Are you looking to improve your blogging skills? Whether you want to improve your content, master product photography, or become skilled in SEO, there are many blogging tools and resources that can help you
Since beginning blogging in 2010, I’ve seen a lot of tools and platforms come and go, but there are some excellent ones out there that WILL really help you to elevate your blog and the content that you produce.
In this post, you’ll discover:
- The best online tools to improve your blogging skills
- Tools for topic inspiration, content creation + SEO, visuals, and email marketing
- 25 sites for feminine stock photos (free + paid)
- Are SEO tools worth it?
- Pro blogging tips to elevate your website
Improve Your Blogging Skills With These Helpful Tools
One area where most people get stuck is knowing what to write about. Before you plan any kind of strategy or schedule, it’s important to know what EXACTLY you’re going to write about.
So, where can you get ideas for topics? Alongside looking at websites within your niche, you can also use the following tools for topic inspiration.
AnswerThePublic (Free + Paid)
AnswerThePublic is a free tool that enables you to find out what people are searching for – perfect for getting content ideas that people actually want to read about.
While there is a paid upgrade, the free version should be more than enough to provide a wide variety of ideas.
To get the most out of this tool, search for 1-2 words in the search bar and your desired location. The tool will then collate results which you can download.
Your results will contain answers, including questions beginning with how, are, will, which, why, who, where, can, what, and when.
There are also comparisons, prepositions, and alphabetical results.
You could then use a keyword research tool to find out how competitive those topics are.
If you’re looking for trending topics, I highly recommend using Google Trends. With this free tool, you can instantly find out what topics have recently been trending, as well as sub-topics that are becoming popular within a particular niche.
Let’s say that I want to find out more about ‘keto recipes’. I can check what interest in this topic has been like over the past 12 months or more.
Plus, I can find out what related topics and queries are currently growing in interest.
You can search different countries so this tool works well no matter which audience you’re targeting.
Quora is such an underrated tool for bloggers and website owners.
Did you know that many Quora answers rank on page 1 of Google search results? Yes, it’s a great way to find underused keywords and topics.
To find topic inspiration for your website, simply type a topic into the search bar and scroll down to see what questions people are asking related to that topic.
You can filter to view topics from the last day, week, month, and year, or look for all questions. You can then use a keyword tool to determine if you can rank for this topic.
Alternatively, you could type the question into Google search to see if any other websites are covering related topics.
If you want to improve your blogging skills in content writing and search engine optimization, here are some free and paid tools to consider.
Keysearch (Free + Paid)
Keysearch is a must-have keyword research tool. You can find ‘low competition’ keywords to rank for, perform competitor analysis, and track your own serp rankings.
A free plan only enables you to do 5 daily keyword searches and you don’t get access to rank or competitor tracking, so to get the most out of it, you do need a paid plan. However, it’s only $17 per month and you can get 20% OFF any plan with my code KSDISC.
Semrush (Free + Paid)
Semrush is an alternative to Ahrefs which can be used for keyword research, checking backlinks, auditing your website, and more. I use the free version to track my serp rankings and to audit my website.
The free version is limited – you can only track one website. It’s enough for beginners to use, though. You can also get a free trial which is handy for doing keyword research in bulk.
RankMath (Free + Paid)
RankMath is a WordPress plugin that helps you to optimize your blog posts for SEO. The free version is perfectly fine for beginners to use unless you want to use it to track your search rankings (you can do this with Keysearch).
I only use RankMath for help in optimization like adding a meta description to posts and adding schema. I prefer this tool to Yoast but which works best for you will ultimately come down to personal preference.
SurferSEO is an SEO optimization tool that helps you to plan, research, and write content that brings traffic to your website. My favorite part of this tool is the content editor which provides related keyword suggestions so that you can easily rank for multiple keywords at once.
You can easily see what websites ranking on page 1 of Google are including in their posts (post length, headings etc) and you can also optimize your current content so that it ranks better.
