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Blogging Success: Top Tools for Managing the Content Development Process

This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit

Running a successful blog or online business is not easy. You live and die by the traffic that your content attracts. Developing a continuous stream of amazing content requires a lot of time and creativity. There are many tools that can assist you in the content development process. Here are just few that might be helpful for tracking your blog analytics, creating attractive images and managing social media.

Death to the Stock Photo

Measure and Track Your Results

In order to design an effective content development process, you need to know what your audience responds to. You have to track specific metrics and gather information about where your traffic is coming from, how many page views you are getting overall and what keywords are driving this traffic to your site. There are some excellent tools for obtaining this information.

  • Google Analytics: The granddaddy of web analysis tools, Google Analytics provides comprehensive metrics on your website.
  • CrazyEgg: This tool provides a unique graphical representation of your website data in an easy-to-read format.
  • StatCounter: This software offers a powerful set of tools to analyze the activity that is taking place on your blog in real time.
  • Other good tools include Market Samurai and SiteMeter.

You can try many of these tools for free so that you can find the ones that work best for your site before committing to a subscription.

Work With Attractive Images

We all know that blog posts accompanied by attractive images are more successful. Having the right image associated with your your blog post is of the utmost importance. In addition, breaking up your text with images helps keep people reading your post. It may be tempting to simply copy images that you like from the Internet without permission. This is a bad idea. If the image is owned by another person, he could bring legal action against you for copyright infringement.

As a blogger, you need to develop sources for obtaining good images. You can pay for a license to use copyrighted images, use free images with the Creative Commons license that permits sharing, or create your own images.

  • iStockPhoto is one of the most popular places to obtain stock photos. You can pay for the license to use a photo on your blog.
  • Obtaining free images has never been easier with the search tool on the Creative Commons website. You can search a wide variety of popular image sharing sites for pictures that are being distributed under the Create Commons license. These site includes Google Images, WikiMedia Commons, Flickr and many others. Be sure to link back to the original image and give proper attribution to the creator when using Creative Commons images.
  • If you take your own pictures with a digital camera, there is free software to edit your images before publishing them on your blog. Pixlr is an online photo editor that is great for simple functions like cropping images. For more complicated photo processing, you can try downloading GIMP, a free software package for image manipulation.

Effective Social Media Promotion

Using social media is an important part of the content development process. With the wide variety of social media platforms, it is easy to get overwhelmed when posting and tracking your content. You cannot be available at all hours of the day to monitor your accounts. You need a management tool to help you stay on top of social media for your blog or small business.

  • Hootsuite: This popular social media management tool allows you manage a wide variety of social media interaction from one place. You can monitor activity and schedule posts with ease.
  • Cyfe: This is a full business analytics tool that integrates social media management functions. This make it easy to get the big picture for your blog or online business.
  • SproutSocial: This package not only allows you to manage your social media account, but it also has the ability to monitor brand keywords. Using social media, you will be able to engage individuals who are talking about topics you are interested in.

With the right tools, you can simplify the content development process. By taking the hassle out of creating analytics for blog performance, finding great images and managing social media, these tools increase your productivity and help you drive traffic to your blog or online store.

Written by Steve Lazuka, founder of Interact Media, creators of the Zerys Content Marketplace and Zerys for Agencies content marketing platforms.