There are many blogging platforms from WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, or Medium to Ghost, HubSpot, Squarespace, or Wix. Each of these platforms has its benefits, depending on what you want to get across - for example Tumblr lends itself to images and a limited amount of text, but wouldn’t really lend itself to digital marketing. Squarespace has an ease of use for a user as does Wordpress, but none are as intuitive as the HubSpot blogging tool.
So here are 10 reasons why I love the HubSpot blogging tool.
1. Easy to Use
The first reason I love the HubSpot blogging tool is it’s really, really effortless to master. I’m not a technical person. I mean I have basic early Millennial-level know-how (not anywhere near those kids born in the 90s and 00s, though), and can navigate websites and figure out tools with relative ease, but what I love about HubSpot is it’s fairly intuitive.
Clicking "Compose" takes me to a blank template, and "Inline" mode will take me to Digital 22's preset template.
The “Content” tab allows me to add the title, social media sharing platforms, and write the blog. The “Settings” tab allows me to select the author, campaign, topic tags, set a custom URL, and write my meta description. It even tells me when my meta description (the bit that you see on a Google search) is too long, or warns me if it doesn’t contain any keywords - gotta keep on top of the site SEO! The “Publish or Schedule” tab lets me publish now, publish and backdate, or schedule for later. HubSpot tracks the analytics too once I’ve published my post and I can track what’s working and what’s not.
It also has copy/paste features. I can paste from Word or Google Docs and it doesn’t destroy my formatting, which saves me time when I’m adding headings (H2), subheadings (H3), and formatting my paragraphs
There’s a trouble-free toolbar across the top as well as “Preview” and “Optimize” features down the left. I can check to see if all of my images have alt text, if I have internal links and external links, if my keywords are repeated too many times, and if my meta description is complete.
I could figuratively spend all day explaining how idiot-proof these features are to use and just how many there are. It’s every marketing professional’s dream tool belt! The best part is I never lose my work. Ever. The content saves itself automatically every few seconds. Every tool is integrated. No need for plugins or extra downloads either. With WordPress you’re responsible for downloading your own plugins and making sure they’re up-to-date; with HubSpot you don’t need to worry about that.
An image of the preset templates (minus the composing toolbar) to demonstrate how the templates work.
2. Preset Templates
Another reason I love this tool is that there are preset templates. So if I’m blogging for Digital 22, or another client, when I click “New Blog Post,” my template is pre-designed right down to my heading and subheading font. I don’t have to remember which shade of purple my H2 headings should be in, nor do I have to re-upload imagery or logos associated with the blog. It’s all done for me. All I have to do is write and go.
For marketing professionals, that means you’re not having to build a blog from scratch every time - from the white screen. Your writers can just jump in the tool and write from the get go. The headings, sub headings, body text, and link colour preference are all pre-set according to your predilection.
An image of how easy it is to manage and edit stock images (and any) files in HubSpot
Here's how to find your stock images once you select the File Manger. Simply search, and they download to your Stock Image file in the file manager, and click to add them to your blog post.
3. Integrated Stock Images
I wouldn’t be kidding if I say that finding images for my blogs - ours and client blogs - takes longer than writing or editing (sometimes combined). It’s quite possibly the longest part of the whole process. Why is that? Well, free images are hard to come by, and finding the right image is equally difficult. And that’s where the integrated stock images come into play. These stock images cut my time in half. I click on “File Manager” in the “Content” tab in the HubSpot blogging tool and I can search and download stock images - instantly. Then inserting said stock images is incredibly easy. They’re saved in a "Stock Image" file in HubSpot for quick access (when I click "Add Image" in the toolbar, the folder is right on the first page). If I didn't download the image to a specific file, I can click the “time” button to find the one I just downloaded and insert it into my blog. Then all I have to do is change my alt text. No crediting images, or searching free image sites for half an hour.
In the marketing arena, you don’t want to infringe on image copyrights, so having integrated stock images for free saves time and money in the long run; you don’t have to sign up for expensive stock image sites, pay per image, or pay a monthly fee.
