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Four Blogging Tools to Make your Content Go Further

This is a guest contribution from Chris Crawfurd of sovrn.

You put in countless hours to create the highest quality content possible week after week. Maybe you even spend money on hiring a graphic designer to make your work look even better. But what good is a solid piece of content if it’s not being put in front of the right audience?

These four blogger tools are must-haves for any publisher looking to increase the reach of their online content:

1. Use Visual.ly to increase your content distribution

Visual.ly is the world’s marketplace for visual content. Whether it’s an infographic, video, interactive, or presentation, their streamlined process makes it easy to distribute your content and get it in front of the right audience. Visual.ly is sort-of like a social network for infographic and visualization sharing (talk about niche markets). You can explore, share and, in the near future, even create your own. When you open up the home page, you are greeted by a continuous scrolling of some of the best infographics currently on the website, and signing up takes a minute via the link on the top-right of the page (sign-up is free).

Let’s say we are searching for a particular infographic about, say, Digital Advertising. All you have to do is type Digital Advertising into the search box, hit Enter, and Visual.ly will bring up a list of visualizations tagged with the keyword Digital Advertising. While searching for visualizations, you can organize your results in a number of different ways, for example, by visualizations that are currently trending or by most commented or most viewed visualizations. You can also change the layout of your search results – the most useful view shows a description of the graphic so you can find exactly what you are looking for.

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Next Steps:

  1. Register for a free account onVisual.ly
  2. Upload your content
  3. Enjoy the sudden flux of digital eyeballs and link love

2. Use BuzzSumo to gain insights into what your competition is blogging about

BuzzSumo provides insights into the most popular online content and the influencers behind it. The next time you’re brainstorming blog topics for your upcoming content cycle, try researching the topic you’re interested in via the BuzzSumo platform to see what other bloggers and content influencers have to say about it. It might help steer you in the right direction.

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Here’s a breakdown of what BuzzSumo actually does:

  • Allows you to search for content that has been widely shared within social media sites
  • Gather metrics around content and segment it by content format
  • Quickly find guest posts, contests, videos, interviews and infographics
  • Find out who the influential content curators/aggregators are within any niche
  • Gather statistics on industry influencers and their associated websites
  • Export all of the intelligence into Excel spreadsheets

The real meat of BuzzSumo is in its “Pro” version. Through BuzzSumo Pro you can access its Content Analysis Reports. Think of these as regular BuzzSumo reports on steroids.

For data nerds (and I know there’s a few of you out there), this level of reporting will keep you up at night.

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From this dashboard, you can see just about everything there is to know about a specific topic. In this example, “AdWords” is the content area of interest. In addition to tons of other cool graphs, you can also see, at a glance, which domains are just killing it in your industry. 

3. Use Hootsuite to manage and distribute your social media

Manage social networks, schedule messages, engage your audiences, and measure ROI right from the Hootsuite dashboard. Hootsuite is a third-party tool or application that is designed to collate all of your social media account streams into one handy dashboard. You can write, send, schedule and track posts from its simple interface across multiple networks and multiple accounts. It is therefore a good option for those people or businesses that have either multiple accounts on one social media network or accounts across multiple networks – for example Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Hootsuite is web-based and does not require any software download. You can also add team members (and implement work-flow) as well as monitor analytics and performance.

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The primary use of Hootsuite is a social media dashboard (or social media management system) that provides a view of all your social media activity across all your accounts and allows you to post to all of them from one place. It gives you access to up to five of your top social media streams for free – including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, WordPress, Mixi, Instagram, Google+ among others, which can be much easier than trying to manage all of these accounts directly from a browser. Not only can you track your posts, but you can also reply directly within Hootsuite as well as post updates on every network from the one place.

What do you get with Hootsuite?

  • Manage multiple Twitter, Facebook (profiles, events, groups and pages), LinkedIn (Profiles, Pages and Groups), WordPress, Google+, Foursquare, MySpace (does this even still exist?), Vimeo, Instagram, ping.fm and more accounts from one place
  • Schedule your social media updates
  • Collaborate as a team – including ability to assign replies, mark as done, track messages etc.
  • Manage it all through mobile applications
  • Customized analytics, included automated scheduled reports (though this can be costly)
  • RSS integration
  • Customer support

4. Use meridian to harness the value of your data and grow your influence 

meridian is a new publisher platform built and designed by sovrn Holdings. meridian acts as a conduit between publishers and advertisers by providing publishers with unique data insights that allow publishers to create better, more targeted and lucrative content. Through meridian, publishers can: manage their ad tags; view unique revenue metrics paired with targeted audience segments; see how their site compares to other sites within their vertical; gain access to an expanding library of publisher tools and third-party integrations.

