If you’re not blogging and need some inspiration to start, check out Why Do You Blog? 23 Lawyers Weigh In. And use WordPress, the number one blogging platform. It’s intuitive, free, and has an amazing community of helpful users and developers. It’s also a robust content management systems that you can use to build your law firm website. Now that you have your blog set up on WordPress, here are some awesome tools to make your blogging life more efficient and productive. Even fun.
Feedly – Stay current and get ideas for blog posts on important issues in the legal profession or industries you service by subscribing to blogs and websites you enjoy reading. Great bonus benefit: limiting the display to blog post titles only will show you how experienced writers craft titles that resonate.
Twitter Lists – Similar to Feedly, creating Twitter lists of industry-specific users will keep you in the loop and provide blog post topic ideas. I have a few private lists that I access almost daily when I don’t have time to scroll through the noisy stream.
Pocket – Install the browser extension and save articles and web pages to read later with this awesome app. It prompts you to add a tag which can be “blog post ideas.”
LinkedIn Pulse – Keep abreast of the breaking stories from your professional network and LinkedIn Influencers. Expand on topics of interest on your blog.
Editorial Calendar – This plugin lets you calendar your blog post ideas and keeps you on schedule. Especially useful for teams.
WordPress SEO – If you blog or spend any time creating copy on the web you should have a basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices. Let this plugin do the work for you and educate you in the process. See: Optimize Your WordPress Blog With SEO Yoast Plugin.
HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator – Have a subject matter you’d like to write about but can’t come up with a title? Enter three words in this tool and get a week’s worth of blog post titles.
Meme Generator – Browse popular memes and create your own. Meme images are great for enhancing your posts and sharing on social media.
Email Newsletter – Building an email list is a great way to grow your traffic and influence and reward faithful readers. You can use Gravity Forms to create an email newsletter subscription form or use plugins from popular email providers like MailChimp or Constant Contact. See: 5 WordPress Newsletter Plugins to Grow Your Email Marketing Lists.
Gravity Forms – Used by millions, this advanced form builder is a beast. Create a simple contact or newsletter subscription form, mask a GoToWebinar registration form on your landing page, craft a download form for your E-Book or White Paper, and so much more.
TablePress – When I ran a continuing legal education site, my most trafficked pages were tables of CLE rules and regs, and other useful information. This plugin makes it easy to create and update tables and gives users the option to sort by column. This is a must-have if you enjoy creating and sharing tables and spreadsheet-like data.
Vimeo – Write a blog post or create a landing page about the webinar you just presented and embed the video from Vimeo. We use Vimeo for all the videos on Rocket Academy.
SpeakWrite – A common refrain is “I don’t have time to blog.” SpeakWrite to the rescue. Record your thoughts or do a short interview and upload to this service and they’ll send you a transcript which you can quickly clean up and publish on your blog. See: SpeakWrite – Transcribe Audio or Video Into Quick Blog Posts or Documents
SlideShare – This underused platform is great for storing your presentations and embedding them in your blog posts. Tip: A great way to get speaking gigs is to create a series of presentations, post them on SlideShare, and write about them on your blog.
Google Docs – If you’re not on Evernote, use Google Docs to store your blog post ideas and drafts. It’s also a great way to collaborate on posts.
Trello – This project management tools is free and powerful. If you have a team of writers with a fixed editorial calendar, this tool will keep you on track.
Slack – Another tool for keeping your blogging team informed, engaged, and on track. We recently switched from Skype to Slack, like the WordPress team did. Great for communicating and exchanging ideas and files.
Buffer – After you hit publish, share your post on social media immediately or use Buffer to schedule it to go out at a better time for maximum exposure. This is a must-have app for anyone who is active on Twitter.
Quick Adsense – If you have a presentation, E-Book, or other content or service, create an ad and use this tool to have the ads automatically appear anywhere in your blog posts, sidebar, or landing page. Have more than one? Quick Adsense accommodates up to nine rotating ads.
Google Analytics – A must-have for bloggers. This comprehensive tool lets you know how your blog is doing, which posts resonate, who’s visiting your site, where they’re coming from, and a whole lot more. See: What Are the Basics For Measuring Law Firm Websites Performance?
These tools help you plan, organize, write, and optimize your blog posts, whether you’re a solo blogger or collaborate with a team of writers. If you have a favorite blogging tool that’s not listed here, please share in the comments below.