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Woman working with computer, view from aboveThere’s no mistaking the importance of a blog for your business. Not only is it a great SEO tool, but it offers a variety of other benefits. Some people earn a small fortune from blogging alone, but a properly executed blog is probably the most effective online marketing tool for business of all sizes and entrepreneurs alike. Why? Because it can…

  • establish your authority in the market.
  • drive plenty traffic to your sales pages.
  • help you generate more sales.
  • be used to generate a tidy sum of advertising income.
  • be used to enhance customer service.

Yet, it is one of the most untapped tools in small business. Entrepreneurs don’t take advantage of this free tool, and usually ascribe this to a lack of time. Today, we’re going to talk about some tools that can make blogging faster, easier and more effective than ever. Ready? I suggest you bookmark this page, because you’ll want to refer back to it frequently as you evolve as a blogger.

Top 12 Blogging Tools

There are several phases to creating a winning blog post. The tools are broken up by function for ease of reference.

Brainstorming Your Blogging Topics

Blog Topics Generator: HubStop has a helpful title generator that will generate a topic based on 3 keywords.

Social Media Topics: This is not a single tool, but rather a collection of tools that pull content from the different social media channels you follow. Check out LinkedIn Pulse, Google+’s What’s Hot, and Twitter’s trending topics.

Organizing Your Ideas

Google Calendar: If you don’t have an editorial calendar, repurpose your Google calendar.

Dropbox: Save photos, design files, documents, and more in Dropbox. You can create a new folder for each idea to keep it neat.

Writing Fast & Easy

WordPress Distraction Free Writing: No need to buy, download or install, the WordPress Distraction Free Writing is right in your editor. Simply click on the 4-way arrow in the top right-hand corner of any new post.

Grammarly: Grammarly lets you check every aspect of your writing to make sure it’s perfect. Style, punctuation, spelling, grammar, and sentence structure – it’s all covered.

Creating Beautiful Images

Skitch: A cool tool that allows you to grab screenshots, which you can then annotate with icons, notes and arrows. All the screenshots are sent to Evernote, if you’re connected.

Meme Generator: Memes are all the rage right now. Choose a character and add your own quote.

Optimizing Your Content

Google Trends: Keyword research is key to posting content that is well-optimized and popular. Use Google Trends to check on search volumes of keywords and phrases.

Yoast WordPress SEO plugin: Some themes, or if you use a Genesis theme, it comes with a built in SEO platform for pages/posts. If your theme doesn’t have this, then Yoast WordPress SEO plugin is for you. Probably the most popular tool of its kind, Yoast helps you keep your post focuses and search engine optimized. It will tell you where you should add your keyword and give you the green light when it’s good to go.

Sharing Your Content

Buffer: This app allows you to schedule a sharing schedule for your completed posts. You can even share the same post with different headers and images.

Click to Tweet: This awesome WordPress plugin allows you to highlight snippets of blog posts and includes a button to allow readers to share your post to Twitter.

There you have it – just a few of the many amazing tools available to make your life as a blogger simpler and easier. Best of all, many of these tools save so much time, letting you get on with important activities.

What’s your favorite blogging tool? We’d love to find out in comments below!