So you’ve started your blog. Congratulations! Maybe you want to make a living with it, or maybe you just want to share impressions from your latest vacation with friends and family. Either way, there are many ways you can make your blog look awesome and professional. Julia Vashneva, Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services, recommends tools that are essential for anyone who wants to launch a blog.
Spellcheck is nice, but it is not always correct. Depending on your blogging platform (Blogger, WordPress, etc.), you might not have a spellchecking function at all. And even if you think your writing and grammar are on par with the educated world, readers will notice everything that isn’t perfect. In this case, I recommend Grammarly. Grammarly is a free plugin, which is designed for practical writing. It automatically checks all of your writing for both common and advanced errors and then offers suggestions on how to fix them.
2. Image Dictionary
You should have the source where you can get good-looking images for free. We live in a visual society, and when people read online, they expect to see colors and graphics. If you go for the first things you find on Google, you’ll run the risk of uploading them illegally. The good news is that there are sites out there that can help! Morgue File and the Wikimedia Commons are two places where you can download stock photos for free without secure permission of the photographer.
3. Calendar or Planner
People like regularly updated blogs. Frequent updates mean a bigger and more devoted readership, which means publicity and success for your blog. Most experts recommend updating your blog at least three or four times a week – but if you don’t plan your posts ahead of time, you’ll run out of ideas! Some bloggers prefer traditional pen-and-paper calendars while others are fine making spreadsheets on the computer. Either way, make sure you can space out all of your writing for the next few weeks so that you won’t run low on content!
4. Keyword Researcher
Keywords, SEO, and tags can sound like mumbo-jumbo to new bloggers, but learning them can catapult your blog to the top of search engine results. The core idea behind SEO (search engine optimization) is picking out which words people will search for if they’re looking for your blog. For example, this article would have keywords like “blogging,” “blog optimization”, etc. It’s a good idea to have these words repeated in your articles so that search engines can find them more easily. While most blog platforms include ways to input your own keywords, tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can show how many people look for your keywords on a daily basis, so you can find the most popular ones.
Again with the tech side of things, analytic tools like Google Analytics will tell you how many people visited your blog today, or last week, or whatever. It also shows how readers found your site and what search terms are the most popular, you can also learn which posts are getting the most attention. While analytics are pretty typical on blogging platforms today, make sure you understand all functions of this tool so that you can track your readership and learn what makes your blog stand out.
Blogging can be your great hobby and profitable profession, but running a blog, indeed, requires a lot of efforts. From the experience of Semalt, right tools will largely reduce your trial-and-error learning time so you will much easier go straight to the top.