This is the list of all the best blogging tools that I use daily to help me do a better job.
I’ve tested hundreds of tools over the 10+ years of being a blogger and content creator. These are the blogging tools that I love and can recommend to all the beginners.
Most of them are free but I have also included three paid and premium tools I think are worth the money and that you should consider.
Let’s get started.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. This helps support my blog and allows me to continue making guides like this. If you click my link and make a purchase, I earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote products that I truly believe will be valuable to you.
Free tool for running a great blog
WordPress is what I use to host and run my blog. It is a free and open-source blogging platform built and maintained by a large community of passionate fans and developers.
WordPress is the primary operative system of the web as it powers more than 34% of all websites online.
Here’s my guide on how to install WordPress.
Paid tool. Beautiful WordPress design themes
Every blog needs an attractive design theme. The one that I use is a premium theme built by StudioPress. They seem to have a great balance between elegant, clean and light design but still beautiful and modern looking.
If you’re just starting out, you don’t necessarily need to look for a paid, premium theme. I recommend that you pick a free theme to start your blogging journey with.
I did the same and it took me more than a year to pay for a theme. Here’s a list of the most popular free WordPress themes.
A free plugin that extends the functionality of WordPress
Jetpack is one of the plugins that I use on my blog. It is a powerhouse of a plugin and has more than 40 different modules, including some great features to help secure WordPress. These are the features I have enabled:
- “Downtime monitoring” so I get an email if my domain name and server go down
- “Brute force attack prevention” for those that try and log in to my admin dashboard
- “WordPress.com login” and two-step authentication so I need to add a special code on top of my username and password
- “Auto-update plugins” I have activated
- “Contact form” that I use on my about page
- “Jetpack anti-spam” protection for my contact form
Jetpack is just one of the plugins I use but I don’t want to list them all in this post. See here for all the best WordPress plugins that I’ve used and can recommend.
Paid tool. Environmentally-friendly web host for your site
WordPress needs to be installed on a web server. This makes your site accessible to anyone from anywhere in the world. I use GreenGeeks as my host. Here’s why:
- They are specialized in WordPress
- They give a free domain name with a free SSL certificate
- They make it easy to maintain your site by doing automatic updates and automated backup
- They use fast hardware so your sites are very fast to load
- They are environmentally friendly and powered by renewable energy
Freemium tool that helps you write better content
Grammarly helps me find and fix typos and other spelling mistakes in my writing. It can also help you write more clear sentences as it looks at clarity too.
I’ve used their free version for many years and have on occasions upgraded to the paid product too. This blog post has been proofed using Grammarly before I’ve published it.
Freemium tool for managing your social media profiles
Buffer is a great and simple tool for posting content to social media. You can use it to post and/or schedule content to more than one of your profiles on more than one of the social media platforms at the same time.
I’ve been using their free version for years and it is perfect for a solo blogger.
Free tool created by Google to help you understand your Google traffic
Search Console is created by Google themselves and gives you a nice look into how Google sees your blog. Some of the insights it gives you are:
- How much traffic do you get from Google’s search results
- What keyword phrases you are ranking for
- What position in the search result pages are you
- What websites are linking to your content
- They even inform you of potential security issues you might have
Free tool to help you research topics to post about
Ubersuggest is great if you want to know what keywords and/or keyword phrases people type in and search for on Google.
It can help you understand what topics are more popular than others and can help you optimize your content strategy, your blog SEO and content you produce.
There are many premium SEO and keyword research tools, but Ubersuggest is a great and free starting point for any beginner blogger.
Freemium tools to help you create beautiful imagery
Canva is a great tool for creating beautiful and engaging images for your blog posts. Everything from the featured images, different tables and graphics to images optimized for social media.
The featured images you see on my blog posts have all been created on Canva.
Free place to find great images to use in your content
I prefer to use my own images in my content but if you don’t have nice photos, you can always use stock photography. Unsplash is like stock photography site on steroids.
It’s a great source of amazing imagery that photographers publish and allow others to use on their own sites for free. For both commercial and non-commercial purposes. You’re not even required to give any credit.
Free tool to help you resize and compress your image size
Images are great to have but they can dramatically impact the loading time of your blog.
And you don’t want to have a slow loading site. People are impatient and they would rather click on the back button than wait for too long.
Squoosh is a tool created by Google and it helps you resize, compress and in other ways optimize images before you upload them to your site.
This dramatically decreases the weight of the images and speeds up your site.
Here are some other ways you can speed up WordPress.
Free tool to analyze the speed and loading time of your site
PageSpeed Insights is another tool by Google and this one helps you test the speed of your site.
On top of your loading time score, it will also give you suggestions for things to fix and even give you optimized versions of your files.
Paid tool. Helps spread your content using social media
Quuu is a social media content curation service. You sign up and Quuu surfaces a lot of great and engaging content for you to share on your social media profiles
Quuu Promote is a useful service for bloggers. It helps you get more social media shares by introducing your content to these social media users who are looking for great content to post.
You pay per post you submit and your post will be listed in this curated content selection for 30 days and it will be visible to all the users who are looking for something great to share.
Freemium tool to check what gets shared online
BuzzSumo is a great content research tool. It monitors and tracks the social media buzz online so you can identify and understand topics that get the most social media chatter.
Knowing content that’s being shared a lot is a great source of ideas for blog posts to write and post headlines to consider and experiment with.
It’s a great tool for doing outreach too. On top of knowing what’s the most shared content in your industry, you can also see influencers in that industry and the people who have shared that content in the past.
Freemium tool to help you keep up to date
RSS is not dead. And it’s still one of the best ways to be updated and consume content on your own terms without distractions and advertising.
Feedly is one of the best RSS readers. I subscribe to many feeds and keep an eye on my favorite blogs, some of the competing blogs in my industry and I even get alerts on new mentions of my site and new links to my site.
It’s a great and quick way to stay up to date.
Freemium tool to help you run your email newsletter
It’s important for you to retain some of your first-time visitors to make them come back and become loyal fans. The most efficient way of doing this is to get them to sign up to your mailing list.
MailChimp is a great starting point for building your database and running your mailing list.