Bloggers can benefit significantly from using certain tools, as appropriate tools can significantly increase the productivity of both professional and new bloggers. Desktop blogging tools are handy because they allow users to write post offline for later publishing. Many blogging client tools offers scheduled posting feature, so users can determine the publishing time. More advanced tools offer WYSIWYG-editor, remote publishing, draft saver and spell checker. These tools can speed up your blogging process; some are free, while those with additional features only cost a few dollars. But in the end, by using these tools, you can have improved workflow and result, regardless of your experience and skills.
Windows Live Writer
It is an amazing editor for blogging and many users appreciate its clean interface. If you are already familiar with Microsoft applications, you should be able to use the tool without any difficulty. It features spell checker and a rich text editor, in fact you’ll feel that you’re using Microsoft Word “Lite”. You can also add images, videos and other media easily. Unlike other clients, Windows Live Writer allows you to add a plugin to extend the tool’s basic functionality, For example, you can add plugins for seamless integration with Facebook and Flickr. Plugins can also give you features available in Microsoft Word, such as word counting. You should use this application if you don’t want to mess with HTML codes. On the other hand, advanced users can get more complex features with certain plugins. Windows Live Writer is free.
MarsEdit is unique because it can integrate well with other text editors. Users can get clean integration with SubEthaEdit, BBEdit, TextWrangler or TextMate. Users get a robust user interface and the ability to insert snippet of codes using powerful markup macros. MarsEdit works well with Blogger, WordPress, Movable Type, TypePad, Vox, LiveJournal and Drupal. You can also insert an image from Flickr library quickly with only a few clicks of button. Preview is another nifty feature, which allows you to define whether your post matches the overall design of your blog. Preview is an essential feature, especially if you want to use the automatic scheduled posting feature, because it prevents MarsEdit from publishing badly-structured posts. You can add more features, thanks to the extensive AppleScript support. MarsEdit is free for a 30-day trial period, while the full version costs you less than $30.
It is a robust blog editor that support multi-language feature, but unfortunately, BlogDesk doesn’t support Blogger. If you’re not a Blogger user, you’ll love its intuitive and unique features. You can edit and upload pictures easily with Image Wizard, eliminating the need for a dedicated image editor. You can speed up writing times by defining commonly used keywords and phrases. You can upload media by simply adding link to a location in local storage, such as hard drive. Its dictionaries contain fourteen languages and the integrated spell checker can help you to avoid typos. BlogDesk allows you to edit or delete published posts. To organize your works, you can create categories to save texts separately. .
It’s an advanced WYSIWYG editor with excellent XHTML editing. It supports UTF-8 (Unicode), template-based review and quicklinks. Zoundry Raven can help you immensely if you have multiple blogs and its integrated index generator allows you to catagorize published posts by blogs and tags. It supports Blogger, MovableType, TypePad, LiveJournal and MetaWeblog. You can also get a portable version of Zoundry Raven, which can run flawlessly from portable storage such as flash drive. Finally, Zoundry Raven allows you to create and edit WordPress posts and tags; it’s also worth mentioning that the tool has a built-in HTML validator integrated into the code viewer. To finalize your tags, trackbacks and others, Raven includes a publish menu.
It is a popular blog editor, which earned respect from many professional bloggers. It is rich in features, including rich text editor, draft saving, spell check and others; and just like Windows Live Writer, you can use plugins to add new functionality. Amazon affiliates should also use Ecto due to its seamless integration with the giant online store; for example, linking to an Amazon product is faster and easier than when you use a manual method. Ecto also supports Del.icio.us for quick bookmarking and Flickr for quick image posting, in addition, Ecto provides a list of tags you used with Flickr and del.icio.us, which can help you to reuse those tags. Ecto is free for a 21-day trial period and the full version costs $17.95.
It is designed for technologically savvy bloggers. w.bloggar can significantly improve your productivity and offers more features than a typical editor, like the Windows Live Writer. The interface may not be as elegant or intuitive as other editors, but its versatility will appeal certain people. w.bloggar allows you to save a post locally for later publishing, ping social bookmarking services and import text files. You can also get a portable version of w.bloggar, which allows you to run the tool on the go.
