Anyone can successfully start a blog, as long as you have something to say and people who want to read about it.
You don't need much to begin, either. As long as you've got a reliable word processor, a trusty editor, and an idea of what message you want to share, you'll be ready to start.
Business blogging is great because it can scale with you. If you're just starting out, you can blog for free. As your business grows, you can invest in tools and services designed to assist with blog growth, too. Plus, you can capitalize off many additional tools that will aid in keeping your blog on track.
We've identified the top five tools that increase efficiency, improve quality, and expand reach for business blogs:
1. When Organization is a Priority: G Suite
Google's G Suite includes useful tools such as Docs and Sheets.
You can create spreadsheets with Sheets to plan out your blog’s strategy, organize your thoughts on future topics, and save ideas, resources and other website pages for easy access. Docs offer a collaborative way to write, edit and store your posts. A self-proclaimed "one-stop shop for productivity," with G Suite, you can turn your blog efforts into a well-oiled machine.
2. When Inspiration Doesn't Strike: Blog Ideas Generator
Coming up with a constant stream of blog topics can be difficult, but creating irresistible headlines to pull readers in is even more challenging. With HubSpot's Blog Ideas Generator, you can access attention-grabbing titles that will attract readers. Sometimes the blog ideas don't quite make sense, but it's an excellent resource with plenty of suggestions to use.
The Ideas Generator doesn't just share one or two potential titles. HubSpot provides you with a year's worth of ideas available for download. What's more, they also share their top tips for how to rank your blog on Google.
3. When Brevity is the Soul of Wit: Hemingway Editor
The Hemingway app is a useful editor that helps you keep track of readability.
Overly complicated and long-winded articles often cause people to get lost in the text and click away. If your subject matter is scientific, medical, or just a bit confusing for the average reader, Hemingway Editor has your back. The tool highlights sentences that need splitting or shortening.
Hemingway also points out simpler phrases, adverbs and passive voice to help condense your writing. Best of all, it’s free to use.
4. When Words Don't Flow: Cliché Finder
In writing, clichés are the easy way out. When you're not an experienced writer, it's easy to fall into the trap of relying heavily on certain phrases to bridge your paragraphs together.
More often than not, it's wise to be a bit more choosy with the words you use. If you're looking to eliminate overused phrases, try Morgan Friedman's Cliché Finder. The tool will highlight what needs removing or replacing. By cutting out tired terminology, you can make sure your blog is always authentic, easy-to-read, and professional.
5. When One Click is Enough: WordPress
WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems around. The open-source software is an excellent platform for publishing content regularly. Plus, it lets you design your blog with custom themes.
With WordPress.com, you can familiarize yourself with the software, practice consistent publishing, and kick your blog off at a low cost. Once you get the hang of things, you can always migrate over to WordPress.org with a self-hosting option. Whether you decide to start a free or self-hosted blog, WordPress is the optimal solution.
The blogging tools we've shared here have helped us improve productivity, strengthen content, and ultimately grow our blog reach. By making use of these resources, you too can optimize your business blog for an improved experience for your readers. As a bonus, most of these tools are free!
Editor's Note: This list was originally posted in August 2015 and has been updated to reflect our current top contenders.