If you’re a blogger, you may spend a lot of time experimenting with tools and software. I’ve done exactly that over almost a decade of blogging, and I’ve found some of the best online business tools.
Whether you need help organizing your content, writing, or tracking your finances, read on to learn what programs to use.
But first, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.
One of my favorite online business tools is Trello. It’s a project management website and app that lets you create different boards for your various projects.
Within a board, you create lists, and you add cards to lists. I have boards for things like my freelance blogging work and the various blogs that I run myself.
You can use the program for free, but upgrading will get you access to more features. I got to use some of the premium features when I had a client that used it, but I haven’t missed those features since.
If you’ve spent any time on YouTube or social media, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an ad for Grammarly. I’ve used this tool since I started freelancing, and it’s helped me a lot.
The free version helps check for spelling and grammatical errors, and that’s been enough for me. I got to use the premium version through a few clients, and it’s fine.
It gives you more suggestions on how to make your writing more clear and engaging. However, if you’re a good writer, you don’t need to use those features. Plus, you can still see that there are suggestions, and you can make the edits accordingly for free.
3. Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is technically a tool to help advertisers choose keywords for pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns. But I’ve used it as a keyword research tool completely for free.
You don’t need to pay for any Google ads to use the tool, but you do need to sign up for an AdWords account. Then, you can research keywords and see how competitive they are.
The tool also tells you an estimate of the monthly search traffic, and it can suggest other keywords. I know there are paid tools with more insights, but this is an excellent choice if you’re on a budget.
4. Google Docs
If you want a place to draft blog posts or store drafts outside of your blog, Google Docs is great. Of course, there’s a free version, and you can use it on your desktop or download the mobile app.
I use it a lot to write blog posts for clients or store copies of my articles for clients. For my own blogs, I mainly use it to write and store things like my blogging process and goals.
While you can use a note or create a Trello card, a document can be longer and more in-depth. Plus, if you need to share the document with anyone or export it as a Word file, you can do that.
WordPress is my favorite blogging platform, and I’m not alone in this. Over 40% of all websites on the internet use WordPress as their content management system.
Now, there are two versions, one of which is self-hosted, and that’s what I use. That means I don’t pay WordPress to host my website, so I went through a company called SiteGround.
You can also use the hosted version of WordPress, which is a bit easier for beginners. It also allows you to use WordPress completely for free to decide if you want to continue blogging before you switch to self-hosted WordPress.
Speaking of websites and hosting, I can’t recommend SiteGround enough. I researched a ton of website hosts back in 2016 when I was looking to move away from using Blogger.
SiteGround is one of the most affordable hosts, especially for your first year and if you only have one website. I also love that they offer great customer service, which can’t be said for many other cheap hosts.
A few years ago, I accidentally broke something on my blog and couldn’t fix it. So I contacted SiteGround, and one of their representatives helped me get everything running again.
Later is one of many social media management and scheduling tools. I haven’t used it in a while since I don’t really use social media that much and when I do, I post from within the app in question.
However, if you want to batch out your social content it’s a good tool. I used the free version for years and was able to plan out my Instagram posts ahead of time.
You can use the desktop version or app, which is nice, and you can upgrade for more features. While I think it’s a good tool, I’ve found that I like using native schedulers better, especially on platforms like Pinterest.
If you’re looking for the best platform to use to promote and grow your blog, Pinterest is probably it. You can use Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, but they’re more for community building.
However, Pinterest is the only platform that people use to save and visit blog posts. It’s also the only platform, in my experience, where posts have a longer lifespan.
An Instagram post may only get engagement for a few days. But I’ve had Pinterest pins get traffic and engagement months down the line, so you don’t have to post a ton of new content all of the time.
If you want to start using Pinterest, I’d recommend you also start using Canva. It’s a free graphic design tool that’s very easy to use, so you can create blog graphics to share on Pinterest and social media.
I’ve used Canva for years, and it’s how I create all of the graphics on my various blogs. You can play for more features, like access to images and the ability to edit the proportions of an image.
There’s a desktop version and an app, but I find it much easier to use the desktop version. The small screen makes it hard for me to accurately align different parts of the design.
10. QuickBooks Self Employed
Once you start making money from your blog, you’ll need a tool to help track your earnings and expenses. I use and love QuickBooks Self Employed.
You can connect your account to your bank account to automatically input transactions. Since I get paid through my bank account and PayPal, I just input transactions myself, and that doesn’t take much time.
My favorite part of QuickBooks is that it helps estimate how much you need to pay in quarterly taxes. It also connects to TurboTax and can import your data straight to the tax software when it’s time to file.
Yes, many self-employed people use accountants, so you may not use that feature. But I do my taxes myself, and it’s super helpful to not have to re-type all of my financial data at the end of the year.
11. MacBook Pro
Many of the best online business tools for bloggers are digital. However, I use my MacBook Pro to power all of the other tools that I use and to write all of my blog posts.
I love how my laptop is portable, so I can take it with me around the house. So if I don’t want to work from my desk, I can still get some good writing done.
I also like that I can connect my iPad Pro to use it as a second screen, which is great if I need to switch tabs often. Of course, if you’re not an Apple person, you may want to go with a Windows laptop instead of a Mac.
How Many Online Business Tools Do You Need?
You don’t need a ton of online business tools, and you don’t have to start using a ton of tools at once. Until 2016, I really only used Canva and Pinterest, and then I added WordPress and SiteGround.
It wasn’t until 2018 that I started using Trello, Grammarly, and QuickBooks. It’s more important to consider your current situation and goals with blogging to determine which tools you need.
How Much Do Online Business Tools Cost?
A lot of online business tools are free to use or at least have a free version. On the other hand, some tools may cost tens or hundreds of dollars per month.
If you’re new to blogging, start with the free version or at least a free trial or a refund period. Then, you can make sure you enjoy the tool before you put any money into it.
If you want to improve your blogging business, you need the best online business tools. These tools can help you track your blog posts, write content, and more.
Are you ready to start blogging? Learn how you can start blogging for free.