There are a million and one blogging tools out there. In fact, there are so many that it’s difficult to know which ones are worth your time and, in many cases, your hard-earned money.
This list will cover the 15 top tools for all aspects of blogging, from strategy and writing to SEO and distribution. So whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been blogging for years, you can skip the endless product comparisons and get to work growing your blog with proven tools!
Strategy tools to set you up for success
Blogging without a strategy is like traveling to a destination you’ve never been to without a map or GPS. If you arrived there at all, it’d almost certainly take longer than necessary. And, more likely, you’d end up lost and frustrated. So, don’t go into blogging without a plan; use these tools to help you develop a strategy.
Ahrefs is one of the top SEO and content marketing tool suites available. Its tools include:
- Site Explorer that's great for sizing up the competition's organic search traffic and backlinks so that you can plan accordingly
- Keyword Explorer to identify search terms worth targeting, calculate their traffic potential, and fill your content calendar
- Content Explorer to find and analyze top content in your niche that can inform your strategy or reveal link-building opportunities
- Site Audit to dig deeper into your website’s on-page SEO performance (if, for example, you've already been publishing content and need to re-evaluate your strategy)
Pricing: Ahrefs has four pricing plans with the Lite options starting at $99 per month.
Like Ahrefs, Semrush is one of the leading tools for SEO and content strategy. It provides a huge suite of tools for:
- Content marketing strategy planning and execution
- Competitor analysis, competitor SEO analysis, and market analysis
- Website monetization for bloggers and affiliates
Pricing: With Semrush, you pay for the value you get. Pricing starts at $119.95 for the Pro plan, which offers more than enough functionality for beginners and freelance bloggers, for example. The higher tiers range in price and are best suited for larger teams.
Google Search Console
Image Source: Search Engine Journal
Research tools like Ahrefs are incredibly helpful. But, if you’ve already been blogging for some time, don’t forget about the value of analytics data specific to your blog’s performance. For example, Google Search Console can tell you:
- What pages are or aren't getting traffic so that you can identify popular topics, topic gaps, and topics not worth writing on in the future
- What keywords your posts are ranking for in organic search results, which can tell you a lot about what searchers are looking for
- What your click-through rate is, which could reveal what topics (or style of headlines) are most magnetic
Pricing: Google Search Console is one of many free blogging tools. Since it’s based on your data—as is Google Analytics data—it’s also one of the best blogging tools you could have in your arsenal. The same is true of Google Analytics, which pairs well with Search Console.
Writing tools for better quality and efficiency
Writing can be labor and time-intensive. Especially if you don’t use these three blogging tools for better writing, easier self-editing, and greater efficiency.
Among the best writing tools is Jasper. Jasper is an artificial intelligence writing assistant that allows users to generate quality content and copy in minutes. And not just any content and copy, but the kind that drives conversions such as email list sign-ups and gated content downloads. The most helpful features for bloggers are available on the Boss Mode plan and include:
- Recipes for repeatable ways to create engaging posts quickly
- Commands to tell Jasper what you want him to write
- The long-form assistant, which can help you generate a killer title and blog post intro in minutes, and set up your document for Jasper to know what to write about and how
- SEO Mode, which allows you to optimize your content directly in Jasper via the Surfer integration
- Templates for writing meta descriptions, product descriptions, ad copy, and more
Pricing: Boss Mode pricing starts at just $59 per month. (There’s also a Starter plan with pricing beginning at $29 per month. However, it’s best suited for short-form content and copy.)
Simplicity, clarity, and readability are essential for bloggers to master. Hemingway Editor makes it possible by color-coding various issues, such as:
- Sentences that are too long or complex
- Overuse of passive voice
- Overuse of adverbs
- Words with simpler alternatives
- Poor readability or a high reading grade level
Pricing: You can use the web app for free or purchase the desktop application for Mac or Windows for just $19.99 one time price.
ProWritingAid is a robust alternative to Grammarly. It not only catches grammar errors but also calls attention to:
- Overused words and word choice
- Writing style and sticky sentences
Pricing: ProWritingAid has three plans—$20 per month, $79 per year, and $399 lifetime.
Search engine optimization tools for driving organic traffic
There are millions of undiscovered blog posts on the web that get no traffic and, therefore, no results for the bloggers who’ve published them. Don’t let your blog posts land in the content graveyard; invest in SEO tools that can help you earn organic traffic from search engines.
