50 Tools That Pro Bloggers Can’t Afford To Ignore

blogging tools“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

Over the last decade or so, blogging has undergone a steady transition from a hobbyist activity into a full-blown job. An increasing number of bloggers have realized that there is both money and reputation up for grabs if they get it right. In turn, the development community has responded to this rise in user interest by coming up with smart tools and applications that help them achieve more with less effort. Here are a few such tools. Get them and get ahead.

  1. Inbound Writer is an intelligent tool that uses predictive analysis to forecast the performance of content before it is written. It uses a data-driven approach to end guesswork, save time and cut content production costs while simultaneous driving a higher amount of traffic to your blog or website.
  2. Outbrain is a content discovery platform that helps bloggers showcase their most interesting and engaging content. A mobile-ready responsive module automatically generates content recommendations based on the rules that you set and sends traffic where you need it most.
  3. Chartbeat is a beautiful, real-time analytics tool for bloggers and publishers. How many visitors are on your website right now? How many are engaging with the content? Which traffic sources drive the most traffic? Which stories or blog posts are performing the best? Stop wondering and start knowing.
  4. Portent Title Maker is a simple tool that helps you come up with stellar headlines for your blog posts. All you need to do is just enter your idea and the tool with come up with many unique and eye-grabbing variations incorporating your idea that you can then build upon to write your post.
  5. Egg Timer is the simplest time management tool on the planet. Research says that we can only function with our full attention on one task for about 40 minutes before needing a break. You can set up the Egg Timer for any duration of time and it will let you know with a pop-up and a buzz when the time is up.
  6. CommentLuv Pro is an advanced commenting system that adds a host of additional features to your blog such as social sharing rewards, do-follow control, click stats, automatic updates, anti-bot defense, human spam defense, Twitter integration, and much more.
  7. OptinMonster is a pop-up and lead generation plugin for WordPress that helps you acquire subscribers and customer leads, which would have otherwise just been lost. It comes with an easy to use optin form designer and some really amazing features such as user and page level targeting, A/B testing, analytics, and exit-intent technology.
  8. Genesis is a popular framework for WordPress that provides a solid foundation for your WordPress-based blog or website. It essentially acts as a parent theme and comes with a host of features that enhance the functionality of a standard WordPress installation such as better security, search engine optimization, more widget and layout options, cleaner code, and more.
  9. Visme is a simple, drag-and-drop, presentation and data visualization software that’s completely online and free to use. Individuals, businesses and educators with little to no design knowledge seem to love it as they have over 200,000 active users utilizing it to communicate better in form of interactive Presentations, Infographics and forms of digital content.
  10. Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule helps you write captivating headlines that your audience will share by suggesting small changes. Some headline types get more traction than others for social shares, traffic, and search engine ranking. The right amount of words—and characters—can make all the difference in how your audience reads your headlines.
  11. Stay Focused app for Chrome helps cut all the usual distractions that keep us from getting the work done, whether that is browsing Facebook or checking the trending topics on Twitter. There’s also a “nuclear option” which will block all websites for any number of hours that you specify.
  12. Easel.ly is a theme-based web app that allows bloggers to create infographics and data visualizations without the cost, time and skill that usually goes into making them. Using a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can easily edit, change and customize any object on your Canvas.
  13. Google Trends is a handy tool that helps users gauge the search interest of specific search terms over time. You can pit multiple search terms against each other and see which one is hotter right now, break them down by geographic locations and even see a forecast of expected interest in the near future.
  14. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. You can use it to search media assets such as images, audio and video for your blog that you can change, adapt, build upon and use commercially for free.
  15. Google Analytics turns some people off because it seems complicated when you get started, but it is the single best free tool available that helps publishers understand their traffic, promote lead generation, and increase ad revenues. You just need to invest some learning time to wield its true power.
  16. HootSuite is a feature-rich social media dashboard that allows bloggers and publishers to take control of their social media assets and manage it all from one place. It gives you the ability to schedule messages for future publishing, add multiple team members, and analyze the performance of your campaigns.
