This is an exciting time to be a blogger because of all the exciting things happening in our world. For many bloggers (myself included) it can be difficult to continual publish high-quality content. It’s important to have a number of free web tools at your disposal to be create and promote great content. I have found 6 tools that help me publish and promote my blog. My hope is that you can use these tools to your advantage. Comment below if you know of tools to add to this list.
The Snipping Tool is my all-time favorite blogging tool. If you use a PC with Microsoft software, then its technically not a web tool. It can be found under “Accessories” in the Program window. Snipping Tool allows you to take a screen shot of anything appearing on your screen. Snip a whole window, a rectangular section of the screen, or cut a freehand outline with your mouse. I find this extremely helpful to create images to share on my blog. If you write post about videos or TV ads, by pausing the video and using Snipping Tool, you can cut an image directly the part of the video you want to talk about.
QR Code Generator
QR Codes are a great way to promote your blog to mobile users. By using the QR Code Generator you can make a custom barcode that can be scanned with any smartphone. These QR Codes can contain a URL, contact information, a calendar event, and much more. You can great code for each blog post you publish so that your readers can access your content from anywhere. There are many QR Code generators out there. The one I linked to is free, does not require a username, and is easy to use. The QR Code on the right links to this blog’s home page.
Dropbox was made for people to be able to access file anywhere via cloud computing. I have found that Dropbox has terrific applications for bloggers. Say you wanted to share an Excel spreadsheet with your readers. By uploading the document to Dropbox and clicking “Get Link”, Dropbox generates a URL link to share document or folder. Anyone can click the link and access the files, even if they don’t have a Dropbox of their own. The best part is that unlike Google docs, if you upload a Microsoft file you do not lose your formatting when sharing a link. You will need to download the Dropbox software to get started, but after that it is a great blogging tool.
Photobucket is a great way to edit and share online photos. If you’re a regular blogger, you know that many of the image widgets and sidebar items at WordPress.com require image URLs. If you have a personal photo or any photo that is not shared on the web, you may need to generate a URL for that image to be able to display it on you blog. Photobucket allows you to do just that. After making an account, each photo can be shared via a custom URL. Works great.
If you promote your blog via social media, than TweetDeck is tool you need. TweetDeck is a free service that allows you to arrange multiple Twitter feeds and Facebook accounts into customizable columns. By doing you this you can cut the amount of time you spend promoting and focus on what matters. My favorite feature of TweetDeck is the scheduling. This features allows you to schedule tweets and Facebook posts in advance. This is great way to publish consistent content even when you don’t have time to sit in front of your computer. Scheduling allows you to retain reader interest between blog posts.
Google URL Shortener
Google URL Shortener takes long URLs and squeezes them into fewer characters. This is ideal for promoting you blog via tweet or email. I use Google URL shortener a lot. It’s great to use to shorten the URLs generated from Dropbox and Photobucket. In my opinion, the best feature of this tool is that Google tracks the number of clicks each link gets. This is a great way to see how responsive your readers are. Google has made this tool very simple and easy to use. I highly recommend it.
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