You have bought your domain name, hosting package, your site runs on safe servers, but besides all the technical stuff, your content is what really matters. As Bill Gates once said, “Content is King” therefore the articles you post or publish on your blog do really count for its success or failure. The basic rule is to provide value to your readers whether you are blogging News, tutorials, fashion, eCommerce, or simply entertainment. It is also important to ensure the article well optimized for search engines using the right keywords to enhance your blog’s SEO opportunities and attract even more visitors. However, what many overlook in an effort to achieve the desired first page ranking in major search engines is the fact that you need to engage, entertain, and simply please your readers by making your blog articles visually attractive over and above the value they provide. Let’s call this process of dressing up your article to make it visually attractive “pimping” a normal article, and not for lack of a better word.
So how do you pimp a normal blog article to make it serve not only your on-page SEO needs but your readers tastes as well? Well, simply said, just make good use of the many blogging tools available online to tweak a few things here and there in your article to make it both functional in SEO terms and visually attractive to your readers. Here are 10 tools I have found to be quite helpful in “pimping” my normal articles.
This may sound obvious, since almost everyone uses WordPress, but this free blogging platform has some very useful features you can use to create, customize and dress up your article to stellar standards. After all, you need a good platform to publish a great post. WordPress is one of the most versatile blogging platforms that allows you to add images, videos, hyperlinks, and a host of other attractive add-ons to your post, which is basically the article you intend to publish. Make good use of those little features in the WordPress text editor to tweak around your post and increase its functional as well as aesthetic value.
Having images in an article has become almost mandatory nowadays. A block of words in a post not only looks dull and unattractive to readers but may also harm your blog’s SEO chances. It is therefore essential to ensure that you incorporate a few relevant images in your article. The key is to use relevant images but how do you ensure this? Simple, do some little editing and tweaking to make the images even more attractive and relevant to your post. One tool I find very useful in basic image editing is Pixlr. This tool allows you to increase or reduce image size , combine multiple images, photos, and even add several cool filters. It is quite intuitive and easy to use. The tool comes in three options namely Pixlr Editor which has all the editing features you need, Pixlr Express which is quite useful for those quick fixes, and Pixlr-o-matic which has features similar to Instagram’s retro and vintage effects. You do not need to be a Photoshop expert to create and add some cool pictures in your article when you have Pixlr.
3. Creative Commons
As stated before, a blog post or article devoid of images and graphics is not only dull but visually unappealing too. However, creating your own graphics using Photoshop can be time consuming while having to buy pictures every time you publish an article can be expensive in the long run. Creative Commons is a tool I find quite useful when looking for cool royalty-free graphics to add to my articles. It is basically a site that searches for relevant images that you can modify and use even for commercial purposes without necessarily having to pay for royalties. It is a free blogging tool that finds you royalty-free images you can use to enhance the look of your article.
Pimping your article will also involve optimizing it for search engines to improve your blogging productivity. SEMRush is one of the best tools you can use to locate trending keywords that can be added to your blog post or article. It also has a cool twist to it. You can use SEMRush to spy on your competition and see which keywords are bringing them more traffic.
5. Social Oomph
Social media has become part and parcel of everyday life. It is hard to succeed without incorporating social media sites and attributes to your articles. However, spreading your article across all your social media accounts and profiles can be tedious and often time consuming. This is where Social Oomph comes in. It is a handy tool that manages tedious tasks such as monitoring mentions, scheduling updates and much more. It is integrated with major social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, and many more. Having your friends, colleagues, and family read your article, post comments, and interact with you via social media is quite effective in pimping your article.
This is another social media management tool that enables you to pre-schedule updates and even discover relevant content to share on Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, and Twitter alongside your article.
Your article should also serve to increase your readership base. This is where this handy tool called Optinmonster comes in. Many sites will normally load annoying pop-ups asking readers to sign up to their mailing lists quite obtrusively. Optinmonster however does this unobtrusively by prompting a pop-up when the visitor is exiting the page.
This is another useful image editing tool capable of giving you fabulous looking images and graphics. It is great for creating and adding social media graphics, infographics, and presentations to your blog post or article.
9. Microsoft Word
As obvious as this may sound, MS Word is still a great tool to refine your article and format it appropriately. Word has a host of features to enhance the look and feel of your article.
Nothing puts off readers more than an article full of typos and other grammar mistakes. To overcome this, you can either hire a professional editor or get Grammarly. This handy tool checks your spellings, grammar, sentence structure, and even style of your article. It also ensures that sources used in your text are properly cited.