Think you need dozens of tools to promote your blog? Think again.
In this post you’ll discover how to promote your blog with just 3!
Whether you’re a blogging newbie on a tight budget, or an internet superstar living it up in the cloud, we can all relate to that one scary thing – how overwhelming blogging is when you first start out.
Since the web is rife with biased reviews and conflicting information, this post was made to give blogging newbies a straight up answer to one of the most important questions we all face from the get go:
“How do I promote my blog?”
To answer this question, I asked dozens of expert bloggers, affiliate marketers and SEOs to reveal what you really need to promote your blog by asking them a simple question:
“If you could only use 3 tools to promote your blog which 3 would you choose?”
50 amazing people got involved! THANK YOU!!!
UPDATE: There are now 53 responses.
So without further ado, here are the tools the experts highly recommend you use:
Favourite Blog Marketing Tools (as voted by 53 experts!)
#1 AWeber - 18 votes
#2 BuzzStream & HootSuite tied with 10 votes
#3 Twitter – 9 votes
#4 Facebook & Google Analytics tied with 7 votes
#5 MailChimp – 6 votes
#6 Buffer – 5 votes
#7 Blog Engage – 4 votes
#8 iTunes, Triberr, Viral Content Buzz & Wistia tied with 3 votes
#9 Constant Contact, BuzzBundle, Digg Digg, Followerwonk, Google Plus, Topsy & WordPress tied with 2 votes
Read on to discover each expert’s favourite 3 tools along with their awesome tips on how to use them! You can either skip to your favourite expert using these quick links or grab a coffee, get comfortable and commence scrolling!
Adam Connell, Amal Rafeeq, Amy Lynn Andrews
Bill Sebald, Brandon Gaille, Brian Belfitt, Brian Dean
Caleb Wojcik, Chris Dyson
Daniel Scocco, Danny Brown
Gerald Weber, Gianluca Fiorelli, Gregory Ciotti
Ian Lurie, Ms Ileane Smith
James Norquay, Jason Acidre, John Paul Aguiar, Jonha Revesencio, Julie Joyce, Justin Germino
Kane Jamison, Kristi Hines
Larry Kim, Linda Bustos, Lisa Irby, Lisa Mysers, Loz James, Lyndon Antcliff
Mark Trueman, Matt Gratt, Matthew Woodward, Mauro D’Andrea, Megan Dougherty, Miguel Salcido, Mike King, Mike Stelzner
Nathan Whitaker, Neil Patel, Nicole Beckett
Pat Flynn, Perry Stevens, Peter Attia
Sanket Patel, Shane Melaugh, Sté Kerwer
How To Promote Your Blog with Just 3 Tools
Responses listed in the order they were received in:
Chris Dyson - TripleSEO
If I had the budget for only 3 tools to start promoting my blog all over again…
1. MailChimp – you’ll hear it over a million times from the biggest and best internet marketers but the money is all in your mailing list. Every blog you start should have some way of capturing leads to move visitors down your sales funnel, I hope you have thought about your monetisation strategy before you start your blog!
The reason I would choose Mailchimp over AWeber especially as a beginner is that their free-plan allows you to have up to 2,000 members for free.
Sadly on the free plan that means you can’t setup an autoresponder but if you are just starting it out a free mailing list allows you to test your strategy without additional overheads.
2. BuzzStream - I’ve actually only just started using BuzzStream – shocking I know – but their basic plan is more than sufficient to get you started. There are other CRM’s on the market but for a complete n00b BuzzStream is easy to pick up and will help you to keep in touch with all the power users in your niche easily.
Building a network of people who can amplify your content in what ever way, shape or form is a must.
3. Trello – this might surprise some people but having a work flow in place really helps you to stay focused and on task.
Most bloggers have a day job or a business and their blog is either a hobby or future income source. Trello is free to use and means that when you have a couple of hours to work on your blog you can tick off the tasks and/or add some new tasks.
As your blog grows you might want to outsource smaller tasks e.g. basic maintenance such as checking for broken links, to VA’s so having a process management tool in place will make life easier here.
Gianluca Fiorelli - ILoveSEO
Sincerely, I don’t use a real set of tools for promoting my own site
As a first answer I’d say: Twitter.
Twitter, in fact, has become by any means the best tool for promoting my site, which is strongly bound to my own personal brand.
Then, being me quite present in our Industry spaces, I tend to be mentioned, therefore using tools like Mention, the Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer or Topsy is of great help for discovering those mentions and so, eventually, reclaiming for a link while thanking for citing me.
Lyndon Antcliff - Cornwall SEO
My choice is:
Those three things are the only things I need to do business, other tools I use are of use, but not essential.
Neil Patel - Quick Sprout
None… I just need social networks.
Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus.
Zac Johnson – Zac Johnson
If I could only choose three tools to use to promote ZacJohnson.com, I would focus on the following:
AWeber / Constant Contact / MailChimp – It doesn’t matter who you are using as a mailing host provider, as long as you are collecting their email. The majority of people will leave your site and never come back. Getting them to join your mailing list is the best way to monetize your blog and brand for long term results.
