Click beneath for the video version of this blog entry:
Click beneath for the audio presentation of this entry:
We get frequent questions at the blog from colleagues and contacts. We often trade information about the different tools we use to create the blog. Here we will list some of the useful tools we have found online and will distill our experience in reading about how to create a blog with a certain look and feel. Yes, we are not marketing experts by any means; however, this list of tools (which we routinely use) is taken from many excellent blog writers across the internet. Please learn from our years of reading! (Yes, David used his profiles as examples–why not!)
This tool is useful for creating graphics focused around quotations. We use this one routinely so as to generate some of the titles for our blogs. Color and font can easily be varied. This looks great on a Mac or Windows PC.
Placeit is a relatively new tool to us. This lets you take any picture file and place it in a natural setting on a PC, iPhone, iPad or similar device. These look very nice and are available for download. They have a premium model where the picture is watermarked unless you pay for a subscription. They have different licence levels based on expected traffic for your blog or website.
Natural readers is the program we utilize to generate audio content. Natural readers is an excellent tool to vary the type of content on your blog. After we have an entry created we use natural voice so as to generate the red version of the entry. We then embed this in our blog by taking the MP3 file we generate and placing it in to our entry. Varied content in terms of media is felt to be more attractive to views by most bloggers.
Twitter is an excellent tool to help drive traffic to your blog. You can create a teaser or tweet that lets people know about your new entry and drives traffic. You probably already know, if you are a fan of twitter, about URL shorteners. URL shorteners such the one available from google or tinyurl.com take long website names and shorten them so that these can be input into Twitter and similar social media outlets. These shorter URL’s take up less characters and often these links are permanently directed as redirects to your content. This allows you to type a longer message with a shorter URL so that you have more characters to do what you want in Twitter.
Slideshare is an excellent content outlet. You can create a powerpoint or MP4 movie and upload this. This allows you to direct traffic, again, to your blog. Slideshare has many viewers.
Storify is a very useful service that allows you to incorporate tweets and other links into the body of your entry. This allows you to type an entry and craft content with social media. It is very useful for quick blog entries on hot topics. Storify allows you to embed content onto your website.
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for blogging etc. It is easy to embed different media into your blog entry. We advise you to purchase a standalone domain name from godaddy.com. Our blog name is unusually long; a shorter one would probably be more useful. However, your blog title should make it clear what your blog is about. We recommend uploading WordPress directly to your new domain with godaddy or similar platform. Ours is done with godaddy and it was very straightforward for even a non-programmer to upload WordPress to get started.
Linkedin is another tool we use to drive traffic to the blog. As a new feature on Linkedin, you can upload the title and content of your blog as a link on your profile. New entries will appear as part of your showcase and will direct people to your blog. When you log into LinkedIn, check David’s profile and you’ll see the blog entries.
We hope you find these 8 tools useful for your blogging experience. Remember, blogging is sort of a labor of love–it takes time to increase traffic and get the certain look and feel you want for your blog. In a future entry we will describe some of our experience for how to drive traffic to your blog. Please notice that varied content and multiple outlets are useful to bring people to your site. Additionally, allow us to recommend utilizing photos and eye catching content. Remember, on Twitter and other outlets, content with photos and other media are viewed and clicked much more frequently than the content that is text only. Again, we hope you find these tools and tips useful to achieve the look and exposure you would like for your content. If you have any questions, suggestions, or other tips that you think would be helpful to writers who maintain a blog, let us know. We are always glad to hear!