Make blogging easier with these tools and services.
With millions of available plugins for bloggers, it’s safe to say that each item’s usefulness is quite subjective. After all, many people swear by an editorial calendar and yet, I personally don’t feel the need for one.
That being said, I was wondering which tools and plugins are likely to be embraced by bloggers regardless of their purpose. This has led to the following online and desktop items, which generally make your blogging efforts just a bit easier.
Type: WordPress plugin
As much as the average blogger loves WordPress, there’s no question that the back-end interface is a bit messy. While all available features are naturally required, it’d be nice to group them together or arrange them in some way.
Easy Blogging is an alternative back-end interface that hides everything you don’t need and makes the overall interface more pleasing.
You can remove unwanted items, arrange them, rename them, change their icons, and even add custom entries.
This is especially useful for multi-authored blogs, as you can choose to display only what they need most. A simpler screen can make blogging easier for newer and established publishers alike.
Type: WordPress plugin
I used to dread adding images to my WordPress posts. The thought of visiting an external website, downloading the image in question, and then uploading it to my server was just annoying – especially with posts that required multiple pictures.
Now my blogging routine is much easier, and I have plugins like Pixabay Images to thank for that.
This little gem shows you every photo available on Pixabay.com directly from your blog interface, effectively saving you quite a few steps in the process.
Simply search for the desired image and insert it right into your blog with ease. Is there a more effective way to make blogging easier? This is simply a must-have for every type of publisher out there.
Type: Desktop app
Speaking of images, sometimes you have to grab a screenshot that’s just not available on a typical photo website. This could pertain to a plugin or a specific service you’re promoting.
This is what I used to do, which was admittedly laughable:
Jing allows you to grab a screenshot and crop it seamlessly without ever relying on MS Paint or other complex method, effectively cutting a few unnecessary steps.
Distraction-free Writing Mode
Type: WordPress feature
When it comes to writing, I may switch between Microsoft Word, Gmail’s composition screen, and occasionally WordPress itself. However, these days I have been paying more attention to WordPress thanks to its distraction-free interface (which is conveniently built into the CMS).
In all fairness, I never paid attention to it because I thought it was unnecessary. All it does is remove all the sidebar items to keep your eyes glued to the writing pane, after all.
However, I had no idea that such a seemingly simple feature had so much influence on my focus. I tried it for the sake of argument, and I’m no longer so judgmental.
Simply click the icon toward the upper-right corner of the WordPress composition screen, just under the “Visual/Text” tabs.
Type: Free online service
Finally, many pro bloggers need much more than a writing tool to present their data effectively. G Suite is Google’s own answer to Microsoft Office, which comes with its own word processor as well as alternatives to Excel, Powerpoint, and other apps.
The advantage here is the ability to use it wherever, as opposed to keeping items saved in a specific computer. Speaking of saving, these apps actually save your work automatically so you don’t have to worry about losing anything.
There’s much more to G Suite, but the above cover some of the basics for the average blogger.
What’s Your Favorite?
I’m sure there are many more tools and plugins to make blogging easier and more efficient. What are your top picks?