Monday, September 28, 2009

Favorite Blogging Tools

By Rachel

If you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a blog geek. And with that comes a love for all tools blog related. So here are a list of my favorite, most useful tools that I use to enhance my blogging. I hope it helps, and I would LOVE to know what tools you like to use best!

Statcounter - I have tried MANY stats tools, and this one is by far my favorite.

Pros: You can see each visitor as they log onto your site, where they go, what they do. You can label them if you know who they are so that you know who they are when they come back. There are also many different ways to look at the data to help you find what you're looking for.

Cons: It only saves the details of your last 500 hits.

Google Reader - I'm sure that most of you use this, but if you're a blogger and you don't, then you're missing out on a huge time saver and awesome tool. It allows you to "subscribe" to blogs, and shows all of the blog posts of your subscriptions that you haven't read yet.

Pros: AWESOME way to make sure that you don't miss any blog posts from your favorite blogs.

Cons: You can't comment from Google Reader - you need to click through to the blog. I'm pretty sure that this is true of any blog subscription service - tell me if you know of one that it's not true for.

Twitter - I use twitter mainly for my blogging relationships. It is a great way to add another dimension to interaction between other bloggers. It can be very overwhelming, and it takes a while to really get the hang of it, but when it clicks, your life will change.

Twitter Tip: DEFINITELY use a third party application to run it. Twitter is unbelievably more valuable that way - looking at Twitter from the Twitter website is SO confusing. I personally use TweetDeck.

Windows Live Writer - I've just started using this tool in the past few months to compose my blog posts. It is great if you're using Blogger for a platform and put a lot of pictures in your posts, because it gives you more diverse options for picture arranging, text options, etc. It uploads photos MUCH faster than Blogger. It also imports in your blog background and dimensions so that when you are in compose mode, you are seeing exactly what the post will look like when published.

Google Analytics - My second favorite stats website. This is a great site for seeing a high level view of your blog stats. It's also a great place to see all of the crazy things that people are googling that land them on your blog.

Compete.com - If you would like to see how you stack up against other bloggers, this is a great tool to do so.

Con: It only works for people with first tier, or private domains. i.e. - you could search for alabamabloggers.com, but if my domain were alabamabloggers.blogspot.com, the data wouldn't be available.

Feedburner - Ever wonder how many people subscribe to your blog? This tool lets you see that, and lets you put it on your site, if you so desire. It's a little technical to get it started, but once you do, it's quite addictive to watch.

What are your favorite blogging tools?

4 comments:

Beth said...

GREAT tips!!

Bethany said...

This is some good information. If I actually considered myself a blogger (and was a good writer with lots of traffic) I'd probably be more involved in these products. If I ever get to that point it will be good to have this post as a reference.

Bethany said...

Rachel...are you aware of a program similar to this that would work on my Mac?

Bethany said...

Oops...guess I should have mentioned the Windows Live Writer is what I'm trying to find (or something similar) for my computer.

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