This is a collection of 47 blogging tools I handpicked just for my readers.
Rest assured that I did my homework on each one.
I’ll also mention tools that personally helped me grow my blog from the feet up.
If you’re looking for a specific kind of tool, feel free to skip ahead to any section:
Table Of Contents
- 1. What Blogging Platform Should I Use?
- 2. Domain Registration and Hosting
- 3. Page Building
- 4. SEO and Marketing Analytics
- 5. Keyword Research
- 6. Content Research
- 7. Content Development
- 8. Social Media
- 9. Social Media Marketing
- 10. Lead Generation and Nurturing
- 11. Backups and Security
- 12. Sales and Payments
- 13. Other Tools
- 14. Conclusion
What Blogging Platform Should I Use?
First things first, you need a blogging platform with capabilities that can match your big ideas.
For me, there is and always has been once choice: WordPress.
1. WordPress.org (The number one content management system)
In 2003, WordPress transformed the blogging landscape for the better.
WordPress is the ultimate content management system or CMS for solo bloggers and businesses alike.
It’s so popular that most web hosting companies nowadays include an automatic WordPress installer.
Are there alternatives?
WordPress is truly a one-size-fits-all solution — thanks to the flexibility that its thousands of plugins and themes provide.
Whatever website you have planned, WordPress surely has the tools for the job.
However, it never hurts to look for alternatives.
Here are four blogging platforms you should, at least, take a look at:
Fair warning: none of the platforms above come close to WordPress.org in terms of features. Even WordPress.com is just a watered-down version of WordPress — sacrificing functionality for beginner-friendliness.
Domain Registration and Hosting
You’ll need two things to get your WordPress website launched today: a domain registrar and a hosting solution.
2. NameCheap (The cheapest way to own register your own domain)
Want to register your own domain?
As far as domain registration goes, the only goal is to find the most affordable service.
NameCheap is a domain registrar that will help you own the domain you want — as cheaply as possible. Just type in your desired domain name to check its availability and make your purchase from there.
What domain name should I use?
Not sure what domain name to go with?
Hold on — let me add links to two resources that will definitely help.
Here you go:
- The Essential Guide to Come Up With a Perfect Blog Name
- 3-Step Process to Find Travel Blog Name Ideas
3. SiteGround (A trusted web hosting service in terms of speed, uptime, and pricing)
Got the domain name you want to use?
The next step is to get it hosted.
SiteGround is a popular web hosting company that excels in the following areas:
- Customer support
- Website migrations
What’s the difference between domain registration and hosting?
Domain registration is all about buying and owning the name.
Hosting is all about making that name available for the creation of a website.
It’s true that most domain registrars also offer web hosting plans. However, using the combination of NameCheap and SiteGround can make the most value out of your money.
Want to modify certain design aspects of your theme, like the header, footer, and sidebar?
Do you need to create an awesome landing page to turn visitors into paying customers?
Let me tell you about my favorite page builder of all time.
4. Elementor (Build custom web pages without writing code)
Price: $49 per year for 1 website
Elementor is my go-to page builder for WordPress.
It redefined the term “drag-and-drop” when it comes to website design. Just search for the page elements or widgets you need and drag to a section within the page.
If you want to save even more time, start with a pre-made template. But even without one, Elementor will allow you to whip up a beautiful page in a matter of minutes.
Does it have a free version?
Yes — Elementor does have a free version.
You don’t need to spend anything to take advantage of Elementor’s core page building features, including:
- Basic page widgets (image carousel, star rating, testimonial, etc.)
- Revision history tool
- Maintenance mode
- Responsive page editing
Getting a page builder has another perk that many bloggers take for granted.
By using an all-in-one page builder, you avoid the need to install a plethora of plugins on your WordPress site.
That should help keep your website lean and fast.
If it can’t be helped, there are tools that will help you optimize your WordPress website’s performance:
5. PageSpeed Insights (Find out how to speed up your website)
It’s hard to make optimizations on your website if you don’t know what the problems are.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights can change that.
Just enter a web page’s URL, click ‘Analyze,’ and the tool will identify all performance-related issues for you.
Even better, PageSpeed Insights will provide you with actionable tips on how to speed up your site.
Experienced developers will know what to do right away upon reading these suggestions.
If you’re not a developer, don’t worry — PageSpeed Insights will include links to plugins and other resources that can help.
6. WP Rocket (Everything you need to optimize your website’s performance)
WP Rocket is packed with performance optimization features that will greatly boost your website’s speed.
