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3 Fantastic Tools for Beginner Bloggers in 2016

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 28/03/2016 Matthew Crawt
BLOGGING © Mikko Lemola via Getty Images BLOGGING

So you have decided to start a blog and are excited about setting it up and getting your first post out to the world; there is just one problem, you don't really know where to start. In 2016, the blogging market is extremely competitive so if you make some basic errors right from the off, you run the risk of ending like many blogs before you that have closed down before they had a chance to shine. For this reason, I have some top tools for beginner bloggers that will allow you to give it your best shot at success!
Google Analytics - If you have done a small amount of research on blogging already, I'm sure you have probably heard of Google Analytics. However if you haven't, it is a free plugin (only a registration required) that allows you to track every single page you have on your site. Once you have completed the easy install, in seconds you will be able to see what pages your visitors are viewing, what links they are clicking as well as how long each visitor is staying for.
This plugin can be really useful as you attempt to grow your blog as you will be able to assess what areas of your site are doing well as well as those that may need a little help. For example, if you find that visitors are only viewing your home page and then leaving, you might want to look into why this is occurring. Ask your friends and family to visit the site and gather feedback; you may find that it requires a better layout or a more welcoming tone.
The Internet - One of the biggest mistakes that many bloggers make is that they try to do it all alone and don't utilise the many resources that are around them. The internet provides an endless supply of knowledge on everything from cats to movies so starting a blog is no different. For example, one fantastic site for this is 'How To Start A Blog Online'; this page is all you will ever want and need when it comes to starting a blog. Whether you want to know what web host is best, what plan to choose, whether you should self-host or not, this site has it all.
Sometimes certain guides can seem a bit too much with the jargon that is used but 'How To Start A Blog Online' is the perfect place to begin for any blogger as it provides genuine help that is easy to understand. Even if you fancy yourself as a bit of an expert, there is always something to be learned. As well as an ultimate guide to blogging, the site also has a blog of its own meaning that you will always be learning about the blogging world. The internet is an ever-growing tool just waiting to be used so you would be foolish not to take advantage.
In fact, just to get you started, why not take a look at 'How to Start a Blog' and 'A Beginner's Guide' right here on Huffington Post.
Social Media - Perhaps the second biggest mistake of new bloggers is their lack of a presence online; social media is widely underestimated so don't be the next blog to succumb to this error. At the turn of the year, Facebook had around 1.6 billion users; imagine reaching just a tiny percentage of this with your blog post. Social media has exploded in recent years and will allow you to keep in touch with your audience, post to groups in your niche, get in touch with other bloggers, and so much more. Just think how quickly certain campaigns have grown on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; the results have been phenomenal. Make sure you target your specific audience and build a positive reputation for contacting your readers and use them to gather suggestions to help your blog grow.
Also, when people say the phrase 'social media', many people instantly think of the three platforms mentioned previously but it goes far deeper than that. Yes Facebook is great for posting to your niche market but in addition to this, look at other social media and bookmarking sites that are lesser-known as this is where you could find your main audience. There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of social media site; on the bigger sites, you have less chance of being seen but the reward is greater and on the smaller sites, although the reward isn't as great you may end up gathering some passionate supporters. There is absolutely no harm in posting to both but just remember to not spam people with your site otherwise it won't take long for your followers to get fed up.
Bonus Tip: Create a picture or video for your blog/blog posts as it is much more likely to be seen and shared!
So there we have 3 simple yet very effective tools that you can and should use before you start blogging and then continue to use throughout your blogging career. Blogging can be a tough gig but if you stay motivated and are in it for the right reasons, you have every chance of being the 'next big blog' to take the internet by storm!

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