Blogging is hard work. It takes time, effort and creativity.
But there are lots of ways to jump-start your blogging efforts – tools that make you more efficient, productive and creative, while driving distribution.
Here are some of the most interesting tools that I have come across recently:
1. Atomic Reach: a free plug-in that uses an algorithm to analyze and score the spelling, grammar and quality of your writing. For some people, particularly writers, Atomic Reach can be challenging because it changes how you write. In time, however, you begin to understand how to use Atomic Reach, and, in the process, it will make you a better writer.
2. Buffer: After writing a blog post, it needs to be distributed. Buffer is a free and paid service that make it easy to publish updates on multiple social media platforms. It recently introduced a new feature that makes a snap to schedule posts to appear at particular times (e.g. now, tomorrow, next week), which is a great way to leverage distribution over time.
3. Title Experiments: It goes without saying that a good, interesting or eye-catching blog title is an effective way to get people to take a look. Title Experiments is a free plugin that lets you create different versions of the headline, and then promotes the one attracting the most clicks. It’s a great way to test your creativity and get a better feel for the headlines that work.
4. Flare: Along with Digg Digg, Flare is one of the most popular plugins to let people share your posts via share media. Flare can be configured to display particular social media networks, as well as placement in different places on the blog post.
5. PhotoPin: There are many places to discover royalty-free photos, but PhotoPin is one of the most user-friendly and content-rich. You can search by use (commercial vs. non-commercial) and by type (recent, relevant, interestingness).
6. Optimizilla: After discovering the right photo or image for a post, there’s a lot of value in making it the ideal size to save on load times and resources. Optimizilla is a user-friendly and free service to quickly reduce the size of photos and images without losing much in the way of quality.
7. WordPress SEO: Google keeps changes the rules of engagement for search but WordPress SEO (a free plugin) provides a solid SEO foundation for a blog. It’s easy to configure your post’s keyword, meta-description and title.