Sadly, they don’t offer a free version. On the plus side, you’ll get everything you need to get top marks in your next PageSpeed Insights analysis.
Here are some of the turnkey optimization features you’ll get:
- Page and browser caching
- GZIP compression
- Sitemap preloading
- Cache preloading
- Lazy loading
- Code minification/concatenation
- DNS prefetching
- Google Fonts optimization
7. Smush (Automate image optimization for faster loading speeds)
Price: $49 per year
Smush is a battle-tested image optimization plugin that will do wonders for visual-heavy websites.
One of Smush’s main features is lossless compression, which reduces the file size of images without noticeable changes in quality. It also comes with a “Bulk Smush” tool that will optimize your entire WordPress library in one go.
You can also configure Smush to automatically optimize images as soon as they’re uploaded. This allows you to incorporate tons of visual content into your website with peace of mind.
What if I don’t want to use another WordPress plugin?
It’s perfectly understandable if you don’t want to rely too much on plugins, especially for performance optimization.
A great non-plugin alternative to Smush would be Kraken.io.
This tool features a web interface that lets you optimize multiple images at once.
Just like Smush, Kraken.io features lossless compression. There’s also a bunch of image resizing options that I find very useful.
Kraken.io offers a free trial with an image compression quota of up to 100MB.
Why does performance matter?
As a website owner, it’s in your best interest to provide the best user experience possible.
It’s not rocket science: happier visitors lead to more conversions. More conversions lead to more money for all your hard work.
Website performance is also a key search engine ranking factor. The faster your website runs, the more organic traffic it’ll rake in.
If you neglect your website’s loading speed, you’re also likely to miss out on roughly half of its traffic potential.
Statistics show that 40 percent of internet users leave a website that takes over 3 seconds to load.
SEO and Marketing Analytics
Tools are essential if you want to be competitive on the marketing side of things.
It’s impossible for me to imagine an SEO or digital marketing campaign without tools, such as:
8. SEMrush (A professional suite of SEO and marketing analytics tools)
Price: $99 per month
I personally use SEMrush for a variety of marketing-related tasks.
It helps me look for lucrative long-tail keywords, monitor my website’s organic presence, spy on competitors, and many more.
SEMrush’s user interface is also as straightforward as it gets. You just enter a keyword or URL into a specific tool and it’ll show you a detailed report in return.
These are some of my favorite SEMrush tools:
- Keyword Magic Tool — Expand base terms into long-tail keyword suggestions and analyze their metrics.
- Domain Overview — Dissect a website’s traffic data, backlink profile, keyword rankings, and more. Can be used on competitors.
- Topic Research — Get topic ideas based on what your competitors are publishing.
9. Rank Math (View on-page optimization suggestions right from WordPress)
Want to get actionable on-page optimization insights on the fly?
Rank Math is the answer.
I used to rely on the Yoast SEO plugin to make sure my content is SEO-ready. But I moved over to Rank Math for two reasons:
- I find Rank Math’s user interface to be more intuitive
- It’s totally free.
Rank Math works by rating your content’s SEO-friendliness on a scale of 1 to 100.
To increase your score, you can look at the on-page optimization suggestions found on the sidebar. These are categorized under basic SEO, title readability, content readability, and additional suggestions.
Pro tip: edit your snippet!
Rank Math also lets you change how your content will appear on search engine results pages or SERPs. I recommend writing a keyword-optimized title and permalink along with a captivating meta description.
10. Google Analytics (Must-have website analytics platform)
Google Analytics is a must-have for every website.
It will give you a bird’s-eye view of your website’s performance data. You can check your website’s bounce rate, average session time, traffic, top pages, traffic sources, and much more.
I heard Google Analytics has a paid version
Yes — you’re right.
Google Analytics does have a paid version called “Google Analytics 360.”
Luckily, you don’t need to buy it to enjoy all the core features of Google Analytics.
The only reason to purchase Google Analytics 360 is if you need the following features:
- Multi-Channel Funnels (MCF) data-driven attributions
- Google BigQuery exports
- Unsampled reports
- Salesforce Sales Cloud integration
If you don’t even know what those features do, I highly recommend sticking to the free version of Google Analytics.
11. Link Whisper (Work smarter when building internal links)
Before anything else, do you know what internal links are and why they’re important?
If not, you should read this article first – you won’t regret it!
