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  • 5 Tips for Creating Delicious Photography as a Food Blogger

    Thursday, July 13, 2017 by
    Photography Tips for Food Blogs

    5 Photography Tips for Your Food Blog

    Juicy, yummy food photos. That’s the goal for every food blogger when they snap a picture of a dish. It takes multiple skills to take photos of delicious food. Not only do you have to get the perfect shot, you also have to think about how your photos complement your blog and the best way to promote them. “What separates magazine-worthy photos from their less impressive counterparts isn't a fancy camera or expensive equipment. It's an understanding of what it takes to compose an appealing image and the confidence to execute your vision,” writes Niki Achitoff-Gray, managing editor at Serious Eats. It’s time to upgrade your skill level as a food blogger. Check out these five tips to create delicious photography. Create Your Blog  

    1. Capture the Perfect Photo

    For food bloggers, photos are one of your greatest assets. People love to see what you’re cooking or what meals you recommend.   The photos can help demonstrate how a dish looks at every stage of a recipe. The right photo also can encourage hungry people to visit a new restaurant. To take the perfect photo, consider using different angles. Most bloggers just take an overhead shot, which isn’t useful for every food item. Instead, experiment with a 45 degree angle to get an intimate shot or a 30 degree angle to capture the entire plate setting. Food blog photography You want to think about the lighting when taking a photo. Experts suggest not using an in-camera flash. The best option is to use as much external lighting as possible. So, open up your curtains and get some natural light into your shot. Lastly, get creative with your photos. You shouldn’t feel confined to follow the standards of other food bloggers. You can add your personal touch by arranging the food a certain way or inserting a funny, inanimate object in each photo. Your audience is salivating to see your food photos. So, make it unique with your own perspective.  

    2. Optimize Your Photos for SEO

    With so many food bloggers in the world, it’s possible for all your hard work to go unnoticed. However, optimizing your photos for search engines can help new visitors find your blog. The first step is to use the appropriate file names for your photos. Rather than uploading your image as “Photo1.jpg”, you want to describe the photo in simple keywords. Your file names may look like: Vanilla-Cupcakes.jpg or Chicken-Soup.png. “The images you select for your web site can make or break how your site looks, but how you upload and name that photo for search engine optimization (SEO) will actually determine whether people land on your site or not,” says Meredith Lepore, freelancer writer and content strategist. You want to follow the same rule when creating your alt tags. An alt tag is the text alternative to your image in a browser. By associating the right keywords to each image, you can boost your SEO results. File size matters, too. If your photos are too large, they can slow down your page load speed. The longer your page loads, it’s likely your visitors will get distracted and move to another site. You can use tools like TinyPNG or TinyJPG to compress your photos.  

    3. Share Your Photos on Social

    Social media is one of the fastest-growing marketing channels. People spend countless hours on Twitter and Instagram talking with friends, checking out the latest news, and engaging with brands. As a food blogger, you want to connect with your audience on social networks. The key is to post vibrant, relevant content that entices your followers to learn more about you. A good tip is to follow recurring trends on the social networks. For instance, #TBT (Throwback Thursday) is an opportunity to show off dishes you prepared in the past. Writing funny headlines or descriptions with your photo also adds personality to your brand. It shows fans you’re human and not a stuffy corporation. Angie Dudley at Bakerella offers a perfect example with her French fry sugar cookie cartons. This scrumptious photo is coupled with the playful words: Happy Fri-Yay! Share photos on social media for food blog Remember to include a call to action in your social posts. Simply plopping a good photo online doesn't help you. You can drive traffic to your site by inserting a link to your blog. If you want more social engagement, you also should interact with your followers. That means retweeting their content, liking their posts, and replying to their messages.     Share your photos on social media to build brand awareness. It’ll help you gain new fans and engage your loyal following.  

    4. Distribute Your Photos in Content Upgrades

    When visitors land on your food blog, they may read an article or two and then leave. You have no way of knowing who they are or how to contact them later. The easiest solution is to offer your visitors a content upgrade in exchange for their email address. A content upgrade is bonus material that helps your audience learn more about a topic. You can give away a free checklist, ebook, or short video. Content upgrades usually coincide with the topic of a specific blog post. Your visitors are more likely to want more information right after reading about the subject. Lori Reeves, relationship manager at EZ Portable Buildings and Tiny Houses, offers an example: “If you're a food blogger and you create a post that is a tutorial of making a specific dish, your content upgrade could be an easily-printable copy of the recipe for the dish or a list of substitutions that could make the dish healthier, vegetarian, [or] gluten-free.” The purpose of the content upgrade is to add people to your email list. So, the relationship doesn't end when you deliver the content upgrade. Start talking to your new email subscribers and getting to know who they are. The first question could be: How did you like the content upgrade?  

