There are so many reasons to blog; you can express your opinion on hot topics, raise awareness for something you care about, deliver really helpful information to readers and make money all at the same time. Whatever your reason, the blogosphere has grown into quite a complex place and keeping up with the competition is a big job. Stay ahead of the game with these new, geeky tools every blogger must have:
1. W3C Link Checker: Everybody hates dead links. Especially when those links lead to something important or interesting. However, if you are a one man or one woman blog, then continually scanning all your posts and pages for dead links is not feasible. W3C Link Checker is a web-based checker for dead links that can quickly scan your entire site for broken links at regularly scheduled intervals.
2. CloudFlare: CloudFlare is a relatively new web based tool that uses some really advanced technology to protect your blog from hackers, spammers and other evil web bots. If your blog has ever been hacked, then you know how important a tool like this can be. Bloggers using platforms like WordPress and Blogger, with common passwords can easily have their account hacked – and this does happen frequently. Hackers can then delete and steal all your precious content, reposting it later elsewhere on the web, among other malicious things. CloudFlare offers enhanced security for all blogging platforms and is free! They also do a great job at minimizing those weird, annoying comments left by spam bots.
3. PunchTab: PunchTab has been around for a while now, but has only recently made its way into the mainstream blogosphere. With PunchTab, you can build a rewards program for your visitors in minutes. A rewards program typically offers to give something away for free to chosen returning readers who make the most comments, visit the most often, etc. You think up and provide the reward – PunchTab spits out the code for the interface for your readers to sign up to the rewards program. This is a great way to build a loyal readership, which is the key to every great blog.
4. Pando: One thing that more and more Internet users hate is slow load times. With everything digital getting faster, our patience has grown thinner. If you have, say a photography blog with several large flash animation files, your site may take quite a while to load. This could result in a significant number of users hitting the back button on their browser before your stuff even had a chance to load. Pando is another service that will streamline and minimize the load times of large media files.
5. Bloapp: Bloapp is a new tool that allows you to create an iPhone app for your blog in a few easy steps. Bloapp creates the app, uploads it to the App Store, and generates the QR code for you. This amazingly is a FREE service, a service that you could spend a good amount of money on hiring an iOS developer to provide.
6. Fast Blog Finder: One of the best ways to promote your content and blog is for you to comment and leave a link on other, relevant blogs. The keyword here however, is “relevant.” Searching out other niche blogs that are highly pertinent to your own blog is time consuming. Quick Google searches often return a number of related blogs, but Fast Blog Finder analyzes your site, searches out the absolute most relevant blogs and returns you the results. This is also a great way to keep an eye on the competition and see if a particular title or angle you’re working on has been done to death already by other bloggers in your niche.
7. MicroPoll: People love taking polls for some reason and polls are a great way to make your site more interactive and community oriented. However, unless you’re a fast and adept web developer, polls are not easy to build. However, MicoPoll does all the work for you in creating online polls. All you have to do is come up with the poll question, plug this data into MicroPoll’s web based CMS and the code for the poll is generated for you in seconds.
8. Watermark Tool: Bloggers tend to use a lot of images and videos in their posts. If you don’t want someone else to copy your images and claim credit for it then using an watermark on your images could be a good solution. There are a few watermarking tools out there. I like the free online watermarking tool from watermarktool.com.