A solid internal link structure improves both your SEO and website’s average session duration. Internal links also reduce bounce rate by giving your audience more content to explore.
Link Whisper makes sure you have enough internal links to reap these benefits.
Link Whisper makes it easy to get the following tasks done:
- Look for orphaned content — “Orphaned content” are posts or pages that don’t have internal links. Link Whisper lets you find these pieces of content so you can manually link to them.
- Identify internal link opportunities — Link Whisper’s key feature is to automatically find internal link opportunities. The tool’s algorithm takes into account your content topics to ensure the relevance of your internal links.
- Build internal links with a few clicks — If you’re in a hurry, Link Whisper’s consolidated internal links report page will be of great help. Not only will it suggest pages to link to, it’ll also pinpoint the exact sentence where each link makes sense.
12. Check My Links (Look for broken links as you view pages)
Check My Links is a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that will scan any web page for broken links.
This is useful for two reasons:
- Broken links are terrible for the user’s experience
- They’re also terrible for your website’s SEO performance
After installing Check My Links, visit the page you want to check and click on the extension’s icon.
The tool will then proceed to highlight all valid, redirecting, problematic, and invalid links.
They’re all color-coded so you don’t have to look hard for them.
13. ClickMagick (Track your entire sales funnel like a pro)
Whether you like it not, clicks don’t automatically translate to profits.
There are so many things that could happen throughout a potential customer’s journey.
With ClickMagick, you can keep a close eye on all your leads’ actions.
That’s how you can make informed decisions in your content marketing and advertising campaigns.
What’s even more impressive is that ClickMagick is capable of cross-device tracking. That means all user activities — from subscriptions to webinar attendance — will be tracked no matter the device they use.
14. Hotjar (Skip the number crunching and visually analyze your website’s performance)
Price: Free or $29 per month for more data
Hotjar is a user behavior analytics tool with a handful of visual tracking features.
The platform’s centerpiece is the heatmap tool, which works by identifying your website’s “hot” and “cold” zones.
How do heatmaps work?
On a heatmap, website sections shaded by a warmer color receive more clicks.
Cold areas, on the other hand, also get interactions, but not nearly as much as hot areas.
With a heatmap, you can easily identify what parts of your website need a rework. You’ll also see which particular page elements get more attention — thus, allowing you to improve your website’s design and content.
Most SEO analytics solutions like SEMrush have a keyword research tool baked into the platform.
But if you’re looking for tools that are made purely for keyword research, here are your best options:
15. Keywords Everywhere (Discover keyword opportunities — everywhere)
Price: $10 for 100,000 credits
Keywords Everywhere is a unique keyword research tool in the form of a browser extension.
Once installed on Firefox or Chrome, it automatically scrapes keyword data from websites like:
- Google Trends
Keywords Everywhere is something you need to see to appreciate.
That said, here’s how it works on a popular YouTube video:
In addition to keyword suggestions, you can also get valuable keyword data on certain pages. Some examples are the keyword’s volume score, competitiveness rating, related keywords, and top content publishers.
16. SpyFu (Spy on your top competitor’s most profitable keywords)
Price: Free or at least $33 per month for unlimited searches
If you’re looking for a tool specifically for keyword research, I’d put my vote in SpyFu.
It’s built for a single purpose: to help you acquire the most profitable target keywords of your competitors.
Spying on your competitors for target keywords has a couple of huge advantages.
The one worth mentioning would be the hours or days you’ll save from mind-numbing keyword research.
Ask yourself, why start over from scratch when you can simply “borrow” target keywords that are proven to work?
Your top competitors already did the math. They already have the target keywords that drive traffic and conversions.
With a tool like SpyFu, you’re essentially benefiting from the research your competitors already did.
17. Soovle (Leverage autocomplete suggestions from multiple information providers)
Looking at autocomplete suggestions will give you a good idea of what users in your niche want to know.
You don’t really need a tool for this since autocomplete suggestions are already offered by information providers. I’m talking about search engines and websites like Google, YouTube, and Wikipedia.
Soovle, however, lets you check autocomplete suggestions from all these platforms in one swoop.
You just type in any keyword and you’re pretty much done. Soovle won’t even wait for you to finish typing — keyword suggestions are shown on the fly.
18. KeywordRevealer (Great for brainstorming keyword ideas)
Price: Free or $9.97 per month
KeywordRevealer is a full-powered keyword research tool that can fit all budgets.
It’s capable of pulling in every metric that matters in keyword research — from keyword difficulty to monthly search volume.
