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6 INSANELY Useful Tools to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

Want to take your blog the level?

While I understand ‘next level’ can be subjective to each blogger’s journey, I’ll share tools that can help you achieve more:

  • Traffic
  • Social Media shares
  • Subscribers
  • Sales

What do I know about this topic?

I started my first personal blog back in 2008 and that failed miserably. I didn’t give up though, I then started Ask Aaron Lee, my second blog in 2010 that has survived up to this day. I’ve been around the block for quite some time now and phew! It’s been quite the ride. That blog has been featured on

  • Huffington Post
  • Inc
  • Buffer
  • & many others

I’ve also had the opportunity to work on brands and startups blogs as well. Some grew to over a million unique visitors a month.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how you can take your blog from level 10 to level 30! I’m giving you the exact tools that I use to help grow my blog.

If you want to achieve even more, consider heading to this list of must-have WordPress plugins after reading this article

1. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a must have tool for any blogger if you want to take your blog to the next level.

Buzzsumo lets you find and analyze the most popular content on the web determined by social shares on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ etc.

There are two ways you can use Buzzsumo. While I already have a paid version of the app, the free version of the app can get you started just as well.

  • Method 1: Search other blogs

The first method is my favorite. All you have to do is simply key in any blog in your industry or your competitors’ blogs. This shows you their best blog post ranked by the number of shares it gets.

You just found GOLD here.

socialmediaexaminer

Copy those blog posts or titles into a list. You can use the list as inspiration for your blog posts or simply write something similar. Chances are, those blog post will perform well for your blog as well.

  • Method 2: Search important keywords.

Recently I started my second blog example for my blog at Short of Height, the blog shares fashion tips for short men. To get inspiration on what to write, I simply search the term ‘short men’ to find what people are sharing.

short men

I recommend getting a paid plan for this method because you’ll get more search results. Better yet, if it’s out of your budget, all you have to do is get the trial. Spend ONE WEEK and search every keyword you need. Fully utilize the app. That was what I did previously when I just got started and wanted to stay within my budget.

2. Hemingway

Hemingway is a neat tool designed to help you write better and clearer. If you want to take your blog to the next level, writing well is one sure way to do it. What the tool does

If you want to take your blog to the next level, writing well is one sure way to do it. What the tool does

What the tool does is highlight common issues that affect the readability of your blog post. All you have to do is copy your blog post and paste it into the app.

Once you’ve done that, they will show you the grade of your blog post as well as highlight the issues that your post might have. Remember, you want your grade to be as low as possible. I tend to target to get at least grade 5 or below.

These issues could be

  • Long paragraphs
  • Complex words

The best part is, Hemingway also shows you how to fix those issues.

Here’s an example of a blog post that Hemingway just graded. As you may have noticed, the app shows the different issues that needs to be looked at.

hemingway app

I quickly fixed the highlighted problems so that I had no more errors.

hemingway blog

In general, when you fix your mistakes and make your content more concise, your readability goes down. The lower the better.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly has been my go-to tool for years now. Don’t believe me? Check one of my weekly reports.

grammarly

To start, I draft and write all my blog posts on Grammarly. As its name suggests, Grammarly finds grammar mistakes.

If you’re tired of finding your own grammar mistakes, this tool basically does the work for you while you’re writing. You can either edit it straight away or complete the blog post first before editing those mistakes. I tend to do the latter because I don’t want to stop my creative juice from flowing onto the app, I recommend you to do the same too.

blog tool grammarly

The good news is, that’s not all. With Grammarly, it will highlight repetitive words and recommends other words to use.

I also use it as an inspiration board by jotting down ideas that I have for a blog post, such as those I found using Buzzsumo. If you had to get only one tool today, it would be THIS tool. I seriously recommend it.

Even Kriti Hines uses it.

4. Piktochart

piktochart

Piktochart is a simple, easy to use tool. It allows you to create beautiful:

  • infographics
  • posters
  • presentations
  • and more.

For blogs, you can use this platform to create infographics.

Useful visuals like infographics are one easy way to improve your blog posts. We all know that infographics are one of the best ways to make your content go viral and build backlinks.

Typically, you will need to spend around $400 to $1000 to get an infographic created.

