As much as we all wish that there was a secret formula to write the perfect, most engaging, informative blog post, that doesn’t exist. However, there are lots of tools to help people customize their strategy and learn exactly what their audience wants. Here are five tips and tools that I’ve found helpful, including some free tools you can use to get started.
1. Analyze Headlines
Headlines are not just a hook to draw your readers in. They’re also a tool to help optimize your content for search engines and to help explain exactly what it is that you’re going to write about. So, it’s helpful to find tools that do this in the most effective way possible. Moz is a great source for finding out what keywords will be best to use, but it only lets you do so much for free. If you’re a beginning blogger and looking for something to help give you some free intel, look into Co-Schedule.
Co-Schedule has a suite of tools that will help people schedule posts, but they’ve got a very useful, free headline analyzer. It will rate the strength and uniqueness of your headline to hone in on what aspect you’d like for your headline.
2. Make Graphics
Studies have shown that infographics are shared three times more than standard text content, so why not make some of your own? In my experience, there are some very talented graphic designers out there, but they might be a bit pricey for new bloggers who would rather spend a $50 budget on ads than one graphic. That’s where programs like Canva come in.
I’ve been using Canva for several years and I love it. I’ve made long infographics that I couldn’t have made on my best day in Adobe Illustrator. They have a lot of free options, but the best part is they finally have an app. I’m not sure why, but it seems like the app has a lot more free options than on the web version.
Another program that’s nice if you need to make some chart-based graphics is Infogram. It’s a good in-between from programs like Canva and other very simplified versions like Google Charts. However, that’s a very good, free, simple tool if you simply want to visualize data.
3. Send an Email Newsletter
If you’ve been around marketing for long enough, you’ve probably heard about getting leads, leads, leads. And online, leads = emails. In fact there are entire companies who have made email newsletter their business, like The Skimm. So, if you have a lot of emails and/or content, why not try and create an engaging newsletter?
If you’ve never conducted an email campaign before, that’s ok. Companies like Constant Contact and MailChimp. They each offer different pricing, with CC offering a free 60-day trial, and MailChimp offering up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month for free. They’ll both also give you templates to create your email, so you don’t need to know anything about coding.
4. Schedule Social Media Posts
It’s hard to remember to post on social media every day the recommended amounts of time. That’s where companies like Buffer come into play. There are lots of different social media posting platforms out there, but Buffer is one of the simplest that offers free tools. Others like Hootsuite are more restrictive, but they offer more free posts.
In my opinion, when it comes to social media, you need to work with several of the tools out there, using their free trial, to figure out which one saves you the most time and helps you plan our our content. At the end of the day, remember that specifically social media tools are meant to push out the content you want your readers to see and to stay consistent.
5. Use a Text Editor
You don’t have to be a writer to start a website. All you need is to know what you want to say, and to maybe have a little guidance. Websites like the Hemingway App simplify that process. You paste your copy into the text editor, and it will tell you where you can simplify your sentences.
At the very least, typing your copy into a Google Doc will help you spot any common error, both spelling and contextually.