The 10 Must-Have Tools For Blogger ToolboxGuest_Blogger | Feb 17, 2012
Whether or not you're a first-time blogger or a seasoned writer, there are always new tools that you can add to your content toolkit. The right blogging tools can make your life easier, and to help you better spread your message far and wide across the blogosphere, demonstrating your expertise and increasing your audience.
Here's my list of 10 tools that every blogger should consider using every single day:
1. Google Keywords Tool
If you're looking for ideas for blog posts or for keywords related to products or services you want to promote, then the keyword tool that comes with a Google Adwords account is perfectly suited to this. The Google Keywords tool will help you determine which keywords are likely to be popular, and which are likely to bring search traffic -- especially for certain products and services.
Even better is the fact that the Google keyword data tends to be a lot more accurate for new products, services or events than others. If you are just starting out, you can get some good ideas with the help of this tool, and if you are more seasoned, you can tweak your offerings with help from the suggestions. The Google Keywords tool interface is extremely easy-to-use, making it intuitive as you figure out which keywords to focus on.
Having your content bookmarked on a wide variety of social bookmarking sites is an important step in getting your voice heard online. Indeed, social bookmarking is one of the best ways to get links back to your site, as well as reach out to new readers and customers. OnlyWire provides you with an automated way of sharing your content across multiple web 2.0 sites.
OnlyWire is a paid service that helps you submit to major social sites like Facebook, Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, and Delicious, as well as to smaller sites. You simply write the content once and let OnlyWire know about it and the rest is taken care of for you. It cuts down on the amount of time you have to spend submitting to social media sites, while still allowing you to increase your reach.
One vastly overlooked aspect of blogging is making the most of your RSS feed. Your RSS feed brings your latest content to your readers, catching their attention. The FeedBurner service allows you to maximize the delivery of your RSS feed to your subscribers.
In addition sending your content directly to readers, FeedBurner will also help you post to multiple social networking sites. You can keep track of subscribers, and manage what information goes out. FeedBurner is a "must have" tool for any blogger on any blogging platform.
The URLs for some blog posts are just far, far too long for some services like Twitter (140 character maximum), or for copying and pasting into emails you're sending to subscribers. Bit.ly allows you to take any long URL and shorten it right down to just a few characters.
A URL shortener can help you share your posts easily, and conveniently. It's easier for your followers to share as well, increasing your ability to share your content quickly. Bit.ly also lets you see how often your URL was clicked so you can track the responses your messages are getting. Use Bit.ly to help you better gauge effectiveness, and tweak the way you share your content.
If you have an extensive ping list set up on your blog, then you might not need this service. However, no matter your blog, it's worth checking into PingoMatic, which works by letting multiple sites know about your content quickly, as you publish it. The reason for this is to encourage search engine indexing.
A service like PingoMatic will have blog search engines crawling all over your blog, checking out the new content in no time. You do need to be careful when using PingoMatic though; only submit URLs to this service once every few hours, since abuse of it will result in your blog being blacklisted.
6. Google Analytics
Regardless of whatever type of blogging you're doing, you need to be tracking your use activity. The simplest way to track your traffic is with the free Google Analytics tool. Google Analytics will tell you how many visitors you have, and what times they are visiting. You can track the traffic to different posts, as well as get an idea of how people are finding your site (referrals, searches, and more).
One of the best features of Google Analytics the ability to check your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is what percentage of your visitors are leaving your site and within what timeframe. This is valuable information because it allows you to see how long people are staying on your site. If you have a high bounce rate, you can make adjustments to make your site more interesting so that visitors will remain longer. Use Google Analytics to get a picture of your traffic, and then tweak your content to attract more quality visitors.
This is a Windows-based application that allows you to create and format your blog posts in a very user-friendly interface. If you have Windows, this application can help you create blog posts that are compatible with a number of platforms.
You can create your Wordpress, Blogger, TypePad, Movable Type, Drupal (and more) content offline using Blogjet and then just publish it when you're ready. This is extremely helpful in circumstances when you don't have Internet access. Additionally, you can create the blog posts without worrying about what happens if the platform goes down in the middle of a post. Formatting and everything else transfers easily, so you don't have to worry about reformatting once you get back online.
8. Google Alerts
Once again, Google offers the blogger a valuable tool. Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to select a set of keywords related to your niche and create a Google alert that emails you with this information in real-time, once a day or once a week.
For the blogger looking for the latest information, Google Alerts is quite valuable. You're getting a fresh stream of ideas for your niche, and you are keeping up with the latest industry news. Google Alerts is also helpful because it serves to provide you with a list of other blogs that you can leave comments on for some search engine link juice.
Finally, you can use Google Alerts to keep tabs on when someone writes about you. Put an alert on your blog, and when you are mentioned, you will receive an alert. It's a great way for bloggers to keep up with publicity.
Just because you're a blogger doesn't mean that you shouldn't be building a mailing list from day one. In fact, you should be building a mailing list to keep in touch with your readers. There are numerous autoresponder services out there but Aweber comes out on top of the heap.
Aweber is superior because it integrates its service with numerous blogging platforms. Your visitors can sign up to receive regular newsletters, and Aweber will handle all of it, from sending out recaps of your best posts of the week, to allowing you to quickly share premium content with your mailing list.
You spent a long time creating that content, or a lot of money paying for it to be written by others, like a contractor on Elance specializing in blog content. Either way you don't way anyone using your content without your permission. One way to discourage scrapers is with the help of Copyscape.
Copyscape keeps up with your content, and helps you track down content thieves. You can then ask that duplicate content be taken down, and prevent others from using what is yours.
As you look to expand your online empire, these top 10 blogging tools can help you improve your efficiency and reach. Once you figure out which tools are likely to present you with the best results, adopt them and use them in your blogging efforts. You'll have better success, and reach more readers.
About The Author
Lior Levin is a marketing consultant for Producteev, a to do list application for businesses and individuals, and who also consults for a company that offers psd-html conversion.