All bloggers want to get the most out of their blogs. That is a given. The sad fact is that not every blogger knows how to do this.
This is where the problem starts, especially since one of the most important things about blogging is to use it as a marketing tool that achieves maximum results in the least possible amount of time and effort.
That said, I took the time to interview 8 of the blogging pros and asked them as to what are the many different tools they use and would recommend.
After all, what better way is there to know how to make the most out of your marketing efforts than by learning from the pros?
26 Awesome Blogging Tools Loved By The Pros
I. Daniel Sharkov
Daniel Sharkov Reviewzntips.com
1. Favorite Wordpress plugin to increase blog engagement:
Lately I’ve been using a plugin called FeedWeb. The idea is simple. FeedWeb allows readers to vote articles (from 1 to 5) and optionally to answer yes/no questions. In the end you get a fairly accurate data about what content your audience wants to see more of and which topics you are better off not covering.
2. Favorite tool to improve your blog loading time:
I’ve been using MaxCDN for a few months now and I am quite happy both with the service and the customer support. But, what is a CDN? The abbreviation stands for content delivery network and it serves as a mediator between your host’s servers and your blog’s visitors. A CDN basically shortens the distance between the two using local-level servers.
3. Who are you hosted with:
My blog currently runs on Hostgator. As of now I haven’t had any downtime, however occasionally I do see slower server response times. I’d give them a 7/10.
II. Julie DeNeen
Julie DeNeen fabulousblogging.com
4. Favorite tools for creating awesome images:
Most of my images are a combination of Photoshop, PicMonkey, and Canva. It really depends on what I'm doing. But it's not uncommon for me to pull something from PicMonkey, add it to a canva graphic, and then bring it into Photoshop so I can add effects to the custom fonts I'm using. For images, I go to PhotoPin.
5. Favorite tool for creating color combinations:
Color combinations are really based on whatever site I'm working on in the moment. That said, I love Design-Seeds for ideas of palettes. I can get overwhelmed on the color wheel, so using design seeds helps to narrow down my choices.
6. Favorite place for downloading fonts:
Fonts. Gah. They are my downfall! LOL I do a lot of searching on Pinterest, but at the end of the day -- I use Google search (when I know the name of the font I want). If I don't, I usually browse MyFonts or DaFonts for ideas.
III. Brian Dean
Brian Dean backlinko.com
7. Favorite tool for curating awesome content:
Google. For the most part, Google ranks the best content somewhere on the first or second page.
8. Recommended tool for keyword research:
Probably SEMRush. Just a great platform that gives you keywords that are tough to find using the Google Keyword Planner.
9. Favorite tool for getting high quality backlinks:
Definitely old school email. It's a time consuming pain in the butt, but it works :D
IV. Ian Cleary
Ian Clearly razorsocial.com
10. Favorite tool to increase blog conversion rate:
I love Optinmonster. It's a popup that is only displayed when a user is exiting the site. As soon as the user moves their mouse outside of the main window it's likely they are planning to exit so this pops up. I love it because it achieves more conversion than my other optin options on the site.
11. Favorite tool to find and analyze your competitors:
I really like SEMRush as I can see what are the main keywords competitors get traffic on. This is really useful as I can write content around those keywords to take some of my competitors traffic!
12. Most-used tool to boost your social media shares:
I use Flare social sharing plugin. I can put sharing at the top of my blog posts and also have a vertical sharing bar, which is always visible as visitors scroll. This really helps improve the sharing.
V. Lindsay Ostrom
Lindsay Ostrom Pinchofyum.com
13. Type of camera you use to take high-quality photos:
I use a Canon 6D with a 50mm/1.4 lens.
14. Favorite place to look for Wordpress themes:
We hired a designer to custom design the site, so we didn't actually shop for or purchase a specific theme, but when we first started I used Thesis because it was really easy to adapt, even for a non-technologically gifted person like myself.
15. Favorite tool to boost Pinterest traffic:
Even though Pinterest is Pinch of Yum's number one traffic source, I actually rarely use Pinterest myself - my readers are really great about pinning the recipes they like and I see lots of growth from their activity pinning my recipes. I think just a basic pin it button or a hover over pin it button (we just switched to this) can really help keep readers thinking about getting the content saved and shared on Pinterest. We also use Viral Tag to schedule out pins in advance so the content is fresh without bombarding our followers with a million pins all at once.