Just like the big boys of SEO analytics like SEMrush, KeywordRevealer also has a handy filters feature. This allows you to instantly narrow down your keyword pool based on multiple factors, like:
- Average monthly searches
- Estimated potential earnings
- Number of words (within the keyword)
Content creation is an art form.
You don’t just rush to your blogging platform and write anything you fancy. Instead, you need to develop a strategic approach, starting with the content topics you’ll cover.
19. AnswerThePublic (Find out what people are asking — turn them into content ideas)
Price: Free or $99 per month for more features
AnswerThePublic is a tool that I’ve mentioned time and time again in this blog.
It’s undoubtedly a favorite of mine whenever I need to look for fresh content ideas.
What it does is simple: comb through the web for questions that the internet asks.
AnswerThePublic works by providing you with a list of questions based on the keyword or phrase you enter.
You can view these questions either as a visualization or an organized list. I prefer the latter for scannability, but the visualization should work as well.
Can I use AnswerThePublic for keyword research?
I wasn’t sure whether to put AnswerThePublic under the “keyword research” list or this one.
But, at the end of the day, it’s designed to unearth content ideas from the world’s questions.
You can, of course, use the questions as keywords themselves. However, you won’t be able to access metrics that will help you pick lucrative target keywords.
20. Google Trends (Be updated with trending topics in your niche)
When done right, publishing content about trending topics is a great way to generate quick traffic.
Google Trends lets you tap into the search engine’s supermassive database to discover ongoing trends.
It works like any other keyword research tool. A relevant search term or phrase comes in, all the sweet data comes out.
Other things Google Trends checks
Once the results are in, Google Trends will show you:
- The interest over time for your topic — This should be rather self-explanatory. By observing the “Interest Over Time” chart, you can predict how popular a trend will be in the foreseeable future.
- Interest by subregion — Where is the trend popular? Knowing this will help you create articles that are optimized for the local audience.
- Related topics and queries — Google Trends will also show you related topics and queries to diversify your content ideas. A “breakout” tag next to a topic implies that it grew by over 5,000% in terms of searches.
21. Feedly (Have all relevant news, trends, and content in one place)
Price: $6 per month
Feedly is a news aggregator tool that brings together content from various online sources.
It simplifies the content research process by eliminating the need to check multiple websites for fresh ideas.
How to use Feedly?
Just create your own feeds, specify sources for each, and wait for Feedly to do its magic.
Sources can be a news site, blog, or RSS link.
Once your feeds are configured, Feedly will update you with the latest content in real time. It runs on both desktops and mobile devices, making it an awesome tool if you don’t want to miss anything.
Getting potential content ideas is just the beginning.
Here are the tools to help you create the top-quality content your website deserves:
22. Canva (Drag-and-drop visual content builder)
Price: Free or $9.95 per month
I’m going to let you in on a little secret:
I use Canva to create simple graphics myself for some Master Blogging posts.
Admittedly, I’m not the best at it. But it’s amazing how easy it is to create good visual content for a blog using a drag-and-drop web interface.
Canva uses a fully visual interface that takes only minutes to learn. You can start by either picking a template or specifying the dimensions of your new design.
Everything should come to you naturally from that point.
All you need to do is search for the elements you need and drag it into the main editor window.
Is there a free version?
Canva can be used for free — no time limits involved.
Even with a free account, you’re supplied with a generous collection of assets you can use in your designs.
There are no limits to the number of designs you can save as well.
23. Grammarly (Polish your written content without a professional proofreader)
Price: Free or $22.46 per month
Grammarly is a popular, free proofreading app.
It automatically detects issues in your text in terms of correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery. Moreover, it provides corrections that can be applied in one click.
This could cut the proofreading time for a 1,000-word article down to a few minutes.
Grammarly can be used in a number of ways:
- Through the online interface — Using your web browser, you can log into your Grammarly account and upload the articles you want to proofread. If you want, you can also write your article from scratch using Grammarly’s online interface.
- Desktop app — Grammarly can also be downloaded and used as a desktop app. This will allow you to proofread and finalize your drafts much faster than with the web interface.
- Microsoft Word Extension — As for me, I use Grammarly through the Microsoft Word integration. Doing so allows me to proofread and work while using the same app.
24. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer (Unlock the formula for perfect headlines)
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a tool that will help you craft spicy, click-worthy headlines for your website content.
To fire up the tool, create a free account, and enter the headline you plan to use.