There is a free option for content suggestions and tracking websites. The paid version gives you access to the content editor which is where the magic really starts. At $59 per month, it’s not super cheap but if you have the budget for it, it’s a great tool to have in your blogging kit.
Word Hippo is a free online thesaurus. I tend to use this when I’m searching for ‘alternate’ words to use – there are only so many times you can use words like ‘effective’ haha.
Google Docs (Free)
Google Docs is excellent for using to write out your blog posts in draft. I prefer to work straight into docs and then copy and paste content into WordPress – the formatting stays the same so I don’t have to waste time trying to make my blog post look presentable.
Google Docs is completely free to use and unless you delete a document you’re working on, your content will remain in your account.
Every website needs attractive images and designs to promote content. If you’re looking to improve your blogging skills visually, these tools will take you to the next level.
Canva (Free + Paid)
Canva is my favorite tool for designing graphics, such as pins, Instagram posts, reels, and digital downloads.
Canva has many free features, including templates for social media graphics, collages, infographics, videos, and much more. The free option is limited in terms of the templates, elements, and fonts you can use. However, if you’re on a budget, you could find some free fonts or graphics online and upload them to use with your designs.
There’s so much you can do in Canva – you can even create Zoom backgrounds, presentations and websites.
Want an EXTRA EASY way to create a blog logo?
Unsplash is an excellent site for finding free images to use on your website. You can search for images in the majority of niches, whether you’re searching for photographs related to current events or something you can use for your food, travel, beauty, fashion niche posts.
Pexels is another great website for finding free stock images and videos. I’ve used several videos from this website on my Pinterest Pins as they’re visually attractive and easy to use in Canva.
Once you start creating content, it’s time to begin encouraging people to get on your email list. There’s only one email marketing tool that I use and this will help you to improve your blogging skills in 2023.
Mailerlite (Free + Paid)
For email marketing, Mailerlite enables you to send emails, create automations, and add forms to your website so that people can sign up for your email list.
The great thing about Mailerlite is that it’s free for up to 1000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month. The free plan doesn’t include as many features as the paid version but if you’re just getting started with email marketing and are on a budget, this is the best email platform for beginners.
Why track your statistics? These help to improve your blogging skills by ensuring you’re on the right track when it comes to growth.
Google Analytics (Free)
If you’re not yet signed up for Google Analytics then I urge you to get started asap. This free tool to improve your blogging skills will help you to track your blog views, how long people stay on your website, where your traffic is coming from, and much more.
If you’re planning on monetizing your website with display ads or sponsored posts, you’ll need to know how much traffic you’re getting – most companies and ad networks usually track this via Google Analytics.
Keeping your blog organized is key if you want to improve your blogging skills. That’s because it will save you a lot of headaches and stress, especially when it comes to keyword research and planning content.
Trello has both free and paid features but unless you’re managing a team of writers, the free plan has more than enough to help you stay organized.
Trello is a visual tool that enables you to see your workflow. For example, you can organize blog tasks into ‘boards’ and use these to plan your blog ideas, production stage, and completion.
You can also share your boards with other people so it’s easy to manage your website.
You can create your own boards or use templates to get organize your website. Here’s an example of what a template looks like:
If you’re more of a visual person, you’ll prefer using Trello to tools like Google Sheets.
Google Sheets (Free)
I prefer using Google Sheets to keep my blog content organized. With Google Sheets, you can create free spreadsheets to track your blog content, keywords, affiliate programs, and more.
You can even use it to keep track of your passwords for these tools to improve your blogging skills.
Everything is stored in Google Drive so it’s super easy to keep track of your online projects. You can also add other people to sheets so they can collaborate, and you can use a template if the thought of filling in a blank sheet fills you with terror.
I hope these tools help you to improve your blogging skills – I also have some extra tools on my resources page – these will help you if you still need to set up your website and make it look professional.