Twiends – Twitter and social networking is massive. Twiends can help you grow your following fast while also eliminating foreign traffic and bots. Free and premium services available.
PopUp Domination / OptinMonster – Two great tools for building pop up forms on your blog to get people to take immediate action and join your mailing list. They are annoying on the first visit, but they work extremely well.
Miguel Salcido – Professional SEO Consultant
1. Cision’s media database, to find and contact key influencers and journalists.
2. BuzzStream, to find bloggers and other contacts in my niche. But also to help manage ALL of my contacts. This tool is great for contact management.
3. Moz Analytics, because this tool comes with full access to Open Site Explorer, Fresh Web Explorer, and more. Plus all the benefits of the analytics tool like ranking reports, on-page SEO tools, social media tools, etc.
I think that with these three tools one could really build up an online presence and could generate a ton of earned traffic, which would include organic search, social and referral traffic. Of course the tool is only as good as the user and you would need to come up with creative content ideas and story ideas to pitch influencers with in order for this to work.
Nicole Beckett – Premier Content Source
The first tool I’d choose is a WordPress blog. It’s easy to get everything setup, and anytime you want to make changes/add something, all you have to do is search for the right plugin. Even for a non-techie like me, it’s easy to have a good-looking, well-functioning way to interact with my target audience anytime I want. (And, since it’s connected right to my domain, I get “credit” from Google for fresh content every time I post something new on it.)
The next tool I would choose is Google Analytics. Yes, there are better tools out there, and Google definitely angered alot of people (including myself!) by listing “not provided” in the keyword column. However, it’s free and easy to check every day. I like to have a general idea of where my traffic is coming from, and Analytics gives me that. (I also check my Bluehost control panel to get some additional visitor info.) I’ve found more guest blogging opportunities that way (for example, if a site I’ve never heard of picks up one of my articles, I know they’re interested in my niche, so I can offer them future posts).
I think that’s about it for tools. I don’t use anything to automate/manage my social media profiles. Personally, I like to handle Twitter, Google+, etc. myself to give my profiles a “personal” touch. I used AWeber when I first got into business (and liked it). I would have happily stuck with it, but I discovered that people weren’t all that interested in a content writing newsletter. Instead of learning how to write better, they simply wanted to hire me to do the work for them! In other niches, though, Aweber would be a gold mine.
Kane Jamison – Content Harmony
OK – if I was just starting out and launching ContentHarmony.com from scratch, I wouldn’t pay for any tools. Tools are meant to speed up a process, and if you’re just starting out you probably don’t have a process OR a large budget to speed up your nonexistent process.
I’d invest whatever promotional money I had into an expense account and start meeting people in the industry for beer or coffee. I’d spend the rest of the time creating content that’s formatted differently from everything else getting published in the industry, and preferably write about new topics and especially tactics that haven’t been covered well.
With that said, a free MailChimp account, a free Meetup.com account, and a handful of free Ubersuggest queries can keep you going a long time when it comes to promoting, networking, and creating content.
Gregory Ciotti – Sparring Mind
If I were somehow forced to only use 3 tools to promote Sparring Mind, they would definitely be the following:
1. AWeber: I’ve often considered turning my blogs into ‘newsletter only’ content; that’s how confident I am in email. There are many, many options here, but AWeber makes a great product for email marketing, and their team is great!
2. Yesware: I send a lot of email, and although Yesware is ‘Email for Salespeople’, when I’m promoting my content I’m really selling in a way. The features you get are a must for email aficionados who dabble in self-promotion.
3. FollowUp.cc: Staying in touch with people is one of the best ways to grow a blog. Although networking should be natural, it be nice to get a little nudge as a reminder to check in with someone, and FollowUp.cc allows you to do just that.
Adam Connell – Blogging Wizard
1. Triberr – I get an incredible amount of social engagement on my blog and part of that is thanks to Triberr, it allows me to join tribes of bloggers that are interested in the same things as me and create tribes too. When I become a member in a tribe it means that my blogs content goes through to the ‘Tribal streams’ of the other bloggers in that tribe putting it right in front of them ready to share. The great thing is that Triberr is full of social media influencers and highly engaged users that are more likely to share across multiple platforms and comment on your content. This has helped me scale social engagement and traffic. I wrote a guide on how some of the advanced features work here. What the creators of Triberr (Dan & Dino) have done for bloggers and social media fanatics has simply incredible and most importantly – it gets results.
2. SEM Rush – SEO is my specialty and so I have been using SEM Rush for a good while now, it helps me not only get the competitive edge but also figure out topic ideas that will actually get traffic.
3. Social Oomph – While I am a huge fan of Buffer and Hootsuite, they just don’t allow scheduling at the type of scale that Social Oomph does. I upload a text file of my most popular/evergreen blog posts and run them through the tool every so often to keep people coming back to my older blog posts. I can tweak these updates so they go out at reasonable times. I talked at more detail about this in a recent review but the set of features is mind blowing. Social Oomph supports all the major social networks (apart from Google+, but it’s a similar story with most tools), unlimited accounts, account delegation, in depth analytics and powerful scheduling functionality. It is a paid tool and works out around $26 per month but the amount of time it saves more than makes up for it. Referrals from Twitter increased around 150% when I started using Social Oomph.
