when I tried to lay out my great plan to be a digital nomad.
They didn’t discourage me but when i would attempt to explain blogging and how it works it didn’t seem to click for them.
If you’ve been finding it a bit difficult to get people to understand how blogging works don’t sweat it that’s just how it is in the beginning.
Basically as bloggers we are all alone on this journey.
Family and friends may not fully understand what your doing and the nature of this business is sitting in front of a computer slapping away at our keyboards all alone.
Here’s the thing, when you’ve cranked out that epic blog post, did extra promoting because you know this post is going viral, and two weeks goes by with low engagements on your article-
This can be frustrating! to say the least.
Maybe you’ve been running a pretty good campaign on social media and you loose a major amount of your following because your account is labeld as spam and gets closed.
That actually happened on one of our social media accounts a few months ago!
Speaking on this I can tell you that it may be possible that much of your efforts in the beginning may seem like your on a road to know where.
Not very many visitors to your site, or low engagements with your articles you will be asking yourself is all this even worth it?
This is where you need to have a conversation with your star player. That will be YOU!
Having goals in your business is critical. In these times you can reflect on your goals, talk about why you started your blog in the first place, and remind your self of what’s on the other side of your journey.
Once you pick your self up and get back from whatever emotional trip you checked out to, know this!
Others have been where you are, and managed to move to not just making it, but they have become extremely mega successful doing just what your starting out to do, Blogging!
Get your mind right, set your goals, and commit to making this happen!
Expert Blogging Tools For Beginners
- Domain registration
- Web Hosting
- Platform CMS
- Optimized theme
- Research tools
- Writing and productivity
- Promo tools
Disclosure: As a bloggers some of the resources we mention in this post we are affiliates for. This means if you click to purchase thru one of these links we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
What is a domain? Simply put a domain is a name of a website or webpage. Domains are pretty easy to come by now a days.
If you have an inspiring idea for your website name you can go to NameCheap and purchase your domain.
I have been buying domains over the last four years. I like to buy my domain separate from the hosting provider. This part of blogging you have a choice.
Some hosting companies will include or sell you a domain with there service, or you can do like I did and buy your domain separate then easily transfer it where ever it needs to go.
NameCheap domains start at $8.88 per year for a .com domain name extension.
Its your call, but if you have an idea for your website name you can go over to NameCheap and claim it now!
Lets talk web hosting. There are several good hosting companies out there.
You will definitely want to make sure that you choose a solid service.
Your hosting plan will impact the user experience by providing a slow website that your visitors will leave as quick as they landed on your page.
Or you can deliver a great experience with a fast hosting plan that allows visitors to view your website and not be delayed in finding answers to the questions they may have.
One of the recent changes I made was switching my hosting plan to SiteGround.
Reading review after review and doing some basic research I decided to give them a chance and see what type of impact it would have on my site.
I am so glad that I made the switch because I have been able to increase my blog load time significantly.
My user experience can improve and Google will be able to note the site speed improvements.
Yes google is always looking to provide the user with the best quality results in the search.
A website that is well optimized can potentially rank higher in SERP’s.
Running a self hosted WordPress blog has some expenses. Hosting is an expense that you don’t have to go over board on but don’t go the cheap way either.
SiteGround hosting is definitely affordable and a great option to go with.
Your monthly investment will be less than $0.50 cents a day or you can pay on an annual basis and see huge discounts starting at $3.95 per month.
How do I Start Blogging
Choose a Hosting Plan
SiteGround has three plans choose from. Just starting out you can select the StartUp plan. If your needs change over time you can always upgrade to the next plan up.
- The StartUp plan is perfect for people with one website that are starting now.
- The GrowBig plan is a great value for money offer, including the option for multiple websites and the SuperCacher that greatly improves website speed.
- The GoGeek plan is perfect for people with e-commerce and larger sites, or more geeky development needs like more server resources and GIT integration.
What does CMS mean? Stands for content management system. CMS is a system designed to manage the content of one’s website. ie: images, data, and other files. “The choice of the proper CMS can have a big impact on the success of a website”
There are a number of platforms you can use to build your website.
