Blogging

23 Essential Blogging Tools to Help You Grow Your Blog

My blogging tools

You want to know the blogging tools that work, right?

Okay.

Some little things set the pros apart. You know that.

People often ask, “which good blogging tools do you recommend, Francis?”

Look, good tools are all over the internet today.

So, I can only share with you and recommend those that I use and believe in.

You’ll understand why I use them, too.

In doing that, all the tools required for ‘no hard time blogging’ will be looked at.

I had a hard time when I first started out, but you won’t, because this post is for you. 

Let’s get started:

1 – Domain

Godaddy is my domain registrar.

They’ve been reliable and cheap.

They’re the world largest domain registrar.

You may choose to purchase your domain name from your web host.

2 – Hosting

My blog was hosted on SiteGround – a web host dedicated to WordPress.

They’re WordPress recommended.

I started Gallople on Godaddy hosting service.

And switching my host wasn’t complicated because the people at SiteGround freely did the job for me.

Their support level is high.

And they consistently give me updates through emails.

3 – Blog theme

The beautiful blog you’re looking at uses the “Authority WordPress Theme by MyThemeShop – a shop with professional WordPress themes for your every need.

Don’t be surprised of its look here.

They made it that easy for me to customize.

You see, I’m good at customizing themes. What do you think?

4 – Blog posts

 I’m not an English or American. That shouldn’t be an excuse to mess up either.

There is always a way. There must be.

Following the tips in this post helped me to write like I’m doing. No struggle.

But when it comes to proofreading and editing, Grammerly has always been there for me.

For best results on social media and search result pages, I test my headlines with Coschedule headline analyzer.

5 – Images

My favorite source of images is Pixabay.

They’re free with right sizes and resolutions.

6 – My blog SEO

I don’t think much about SEO.

My target is to give readers useful content. Content that solves a problem.

Search engines will run looking for me when I’m able to help people.

If people find what I produce useful, they will reward me by sharing, returning and linking back to my content.

Yoast SEO plugin does all the essential basic stuff for me.

See how to set it up using this guide in the video:

Yoast offers real time content analysis and fixes 80% of my SEO.

Just use this plugin, and don’t think much.

I make good use of my limited time to create and promote quality content.

7 – Social media

I use the inbuilt social sharing buttons of my blog theme.

Click to Tweet – I have this Coschedule’s  plugin in place to encourage more sharing…

Like this:

Buffer manages my social sharing schedules.

Feedly is the best free RSS I use to collect and track blog posts of people I follow on the web.

8 – Blog commenting

I never wanted to open comments.

Eventually, I did.

I opened with CommentLuv at the onset.

Bloggers need backlinks to help their blogs grow.

So, they look for sites with this plugin. And drop comments on them for the backlinks.

They’re rewarded, whiles I discover new blog posts and encourage more friends to comment.

MyCommentAuthors attracts more blog comments.

How?

It’s simple:

“I generate a list of all my comment authors monthly. Publish the list and give them a shout out.”

I say thank you with it every month to attract people into my community.

9 – List Building and Email marketing

List building is my priority.

And email is one of my traffic sources.

I used Mailer Lite to build my list.

I emailed my subscribers with it, too.

As you may have noticed, I had Plugmatter Optin Feature box as my email opt-in form. It use to be up there – above the fold.

I used it in combination with Mailer Lite. They’re good.

I’m using GetResponse now.

10 – Analytics

I track most things that happen in and around my blog with Google Analytics

It’s free, easy to use, and provides me with enough data to help me increase search traffic.

11 – Blog performance

Hope you weren’t annoyed with my page speed?

I have this blog optimized with W3 Total Cache to increase my page loading speed.

Learn how to optimize your page speed with this plugin by following the process in this video:

The other tools I use to boost performance of this blog includes:

  • WP Smush  reduces the sizes of my images.
  • WP-Optimize  removes my posts revisions and spam to clean up my database.
  • Google page speed insights tool reveals Google’s version of my page speed. That’s why I love using it. It also shows you what to do to remedy all issues causing low page speed.

