Following up from my last post about tasks to complete before and after publishing a blog post, Post Writing a Blog Post Post, as promised I am going to talk about my favorite tools that you can use to automate or speed up this process:
Spelling and Grammar
To automatically check your spelling and grammar “After the Deadline” is available as a stand alone plugin for WordPress or as an add-on to the Tiny MCE plugin, as an add on for Firefox and Chrome and as an OpenOffice.org extension.
Keywords and SEO
A WordPress SEO plugin is a must have to ensure you have the optimal information and keywords to help your post be listed and found. I use either WordPress SEO or All in One SEO.
I write and preview my posts in Firefox but to make sure that nothing is breaking the layout in the, not yet totally compliant, Internet Explorer I use the View in IE Firefox addin. This adds a “View in IE” item to the right click menu; click on this on any webpage and IE opens with the weppage loaded.
Sharing/Bookmarking a Blog Post
There are many tools available for sharing your post on bookmarking and social networking sites; some are browser toolbar buttons, some full toolbars. Use of a button or toolbar is a matter of personal preference although too many toolbars can slow your browser down and reduce your viewing area although Buttonizer for Firefox hides/displays your toolbars easily. I like the functionality of toolbars but only add a few and use different profiles with different toolbars for different internet uses (personal and business).
Don’t forget to make full use of tags where they are available to further enhance your keyword optimization.
- OnlyWire If you take the time to join up and add the supported bookmark and social networking sites this tool automatically sends your posts to all your services. A great time saver. The disadvantage is that if you are a free member you have to add the OnlyWire share button to the bottom of your posts. but you may have other share buttons that you prefer to use. OnlyWire works with most blog platforms by using a script and there is a plugin that adds it for you in WordPress.
- If you use WordPress and don’t want to use OnlyWire you can add a different share this type button that shows on each of your posts. You can make full use of this yourself and submit your own post. I am trying Tweet, Like, Google +1 and Share as well as OnlyWire on this blog right now. Shareaholic and Add This for Firefox are other tools that allow you to submit your post to a wide range of sites at the click of a button. For links to these and to more resources for Firefox only please visit my Firefox Collection Sueblimely Social Networking Tools. This includes bookmarklets, toolbars and utilities for Stumbleupon, Digg, Facebook, Twitter and more. Please bear in mind that certain sites such as Stumbleupon do not approve of you submitting too much of your own content.
- I use the bit.ly url shortener service and their toolbar bookmarklet to share posts on Facebook and Twitter. Creating a free account allows you to add your FB and Twitter accounts. Clicking on the bookmarklet when on your post page will open bit.ly with your post title and the short link already entered in a box that you can add to or edit.. Click on publish and your message will be published to your choice of the FB and Twitter accounts you have set up.
- Delicious bookmarklets for all browsers and a toolbar. There are also various Firefox add-ins that have functions such as showing your bookmarks in the sidebar.
- Diigo tools – bookmarklets and toolbar available for FF, IE Chrome
- The Rockmelt browser had many social networking tools already built in to it. I use the browser although, because of the inbuilt updates from my friends, it can be a distraction if I am working.
Visit your blogging friends and contacts and leave a comment. This is one of the most pleasant sides of blogging. You get to know other bloggers, read content that interests you and, signing in to comment, automatically adds a backlink to your site. To speed up this process you can add a browser bookmarks folder or RSS reader folder that includes these blogs. Blogs that have a higher ranking are the most useful to comment on (such as this one with a rank of 3 – it was 4 until the latest Google update). I will do this for SEO purposes but most often comment on a blog because of its content and author. I enjoy giving encouragement by commenting on brand new blogs too.