Bill Sebald – Greenlane SEO
I’d use Twitter (Tweetdeck still works for me, though really like Meshfire too). BuzzStream is on the list for finding, connecting with prospects, and organizing 1:1 promotions. I would (and do) use Adwords as well. If I had a fourth choice, I’d probably add Wistia.
Mike Stelzner – Social Media Examiner
Digg Digg, Aweber and Facebook like box
Ian Lurie – Portent
HootSuite: Versatile as heck, lets me collect Tweets, Facebook posts and RSS feeds, and create streams based on searches. I can’t live without it, now.
MailChimp: Great for fast e-mail campaigns, and easy to hand off to clients because it’s so easy to use.
Radian6: As close as you’ll get to social media omniscience.
Loz James – Content Champion
My answer really ties in to the three platforms I’ve had most success with – so they aren’t strictly tools but they have done the most to drive traffic to my blog.
The first would be Twitter. I’m a relative newcomer to Twitter but it’s been a revelation to me in terms of how responsive and targeted the visitors can be. There’s some really creative ways to use Twitter, and despite having had some success with it, I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface.
The second is AWeber and direct emails. Having a mailing list and a lead magnet is obviously a must – but I’m also getting a fantastic response from directly emailing influential people in my niche to create roundup posts – just as you are doing with this one. You can’t just do it blind though, there’s lots of research that goes into the process first. I learned this following your example and Brian Dean’s advice over at Backlinko.
The third part of my answer has to be podcasting. I know this is cheating a bit, but the tools of interest here are mainly iTunes, Stitcher Radio and Libsyn. I learned about podcasting from Pat Flynn at Smart Passive Income and John Lee Dumas at Entrepreneur on Fire. I now get as much traffic to my podcast as I do to my blog – and this platform is actually so successful I’ve even thought about making Content Champion just a podcast, as this single source is where I get most of my visitors from.
Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income
These are all free tools that I use to promote the SPI brand. They work better than anything else out there for promotional purposes:
iTunes for my podcast, YouTube for my YouTube channel, and LeadPages.
Shane Melaugh – IM Impact
Infusionsoft, Hootsuite and Wistia
Infusionsoft happens to be what I use for email marketing, but any email marketing tool would do. Email is one of my most important channels. It’s where all of my most engaged and most enthusiastic readers and customers come from.
HootSuite, because that’s what I use for what little social media activity I add to my promotions.
Wistia isn’t strictly a promotion tool, but videos are extremely important for my business and Wistia takes care of all the video encoding and delivery and all that stuff for me. This frees up my time to just focus on creating awesome products and awesome content.
Caleb Wojcik – The Sparkline
Hmmm, three “tools”. I’d have to go with would be an email list provider (either AWeber or MailChimp), getting featured by other people on their blog or social media (not really a tool per say, more of a network), and spending more than five minutes on the headline so it spreads on its own.
Perry Stevens – www.IMAlwaysHappy2Help.com
I’ve not done a lot of promotion of my site to date: IMAlwaysHappy2Help.com so mostly it’s been organic and accidental traffic that has found it through its content and on-page SEO. When I feel it has sufficient content on the site to be worth promoting more I’ll start with Facebook promoted ads to give it the kick start it deserves, targeting like minded people who value their freedom and work or want to work online.
The 3 tools I use to promote my side project/blog to date are my personal twitter account – follow me at: perrytheimp, a Facebook page, “Like” us at: https://www.facebook.com/HappyInternetLifestyle and BuzzStream.
Kristi Hines – Blog Post Promotion
When I’m going to promote an important piece of content, I generally go with Viral Content Buzz for a boost in social sharing, Buffer to schedule posts to go out across different networks at the best times, and AWeber to get the attention of my mailing list. The latter seems to be the most effective in getting engagement in the form of comments, especially when I specifically ask people to come by and comment.
Lisa Irby – 2 Create a Website
I would choose AWeber, HootSuite and Long Tail Pro. I know that Long Tail Pro is more of a research tool for indirect promotion and visibility in the search engines, but it was hard to come up with a 3rd.
I use a lot of management tools and plugins, but you just made me realize how I don’t really use a lot of “promotion” tools per say. LOL
Jason Acidre – Kaiserthesage
If I can only use 3 tools to promote my blog, I think I’ll probably choose these:
Google Analytics – to determine which channels (traffic sources, sites, etc…) are driving the most visibility and conversions, so I can allocate more effort on them (since they are the ones proven to really work).
MailChimp – I’m currently using this for my email marketing campaigns, and so far so good. I’ve been really satisfied with their service.
HootSuite – I’ve been using Buffer for quite some time now, but for far more extensive campaigns, I’ll definitely go with this one.
