There are many blogging platforms, from WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and Medium to Ghost, HubSpot, Squarespace and Wix. Each of these platforms has its benefits and use cases, 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 excel in digital marketing. Squarespace is super simple to use, as is WordPress, but neither has the intuitive capabilities of the HubSpot blogging tool.
Here at Digital 22, we’ve been using HubSpot to create helpful, meaningful content for ourselves and our clients for many years. Would we ever change what we use to build and publish blogs? Nope.
Here are 10 reasons why the HubSpot blogging tool is the best blog creation tool on the market.
- Easy to use
- Preset templates
- Integrated stock images
- Rich text editor
- Insert and edit images
- Preview tool and publication customisation
- Settings tab
- Optimisation features
- Social sharing integration
1. Easy to use
The HubSpot CMS is effortless to master.
Now, I’m not a technical person. While I’m fairly savvy when it comes to technology, I’m definitely no coder. I couldn’t tell my HTML from my Java. Some blogging sites rely more heavily on using code to integrate different functions and embed different features within blogs. Not HubSpot.
And that’s the thing I love about it - it’s intuitive, accessible and easy to use. You can use the pre-built and embedded features to add things like video and build various formats to your blog, all without the need for coding.
There are easily identifiable sections to build and edit for each part of your blog, where you can change sections such as the header, banner image and footer, alongside the meta descriptions and main image.
The layout of the blog builder is incredibly easy to navigate. At the side you have pre-built sections for adding content in the centre is the main blog that you’re creating and at the top, you have tabs to develop the back-end, optimise and schedule. (Who’s that handsome content marketer in the main image?)
At the top, there are specific tabs:
- The Content tab allows you to add the title, social media sharing platforms and write the main blog content
- The Settings tab lets me to select the author, campaign, topic tags, add a featured image, 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 Schedule tab lets you publish your blog now, backdate or schedule for automatic publishing at a later date. HubSpot tracks the analytics too once you’ve published your post so you can see what’s working and what isn't.
There’s also an Optimise tab, but we’ll get to that later.
You can easily copy and paste your content into the main blog copy. So if you’re writing content on Word or Google Docs before building the blog, it’s a simple copy and paste job. This also won’t destroy your formatting, meaning things like H2s and H3s remain intact. You can import your Google Docs right into the editor, too.
There’s a trouble-free toolbar across the top as well as Preview and Optimise features down the left. You can check to see if all of your images have alt text, if you have internal links and external links, if any keywords are repeated too many times and if the meta description is complete.
I could spend all day explaining how foolproof these features are to use and just how many there are. It’s every marketing professional’s dream tool belt!
The best part? 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.
2. Preset templates
If I’m blogging for Digital 22 or a client and I click Create 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 don't have 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, subheadings, body text and link colour preference are all pre-set according to your predilection.
Here’s an example of a new blog I quickly started while writing this one - super simple!
You can quickly and simply upload images to add to your blogs. These images can be optimised, edited and given a meta description or external link.
3. Integrated stock images
I wouldn’t be kidding if I say that finding images for my blogs takes longer than writing or editing (sometimes combined). It’s quite possibly the longest part of the whole process.
Free images are hard to come by. Finding the right image is equally difficult. That’s where the integrated stock images come into play. These stock images cut my time in half. I click on the image button in the Content tab and then I can search and download stock images instantly.
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.
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 a ‘Read More’ separator, change the headings, insert images, videos, documents and call-to-actions (CTAs). It’s straightforward to add bullet points, change font colours (insert custom colours that match your website) and change alignment.
All of this is found in the top bar.
For CTAs, I can clone existing ones and edit or create new ones. 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).
Here’s an example of a fully-designed CTA we made for a previous campaign, linked to our Inbound Marketing v2.0 guide, a great place for an introduction to inbound marketing principles.
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.
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 upload 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. 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.
6. Preview tool and publication customisation
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'll 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 when published.
Additionally, there’s also the ability to 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 fellow content marketers, That way, people can view the blog post without changing any settings before it’s ready for sign-off.
If anything’s amiss, anyone with a HubSpot account and access can make a quick change or suggest a change for me to implement. Even when the blog is live, they can be retrospectively edited 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, one that I hadn’t heard of with any other platform, is how you can pick and choose the dates for posting. 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.
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 keep them stored, ready for publishing, so you can move onto another task.
As you can see, it’s easy to backdate blogs for both yourself and clients, so that blogs are nicely spaced out and not all hastily published on the same day.
HubSpot has a great feature where it can internally link to previously written content 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. This actively helps with your SEO efforts, allowing you to rank better on search engines results.
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.
8. Settings tab
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'll reach your site because it will be read by Google as relevant. 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 among other things. It would take too long to list it all here.
9. Optimisation feature
This is found under the Optimisation tab.
I’ve personally found the optimisation feature crucial when writing my posts. When there are so many moving parts to writing and publishing a blog post, I can be forgetful.
The optimisation 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? Does the blog even contain images? It checks for internal links - and suggests some if you haven’t found any.
Once you’ve “done” something it gives you a green traffic light to say it’s good to go. 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, a lack of internal links and repeated keywords has 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.)
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 ten 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 every day and remember what I’ve shared and when. I can do it once the post goes live and then I can forget about it.
HubSpot’s social tab helps you see and keep track of everything you’ve sent to your social channels - as well as how many clicks and interactions they’re getting.
Again, another obvious way to save marketers time, effort and money. A one-stop shop for all of your social media needs. 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 all of us here at Digital 22 absolutely love using HubSpot to blog. These are the reasons I think your marketing company will love it too.
HubSpot is just one CMS - what else is on offer?
Now, obviously we're big fans of HubSpot, but it wouldn't be fair if all we spoke about was that platform. To even the scales, we've created an in-depth comparison guide that covers a bunch of high-quality CMS platforms, such as HubSpot, WordPress, Drupal and more.
To see which one suits your needs the most, download our comparison guide below.