There are tons and tons of free tools available at every bloggers’ disposal, especially if your blog is hosted on wordpress. You may even have difficulty selecting the best plugins you need out of numerous alternatives.
I won’t tell you about the common ones like Yoast, Grammarly, Canva, etc, you probably heard of these ones and what they do. They are all super cool anyways, on the other hand, I am going to be dwelling on awesome, unpopular tools that caught my attention.
Maybe they are not unpopular, at least, they are not as popular as the popular ones (hahaha). Technicall, I am right! So, what are these tools and what can they do for you?
Ready for the ride?
While you are on my blog reading this or any other post, you must have seen a pop up compelling you to drop your email address. Even though I am yet to get the design right, I believe this tool is amazing. It’s free but there is the paid version that comes with its own benefits.
Aside from collecting the email addresses of readers, you can also use Hello Bar to make announcements, direct readers to a particular page of your blog, point visitors to your social channels, etc.
I discovered this when I was reading one of Neil’s blog posts and he made mention of it frequently. He is probably affiliated with it one way or the other. Subscribers, majorly, allows your readers to subscribe to your blog on their browser. It gives a sort of notification whenever you create a new post, depending on what their subscription is all about.
Aside this, you can also pass an information across to your readers as a pop up in the browser. This type of popup is less annoying. You can increase your site’s traffic when readers start subscribing to your blog to get alerted whenever there is a new post. Another form of mailing list, but this time, it’s less stressful.
The free version has abundant features, but the paid version is packed with other amazing features that you might want to try out.
As a blogger, you will experience writers’ block where it seems like you are bereft of new topic ideas for your blog. Don’t panic, everyone goes through this phase except if you are not the one writing out your posts by yourself.
With hubspot topic generator, you can automatically get topic ideas by just inputting as many as 5 noun words into the text fields. The noun words should be the names of the subject matter you want to talk about.
To get the over 250 topic ideas generated, you will be required to fill out a form and drop some of your details. I believe it is worth it. Now, all you have to do is just sieve through and pick the topics you feel will be appropriate for your audience.
Amazing, isn’t it? From being seemingly bereft of new ideas, you are now making choices from numerous options. Cool!
The screenshot below is from the excel sheet downloaded from hubspot containing the 250 topics generated for me automatically.
Keeping tabs on your blog content can be tasking difficult to manage. Now that you have a huge list of topic ideas, you might want to sort them out and fix them into different publishing dates in your editorial calendar.
Of course, you can use alternatives like Google Sheets, but there is something about this one that makes it quite different and amazing. Below is the list of things you can do with this wordpress plugin directly on your blog:
- See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted.
- Drag and drop to change your post dates.
- Manage your drafts with the new drafts drawer.
- Quickedit post titles, contents, and times.
- Publish posts or manage drafts.
- Easily see the status of your posts.
- Manage posts from multiple authors.
You can directly manage and edit your blog post in the editorial calendar.
These days, it is very difficult to rank for one-word keywords because most of these big blogs are already ranking for it. This doesn’t mean you can not rank high on SERP too, you just need to know the right keywords to use.
These keywords are the long tail keywords that are often question-like based on the search queries used by users. A great way to these long tail keywords is by using this free tool for blogs.
Whatever keyword you enter, you will get the keyword listings in question format; How, Why, When, Where, Are, What, Who, Will, Which, etc. From this list, you will be able to have a glimpse at the common phrases being searched by users. Those are the low-hanging fruits you want to leverage on and dominate.
This one is like the one at HubSpot, just that, to a great extent, you are the one in control of what the topics’ title is. Writers’ block is very real and it is impressive that softwares are being made available to start helping writers to overcome this somewhat challenging situation.
Here, you can generate as many topic titles as you want using the ready made template which requires you to only fill in the keywords into the gap. Trust me, with these 2 title generators, you will no longer have any issue with being stuck on what to write.
Sometimes, you need to be dynamic and focused to consistently get enough engagement from your audience. You can achieve this by setting up a quiz that will be beneficial to your audience. This must be something they can relate with, because this is what will get you tons of shares and social likes.
As a matter of fact, at the end of the quiz, there is an avenue for you to collect the email addresses of those who completed it. Watch out! I will write a blog post on how to create the kind of quiz that will drive engagement.
Trust me, a person who is happy for doing well in a particular quiz will gladly drop his email address. As a plus, you can even offer another value in exchange for their email addresses.
You probably have Yoast installed and it’s doing a great job for you. Squirrly works like Yoast but does some other interesting things that only paid SEO audit tools will do. For instance, I was able to pick a focus page for my blog and it audited it.
After the auditing, it brought back suggestions I could use to improve the ranking of the page [This is one of the things Rankedy (an affordable tool) does]. It is easy to use because it’s a plugin that can be installed on your wordpress account where it does all the analysis.
Surprisingly, it imported all my Yoast settings and told me I can ditch Yoast if I want to (hahaha).
You can never have too many tools in your toolbox as a blogger. You really need as many as you can, each for different occasions. If you rely heavily on free tools, you will often need to combine 2 or more free tools to do the same task a paid tool will do. It’s worth it anyways, since it will save you some few bucks.
I hope you find this list helpful! If there is any tool you feel I should have mentioned, please indicate in the comment section below and I will check them out.