Jonha Revesencio – iJustDid.org
1. HootSuite – schedule the blog posts on Twitter.
2. LinkedIn – Most people think that Facebook is the ultimate traffic machine when in fact, it depends on your blog’s topics and audience. In the case of iJustDid.org, most of my traffic comes from LinkedIn as my articles are relevant to both professionals and businesses.
3. RebelMouse – We’re seeing users increase in traffic in their blogs through RebelMouse and I also use it to syndicate my posts further and get maximum exposure.
Sanket Patel – Blurbpoint
Twitter – One would wonder, how twitter could be used as a tool. Well, I consider and love to use Twitter as a tool. It is like a short-cut way to promote my site. It is the best platform to build influential and strong connections, and the best part is that they give you only 140 characters to promote yourself. It is a challenge and a boon as well to promote your site to a number of people in short. Also, it helps in making your message loud and clear.
BuzzStream – If you are looking for some of the best link prospecting aspects, you simply couldn’t afford to miss this one. After creating a campaign, there is a sureshot and easy way to build quality links which you could get with the help of this tool. It helps you in getting all those relevant sites on which you could build quality links. It is quite swift in getting links from various industry niches.
Buffer – This tool has completely lessened the efforts of promoting a content on social media. One simply needs to upload the content and schedule when they want it to be posted on Facebook and Twitter. It helps in promoting various content rather quickly. Anyone looking out for serious social media promotion efforts, is definitely going to love this tool.
Julie Joyce – Link Fish
I don’t tend to use that many tools in general, but if I had to choose 3 to use, I’d choose the following:
1. BuzzStream. It makes outreach incredibly easy and fast, plus the team are all very responsive and nice about questions. I truly think those guys want to know what their users want, and they want to incorporate that into their product.
2. Viral Content Buzz. You can get retweeted, Facebooked, pinned, stumbled, etc. and it’s a very intuitive system that I’ve found drives a lot of traffic.
3. Twitter. Just plain, simple, web-version Twitter. I don’t like scheduled tweets and I can get very overwhelmed when I use any of the cool platforms like Hootsuite. I think they’re fantastic for people who don’t get completely distracted by something else like I do and if you’re managing a few streams they can be invaluable, but they overload me so I just use boring old web Twitter.
Matthew Hunt – Small Business Online Coach
It’d have to be “AWeber” – not sure that specific tool, but some kind of tool that helps automates the education/marketing.
Tom Ewer – Leaving Work Behind
I’m going to give you what may seem like three pretty uninspiring tools, but the simple fact is that you don’t need anything more advanced to create a successful blog. These are the three most important tools I use when it comes to promoting Leaving Work Behind:
1. Chrome (or your web browser of choice). The main way in which I promote my site is by establishing relationships with other bloggers. I find these bloggers by browsing the web: through Google, social media, and so on. The relationships I build often lead to mutual promotion — mentions on other sites, on social media, and so forth.
2. Gmail (or your email client of choice). Of course, you need a way to get in touch with these bloggers, and email is still the daddy. The key is to reach out to people who you are genuinely interested in knowing (rather than reaching out with the hope that you’ll get something out of it).
3. AWeber. This is the only premium product I would recommend as in my opinion, an email marketing manager is essential for blogging. AWeber’s the best I’ve used.
Larry Kim – WordStream
Remarketing on Google Display Network: This isn’t free. But it’s key because when you start out a blog, you’ll have a very low repeat visitor rate since you haven’t yet built up a brand for yourself. By tagging people with a cookie and reminding them of your company, it will help build brand recall which will translate into having a more engaged audience.
Google Docs: Blogging is collaborative. At WordStream, we have different people who work on keyword research, article research, blogging, copy-editing, and even pitching the content to media contacts. Google docs and spreadsheets is how we coordinate the vast majority of those efforts, and the best part is that it’s free.
Twitter: Back when I first launched the WordStream blog, we spent a ton of time (and still do) on twitter, engaging with thought leaders in our industry. Even though you probably want your new blog to be about you and your point of view, you’re way better off listening to what other people have to say first and curating that content on your blog. Twitter is the easiest way to do this. If you’re not already an established superstar in your industry, the key is to take an interest in other people’s blogs first, and only after that will people start to take an interest in your blog.
Rohit Palit – TechTage
1. Ahrefs – Ahrefs would be a big part of my promotional strategy, because till date some of the best links I’ve built for my serious sites was through the help of Ahrefs. It shows you pretty accurately the backlink profiles of similar content on the web to what you’re going to publish or have just published. So, when I’m beating my competition in terms of content quality, I can surely grab better links too. But for that my content piece first needs to get noticed. So, I’d start off with trying to bag links from some pages/sites that are already linking to my competitors’ contents. So, when I have confidence in my own content, I can easily go ahead and let the owners of those sites know about it. More often than not I am able to grab those links. So, they give me the initial link juice that’s required to hit the first one or two pages of Google, and that’s when I start getting organic traffic from Google, as I mostly am able to rank for medium to high keywords that way. So, it gives me a peace of mind, which allows me to be involved in more serious outreach or other promotional activities. So, if you look all the way back, if Ahrefs didn’t exist, I wouldn’t be able to achieve what I did.
