|Four Fun (and FREE!) Tools for Bloggers!|
Zemanta is, in a word, awesome. Check out some of your favorite blogs: chances are, at the end of the post (or even sometimes within the post) the author has linked to a few related posts or articles from around the web. If you’ve ever wondered how a blogger has the time to find all those posts, here’s a short answer: Zemanta. (I’m not saying that all bloggers with related content links have used Zemanta; it is, however, a great tool if you don’t have time to go and research related content for everything you write!) Zemanta is a tool that reads your blog post as you write it and suggests related content from around the web in real time. You can add related content with thumbnails to the end of your posts to share great resources with your readers and engage with other writers! The one annoying thing is that it does update in real time … which means you kind of have to pay attention as suggestions appear! (And if you’re copying and pasting an entry, things can get a little hectic, so be warned.)
If you’re not a fan of the HootSuite interface, which can sometimes be a little less than user friendly, you may want to check out the Buffer app. With browser plugins and apps for Apple and Android, this tools is another fun way to engage with your blog audience. This tool, however, is more on the social side. With Buffer, you can schedule tweets, Facebook posts, and more to go out on your schedule. One great thing that differs between HootSuite and Buffer is that with Buffer you can set your posts for any time: no more limits to 5 or 10 minute increments! If you want to send a tweet at 2:30 pm, you can. If you want to schedule a Facebook post for 5:27 am … you can do that, too. Check it out, and get social on your schedule!
If This Then That
If This Then That is a tool that lets you create “personal recipes” based on the familiar “If … Then” formula. A sample “recipe” would be “If I load a picture on Instagram, then upload it to Dropbox” to create an instant backup of your Instagram photos. This tends to be more of a social tool (for example, you can set up a formula to text you when you’re mentioned in a tweet or Facebook post), but can also be used as a great tool for finding blog content: i.e. “If an article mentions ‘poetry’ then send me an email.” This is one I’m still testing and figuring out, but it looks like a powerful resource to anyone who wants to take the time to figure it out (it’s not complicated, it just takes some playing with).
Zoh-em-goodness, I love this tool. PicMonkey is a “freemium” online service that allows you to create awesome graphics for your blog. With free clip art, and great photo editing tools, you can create awesome images to go along with blog posts. If you’re looking for a bit more content, try Fotor (www.fotor.com), which offers the same service but with even more clip art and overlays.
Your Turn: What tools do you use while you’re blogging? Special search engines? Link generators? Graphic locators? Share your best resources in the comments below to help us generate a pool of great tools to use and share!
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What? No Resources?!
- Here's your chance to practice some effective blogger habits!
- Share some of YOUR favorite resources!
- What websites do you use to help generate content?
- Where do you go to find your images?
- Share below and help others find great tools by being the resource!