  17. Bit.ly is an analytics-driven link shortening tool that allows you to own, understand and activate your best audience. You can get branded short links, analyze the click performance of these links, segment your audience, set goals, and then deliver targeted content to users based on their past interaction.
  18. Dlvr.it monitors your RSS enabled websites and automatically pushes content to social networks when it’s published. Next, it helps you queue interesting content to be shared via a browser extension. And last but not the least; it promotes your content by pushing it on search, social, mobile and local media.
  19. Scribe is a content optimization software that helps you improve the final quality of the content that you produce. Scribe helps you with language selection and keyword analysis, suggests tweaks for better search performance, and opens opportunities for guest writing, strategic alliances and link building.
  20. UserTesting simplifies user testing by having real people go through your blog or website and provide their opinion, which is recorded as comments and user videos for you to review. If you’ve just set up your blog or website, this is a great tool to identify potential blind spots that may be turning users off.
  21. Todoist is a free to-do list and task manager that helps you achieve more in your work and your daily life by letting you manage your tasks anywhere across 13 platforms and devices. Access your tasks anywhere, collaborate on tasks and much more with this beautifully designed app.
  22. LastPass remembers all your logins and passwords so you don’t have to. This is especially useful for bloggers who have so many online accounts. All you need to do is install a browser extension, and then it automatically saves new passwords as you go and fills in the data on the login page when you open it.
  23. Optimizely’s solutions for online publishers offer A/B and multivariate testing tools. Optimizely’s visual editor enables the easy creation and discovery of optimal combinations of content placement, size, headlines, images, and more. Easily define and achieve any goals, from higher click-through rates, longer site visits, to downloads, or boosts in engagement.
  24. Buffer is a social media management tool, perhaps the best one out there, that lets users share content that they discover on their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn profiles and Facebook pages. You can keep adding content to Buffer and it will automatically share it at the most suitable times.
  25. BuzzStream is a web-based software that eliminates the time-sucking parts of link building so you can focus on more important aspects of your blogging operation. Apart from this BuzzStream also takes the task of managing influencers off your plate so you can build better relationships with minimal effort.
  26. Dropbox is still one of the best online storage tools available on the internet. The free version offers 16 GB of storage. Put your stuff in Dropbox and get to it from your computers, phones, or tablets. Edit docs, automatically add photos, and show off videos from anywhere. It’s highly secure to boot.
  27. Evernote is a mobile-ready online workspace including a full-feature writing environment, a note taking application, and a presentation tool. There’s also a search feature that lets you find anything in your account. You can install a browser extension to save ideas and clippings from the web.
  28. Toggl is a simple time-tracking tool that allows you to track what you’re spending your time on by assigning activity tags to it. As a blogger, you could use it to increase your productivity by tracking how much time you’re spending on research, writing, and marketing of your content.
  29. ZenWriter is a minimalist writing app for Windows that helps you focus on your writing by getting everything else out-of-the-way. If you’re looking for a similar app for Mac, give WriteRoom a shot.
  30. Pocket is a bookmarking app that streamlines the way you consume information. Put articles, videos or pretty much anything into Pocket. Save directly from your browser or from apps like Twitter, Flipboard, Pulse and Zite. If it’s in Pocket, it’s on your phone, tablet or computer—ready to view. If you’re looking for an alternative, check out Instapaper.
  31. Share As Image is a web tool that helps convert plain text into rich visual content, which typically gets shared more on social networks. Once you’ve installed it, all you need to do is highlight a piece of text and then create an image by using a WYSIWYG editor. You can also create visuals from scratch.
  32. Skitch is a desktop screen grab app that allows you to take screenshots, edit them, annotate them, and add quick sketches to communicate visually and get your ideas across to someone. This saves the hassle of using the print screen function and using a time-consuming photo editor to accomplish the same. If you’re looking for alternatives, check out Awesome Screenshot, Fireshot, and Pixlr Grabber.
  33. Social Oomph makes you a smarter information sharer by adding a whole range of additional functionality to your social media accounts. Schedule social updates, track keywords, automate following and unfollowing, discover interesting people to follow, and much more.
  34. IFTTT is a service that lets you connect and automate tasks with one simple statement. You can set a “trigger” that completes a specified “action”—these statements are called “recipes”. For a simple example, you could create a recipe for posting a tweet automatically when you publish a post. Zapier is similar service but it has even more apps to choose from.