    5. Build Brand Partnerships

    Many food bloggers look for opportunities to grow their brand and possibly earn extra revenue. If you’re ready to expand your scope, brand partnerships may be your next step. Before you begin researching for the ideal partner, think about what you can bring to the table. Do you have a large following? Are you a niche expert? Write down what makes your blog unique from others. You want a clear value statement that will intrigue partners. The next step is to decide what you’re willing and not willing to do in a partnership agreement. If you’re a vegetarian, maybe you’ll never collaborate with a beef company. After you establish your values and guidelines, do your research and start emailing people about possible partnerships. Always lead with how the company will benefit. Below is an example from Neli Howard at Delicious Meets Healthy. She collaborated with Edible Arrangements for Mother’s Day. Food blogger Instagram Be flexible when building partnerships with companies. Every agreement won’t earn you money. Think outside the box on how you can benefit from the relationship. Maybe you can get access to a VIP event where you’re the exclusive food blogger on location. Or negotiate for the business to add your photos in an email campaign to their 10,000 subscribers. You are more than a food blogger. Take your photos to new heights with partnerships.  

    Serving Mouthwatering Photos

    Being a food blogger isn’t easy. You can’t just take a few photos of a casserole and post it online. Start by following simple guidelines to take eye-popping photos. Share your photos on several social media channels to gain attention. Also, you may want to partner with other brands to build your following or earn additional revenue. Upgrade your skills. Serve mouthwatering photos. Achieve food blogging success!
  • 7 Signs You Were Born to Be an Affiliate Marketer

    Monday, June 12, 2017 by
    Should you be Affiliate Marketer

    Should You Get Into Affiliate Marketing?

    Everyone is seeking new ways to make more money, especially online. Some entrepreneurs create unique products, while others provide an in-demand service. But have you ever thought about promoting another business’s product? Through affiliate marketing, you can recommend a company’s products to your network and get paid a commission if someone buys it. This entrepreneurial path isn’t the right fit for every person. It takes a few special skills. “Affiliate marketing isn't hard, but it does require knowledge, planning, and consistent effort to make any significant income,” writes Randy Duermyer, a social media marketing consultant. Think you got what it takes to be an affiliate marketer? Here are seven signs that you were born for this role.  

    1. You’re Disciplined

    Affiliate marketing isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. You won’t suddenly earn millions from commissions overnight. Instead, it’s a disciplined craft for people who have unwavering commitment. But what does that mean? When some newbie affiliate marketers don't receive a commission check in their first month, they are ready to give up. They start seeking the next money-making idea. However, successful affiliate marketers possess the discipline to keep selling, even when no commissions arrive. They try to figure out how to sell differently and create a strategy to gain more sales. Lao Tzu quote It's all about building a vision around your goals. Yes, you’re selling products built by another company, but that shouldn't limit you from taking it seriously. With a positive mindset and dedication, you’ll become the next success story in affiliate marketing. And it starts with discipline.  

    2. You’re Persuasive

    This new path you're taking involves sales. So to earn a hefty commission, you must be comfortable with selling products and services to consumers. Some of the best affiliate marketers are infectiously persuasive. They understand how to highlight the product benefits to their audiences and pinpoint how those benefits make a great impact in the person’s life. A high-converting website is part of the affiliate marketer’s toolkit. You know how to attract consumers to your site and spark their interest in learning more about the product. You add copy that engages people and offers solutions to their daily challenges. “Put yourself in the shoes of your visitor, would your [website] copy persuade you to buy this product? Are you engaged with what you’re reading? Do you want to read on and find out more about this product?” states Emily Matthews, affiliate manager at MoreNiche. It’s important not to mistake being persuasive with being an arrogant salesperson. You don’t want to sell people products they don’t need. Instead, you want to be a trusted advisor to your audience by providing helpful information.  