How to change Headings using the HubSpot blogging tool - as simple as following a menu, and clicking a button!
4. Rich Text Editor
With preset templates, the text is set up, but if I want to make the font bold, italicised, change the font, change line spacing, size, insert special characters, and so forth, it’s all there in one toolbar. I can even remove all formatting and start again if need be. I can add my “Read More” separator. I can change the headings. I can insert images, videos, documents, and Call to Actions. It’s straightforward to add bullet points, change font colours (insert custom colours that match your website), and change alignment.
For Call-to-Actions, I can clone existing CTAs and edit. You can make simple buttons or add more bespoke design elements too. And you can track how well your CTAs are doing in the Analytics tools too. No other blogging tool has smart CTA features.
Also, you’ll love the smart CTA feature. You can clone and create simple, solid-colour CTA buttons in your blog’s preferred font and colour scheme, or your design team can create fancier CTA buttons (image mock ups of a guide, for example). The images are easy to insert, and you can set the link to go directly to your landing page. And, when you want to find your CTAs again, you can search for them in the search bar, insert, and done.
An image of how easy it is to manage and edit stock image (and any) files in HubSpot.
5. Insert and Edit Images
Every blogging tool has a feature to insert and edit images. But none are as easy to use as in HubSpot. You can insert an image within seconds, clone it, and edit it with the original image untouched. There are smart editing tools too that allow you to set the proportions for, say, Twitter or Facebook. I can crop and rotate images. I can add text, effects, enhancements, frames, lighting, stickers, colour, focus, and redeye - basically, anything your basic editor can do, but smarter. And for someone who isn’t a photoshop whizz, these tools are really simple.
Your writers can do simple image editing without bothering your in-house design team (if you have one), saving your company money. Bottom line. Time and money!
How to use the preview tool to view your blogs before they're published.
6. Preview Tool and Publication Customization
Most blogging platforms do have a preview tool, but HubSpot takes it a step further. In the preview, it time stamps it as if it’s posted that very minute and shows you how it will look. You can send previews to clients or readers, and see how they like it too - or if you write for your own blog alone, you can see how it’ll look You can test links, have a look at the size of images and check text flow. I use the preview tool to send previews to clients and my boss too - and that way people can view the blog post without changing any settings before it’s ready for sign-off. But if anything’s amiss, anyone with a HubSpot account and access can make a quick change. Even when the blog is live, changes can be made and updated - but there’s plenty of warning when you’re about to update a live blog to make sure you intend to make the changes.
Another amazing feature - that I hadn’t heard of with any other platform - is the ability to backdate posts. You have three publishing options with HubSpot: post immediately, post for a future date (scheduling), and post for a past date (post now and edit to change the date).
In marketing, this backdating and scheduling feature is fantastic because you can make sure you’re producing and publishing content on schedule with your current campaign. So, if you want to publish two blogs a week, for example, you can keep all of your blogs in drafts until they’re signed off for publication, and then once they’re ready, you can schedule them for as many weeks out as you need. Being able to schedule and backdate when you need blogs allows you to write in bulk, schedule, and forget about it - so you can move onto another task.
You can instruct hyperlinks to open in a new window or for search engines not to follow (or both).
HubSpot has a great feature where it can internally link to previously written content (giving your SEO a boost) via the link icon in the toolbar. You can simply search the name of the blog - or keywords - and find other blogs with related titles, so you can quickly choose and add them with ease.
HubSpot has a special way of dealing with hyperlinks from internal or external sources. You can instruct your hyperlinks to open in a new window - that’s a pretty basic feature - but, interestingly, you can also instruct Google not to follow certain hyperlinks. This no-follow can be completed in the same screen as “open in a new window” so it’s as simple as clicking a checkbox. In WordPress, you have to manually add the code to create No-Follow links.
In marketing, you’re most likely not going to need No-Follow links for spammy content, but they can be helpful if you link to some information even from reputable sites, and you want Google to focus on your internal content.
All of the information shown in the settings tab: Title, URL, Author, Tags, Campaign, Meta Description, and Featured Image.