  35. Diigo is a knowledge management tool that works as a cure for information overload. It helps you read more effectively with digital highlighters, build your personal knowledge library, archive information which can be accessed from both PC and mobile, and share information with others to collaborate.
  36. Zemanta is a blogging tool that helps you enrich your content by analyzing it and suggesting related media such as images (it has a library of over 10 million), tags, linked, and related articles. There are plugins available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and WordPress that work seamlessly with your content.
  37. PollDaddy is a great app if you’re looking for a quick and simple way to gain reader feedback. Its survey editor is highly customizable, feature-rich and lets you create embeddable survey forms that you can post on your blog or website. The free version offers real-time reporting.
  38. Ping-O-Matic is a service to update different specialized search engines such as NewsGator, Blogdigger, Google Blog Search, Collecta, Spinn3r, Superfeedr, Blo.gs, Weblogalot and more that your blog has been updated—so you don’t have to individually go and submit your links to each place. This is another great site to use.
  39. SEO Book is a website that lists a range of both free and paid SEO tools sorted under various categories such as free Firefox extensions, free web-based SEO tools, premium Firefox extensions, premium web-based SEO tools, and additional tools. It also has links to tutorials and other helpful resources that should be of great use for bloggers.
  40. Feedburner is a web feed management service that allows bloggers, podcast and other web-based publishers to take an RSS feed and more functionality to it such as email subscription for users, advertising monetization, traffic analysis, click analysis, and more.
  41. BlogJet is a desktop-based blog editor and manager that offers the convenience and speed of a native application, and the ability to write posts offline. It supports most common blogging platforms such as WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type, Squarespace, Drupal, and more. If you’re looking for alternatives, try Windows Live Writer.
  42. Embed responsibly helps build responsive embed codes for embedding rich third-party media into responsive web pages. You can generate responsive embed codes from many sources such as YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Google Maps, Instagram, Vine, Getty Images, and more.
  43. Defcomb is a mobile-ready app that helps you narrow down your content sources so that you only get the information you’re looking for. There are a lot of news sources embeddable survey forms that you can post on your blog or website. The free version offers real-time reporting.
  44. Workflowy is an organizational tool app that works by breaking down everything into smaller pieces and focusing in on one thing at a time. It can be used for brainstorming, note-taking, making to-do lists, writing notes, collaborating on projects, keeping a journal, and even plan a wedding.
  45. AdPushup is a revenue optimization tool which helps bloggers and publishers make more money from their existing website traffic using advanced automated A/B testing without the need for any programming knowledge.
  46. Tweetdeck is a social media dashboard app for managing Twitter accounts. It helps you organize and build custom timelines, create searches to track topics, refine the results with filters—all in one interface. You can also add multiple accounts and switch between them seamlessly.
  47. Keyword Researcher is a software tool for generating low-competition long tail keywords by scraping Google’s massive autocomplete database. It also helps save time with smarter management of keywords that can be imported as CSV files from the Google Keyword Planner.
  48. Pinboard is a no-nonsense bookmarking app that lets you bookmark from any browser, connect up to three Twitter accounts, and sync with popular services like Instapaper or Pocket. For an additional fee, Pinboard offers an archiving service which saves a copy of everything you bookmark, gives you full-text search, and automatically checks your account for dead links.
  49. ThingLink enables publishers to embed content within an image to create a rich storytelling landscape that captures the attention of readers. Whether used to power ad units or editorial content, ThingLink drives higher engagement and provides useful analytics.
  50. TwitShot extracts images from links, then select and attach them to your tweets. A little while ago, the team at Buffer found that Tweets with expanded images get up to 150% more retweets. This handy little tool that will give your tweets that little extra visual oomph.
  51. TL;DR-fy is a bookmarklet that lets you select any text anywhere on the Internet, highlight it, and share it on your social networks. It’s a great tool for bloggers who do a lot of research and may want to quickly and easily share an interesting piece of information they come across.
  52. Time Doctor helps you know where and how you spent your time during your workday. This tool provides you with accurate time tracking, optional screenshot monitoring, web and app usage and a lot more. Having all these data in your hands will help you evaluate and improve your productivity.