The Headline Analyzer will rate your headline according to the balance of different word types, namely:
- Common (a, the, her, you, why, etc.)
- Uncommon (social, more, heart, right, year, etc.)
- Power (solution, super, awesome, powerful, etc.)
- Emotional (tested, pitfall, reliable, etc.)
How to maximize CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
There’s a lot of planning involved in the creation of great content headlines.
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer will also factor in the following in determining the effectiveness of your headline:
- Headline type
- Word count
- First and last words
It may seem odd how these factors can affect the performance of headlines.
You should read my CoSchedule Headline Analyzer guide to fully understand how every aspect of headlines affect them.
25. Copyscape (Protect your blog from plagiarism)
Price: Free or $0.03 per search
Plagiarism spells a world of trouble for bloggers.
The thought of your original content being stolen is bad enough. What’s even worse is, plagiarized content will undermine your SEO.
Copyscape can protect you from plagiarism by scanning the web for unauthorized copies of your posts.
Other features of Copyscape
- Scan content before publishing — Copyscape is a great tool for weeding out content writers who plagiarize their work. You do, however, need Copyscape Premium for that.
- Copysentry protection — Copysentry automatically scans the web daily or weekly for copied content from your website. This detects plagiarized content even if they are modified to an extent.
- Free plagiarism banners — If you use Copyscape, you can discourage content thieves from stealing your work with a free plagiarism banner. All it takes is to copy a bit of HTML code into the pages you want.
26. Snagit (My go-to tool for screenshots and captures)
Snagit is a tool that I use on a daily basis, but I try not to talk about it much.
It’s not even mentioned in my own resources page where I talk about tools I personally use.
The reason? It’s become a key component of Master Blogging’s content style.
Snagit has made screenshots and annotations second nature to me.
Using hotkeys, you can quickly snap a screenshot of anything on your screen. Adding annotations and other visual effects are also streamlined with Snagit’s user interface.
You can also use Snagit to take video clips, panoramic images, and even entire web pages. All these features make it a must-have tool for content creators whose aim is to educate.
27. WP Recipe Maker (Beautify your recipe pages without writing code)
Price: Free or $49
If you’re running a food blog, using a plugin like WP Recipe Maker is the only way to publish recipes.
WP Recipe Maker allows you to create interactive recipe cards that highlight details such as:
- Prep time
- Cook time
- Resting time
Users can also interact with your recipes with features like the “Pin” button and measurement conversion tabs. You can also enable recipe submission forms, which will allow your audience to contribute to your growing community.
What about stock photo websites?
“The tools above are great and all, but what if I’m only looking for a good old stock photo?”
Before I reveal them to you, promise me you won’t use stock photos as is.
At the very least, upload them to Canva and make some customizations.
You promise? Then, here are the top free stock photography sites on the web:
Diversifying the content types in your blog will result in more shareable posts.
Of course, you just need to leverage the tools that will accelerate the growth of your social media presence.
28. Social Snap (Make your content loads more shareable)
Price: Free or $39 per year
Social Snap is a social sharing plugin designed specifically for WordPress.
Remember, if you want your brand to make some noise on social media, you need to make content sharing intuitive.
With Social Snap, you can accomplish this goal in more ways than one.
You can display a floating sidebar, add share buttons on images, create a sticky sharing bar, and more.
Social Snap also gives you full control over how your content will be displayed on social media.
For each post, you can assign a custom featured image, title, and description. These will ensure you get the right message across to social media users.
What else can Social Snap do?
I use Social Snap in my own blog, so I’m quite familiar with its features.
With Social Snap, it’s easy to display the total share count for your content.
The more shares your content gets, the easier it is to convince new readers that you know your stuff.
Social Snap also comes with a few nice add-ons that will amp up your social media marketing campaign:
- Social Auto-Poster — The Social Auto-Poster will make sure your followers won’t miss out on your latest articles. This feature is available to all pro-level accounts and higher.
- Social Content Locker — If you’re confident in your content’s quality, use the Social Content Locker to drive up shares. Basically, it requires visitors to share your post first in order to unlock all content.
- Social Login — With this add-on, visitors can register and log in using their accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Simplifying both registrations and logins is a surefire way to encourage more conversions.
29. Buffer (Create, schedule, and track social media posts)
Price: $15 per month
I’ve tried Buffer in the past to make sure blog posts are shared on schedule.
Now, it’s evolved into a full-on brand building platform with features that can supercharge your social media presence.