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meridian features detailed, individual advertising performance metrics on a site-by-site, and zone-by-zone basis along with clear trending information. Inside the platform publishers will see detailed audience segmentation detailing the advertiser-driven values and characteristics of readers visiting their sites. In addition to advertising management and optimization, sovrn’s meridian boasts easy to understand reporting and user-friendly data visualization. Publishers see their earnings in real-time. Payments to publishers happen faster than any other system, in virtually every currency, and in every major payment mechanism.

Here are more specifics on what exactly you’ll see in meridian:

  • Fresh, user-friendly interface with real-time data visualizations
  • Improved ad management tools and performance metrics
  • Vertical comparisons for benchmarking performance
  • Audience demographics and reader insights
  • Integrated content from sovrn’s Publisher Resource Center
  • Personalized support from the sovrn Publisher Advocate Team

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Pretty cool, right? Here’s what you need to do to gain access to meridian:

  1. Sign up for a sovrn account on meridian
  2. Create ad tags, install the audience analytics beacon and search widget
  3. Sit back and reap the rewards of your hard-earned data.

Well, what did you think? Were these tools helpful? If you have any other tools you’ve found useful in your blogging/content creating endeavors, contact me a [email protected] or leave us a comment below!

Chris Crawfurd is VP of Publisher Services at sovrn Holdings, responsible for growing and managing sovrn’s 20,000+ publisher relationships. Contact him: [email protected]


About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. I never used these tools, after review your article. I think i missed something.

    Thanks a lot to introduce few helpful tools.

  2. Quality content is king when you create “lots and lots of content” and stay on track with “content transformation.”

  3. Thanks for the post Chris and thank you Darren for letting him post!

    visual.ly looks really intriguing and I’m looking forward to playing around with it.

    I’ve heard about some of these tools before, especially BuzzSumo and Hootsuite, but would these work for a blog that’s more creative oriented?

    For example, if I’m blogging about creative writing, how could I use meridian more effectively?

    Thanks again!

    • Great question, David Throop! One of the coolest modules in meridian, under the Audience tab, is a tool that breaks down your audience by content category based on their cookie history. It also shows you what CPM each segment is driving, and what portion of your traffic is from that segment. Does that make sense? I hope I explained it well enough.

      The reason I bring this up is because you could use meridian to look at what audience segments are driving the highest CPM to your site. More often than not, those segments are not the segments you are targeting with your content. So, you could start targeting them by creating more content specific to the category with the highest CPM to drive your overall ad revenue. Hope that helped! Give it a shot: https://meridian.sovrn.com/#welcome

  4. Hi Chris,

    I am a Hootsuite nut here. I use it almost hourly to pop in, to automate updates and to spread the word. Awesome tool for engaging, for saving time and for building targeted twitter lists.

    I tweet each new post through Hootsuite some 4 to 5 times daily. Easy as pie, and lets me hit multiple time zones all over the world. No better way to expand my reach in a small amount of time.

    I’d add that using tools rocks if you keep the personal touch. I engage like mad on social networks – especially twitter – because tools are a means to an end, said end being building bonds with people. Can’t automate or outsource that one; gotta do it in person to build authentic, genuine bonds. So automate, then personalize with real interacting and your persistent tool using, and engagement, will boost that blog traffic in no time.

    Fab reviews!


  5. I have been hearing a lot about hootsuite lately, Now that you have recommended it as well, I am going to try it right away!

  6. Thanks for the info. I do not know about them.Going forward I will use them. Thank you so much!

  7. Hi Chris,

    First of all, thanks for sharing these amazing tools on Problogger.net.

    I have been using HootSuite for a while now to manage my social media activities. However, the other tools mentioned above are completely new for me but I assure you that I will try them out and check if they are as worthy as you mentioned in the post.

  8. Wow I will learn something new from your post. Thanks to your great review and introducing these awesome tools.

  9. Indeed, these great tools helps bloggers harness the awesome, organic power of virally increasing their presence on the world wide web. If some bloggers would actually take time to increase their content output and lengthen their pages, they would not only deepen engagement with their target audience, but also improve long-tail SEO.

  10. I love learning new things and three of these tools are new to me, fantastic!

  11. I’ve been using BuzzSumo and Hootesuite for a while now and both are great.

  12. I’d add TweetDeck to the list as well; been around for long, and although Twitter stripped it down after they acquired it, things are looking up and it is regaining effectiveness – for individuals and teams.

