Blogging has really gotten popular in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago that people associated blogs or “web logs” with super smart internet geeks blogging about topics that average brain did not care about. Nowadays though there are blogs on every topic from tech to cooking to politics and everything in-between. So you are thinking about starting a Blog? Or maybe you are already a blogger? As a longtime blogger myself I thought I’d share a few useful tools I have used over the years. Take a look at them below and feel free to share others via a comment below.
A pictures says a thousand words and no blog post should be complete without one. Picnic is free with paid upgrades an option if necessary and can be your Swiss Army Knife for quick photo editing and does everything from colour correction to borders to captions.
2. HTML Editor
A basic understanding on HTML can be very useful to any blogger whether you are creating a theme for your blog from scratch or need to do slight alterations to you header or footer. There are many online HTML Editors available, one of the ones I use from time to time can be found at http://htmleditor.in/
3. Google Docs
Google’s ever improving web-based document suite offering word processing, spreadsheets and much more. Accessable from anywhere you have an internet connection or access to a mobile device. The collaborative features make it an extra winner and your files live in the cloud.
There has been a lot of talk lately about data moving moving to the clouds but Dropbox is the leader in the web based file storage arena and for good reason. No self respecting blogger or indeed computer user should be without a Dropbox.
Photographs, pictures or images – whatever your preferred word it is certain that they can enhave drab blog posts. Flickr is a good spot to store images for linking from and archiving. It has free and paid options and is the perfect repository for images that would eat up limited web server space, plus picnic integration is the cherry on top.
6. Google Analytics
No blog is complete without proper stats tracking. How will you know how your blog, individual posts and pages are performing. Built in stats services for self hosted blogs are very unreliable. Google Analytics though it has it’s critics is easy to install, reliable and most importantly free.
With Twitter following and Facebook pages being the new rage many argue that the RSS feeds will soon be extinct. I dissagree. Feedburner powers up you blog’s RSS feed by allowing you to track your number of subscribers, get email subscribers, troubleshoot feed problems and so much more.
8. Poll Daddy
Polls are usually an overlooked or underused tool for encouraging reader engagement. Poll Daddy is an easy to use service that allows bloggers and other website owners to create polls to gather feedback on topics.
URL shortening websites are a dime a dozen these days. I have fiddled with most of them and in my opnion Bit.ly is the best of the lot when it comes to shortening, sharing and tracking your links. Bit.ly Pro also allows website owners to generate their own custom shortened links.
Every blogger should have a Paypal account. Paypal is the leading electronic payment and money transfer service on the internet and creating a basic account costs you nothing. As a blogger it’s only a matter of time before you’ll need to send out or accept payments whether it is related to advertising or goods and services.
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