7 Simple Tools to Help Beginners Starting a Blog


Simple Tools to Help Beginners Starting a Blog

How do you get started with a blog? While it seems easy, it can be overwhelming, especially for someone who has never used any software apart from a word processor.

Today, we will introduce you to 7 simple tools to help beginners in starting a blog. The assumption here is that you will write your own materials and that you have already selected your niche.

These tools are:

  • Content Management System
  • Hosting Service Provider
  • Theme or Web Builder Software
  • Search Engine Optimization Tool
  • Text Editor
  • Anti-Plagiarism Software
  • Graphics Designer Software

You will use all of these tools on a regular basis. The only exception is the hosting service provider, as it runs in the background.

Let us get started!

Content Management System

A content management system is often referred to as CMS. It is the tool where you upload your blogs. This is where you write and edit, or paste your written material from a word processor.

The CMS is also the tool where you upload photos, or where you set your feature pages. Do not confuse a content management system with a web-builder. These two tools are different from each other.

You use a CMS to create pages and posts for your website or blog. If you want to create an “About Us” page, this is where you do it. It is also where you get to store your content—all of it, and then access it later on if you want to edit or delete them.

Most of the time, the content management system is partnered with a web-building platform. Today, it is highly doubtful if there is a content management platform that does not come with a web-builder. On the other hand, there are many web-building tools that have no content management system.

The most widely used content management platform is wordpress. You can buy the paid version, or use the free version called wordpress.ORG.

Generally speaking, you are better off using the .ORG version because the paid one, the .COM version has limited features. You have to keep on paying more if you want to use more features.

Hosting Service Provider

All websites have a host. A host is a computer server where your files are stored—including your website’s design and functionality. A server is a machine that talks to other servers and browsers. It is the machine that “serves” the internet.

If someone from another part of the world is looking for a steak recipe, and then clicks on your website link, that action—the clicking—will prompt his computer browser (Safari, Firefox, Chrome) to ask your server to display the content of your website.

It is the server that shows a person what he sees on his computer. If your server is slow, it takes time to respond. The server’s main function is to show information or process transactions as fast as it could.

Now, you do not want to have your own server. It is too expensive, and it requires serious technical knowledge to run it. Instead, you have to “rent” a server.

This is the job of a web hosting provider. They have servers that are shared between you and other bloggers. In exchange, you pay them a monthly fee. The server is going to be integrated into your CMS. After you post your blog from the CMS, the server is ready to show that blog post to the world.  



Theme or Web Builder Software

If you build your blog from scratch, you have to know how to code. Instead of doing that, you can buy a theme or use free ones.

A theme is a template of how a website will look like. It is like facebook where you can upload your photos and texts, and then the system will show your post to the users. The theme is customizable, but different themes have different limitations. The more complex a theme is, the more you will pay.

The other option is to use a web-builder tool. This tool allows you to customize your website 100%. Web-builder tools have a drag-and-drop feature. If you want a hero banner, just choose that from the options and select where you want it to stay on your website.

While all CMS systems have web-builder tools, these tools are generic. They do not give you the same flexibility as a real web-builder.

An example of a web-builder tool is Elementor. It is a plug-in that you use on WordPress where you can design your blog to your heart’s content. Without it, you will rely on your theme, which can be so limiting.

If you are just starting out, we do not recommend buying a web-builder service or software. It costs $49 per year, and it is best used only if you are sure that you will maintain your blog for many years to come.

Search Engine Optimization Tool

In a CMS, you can use free plug-ins such as Rank Math to help guide you whether your seo is done correctly or not. Plug-ins like this are focused on on-page SEO—they tell you if your content meets certain SEO requirements to help your website rank high.

If you want a real technical SEO software, you have to use tools like AHREFS, SEMRUSH or moz. These are tools that will track your blog’s performance in all things related to SEO, including meta-tags, scripts, and page speed.

Text Editor and Checker

Apart from MS Word, you need the benefit of a grammar checker like Grammarly or Readable.IO. These are free tools that not only check grammar and spelling but also how readable your content is. As a blogger, you cannot rely on your editing skills alone.

If you use Grammarly or Readable IO, you will be able to write blogs that resonate with your audience. They check your content for ease of reading, blandness, tone, and a lot more. Both of these also have paid versions that open up more services and tools.

Anti-Plagiarism Software

Google and other search engines do not like duplicate content. With billions of blog pages out there, there is at least one sentence bound to be similar to what you wrote. A search engine has no idea whether you copied the content or not, but it will think that you did plagiarize.

If Google flags your content as duplicate content, it is not going to rank you high if at all. As a result, your blog is not going to rank on SERPs. The best anti-plagiarism tool is CopyScape. It costs only a few cents to check your document.

Graphics Designer Software

Images make a big impact on your blog post. You also need images to share on your social media channels. You do not have to be a graphic artist to do this, as there are free tools out there that you can use to create your art.

One such tool is Canva. It is free to use, but it has a paid version, too. With the free version, your image options are limited. Use this if you are just starting out. If you do not want to, you can buy the services of a graphic artist to do your artwork for you.

Summary

After starting a blog, focus your efforts on creating and publishing quality content. Starting a blog is easy. You can accomplish the set-up in a day. You can make it better as time goes by, but aesthetics should not be your primary concern. Aesthetics is a one-day project, but building your traffic will take years.



John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

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