Writing regular blog posts can be tough.
You need a blog strategy, constant new ideas and the motivation to get the posts written.
But you don’t have to get on with this alone – there are tools that can help you to write your blog posts so they are easier and quicker to produce.
Ready to boost your productivity and get better blog posts?
Find blog post ideas and awesome titles with Portent’s Content Idea Generator
If you need a good idea to help you get going, Portent’s Content Idea Generator can kick start you into action.
You enter your keywords into the search box and the tool auto-generates a potential topic for your post.
If you’re not keen on the suggestion, you can click the ‘refresh’ button to the right of the search box and it will give you another one.
What’s especially useful with this tool is that it explains the benefits of each section of the title.
Also, you don’t tend to get ‘nonsense’ titles that some other tools like this can generate by accident.
As well as the one above, a few refreshes also gave us:
19 BS Facts About Social Media Tools Everyone Thinks Are True
12 Things Your Boss Expects You Know About Social Media Tools.
If you’re stuck for ideas, try this tool and see what it comes up with for you.
Get a week of blog post ideas with HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
A sleek alternative to Portent’s tool is HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator.
Here, you enter three keywords (preferably nouns) and the tool will provide you with a week’s worth of blog post ideas, a total of five.
We entered the terms Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and got the following topic suggestions:
They’re not bad! Though we’ve no idea what Twitter will be like in 100 years!!
Set a timer to focus your mind
We’ll start with e.ggtimer.com. You can choose how many seconds, minutes or hours should pass until the alarm sounds. Alternatively, you can select from a range of pre-existing timers, including one suited to the Pomodoro Technique.
The Tomato Timer is an alternative, and it’s designed for use with the Pomodoro Technique.
Both of these timers are easy to use and will help you to focus for a set period of time.
Block off your social sites – temporarily!
We all know how important social media is to any marketing strategy.
But, for the next half hour, you might really not want any Facebook notifications or new Twitter DMs to disturb you.
This could help you to focus on writing for your blog.
Try out social media blocking tools like Anti-Social, which will block your access to social sites.
Or StayFocusd, a Chrome browser extension that lets you choose which sites to block and how long you want to block them for.
Write blog posts without distractions using Quabel
If you get easily distracted when you’re writing blog posts, tools like Quabel can help.
They get rid of all the extra bells and whistles and just give you a place to type.
However, in this sparse interface, there are some options you can choose that will help you to customize Quabel. This means it will suit your needs better.
The buttons in the top right-hand corner let you choose ‘night mode’, with a dark background and light text, or you can choose appearance and goal settings, or export your writing as .pdf, .docx, .odt, .epub, .txt documents.
Do you want your blog post to be 800-words long? Do you want to write a speech that will take 5 minutes? Do you want it to take three minutes for your site visitors to read your post?
You can set goals in Quabel for each of these options. Click the cog icon on the top right of the page and, under the Goals tab, set your targets.
You can also choose how you want the Quabel interface to look, and even whether you want to hear the sound of a typewriter as you type!
Put yourself under pressure with Write or Die
If you want something a bit more hardcore, Write or Die 2 lets you set writing targets with strong incentives to meet your targets.
If you don’t, your screen will swarm with spiders, an unpleasant alarm will sound or – if you’re brave enough to choose Kamikaze Mode – your words will start to disappear before your eyes.
If that doesn’t encourage you to keep writing, nothing will!!
Check your spelling and grammar with Grammarly
Automated tools are never perfect, but Grammarly does a decent job at finding errors and identifying possible points of confusion in your writing.
You install a browser plugin and create an account.
Next, you see an almost-blank page where you can type or copy and paste something you’ve written.
When you have done this, Grammarly goes through it to find any mistakes or typos that you might have missed.
Each is highlighted, and Grammarly gives you an option in green that it recommends.
If you agree with the correction, you just click the word in green and it is replaced in the text.
If Grammarly does not recognize a word, first check that it is correct. Assuming it is, like here with Quabel, you can add that word to your dictionary so that it does not repeatedly show it as a mistake.
As well as checking each document’s spelling and grammar, you can also check it for plagiarism and ask for suggestions for a more diverse vocabulary. Plus, you can ask it to check:
- Contextual spelling
- Sentence structure
Check your readability with Hemingway
When your post is written, running it through the free Hemingway App can help to show you areas that could still be improved.
It is all about readability and making your writing as easy to understand as possible.
The first draft of this post got a grade 7, marked as ‘good’ – grades below 10 are advised.
However, Hemingway also found some overly complicated sentences that we then improved.
It also warns against excessive use of adverbs and the passive voice.
Hemingway is a handy tool to make sure your posts are not too complicated and that they explain things clearly and simply.
It is free to use and no registration is required.
Get your audience targeting right with Atomic Ally
When writing blog posts, think about your audience.
Are they beginners who need everything explained from scratch?
Are they experts who can cope with specialized language and complex ideas?
Whoever they are, you need to make sure your content is written in a way that suits your audience, and the Atomic Ally Editor, from Atomic Reach, can help with that.
To start with, you install the Atomic Ally browser extension. Next, copy and paste your title and the body of your post into the Atomic Ally Editor.
Then, you click the browser extension and some options appear in the right-hand sidebar.
You select the post title, the body of the post, and the specialization level of your audience.
Atomic Ally then analyzes your text to decide whether it is suitable for your target audience.
If your writing is too simplistic for an expert audience, it will tell you.
Or if it’s too complicated for a beginner audience, it will tell you that, too.
You can then review your blog post and submit it to be scored again, until it is suitable.
Atomic Ally also checks your grammar and spelling, but Grammarly’s spelling and grammar checkers are more sophisticated.
What Atomic Ally does best is help you to make sure your posts use suitable language for your audience.
Don’t stare at a blank blog post and wait for inspiration!
These tools can help you to find ideas, write them without distraction, and then check they are correct and error-free.
Which tool will be the most useful to you? Let us know!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock