Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger.net asked people to list what are your top 5 blogging tools? I thought I would give a detailed response here.
- Blogging Platform: Blogger
Unlike the majority of the commentors on Darren’s blog I prefer Blogger as my blogging platform. The main reason I prefer Blogger is becuase it is easy. I spend the majority of my days updating, fixing and coding other websites and when I get to blogging I just want to write something. Blogger is easy to use, I can access it anywhere with an internet connection, and I don’t have to worry about upgrading software to keep the bad guys out. There might be features in Wordpress that would be nice to have in Blogger but I can live without them. I prefer to publish using FTP though, so no blogspot address.
- Desktop Publishers: Firefox
I don’t use a desktop blog publisher. I find more and more of my applications are moving away from the desktop to online applications. Firefox is my browser of choice. I also have several add ons installed that I find useful for blogging, mainly a dictionary to help me with my spelling.
- Metrics Package: Google Analytics
Google Analytics has become my favorite analytics program lately. Mainly because of the wealth of information that I can get from it and the fact that it is tied in with Adwords. The one thing I dislike about Google Analytics is that it does not update fast enough so occasionally I install Sitemeter free version, just to so I can see what is happening sooner.
- Promotional Tools: Feedburner, MyBlogLog, StumbleUpon
Feedburner is great. They take care of offering up my RSS feeds to the services or formats people want, they ping all the services I need to help get the word out that my blogs are updated, I get an email subscription service that I don’t have to worry about and I get some stats about readers and what they click. It is a great service, you just can’t ask for more for free.
I think it is fun. It is fun to have see who is reading your blog and having a chance to learn a little about them.
I have talked about StumbleUpon in the past and I think it is a fun social bookmarking tool that has great potential. I use it all the time to surf and I make sure it is easy for my readers to Stumble my blog.
- Content Sourcing Services: Other People Blogs, Surfing and Experience
I read other blogs daily. I subscribe to roughly 10 RSS feeds and check the live bookmarks once or twice a day. After all reading what others are saying can help to inspire and bring out my own ideas.
I mentioned I like to use StumbleUpon. It has been a great way to find new and interesting websites and get new ideas to talk about. I would never have found some of the sites without it.
You learn a lot by doing, making mistakes and growing. Those things can give you a lot to talk about.
- Design Tools: Photoshop
I like Photoshop. I bought it quite a few years ago and I like it. I even got it to work well on Ubuntu.
It is interesting to me how a blogging toolkit so closely resembles the tools that are needed for general website development. For a general website for a business I might substitute a more general content management system such as Drupal or Joomla. These software solutions have made internet publishing relatively easy and accessible for individuals, businesses and organizations of all sizes.