VI. Mike Allton
Mike Allton thesocialmediahat.com
16. Most-used tool for social media management:
My most-used tool for social media management is easily HootSuite. I've written and talked about it extensively because of it's tremendous power and flexibility. Beyond just being able to post and schedule activity, I use HootSuite to monitor all of my social profiles, as well as listen for conversations and discussions taking place that I may want to jump into.
17. Favorite RSS reader:
For RSS feed reading, I use both Feedly and HootSuite. I enjoy using Feedly for those feeds where I am either monitoring the feed for breaking news (industry feeds), or am subscribing to a feed that I want to regularly read myself. HootSuite, on the other hand, has a great app that lets me bring feeds into my dashboard supplying content I may want to share to my social profiles and with my readers and followers. Some of these feeds I bring into Feedly as well, and some are different.
18. Favorite tool to organize your blogging schedule:
My blog publishing schedule is currently somewhat fluid since I write so frequently about breaking news and developments, but the tool that I use the most for blogging in general is Evernote. I compose and organize all of my posts there, and have notes in place to help me organize finished posts to be published, as well as map out articles that I need to write on various topics.
VII. Aaron Lee
Aaron Lee from AskAaronLee.com
19. Top 2 favorites to manage your 400k Twitter followers:
I love Social Engage. I've used their platform for years and they never fail me once. There are days where my twitter stream can get a little busy from the constant sharing of news that I do.
What I like about Social engage is that it allows me to only see 'replies' from people who has responded to me on twitter. That way I am able to respond to nearly everyone that has responded to me. This keeps me personal and approachable on twitter.
What I also like about Social Engage is the history feature where I can look back at conversations of people whom I previously talk to.
My second favorite tool is Flipboard. I use this tool to tweet news most of the time. What not many people know is you can actually load twitter lists into onto Flipboard to manage your twitter stream.You can read news and tweets from your followers based on the twitter lists, retweet and even respond to them there without actually using any other twitter app.
20. New favorite tool for social media management that anyone haven't heard of:
This is a tough one as I don't use many social media management platforms other than Social Engage and Post Planner. One I really like is Commun.it. This platform helps me build and nurture relationships my twitter followers. What I like is it helps me to keep track with my most important followers and rank them according to supporters and influencers.
This is important as I can continue to build relationship with important followers of mine. I believe this platform doesn't get the credit it deserves. Definitely one I would recommend.
VIII. Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick pegfitzpatrick.com
21. Favorite cloud storage provider:
I use Dropbox.
22. Favorite place to download stock photos:
I use Big Stock Photos for my personal blog and 12 Most as well as some social media posting.
23. Most-used tools to track your blog performance:
IV. Pauline Cabrera
Pauline Cabrera twelveskip.com
And of course..I feel like sharing my favorites too!
24. Favorite plugin for social media sharing:
I love SumoMe! See those sleek social sharing buttons floating on the left? And those "social buttons" when you hover over the images within this post? Those are some cool social sharing tools from SumoMe. It free, and it works for WordPress and non-WordPress users.
25. Favorite email opt-in form:
I am currently using Aweber. What I love the most about it is I can customize the design just the way I want it.
26. Favorite domain name registrar:
I used to love Dreamhost until I found Namecheap. Superb customer service, flexible features, fast, neat control panel and most of all, cheap. I believe they normally charge around C$12/year but you can always get a discount on your first year. Go to namecheapcoupons.com for promo codes.
Learning from the best is one of the most efficient ways of learning. After all, there is a huge chance that they know where you’re coming from and what you have done so far in terms of marketing efforts. They know how hard it is to look for prospects, build lists, build trust, build brand awareness, and so on and so forth. Put it simply, they USED TO BE LIKE YOU.
Now that they have become successful in their own rights, learning from them is the best way for you to avoid making the same mistakes as they did.
Armed with such valuable knowledge, it’s up to YOU now as to how you will make use of what you have learned to make yourself a successful blogger in your own right.
What about you? What are your top favorite tools for blogging?