10 Essential Blogging Tools

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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 DuctTapeMarketing 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 that 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.