This week’s cool tool recommendation is Cutt.ly – a URL shortening tool.
What is a URL Shortener?
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address you type to access a website on the Internet. A URL shortener (also called a link shortener) makes it easy to manage long URLs. By using a URL shortener, you can reduce the length of your URL, which makes them more shareable and memorable.
In addition, long URLs with letters, numbers, backslashes, and question marks can appear suspicious. As a result, people may be reluctant to click on the link.
There are several URL shorteners on the market, and today I am going to share one of those with you – Cutt.ly.
Let’s see it in action.
As well as shortening your URL, Cutt.ly lets you create QR codes and customize your link to match your brand name or indicate what it is about (this is available on the paid plan). Furthermore, you can find out who clicks on them, where they are, and when they do so you can assess their effectiveness.
This week’s cool tool recommendation is Linktree – a landing page tool that houses links to your social sites.
When you sign up, you receive a unique Linktree URL that you can add to your bio on any social media platform, in your email signature, etc., so your followers and visitors can choose which of your content they want to see.
If you use Instagram, you already know that you can’t have more than one link on the website portion of your profile. This is where Linktree comes in. With Linktree, you can create a landing page with as many links as you like.
See this example from podcasters, Our MBC Life, to see how it looks in practice.
You can sign up for free to get unlimited links and a customizable Linktree. For more customisation, there are paid plans.
This week I’m recommending Hotjar, a website optimization tool.
Hotjar offers website heat maps, scroll maps, click maps and more, alongside visitor recordings and website funnel mapping. By combining both Analysis and Feedback tools, Hotjar gives you the ‘big picture’ of how to improve your site’s user experience and performance/conversion rates.
Heat maps to visualize user behaviour
A heat map (or heatmap) is a graphical representation of data where values are depicted by color. Heat maps make it easy to visualize complex data and understand it at a glance. They’re a powerful way to understand what users do on your website pages—where they click, how far they scroll, what they look at or ignore.
Visitor Recordings to see what your users see
By seeing your visitor’s clicks, taps and mouse movements you can identify usability issues on the fly and issues they encounter.
Conversion Funnels to see where your visitors are dropping off
Find the biggest opportunities for improvement and testing by identifying on which page and at which step most visitors are leaving your site.
Price: The free plan covers businesses with up to 2,000 pageviews per day.
This week I’m recommending MailerLitean email marketing tool that makes it easy to create landing pages, opt-in forms, and emails.
With the explosion of social media marketing in recent years, the traditional email format may appear outdated. But nothing could be further from the truth. Even with the pervasiveness of new technology, email still remains a persuasive digital marketing channel for building awareness, boosting acquisition, and increasing conversion.
One of the best ways to build your list of subscribers is to offer something of value up front. This email incentive known as an “opt-in offer” or “lead magnet” is something you are willing to give away for free which requires people to provide an email address to download. This is where a tool like MailerLite is helpful.
MailerLite is free for up to 1,000 subscribers.
The free plan enables you to build landing pages and start mailing your first 1,000 subscribers, but excludes live chat support, free newsletter templates, and certain other features.
Premium plans start at $10/mo for up to 1,000 subscribers, rising in increments per subscribers. Premium plans offer additional features and unlimited emails per month.
I love discovering new tools and apps which help make our social media marketing activities more manageable and more productive. Each Monday I share one of favourite social media management tools with you to try during the coming week. Today I want to put some of those tools together in this post organized around the theme of blogging. These tools will help you create, edit and promote your blog content more effectively.
Buzzsumo is a useful tool to explore which pieces of content are popular on social media around a certain topic. Use it to brainstorm popular topic ideas based on keywords related to your topics. You can also input your own domain name (as I have done in the example above) into the search bar and see at a glance how often and where your content is most shared.
While the quality of your content is a vital factor for successful blogging, how you present your information is also very important. Visuals are a key component of a successful blog. Canva is one of my every-day go-to tools when I am creating visuals. It’s so easy and quick to use it with a multitude of layout options, fonts, images and illustrations to choose from. Use the pre-set blog template to create header images for your bog.
Click to Tweet is a cool free tool which generates one-click tweet boxes or links that can be shared through your website, your blog, or via email. It’s a powerful way to increase social shares and highlight quotes, stats, and key takeaways for your content marketing. It’s also available as a handy Chrome extension.
According to Copyblogger, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. Your headline is the first (perhaps only) impression you make on a prospective reader. Use the EMV headline analyzer to calculate the emotional value of your headlines to create titles which will resonate with your audience.
FreePik offers users, high-quality graphic designs: exclusive illustrations and graphic resources. It operates on a freemium business model which means, the majority of the resources offered at Freepik can be used for free, only having to credit the author of the illustration to Freepik. In addition, for a small fee, you can subscribe to the Premium plan and use the illustrations without any accreditation whatsoever.
A proofreading tool which clears your copy of all unnecessary copy. Just paste your text into the editor and you’ll get an analysis that highlights lengthy, complex sentences, adverbs, passive voice, and common errors.
This is a cool tool that enables you to turn your blog posts into slideshow-type videos in minutes. The free plan includes unlimited videos, access to 10 million video files, and 480p-quality video with the Lumen5 watermark. You can also upload your own logo. Upgrading to the Pro plan ($49/month) lets you remove the Lumen5 branding, upload your own watermark and outro, and more.
Simply input your blog post’s url and Lumen 5 will import the text and images from that post and auto-create your video. You can then edit it, swap out images, upload other images and add music before you hit publish. The video above is one I created with Lumen 5 from an original blog post
Pexels provides over 3,800 high-resolution photos, collated from other free image sites — making it one of the largest free image directories. Pexels has also added a large library of stock videos to its site also under the Creative Commons license. Use the site’s list of popular searches to find the most in-demand stock video.
Pikwizard hosts over 100,000 completely free images, with over 20,000 of those exclusive to the site. The site has a good selection of medical-themed images. The site is particularly good for aesthetic procedures and dentistry-related images.
With PhotoFunia you can edit photos online for free in a matter of seconds resulting in high-quality photo collages. As the name suggests, this tool is a lot of fun to use. It helps you make a mark with your photos by incorporating your photos into mock-ups of background images including billboards, magazine covers, and movie posters.
Similar to Bit.ly, this url shortner tool allows you to enhance every link you share (whether your own content or someone else’s) with a call to action (CTA). When people click on the Sniply-generated link, they can view the article you shared and see a CTA.
If you like sharing quotes on your blog you can take advantage of their ready to add quotes feature. It will save you a lot of time. You can save, download or share up to 10 images per month, for free.
This tool takes a sample of your writing and calculates the number of sentences, words, syllables, and characters. It then takes the output of these numbers and plugs them into 7 popular readability formulas to help you find out the reading level and grade level of your materials and help you to determine if your audience can read what you have written.
Quroa is a question and answer platform where you can either ask a question about your topic or simply do a search using your topic keyword to find what people are asking about that topic. It’s a super place for market research.
Unsplash gives you access to a bank of 50,000+ free-to-use photos. All photos are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.
Do you have any favourite tools to enhance your blogging? I’d love to hear about them if you do.