10 Essential Blogging Tools

10 Essential Blogging Tools


So, you finally decided to take the blog leap. You�ve heard all about the marketing and
search benefits so you stepped up to the plate and signed up for a TypePad, MovableType or
WordPress blog software package and now you�re a blogger. Okay, now what? Add the ten essential blogging tools listed
below and you will also be well on your way to creating and promoting a blog that is a
powerful marketing tool. I�ll explain the use of the tool and offer
some suggestions, including the tools I use on my own blogs including the Duct Tape Marketing
blog. Feed reader The best way to learn about blogs and blogging
is to read, or at least scan, lots of blogs. One of the wonders of blogs is that you can
have every new post from every blog you want to read delivered to your desktop or to online
location via RSS, so you can easily read and scan the posts of many blogs in a very short
time. Newsgator is a good online choice for feed
reading and also has a version that integrates with Outlook. I use a free online service know as Bloglines. http://www.bloglines.com Subscriber center You need to make it easy for your blog visitors
to subscribe to your blog�s RSS feed � so they can read your blog in their favorite
feed reader. The best way to do this is to go to FeedBurner
and burn your own RSS feed their and use the tools they provide to set up automatic subscriber
links so people who want to use Bloglines, Google Reader, MyYahoo or Pluck, for instance,
can click on one button to subscribe. Tech types can figure this out without the
buttons but why not make it easy for anyone to figure out. Side note � subscribe to each of these yourself
and you will force some blog spiders to visit your site. http://www.feedburner.com Email subscription option A lot of people will never get the whole feed
thing, but everyone gets email. Create an option for people to subscribe by
giving you their email address � they will simply receive your blog posts like an email
message. FeedBurner offers this service for free. FeedBlitz is another option or, if you already
have an autoresponder email list service they may offer this service. AWeber offers this and helps me integrate
these blog email subscribers into my other mailing lists. Blog and RSS directories There are hundreds of blog and RSS directories
and getting listed in many can be a good thing. I use a piece of software called RSS Submit,
but you can also visit Robin Goode�s frequently updated list and submit your blog and feed
by hand. Hint: subscribe to the RSS feed he offers
and you will be notified when new directories are added. Ping service Pinging is a term used for letting the various
blog and RSS directories know when you have posted new content. Again, FeedBurner offers this as an automatic
option called PingShot and you should activate it. PingGoat and Ping O Matic are other options
but they require that you visit and update your record each time you post new content. Bookmark manager As you surf around the web or hop from blog
to blog you may find sites that you want to point out to your readers. Online bookmark managers allow you to bookmark
and categorize web and blog pages as you collect them and are a great tool for managing all
of the stuff you find on the web. I use del.icio.us but BlinkList does a fine
job as well. http://del.icio.us Blog stats I like to track a few key stats in real time
because it shows what other blogs might be linking to you or posting about your blog. A lot of people just like to track this kind
of thing for fun and frequently visit sites like Technorati. I like to track it for networking opportunities. I use a tool called MyBlogLog because it allows
me to see where traffic is coming from but also tracks what links on my blog visitors
are clicking on. It�s amazing how this data can help you
write more effectively. (MyBlogLog also ranks your links so visitors
can see which links on your site are the most popular.) Desktop posting With most blog software you must go online
and post using a set of tools provided by the blog software. Many bloggers like to use a desktop application
to create and submit their posts as it gives them some extra tools and allows them to more
easily integrate content and files on their computer. http://w.blogger.com I use w.blogger but also like Performancing,
Qumana and ecto (apple folks) (w.blogger also doubles as a really simple HTML editor.) Tell a friend script My blog software (pMachine) has a feature
that allows a reader to click a link and send the post to a friend. This tactic brings me lots of readers. You might try looking here for some simple
scripts that do the same http://www.javascriptkit.com/script/script2/tellafriend.shtml
http://www.stadtaus.com/en/php_scripts/tell_a_friend_script/ Republish your feed headlines The ability to republish your blog posts on
other web pages, sites you own or sites of strategic partners is a great way to expose
folks to you blog content. One more time we turn to FeedBurner for a
painless way to republish your blog post to any web page you choose with something they
call BuzzBoost

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