Buffer’s main feature is the post scheduler or simply “Publish”.
It’s simple: create a social media posting schedule for your accounts and queue the content to be published.
Buffer will automatically post queued content on the next publishing time slot.
Other than that, here are a few other Buffer features you will find useful:
- Analytics — You can easily track social media metrics, such as likes, comments, and clicks, with the built-in analytics tab. Buffer Analyze lets you go levels deeper with in-depth tracking of impressions, follower growth, engagement rate, and more.
- Multiple users — Buffer allows you to create user accounts with different access levels. This is perfect for websites and businesses with an in-house social media team.
- Plan Instagram stories — Buffer can also help you set up a posting schedule for your Instagram stories. This is complete with an analytics feature that monitors metrics like reach and story completion rate.
30. Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed (Show off your Instagram posts on your website)
Price: Free or $49 per year
So far, we have covered plugins that optimize the way you send content from your blog to social media
This next plugin does the opposite.
The Smash Balloon Social Photo Feed works by letting you display your Instagram posts into stylized feeds.
You can have multiple Instagram accounts linked displayed on a single feed or separate feeds.
The Social Photo Feed plugin has a premium version called “Instagram Feed Pro.” This grants extra features like:
- Allow users to view photos and videos via a lightbox
- Create carousels from Instagram posts
- Additional “Masonry” and “Highlight” layouts
- Advanced post moderation system
- Support for shoppable Instagram posts
31. Biteable (Create videos for social media on the cheap)
Price: $15 per month
Video content is proven to do better on social media than other content types.
The good news is, you don’t need a video production team to start leveraging the power of video today.
Biteable is a tool that will help you create professional-looking videos for social media within minutes.
To use Biteable, pick an existing template you want to build your video with.
Biteable has a lineup of templates under categories like ads, explainers, promos, slideshows, and even Instagram stories. You can then use the online editor to customize your video’s text overlays, background, animations, and more.
As for your video’s assets, Biteable has a pretty sizeable library you can utilize. There are video clips, music, infographics, effects, and animations.
Lead Generation and Nurturing
By now, you should have the tools necessary to build quality content for your website.
It’s time to put your content to use.
Here are the tools that will help you convert your audience:
32. ActiveCampaign (Have everything you need for winning email marketing campaigns)
Price: $9 per month
ActiveCampaign is my email marketing platform of choice.
Even the entry-level plan grants you the ability to send unlimited emails to your leads. It also comes with features like marketing automation, customizable opt-in forms, and email scheduling, and funnels.
ActiveCampaign also works well with other services you might have on your toolbelt, including but not limited to:
What about other email marketing services?
Truth be told, there are plenty of other email marketing platforms out there that deserve your attention.
I went with ActiveCampaign because it fits my exact vision for email marketing — simple and personalized.
But if you want stuff like fancy pre-built newsletters and landing page templates, you can look at other options like:
33. Subscribers (Reach your audience via push notifications)
Price: Free or $29 per month
Push notifications allow publishers to reach their audience more effectively.
Subscribers by Neil Patel works by showing small, unintrusive windows to users as long as their browser is running.
It doesn’t matter if they’re accessing the web on a desktop or mobile device. Subscribers will make sure your message is heard by your audience loud and clear.
Use cases for push notifications
Push notifications are versatile and can be used for the following:
- Promoting your latest blog posts
- Announcing special promotions and new products
- Reactivating previous customers who’ve gone cold
34. WPForms (Easily create forms using a drag-and-drop interface)
Price: Free (Lite version) or $39.50 per year
There are dozens of form builder plugins readily available on WordPress official plugin repository.
WPForms happens to be the cream of the crop in terms of ratings and popularity.
That’s no accident.
With WPForms, you can easily build all sorts of forms without writing code, including:
- Payment forms
- Contact forms
- Registration forms
- Survey forms
WPForms also comes with a “Lite” version, which you can install and use on any WordPress site for free.
Its features are, of course, limited. But it’s still on par with — if not better than — free form builder alternatives like:
- Contact Form 7
- Ninja Forms
Backups and Security
You know what sucks?
Pouring your heart and soul into your website — only for a data loss incident to take place.
Data loss can occur for many reasons, like server failures and hacks. All of which are nigh impossible to predict.
With the following plugins, you can keep your website data safe from such contingencies.
35. Jetpack (The Swiss army knife of website security)
Price: $39 per year
Website security and backups go hand in hand.
That’s why there are products like Jetpack that merge both into one package.