    3. You Build Communities

    Successful entrepreneurs repeat this piece of advice often: your network determines your net worth. This statement rings true when it comes to affiliate marketing. To generate more commissions, you must be willing to build a quality community. To grow that community, you’re willing to network outside your comfort zone. You understand that every person you meet offers value. You also realize that all the members of your community aren’t your customers. For instance, you might connect with Sam, who isn’t interested in your products. However, Sam can get you in touch with Allison, who is a perfect match. Referrals lead to future sales. Sustaining a community is just as important as building one. You need to provide as much value as possible. Creating useful content—blog posts, infographics, and ebooks—is an effective way to help your audience. Take a few tips from Instagram expert Sue B. Zimmerman. She produces practical video content for her Facebook community. The post below received more than 3,000 views!   Affiliate promotion on Facebook Start with who you know and continue to engage people with an authentic attitude. That’s how you build communities and your sales.  

    4. You Stay Organized

    It’s rare for people to associate affiliate marketing with being organized. Exactly what are you organizing? Well, most affiliate marketers don’t just sell one product. To reap the rewards of more revenue, they usually set out to sell two, three, or even five products. This means you’re working with several brands and acquiring multiple affiliate links, login URLs, and payout details. You can easily get disorganized and find yourself overwhelmed by information. To keep your affiliate products and services organized, you might consider creating a spreadsheet. Addi Ganley, blogger and affiliate marketer, says, “Whenever I sign up with a new affiliate program I like to keep track of all the important details for quick reference. I used to constantly login to each individual company when I needed to get my link, or even figure out when I would receive a payment. Now, I just hop into my toolkit and have all the information I need.” If a spreadsheet isn’t your style, try project management tools, like Trello, to maintain accurate records. You’ll save time and won’t stress out. Trello project management for affiliate marketing  

    5. You Enjoy Learning

    According to an independent survey, the affiliate marketing industry in the United States is expected to grow to $6.8 Billion by the year 2020. Senior managers at companies see the value in developing robust affiliate programs to boost their ROI. That’s great news for affiliate marketers. You have an opportunity to make some extra cash on the side or possibly supplement your entire income. To become the best in the field, you must have a passion for learning. You enjoy researching about new products and watching videos to upgrade your sales skills. We already know you’re a learner because you’re reading this blog post. So, if you’re interested in becoming an affiliate marketing or promoting an additional product, sign up for HostGator's affiliate program and start earning money right now. HostGator Affiliate  

    6. You’re Patient

    We live in a very fast-paced society, where we expect everything to happen now. We can get a latte in five minutes and get an order shipped to our homes in under two days. You can’t expect that same quick results in affiliate marketing. For every product you recommend, only a few consumers will actually purchase it. Others may buy, but it could be six or 12 months later. You’ll face a lot of rejection and won’t reap the rewards instantly. “I’ll be the first to admit that affiliate marketing is not for the impatient. You will experience trials, challenges, and you will put forth a lot of fruitless labor. You will have to make sacrifices with your time,” says Craig Junghandel, a web developer, blogger, and internet marketer. Think of affiliate marketing as a long-term strategy to earn more money. The actions you do today will have a positive result tomorrow.  

    7. You’re Honest

    Today’s consumer is very skeptical. They get bombarded with advertising every second of the day. And you can’t blame them. They might have bought defective products in the past, or never received a refund for an awful service. That’s why affiliate marketers must be transparent with their audience. You don’t want to intentionally deceive someone about a product. Be honest and avoid exaggerating about what a product can or cannot do. You also want to be upfront about your commission. On your site, disclose to potential customers that you will receive a payment when they click your affiliate link, as in this example from the EOFire podcast. Affiliate commission link No one wins when you’re not honest. So, strive to build a trustworthy relationship.  

    It’s Time to Sell

    Affiliate marketing isn’t meant for every entrepreneur. The first step is to actually figure out if you have the skill set to take on the challenge. The best affiliate marketers are lifelong learners who research for quality affiliate products. They know how to persuade their communities by highlighting benefits. Affiliate marketers also understand it takes time to build up a solid revenue stream. Were you born to be an affiliate marketer? If so, sign up for HostGator's affiliate program today.
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  • Creative Entrepreneurs: 5 Things Your Media Kit Needs to Gain More Sponsors

    Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by
    what to include in media kit Where’s the money? As a creative entrepreneur—graphic designer, blogger, photographer—you’re always searching for ways to earn more revenue with your talents. To attract more sponsors, try creating a media kit. “The media kit is a great tool because it essentially gives [brands] all the information they could possibly need in one easy-to-navigate document while often cutting our correspondence time in half because it’s already answered most of their questions,” writes Shauna Haider, a creative director, entrepreneur, and blogger. Be proactive about making more money. Tell brands and sponsors you exist with an impressive media kit. Here are five things you should include. HostGator Website Builder  

