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5 Tools Businesses Must Have To Kickstart A Blog In 2023

Updated: Jan 24, 2023


Starting a blog can have multiple benefits for your business. It can:

  • Grow and nurture your target audience.

  • Showcase your knowledge and expertise.

  • Improve your SEO ranking.

But how do you get started? What all bloggers need (especially new ones) are tools to help them succeed in all stages of the blogging process, from writing and editing to publishing and promotion.


So, I have compiled a list of 5 types of tools you need to kick-start your blog. There are tools out there for checking and editing your content, keyword and SEO research tools, content calendars, and analytics tools.




 

5 Tools Businesses Need to Start a Blog in 2022


1. Spelling, Grammar and Content Checks

It doesn't matter how long you have been writing, whether you're new to blogging or are a veteran blogger, you are going to make mistakes. The trick is knowing how to avoid these mistakes.


This is where content tools come in. I use Grammarly for everything I write. As a new content writer, I decided to give the free version of the app a try and I never looked back. It makes it easier to write fluently and see errors I might not have spotted when editing.


The free version of Grammarly is easy enough to understand. It offers basic spelling, punctuation and grammar checks. There are also two paid plans, Premium and Business.


The Premium plan includes extra bonus checks such as tone, plagiarism and formality. If you're willing to spend the money to cover these kinds of features, I would recommend it.


Another tool to use is the Hemingway App, which is similar to Grammarly. But while Grammarly can be used on all desktop applications and corrects your work as you write, the Hemingway App requires to you write, or copy and paste, into the app.


Editing suggestions are then highlighted in different colours, as you can see in the image above.


The key difference with this app however is that it gives you a readability assessment. With blog writing, you want to aim for a Grade 7/8 reading level (that's Year 8/9 for UK readers).


The original research by the Literacy Project is no longer available, but the idea still stands. People also prefer to read content that is at a lower reading level than their abilities. This is especially true on the internet.


So the Hemingway App will help you assess your writing and edit it down to your reading level goal.


 

2. Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research is one of the most important things to do before writing a blog post. It is vital for your SEO needs, as keywords will influence your rankings on Google and other search engines.


However, you also want to avoid using the same keywords repeatedly in your content. This is called "stuffing", and it will negatively impact your search rankings.


To improve your keyword rankings while avoiding stuffing, several tools out there can help. My favourite tool to use is Ubersuggest. It is free and easy to use and has paid upgrade options. The downside to the free version is that you only get 3 keyword searches per day - so you need to use them wisely!


Screenshot of Ubersuggest keyword search
Ubersuggest Keyword Search

That said, Ubersuggest is a brilliant tool. When you search for a keyword it gives you a wealth of data, including search volume, SEO difficulty ranking, and other keyword and content ideas.


Screenshot of Ubersuggest keyword overview
Ubersuggest Keyword Overview

Ubersuggest's keyword ideas section is very useful for finding keyword phrases you might not have considered using before. Each keyword is also given its SEO difficulty ranking (end column). The lower the number, the better the ranking!


Screenshot of Ubersuggest keyword ideas
Ubersuggest Keyword Ideas
 

3. SEO Tools

While keyword research is vital for SEO, you will also need more comprehensive tools for SEO. SEO is a minefield for beginners, so finding the right tool to support you is really important to get you going.


Some website builders have SEO tools built into them. Wix for example (which is what I use), has a whole section of its dashboard dedicated to SEO.


Another type of website creator is WordPress. WordPress.org is different to website builders in that it is completely self-hosted, you can create your website from scratch and you have complete control over it. This means that you need to use plugins to get the features you want.


Yoast SEO is one such plugin. It has free and premium versions, but the essentials are covered in the free version, so that is what I will examine here.


Screenshot of Yoast homepage
Yoast Homepage

Yoast has several features, including inbuilt keyword optimisation. What does that mean? It means that you can enter your keywords or key phrases into the Yoast search bar, and it will automatically scan through your content. It will then tell you if you have used your keywords enough (or too much!) for top Google search rankings.


It also gives you feedback on the readability of your content and offers tips for optimising it (like the Hemingway App). Overall this is a useful WordPress plugin and is optimised for other plugins and themes such as Elementor.


But take note that this is a WordPress plugin. If you are using any other website-building software, like Wix or Squarespace, then you will need a different tool.


BuzzSumo is another great tool that can be used across most platforms. It is a paid tool, but I believe that it is worth the money if you are willing to invest. It also has a 30-day free trial if you are unsure.


Screenshot of BuzzSumo Features
BuzzSumo Features

The features of BuzzSumo are similar to that of Yoast. It has an inbuilt keyword research tool that will help you with content ideas, and it also has tools for monitoring what is trending on searches and other websites. This means that you can strategise and adjust your content to stay on top of trends.


On a side note away from SEO, BuzzSumo also has tools for finding the right influencers to support your blog. You can identify which influencers have the relevant authority, and how to find influential social media pages. So if you are looking for support for your blog, it is worth checking that out.


 

4. Content Calendars

Having a calendar is important for organising your blog posting schedule. Without one, you run the risk of not posting regularly enough for your readers. If your readers come to expect a post once a day or once a week, then that is what they will expect. They may lose interest if your posts lose their irregularity.


This is where content and editorial calendars can help. I prefer to use a Clever Fox planner for planning my posts, but not everyone else is a fan of this. There are other solutions, such as Google Calendar.


Google Calendar can sync to your other Google apps such as docs and can make the planning process smoother. You can also easily see your schedule for the month and make the relevant changes if necessary.


There are also dedicated editorial calendars available. Hubspot for example has a range of free resources including editorial calendar templates.


If you're looking for more, there are several paid content calendars available too. Calendars like Asana are useful if your blog is run by a team. It is a dedicated tool for managing and assigning tasks to people, and keeping deadlines organised.


There are hundreds of solutions out there, so I want to summarise what it is that makes a good content calendar:

  • A decent view of the calendar - you should be able to see and organise your publishing strategy in one place

  • Effective task management - if you are leading a team, you should be able to assign tasks to people without any confusion

  • Shows the workflow - you should be able to see the different stages of your posts, from ideas to publishing and promotion

The important thing to remember is that you need to find a calendar that suits you.


 

5. Analytics

The final type of tool new bloggers will need is an analytics tool. Some website builders like Wix already have analytics tools built into them, but you might need some additional support.


Google Analytics is a free alternative, with a paid upgrade called Analytics 360. With any analytics tool, what you need is a place to view all of the data from your website. This includes:

  • Site visits - including where your visitors are from

  • Audience data - this includes interests and trends on your site, and what the audience behaviours are (what pages they visit, etc.)

  • Website conversions - track your subscription and/or sales goals

To find out more, SeoDennis has a fantastic article on the uses of Google Analytics.


Analytics tools can provide a wealth of information for your blog. This will help you to optimise and promote your content to meet your goals.


If your main concern is with your audience, another analytics tool to consider is HotJar.


Screenshot of HotJar heatmaps
HotJar Heatmaps

HotJar is a brilliant tool for visualising consumer data. One of its notable features is the heatmap, which gives you a visual representation of where readers are clicking on your site. You can then use this data to optimise your content around these "hot" trends.


Like content calendars, there is a range of analytics tools out there. You need to choose the tool that's best suited to your site and gives you the data that you need.


 

Wrapping Up

So those are five kinds of tools new bloggers need in 2021. I covered a range of tools, including content-checking tools, keyword research tools, SEO tools, content calendars, and analytics tools.


This list should give you some idea of what tools you want to look for to support your blog. I have given my recommendations, but the choice is up to you!


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