Friday, September 16, 2011

Tools Every Blogger should be Using

When I started my blog, I had no idea how important some of the tools I have been using are.  My sister set up my comment form, alexa, and a page view counter.  Then when my other sister started writing a blog, I set all those things up for her.

Technorati was explained by Planet Weidknecht.  You can start by registering your site and claiming it at Technorati.  This is one of the newer ways that people are measuring the influence of a blog.  Technorati was as easier (for me) than setting up Alexa.  My Technorati authority started at one, then went up to 109, and within the past few days went up by 1.  This isn't decent, but it is a start!

Alexa is very popular to see how blogs stack up against each other and it is according to traffic. If people that are viewing your site do not have the Alexa Toolbar then their visits will not be tracked. The lower your rating, the better your site is among all registered sites.  Google is at 1.  Get started by going to Alexa and putting your website into the search bar.  On the next page you can claim you site, then you will need to register and put a html code into your layout.  I use a blogger interface and it did not take more than a minute to insert the code and save it.  Remember that downloading the Alexa toolbar does not only help you, but it helps the blogs that you are visiting as well. 

Page Visit Trackers are important to the blog authors.  When we first start, we may not see any comments and think that no one is reading our blogs.  If you have a tracker installed, you will most likely see that people are reading your blog, but are not commenting.  The trackers are also useful if you want to do reviews and giveaways.  The sponsors will want this information.  I use StatCounter and I know of other people that use Google Analytics. 

Follow buttons are important if you want people to follow you and your blog.  No one wants to hunt for the buttons so put them in the top portion of your blog.  There are many tools available to help with social media buttons.  You can go to twitter and facebook to get the code, or you can use different widgets. Wibiya Toolbar has something for everyone.  I installed it on my website and have really enjoyed how easy it is to share.  I also have buttons in the top of my blog.  Cool Tricks N Tips had an easy to install code for mashable type buttons. 

Share buttons are just as important as the rest of the topics I have discussed.  If someone finds your subject matter interesting and there is not a share button, the likelihood of it being shared is low.  On blogger, there is a share gadget in the list of gadgets.  The Wibiya Toolbar has many share options available also.  You can also go to Twitter and Facebook to get the share buttons codes to install on your blog.

A watermark tool is very important so that we can mark our pictures in case someone wants to copy them.  There is a free, online tool that can help at pixlr.com.  You can also edit your picture by editing the image size, or put a watermark on it by clicking the letter A.  There is a crop button and many other buttons to help you create or edit!

If you have a captcha to stop spammers set up, please take it off.  I have not had it set up and have not had problems with spam.  Even if I did, through the moderation tool, I would be able to delete the spam.   The captcha complaint has been seen on a lot of blogs I have seen and some will not leave a comment if they see a captcha.  If you do not know how to turn it off and you are on blogger, in the settings section there is a check mark to turn it on/off. 

Photo from stock.xchng

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