Blogs have become an essential part of business communication. Business blogs are very often the backbone of the content marketing strategy, at least they should be. To streamline the daily work of business bloggers, tools and plugins can help to make your workflows more efficient, increase productivity and boost success.
We manage 5 corporate blogs for our company and products: Adenion blog, Blog2Social German blog, Blog2Social English blog, Influma blog and PR-Gateway blog. And we connect our business blogs and websites with as many social media channels to promote our contents and to connect with our customers and communities. We create and publish all of our contents on our blogs: help content, infographics, checklists, tutorials, videos, FAQs – everything can be found on our blogs. Here, we also communicate with our customers and prospects, connect to our social media channels, share our posts on social media and collect valuable feedback.
Our daily content marketing and blogging routine looks something like this and so will yours:
- Planning and organizing your content projects
- Creating content
- Proofreading and optimizing content for search and readability
- Creating visuals
- Scheduling and publishing content
- Promoting content: sharing, seeding, and re-sharing
- Capturing and converting leads
- Analyzing performance and results
All these tasks take up a lot of time.
To streamline our team communication, we constantly generate and exchange new marketing and content ideas and keep track of results and collect feedback on our blog posts and campaigns. With a small team, it is also important that we use our resources efficiently.
In order make our daily work easier and our marketing strategies more effective, we have tried out a multitude of tools and plugins over the years. The following tools and plugins for our business blogs have become our most valuable daily helpers.
1. Slack (free & premium from $6.25/user/month) for an easier way of communicating with teams and projects
Slack is a messenger app that simplifies communication, giving everyone a shared workspace where conversations are organized and accessible from everywhere and every device. It’s much faster and easier than email. You can integrate other productivity apps to streamline your workflow even more.
With slack, we create separate timelines for specific products or topics and share important information on current events and developments, collect content for reading or content curation, or we can chat with specific team members with a direct message.
The messaging app “Slack” enables us to communicate in real time, create group chats for specific needs and share images, documents or links.
2. Trello (free & premium from $9.99 per user/month) for organizing projects and editorial calendars
Who does what, when and how? Is the post approved for publishing? What suggestions are there? Trello helps our team stay organized and get more done in less time.
Trello lets you organize, prioritize and schedule your projects and campaigns on flexible boards, lists, and cards. You can create a separate board for each of your products and projects. Within these boards, you can create lists and maps in order to make workflow as smooth as possible.
The tool enables us to work collaboratively on all projects with our complete team or individual team members. We can attach and share documents, and add comments directly to Trello cards. You can add members and deadlines to the various projects and to individual tasks. Trello automatically reminds you when there’s something new or a question or tasks directly addressed to you. We can organize our entire collaboration processes here.
Trello allows you to integrate the apps your team already uses, directly into your workflow. For example, we integrate our Google Drive / OneDrive documents or images from Canva for approval or discussion.
You can collaborate with your team from anywhere and from any device. Trello syncs your projects across all of your devices.
3. Draft (free) for drafting and collaboration on content
Drafting and approving blog posts in a team can become a tricky thing. Google Drive, OneDrive or Evernote are excellent tools for drafting and collaborating on posts. If you are looking for an alternative, try this web-based word processor for drafting and collaborating on documents and presentations with a distraction-free interface.
Draft provides all the features you need for sharing and collaborating on documents, like version control, commenting, accepting and declining changes made by others, as well as approving documents for publishing. But Draft can even do more. The tool provides many cool features for making you a better writer by simplifying your writing tasks.
To help you simplify your text for a better readability, you can use the Simplify feature and the Hemingway Mode to get suggestions on writing more concisely.
You can even let Draft analyze any publicly accessible RSS/Atom feed to report trends in your writing. For example, if your audience prefers short or longer posts, simple or sophisticated writing, specific days or times for publishing.
Texts, images or videos can be imported from many popular cloud services such as Dropbox, Evernote, Box or Google Drive.
You can publish your approved work directly to WordPress, Tumblr, Ghost, Svbtle, Blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, Basecamp and even Mailchimp from inside Draft.
Extra Tip: If you prefer to draft your posts directly in WordPress try the WordPress plugin Just Writing (free) for a distraction-free writing for creating your blog posts.
4. Grammarly (free & premium from $11.66/month) for proofreading
5. Canva (free & premium from $12.95/per month/per user) for creating stunning infographics
6. Moovly (from $24/month – one-month free trial) for creating animated videos
Videos generate more clicks than any other content on the web. By publishing videos on YouTube and other social channels, videos also help to improve search rank and visibility. And it will drive additional traffic from video search and social media.
We regularly create video tutorials for our products. Moovly is an easy-to-use tool to help us creating animated videos, how-to videos, and tutorials.
Moovly provides graphics, objects, backgrounds, and sounds we can use to create appealing videos. Depending on the version you have purchased, you can use your content for personal and commercial purposes.
Extra Tip: For easily creating screencasts, check out iSpring Free Cam (free) for creating professional looking screencasts, or opt for Camtasia (starting from US$ 249 per single license), if you want to go pro.
7. Yoast SEO (free & premium from $69/year) for search engine optimization
8. Blog2Social (free & premium from $79/year) for scheduling and sharing your content automatically
9. Icegram (free & premium from $97/year) to create popups, a welcome bar and other opt-in forms for lead generation
10. Google Analytics (free & premium ) for monitoring your results
To track our results, we basically use Google Analytics for tracking and reporting our blog traffic.
You can review post performance by tracking landing page quality and conversions (goals). With Google Analytics you can identify good and poorly performing posts by funnel visualization. You can see where visitors came from, how long they stayed on the site and how many pages they browsed.
It also provides more advanced features, including custom visitor segmentation.
Wrap up: 10 proven tools and plugins for business blogs
There are thousands of tools and plugins that promise to help you with your daily work, but not all tools work for you. We hope this list helps you to pick out some proven tools for your daily work. If you work with WordPress, you might also like to take a look at our collection of 7 very best social media plugins and 25 best marketing plugins. And now it’s up to you. Let us know which tools work for you?