Want to know the best blogging tools that every new blogger should have? These are the tested and approved blogging resources you need to know about.
Starting a blog is extremely exciting, and if you’re anything like me, you are doing all the research to make sure that you are using the best blogging tools out there. As a blogger myself, I am giving you the top blogging tools I have used and swear by.
You are going to learn about the essential blogging tools you need including what platform to use, hosting services to use, SEO tools, and more.
After learning all about these blogging tools, you are going to know exactly which blogging tools to use and be prepared to start your blogging journey.
This post is all about the best blogging tools that every new blogger should know about.
Best Blogging Tools
The best blogging platform to use is WordPress. Don’t be tempted to use Wix or SquareSpace for your blog. Those platforms might be fine if someone just wants a business-card website for their business, but I wouldn’t choose either for a blog.
If you start with a platform like Wix or SquareSpace and some day you decide you want to hire a developer to take your blog to the next level, they will move you to WordPress, which will be a pain if you are on a platform like Wix.
The SEO tool Ahrefs did a study of 6.4 million WordPress and Wix websites respectively and found that WordPress websites get 49 times more organic traffic and had domain ratings that were 3 times higher compared to Wix.
In addition, With WordPress, you will have access to more than 80,000 plugins and themes.
Note: I don’t recommend grabbing and installing WP before setting up hosting. Most hosting platforms include WP installation as part of their plans. I’ve created step-by-step instructions here that will walk you through exactly how to install WordPress using my favorite hosting platform.
2. Google Domains
If you’re going to create a website, you need a domain. My favorite place to buy domains is Google Domains.
First of all, it is so easy to use. Their domains are inexpensive without sacrificing the quality. I’m confident it will soon become your favorite domain registrar, too.
They are significantly less expensive when compared to other domain registrars. I also prefer to purchase my domains separately from my hosting services to make it easier to switch hosting services if necessary.
Here’s the thing, if you have a blog that you plan to monetize, you need to self-host it. This just means that you are buying your own domain and choosing hosting services for it on your own versus having a website that is hosted by WordPress.
Think of a WordPress hosting service a lot like you would think of the street where you decide to build a house. You want a street that’s safe and where you aren’t going to run into problems (loud noises, crime, etc.).
Choosing a host is very similar — a good hosting service will ensure that your wesbsite is secure, that your website is fast, and that you have good uptime (your website doesn’t go down very much and for very long).
If you aren’t techy and you want to make sure you have a good hosting service, but you don’t want to have to worry about your hosting service, then go with FlyWheel.
With FlyWheel, your blog will be lightning fast and secure. Plus, their platform is very user-friendly, they automatically backup your website, and they have amazing customer service.
They cost a little more than some other services, but it’s still very reasonable ($15 per month). It is sooo worth it.
Learn how to buy FlyWheel hosting services and install WordPress with this tutorial.
4. The Divi Theme by Elegant Themes
I love the Divi Theme! The Divi Theme Builder by Elegant Themes is a visual page builder, which works like a drag-and-drop editor. This makes it possible to customize your blog in so many ways without needing to know a line of code.
And it makes it possible for any novice to have a professional-looking blog. In fact, with the Divi Theme, you have no excuse to not have a beautiful blog that also functions in the way you want it to.
A lot of people may be tempted to use a platform like Wix or SquareSpace because of the ease of use. Using a page builder like Divi should remove that temptation.
When you sign up for the Divi Theme, they give you hundreds of beautiful free pre-made layouts you can use in your blog. These will make it look like you spent hours or paid thousands to have a beautiful website.
The Divi Theme costs $89 per year, which comes out to less than $8 per month. You also have the option to get Lifetime Access for one fee of $249 per month.
Pro-Tip: If you decide you love Divi as much as I do, and you want that Lifetime access, hold off on purchasing it until Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Divi typically has a massive discount on its lifetime access for a couple of weeks during the holiday season.
5. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is a WordPress plugin that makes SEO optimizing each blog post a breeze. It provides a spot in the backend of each blog post where you can enter all of what is known as the Meta Data: the Focus Keyword (the main keyword you are targeting in your post), the Meta Description, and the SEO Title.
It also tracks how often your focus keyword is used, the word count of your blog post, how many internal links are used, and other factors that ensure that your blog post is SEO optimized.
It will also do an SEO analysis of each blog post to let you know if it is meeting all of the requirements needed for the post to rank in search results. It will also detect problems to fix or improvements to make. I have used this tool for years, and I find it indispensable. You will, too!
You can add it to your website by simply going to the plugin section of your website.
There is a premium version, but the free version will likely give you all that you need. I currently use the free version.
Ubersuggest is not my favorite SEO tool, but it is my favorite tool for beginning bloggers. The problem with the SEO tools that I would prefer to use such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz is that they are all at least $100 per month. That is too much to spend on keyword research when you are first starting out.
Ubersuggest allows three free searches per day, but I’ve also discovered that if you go to Keyword Lists >> Add Keywords, it will allow you to add up to 30 keywords, and give you all the basic data you need.
If you want the paid version to have access to unlimited searches, it’s $29 per month. I am personally getting by right now just using the free version.
Ubersuggest is also owned by one of my favorite SEO experts (Neil Patel), and he is always making improvements to the tool. This is definitely not a lesser tool, it just doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a SEMRush quite yet.
That being said, it is very user-friendly.