What did we miss? What tools do you use to increase your productivity?

Vishveshwar is a content marketer at AdPushup; the company behind the product that helps users optimize the ad revenue generated from their existing ad units. Vishveshwar has been a writer and editor for over 6 years, with experience in both digital and print media.

Comments

  1. says

    Hi Vishveshwar,
    Thank you for that list. Its huge and I am glad I use most of them. I did not hear about quite a few which I think would try in the coming days.
    Thanks for putting this resource.

    Have a great week ahead.

  2. says

    Hello Vishveshwar,

    It’s awesome to see this powerful post on Sue’s house!

    Seriously… I do use only just 2 out of those 50 mentioned. Wow!..

    I am going to try as much tools as possible because based on the descriptions, all seem very important and vital for my blog and myself to grow.

    Thank you once again, Vishveshwar for coming up with the list! So happy to share it!

    ~ Adeel Sami
    Adeel Sami recently posted…Why Every Blogger Must Keep Up with Social Media Accounts DailyMy Profile

    • says

      It’s great to get some new tools, right, Stanislaus? Several were new to me also.

      I appreciate your comment!
      Sue

    • says

      He should me some new ones also, Enstine! Thanks for leaving your comment today.

      Sue

    • says

      Thanks Enstine, I aim to be a regular here, going by the enthusiastic response from Sue’s readers :-). And I hope you find these to be useful.

    • says

      I haven’t used all of them yet either, Brigitte. It’s fun to find new tools to use!

      Thanks for your comment,
      Sue

  3. says

    Hello Sue and Vishveshwar,

    What an interesting list you have compiled. Will be testing out some of the tools on my new blog.

    Thanks a bunch.

  4. says

    A very thorough list Sue, nice work.

  5. Zarayna says

    Thank you Sue and Vishveshwar,

    Wonderful treasury of usefulness. Most of the tools I haven’t even heard of which makes me doubly grateful to have them, and their function, listed in an easy to access place.

    Smile on my face even though they don’t immediately apply to me.

    Thank you for the clarity – appreciate the effort.

    Kindest regards.

    • says

      Hi Zarayna, comments like yours make all the time and effort spent in research and writing worthwhile. Thank you!

  6. says

    Hello to Vishveshwar, thanks for this information complied resources for every blogger to have, while a big thanks goes to Sue, for accepting your request on her platform..

    Have not heard about 20 resources on this complied list on this post.

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed his great list, Gaurav!

      Thanks, as always, for commenting.
      Sue

  7. says

    Wow, this is a.awesome list, especially the lastpass, I always tend to forget my passwords, thank you vishweshar now I will never have to remember my passwords 🙂
    Hemapriya recently posted…Homemade Strawberry Yogurt RecipeMy Profile

  8. says

    What a fantastic, comprehensive list! There are plenty of tools here for me to try out – I’m excited to get started on some of these that I haven’t heard of before.

    I’d mention PicMonkey for images – I don’t think I could function without it!

    Also – Buffer now works with Pinterest, too!
    Kelly recently posted…What Is High Quality Content?My Profile

    • says

      PicMonkey and Canva are the best, right? Loving the new Buffer application with Pinterest!

      Thanks,
      Sue

  9. says

    Hi Vishveshwar

    Nice to meet you here on Sue Anne’s blog. You sure have compiled a huge list for bloggers to use. As I was going down the list, I did recognize many of them, and have used quite a few.

    The ones I didn’t know about, I will check out.

    Thank you so much for doing this great service for bloggers.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Your Silent Inner VoiceMy Profile

  10. says

    An incredibly comprehensive list! I’d just like to mention two additional tools I personally use: Hemingway for initial editing ideas and Word2cleanHTML for importing text files into my content management system without losing the original formatting.