2. Google Analytics – I guess it’s a pretty fundemental tool that you can’t miss out on. Without being able to see your top performing pages in terms of visits and conversions (if you actually have conversion goals) you’re just missing a whole lot out on anticipation. If you see some pages perform a lot better than some others, you instantly know what type of content you need to produce next. The vast amount of features that Google Analytics offers for free is hard to ignore. Even though it wouldn’t give you much insights on keyword rankings or keyword data which something like Moz Analytics or some other paid alternatives would, it still provides a whole bunch of useful data you can always get ideas from seeing.
3. MailChimp – Choosing the third was relatively harder for me. I had to choose between BuzzStream and MailChimp. I chose the latter because, first of all it’s free (for upto 12,000 emails and 400 list subscribers per month). Secondly, it’s capable of emailing more than one person at a time and offers nice and easy to use HTML templates, and you can rely on it being assured about the deliverability rates. BuzzStream on the other hand is really great for personalizing your emails, keeping up with the connections and replies. Finding contact informations from poorly structured websites and stuff. But, the introductory cost of $19/mo for their solo plan might put off many beginners out there. They don’t even spend that much on the web servers. Building an email list is very easy with MailChimp and it’s a very effective long-term investment too, in my opinion. So, as long as you’re ready to handle some manual email exchanges and email outreach yourself, you should think long-term and start getting people to subscribe to your email list.
Megan Dougherty – Firepole Marketing
That’s a bit of a tricky question. What we would use right now at Firepole Marketing is different than what we would recommend to someone just starting out a new business, or who is at a different point in their growth.
Right now, the tools we use the most to promote Firepole Marketing are Office Autopilot, which handles all of our emails and membership access, Facebook, which houses our hugely popular Student and Alumni group, and GoToWebinar, where we host all of the webinars with our affiliate partners.
This being said – other than webinars and guest posts, we don’t do a lot of outbound promotion right now. We’re considering new ways to expand our reach and connect with more people online, and so in a few months, we may have a totally different technologies at work for us.
For a new blogger, now I would definitely recommend AWeber to handle your emails and your opt-ins – it’s a great entry level product with the features you need to start building a list. Other technologies we happily recommend to people are ReplyMe, which is a wordpress plugin that lets people subscribe to comments, so they can continue the conversation. Another would be Visual Website Optimizer, which lets you easily split test different variations on your landing pages, and throughout the rest of your site.
Of course, when it comes to promotion, always be aware that the most important thing to consider is what your audience uses and needs from you. If they love to comment on your blog posts, devote time to finding the tools that will make that process seamless and pleasant. If they get all of their news from Twitter – then HootSuite can be a great way to manage your interactions with them there. Think about the methods of engagement that matter most to your readers, and do everything you can to make that process as effective as possible.
Brian Belfitt – Blog Engage
As an online marketer I’m very aware of how important social media tools are in regards to marketing. I have three vital platforms all bloggers must use in order to increase their chances of success, Blog Engage, Hootsuite and Dlvr.it.
Blog Engage allows you to connect with other like minded bloggers and helps increase your blog reach. It’s simply the best place to drive real blog traffic and to general a larger subscriber list. Also, Blog Engage is a social media syndication platform; you connect with blogger while it does the rest of the work for you.
HootSuite is also one of my most productive platforms for content distribution. It allows me to increase my reach to all my social networks while maintaining a scheduled process. I’ve seen a lot of great success come from marketing in Facebook groups and Hootsuite has a lot to do with it.
Dlvr.it is a great platform that allows me to set up my important feeds and it distributes my content to the social media profiles without me doing anything. It’s a great system and once set up does all the work for you. As a blog community owner and blogger I know the importance of being productive and efficient.
These tools allow me to increase my online income. I strongly recommend Blog Engage, Hootsuite and Dlvr.it to all bloggers looking to improve their online presence and blog traffic.
Mauro D’Andrea – Blog Growth
First tool is AWeber, for sure – or any other email software service. You need to “capture” the traffic you send to your blog, so that you can “use” it again and again.
Third tool is Google Analytics: before you can start promoting your blog, you need to understand what’s working and what isn’t. For example, you don’t want to waste your days on Twitter if it’s driving little traffic to your blog.
Peter Attia – Skinny Limits
What tools I use depends on several factors, including industry and type of promotion. I don’t use any tools at all for Cucumber Nebula, so I’d rather discuss what tools we’ve been using at Skinny Limits.
BuzzStream: Outreach is difficult and a pain in the ass to manage. Especially when you’re reaching out to bloggers, where each and every email has to be personalized in order to get an efficient link acceptance rate. BuzzStream is a huge help in this front. Their newish, Buzzbar feature has helped us massively speed up our outreach process by allowing us to send individual emails to every blogger much more efficiently.
Followerwonk: I’m a huge advocate for finding people on Twitter. If someone has a large Twitter following, they likely have a large overall following across other networks. This doesn’t hold as much truth on other social networks. Sometimes they have a large following solely on the one network. I find Followerwonk to be a great help in finding people with a solid Twitter following. My one complaint, is there’s bit of repetition. You have to get creative with your search terms to avoid running into the same bloggers over and over.
