Aug 23, 2008

10 Essential Tools for Bloggers


There are multitudes of user tools and utilities you can add to your site as a blogger but I made a short list of essentials that you, as a blogger wouldn't go without. This is particularly helpful for beginning / professional writers who are just getting into social media and quickly get started.

  1. Blogger Platform : This serves as a writer's canvass or repository of all things you write. There are several blog platforms you can use such as: Blogger and WordPress are two popular platforms you can start. I suggest using Google Blogger because its easy and flexible to use. I use Blogger for this blog with custom template.

  2. Offline Blog Writers: You can't be too dependent on Internet just to make your blog entry. You can create your blog offline and publish them as soon as your online. This way, you can blog anywhere you want. If you have a Google account, you can make use of Google Docs offline document management to write and publish your blog or, you can download Microsoft's Windows Live Writer. This free product from Microsoft is fantastic!

  3. Image Editors: A good blog should always have images and images attract and says a lot about your post. Now, we will be doing with away with softwares you can install and buy. I would recommend using the online image editors so you can edit images anywhere without having to install them in every PC just to use them. A good and simple online image editors are Photoflexer, Picnik and for a little more advanced users- SplashUp will do the job.

  4. Content Distribution: It's not enough that your blog just sits in your webhost and waits for someone to hopefully read them. To reach a broader audience and eventually followers, one must use a content distribution services to to deliver your content to different aggregators or through emails. I can only recommend one of such service and that is FeedBurner.

  5. Analytics: To know just how many people visit your blog, the posts visitors are reading, and other measures to determine its effectivity, Google's Web Analytics provides a complete and detailed analytics report about your blog site. This aids you as a publisher to identify which areas on your site that need working on.

  6. Advertising: Not many would go in this direction of monetizing their blogs. Some find it too commercial and just provides too many distractions to readers. Just in case you would want to try your hand on making a decent earnings then you can try your hand on Google's AdSense. Other advertisers includes Microsoft, Yahoo and Widget Bucks.

  7. Blog Promotion Tools: Besides just writing a good blog, you must also promote it to increase your sites readership. You can sign in with the likes of: bookmarking, StumbleUpon, Digg and other social markers to gain awareness.

  8. Image Sources: To make things simple on looking for images, I usually use Google's Image Search Engine to find the image I want. There are quality photos you can find on Flikr and other commercially sold stock photos.

  9. Research Tools: Nothing is more important than finding a good and timely information for your blog. As a somewhat beginning blogger myself, I subscribe to other news and aggregate them using an RSS aggregators like Google Reader or BlogRovr. If your following on a certain product of a specific company, the bast way to do this is use Google Alerts. For statistical data, check the Google Trends. Other useful tools also include dictionaries, encyclopedias and a thesauri.

  10. Copyright License: Lastly, you have to protect your work from malicious individuals from copying your original work or getting sued by someone just by quoting their words. Check Creative Commons and learn more about it.

These are just the right tools to get you started. Please note that these only aids you in the process of making your blog and initial promotion. This will surely not guarantee you success in monetizing or increasing your traffic.

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