Blogging is a crucial marketing tool for businesses nowadays, but maybe you haven’t decided to start your business blog yet. Maybe it’s because you’re thinking “Well, what do I even need to get started?” Well, there’s a 1,001 things you could use to start blogging, but which do you DEFINITELY need? Read on to find out. Too many tools to choose from There are tons of blogging resources out there, which sounds like a good thing, right? But when you’re first starting out, it’s a nuisance. And it’s because having too many options is confusing and time-consuming. What if you wanted to thoroughly inspect all your options? Imagine how long it’d take to sift through all the features/benefits of each tool; you’d never start your blog! What can you do about this problem? Here are 6 resources to start your business blog today Here’s a list of the bare essentials of great blogging, only what you need to get started TODAY. If you only use these tools for the next several months, you’ll still be on your way to creating a lead-generating blog. So what are you waiting for? Let’s check them out. #1. Wp Engine WP Engine does two important things for you: Hosts your blog Installs WordPress This makes starting really easy. Basically once you pay for your package (only $29 per month for the basic package), the set up process is practically complete. This means less time and energy wasted for you. #2. Evernote This is the hub of your creativity. All your blog post ideas can go in here and are easily organized. I’ve used Evernote for the entirety of my freelance blogging career and it’s been great. You only need a few folders to get started: Blog post ideas/headlines Blog posts SEO/keywords And you’re all set. You can take it a step further by using tags, but this should be enough to get things going. If you’d like more advice on using Evernote: How to Use Evernote as a Blogger How Evernote Has Made Me a More Productive Blogger #3. Google Analytics The only way to guarantee your business blog’s growth is by tracking your stats, and that’s what this free tool is perfect for. Google analytics lets you monitor traffic/traffic sources, see your most popular pages, and so on. And by analyzing this data, you can get an idea of what type of content works best on your blog. This lets you tailor your future blog content in a way that focuses only on the most engaging content you have. And if the idea of “tracking your stats” makes you uncomfortable, we can simplify things by focusing on only the most essential stats there are. #4. Title Generator Knowing what to blog about is a constant issue with bloggers, so having a process or an easy way to come up with ideas is important. That’s why you should check out the headline generating tool that TweakYourBiz is the creator of. It’ll provide you with tons of headlines that’ll spur your imagination. Just type in your topic for some great ideas to work off of. Don’t forget to add them to your Evernote folder! If you need more ideas though, you can check out this great source as well. #5. WordPress Editorial Calendar It’s true what they say – that which is not written down does not get done. That’s why you should write down a month’s worth of posts for your business blog in a scheduler (which is roughly 2-4 posts per month) to keep you on track. This is helpful because: It takes the guesswork out of writing (you know ahead of time what you’ll be writing about) It makes working with other writers easier It makes it easy to see if you’re focusing on one subject too much It makes it easy to see the big picture of your content strategy For all these reasons and more, an editorial calendar is a must-have resource. #6. MailChimp When you first start your business blog, it can be tempting to start building up your social media profiles and start tweeting or liking away. Don’t. Want a better idea? Gather emails. Emails are still the king when it comes to connecting with your audience. They provide a direct life line to customers, and effectively turn every email into an advertisement for your business (though the emphasis should still be on delivering value to your subscriber). Mailchimp is free up to 2,000 subscribers, so you can try it out without any worries. Over to you As a busy business owner, it’s important that you focus on tools that give you the biggest bang for your buck. These tools give you the foundation needed for a great business blog, but what do you think is a necessary starting tool? Leave a comment with your response because a strong blogging foundation is something every business owner should have. Images: ”wooden letters forming word BLOG/ Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.