8 Must-Have Tools for Online Business Owners

This blog post covers 8 tools for new bloggers and how you can use them to grow your blog quickly.
At the beginning of this year, I decided that one of my goals was to stop trading hours for dollars. Originally, I created my business with a focus on custom one on one services.
Don’t get me wrong, I love working with clients. But, there is only so much time in one month. This limits the number of people I can work with at one time and creates an income ceiling. Not to mention, opens the doors to burnout!
Can you relate?
With that in mind, I set a goal to focus on the blogging aspect of my business. I had started to read about the potential of blogging during the last quarter of 2018. I knew it was important for the growth of my business, but before then, I had never considered it in terms of generating income. What’s more, focussing on my blog would mean that I could share my knowledge and experience with a larger audience.
Now, don’t get me wrong, blogging requires hard work, consistency and dedication. Even as a new blogger, this is one thing I know for sure. You can’t decide to start a blog, write a few posts and generate income straight away! If you plan to generate income from your blog, it is important to do your research first.
The right blogging tools can have a huge impact, giving your blog the best chance at success from the very beginning. Not all of the tools I am recommending cost money. With that said, I have come to realise that when it comes to blogging (and being in business) you often have to spend money to make money.
Trust me, I get it! If you’re anything like me, you might be feeling hesitant to spend money on your blog before generating any income. Expenses can add up and outlaying money without knowing what kind of return you might see is scary.
The key is to spend it wisely, on tools and resources that will generate a return. Don’t worry, I’ve done the research so you don’t have to!
So, without further adieu, here is a list of my Top 8 Tools You Need to Grow Your Blog as a New Blogger.
Unsplash is one of my favourite resources for stock images. Generously donated by photographers around the globe, the images are natural and as far from the typical ‘stock photo’ as you can get.
People are generally very visual. So, incorporating beautiful images into your blog posts is vital. This will not only make them look more appealing, but also make your post a lot easier to read by breaking up the text. If people enjoy reading your post, not only in terms of content, but visually as well, the more likely they are to share it.
Like blogging, SEO (search engine optimisation) needs to be treated like a marathon, not a sprint. When you factor in SEO as you are writing a blog post, you give it a much better chance at ‘ranking’ on Google.
Yoast SEO prompts you to make certain changes in order to improve the SEO. Tasks such as adding tags, creating meta descriptions and adding internal links, become a lot less overwhelming with the Yoast SEO plugin.
You work hard to create content for your blog. Naturally, you want as many people as possible to read it. Social Warfare is a plugin which simplifies the process of sharing your content on social media.
With one click of a button, your content can be shared on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more. Social Warfare also allows you to customise the image and description shared with the content, so you are in complete control of what people see when your content is shared with the world.
LSI Graph is a keyword tool which helps to improve your content’s SEO. When you’re a new blogger, one of the trickiest tasks is to get traffic to your site. Adding keywords is one way to help, but the “key” is knowing which keywords to use. That’s where LSI Graph comes in!
Without a doubt, this tool has had a huge impact on my site traffic already. Since using LSI Graph and adding relevant keywords to my blog posts, I have been able to generate almost 10,000 monthly pageviews with 19 blog posts. Some of my posts have been shared up to 3,000 times and growing.
Signing up here will get you 30 free searches a month, so you can try before you buy!
As a new blogger, you not only need to focus on creating quality content but building an email list of loyal subscribers. Your email list is the only thing you own. Unlike social media platforms, you are not at the mercy of changing algorithms or search rankings. An email list also provides a more personalised method of communicating with your audience.
I have been using ConvertKit since January. As a former Mailchimp user, I Initially couldn’t justify the monthly expense for ConvertKit. However, I knew that growing my email list was a vital component of growing my business and increasing my income. After stagnating at 74 subscribers for several months, I knew something had to change.
ConvertKit has already had a huge impact on my email list. In less than two months, I have gone from 74 subscribers to 187 (and counting). The main reason for this is because ConvertKit makes it easy to add signup forms to your website and blog posts. I am yet to explore the full potential of this amazing platform, but with over a 200% increase in my list size alone, I can already see that the monthly investment has been worth it.
The Later App has been a lifesaver when it comes to posting on Instagram, one of my biggest referral sources. As a new blogger, consistency is key when it comes to maintaining a strong online presence. Therefore, managing my time effectively is critical. Rather than spending hours on manual posting, the Later App enables me to prepare and schedule posts ahead of time.
What’s more, the visual planner, hashtag finder and analytics features allow me to easily determine what is working in terms of my audience and schedule my posts accordingly.
Canva is a free design platform which enables you to create beautiful graphics for your blog. Premade templates mean that you no longer have to worry about frustrating dimensions and specifications.
From pre-sized social media templates, to header images, marketing materials and documents, you’ll find everything you need to create a stunning visual identity without the cost. Image and font selections combined with drag and drop features make this platform easy to use, even as a brand new blogger. Choose your template, customise and you’re ready to go!
If you’re not already on Pinterest as a blogger, open a new tab right now and create a business account (and then come back to read the rest of this post). Pinterest is my biggest referral source, generating over 95% of my website traffic on average.
Now that you’ve created your Pinterest profile, let’s talk about Tailwind
To be honest, Tailwind and I didn’t start off too well. Everyone seemed to be raving about it, but initially, I wasn’t 100% sure whether it was having that much an impact on my Pinterest account or blog traffic. I gave it just over a month and cancelled my subscription on an emotional whim! I didn’t understand what everyone was going on about!
A few weeks later after cancelling, I started to see a massive jump in my monthly viewers on Pinterest. In fact, November last year, I had reached over 550,000 monthly viewers. My manual posting efforts had gone out of the window at that point, so the only thing I could attribute the increase to was my previous activity on Tailwind.
Although I tried to keep up with my manual pinning efforts, my monthly viewers reduced to 300,000. I attribute a lot of this to my inactivity on Tailwind. It may have been relatively slow in the beginning, but this change has allowed me to see the impact of Tailwind first hand. I now know, that it is one platform which I cannot do without.
If you are going to give Tailwind a try, remember that it may take time to pinpoint the right strategy and see results. Hang in there though, it will be worth it – I promise! The free trial will allow you to schedule up to 100 pins and gain access to all other features of the Plus Plan.
So, there we have it! My top 8 tools to grow your blog as a new blogger. What do you think? Are you using any of these already? Got any favourites yourself? I would love to hear from you!