Wistia: I’m still new to Wistia, so I can’t say a whole lot, however some of the data they provide for video hosting is pretty spectacular; especially for landing pages. You can see how far along a video played before people bail, or click a CTA. There’s also some email integration to collect emails after it plays through. I haven’t used the later feature yet, but there’s a lot of opportunity there depending on the type of video promotion. All in all, this is a tool I’m excited about diving deeper into.
Mark Trueman – ZenSpill
E-mail – Probably the most basic tool but also a very important one. E-mail is the best way to build relationships with influencers (excluding actually meeting them in person). It allows you to move the conversation to a more personal setting.
Streak – A very cool but not that popular tool I discovered a while ago. Helps sort your emails and contacts into boxes directly in Gmail. You can add notes to your contacts that show up when you receive an E-mail from them. So if you get an E-mail from someone you haven’t head from in over a year, the notes will help you remember exactly who they are. This description doesn’t do Streak justice. It’s capable of a lot more.
Topsy – Topsy allows you to sort through tweets to find key influencers you should connect with. You can find out who tweeted a certain post, or who’s tweeting certain terms. Works very well together with Bit.ly.
Nathan Whitaker – eMagic
Here are the 3 tools I use religiously everyday and couldn’t possibly live without:
1. Google Keyword Planner – Great for market research, uncovering profitable niches, generating content ideas and finding related keyword searches to improve on page optimisation.
2. Market Samurai – Best all in one keyword research and competitor analysis tool I have found. The most powerful feature by far is the SEO Competition module. This allows you to easily reverse link engineer the top 10 ranked sites for your keywords.
3. WordPress – Powerful free CMS that ticks all the boxes in terms of ease of use, customisation and functionality. It really makes the optimisation of your site a breeze.
James Norquay – Prosperity Media
If I could only use 3 tools to promote my website, they would be the following so I can target different promotion elements:
1. Buffer – (social) Buffer is a great tool to manage my social media elements for my branded website.
2. Boomerang – (email) Boomerang would be used to manage my email out reach and email promotional methods with the website.
3. Pinnacle Video Editor – (video) Pinnacle Video editor would be used to roll out video campaigns for my website. I would be able to make Video and Audio promotional content from the tool to use for link building and branding.
Brandon Gaille – Brandon Gaille
I like the ease of use with their autoresponder. With many of our clients, we set up a ten stage autoreponder to engage new or old leads. Constant Contact allows you to upload your list without getting a double opt-in. This works well with established email lists that you already have a relationship with. Once the list goes through the ten stage autoresponder, we are able to segment the emails based on their opens and clicks. This grants us the ability to send out future emails and newsletters based upon their sub-interests.
For social media management, this is our preferred weapon of choice. Their features on engagement are above and beyond the rest of the competition within the space. It is real easy to drill deep down into the analytics for each social channel.
Many of my new clients spend a considerable amount of money on press release services. After I review their analytics, 9 out of 10 of these clients have created a negative ROI from their press release expenditures. At that point, I advise them to let us use HARO to help get them them real press. HARO is not going to generate serious buzz without putting work into it. It may take six months to learn how to work the community, but it will pay recurring dividends once you master it.
Sté Kerwer – Dukeo
I’d use Triberr to quickly get some retweets for my posts. (It’s mostly used by second tier bloggers in the blogging/seo/marketing niche, and it has huge potential).
BuzzBundle to get the word out about my blog in industry-specific blogs and forums.
ScrapeBox to harvest search result for my blog’s industry. Can be used to find link partners / guest blogging opportunities…
Hector Cuevas – iNBoundPRO
If I could only use 3 tools to promote my site they would have to be:
1. AWeber – Email marketing is a huge part of my business, as it should be for anyone building a business online. AWeber is easy to use and very reliable. I use it to build relationships with my audience and make offers.
2. Triberr – This is a great web service that allows you to build and join groups of people that can promote your content for you; on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. It’s awesome.
3. iTunes – This isn’t a promotional tool, but it’s a promotion platform that can lead to hundreds and thousands of new people finding out about you and your business. My podcast had been downloaded 169,266 times. These are people I would’ve never reached without iTunes.
Matt Gratt – BuzzStream
If I were to start a new site in a new vertical, I would focus on creating highly differentiated content and promoting it to other sites in that vertical. So I’d need:
- Some Sort of Media Production Tool
Either a camera like a DSLR, Adobe Illustrator, maybe a good video camera and an editing tool, or something else to create highly differentiated content from everyone else in the space. (If everyone’s making blog posts, I want to make videos. If everyone’s making videos, I want to take great pictures. If everyone’s taking great pictures, I want to make illustrations. Etc.)
I’d also make a more permanent software tool if I could, either a free tool like these – http://tools.buzzstream.com/link-building – years after their launch, they still get traffic and rank for competitive keywords. If it was a niche that didn’t fit a free tool, I’d try to make something lightweight and socially shareable like http://calmingmanatee.com/.