    1. Who Are You

    Similar to starting any new relationship, it’s important to tell people who you are. Giving potential brands a brief introduction makes a good first impression. But what should you say? You can tell brands how you got started as a creative entrepreneur or what people and things inspire your passion. Depending on your industry, make an effort to get personal. You might want to mention your family values or your latest backpacking trip. State the why behind your business to sponsors. Why do you photograph in nature? Or why do you only write children’s novels? Tell those stories that can't be found in a press release or bio. These unique qualities will differentiate you from competitors and sparks people’s curiosity to learn more about you. In the image below, Dani Ryan from Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine talks about her story from a corporate job to becoming a stay-at-home mom. She also highlights her purpose and hopes for the future. Dani Ryan This section of your media kit centers around making a human connection with brand executives. You want them to feel comfortable picking up the phone to talk to you.  

    2. What You Do

    Now, that you’ve grabbed the sponsors’ attention. It’s time to hook them with more details about what you actually do. For some creative entrepreneurs, this section is a challenge. It’s easy to just say: I write or I paint. However, that’s not enough information for brands to invest in your work. Explain your process for developing your craft. How long does it take to create your artwork? Or what precious metals do you use when making jewelry? All these details give sponsors an inside perspective around your profession and your dedication. Also you need to persuade brands to do business with you. This is where you will focus on coupling your talent with value. “Your media kit is something you use to sell your product or service. So it’s crucial that you can convince a client that you have something useful or relevant to their brand. Your primary goal is to lead them to the realization that they’ll become a better brand with your help,” says Pauline Cabrera, a web designer and social media manager. There are millions of creative entrepreneurs doing what you do. By expressing your unique value, you can separate yourself from the crowd.  

    3. Services & Rates

    After laying out what you do, let’s move to packaging your services and stating your rates. This is where some anxiety may flare up. Most creative entrepreneurs never intend to turn their talent into a business. So they are confused (and sometimes frightened) to add a monetary value to their work. And that's very noble of you. But working for free isn't going to help you thrive as an entrepreneur. You will need to charge for your work. For starters, decide what type of services you will offer sponsors. Are you willing to give up space on your blog for advertisements? Will you welcome sponsors at your next art exhibition? Provide a list of specific services that will appeal to brands. They will want to know the demographics of your audience, the number of people you influence, and the return on investment for their companies. Then, take the time to price each service appropriately. Consider the current asking rate in the market and the value of your creative business. Avoid underpricing your work. Here’s an example from The Sweet Spot Blog. The blogger explicitly states the price for all available ad space. You’ll also notice the types of payment accepted. The Sweet Spot Blog

    4. Social Proof

    It’s not enough to say you’re worth certain rates. To back up your value, you must show brands social proof that will encourage them to collaborate with you. Social proof gives external validation that your business attracts people’s attention and motivates an audience to participate. So what type of social proof will impress sponsors? An effective strategy is to do research on what brands want from partnerships. Some companies may want to team up with you to become their spokesperson. Therefore, they may desire a creative entrepreneur with lots of national press in Forbes, Inc, and Fast Company. Other brands may seek a business with a large, loyal fan base. They will be interested in learning the data behind your site traffic and email list. “It’s important to demonstrate that your company is relevant and trendsetting. The best way to convey that is to show them your buzz. If you secure reprint rights, you can include digital copies of your media coverage—if not, provide links to the relevant webpages,” writes Suzanne Kearns, a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. Social proof also alleviates a sponsor’s potential risk of associating with your business. Hesitant brands will feel more comfortable if you’re already doing deals with other major companies.  

    5. Call to Action

    By now, you’ve dished out some pertinent information to your potential sponsor. They know who you are, what you do, and your rates—all solidified with social proof. Some creative entrepreneurs will stop at this point. They think the sponsors are well-informed to make their decision. While this may seem true, there’s one last thing you must include in your media kit. And that’s your call to action. Yes, you need to ask or tell the brand to purchase your services. Don’t assume the brand executive will know what to do next. Just like a sales funnel for your customers, you must move the potential sponsor down an advertising journey. So give clear instructions on what you want them to do after reading your media kit. A call to action may include asking them to contact you during your office hours. Or you can direct them to an online scheduling tool like Calendly to set up an appointment. Take a few pointers from the call to action below from Carrie This Home. Be open to learning more about brands and give them an opportunity to communicate with you. Carrie This Home Whatever you choose as a call to action, make sure you follow up with the brand in a timely manner. Waiting too long to connect may cause them to lose interest in your business.  