Clearscope is an AI-powered platform with a focus on optimizing your content to drive more traffic. It shows you:
- Competitor's content, including its length and quality
- What subtopic competing posts cover so that you can follow suit and fill in gaps to stand out
- The ideal length for your content, the recommended content score, as well as keyword and keyword density recommendations
SEO tool Surfer has a handy Chrome extension and integrates with Jasper for fast content creation and search engine optimization. It’s an affordable tool for:
- Doing keyword research to identify what search terms are worth targeting
- Analyzing search results to understand why search engines rank content the way they do for your target keywords, as well as what related keywords you could target
- Planning content clusters to build topical authority and checking off topics as you write about them
- Optimizing individual blog posts, making sure you answer the right questions, cover topics comprehensively, and use keywords appropriately
- Auditing published content to see how you could improve it and, as a result, help it perform better
Pricing: Surfer’s plans start at $59 per month and range up to $239 based on your needs.
Got a WordPress blog? If so, you’ll love the RankMath WordPress plugin (similar to the Yoast SEO plugin).
Instead of bouncing between several content management tools, you can write and optimize blog content in WordPress. That means no more copying and pasting from Google Docs into an optimization tool and then into WordPress! This SEO plugin’s features include:
- SEO suggestions related to keyword usage, content length, and more
- A schema markup generator to increase your chances of ranking for featured snippets
- Analytics and rank tracking so that you can keep tabs on how your content performs
Pricing: RankMath has an excellent free version, as well as paid plans starting from $59.
Top tools for creating and modifying images
Blog posts should include more than just text. Well-chosen images can provide extra context and clarity for readers, highlight the most important points for people who skim the content and create a more enjoyable user experience overall. Here are three of the top image-related tools.
Even if you have no design experience, Canva makes it easy to create eye-catching images (along with videos and promotional materials that may be part of your larger content strategy). This user-friendly design tool offers:
- Easy drag-and-drop functionality
- Hundreds of customizable templates for images, including blog banners and social media posts that you can use to promote your blog
- A massive library of stock images, icons, fonts, and other elements that can be used for commercial content
Pricing: Canva offers an amazing free plan. But, if you want access to premium images, icons, and other features, pricing starts at just $12.99 per month.
If you want to create custom visuals but don’t want to spend on Photoshop, GIMP is a good free alternative. With it, you can:
- Manipulate or retouch photos, which is great for making free-to-use stock photos less generic
- Create graphic design elements such as icons, blog banners, etc.
Pricing: GIMP is free and plays nice with another incredible free tool for vector imagery—Inkscape.
Sourcing images, creating them from scratch or taking screenshots is one thing. But you can’t forget about compressing your blog post visuals. Lots of unnecessarily large image files can slow your blog down and slow loading means higher bounce rates, ranking difficulties, and, ultimately, fewer conversions. TinyPNG is a simple tool for preventing those issues without sacrificing image quality. All you have to do is:
- Drag and drop or select your image files
- Wait a few seconds for the tool to compress them
- Download the compressed files
Pricing: TinyPNG is free unless you need to compress over 20 images at once, want higher file size limits, and need other pro features. To upgrade to the Pro plan, the cost is just $39 per year.
Distribution tools to increase the visibility of your content
Blog post creation is one thing. But distribution is a completely different animal, and it’s necessary to get more traffic, engagement, and leads from your content.
An alternative to Buffer, Hootsuite is one of the top tools for:
- Publishing social content across platforms
- Engaging with your entire social media audience from one platform
- Monitoring relevant conversations, tracking brand mentions, as well as monitoring competitors
- Managing multi-channel paid and organic advertising from a single dashboard
- Tracking and analyzing performance across social networks
Pricing: Hootsuite has a limited free plan with paid plans starting at $49 per month and ranging upward depending on the number of users, accounts, and other features you need.
A high-quality alternative to Mailchimp and other email marketing platforms, ConvertKit makes it easy to:
- Create landing pages and email sign-up forms for growing your audience and email lists
- Design, send and track the performance of marketing emails
- Sell digital products on your website
Pricing: ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 300 subscribers, as well as paid plans starting at just $15 per month.
Last up is Outbrain, which is great for getting your content in front of a wider audience that’s likely to be interested in it. This two-sided media platform allows bloggers to:
- Advertise on media sites and, therefore, increase their reach and influence
- Discover and curate interesting, relevant content for their audience to deliver more value and gain more trust
Pricing: Set up a demo or contact the Outbrain team for pricing info.
Growing your blog is easier than ever
Blogging requires some heavy lifting—creating a well-rounded strategy, creating content consistently, and distributing it far and wide, for example. But you don’t have to do it all on your own and hope for the best.
As you can see, there are plenty of blogging tools to help you make informed decisions and speed up your workflows. And that includes our blog writing AI tool, Jasper, which can help you create high-quality, engaging blog posts many times faster than you could write them on your own. Sign up for Jasper's Boss Mode plan and get started on your next long-form assignment!