I hope your nonprofit blogs regularly. Creating your own compelling content, being found online, and building other social media platforms around a home base such as blogging are three of the smartest things you can do to promote your cause.
But blogging is hard work too. I know this firsthand as I write several blog posts a week, including this one for Mightycause. I’m always looking for tools and hacks to make blogging easier and to generate more quality content.
Here are eight tools I use to make cause blogging easier and more effective.
When I’m researching a blog post I often have a lot of tabs open on my browser. Screen Buddy, a Chrome extension, allows me to easily save, edit, and restore my browser sessions. I can then restore the session in any order I want. Here’s a bonus: Screen Buddy automatically captures your ten most recent sessions so when I say “What was that site I was looking at yesterday?” I can easily find it.
Explain & Send Screenshots
This Chrome extension allows me to easily grab images and screenshots from the web and add arrows, circles and text to show readers exactly what I want to show and tell them. Check out how I used Explain & Send Screenshots in this recent post.
I just started using this offline blogging platform and I’m already hooked. I love WordPress, the blogging platform behind many blogs including mine, but MarsEdit just makes everything so much faster. I’m not dependent on having an Internet connection and I don’t have to wait for things to load. I just open my laptop and start typing. It works only on Macs and it’s not free, but after a free month trial period it’s only $39 a year.
Content is king but optimizing your blog posts for search engines is pretty important too. Scribe analyzes your natural, reader-focused content and tells you how to gently tweak it for search engines. It’s a good tool that will cost you a few bucks a month, but do what I did. Subscribe to Scribe for a year so you can get the hang of optimizing your content for search engines. Scribe grades your posts based on 15 SEO best practices. I didn’t need it after my year subscription expired and neither will you.
WordPress Editorial Calendar
Writing a blog is like running a newspaper or magazine. You need to plan ahead about on what to write. The WordPress editorial calendar widget gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.
This WordPress widget automatically transforms your WordPress website into an app-like theme that can be easily viewed on any mobile device. You don’t have to know any code and it doesn’t affect your desktop theme. With 86% of mobile users searching the Internet, WPtouch is a must for blog readers on the go!
The fact they call it the “drag and drop WordPress theme” tells you just how darn easy Headway Themes is to use. If I want change or adjust anything on my blog I just jump on the visual editor and make the changes myself. Let’s be clear: I’m not tech savvy. I have trouble figuring out the TV remote. Headway is the theme for non-techies like you and me.
Once you’ve written that blog post you’ll want to share it on your social networks. That’s why I use Buffer to evenly distribute my content to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn through out the day. I can schedule all my updates in the morning–or even the night before–and then I don’t have to worry about updating my networks if I get busy with something else.
Do you have a favorite tool for blogging? Share it in the comments below.