    Attracting Brands With Media Kits

    In the world of business, your creativity is only one part of achieving success as an entrepreneur. To bring in sponsors, you must develop a media kit that speaks to their needs. From stating your purpose to adding a call to action, convey a compelling reason for brands to partner with you. So use your talents to create a worthwhile media kit to attract more sponsors.
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  • 7 Online Copywriting Tips to Improve Your Website

    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 by
    online copywriting tips for your website An impressive online presence matters. It’s the difference between visitors learning more about you or losing interest in your brand. To grab your target audience’s attention, upgrade your copywriting skills to engage with visitors. “You can’t transform a crappy painting into a masterpiece with a few brush strokes. Likewise, you can’t transform crappy copy into a persuasive message with a few minor tweaks. You need good copy at the heart of your message,” says Nick Kolenda, author of Methods of Persuasion. Effective copy helps your business sell more products, boost brand awareness, and dominate the competition. Try these seven copywriting tips below to create a memorable visitor experience.

    HostGator WordPress Hosting 1. Write Targeted Copy

    Your website is an opportunity to establish your brand in the market. When people arrive to your site, they want to know what you do and what you stand for. Use your site copy to reflect a clear vision of your business. Rather than offering unnecessary details, select a primary goal that your copy will accomplish. “It’s important to give every piece of copy you write a single objective...Focusing on one objective at a time minimizes confusion and prevents you from including extraneous text,” writes Sujan Patel, co-founder of Web Profits. Targeted copy will pinpoint the solution you offer visitors. You’re not just a food blogger or a website designer. People want to know how you can help them with their problems. In the image below, The Art of Sculpting tells you exactly how they serve their potential customers—taking their fitness to a new level. Revolutionize Your Body  

    2. Make the Visitor the Hero

    Let’s set the record straight: your copy isn't about you, your business's achievements, or even your latest TV appearance. If your desire is to transform visitors into leads (or customers), your copy must focus on your audience and their needs. All the copy should center around helping the visitor. It starts with telling a great story and creating a journey that involves the visitor. Much like the movies, the copy will discuss the challenges and the triumphs of the hero. Copy isn’t always about getting someone to take action. It’s also about etching a unique memory into their minds. That emotion will stay with them after they leave your site.  

    3. Express Your Value

    Visitors are interested in knowing how you can change their lives. What value will you provide to customers to improve their outcomes? This value will separate you from the competition. In-home care startup Honor establishes value quickly on its homepage. Their team offers services to help seniors live better, while offering families peace of mind. Be descriptive in your language and avoid the over-the-top tone. It’s perfectly fine to boast about the benefits of your product. However, you don't want to over-exaggerate. “People don’t want to be sold to. Tone down the hype and write your web copy like you’re talking with your ideal customer face-to-face. Your audience can tell the difference, and will be more likely to participate,” says Christina Walker, a professional freelance web copywriter. To show your value, highlight the results of your services. Get people engaged in doing things differently with your business.

    Home Care 4. Craft a Compelling Call to Action

    Effective copy leads visitors to your desired next step, and that's where your call to action comes in. Your website consists of several pages with different purposes. If you’ve worked with marketers, they may have suggested creating pages consistent with your sales funnel. For instance, with new visitors, your goal may be to turn them into qualified leads. The call to action might convince your audience to sign up for a free ebook or checklist. While for your returning visitors who already possess interest in your products, the call to action would be a 10% coupon or a bonus gift after an initial purchase. No matter the call to action, it should speak to the audience’s needs and desires. They should be eager to receive your offering and ready to move down the sales funnel.  

