For some in the blogosphere, building a brand is an opportunity to sharpen your portfolio, strengthen your credibility, land better-paying clients, and get your work into the spotlight.
For others, branding offers the chance to grow your audience, generate higher reader loyalty, and build a reputation for compelling, results-driven content.
But no matter what you are after, developing a blog and brand people want to connect with takes time, particularly when you don’t know how or where to start.
Here are 7 top tools to magnetize your content, boost your image, and start building your brand like a pro.
1. Google Alerts
Building your personal brand begins by knowing where and how your brand and content are generating discussions across the web.
And setting up a Google Alert for your name is a good way to get on top of that conversation.
Free and easy to create, a personalized Google Alert notifies you whenever someone mentions your work or portfolio online. Once you’re signed on, you will receive an email just as soon as Google indexes a new item containing your name, allowing you to take action and manage new comments, social shout-outs, and reviews more effectively.
Getting regular updates on what is shaping your reputation and traffic to and from your page provides the chance to be a more proactive personal brand builder and maintain the Google search resume you need to expand your audience.
Quora isn’t just a Q&A forum that occasionally shows up on Google search pages. It’s an under-the-radar but highly valuable opportunity to share your expertise, add to your portfolio, reinforce your cred, and build a personal brand that reaches more readers.
Founded in 2009, Quora now provides answers to more than 300 million unique visitors each month, allowing you to create impressions and get your content noticed by a potentially massive and diverse global audience.
Whether you’re an independent marketer or small business blogger, Quora can be a powerful platform for growing your reach, honing your thought leadership skills and establishing yourself as an authoritative source on a given topic or industry—an opportunity to cultivate trust and build a following that really sets your brand and blog apart.
And even if you’re not interested in tackling questions on constitutional law or helpful hints for international travel, creating a Quora profile and linking it to your social accounts is yet another great way to expand and strengthen your online presence.
The best part? Plugging yourself into Quora is simple and free, making it easy to get started.
Are you on LinkedIn? If not, you’re missing a great opportunity to highlight your experience, market your blog, and get noticed by those who could use a content boost.
Without a doubt, LinkedIn is the top professional networking site out there, providing a powerful tool to connect with influencers and expose your work to millions of users.
An active and polished LinkedIn presence not only helps solidify your voice and grow your audience on a high-volume platform; it also plugs you into a dynamic information exchange where you can like, post, and share brand-focused content while elevating your content, page, and profile.
And because search engines tend to give LinkedIn the VIP treatment, your LinkedIn profile and activity can be found easily by colleagues, businesses, and marketing reps in need of good content, providing the vast network of connections needed to keep work flowing into your inbox.
Managed carefully and regularly, LinkedIn offers a highly effective way to display your portfolio and generate serious interest in your services.
Want your content to really stand out? Creating eye-popping graphics through Canva can be a great way to brighten up your blog, improve reader engagement, and create content that takes off across social media.
Canva offers a variety of ready-to-go templates and color options for designing striking visual elements that maximize content impact, captivating your audience while driving your points home in a powerful way. Whether it’s an awe-inducing infographic, a social-friendly header, or a professional-quality slideshow, Canva offers thousands of choices for breathing new life into your text and creating shareable elements that boost blog traffic, impressions and visibility.
What’s more: Canva is both free (with opportunities to purchase additional features) and available to use as many times as needed, allowing you to develop the striking, consistent visual content your followers will recognize and enjoy.
5. Google Analytics
Need an affordable way to monitor traffic and analyze performance? It’s time to install Google Analytics—Google’s free website traffic measurement tool that makes it easy to track and compare what’s getting views vs. what’s falling behind.
Google Analytics provides important metrics on how many users are visiting each unique webpage, as well as how page traffic is changing over time.
With GA at your fingertips, you can determine which pieces are drawing the most traffic, where your visitors are coming from and which pages may need a tweak or two to improve blog visibility and produce better outcomes.
GA offers extensive real-time data on:
- Pageviews (overall)
- Pageviews by title
- Pageviews by source
- Referral visits (visits from other websites)
- Visits via social channels
- Bounce rates (how many leave pages early)
- And more
Google Analytics offers a fair amount of insight that can sometimes be hard to dissect. But with a better understanding of each data point and key takeaways, you can start to hammer out a better strategy for improving your content and expanding its visibility and reach across the web.
Whether you’re aiming to get more likes, attract more followers, or get more customers in the door, video is by far one of the best content and blog-building tools out there.
More than 85% of all internet users in the U.S. watch online videos every month, with the average user consuming nearly 7 hours a week! And it’s estimated that by 2022, over 80% of all internet traffic will be comprised of online videos, an upward trend with (seemingly) no end in sight!
What’s more: posts that include videos have nearly 50% more shares than those without, and are shared more than 1200% more often than text and images combined!
As far as blog development tools go, you could definitely do worse than embedding relevant, content-boosting videos into your posts.
And for the particularly enterprising bloggers among us, the web offers a variety of easy-to-follow tools for releasing your inner Scorsese and producing sharp, quality video content, including:
- Canva Pro
Want to increase your readership and give your brand a shot in the arm? An active social presence is essential. And with a social scheduling tool like Buffer, you can rest assured your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest pages are providing the brand-based content your audience is thirsting for when they need it most.
Buffer offers a user-friendly interface on which to schedule and update all social channels at once—and at the times of day when your followers are most active. Free to start with starter subscriptions available beginning at $15 a month, Buffer allows you to manage your posting schedule, promote new posts, and maximize content impact and reach among the largest audience possible.
Buffer also provides stats on how many are viewing and engaging with your posts, as well as suggestions for content topics that may help improve brand appeal and expand your reach in the future.
A well-managed social footprint can be invaluable for brands striving for a foothold in the competitive digital space. And organizational tools like Buffer can provide a much-needed organizational and promotional lift for your posts, page, and portfolio.
Author Bio: Brandon Purdum is content manager, blogger, and digital branding expert at Internet Reputation™ and Marca Global®. His passion is developing helpful, informative content that enables control over your online narrative.