[flickr align="right" alt="Jason Falls blogging"]photo:2325051306 [(small)][/flickr]I’ve finally upgraded to Microsoft Office 2007 on my home machine. Its blog compatibility makes composing and posting quick and simple, though I still post as a draft and go to WordPress to fix little things. It’s not perfect, but it makes blogging better. While I normally don’t post things on the weekends, the new software gave me the idea of throwing out some tools I use to blog to give you some ideas if you’re looking to streamline your blogging activity.

  1. Microsoft Office 2007 – As detailed above, the software’s blog functionality allows you to compose a post, complete with links, images, categories and more, sync with your WordPress, Blogger or other service blog and publish straight from Word. The best part about it is the simplicity of adding links, though I hope to bring you some news of a new browser-based plugin that will change that soon. (Mum’s the word on it. I’ll blog about it when I can.)
  2. Flickr Tag Plugin – Just discovered this WordPress plugin recently and am in love with it. Not only can you insert images from your Flickr account into a post with one click, but you can insert an entire set of images as a gallery in a post. It’s got all kinds of settings you can customize. So long as you’re into Flickr, this plugin is one I would highly recommend. It makes pictures in posts really easy.
  3. A Feed Reader – I use Google Reader but have played with several others I like as well. (Netvibes is cool, too.) For blogging, I not only use my reader to stay abreast on the topics of the day, but also offer up my “Other Posts You’ll Find Interesting” items almost exclusively from feeds I read. When I’m done with a post, I search for the topic within blogs I subscribe to, then pick the five I think are most relevant to the topic. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, I’m offering up relevant articles from others around the topic. Second, I’m providing some inbound links to bloggers I read, helping their efforts as well. I’ve seen folks do the “other posts” thing and only link to their own articles, which is fine. I just know there are smarter people out there than me and figure you’d like to read them as well.
  4. Google Reader Shared Items & del.icio.us – Akin to my “Other Posts” thing, I really enjoy the notion of sharing relevant articles with others, so I do it in two other ways. First, the list of my Google Reader Shared Items shows up in the far right sidebar below under, “What I’m Reading.” This is an easy way to see the standout posts I’ve found in my reader that day. But I’ve also found a nifty service that posts the items to del.icio.us, which then posts my daily links entries. While this certainly appears redundant, how many times do you look at the content of a blog compared to the sidebar? Plus the link in a post pings the person’s blog I’ve bookmarked to let them know I’ve linked to them, which doesn’t happen in Reader’s Shared Items.
  5. Twitter & TwitterFeed – Publicizing your own blog posts is a sticky subject in my mind. Users of Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and so on will tell you doing it is popularity suicide. Of course, they game the system and get other users to submit theirs for them. In my mind this is foolish political bullshit, but I try to respect the community norms above all else and don’t submit my own stuff very often. However, Twitter is a bit different and most folks there don’t mind you alerting everyone when you have a new post. TwitterFeed automates it so all you have to do is post and a few minutes (or hours if you set it that way) later, your Twitter is updated with a “New Post” and a link Tweet.

Sure, there are tons of other plugins and tools I use, but these are five I thought were worth sharing in my first post from the new Word 2007 on my home machine. Hopefully, you can put them to good use.

And while we’re on the subject of blog productivity, I’d love to hear suggestions on how you might like to see Social Media Explorer change. I’ve been reassessing the blog and everything else on my plate lately for a handful of reasons I’ll share soon and would like to know what you think I could do to improve it. There may even be a formal poll posted soon.

Thanks for reading and subscribing. Please let me know how I can improve this blog for you in the comments.

Other Posts You’ll Find Interesting:

  1. 10 Simple Productivity Tips For Bloggers
  2. Getting People To Visit Your (Island) Blog
  3. 99 Ways To Improve Your Blog
  4. 7 Ways To Make Your Blog Stickier
  5. What’s Your Blog Idea Taking Tool?

IMAGE: Me blogging at SXSW. Photo by Shawn Morton on Flickr.

[tags]blog, blogging, tips, tricks[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.janequigley.com Jane Quigley

    Thanks for these – I use a different set of tools as a Mac blogger, but thanks for the WP plug-in info. I’ve always felt weird about self-promotion too – but I always like finding out when people post, so we can’t be the only ones!

    See you in NYC soon!

  • http://www.rwongphoto.com/fieldreport Richard Wong

    lol, thanks for pointing out the Digg code of ethics. I mostly only digg my own stuff, maybe that’s why it hasn’t worked for me. For my photography work, I find that photographyvoter.com is a good one to draw new people in similar to Digg but to a more targeted audience.

  • http://www.allthingssem.com/ Marios Alexandrou

    I’ve been using Office 2007 for over 6 months now and had no idea that it had support for blog posts. Very cool! I wonder what else I’m missing :-)

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Marios — Glad I could help. Just go to New then pick Blog Post out of the template area. From there you can manage accounts and set it up to post directly to your blog.

    Richard — Yeah, Digg is particularly sensitive to self-promotion. Thanks for the photography tip, though. Good site to know about.

    Jane — Please share your Mac tools. Since I’m not a Mac guy, I wouldn’t be able to provide that expertise!

  • http://www.ebooks-with-reseller-rights.com/ James Mann

    I really like using WordPress and love all the plugins available. I probably use too many.

    I use BlogDesk to create my blog post.

    I need a good Flikr plugin so I will take a look at the one you love so much. :)

    Thanks for the post.

  • http://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com Nathan Ketsdever

    del.icio.us is amazing in soooo many ways. you can even use it to save your flickr photos…for use in future posts or powerpoint presentations (or keynote…if you’re a mac person).

    Jott is getting a lot of love as far as mobile blogging and productivity…as is Qik and Utterz. (as you are a frequent user) I think these are great tools for real estate agents, journalists, and artists who want to remember inspiration or to create a memory of a given event.

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    James — You’re welcome. I’ve never used BlogDesk. I’ll check that out. Thanks.

    Nathan — I’m a big del.icio.us fan, too. Jott I’ve seen work, but haven’t used myself. I like it and Qik but don’t know enough about them yet. Utterz, I use frequently, but certainly not frequently enough. Thanks for chiming in.