Whether you're writing for business or fun, your blog can be a source of income (or even just bragging rights). Raise the bar on your blog by using these tools for better blogging.
The first step to better blogging is better writing. "Content is king," as they say in the industry. Step up your writing style with these tools.
- Grammar Girl — Word nerd extraordinaire Mignon Fogarty has covered just about every grammar question you could have.
- Yahoo Style Guide — Another great reference for grammar questions, the Yahoo guide will help keep you consistent.
- Dictionary.com — More than just a dictionary, this site also gives you tips on common errors associated with commonly misused words. Also check out their sister thesaurus.
Beautify your blog
Make a great first impression with a blog that looks attractive. Even if you have a blog platform like Wordpress already, you can still step up your game with quality templates.
- Elegant Themes — A low-cost, high-quality solution that makes your website look just as professional as SheKnows!
- WPZoom — Another inexpensive, quality option, WPZoom lets you buy up front or test it out with a monthly fee.
- Theme Forest — With thousands of templates and themes for multiple platforms, Theme Forest offers premium themes at a variety of price points.
With these gorgeous themes, you'll also want some quality photos.
- Dreamstime — If you're willing to pay for pics, Dreamstime is one of the less expensive providers.
- Morguefile — Morguefile provides free stock images you can download or embed. They're not as extensive or high-quality as Dreamstime or other paid providers, but they have tons of quality images.
- Flickr — Flickr is a crowd-sourced photo solution. While it's mainly a place for people to upload, store and share images, many users allow you to use their pics (check the restrictions on individual photos).
While you do have copyrights to your work, on the web, that doesn't mean it can't be stolen without your knowledge. These tools will help.
- Copyscape — Copyscape provides you a way to check whether your content is being reproduced on other sites.
- Google Inside Search — Upload a photo to see if it's being used by others.
Make some money
Even if you don't have anything to sell, you can make money on your blog.
- Google AdSense — Place ads on your blog that are relevant to your readers. You can even exclude competitors!
- Amazon Affiliates — Place ads or links on your site, and when readers buy from your link, you earn a percentage of the fees.
Sometimes you just need a little more. We have a few tools that will add that extra something to your blog.
- Shareaholic — Add social media share buttons, increase reader engagement by highlighting related content on your site and analyze how users are interacting with your site.
- SourceBottle — Need an expert opinion? Connect with knowledgeable sources or even get giveaway opportunities for free!
What are your favorite blogging tools? Let us know in the comments below.
More on blogging
How to start a blog: Blogging basics
How to start a blog: Blogging platforms
Blogging basics: What to write about