    Thanks a lot for this amazing post

    Emily
    Emily recently posted…15 Fantastically Strange and/or Funny Blogs You Have To KnowMy Profile

  11. says

    Hey Vishveshwar,

    What a great resource of tools you’ve shown us. I already use quite,a few of these tools. The one stuck ou to me was twitshot. If you want to draw attention to your tweets then what better way to do it than with an image. 60% of people are visual learners and communicators. This adding an image to your tweets this will increase your retweets by 150% as you mentioned.

    Thanks for sharing these tools and what they can do! Have a good one!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…My Top 6 Blog Posts For The Month Of AprilMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Sherman,

      Yeah, science says that humans process visual information 60,000 faster than text, which explains why images, gifs, and even videos do so well online. Thanks for your comment 🙂

      VJ

  12. says

    Shiny tool syndrome is kicking in!!! MUST LOOK AWAY!

    LOL

    I’ve practically tried 3/4 of those things already. Im happy to see Workflowy being mentioned. That little piece of awesomeness is something I cant live without, especially for my brainstorm sessions.

    Great list Sue + Vishveshwar!
    Dennis Seymour recently posted…SEO Checklist: Never Forget Anything About SEO Ever AgainMy Profile

    • says

      LOL! I also like Workflowy – simple but effective.

      Thanks, Dennis, for your comment.
      Sue

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Dennis! You should also check out this great little app called Flow (getflow.com) if you work with / manage a team.

      VJ

  13. says

    Wow! What an incredible list of tools. Some (like Toggl & Hootsuite) I already use, but some were a real revealation. I tweet a lot and attaching images to tweets is such a painful process but I LOVE the Twitshot tool. Thank you for that recommendation!

    • says

      That’s one of the tools I need to check out this week also,

      Thanks for your comment, Radhika.
      Sue

  14. says

    Wow! Looks like I’ve got a LOT of work ahead to get up to date with all these! I can’t believe there are so many I’ve never heard of!! Thanx for putting these useful tools all together in one place – that will save a lot of time 😀
    Red Nomad OZ recently posted…TOP 10 COOL Things to Do in KununurraMy Profile

    • says

      I agree – I was surprised how many of these tools I wasn’t using.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Sue

  15. says

    Vish, I dig Hootsuite a great deal. So easy to schedule updates and pop back and forth between social networks with this tool. Fab list!

    Tools rock if used responsibly, meaning, keep that personal touch by engaging, by emailing and by chatting with folks. I did a podcast with my friend and web designer Phil Dews a few hours ago. It’ll be live in a few weeks. Nothing like that personal, human touch, to augment tools and to enrich our online experience. Power share, thanks!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping Episode 1: Why?My Profile

    • says

      Hi, Ryan,

      Cannot wait to hear the new podcast episode with Phil!

      Thanks for your comment,
      Sue

  16. says

    List worth its weight in gold … the headline analysis tools are a copywriter’s dream! I also just justretweet and find it’s a good way to get the word out for a webinar or special offer.

    • says

      I know! This list is terrific.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for leaving a comment, Cathy!
      Sue

  17. says

    Hi Sue,

    Great list! There are soooo many awesome tools that I can’t choose one (if I have to).

    Chartbeat is something I heard before but yet to try personally. I seen many businesses running that and who knows right? Might just be an awesome tool down the road.

    Anyway, how have you been? Hope you are in good health!

    • says

      Hi, Reginald,

      Great to see you here! This list is mind-boggling. I’m checking into Chartbeat also.

      I’ve been doing well. Keep in touch!
      Sue

  18. says

    Thanks for a great list Sue,Really great tools – I use some of them already – but there were a lot of tools I need to check out.One tool I use a lot is Snagit – from TechSmith. SO easy to use and it is always there to grab a piece of your screen or to record an Mp4 to share.Kenneth OE

    • says

      Great idea, Kenneth. I use Snag-It every day when I work with clients to show them elements of their website and how they could be changes.

      Thanks so much for your addition to the list and your comment.
      Sue

  19. says

    Excellent, excellent post Vishveshwar.

