So you’ve got a blog. Or you’re thinking about “doing something” with your company’s barely-touched business blog.
Or maybe it’s a passion-project blog, where you write blog content about issues you’re really passionate about – like politics, fly fishing lures, or your favorite Alice and Ames brand dresses.
Whatever you’re blogging about, odds are you want people to find it and read it. Otherwise, why would you go to the trouble of setting up a blog when you could have a private journal?
People still read blogs. They are hugely useful and relevant for readers.
Here are 3 easy and ultra-useful blogging tools you can use to take your blog to the next level.
Tip 1: Online Groups and Forums
Online groups and forums are a great way to find an audience for your blog post. Ideally, you’re already an active contributing member in these groups and not joining merely to wallpaper other members with links to your blog.
I had a really great, online mom group that I belonged to on Facebook. It was those relationships and that social support that actually gave me the courage to take the plunge into blogging. And I found that it also gave me a platform.
But let’s say you have a blog about paid online surveys. Or you want to start writing a blog on that topic. Make sure you’re a part of the conversation in related groups and online forums. If you’re not a member of any of these groups, join.
And after you join, spend your first 2-3 months listening. Or rather reading the posts. Offer helpful comments and tips in the reply that are genuinely useful. See what people are concerned about. Those are your topic ideas.
On Facebook if you search for groups about “online surveys”, you’ll find plenty of options. Join these groups and hop in. These groups often go off-topic and people talk about other things. Why they’re interested in online surveys, who they’re earning for, what keeps them up at night. It’s a goldmine of information and connections, and Facebook is a free tool.
Reddit is another free tool and great place to find conversations about doing online surveys for money.
Tip 2: Your Email
Use your email to reach out to other writers and bloggers who are writing about similar topics. Upromise, for example, is a rewards program that helps families save money for college through their 529 plans. Members earn rewards for cash back rebates on shopping and dining out. But instead of cashing out those rewards for PayPal or Amazon, they go straight to their child’s college fund.
Do some quick Google search of other bloggers who are writing about ways to save for college. With just the first page results on Google, you can see that a number of people write about this topic in blogs. The College Investor, Student Loan Hero, Good Financial Cents, and The Collegiate Parent are also examples.
Look for the blog site owner or article author and send them an email. Introduce yourself. Something like one of the following messages.
Hey John Doe,
I just read your article about the 50 Best Ways to Save for College and I think we should partner up. I work for Upromise where we help families save money for college. It’s a free program that’s helped families save over $1 billion for college. I think your readers would love to know about it. If you write about it in a blog post, we will definitely share it to our own readers via email and social media.
I read your article about the 50 Best Ways to Save for College and thought it was terrific. I blog for Upromise and also write extensively about that topic. Would you be interested in doing a guest post exchange? I can write an original, 1,000-word piece just for your readers on your website. And I can publish one of your posts on the topic and promote it to our readers with social media marketing.
Most people won’t reply to your emails. But some people will. Every connection you make is worth its weight in gold. That’s someone else who knows about your blog post and is going to promote it. You’ve got another champion in your corner to take your blog to the next level.
If you’ve got fancy email marketing tools to mass email tons of people at once, great. But in the beginning, a more hand-to-hand combat approach is better. Shoot for messaging 20 people a day over the next 10 days. After 10 days, you should get at least 3-20 hits, if not more.
Tip 3: Use Ahrefs to Find Keywords and Article Ideas
Experts giving blogging advice will tell you to do your keyword research. Write blog content about what’s trending and where there’s search volume. Of course, if it’s a personal blog you’ll want to write about what you love. But there are plenty of searches related to your blog topic; find the ones that are the highest volume.
I have a personal blog where I like to write about kids’ clothes. Using ahrefs, I can see what related terms are getting a lot of search volume. And I can also see how difficult it’s going to be to rank for the term. The term “kids clothes” is uber-competitive. I would need roughly 224 websites to link my blog or article about kids clothes to rank on the first page of Google and other search engines for this term.
I can also see other keyword ideas that people are also searching for that might be easier to rank for. There are over 26,000 related keywords ahrefs can recommend. Ahrefs will let me know how many people are searching that term each month, and how difficult it will be to rank for that term.
Based on this data, a children’s clothing blogger might want to write about “Shein kids clothes”, “Primary kids clothes”, or “Target kids clothes”. These terms have high search volume, and it should be relatively easy to rank for these terms. (I chose to write about Shein Kids clothes because I am intrigued by the brand and have purchased kids’ clothing three times from that website.)
KD means Keyword Difficulty. The lower the score, the better. Shein kids clothes, for example, has an excellent KD score of 10 and high monthly search volume. You want to write articles that have low KD scores and high search volume. In fact, that’s why there is a blog article written on the topic of Shein kids clothes and it ranks around 8th to 11th on Google Search.
Ahrefs can be spendy. The best blogging tools cost money, but you can find other options. There are some good free alternative tools you can use, like SEMrush or Moz.
Final Thoughts on These 3 Blogger Tools to Bring Your Blog to the Next Level
Of course, there are plenty of paid tools and paid services you can use to improve your blog. Like hiring a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Consultant to do a site audit and make suggestions to improve your blog content, landing pages, and more.
And there are other “free” things you can do to improve your blog and SEO presence, like fixing broken links, using better blog images, and making sure your blog is being correctly crawled (read) and indexed (understood) by Google.
But these 3 free SEO tools and tips outlined in this article are a great start.
- Find relevant, online communities in Facebook, Reddit, and other forums. People here will be your readers, customers, and champions.
- Use your email to reach out to other writers to ask them to share your blog or publish a guest post.
- Use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs to find topics to write about.
If you use these 3 free tools over the next 2-3 months, you will see results. Be persistent.