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26 Intuitive Tools to Help You Create a Blog in 2018

As a blogger, it can seem as though hundreds of different jobs are on your plate. All at once. Like a buffet gone wrong.

Without solid tools to help you in your work, you're likely to get sick from the sheer amount of content you're asked to produce. This is on top of all the other work you need to do on a daily basis.

Why great tools can’t save you

While it may sound obvious, an artist really is dependent on her tools to produce.

Now, this is not to say that you can hand anyone a paintbrush and they simply become a world-class painter. If that was the case there would be a plethora of beautiful drawings lining every city street.

But without a paintbrush, it’s pretty hard to paint. Try it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

As a blogger, you need good tools to create a blog, but never forget that the tools don’t make you. Just like the process can’t do the work for you, no matter how much you trust in it.

Great artists need good tools AND good ideas. Ideas come from people, NEVER from their tools.

But without tools, these ideas never come to fruition.

READ: Your Guaranteed Process to Beast Mode Content

President of Pixar Ed Catmull put it this way:

“If you give a good idea to a mediocre team, they will screw it up. If you give a mediocre idea to a brilliant team, they will either fix it or throw it away and come up with something better.”

In other words, even the best tools in the wrong hands can't produce solid results. Your best tools as a blogger are your ideas and your team.
Build a fantastic team first. Great ideas will flow naturally. Then find the tools to you need to produce great work.

What tools can do

Lucky for you, there are many good tools out there you can use to create a blog. Tools along with good ideas can drive productivity, increase creativity, and simplify your work. I’ve broken each tool into 4 separate areas...
  • Content
  • Design
  • Production
  • Promotion

Content

Google Docs
With Google Docs you can create word documents in the cloud. The nice thing about this is that your documents travel with you on all your devices. You can also share your docs with your team which is legit. Simply build your document and copy/paste it to create a blog post.

Hidden feature: Did you know you can publish your doc to the web so that other people can actually watch as you update it? Just click file, then click publish to the web.

Feedly
Feedly allows you to build your own newspaper online. Add your favorite websites and the app will automatically pull the top stories from each site. Categorize your sites by topic and get inspired. The only way to create a blog worth reading is to read a ton of great articles from really smart people.

Hidden feature: Send your favorite articles from Feedly to Pocket so that you can save them for later when you need them.

YouTube
Find sick videos to share with your audience and inspire your own work. Share tips and tricks on your own channel for your audience. Embed YouTube videos on your blog.

Hidden feature: Create private videos to share with clients interested in your work. Schedule videos to publish later in the week so that you can create even more videos to build your video empire!

SlideShare
SlideShare is home to the world’s best slideshow presentations. Most of the content is designed to teach and inform professionals. That doesn’t mean it’s all completely dry. Soak up thus beautiful content to create a blog that dominates the competition.

Hidden feature: Powerful analytics allow you to track views, viewers, demographics, social shares, and much more all for free.

Buzzsumo
Use Buzzsumo to find the most shared and hottest content on the web. Run a search for your keyword and discover the best content on that subject.

Hidden feature: You can use Buzzsumo to find top influencers across the web. Simply navigate to the influencers tab and search by bio or content.

Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
Destroy writer’s block once and for all with the Blog Topic Generator. Simply type out 3 nouns related to your topic and receive a week worth of blog topics.

Hidden feature: Scrolling down the page, you have the option to sign up for a year’s worth of topics!

Quora
Quora can help you think like your audience. Use this popular Q&A database to find out what people want to know about your product.

Hidden feature: Add answers to questions in your field to become an industry influencer. You can even start a Quora blog.

Design

Canva
Canva will help you edit your photos, create infographics, and add headlines to your social media posts.

Hidden features: By clicking on find templates, you can search through thousands of templates that meet the needs of your specific project!

Unsplash
Unsplash is one of the many free tools you can use to find beautiful stock photos for your website.

Hidden features: By clicking on the collections tab, you can narrow your search to a specific topic for top images.

Adobe Creative Cloud
With Adobe CC you can save projects across multiple devices while you edit them in Photoshop.

Hidden features: Presets allow you to edit all your images at once. Save a boatload of time and effort with this simple tool.

Gimp
Like Photoshop but completely free. Use Gimp to edit your photos and create a blog that’s beautiful.

Hidden features: Transform your real photos into colorful pieces of art using sketch features.

Production

Keynote
Use Keynote to build beautiful presentations for your blog.

Hidden features: Record audio inside of Keynote to add a whole different dimension to your project.

ScreenFlow
With ScreenFlow, you can create a video in a variety of ways. Capture your camera and your screen on separate layers to really teach your audience.

Hidden features: Add animation to your project to make it come alive.

Garageband
Garageband is a simple tool you can use to make music for your numerous projects on your blog.

Hidden features: You can also use this tool to record podcasts and add beats to those projects all in one place.

Camtasia
Camtasia is similar to Screenflow but works for both Mac and Windows. Screenflow is Mac only.

Make a Meme
Make a Meme allows you to take your photos and turn them into a viral meme. You can also choose from their popular pics and add your own text.

Hidden features: Download the app to create a meme on the go.

Giphy
Giphy is a popular video database that adds funny video animations to your blog.

Hidden features: Use the Gif Maker to stitch together photos and videos to create your very own custom Gif.

Grammarly
Grammarly is a browser extension that checks your grammar as you type in your favorite online software. Use it to flush out errors and produce professional content on a daily basis.

Hidden features: Visit the website to upload and edit any document. Use this to edit a document create offline in Microsoft Word.

Hemingway
The Hemingway app allows you to cut the fluff and write crystal-clear prose. Use it to slash unnecessary words and phrases that clutter your content.

Hidden features: You can compose your blog article in the Hemingway app to save time and learn how to write with force.

Google Calendar
Use Google Calendar to organize your projects and create a simple dashboard for tracking your content. 

Hidden features: You can add a specific time to each entry if you plan to schedule more pieces of content in a single day.

Promotion

Buffer
Use Buffer to manage all your social media accounts in one place. Schedule your content automatically to post at the optimal times in your area.

Hidden features: Use the Buffer mobile app to share articles and videos on the go.

Click to Tweet
Create text links that allow users to instantly share popular quotes from your blog post with Click to Tweet.

Hidden features: The analytics tab allows you to track your top performing Tweets. Embedded themes allow you to create a blog that not only shares a powerful message but looks good in the process.

MailChimp
MailChimp is a fantastic tool for crafting advanced email marketing campaigns. The tool is completely free for the first the first 2,000 people on your list. 

StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a giant content database that allows users to search the internet at the click of a button. Upload your content on a new page for the whole world to see

Hidden features: This app is transferring over to Mix on June 30th. Save your favorite pages so that Mix can bring up more of what you already love.

Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is a fantastic tool to learn what your audience is really searching for. Target keywords that matter for your product and that make sense.

Hidden features: The planner allows you to sort keywords by the number of searches per month and competition for those keywords. Look for keywords with lots of monthly searches to drive traffic to your blog. 

Google Trends
Google Trends is another tool that allows you to really find out what’s hot on the internet as you write your content.

Hidden features: Search trending topics by past year, recent trends, and a chosen keyword.

SOURCES
1. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. (2014). RANDOM House.
2. Lee, K. (2016, March 18). 39 Blogging Tools to Help You Work Faster & Write Better. Retrieved from https://blog.bufferapp.com/blogging-tools

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