    It’s funny. The other day, a client asked me to put together a list of amazing tools for bloggers… I came up with a few, most of which are on your list… but so many great ones that I missed.

    I’ll definitely be sharing this with her.
    Brent Jones recently posted…A Visual Guide to Email Marketing MasteryMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Brent,

      Thanks so much for your comment on VJ’s post! I really appreciate it.

      Sue

  20. says

    Hi Vishveshwar & Sue

    Fantastic list, thanks for sharing this.

    I’d love to add one more that I recently discovered. Slack, admittedly a team collaborating messaging system but I read a blog post about using Slack in a team of one, and now I use it as my “brain dump”.

    I get everything out of my head and into Slack and then I transfer the info I need to where it needs to be when I need it. It would be interesting to see how others use it.

    • says

      Thanks so much for telling us about Slack. I’ve heard of it but haven’t tried it yet.

      I use Evernote for my brain dumping 🙂

      I appreciate your comment,
      Sue

  21. says

    Hi, Sue and Vishveshwar – so nice to meet you!

    Wow, I love the fact that you included a kitchen timer!! Guess what is beside me as I type? LOL Yep, a kitchen timer. Love the old school ways.

    Also enjoy Zapier! This is inside ActiveCampaign, which allows me to connect with virtually anything at all! Love technology. Will have to check out so many that I’ve never heard of. Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great weekend. 🙂
    ˜Carol
    Carol Amato recently posted…Carol’s Cut – Best of the Month 1My Profile

    • says

      Hi, Carol,

      I also use the Pomodoro Technique but use a computer timer instead. I need to check out Zapier – I’ve heard such good things about it.

      Thanks for commenting!
      Sue

  22. says

    Whoa, this is a great list! Like, I need to make sure it doesn’t get lost in my bookmarks and pins!!

    • says

      I use Evernote, Dana. It’s free and you can keep all your favs there. It’s my virtual memory!

      Thanks so much for commenting.
      Sue

  23. says

    Another great article. I have only tried a handful of these tools. But your right if you want your blog to go to the next step than its important to use these.

    Look forward to your next post. Every post is valuable for all of us bloggers 🙂

    Andrew
    Andrew Fila recently posted…This Weeks Boxing Notes : Bankruptcy, Russia And More.My Profile

  24. says

    Well after reading this complete blog post, I will just say It’s awesome. I really like the way of explanation in this article. Tips are very good and helpful for me. I think other people should also read blog post very seriously because this will help them to learn something new which they need. Hope this post will also help others when they will read it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog post.
    Polard recently posted…Happy New Year 2016 Greetings Card PicturesMy Profile

    • says

      You are so welcome, Polard!

      Glad it was helpful. Thanks for your comment today.
      Sue

  25. says

    Holy moses, phenomenal “ultimate guide” you’ve put together for us here, Vishveshwar. Thanks a million!

    Personally, I’m a devotee of Genesis, HootSuite, Evernote, Pocket, PollDaddy, and EggTimer. But 80% of this list I’d never even heard of. I’ll be sharing this post far and wide, and printing your list to start testing out a bunch of these in weeks to come.

    The only others I’d add are:
    1. the free ToodleDo (www.toodledo.com/), which is a fantastic task management tool and even let’s you track new habits you’re building.
    2. Canva (www.canva.com) a great web design tool, offering tons of pics and templates, that’s very easy for non-designers to use and is a great way to create stylish PDFs.

    Cheers!
    Play

    • says

      I absolutely love Canvas, Play. And I’m heading over to Toodledo to check it out.

      Thanks!
      Sue

      • says

        Sure thing, doll! And note: With ToodleDo, you can email yourself tasks, too. Plus, you might want to check out Michael Linenberger’s great video tutorial on his system for using it. Or his short but ultra-helpful book “The One Minute To-Do List: Quickly Get Your Chaos Completely Under Control,” which outlines his system in a bit more detail.

        Hope you’re having a fantastic week!

        • says

          I love to read, so I’m heading over to Amazon now!

          Thanks for letting us know.
          Sue

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