A couple of days ago, on the anniversary party of Galicia TB, the travel bloggers association of Galicia, we went over some blogging tools and how they can help us achieve our goals. It still amazes me how so many bloggers are unaware of this sort of tools and how they can make them much more productive.
I love the transparency of the digital world, so I decided to contribute to it: here are the 21 digital marketing tools I use for my blog and what I use them for.
Tools for discovering new content
I love the discovery process and the digital world is an amazing source for this. But my timeline is too focused on travel, so every once in a while I search outside my social networks for new things on marketing, technology, politics, entrepreneurial…
The idea behind Triberr is making content viral, connecting like-minded people. I use it to see what’s going on at the blogging world and discovering new contents from different parts of the world. Also, you can share your discoveries directly on your social networks for free.
It is not a commonly used rss reader in Spain, but it works for me. The best part is that you can connect it with IFTT for free and it is really easy to use.
Other popular readers are bloglovin or feedly. The first one is just a reader, the second one is a more powerful tool, but you’ll have to pay for the best things.
Leave the social networks on auto mode
You may have a lot of time for digital networking, or nothing. Some days I can only connect for half an hour at most, so I prefer to have that time for interacting instead of promoting.
Although it is best known for “measuring online influence”, Klout has some automation tools that are very useful. For instance, you can plan your tweets and facebook posts in advance (I have doubts on its influence on your Klout score). And it also tells you the best times for tweeting and posting online.
The free version only allows you to plan 10 posts in advance for each social network, but it still has some interesting tools. For example, integration with IFTT. Or sending things to a queue and let Buffer post them on a preset schedule, one post at a time.
Many interesting things on IFTT. I use it to wish me a happy birthday each year, but I also have it connected with my Google Calendar. This way, if I want to tweet something on a set time I just have to schedule it on my calendar with a certain markup and it will get published on Twitter. Here is how I do it (in Spanish).
Coming up with new ideas
Sometimes it is hard to find inspiration. Other times you know you should be focusing on trends. Well, this is how I come up with new post ideas.
When you don’t know what to publish next you can: a) ask your followers what interests them or b) research what’s going on on the Internet. Google trends is a good tool for the second.
A recent discovery. This is an online community of digital content creators where you can ask for collaborations, brainstorming or interviews. It is an interesting tool to build influence and discovering new content. And every time you contribute, you get cited on their blog (and vice versa.)
8. Google Plus
I have managed to find a couple of google groups where I can ask almost anything about blogging, travel or life in general, and get a good answer. Some sort of Quora, but with recent content.
I guess you can do the same thing on Facebook, you just need to find your niche group.
Yes, I use Windows Phone. The tool is free for anyone (windows or not). I find it useful because I can access my notes anytime anywhere, and they get synced with my phone. Plus, I can share them by e-mail, whatsapp, twitter…
Another great option to take notes anywhere. There are even paper notebooks that integrate with the app and translate any written text to a digital document just with a phone pic. Best tools, again, you’ll have to pay for.
Finding good photos for your posts
I prefer to use my own pictures, but I don’t always have a good one for the post. These are the pages I use for good free images to use on my blog (without infringing the rights of others.)
A great source of Creative Commons photos online. You just have to take car with the license and make sure you can use it for commercial use or modify it. And always make sure name the author (that’s what attribution means).
A free service that provides images with Creative Commons Zero license. They come from great photographers, are available for commercial use and you don’t need to mention the source. They send you the pics once a month.
There is also a pay version to it, although the free pics are really good (the featured image, for example.)
Another service for free images. They send you 10 pics every 10 days, but you have them all available on their site.
Not truly a picture service. Easel.ly is a web page where you can create your own infographics for free. It provides presets and images you can customize. Basic but easy to use.
Probably the only tool on this list I’ve payed for. Nowadays bloggers use all sort of tools to edit pics for free. I keep my old photoshop license because it is easy for me and really powerful for some tasks. I guess that I will change to a free service when I buy a new laptop. In the meantime…
Measure, weight, count
It is one of the boring sides of blogging, but you need to measure if you want to know if you are doing things right. At least something to compare. These are the tools I use to measure my blogging results.
16. Google Analytics
An online classic for web analytics. You don’t need to obsess with data, but you can detect big problems and see how your blog evolves for free.
17. Simply measured
It is widely known for its pay analytics, but it also has some powerful free tools that can help you know your online followers.
The best match for Google Analytics. It is an easy to use tools, but it provides some great info on how “reads” your blog.
The equivalent to number 18, but from Microsoft’s bing. It is ignored by many, but it provides an interesting perspective and helps detect some common blogging mistakes.
An aggregator for analysis. Most people just use it to get metrics delivered to their email once a week or to auto-thank followers. But it is really helpful to compare your blog data with your activity on twitter, for example.
eMailing and contacting people
If you don’t know html or have some design basics, you can easily send nice newsletters with this tool. Free up to 2,000 subscribers with opt-in and opt-out options by default.
We don’t have a tool like this in Spanish, which is a pity. It is not a grammar or a text editor. What it does is make sure your readers will understand what you write in English.
For example, this post is easy to read for a Grade 5 kid (it is good to have less than 5). It has 7 sentences that are hard to read and 2 that are very hard to read. I have used 1 passive voice and 21 adverbs. And I could change the words “equivalent” and “modify” to easier to understand words.
I hope you find this digital marketing tools useful, what do you use?
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