12 – Blog protection

I wonder why hack attacks on blogs keep increasing. Why are people so wicked?

Sucuri  shelters me from those internet vampires, and updates me on whatever that goes on with my blog:

Image of how Succuri alerts me

It’s more than a plugin.

13 – Blog Monetization

I used to make money with and through this blog using these 3 networks:

14 – Receiving payments

Most companies online pay affiliate marketers through PayPal. And there is no PayPal here in Ghana. I’ve lost so much money before – it hurts.

So, I rely on bank wire and a combination of some few other payment systems for my withdrawals.

Trustworthy blogging tools to use, isn’t it?

The proof is this blog – the results of these tools.

Blogging is no more a difficult thing for me because of the resources I have mentioned.

As you may have noticed, excelling in blogging depends on your commitment and the tools you use.

Some blogging tools are must haves.

Give them a try.

For they’ll surely change your experience.

Yes, I admit. There are a lot more other stuff on the internet.

So, what tools are you using?

Drop all in the comment box.

32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Hussain Omar

    August 1, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Hey Francis,
    Great post!
    You made it simple for newbies to know all the tools they will need during their journey.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Regards
    Hussain

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 1, 2016 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Hussain, glad to see you here again, and thanks for the kind words.

      My target? Yes, newbies. And also anyone who wants to know the tools I use on this blog.

      I’m still working on the advice you gave me recently.

      Thanks for the love, bro.

  2. Ravi Chahar

    August 2, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Hey Francis,

    To build a blog with the quality, you should have the domain which can show the niche of your blog. The web hosting is the reason your website is live. Choose it carefully.

    All the tools you have mentioned in the list have their specific support. I am sure people are going to like it.

    Great post.
    Have a nice day.
    ~Ravi

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 2, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Sure, some people will like them. But I strongly disagree with you on the domain name.
      Take “Google” and “Viperchill” for instance. Are they not doing well? Okay, also look at “Enstine Muki” and “Mashable.” So it’s not proven that “if you want to build a blog with quality, you should have the domain name which can show the niche of your blog.”

      Thanks for the love, Ravi.

      Francis

  3. Robin Khokhar

    August 2, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Francis,
    Your post almost contains all the essential things needed to grow. Thanks for the great share.

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 3, 2016 at 11:23 am

      You’re welcome, Robin. Those are about 90% of the tools I use. They’re good. They’be made this blog what it is.
      Thank you for stepping here to party with me.

  4. Donna Merrill

    August 2, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Francis,

    What a great list of tools bloggers need in order for them to start well. Even some seasoned bloggers could use a thing or two on this list!

    I don’t know what I would do without my Yoast plugin. It makes things so easy when writing. Of course CommentLuv makes everything easy when commenting. I believe it is a MUST for bloggers.

    All the others are necessary, but we cannot ever forget to have something to offer our readers so we can monetize. A payment structure must be part of one’s blog.

    Great!

    -Donna

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 4, 2016 at 1:25 am

      Hey Donna,

      I handpicked all these tools from other bloggers tool kits. I have tried many others, But I chose to write on the ones I’m using right now.

      Yoast has been unbeatable for some time now, even with their free version. It’s today a proofreader and an editor – wonders.

      CommentLuv? I just love it.

      I appreciate you dropping yours, Donna. Thanks.

  5. Sherman Smith

    August 2, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Hey Francis,

    These are great tools to leverage. I use Sucuri myself and they have been great with protecting my blog and keeping me posted on intruders.

    As far as list building, I use AWeber for an email autoresponder, Thrive Leads for the plugin to capture leads, and I’ve started using content upgrades to collect email addresses as a strategy on top of the popup opt in I use.

