The 10 Most Important Blogging Tools

So, you’ve finally decided to start a blog.

You’ve heard about the marketing and search benefits, so you took the plunge and signed up for a blog software package like TypePad, MovableType, or WordPress, and now you’re a blogger.

So, what’s next? You’ll be well on your way to creating and promoting a blog that’s a powerful marketing tool if you use the ten essential blogging tools listed below. I’ll go over how to use the tool and make some recommendations, including some of the tools I use on my own blogs, such as the DuctTapeMarketing blog.

Reader of feeds

Reading, or at least scanning, a large number of blogs is the best way to learn about blogs and blogging. One of the many benefits of blogs is that you can have every new post from any blog you want delivered to your desktop or an online location via RSS, allowing you to quickly read and scan the posts of many blogs. Newsgator is a good online option for reading feeds, and it also has an Outlook version. I use Bloglines, which is a free online service.

Subscriber service centre

You should make it simple for visitors to subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed so that they can read it in their favourite feed reader. The best way to do this is to go to FeedBurner and create your own RSS feed there, then use the tools they provide to create automatic subscriber links so that people using Bloglines, Google Reader, MyYahoo, or Pluck, for example, can subscribe with a single click. Without the buttons, techies can figure it out, but why not make it simple for everyone?

Side note: if you subscribe to each of these yourself, you’ll be able to force some blog spiders to visit your site.

Option to subscribe by email

Many people will never receive the entire feed, but everyone receives email. Create a way for people to subscribe to your blog by simply providing their email address; they will receive your blog posts as an email message. This service is provided for free by FeedBurner. FeedBlitz is another option, or they may offer this service if you already have an autoresponder email list service. This is something AWeber can do for me, and it helps me integrate my blog email subscribers into my other mailing lists.

RSS and blog directories

There are hundreds of blog and RSS directories to choose from, and getting listed in as many as possible can be beneficial. I use RSS Submit software, but you can also visit Robin Goode’s frequently updated list and manually submit your blog and feed.

Subscribe to the RSS feed he provides to receive notifications when new directories are added.

Service of ping

Pinging is the process of notifying various blog and RSS directories that you have published new content. Again, FeedBurner has an automatic feature called PingShot that you should enable. Other options include PingGoat and Ping O Matic, but they require you to visit and update your record every time you add new content.

Manager of bookmarks

You may come across sites that you want to recommend to your readers as you surf the web or hop from blog to blog. Online bookmark managers let you save and categorise web and blog pages as you collect them, and they’re a great way to keep track of everything you find on the internet. I use, but BlinkList is also a good option.

Blog statistics

I like to keep track of a few key stats in real time because it allows me to see what other blogs are linking to you or writing about your blog. Many people enjoy tracking this kind of thing for entertainment and frequent sites like Technorati. I like to keep track of it to see if there are any networking opportunities. MyBlogLog is a tool I use because it not only shows me where traffic is coming from, but it also tracks which links on my blog visitors are clicking on. It’s incredible how useful this information can be in improving your writing skills. (MyBlogLog also ranks your links so that visitors can see which ones are the most popular on your site.)

Posting from a computer

Most blog software requires you to go online and use a set of tools provided by the blog software to post. Many bloggers prefer to create and submit their posts using a desktop application because it provides them with additional tools and allows them to more easily integrate content and files on their computer.

I use w.blogger, but I also like Performancing, Qumana, and Ecto (for those who use Apple) (w.blogger also doubles as a really simple HTML editor.)

Script for telling a friend

My blog software (pMachine) has a feature that allows readers to send a post to a friend by clicking a link. This strategy has resulted in a large number of readers for me. You could look here for some simple scripts that do the same thing.

Republish the headlines from your RSS feeds.

Republishing your blog posts on other web pages, your own sites, or the sites of strategic partners is a great way to get more people to read your blog. We’re turning to FeedBurner once more for a painless way to republish your blog post to any web page you want with their BuzzBoost feature.

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