    5. Add Social Proof

    Your brand centers around perception. It’s about credibility in the eyes of your future customers. They want to know that your products and services are worth their hard-earned money. Moreover, visitors are curious about whether or not they should associate themselves with your brand. With so much competition in the marketplace, sometimes the only differentiator is the prestige and external validation of your brand. People want to be affiliated with success. We buy cars to transport us from one place to another. So why would anyone want to purchase a Lamborghini or a Tesla? Because customers also seek vehicles to represent their status in society. Leverage social proof, like customer testimonials, to influence your audience. Entrepreneur contributor Gail Goodman agrees: “Do you have a great customer quote that you can include in your e-mail? A brief and convincing quote can add credibility to your campaign. The more real you can make the person to your readers, the better.” Check out this example from Backlinko. Brian Dean backs up his expertise with quotes from industry influencers. Backlinko

    6. Avoid Jargon

    Have you ever sat in a meeting where you didn't understand anything? Everyone was talking in your native language, but every word seemed foreign. You probably felt confused or as if you didn't belong. It’s an overwhelming feeling that just makes you want to stand up and exit the room. That’s a similar feeling your visitors experience when landing on a site stuffed with jargon. They don't understand the content, so in a split second, they decide that this brand isn't for them. To keep your target audience interested, you must speak their language. Instead of using unfamiliar terms, stick to words your audience knows. Pay attention to the words your current customers use to describe your business. Use social media to learn how your audience talks about your brand. With this insight, you can create copy that invites them into your website experience.  

    7. Experiment With Different Versions

    Your first draft of copy isn’t your last. Just like other aspects of business, the best way to learn if something works is to test it. So try not to fall in love with your copy. Remember that every word on the page is to help visitors understand you better. It’s important to keep that principle in mind when A/B testing your copy. Experts suggest changing only one variable in your experiments. You might test the headline, then the call to action. If you test everything at once, you’ll lose sight of what your visitors actually like about your copy. Below is an example of an A/B test on the call-to-action-button text. The new variation focused on what the company’s offer provided the visitor. Empire Flippers Be willing to experiment with your copy. It’s the best way to learn what connects with your visitors.  

    Conveying Your Brand Message

    When visitors land on your site, your goal is to gain their interest and establish trust quickly. Copywriting is a critical component to telling your story to your audience. Write compelling copy that makes every visitor the hero, and use social proof to add to your credibility. Improve your website with better copywriting.  
    Show off those new copywriting skills with a gorgeous website! It's easy to design a great website with HostGator's website builder. Featuring pre-built sections and pages, 100+ mobile-friendly templates, and more.

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  • 15 Essential Tools Every Ambitious Blogger Needs

    Thursday, April 13, 2017 by
    Online tools for bloggers Blogging isn't easy. There’s a common misconception that bloggers just write. And as a full-time blogger for your own site or maybe multiple clients, you know that writing is just one of many responsibilities. Beyond writing creative text, bloggers must develop attention-grabbing topics, create eye-popping visuals, and promote their posts on social media. Plus, there’s the business of blogging that includes tracking time, signing contracts, and collecting payments. That’s why it's so important for bloggers to use tools to make their lives less hectic. Here’s a list of 15 tools every ambitious blogger needs to excel in their craft and business. Recommended WordPress Hosting  

    1. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator

    So, it’s time to write. You sit down at your computer and stare at it for 30 minutes. You’re experiencing a bad case of writer’s block. The creative juices aren’t flowing. To break through this mental barrier, try using Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator. This tool will help you generate ideas fast. Type in a few terms in the form. And voila! The generator produces a week’s worth of blog topics. Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator  

    2. Grammarly

    Most writers will agree that writing is only 20% of your job. The other 80% is editing. Writers continue to refine their writing to give readers their best work. It’s how they master the skill. Grammarly makes you a better writer by spotting grammatical errors and offering synonym suggestions. It’s like having a virtual editor. “With Grammarly, we have managed to eliminate almost every type of mistake that could potentially sneak their way through our editorial process. Grammarly has lead us to much higher customer satisfaction rates and fewer headaches for everyone involved in the content creation process,” says James Kosur, chief marketing officer at Presto Media.  

    3. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer

    Headlines rank as one of the most significant parts within a blog post. If you can’t capture people’s attention in a few seconds, it’s likely that your post will never get read. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer helps you solve that problem by scoring your titles. The analysis includes the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline. Moreover, you’ll learn whether your title needs an added boost of emotion. CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer

    4. BuzzSumo

    Blogging is very competitive with the growing number of content pieces being published every single day. People want their voices heard. To scope out the competition, use BuzzSumo to explore what types of content get traction. Also, learn who is sharing content and how that content compares to your posts. “With BuzzSumo you can type in a specific keyword and get a list of the most shared content related to that keyword. That way you can see what was involved and attempt to duplicate the results (or "10x" as they say),” writes Jordan Lore, a content marketer and PPC manager at Wishpond.  

