I’m always looking for tools that will make my life easier as a blogger.
Things that will save time or help me organise myself better are at the top of my list.
Sometimes you can find free things that are a lifesaver.
But much of the time, you can expect to pay a for blogging tools. Sometimes the prices can be extortionate.
I’ve picked out five premium blogging tools that I use on my blog which you might find useful.
They’re not too expensive and are accessible to solo bloggers as well as larger teams.
I’ve also provided details of a free alternative in each case that may be of interest.
Coschedule is one of the easiest ways to keep on top of writing, publishing and promoting blog posts.
It’s great for solo bloggers but you can also scale it up for teams if you need to.
You can plan out your content with the editorial calendar.
It’s drag and drop so if you want to change things around it’s easy.
Then you can promote the hell out of your latest creation with integrated social sharing.
You can schedule social media posts to your heart’s content and they will appear in your calendar.
“If you don’t have a marketing calendar you’re playing a dangerous game with your content. CoSchedule is the easiest-to-use marketing calendar around, and includes a robust layer of social sharing functionality that makes it a no-brainer for me and my team.”
Coschedule also allows you to add tasks to your blog posts so you never forget to do everything you need to.
There’s a Chrome extension which means you can share useful articles you’ve read.
You can do that from the calendar too if you don’t use Chrome.
I have a Solo Standard account which is more then enough for my needs as a solo blogger.
It costs $19 per month (or the equivalent of $15 per month if you pay annually).
Free Alternative: Editorial Calendar
The Editorial Calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published.
You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.
When it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), I use Squirrly SEO.
It guides you through getting the most out out of SEO by using two settings assistants.
The SEO Settings Assistant helps you set up an XML sitemap so Google can find your articles easier.
It also helps you control how your posts get shared on social media.
And adding tracking such as Google Analytics to your blog is a breeze.
The SEO Live Assistant is your perfect on-page SEO guide.
It helps you improve your articles by walking you through various optimisation steps.
When you’ve completed each step it turns green. Once each of them is complete you’ve optimised your article.
“I use Squirrly every time I create a new post.”
With Squirrly SEO you can also:
- complete keyword research;
- see your google rankings;
- and, you’ll receive a weekly SEO audit.
Squirrly SEO Pro will set you back $20 per month.
As an alternative, I purchased the Old Squirrly Plan which they offer every now and again.
For a one-time payment ($80.55) I can optimise unlimited articles on unlimited sites.
The only restrictions are on the number of keyword researches I can complete and the amount of pages analysed weekly by the SEO audit.
Free Alternative: Yoast SEO
Whilst the Yoast SEO plugin goes the extra mile to take care of all the technical optimization, it also first and foremost helps you write better content.
Yoast SEO forces you to choose a focus keyword when you’re writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
Long Tail Pro
Getting organic traffic from search engines to your site isn’t easy.
Squirrly SEO will help to optimise your blog and you can use it for keyword research too.
But if you want to do more in depth keyword research you need a dedicated program.
I use Long Tail Pro for keyword research because it helps me find long tail keywords without any hassle.
You select one of more keywords, choose the data you want using pre-filters and then the magic begins.
“I’m a fan of Long Tail Pro! It’s a powerful keyword research tool that I’ve used and am very impressed. I definitely recommend Long Tail Pro. It’s a must-have tool for any SEO or Internet Marketer.”
You’ll get a list of up to 800 keywords which you can then delve into further.
For all the keywords generated, Long Tail Pro also provides data on the sites in the top 10 positions on Google.
You can then determine if you have a chance to outrank them or not.
The Keyword Competitiveness feature helps you work out how much competition there is for a keyword.
In theory that means it should be easier to rank for keywords with less competition.
Long Tail Pro costs $37 per month or $297 per annum.
Free Alternative: Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner helps you search for keyword ideas, get historical statistics, see how a list of keywords might perform and even create a new keyword list by multiplying several lists of keywords together.
I’ve tried quite a few page builders for WordPress over the years.
But none of them have impressed me as much as Beaver Builder.
In fact, it’s one of my favourite premium blogging tools.
It allows you to build professional looking pages easily using a drag and drop interface.
You can also use it to jazz up your blog posts without the need to know code.
And it’s all done live on the front end of your site. So you see can see exactly what your site will look like as you make the changes.
Beaver Builder comes as a plugin which can be used with your existing theme.
“I recommend Beaver Builder because it allows customers to change the text or photo on a page easily.”
Or you can use the Beaver Builder Theme if you go for the Pro option or above.
You can use it on unlimited sites and you’ll get top notch help and support from the Beaver Builder team if you need it.
And unlike most other page builders, if you decide to stop using it you won’t lose your content.
That’s because it ports it right back into the WordPress editor.
Beaver Builder starts at $99, which gives you:
- Unlimited Sites
- The Page Builder Plugin
- Customer Support for 1 year
- Premium Modules and Templates
Free Alternative: SiteOrigin Page Builder
Page Builder by SiteOrigin is a popular page creation plugin for WordPress.
It makes it easy to create responsive column based content, using widgets.
Your content will accurately adapt to all mobile devices, ensuring your site is mobile-ready.
If you promote affiliate products on your blog then you may already be an Amazon Associate.
The trouble with that is that different regions have their own Amazon Associates program.
That means that if you’re promoting UK products and someone from the US clicks on your link they won’t be taken to the US site.
But with the EasyAzon WordPress plugin you get the perfect solution.
You can set up localisation so that visitors will be sent to the correct Amazon store depending on where they are in the world.
“I use EasyAzon on all my sites monetized with Amazon now. The plugin makes adding and managing affiliate links so much faster and easier. I recommend it all the time to other people building Amazon sites; its a great plugin.”
EasyAzon also makes it easy to cloak your affiliate links and you can add a cloaking prefix.
To gain an extra advantage you can also have any clicked links add a product to a visitor’s Amazon cart.
That gives you an extra 89 day window to earn a commission instead of the usual 24 hours.
EasyAzon can also display information popups when visitors hover over product text links.
This makes the link stand out more and you can choose to show image and price or attributes in each popup.
EasyAzon costs $47 for unlimited use on personal websites or $67 dollars if you also want to use it on client websites.
Free Alternative: Amazon Link
Amazon Link enables you to put Amazon product links, images and bespoke templates into your site’s Pages, Posts, Widgets and Templates.
What Premium Blogging Tools Do You Use?
I’ve mentioned five premium blogging tools I use to help make my life easier.
Do you use any of them already and if so what do you think of them?
Are there any other reasonably priced blogging tools you use that I’ve not mentioned?