- A Round of Adult Beverages at a Blogger or Industry Meetup -
The best place to build relationships with influencers in your niche is in person. If I could, I would attend a meetup or throw a happy hour for people and bloggers in my space and buy everyone an adult beverage (or 6) of their choosing. I live in Austin, so I can do this at SXSW.
Now that I have something cool and have made some new friends, I can use BuzzStream to show it to them. I’d use BuzzStream for ongoing relationship building and outreach for my new, highly differentiated content.
Lisa Myers – VerveSearch
Linkdex: There is not a single day where Verve Search don’t use Linkdex, from link prospecting and link development to proposal and pitches. This platform is awesome!
WooRank: I use WooRank a lot when gauging the value of a page; it has a brilliant layout of all the most important metrics, including social. It’s a Chrome plugin and toolbar as well as a full SEO software. I use the plugin/toolbar regularly.
BuzzStream: At Verve Search we use Buzzstream for link prospecting, there is no other tool that does this quicker. Although a little over complicated, once you get the hang of it you wonder how you “lived without it”
Matthew Woodward – Matthew Woodward
From a blogging perspective if I could only invest in 3 tools they would be:
1. BuzzBundle – My tutorial shows you precisely how I have used BuzzBundle to drive traffic to my site. It is a great piece of software that allows you to monitor the web for a range of terms.
For example if you have a link building tutorial, you can monitor blogs, forums, Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers and all of the major social networks for people that need help with link building. Then just engage them in a conversation and share your tutorial with them. You can do all of this within BuzzBundle and this traffic strategy has been critical to my blog’s success.
2. Google Analytics – This won’t cost you a penny but having the ability to track your visitors and what they do on your site is critical. If you set things up properly you can track affiliate clicks, email subscriptions, social sharing and more! When you know things like that it’s easy to work out where you need to focus your efforts.
Take a look at this custom report I built:
It is quite clear that if I want email subscribers I should focus on YouTube & BlackHatWorld.
You can even use Google Analytics to get more traffic for your blog. Best of all – it’s 100% free!
The 100% free getting things done system uses Evernote and takes less than 10 minutes to learn and start using. Because it uses Evernote it syncs across all of your devices which makes it very handy. I use it to manage my work & personal life.
The way it tags and organises things is superb and you’ll never forget anything again. As well as managing my actions/to do list I use it to clip article ideas & reference material from the web.
I have an IFTTT recipe that automatically creates a new note anytime I mark an article as saved in Feedly. It really is a great system built off the flexibility of Evernote!
If a client calls you out of the blue in less than 5 seconds you can know exactly where you were up to!
Staying organised like this is crucial to success – if you do 1 thing today, start using TheSecretWeapon.
Brian Dean – Backlinko
AWeber: The money’s in the list and Aweber makes it (relatively) easy to collect emails and communicate with your list.
Mention.net: The tool I couldn’t live without. Helps me keep track of what conversations are happening around my brand and my niche.
Google Analytics: OK, I REALLY couldn’t live without Google Analytics. How else could I find out where my visitors come from and what they do when they get to my site. Like WordPress, Google Analytics is both free and priceless at the same time.
Daniel Scocco – Daily Blog Tips
1. AWeber, because having an engaged email list is probably the most important online asset you’ll have after the website itself.
2. Google Tools, including their help forums and Webmaster Tools, as these provide a lot of great information to optimize your site for search traffic.
3. Facebook, because whether you like it or not there are a billion people there, and most use it regularly.
Amy Lynn Andrews – Amy Lynn Andrews
Linda Bustos – Get Elastic
Definitely for us it’s Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Sharing of our content is the way we keep growing.
We include links for sharing on every post, and I use tools like Clicktotweet and bit.ly’s custom branded link shorteners to support sharing of bits of posts through Twitter.
Danny Brown – Danny Brown
Atomic Reach: This platform (currently in beta) offers some very cool features, perhaps the most useful being the ability to submit a draft of your content, and it will score that based on your previously selected parameters (so, say you want to reach senior executives in the automotive trade, it will score the content’s tone, language, understanding level, etc, for that type of audience). It then advises what changes should be made to optimize content and tracks its real-time performance once published. It’s a great way to create the kind of content your target audience reads.
Magic Action Box Pro: I’ve just started to use this but the results have been hugely impressive. A list-building plugin for WordPress, it allows you to create standard opt-ins, as well as subscription boxes that have social sharing options, or sales boxes that direct to a sales page/download area after subscription. It even integrates with Gravity Forms for a fully integrated approach to building a list while gathering insights via promos and focus groups/polls, etc.
Buffer: This has been my go-to for intelligent automated sharing since its early days. The fact it can find the most optimal times to send my content out, as well as give me analytics on the type of content picked up the most, helps me tailor even more. Especially when combined with Atomic Reach.
HootSuite would be my #1 choice for promoting thru social media. Hootsuite makes it easy for me to see the things I need to see in one place and manage how and when I send out content. Big time saver for me.
AWeber would be my next favorite tool to promote my blog. Email is still one of the best ways to reach your readers in a more personal way. Plus AWeber is very easy to setup and manage your messages and web forms and even my pop form.