We will be doing a review of different companies to choose from in the future. Today in this post we will recommend starting a self hosted WordPress website.
Why choose WordPress.org
- You own your website
- Great support
- Ability to monetize multiple streams of income
- Easy to learn platform
- Flexible and easy to change the look of your website
- Over 50,000 plugins makes it easy to add functionality
- Mobile responsive
- You don’t have to be a pro developer to use
- WordPress is a leader powering more than 35% of the web
- Expert tools for developers
- Media library to enhance the look of your website with images
- Template based (themes) to design your website
- Built with SEO in mind
- A community of developers and users you will learn from
The look of your website is very important. This is your virtual identity to the world wide web.
Your website tells us who you are, what you represent, and even though its been said we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, WE DO!
Not always in a negative way but we just make our minds up when we see an Instagram profile or youtube video.
Saying all that I have gone through different website looks and changes so I will recommend a couple of themes that are popular and well optimized.
Remember find a theme that you like and will want to design for your brand, but more important than the look is the efficiency of the theme.
A mix of a great looking theme and well optimized theme is your goal here!
A great looking well optimized paid theme is ISABELLE. Head over to Bluchic now and check out ISABELLE and a few others.
A great theme that has a free option and a premium (paid) option is Astra
We currently use the free option of Astra on two of our websites. This site is an Astra designed site with Elementor page builder.
A page builder is an additional way to add design elements to your site.
Elementor is also a premium tool that offers a free option.
As a page builder Elementor is a good option for anyone looking to add some ‘awesomeness’ to their website experience.
Using this combo package: free version of Astra and free version of Elementor is great for anyone new to building a website.
Download Elementor here
Expert Blogging Research Tools
Keyword Research Tool
Google trends is a good tool to use to see what keywords are being searched all over the web.
Getting ready to write your next blog post, checking with Google trends will give you lots of great ideas.
Ubersuggest is a great place to start for keyword research. You can learn different metrics needed to formulate ideas for your next article.
This tool has a free version which gives you access to search volume, difficulty scores,
and you can even see your competitors who rank high in search and learn exactly what keywords they use in there articles.
Also MOZ, which has a limited plan that’s free for keyword research is a great tool you may want to consider using in your process.
The subscription service to MOZ will be worth it, but if your looking to keep cost down stick with the free plan.
They allow 10 keyword searches per month and you can come up with tons of keywords. Make sure to plan out your searches so you can get the most results when using your 10 free searches.
The more tools the better. For a newer website to rank on Google and beat out the competition its necessary to use the best tools possible.
Writing and Productivity Blogging Tools
So call me old school but I like a pin and a notepad. I usually come up with ideas and jot them down on a piece of paper.
I come up with different ideas and start building my outline, then write my article in Evernote.
This is a great tool that you can use to take notes, and write all your content.
After coming up with a rough draft transfer the article to your WordPress blog and put the finishing touches on it.
A good writer needs a good grammar check program.
Grammarly is well known with bloggers and one tool you must have to ensure your readers have a great experience with your content.
If you ask most bloggers about collecting emails they may say they wish they’d started building their email list sooner.
I know I’m one of them. I didn’t understand the power of having an email list for a blogger, or online entrepreneur.
To get on the right path and building your email list you can try MailerLite. They offer a free service up to 1,000 emails collected, and you can send up to 12,000 emails a month for free.
After exhausting the free option you can switch to a paid plan and keep on collecting.
Get MailerLite (Free)
Blogging Promotion Tools
Tailwind is a must have tool for you. The ability to schedule social media posts is a huge game changer.
Saving you time to devote to other business and blogging tasks, you will want to get this tool immediately.
Using Tailwind, the service is free and will allow you to pin your first 100 images to Pinterest.
With the below link you will also be given a free 30 day trial to get familiar with this scheduling tool.
Social Sharing Icons
Make your content readily available. By using social sharing icons your readers can help spread the word about their favorite blogger.