Jetpack’s main selling point is “always-on security.” It features downtime monitoring, real-time backups, brute force attack protection, malware scanning, and more.
It’s worth noting that Jetpack has a free version, but it lacks features that make it a top-tier security plugin.
Jetpack’s performance optimization features
On top of security and backups, Jetpack is also equipped with tools that can upgrade your website’s performance:
- Content Delivery Networks — Even with the free version, Jetpack users get a CDN service for images. Premium users can also use their video hosting service for faster and more stable playbacks.
- Social media automation — Jetpack can also help you automate your social media promotions through the “Publicize” feature. You don’t need a paid version of the tool to use this feature.
- Site Statistics — Lastly, Jetpack will help you make data-driven decisions using the built-in statistics tool. You can see your top posts, overall traffic, popular search terms, and more — without ever leaving your WordPress dashboard.
36. Dashlane (Secure all your passwords in one location)
Price: Free or $3.33 per month
Password hygiene is very important, especially for bloggers who rely on several tools on a daily basis.
Dashlane is a free password manager that does three things:
- Generate strong, virtually hack-proof passwords
- Save these strong passwords in a secure location
- Automatically enter your login information on websites
In a way, keeping all your passwords in one app sounds like a risky strategy at first.
But once you realize that Dashlane uses military-grade encryption to save your passwords, you will feel more confident.
What are Dashlane’s premium features?
Should you decide to purchase Dashlane Premium, you’ll get these additional benefits:
- Sync passwords across multiple devices
- Monitor the dark web for possible leaked information
- Secure VPN (Virtual Private Network)
37. Akismet (Get rid of comment spam once and for all)
Price: Free or $5 per month per site
While WordPress gives you the power to manually approve comments, I find preventing spam altogether is a better approach.
Because there are still websites that automatically approve comments for the sake of cultivating conversations.
There are also websites that encourage debates, which will really ramp up user engagement.
If community building is important to you, the first step is to plan how you’d moderate your blog’s comment section. The next step is to plan how you’ll fight spam.
Akismet is a free plugin that will let you breeze through the second step.
With automatic protection against spam, you or your moderator can focus on engaging real users. More importantly, your audience can freely discuss the topics you cover on your blog.
38. Cloudflare (Protect and speed up your website using the full potential of CDNs)
Price: Free or $20 per month
If you’ve done research on CDNs, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Cloudflare.
It is regarded as one of the top CDN service providers of all time. And that’s due to multiple reasons:
- Free plan — Like a lot of services for website owners, Cloudflare offers a free plan for personal users. This includes basic features like DDoS mitigation, global CDN, and email support.
- Additional performance optimizations — Apart from the speed boost you can gain from using a CDN, using Cloudflare also delivers world-class performance optimization features. This includes lossless image compression, mobile optimization, and minification.
- Maximum website uptime — A CDN keeps your website accessible available 24/7 by utilizing a network of servers for content and data transfer. Cloudflare also implements load balancing and the virtual backbone called “Argo.”
Sales and Payments
Is your website ready to make money?
Then you better have the tools that make monetization not only possible but also easy as pie.
39. Instamojo (Receive payments via cards, bank transfer, and online wallets)
Price: Free plus small charges for specific transactions
I thought about mentioning PayPal as the first tool in this category.
But, let’s face it — everybody should know about PayPal by now.
Instamojo is another payment processor for Indian businesses, professionals, and entrepreneurs.
Simply create your account, set up your account, and start receiving payments through:
- Bank transfer
- National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)
- Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS)
- Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
- Debit card
- Credit card
- Pay later services
- Online wallets
- International cards
40. Podia (Build and sell online courses, webinars, and membership services)
Price: $39 per month
You can easily find several online course platforms that will help you make money as an expert in your niche.
But for this list, I want to talk about the platform I use: Podia.
Long story short, Podia will allow you to start selling online courses, downloads, and membership services in five steps.
You can design your own digital storefront to reel in customers, build products, and track sales — all in one place.
41. WooCommerce (The eCommerce platform designed specifically for WordPress)
If you’re planning to build a WordPress online store, you should always look at WooCommerce first.
Just like WordPress, WooCommerce is a free, open-source platform with everything you need to build and run an online store.
Let’s take a quick look at WooCommerce’s features:
- Support for hundreds of secure payment gateways — Right off the bat, WooCommerce lets you receive payments through 140 region-specific gateways. This includes payment processing services like Apple Pay, Stripe, and PayPal.