Blog Communities are not really “tools” but for a new blogger, places like BizSugar.com and BlogEngage.com are powerful ways to get your content out there and connect with 100′s of other bloggers.
Gerald Weber – SEM Group
As far as content promotion goes Viral Content Buzz has by far been the most useful. (Full Disclosure: I am co-founder of VCB).
Viral Content Buzz is a way to get more social shares on your best content from sites like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon and G+
Additionally I do use HootSuite to manage my twitter streams and Aweber.
Mike King – iPullRank
Well…three tools I can’t live without are Screaming Frog for both SEO and Content auditing.
Google Analytics for measurement and now persona research.
And Moz for Search and Social Analytics. I particularly find Moz useful to go back and check on something I forgot to track by hand like number of followers and domain authority over time.
Amal Rafeeq – BloggerDoc
AWeber – It’s simple. I just love building email lists and AWeber makes it easy for me.
Viral Content Buzz: I believe in good Karma a lot. But the bitter truth is that, even though helping others is a good thing, it doesn’t mean that you’ll get rewards or benefits each and every time. But when it comes to Viral Content Buzz, it keeps the promise alive.
Social Media is a great way to drive high quality traffic and viral content buzz helps us to do that.
It’s important to have active and reasonable Social Network accounts. And Viral Content Buzz helps you to do that by helping you to get social shares at the same time.
Simply – It gets you more people to your website while making your social networks alive.
Justin Germino – Dragon Blogger
HootSuite - HootSuite isn’t a single network but it is my tool of choice to coordinate social media communications across all of my social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Tumblr…etc. It is the one that does it all and the Hootsuite Bookmarklet functions in the same way Buffer does except gives you far more networks at your disposal at a slight cost in flexibility on frequency with auto schedule. Hootsuite is one tool I can’t live without.
Blog Engage - Blog Engage recently with their YouTube Syndication brought a huge boost of traffic to my YouTube content which in turn brought sales, advertisers and more visibility into my video reviews, this combined with the fact that I get more retweets per article from Blog Engage on average than Triberr makes this a great network. It takes some investment just like Triberr does and with both of these networks you can’t just expect people to share or publicize your content without you putting some effort into showcasing others as well.
SimplyCast - SimplyCast does for me what Aweber and MailChimp do for others, it allows me to broadcast to my email newsletter of 10,000+ fans. It is cheaper than either of the other 2 platforms when you get to the 5000+ subscriber level and does so much more than mailing lists, though it lacks the RSS support of Aweber. SimplyCast has some great action hooks too for sending new subscribers information, and triggers that can be set on all sorts of conditions in this object oriented map where you drag and drop the triggers/actions you want to happen.
Ms Ileane Smith – Basic Blog Tips
Blog Engage has been a consistent promotion channel for my blog since day one and now the YouTube integration is taking off.
JustRetweet keeps a steady stream of Retweets and Social Buzz Club helps me reach more influencers.
Venchito Tampon – Digital Philippines
HootSuite - This social management tool doesn’t only help me schedule my status updates for my social profiles but also allows me to track people who mentioned my target keyword. As soon as I have my post published, I can create an alert for my target keyword and regularly check out who mentioned that phrase and start engaging with those Twitter users.
Ahrefs - I use this tool to identify linkers to an existing content that has the same content type like my post. I sort all the potential linkers based on Page Authority (PA) and level of acquisition (how difficult can I acquire a link from the page). I then, craft an email that is personalized for a certain linker and start building a rapport with the linker.
Gmail – I mainly use this tool for outreach. You only need to add some extensions to Gmail to make your outreach more efficient and effective. One is to add Rapportive to see the work position and social profiles of your end-receiver. You will need this to personalize your emails by including his position in your email, i.e. “I know that you are the [Position] at [Company Name] and I wanted to get in touch with you”.
You might want also want to enable “Canned Responses” in the Gmail labs. What I usually do is to create an email template that is designed for a specific outreach campaign (round-up post) and save it in the canned responses.
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Make sure you follow me on Twitter for more exciting interviews like this one and just to recap, here are the results again:
Favourite Blog Marketing Tools (as voted by 53 experts!)
#1 AWeber - 18 votes
#2 BuzzStream & HootSuite tied with 10 votes
#3 Twitter – 9 votes
#4 Facebook & Google Analytics tied with 7 votes
#5 MailChimp – 6 votes
#6 Buffer – 5 votes
#7 Blog Engage – 4 votes
#8 iTunes, Triberr, Viral Content Buzz & Wistia tied with 3 votes
#9 Constant Contact, BuzzBundle, Digg Digg, Followerwonk, Google Plus, Topsy & WordPress tied with 2 votes
Enjoyed this roundup? Don’t forget to check out the 3 link building tools 55 experts cannot live without.
Oh, and if you’d like to know how I get experts involved in my group interviews you’ll want to read this: How I Reach Out to Busy People and Get Responses.
If you could only use 3 tools to promote your blog which 3 would you choose? Please share your thoughts on how to promote your blog in the comments below