Five essential tools make blogging fun and easy

Time is short and there’s lots of inter­est­ing things to blog about these days, so why make it harder on your­self than you have to? I’m all about tak­ing the easy way, but unfor­tu­nately as I’ve been learn­ing, TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch), and to learn the easy things, I’ve had to work through the hard ones. What I’m about to dis­cuss are the essen­tial.

Fear not, gentle read­er, in this missive, I’ll skip the hard and reveal only the easy…at least, they were easy for me. Your mileage may vary.

5) Word­Press
At min­im­um, your bloghost should offer you this most-excel­lent blog­ging plat­form. It’s the most pop­u­lar for all the right reas­ons; easy, flex­ible, robust, sup­por­ted, and has a huge developer base. It’s also free.

4) Fire­fox
Every good blog deserves to be viewed through a good browser. Fire­fox wins my vote for the same reas­ons that Word­Press does; easy, flex­ible, robust, sup­por­ted, and has a huge developer base. It’s also free.

Word­Press and Fire­fox both sup­port plu­gins — 3rd party addi­tions that extend the func­tion­al­ity of the software…which is import­ant because that’s where I’m going next.

3) Scri­be­Fire
A plu­gin for Fire­fox, Scri­be­Fire grew out of the Per­form­an­cing blog-writ­ing tool. Quite simply, Scri­be­Fire allows you to edit your blog while you’re surf­ing, drag­ging and drop­ping items dir­ectly from your source webpages, news­feeds or whatever. It con­nects dir­ectly to most pop­u­lar blog­ging soft­ware and seam­lessly posts your post.

2) Word­Press plu­gins
There’s too many to cov­er them all but I’ll briefly list the ones that make blog admin­is­tra­tion simple:

  • Akismet and Spam Karma 2 — both com­ment spam man­age­ment tools. Essen­tial unless you have a lot of time to delete com­ments that have noth­ing to do with your writ­ing, and everything to do with Via­gra.
  • Word­Press Data­base Backup — essen­tial, should your bloghost have issues. It’s saved my butt occa­sion­ally 🙂
  • Word­Press Mobile Edi­tion — Con­verts your blog to be read by road­war­ri­ors with PDA and cell­phone browsers

Finally, the Big Kahuna. The one essen­tial thing that really makes blog­ging fun and easy.

1) Google Any­thing
Yep, pretty much any­thing by Google can be con­sidered essen­tial for fun and easy blog­ging.

  • Google Read­er is the essen­tial feed-read­ing and man­age­ment tool.
  • Google’s Gmail is fast, simple, and with almost 3GB of space, huge.
  • Google Ana­lyt­ics — ah yes, this is the one tool that really brings it all togeth­er. How do you know if your audi­ence is engaged, what they’re read­ing and when they’re vis­it­ing? Google Ana­lyt­ics meas­ures that, and presents it in simple, friendly reports that have an aston­ish­ing amount of detail.
  • Google News — stay on top of the news with live rss alerts.

And there you have it. My five essen­tial tools (ok, more actu­ally) that really make blog­ging a fun activ­ity. Ima­gine what blog­ging would be like if we did­n’t have these gems.

Got a few of your own? Add to the con­ver­sa­tion by post­ing them in the com­ments!

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Published by Brad Grier geek.hack