- Offer coupons to spur sales — Discount coupons are a proven way to boost sales. With WooCommerce, you can effortlessly customize and offer coupons that will definitely help churn up some profits.
- Email marketing — WooCommerce comes bundled with email marketing features that will help you foster lead growth and conversions. Within minutes, you can set up email automation workflows for abandoned carts, birthday emails, and more.
If you want to be a successful blogger, here’s something you should know:
Blogging isn’t just about your website or content — it’s also about ideas and the things you do outside your blog.
To grow, you need to embrace habits that will up your productivity, organize ideas, prioritize tasks, and so on.
This last section is about the tools that make it all happen for me. Hopefully, it’ll make successful blogging a part of your journey, too.
42. Trello (Visually organize your to-do list with cards)
Price: Free or $9.99 per month
Before I start working each day, I launch three apps that I consider crucial to my workflow:
Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, and Trello.
The first two don’t need any explanation — you probably already know what they do.
As for Trello, let’s just say that it allows me to stay on top of my tasks.
Trello lets you save tasks as cards, which can contain labels, checklists, attachments, comments, and even deadlines.
Trello cards can then be organized using lists and boards. Use both categorization options as you see fit.
43. IFTTT (Automate tasks between two or more services)
The more tools you use, the more work you have to put into managing your website.
Automation tools like IFTTT will prevent you from being overwhelmed by your digital ecosystem.
Short for “If This, Then That,” IFTTT works by automating workflows between two services.
A process from one service acts as a trigger, while another service executes an action as a result.
I know — creating automation workflows sounds intimidating. But once you experience building your first automation, it will become easy and fun.
For a short list of useful IFTTT automation templates, click here.
44. Evernote (Collect and organize all your ideas across multiple devices)
Price: Free or $7.99 per month
There was once a time when I used Evernote for screenshot purposes through the “Skitch” app.
Don’t get me wrong — it’s still an awesome tool for creating annotated screenshots. But the main selling point of Evernote is its versatile note-taking capabilities.
With Evernote, you can capture your ideas using various formats, like:
- Text-based notes
- Audio recording notes
- Photo notes
- Handwritten notes (mobile devices)
Your notes are also synced across all devices with Evernote installed.
Whenever inspiration strikes, whip out your smartphone, jot down your idea, and refine it later.
45. MindMeister (Develop and group related content ideas)
Price: Free or $2.49 per month
Aside from Evernote, I also use MindMeister to keep tabs on my content ideas for Master Blogging.
MindMeister is a mind mapping software that lets you create visual lists of your original ideas.
On your MindMeister mindmap, ideas can have multiple topics attached to it.
You can also customize each topic’s font, color, style, outline, and icon for better organization.
46. Noisli (Drown out background noise and stay focused on your work)
Price: Free or $10 per month
Struggling to stay focused on your blogging tasks?
Try Noisli — a sound generator that can simulate environments that can help certain people stay productive.
You can mix and match noises like rain, water stream, train, and so on. There are also playlists that are pre-built for specific moods like relaxation and motivation.
Should I get Noisli’s pro version?
While Noisli is indeed a unique and effective tool for workaholic bloggers, I don’t recommend buying the pro version.
After all, how many times a week do you work in a noisy environment?
If you’re the type of blogger who works in coffee shops, restaurants, and other busy places often, then sure. But if you have a dedicated home office for all your blogging activities, stick with Noisli’s free version.
47. Clockify (Take full control of your time)
In blogging, time is the only resource you can’t recover once spent.
Clockify will keep you informed on where every second of your day goes. It’s a free-to-use time tracker with some pretty advanced features, like weekly reports and in-depth analytics.
Here’s a pro tip: be sure to log everything.
Did you step out to buy some groceries? How about a quick snack?
Knowing how you spend every minute will help you devise a plan on how to be more efficient. It’s all a matter of planning your schedule and making sure non-crucial tasks don’t get in the way of productivity.
There you have it — some of the best tools for bloggers that you should definitely check out.
While I vouch for all the tools listed above, I don’t think any of them are perfect.
I encourage you to do your homework and look for potential alternatives.
It’s impossible for me to have a full understanding of everyone’s needs and objectives. And since I want you to be happy with your toolbox, I advise you: take your personal tastes into consideration.
If your favorite tool isn’t listed, feel free to comment about it below. I’m also looking forward to whatever feedback or question you might have.
This is Ankit Singla signing out.
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