As a designer/developer I use a lot of tools. Besides my design toolkit and the usual culprits; Photoshop, Illustrator, Sublime Text, Google Search Console, Google Analytics and WordPress… you get into some stuff that maybe not everyone is using and perhaps you’d be interested in learning a little bit about.
1. HitTail – The little keyword extractor that could. Gives you a list of all the keyword opportunities you could target with landing pages, blog articles or other kinds of content. Also allows you to order content right from the interface.
2. aHrefs – Probably the tool I’m most obsessed with out of all of these tools because of its powerful ability to help me visualize what’s working on my content and linking strategies.
3. Buffer, and Buffer Chrome Extension – Probably the tool I use most. Buffer is a social scheduling tool, but the chrome extension let’s me pin, tweet, and post and image all at the same time while it’s ‘power scheduler’ allows me to schedule it out 5 more times over the next 3 months all by just hovering over any image. Ridiculously powerful
4. MozBar – Old trusty standby, always up there alerting me the perceived authority of the site I’m on, by standard metrics.
5. Pitchbox – Send out emails to bloggers to pitch them ideas – with helpful personalization fields and templates.
6. Quuu – helps me promote my best content, by allowing me to spend 5$ to 25$ bucks to get into the ‘quuu’ of many people’s twitter feeds. Not only does it allow me to retweet these people’s tweets about my content, some of them have decent social followings of their own to proliferate my best content and increase brand awareness.
7. Yoast SEO – The age old SEO toolkit for WordPress sites. Well, you know I love WordPress – but WordPress is ten times more of a marketing tool with tools like Yoast SEO. It allows you to diagnose problems with your sites ability to be seen on Google and if wielded well can seriously improve your chances of ranking.
8. Gravity Forms – I love the customizability of Gravity forms. You can show/hide whole sections of questions based on an answer. I’ve also made it so someone can create an entry for a scholarship contest and that turned the entry into a draft in WordPress, so the tool is super configurable and handy.
9. Mailchimp – This tool makes sending out e-mails en masse, and e-mail automation work for you. And yes, there’s 10,000 other fancy new tools out there that do this. But what can I say – I like something that’s been cooking for awhile, and especially when everything’s so easy to use. Lists, groups, sequences, triggers, integrations; it’s all there. Don’t go looking for crazy fancy until you’ve seen everything Mailchimp has to offer.
10. Optimizely – Well this one I talk about a lot because it helps me be a better designer. I do A/B tests on a regular basis to see whether a design decision (or a copy decision) is a good one. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not – I can somewhat objectively get that info by seeing how effective it was in the test – since Optimizely alternately serves up the different options and tracks conversions.
All in all, a very fun toolbox of things to talk about. A marketer’s dream. A designer / developer / marketer’s dream. I could add some caveat about how it’s not all about tools – it’s about connections with real human beings but you know that. 🙂 Thanks for reading.
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