    I use to be wary about SEO, but not so much anymore. It helps, but what’s more helpful for search engines or the people that come to your blog is the value that you convey to their interests. This is why checking your bounce rate helps you determine how valuable your content is to your target audience.

    Thanks for sharing Francis! Have a great rest of the week.

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 4, 2016 at 12:47 am

      Yet to grab Thrive leads, Sherman. I see it’s a powerful plugin.
      As for SEO, like you rightly put it: what’s more helpful is the value conveyed to readers. That’s exactly what I’m practicing.

      Thank you for stepping here, bro. I’m encouraged. And I appreciate your presence here.

  6. Umesh Singh

    August 4, 2016 at 8:50 am

    Hey Francis,
    Great post!
    You have compiled a great list for bloggers. All the tools you have mentioned are important for bloggers. Some of the tools I haven’t tried but after reading this post.

    I would like to give it a try.

    Thanks
    Umesh Singh

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 6, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      Umesh my brother, nice to see you here. I’m happy.
      Yes, give them a try. They’ve carried me far, I must say. I got to know most of them from my blogging friends online.
      Thanks for dropping yours. Hope to see you here again.

  7. Peter Beckenham

    August 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Hey francis,
    wow yu’ve put together a superb list that will most defintely help many bloggers.

    I’m going to share this post with my list as you’ve created a very valuable resource that many beginnewr bloggers (and also not so new bloggers) would dearly love and very much appreciate.

    Many thanks for the blog protection heads up – I’ll definitely be following up Sucuri.

    Best wishes from the remote Thai village blogger

    Peter

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 6, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Hey Village Blogger,

      Happy to see you. Thanks for the best wishes, Peter.
      As I am replying to your comment, I have received 35 notifications in my Gmail account in just 3 hours that someone is trying to access my blog illegally. Why? That’s what I don’t understand. I don’t get it. It hurts. Working so hard. And someone wanting to use a minute to destroy your effort. This is evil. I thank God I have Succuri in place. Checking on those things for me. Go for it, sir.

      Please do share the post with your list as you promised, Peter.

      Have a blessed weekend. And please take care.

      Francis

  8. Sarah Arrow

    August 6, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for sharing this list Francis, I also love and recommend Siteground for hosting. They are by far the providers of the very best web support online. I was delighted to see they’re an approved WP supplier.

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Hey Sarah,

      Welcome to Gallople. And thanks for visiting. I love every bit of what you’ve done.

      I was also happy when I got the news that SiteGround is recommended by WordPress. They’ve worked hard to reach there. Their ticket system and support is splendid. I’m glad to hear you’re on it, too.

      I discovered Smartblogger was on it via one of Jon’s epic posts, and I said “WOW! it’s better I get on board before it’s late.” Because I badly needed to switch at that time due to some problems I was facing with my previous host.

      Thank you for your love, Sarah. Hope to see you again.

  9. Monna Ellithorpe

    August 6, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Francis,

    What a great list of tools to work with. Some I use, some I haven’t heard of and will look at. With everything that is out there now to get started, I’m happy I’ve been online for quite a few years.

    I sometimes wonder if I could weed through it all if I were just starting out.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Monna.
      I’m always happy to see you online, not only on Gallople.
      You encourage me through your work.
      With your years of experience, I believe you’ve tasted the bad nut among the nuts. So, you know what a great tool is.
      And it’s good you’ll be looking at those you haven’t heard of.

  10. Joy Healey

    August 6, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Hi Francis,

    If only I’d had access to this list of essential WordPress tools when I first got started.

    I worked my way through to finding most of them (but not all) over a few painful years.

    As one who has been hacked many times, security is the top priority. I actually remember thinking “Oh, no-one would be bothered to hack my little blog”. And so I didn’t pay enough attention to security from the outset. Huge mistake that cost me dearly.

    People should take note of all your points, but security top of the list.

    Great post that will help many new bloggers.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 10, 2016 at 4:10 am

      Powerful comment, Joy.