It is useful for those who use blog editor and RSS reader often. Although Thingamablog is not as refined as other editors, it’s suitable for people who need cross-platform blog editor. Setting up a blog with thingamablog for the first time is a little cumbersome, but still acceptable. However, you need to have JVM (Java Virtual Machine) to run on your computer for the tool to work. Thingamablog’s strengths are its advanced features, for example you can import RSS feeds and post a blog while reading RSS feeds. It is preferred by people who run news-related blogs, as they can get latest references from various sources and write news within a single application. The editor support post publishing via email and saving recently-written posts as draft. Thingamablog is free.
It offers a unique feature that you can’t find in other blogging platforms. Oamana has an in-house ad network, the Oads that can help bloggers to gain revenue from their blogs. Oamana is still perfectly usable when you’re offline, for example, you can save your posts locally for later publishing. This is useful for bloggers who don’t stay for long in one location. Apart from features you find in other editors, you can use DropPad, which is a handy little feature. It allows you to snag text, pictures and links to a desktop pad using drag and drop gesture. This tool is highly intuitive and it is definitely something worth considering for both professional and new bloggers.
Unlike other tools, Scribefire is a Firefox extension. When you want to add a post to your blog, you only need to hit “F12” to open the Scribefire extension at the lower-half of your screen. You can start blogging without using the online interface of your blogging platform. If you need more space, you can click an icon to move the Scribefire frame into a new tab. Although Scribefire is easy and fast, it doesn’t offer as much as features compared to BlogDesk or Ecto.
This is a solution worth considering for any power blogger. While BlogJet is rather costly at $60, users can get a wide range of features within a clean intuitive interface. It supports keyword-shortcuts, has an integrated RSS-reader and can work with most blogging services. BlogJet puts en emphasis on typography, as it fixes dashes and quotes mistakes automatically. You can save your post as draft, if you want to finish a post later or if you don’t have Internet connection. BlogJet supports YouTube and Flickr; and you can also get searching mechanism, post management, blog statistics, words counter and spell checker. However, if you prefer a free alternative, try Blogdesk instead, despite the fact that it offers slightly less features. If intuitive, beautiful user interface is important, then you should give BlogJet a shot. It is worth the money spent.
It is a web-browser, but unlike others, it features a built-in tool that can help super bloggers immensely. Just like Scribefire, Flock allows you to blog directly inside a page. However, you’ll find that Flock offers a better interface and provides a far more seamless integration. A web clipping tool allows you to save bits of information you gathered in the browser. Flock is a good browser for power blogger as it can streamline their work process.
Initially, you may suspect that Post2Blog is just a typical blogging tool. However, under the hood you’ll discover some pretty nice features that make this lightweight tool a valuable addition to your blogging routine. For example, it helps you to quickly add Amazon affiliate links. You can quickly blog with Internet Explorer and Firefox by installing some plugins. Post2Bog offers a “Portable Mode”, which allows bloggers to work in any place. Unfortunately, this tool is no longer supported by the developer and the interface is somewhat unintuitive and less elegant.
It offers many common features found in other blogging tools as well as some advanced ones, including integration with pinging services, spell checker and FTP file upload. This little nifty tool is efficient and fast. Best of all, it’s free and works quite well, although it doesn’t have the refined interface that BlogJet has. Bleezer is a good choice for power bloggers who need advanced features that it provides. This tool works with any blogging platforms, including WordPress and Blogger. If you often work with custom HTML markup, Bleezer allows you to define key strokes. Just like other tools, you can create a post offline for later publishing. You need to install JVM (Java Virtual Machine) to run Bleezer.
Experienced bloggers, who don’t need too much complexity and simply want to get things done quickly, should try Scribefire, Windows Live Writer or Flock. Although they don’t offer too many advanced features, their intuitive interfaces simply work and can improve your productivity immensely. However, advanced blogger who want to get some more functionality, should try BlogDesk, BlogJet or Ecto. For example, if you use plenty of images in your blog, BlogDesk is a good choice. On the other hand, blogger who prefer to use tools with extensible functionality should use Ecto and Windows Live Writer instead. All blogging tools in this article can greatly benefit advanced bloggers, whether they want to get a wealth of functionality or just want to keep things simple.