Most of us who blog regularly use some kind of an external service to make the process of blogging easier. I will share seven of my favorite blogging tools in this post-
1. Windows Live Writer: I’m not such a big Microsoft “hater” afer all. The two Microsoft products that I absolutely love are Windows Live Writer and Microsoft Office 2007. WLW is a simple desktop application that can be used for writing your posts and pages offline. It’s very helpful for people who don’t have 24/7 Internet connection. You can add more than one WordPress account to it. There are also additional plug ins that can be downloaded.
The software is still in Beta mode, but is extremely stable. I think the final release will be announced very soon. Please read the WLW team blog for more information.
2. Social Bookmarking- Many people use different social book marking sites such as digg, technorati, delicious, furl, stumbleupon etc. to increase their blog traffic. Recently, even I started using them to provide users with a way to bookmark my blog. I have received a lot of traffic from Digg, Technorati and Stumbleupon. I have received many e-mails asking me for help regarding this matter. So, those of you who want to use social bookmarks in their blogs, can refer to this post of mine.
3. Flickr– Great way to add pictures to your blog in case you have run out of your storage space at WordPress. Flickr is integrated with your Yahoo account, which most of us use. So, you don’t even need to create another account. I use Flickr for almost all of my imaging needs. In addition to uploading your own pictures, Flickr also has an amazing community of very talented photographers who take the time to comment on your pictures. Even though I don’t upload any personal pictures on Flickr, I know many people who do so and are addicted to it. You can also use the Flickr widget on WordPress to display your pictures in the sidebar.
4. Del.icio.us– Online bookmarking at its best. Whenever you come across an interesting post or site, just bookmark it using Del.icio.us or some other bookmarking site. I prefer online bookmarking because it lets me retrieve my favorite pages from any computer. Del.icio.us also has a bookmarklet for Firefox users. Various bookmarks can be arranged with tags and shared on WordPress using a widget.
5. Google Reader– Absolutely essential to read updates on the blogs that you follow. This one has become my favorite because it has a lovely interface and has a minimalist look to it. Earlier, I was a big fan of Bloglines. What I really like about Google Reader is that you can share some items with your readers on WordPress. Besides, you can “star” items if you would like to do a follow up. You can also integrate the Google Reader in your GMail Inbox, according to the steps illustrated in this post. Read the Google Reader Team’s Blog for more information.
6. co.mments– Great way to track your comments not only on WordPress but also on other sites and blogs. All that you’ve got to do is add a bookmarklet to your favorite browser and click on it either before/after you comment. I don’t if you people have faced this problem, but recently, I’ve noticed that the “My Comments” section of WordPress has become quite slow. Also, it doesn’t store all the comments that you made on different blogs. If you use co.mments, then all your comments will remain on the tracking page, unless you choose to remove them. Besides, you can also share your comments on other sites and blogs with your readers, like I do.
7. WordPress Ninja Comment- Isn’t it annoying to individually go to each post, and then click on comment and reply to everyone? If you have a large number of posts and an ever larger number of readers responding to them, then I’m sure you know how time-consuming it is. WordPress Ninja Script is your solution to this problem. Refer to the above link to read more about it.
So, what are you favorite blogging tools? 🙂