    Meridian seems intriguing, although I think I’d come across it as Lijit in its earlier avatar – will check in detail again, thanks.

  13. Buzzsumo is really good i have been using it, will try others also now.

  14. I have already used hootsuite and bizzsumo. They are awesome, I like them but visual.ly is new for me. I’ll try it too. Thanks for sharing this information.

  15. Thanks for the post Chris and thank you Darren for letting him post. I have been using Hoot Suite for a while now to manage my social media activities.

  16. Certainly looks like Hootesuite is generating a lot of buzz! Will definitely have to have a closer look at it. I’ve been using other programs that only allow one social media program. Thanks for the info, Rob

  17. From the above list i have been using BuzzSumo only. It is a powerful tool which helps me to find some great content that being shared on the popular social media sites. And I will try to use the reminder tools in future.

  18. yes this tools are very helpful. now we can do it easily. thanks for sharing this post.

  19. Such a vast area to consider here. I was using PR Web up until last year and then after so much research I realised that I could be doing more harm than good towards my website. Indeed, quality is always King! Maybe its time to move forward with caution and use BuzzSumo.

    Thanks for the article – a good read!


  20. Is social traffic is as important as google organic traffic for adsense or their is any difference???For my every post i write unique content but unable to bring much traffic need help.

    • Most Ad Networks, like sovrn and Google Analytics, will monetize any traffic that is no fraudulent. Whether it’s referral, organic, social, etc.

  21. Hey Chris,

    I’m constantly using Buzzsumo and once in a while I’ll pull in an infographic from visual.ly into my blog posts. I’ve never heard of meridian and looks quite familiar to Google Analytics. How would you compare Meridian to Google Analytics?

    • Hey Sherman,

      Great question! GA and meridian are similar in that they both track audience metrics. However, meridian supersedes GA when it comes to monetization analytics, publisher tool access, and publisher resources.

      Publishers can use meridian to: manage and optimize ad tags, track revenue performance, compare site, metrics to other sites in their category, gain unique insights into their audience segments, access the best publisher tools and resources from around the web.

      meridian is the first and only cooperative data-driven platform for independent publishers that shows them areas where they are strong and where then can improve. meridian exposes comparative, real-time metrics that allow publishers to properly benchmark their site(s) with their peers in 25 IAB vertical categories. The meridian insights serve as crucial reference points publishers can use to measure, learn, and improve.

      Hope that helps! Check it out here: https://meridian.sovrn.com/#welcome


  22. Thanks for mentioning some of my favorite sites! I just checked today again and HootSuite DOES NOT post to Instagram…unless I’m missing something. Thanks for filling me in if there is!


  23. Having read your post, I tired out BuzzSumo. I must say I’m finding it rather useful!

  24. Hi,
    Thanks for this nice set of tools!
    I would one more idea to this list: asking your users what they want to read about. Probably the simplest way to do that is to use popups like WisePops or widgets like Survicate. You can get a lot of clever ideas. It’s also a good way of engaging visitors – they will like you even more when they see that you write about something that they had suggested.

    Regards, John

  25. I just took action and started using Buzzsumo. It´s great, it works. And what I love is that it is proven content. So I just have to publish similar things in a better way…

    Great tips, as always :)

  26. Tom Sullivan says: 05/30/2015 at 12:14 am

    I’m new to the blog world, but I’m building a nice file of valuable tools to help me along the way. Thanks for the blog post Chris, and thanks for allowing him to post Darren! I’ll be investigating these cool tools more in the coming days and weeks.

  27. In your article BuzzSumo has caught my eye and I think it will help me a lot. Thank for such a useful article.

  28. Chris,

    Thank you for these four tools, i’ve been using hootsuite for quite sometime and will start using others now.

  29. Hello, I was looking for ways to promote my blog and video and I found all your suggestions very helpful!

    Thank you very much for sharing with us!

  30. I frequently use Buzzsumo to come up with fantastic blog post ideas. It’s not only a free tool to come up with the trending topic ideas in your niche but it also shows you the number of shares a post got.

  31. Hi..
    Thank you for sharing this article and information about these tool . I have been using hoot-suite for quite sometime and will start using others now. indeed, these great tools helps bloggers harness the awesome, organic power of virally increasing their presence on the world wide web.

    thank you

  32. Great Post, Hootsuite is a fantastic tool for social networking and a great tool for promoting your blog. I’ve been using it for a while and it has been very helpful.

  33. Very nice tools to be make your content most effective for the seo purpose.

  34. Great post. I wanted to know what about Buffer? I use it all the time, but did not see it mentioned??? Thanks for sharing.

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