    5. Canva

    Research uncovers that content paired with a relevant image boosts people’s retention of the information by 65%. Therefore, it’s essential that your blog post contains jaw-dropping visuals. With Canva, you can produce high-quality graphics for your post. Choose from millions of images and hundreds of fonts. It’s drag-and-drop feature makes designing easy for beginners. If you ever need inspiration, check out the brand’s interactive tutorials. Canva  

    6. Keyword Planner

    How will your target audience find your content? It all starts with boosting your organic search traffic. Google’s Keyword Planner is effective for forming keyword ideas, viewing historical statistics, and generating traffic forecasts. “Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to start plugging in keywords that are relevant to your site to see what the competition for each of those keywords looks like. This will help you eliminate the ones you shouldn’t be optimizing for and select the ones that can work best to drive traffic to your site,” states Forbes contributor Jia Wertz.  

    7. Sprout Social

    Content promotion amplifies the reach of your work. So it makes sense to use social media  because it helps spread your message to a diverse audience. However, managing multiple platforms is a time-consuming task. That’s where Sprout Social comes to the rescue. This platform lets you schedule and publish your content across several social channels. With its powerful analytics, you’ll identify your best content and discover trending topics in your mentions. Sprout Social  

    8. Constant Contact

    Email marketing plays an integral role in connecting directly to your audience. Your subscribers are already familiar with your content and want to read your emails. With customizable templates, Constant Contact gives you the flexibility to shape your message. And you can track your success in real-time. “One of the key perks to using Constant Contact (vs. sending emails manually) is that you can track the successfulness of your emails. Constant Contact tells you how many people opened the message, clicked a link inside the message or forwarded the email to a friend,” says Jeremy Marsan, a business analyst and staff writer for Fit Small Business.  

    9. HostGator

    An online presence is critical for bloggers to build their brand and attract new readers or clients. A website makes it possible for you to show off your skills and portfolio. From site building tools to templates, HostGator gives you everything to launch your website right now. The WordPress Hosting plan also empowers bloggers to manage website content more efficiently. HostGator  

    10. Toggl

    When you’re engulfed in your work, it’s easy to forget how much time has elapsed. Knowing the time it takes to complete specific tasks helps you manage your time efficiently. Toggl makes sure you never lose a minute of your billable time. To increase client satisfaction, you can send reporting straight to their inboxes. No Wifi? Not a problem. The tool offers offline support.  

    11. Wave

    When tax season rolls around, scrambling for pertinent documents will only add to your frustrations. Every professional blogger needs accounting software to create, send, and track invoices. Wave helps you stay organized and run a better business. Within the software, track income and expenses to understand your cash flow. You also can connect your bank accounts for transactions to appear in your bookkeeping. Wave  

    12. Sortd

    It’s difficult to stay productive when you receive hundreds of emails per day. Without even noticing, a few crucial emails might slip through the cracks, causing more chaos. Sortd maximizes your productivity by turning your inbox into an organized workspace. Tori Reid, a contributor at Lifehacker, writes: “With Sortd you can sort your emails into actionable lists. Just drag and drop an email from the left pane—your inbox—into one of the lists you've created on the right. You can use the lists for follow ups, receipts, or anything else you see a need for.”  

    13. DocuSign

    Whether you’re signing brand partnership agreements or a new client contract, you don’t want the burden of paperwork. You need a digital solution. DocuSign starts the signing process with quick access to your documents. Trust that your electronic signature is secure and legally binding. The platform uses the strongest data encryption technologies to protect your privacy. DocuSign  

    14. Dropbox

    We live in a mobile culture. You constantly bounce around between multiple locations. So it’s common to forget your laptop that contains all your work files somewhere. Dropbox solves that problem by giving you access to your files from any device. Forgot your laptop? Just open them from your mobile phone. The tool also makes it convenient to collaborate on projects with your partners or teammates.  

    15. TransferWise

    Want to receive timely payments? Of course, you do! However, invoicing payments to your overseas clients isn’t always a simple task. TransferWise calculates the real exchange rate so you don’t lose any money. Choose to send payouts to your email or bank accounts. On top of that, this tool is 8x cheaper than banks. TransferWise  

    Take Your Pick

    Yes, the life of a blogger is sometimes unorganized and stressful with back-to-back deadlines. Fortunately, you can move in a positive direction. Start using these tools to accelerate your writing and business. They will help you increase your productivity, so that you can become a better blogger.