      Hackers? They’re always on me. I don’t know what they’re after. I’d suggest this great security tool, “iThemes Security.” I’ve used it before. You may choose Sucuri or iThemes.
      Experience teaches. So, I count myself blessed. Because I started blogging the hard way. And that has thought me how to select a tool at any point in time. Joy, the painful years are good. You’re blessed, too.

      Thanks for sharing

      Francis

  11. Karan

    August 9, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Hey Francis,

    These basic tools will definitely help newbies to get to the right path, since getting domain and web hosting is a very crucial step and I am glad you mentioned it in the post. Well, I am also using many of these exactly like you.
    Cheers,
    Karan

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 9, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Good to see you again, Karan.

      Every strong building should have a very good foundation. So, laying your blog’s foundation with these set of basic tools – yet advanced ones – does help.

      Thanks for sharing, bro. I’ll be in touch.

  12. Tony Tran

    August 18, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    It seems that the list was stopped at #14, where is the rest.

    Also, you should mention a few others that must have, such as CDN (content delivery network), Keyword Planner tool from Google Adwords, some needed free SEO tools like webtool.live, or HTTPS (paid or free from CloudFlare)

    • Francis Quarshie

      August 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

      Hahahahaaa. They’re more than 14, Tony. Look closely. That’s a writing approach I used. Always trying new things.

      Good you added some more tools. Keyword Planner is good. I know. But some people hate it. So, what’s a must have to me won’t be to you 🙂

      CloudFlare is good. I’ve ever used it. All are great. But webtool.live, I believe you just added it as a link for a purpose. Thanks for dropping your comment. But avoid adding links in comment boxes. I took away the link, bro.

      I appreciate the share, Tony.

      Francis

  13. Darrell Harris

    September 7, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Hello Francis
    Great post ! This post was very insightful and informational for me and have even gotten more value from all the commenters on your site. I basically use all the tools you do except thanks for informing me of sucuri,I’m going to have to do homework on that ,But from you and other commenters its a lifesaver. Thanks for all the value.

    • Francis Quarshie

      September 29, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      I’m happy you’ve noticed sucuri, Darrell.
      I’ve also seen that most bloggers use the tools mentioned here. My strategy is I consider to use tools probloggers use.
      It’s a copy work. I first test them for a period to find out how helpful they are before I continue using them.
      And that has helped me so much, bro. It’s not a crime to copy.
      Thank you, bro. I appreciate.

  14. Deebak

    September 22, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    Hello Francis,
    Very interesting article on blogging tools to develop our blog. All tools mentioned here are really helpful and essential tools for a blog growth. There are even many tools to improve traffic and ranking of your blog. Great post. Keep it UP!..

    • Francis Quarshie

      September 29, 2016 at 10:59 pm

      Glad you’ve recognized they’re helpful tools, Deebak.
      And yes I agree there are many others that can be used for the same purpose. Only that I’ve never seen a blog mentioning all blogging tools online before. They’re always able to mention some.
      There are many others I’ve used for this blog before. But those mentioned here are those I’m using now.

      Thanks for stepping over here, bro.

  15. Avnish Gautam

    November 22, 2016 at 6:39 am

    List building and Email marketing tools now a days became very important because we have to make our readers permanent and Personally I use thrive leads for it. Obviously there is good space to use landing page creation tool also because finally we need to improve conversion rate of our blog. Thanks.

    • Francis Quarshie

      December 28, 2016 at 8:28 pm

      I agree with you, Avnish. Thrive is on top of the list of good tools today. I intend going for Thrive when I start thinking of creating landing pages. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, bro.

  16. Narinder kumar

    January 10, 2017 at 5:01 am

    Hey Francis,
    I really appreciate your post for sharing some blogging tools its really helpful for beginner and can you suggest me bluehost is a better hosting provider company because i am nothing about that which hosting company is better for blog.

  17. Ray Stevens

    April 12, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Thanks for the great info look forward to reading more

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