A blogger’s life is not as easy as it may appear. On top of all the usual tasks that absorb a writer’s time, there’s also site maintenance, web hosting, advertising, managing affiliate marketing, outreach, promotion, and social media, among numerous other tasks.
Anything that helps streamline workflows and improve productivity is welcome. And, because we spend our day flitting between browser and text editor, the browser is a great place to start.
ScribeFire is a blog editor that allows me to post from Chrome to Blogger, TypePad, and, most importantly, to WordPress. The interface is not as elegant as my preferred writing environment, which alternates between Byword and Ulysses 3, but once I’ve written my posts, ScribeFire allows me to format and publish them and their associated images without hassle. Even better, it has Markdown support.
Evernote is my everything bucket: ideas for articles, research, images, and snippets of text live in Evernote. The Evernote Web Clipper is the best way to take content from the web and store it for later reference. It can highlight and annotate web pages, strip out the cruft to leave just the text, and take screenshots. Along with my text editor and browser, Evernote is the third leg of my writing stool.
Screen Capture by Google
A solid screen capture tool is essential for any digital content writer. Evernote and Skitch are great, but Skitch has some limitations. This gem from Google is perfect for snapping web content. It can capture the visible region of a tab, any part of that tab, and — something that Skitch can’t manage — the whole page. Highlighting and annotation are supported, but I usually import images taken with Screen Capture into Skitch.
Once I’ve written and published an article, it’s time to set about letting the world know. Because I’m something of a night owl, and 3am isn’t the most opportune moment to send out Tweets, I use Bufferto schedule Tweets and Facebook posts for a time when someone is likely to see them.
Blogging isn’t always about following your muse; we have to put food in our bellies as well, which means making some money. For most, that involves advertising, which almost certainly means Google AdWords. The Google Publisher Toolbar allows bloggers to keep an eye on the advertising that appears next to their content, with helpful information like a direct link to the landing page, performance metrics including clicks and estimated revenue, and the name of the buyer. It will also allow you to block unwanted ad content.
There’s no substitute for careful proofreading, but something will slip by even if I go through text with a fine-tooth comb. Grammarly is a line of last defense that helps me pick up on mistakes before I hit publish, rather than two seconds after. These are my six favorites, but the bloggers out there no doubt have suggestions of their own, which they should feel free to share in the comments below.
About Rachel Gillevet – Rachel is the technical writer for WiredTree, a leader in fully managed dedicated and vps hosting. Follow Rachel and WiredTree on Twitter, @wiredtree, Like them on Facebook and check out more of their articles on their web hosting blog, http://www.wiredtree.com/blog.