Five Tools for the Casual Blogger

Today, we’ve got a guest post from Scott.  Scott recently redesigned Michael’s blog. Scott is going to give us some useful blogging tips.Blogging is a great way to communicate with a lot of people super-efficiently, but are you using it to its fullest potential? Here are five tools to spruce up your blog immediately.1. One word: Worpdress. I can’t brag enough on the superiority of WordPress over the other options. Why? Host-ability (you can host it yourself for complete control and more options), flexibility, plugins, design options, ubiquity, open-source support, and usability. Switching to WordPress is simple and takes only a few minutes. If you’d like some help, contact me through my blog and I’ll give you a hand.

2. FeedBurner can revolutionize your blog for your readers. Most of the people that read your blog won’t be “tech-savvy” enough to know what RSS is and how to use a feed aggregator like Bloglines or Google Reader. Since building a subscriber base is the end-game for a successful blog, making it easier for your readers to subscribe is paramount (important). Using FeedBurner, you can create two ways for your readers to subscribe (RSS and email) and you’ll be able to keep track of your subscribers, too.

3. Bloglines or Google Reader can revolutionize your blog for you. By using a feed aggregator like these, you’ll be able to sift through many blogs in a short amount of time, gleaning insight and ideas for your own blog. It’s the one tool that helps me the most to create fresh and relevant content for my readers.

4. If you’re looking to build community through your blog, then you’ve got to get your hands on some rockin’ plugins. Choosing the right plugins for your blog will encourage commenting, discussion, and sometimes even full conversations right on your blog. There’s nothing more desirable for a blogger than honest discussion on a topic that you wrote about. Disclaimer: Plugins only work for self-hosted WordPress blogs. Again, if you need help with this, hit me up on my blog.

5. Twitter or Tumblr are great tools to supplement your blog. Many bloggers are beginning to use these two mediums as mini-blogs and linking to them from their main blog. You might think that this is overkill, but it’s actually pretty useful. It helps you keep relevant content on your main blog and random thoughts and ideas on your “side blog” for folks who want more. I use Tumblr because it offers much more power that Twitter and it’s still accessible from my cell phone to post entries on-the-go.

For church leaders (and others), blogging can become an incredibly useful tool to communicate with people outside your normal gathering times. Taking the time to make sure this tool is firing on all cylinders is crucial.

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4 comments so far

  1. Chris Reeder on

    For a great explanation of RSS…

    Take a look at this video

  2. readscott on

    Just for the record, my blog is at http://www.readscott.com not scott magdalein.com. It’s a broken link.

  3. Michael on

    sorry, link fixed.

  4. Links for 1-25-2008 « on

    […] Behind the Leaf has a great post about blogging, check out Five Tools for the Casual Blogger […]


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