7. Keywords Everywhere
Keywords Everywhere is another great SEO tool for beginning bloggers. For only $10, you get 100,000 searches. (It will take you a long time to use that up.)
Keywords Everywhere is actually a Chrome Extension. It also works on Firefox.
It is super simple to use: every time you enter a search term, it gives you all your keyword research data right on the search engine results page right in Google.
And you get a ton of data including search volume, the SEO difficulty of the keyword, keyword trends, “people also search for” data, related keywords, and long-tail keywords.
At first, I didn’t understand the point of Keywords Everywhere since you can only search one keyword at a time, but I have really grown to love this tool. My favorite part is that every time I want to check out a new keyword idea that I don’t have to go log into a separate tool. I get a ton of information right in Google.
It also works on YouTube, if that’s a platform you plan on using at some point in your blogging journey.
You can also quickly toggle it “on” and “off” for times that you don’t want to use up your credits.
One of the factors that can hinder your credibility with your audience is if your copy is full of typos and grammatical errors.
Grammarly is an app that also has a Chrome Extension. Once installed, it will highlight errors in your copy whether you are writing a post on your blog, on a Google Doc, in an email, and just about everywhere.
My favorite part about Grammarly is that it gives the option to accept or reject the changes it suggests with a quick click of the button.
I am a professional writer, and I still find Grammarly an indispensable tool.
There is a paid version that is $12 per month that I believe will do a more in-depth analysis of your writing, but I’ve never used it. That being said, if you are nervous about writing, you may find that helpful.
9. Hemingway Editor
I just discovered this tool this year, but I absolutely love it. The Hemingway Editor will help you clean up your writing by identifying complex sentences, passive voice, unnecessary adverbs, and suggesting simpler alternatives to complex words.
It also helps you identify the Grade Level of your copy. This is important because most people read at about a seventh-grade reading level. The suggestions that Hemingway makes will help with bringing the reading level down if it is too high.
This pairs nicely with Grammarly, and like Grammarly, this is a tool that will give you peace of mind by giving you confidence knowing that you are publishing clean and readable copy.
10. Perfecting Blogging
After you start your blog set up using my free How to Start a Blog Step-by-Step Tutorial, I highly recommend taking Perfecting Blogging.
In 2017, then-college student Sophia Lee decided that she wanted to provide tips and resources for other would-be college students who were figuring out the exciting but also nerve-wracking reality of leaving home for the first time. She decided to create a blog for that exact purpose called BySophiaLee.com.
She also hoped that the blog would give her some additional money to pay for college tuition. In 2020, she had over 500K monthly page views. By May 2021, she was making more than $75,000 per month from her blog.
In the Perfecting Blogging course, Sophia will walk you through the exact strategy she used to create a successful blog. This includes how to plan which posts to write based on SEO research, the right time to publish each post, how to optimize a post, how to insert affiliate links into posts, and more.
At the end of the course, you will have a content calendar planned out and you will be ready to start publishing.
This course costs $139, which is actually quite reasonable for the in-depth instruction you receive. You will be glad you made the investment.
Note: I do not recommend the Perfecting Pinterest course that can be purchased with the Perfecting Blogging course as a bundle. Unfortunately, the strategy she taught in that course is now considered outdated. At the time she created the course, these strategies were fine, but one of the problems is that social media platforms are constantly updating and changing their rules. So what was acceptable a year ago may not be acceptable now.
Blogging strategies tend to be more evergreen. While Google is updating its algorithm regularly, the principles are still largely the same that they were 5-10 years ago: publish good content and make sure your website is user-friendly.
I do plan to create my own blogging course at some point, but until then, I wholeheartedly recommend the Perfecting Blogging course.
My favorite tool for organizing and managing my content calendar is Asana. I may decide to upgrade to the paid version at some point, but right now I am managing all of my content using the free version.
Asana is a Project Management tool. While I like to use Google Sheets when I am first planning my content, once I have that all figured out, I like to put it in Asana to manage my content calendar.
Asana gives you multiple helpful views to see your Blog Content Plan. This is how I like to use it to manage my content:
- First, I add each piece of content as a task with subtasks. (I am able to upload my Google Sheet directly so that I don’t have to manually enter each task.)
- I then tag each piece of content according to the category it falls under, which it does with a simple color-coding system.
- I then add a due date to the task, which will add the task to the Calendar view.
- From there, my Content Calendar is ready to go!
Here are some of my favorite features/capabilities that I use and love:
- If I decide I want to publish a blog post at a different time than initially planned, I go into the Calendar View and simply drag and drop it to the new date.
- I add any attachments that I need right into the task. (This can include images or any other documents.
- I use the notes/description section to plan out the overall outline of my post and add related keywords.
- Asana integrates seamlessly with Google Drive, so I am able to link right to the blogpost in Drive.
12. Plug and Law
This is not the most fun part of blogging, but it is necessary.
If you are planning to monetize your blog, collect email addresses (which you should do), and/or use affiliate links, you will need to add some basic legal pages. (Google Adsense will not approve you for ads without these pages.)
This is one of the aspects of blogging I just don’t want to have to worry about, which is why I was so happy when I discovered Plug and Law.
Plug and Law is owned and operated by a real attorney, who will make sure that all of your legal documents are up to date. I highly recommend the Legal Bundle.
This post was all about the best blogging tools every new blogger should know about. I am confident that you will love each of these tools as much as I do, and they will get you started on the right foot.
As usual, if you have any questions, please reach out here or drop a comment below.