One social share plugin that works well is Social Warfare. Its filled with many options and will give your readers the means to spread the word.
This is a necessary plugin you will want to add. A word of caution- before adding plugins you want to check compatibility with your theme.
When adding plugins its important to consider there impact on your website.
Plugins can cause bloat to your site which will cause your website load time to suffer.
Other facts to know about plugins is that poorly coded plugins can lead to website security issues.
To avoid plugin complications take time to research a plugin you wish to use and verify its track record.
The social warfare plugin is lightweight and should not be a concern for website speed.
When downloading the plugin you have the option to stick with its free version that will work well for bloggers. There is a paid version that offers more functionality and more options.
In the online world of Google one thing is certain. To rank your website in SERP’s it will be necessary to learn all you can about SEO.
What is SEO? It Stands for Search Engine Optimization, and there are different factors that go along with SEO.
With SEO you are optimizing your content and website to appeal to readers and Google. There are a number of things we can do to optimize our content.
When writing we do suggest writing your content for humans, satisfying there queries.
SEO is a full topic worth reading and learning about. We have written a detailed post that will shed light on the subject. That you can access in the link directly below.
Related Reading: SEO For New Bloggers
Some basics of SEO are having a mobile friendly and responsive website, full load times under 2-3 seconds, using keywords to write your content, and a good website structure.
According to 2018 research by Google 53% of your mobile visitors will abandon your website if your page load time is more than 3 seconds.
SEO falls in to a few categories:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
To help with your on-page SEO you can download a plugin called Yoast.
The yoast SEO plugin can be used as a guide to write your articles following SEO techniques.
Proper SEO will increase your chances of having your content discovered in SERP’s ranked.
This plugin comes in a free version which has enough options for bloggers.
Expert blogging tools for 2020 must haves for graphic design. This was an area I struggled with for a while.
I have ZERO like really ZeeeRooo skills when it comes to graphic design. If it wasn’t for services like PicMonkey or Canva I would be forced to hire a graphic designer.
When you are starting out online we recommend keeping expenses down to a minimum.
If you are able to avoid the cost of a graphic designer then go for it.
As your brand grows and you begin making money create a marketing budget that includes a graphic designer and take your website to the next level.
Using graphics and images on your website will enhance the user experience.
Its been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Regarding your website this is certainly true.
Editing your images can be easily done with an online software called Canva.
Even for someone who has little knowledge of graphic design Canva is a great tool. You will be guided with templates that are properly sized and ready for your editing.
Canva like most of the tools we’ve discussed comes as either a premium service with all features included.
You can also use the free version which offers quite a package as a free option. We still use the free option to this day for some of the images we edit.
With PicMonkey you have access to thousands of templates, graphics, fonts, and other design elements.
You will learn the software pretty quickly and before you know it you’ll be designing your website logo, and editing photos for your social media.
Getting to know PicMonkey is easy with there free trial offer. Give PicMonkey a try if your really serious about crushing the look of your brand.
Speaking of images, it’s important to use an image optimization plugin to help with technical SEO.
When you add images to your website they need to be properly sized and compressed so they do not slow down your website.
A free plugin that works great for this is SMUSH. The SMUSH plugin is by the WPMU DEV team.
They perform routine updates to the plugin and keep it secure for users.
We strongly recommend downloading and using this plugin to optimize your images.
Starting out with blogging requires a winning mindset. We suggest building relationships with other bloggers in your niche.
Reaching out to other bloggers is important because you learn from others experiences.
Gather insight from bloggers who have built there websites into a successful online business.
You will find many bloggers willing to share there expertise and know how- we have built a few good online relationships that have helped in our journey.
Now over to you
Im curious? Do you have some recommendations that you didn’t see covered here?
What are blogging tools you use to build your website? Leave a comment below, it would be great to hear from you.
Wherever you are on your blogging journey, you can take some of these expert blogging tools for 2020 to explode and run your successful blog.
If you have questions about how to start a blog or website reach out to us by email.
We love to hear from our firstname.lastname@example.org