Blogging has become a byword for amateur internet posts. That’s partly thanks to the legacy of the enterprise. But to say that blogging is purely for amateurs is now no longer true. It’s become something of a profession in its own right. And that means that bloggers need to have the right tools at their disposal to do the best work they can. After all, the competition for views is fierce.
The following are essential tools that all bloggers should be using.
Blogging is labour-intensive work. You have to come up with great ideas, do lots of research, and then write. And that means that bloggers can often lose track of how they are spending their time.
But now a company has come up with a potential solution. My Hours is a tool that allows you to track how long you spend doing various tasks. It’s a great tool for working out where you could save time and improve your productivity. If you spend a lot of the day responding to comments, the app will tell you. Then you get to decide whether your time would be better spent either writing, researching or just lazing about.
Now that the cloud is everywhere, bloggers have the opportunity to back up their work. While there are other platforms out there, Dropbox is probably the most used. Dropbox allows you to store all your blogs off your PC and off your website. And it also allows you to collaborate with other bloggers, should the need arise.
Of all the blogging platforms out there, WordPress is by far the most popular. And, given how easy it is to use, it’s not hard to see why.
If you’re new to blogging, it’s best to stick to the same platform. Otherwise, you risk losing subscribers. By many accounts, WordPress is the best platform because it’s the most versatile. Although it is by no means hard to use, you’ll have to invest a little bit of time learning all about what the platform can do.
You’ll also want to make sure that your WordPress is secure. Services like 37SOLUTIONS WordPress Maintenance, Security, and Monitoring, keep your account updated. Frequent updating means that you’re better protected against threats from viruses or attackers.
Nothing looks worse than a blogger leaving comments with a generic avatar. It makes the whole blog post look unprofessional and ad hoc. But there’s no reason why this needs to happen. Gravatar is a service that allows you to upload a picture of yourself. Once you’ve done that, a non-generic avatar will appear each time you make a blog post. Simple.
After you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll rack up quite a few subscribers. You’ll be amazed at just how many people demand content, no matter how obscure your subject. There may come a time when you’ll want to contact all your subscribers. The hard way to do this is to cut and paste their addresses into your email composer. The easy way to do this is to use MailChimp. Right now, MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. And it’ll tell you whether people opened your mail or not at the other end.