8. Settings Tab
I touched on the Settings Tab earlier, but this tool is important yet simple. When writing a blog, I can go in and write or edit the content and select any author I want and it’s not tied to the IP of the user. You can add multiple tags (which can be done on any blogging tool); however, you can also select a campaign and track it using HubSpot Analytics to see how well the campaign is doing and how your blog entry factors into those rankings. Most importantly, you can change and write your own meta description. The tool will tell you when your meta description is on point - when you have enough characters and you have one keyword mention. That way, when people search organically, you hope they will reach your site because it will be read by Google as relevant - and when they’re reading the little preview (meta description), they’ll see your content will answer their query.
In the marketing arena, I don’t think I need to sell the importance of integrated Analytics tools. Not having to track this stuff yourself means it saves your employees time, money, hassle, and so much more. There’s an analytics tab in HubSpot and I can view my company’s or my client’s most popular posts, where the traffic comes from, how many subscribers, how many views this month (last month, year, etc), how many click throughs, who’s clicking on my CTAs, and so much more - it would take too long to list it all here.
All of these features are in one screen, but the left side is the Optimization tool, which provides valuable information on your blog's progress: keywords, meta description, CTAs, images, and so forth.
9. Optimization Feature
I’ve personally found the Optimization feature key in writing my posts. When there are so many moving parts to writing and publishing a blog post, I can be forgetful. The Optimization feature takes care of everything. It analyses the title - is it short enough or too long? It takes a look at the content - too many repeated keywords? Checks the images - do they all have alt text? Do you even have images? It checks for internal links - and suggests some if you haven’t found any. And once you’ve “done” something it gives you a green traffic light to say it’s good to go, and if something is missing, the tool gives you an amber light to say, hold on there! You need to add something. This feature is designed to maximise performance on your blog and that’s why I absolutely love this feature. I haven’t seen anything like it on any other blogging tools.
For busy marketers, this tool is a no brainer. You don’t want content going out when it’s not helping you - no internal links, no meta text, no alt text, repeated keywords and so on. When your page shows up on Google, if you don’t have a meta description, there’ll be no text to display underneath your link on the search engine results page (SERP), which makes readers less likely to click through. Furthermore, lack of internal links and repeated keywords have a negative impact. Even with this tool, there are still times where the orange bubbles come up and I have to check what I’ve forgotten. Imagine if I didn’t have this tool to catch my mistakes! (I really don’t want to because I love my job and I’d like to keep it.)
Easy social sharing in one window. You can schedule all of your social media messages at once. Write, click, and go.
10. Social Sharing Integration
So, once my blog is published, what next? Well, unless I want to wait years for people to search organically (if my site hasn’t gained Google traction - i.e. isn’t the top 10 search results), then I’ll want to share my post on social media to drive traffic. With HubSpot’s social media sharing integration, I can post social media messages across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus all at once. I can post some messages for now, for later in the day, for next month, a few months from now, whenever I want to share - according to the company’s social sharing schedule timeline. Then I can sit back and see how each message is doing. I can use that same tool to write a unique message for each and every post across multiple platforms with a one-button click, all from the social tab in HubSpot. I don’t have to log into three or four different company accounts everyday and remember what I’ve shared and when. I can do it once the post goes live and then I can forget about it.
Here's how you find the window above when you're in the blogging tool. Click on the social tab, and go to the publishing option.
Again! Another obvious way to save marketers time, effort, and money. A one stop shop for all of your social media needs, and who can remember their own passwords anyway never mind four different passwords (and email addresses) for every single client.
Sure, there are loads of blogging tools, but not all are created equal. And the ease of use and the numerous features is why I absolutely love using this specific blogging tool in HubSpot, and - by extension - why I think your marketing company will love it too.
Let me know in the comments which blogging tools you use and what you find useful about them. I’m certain none will match the proficiency of HubSpot. So it may be time for a switch.
Digital 22 COS Comparison: HubSpot vs. WordPress vs. Drupal
If you’re not convinced HubSpot is the best platform for your blogging needs, we’ve come up with a comparison sheet, taking a closer look at HubSpot COS, Drupal, and Wordpress. Download your free copy now: