In this post, I want to share 5 free tools that have helped me and that I believe are essential for every blogger to take blogging to the next level.
1 – Buffer
Buffer is a great browser app that can connect to your Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn accounts. It gives you the ability to share your posts immediately, or if you write and publish at varying times, you can schedule your posts to be shared later. This gives you the ability to write whenever you want and still share your post at times you know your readers will see it.
It also gives you the opportunity to share content at times you will be available to respond to comments, likes, and retweets. Another advantage to the Buffer App is the availability of the Buffer staff. Anytime I have had an issue, I have simply tweeted them @Bufferapp and one of the team members has always responded quickly.
2 – DiggDigg
DiggDigg is a powerful WordPress plugin that was bought out by the Buffer team. It gives you versatility in placing social media sharing buttons prominently on your blog or website. You also have control over which social media sharing buttons you want displayed and available.
All the major social media sites are available on DiggDigg, including Twitter, Buffer, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Pinterest, Digg, StumbleUpon, Blog Engage, and more. Not only do you have control over which buttons appear, but also the placement of the buttons, so this plugin is a must have for any serious blogger.
3 – Yoast SEO for WordPress Plugin
This is an easy-to-use, yet robust SEO plugin that will help you ensure your posts are optimized for SEO and that the search engines are happy with your posts. Most of us are not SEO experts (myself included) so we need as much help as we can get.
Plus, what makes this plugin so valuable is that you don’t have to use every available feature. Simply configure the parts you want to use and leave the rest alone. Yoast also provides a step by step instructional video, as well as other forms of support. The best part? You know before you hit publish that your posts are search engine optimized.
4 – Backup to Dropbox
This is a great little plugin that backs up your blog to Dropbox. You never know what will happen today, but you can know that tomorrow, your content will still be available. One great feature of this plugin is that you can schedule your backups daily, weekly, or fortnightly.
5 – Tweet Old Post
This is another great plugin. As the name implies, you can this plugin will automatically tweet previous posts for you. You have control over which categories and posts get tweeted, so anything that is dated (like contests and giveaways that have already ended) can be removed from the tweet list.
Also, you can set how many old posts you want tweeted per day by configuring the number of hours between tweets. This plugin is essential because it keeps all of your content alive without having to go back and manually share all of your old content.
I hope this list of free tools for serious bloggers is helpful. I use these tools regularly and find them to be very valuable in my own blogging endeavors. If you found this post helpful, leave a comment and then share the love with a Retweet, Facebook like, Pin, etc. as I would love to hear about what free tools you use to further your own blogging!