That’s just the basic, many doesn’t include the data that goes into the infographic. You need to pay more if you want them to do the research.

As a small business owner, I can understand that not many can afford this or have this in their marketing budget.

This is where Piktochart comes in handy.

They have an easy interface where you have templates that you pick out to get started and then you can get started tweaking it immediately. If you’re used to Canva, you’ll get used to Piktochart easily.

You don’t need to draw anything as everything is included in a plan that you can get for just $15 to $29 a month. That’s just a fraction of what you pay to get someone to create an infographic for you.

Here’s something that I just got started working on one a couple of minutes ago.

piktochart 2

5. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

coschedule headline analyzer

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a useful tool for bloggers. It will critique your headlines.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been terrible with headlines. I also wrote 5-7 headlines for each blog post and I’ll let the editors that I was working with pick what they thought would be a good title.

Now, I have more confidence creating and picking the best headlines with this easy to use tool.

It’s simple, all you have to do is enter a headline into the textbox, and click “analyze now”:

 

That’s all!

The result will appear on your page with the overall score and recommendations.

To show you an example, I took a sample headline for this blog posts to analyze.

Based on my headline, I scored 68 from a maximum score of 100.

headline analyzer

That’s okay but I’ve done better before.

What I’ll do is continue to tweak it until I get something better.

I started out with

  • 6 Blogging Tools to Make Your Blog Better

After playing around, I ended up with

  • 6 INSANELY Useful Tools to Take Your Blog to the Next Level

According to the score, adding ‘insanely’ was a good word to add ‘power and emotion’ to the blog post.

coschedule

If you’re not good at coming up with headlines, this tool can help you. You’ll slowly learn about the headlines that work. Soon, you won’t even need the tool as you continue to learn about what works and what doesn’t.

6. Sumome

Where do I start?

I like to think of Sumome as the Swiss Army knife of blogging tools. They have EVERYTHING you need from:

  • List Builder: to increase your daily email sign-ups by 20%
  • Heat Maps: to see where your blog visitors are clicking
  • Share button: to get your blog visitors spread the love

The best part? It’s FREE. Like F-R-E-E.

It has everything you need to take your blog to the next level from getting your content shared more and getting you more subscribers.

It’s going to be hard to explain every single tool that they have under their belt.

I could go all day about them that would that take a whole blog post itself.

I would however, recommend the list builder tool and toolbar.

The list builder tool allows you to create a mini popup that you can choose to appear anywhere on the blog. The toolbar allows you to create a toolbar that appears at the top of the blog.

askaaronlee

Summing up:

Have fun playing around with these tools.

I thought I’d add a piece of advice to sum this entire post.

Part of taking your blog to the next level is not comparing your blog to other bloggers. The reason you don’t want to do that is it can take away your love for blogging.

It’s hard to be happy with your progress when you’re always comparing yourself to others who have been doing it for years. You’ll only get discouraged and give up.

If there are other tools you would recommend me to add, feel free to recommend in the comment sections below.

By Aaron Lee

Aaron Lee has been writing about social media since 2010. He recently founded Shortofheight.com, a blog that shares style & fashion tips for short men.

5 replies on “6 INSANELY Useful Tools to Take Your Blog to the Next Level”

Great list of tools. Surely I’ll try few of the tools to take my blog to the next level. I have been using Grammarly for last few months. It is one of the best tool to remove grammar mistakes.

Hey Aaron

I’m a big fan of Grammarly. I couldn’t live without it. Although I prefer to use Google Docs for composing my blog posts. Then I copy and paste into Grammarly for grammar checking.

I used to use headline analyzers a lot too. I’ve tried the CoSchedule one and also the one by Advanced Marketing Institute. I found that the headlines which achieved the highest scores on the analyzers weren’t necessarily the ones that performed the best though.

One thing that worked well for me was simply trying alternate headlines on Twitter and seeing which got the most clicks. That’s real world testing right there.

Clement

Hey Aaron,

I have been using Grammarly for a long time now. It’s such an amazing tool to craft the blog posts without errors.

The list you have you mentioned is helpful and people can have something awesome with the photo editing tools.

Thanks for sharing with us.
Have a great day.
~Ravi

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