Ten Online Resources for Bloggers

I confess: I am a resource junkie. I am addicted to finding tools, programs and websites that make my online (and offline) life easier and/or fun. I keep a running list in MS OneNote of websites that I want to either check out or share with others. So, here are some resources that I have found helpful and hopefully you will, too:

1. Do you have an account with Swagbucks? If not, you should. 🙂 Not only is it a great search engine, but also, each time you search through Swagbucks, you earn Swagbuck points that you can use to redeem for all sorts of great things; like gift cards, books, electronics, or whatever. There are all sorts of ways to earn Swagbucks besides searching too.

2. Have you ever used Picnik? I found out about it through bloggingwithamy.com. Picnik is a free photo editing website that you don’t even have to register or join to use. I use it to add the simplecatholicliving.com watermark to my blog pictures. ( If you want to create your own watermark, you can find out how to do that here.)

3. What search box do you use on your blog for readers to search your site? Have you heard of Lijit? It is a targeted search box that not only pulls from your site, but you can specify which other blogs you want to be searched as well.

4. Do you like to read? Do you like to review books? Well, I’ve recently discovered BookSneeze. I haven’t had the time to request and/or review a book from them yet; but, I’ve read several reviews of their books on other blogs. In looking at their website, they have a lot of interesting looking books to review. If only I had the time…

5. Firefox. Firefox. Firefox. You aren’t still using that other internet browser, are you? 😉 Firefox really is the “world’s best browser” in my opinion. It is a much more secure browser and has some great add-ons that makes for a much greater browsing experience.

6. What do you use for your blogging platform? Are you still using Blogger? If you are (and I know I’ll be flogged for this!) you should seriously consider switching to WordPress (.org, that is). There are a lot of reasons of why I don’t like Blogger, but one of the main ones is that with Blogger, you don’t own your blog. Google does – and that’s a problem.* As for WordPress, most web hosting companies offer one-click installs for it and it is very easy to install and use.

7. By the way, if you are going to switch to WordPress.org you are going to need a web host, if you don’t have one already. Personally, I recommend Dreamhost. I have been with them for about five years and never had a problem. I’ve never had blog downtime (that wasn’t caused by me! lol!) and their customer service is fantastic. Oh, and their monthly newsletter is funny!

8. Need to share a file or picture that’s too big for an email? Or, do you want a backup for your backup? Then you need Dropbox. I absolutely love Dropbox. It has saved my online behind several times! LOL! The nice thing is that the first 250 MB is free and you can earn more free space each time you refer others!

9. Want to show a little love (and thanks) to your readers who leave comments on your blog? Then you need the WordPress plug-in Commentluv.  When your readers leave a comment, Commentluv promotes their latest blog post under their comment. I’m seeing this more and more around the blogosphere and think it is a wonderful way to promote and thank our readers for taking the time to read and comment on our posts!

10. Need to destroy or get rid of some personal or confidential files? File shredder is a free desktop application that rewrites files with random series of binary data. I have used it a few times and it is very easy to use and effective.

Have a great resource? Please share. I need more to add to my list. :mrgreen:

*Okay, here’s one of my big problems with Blogger: Google owns Blogger and so they can (and have) take down your blog for any reason – at any time. I know of at least two people who have had their blog shut down – without warning – for supposedly violating the terms of service. Their blogs were lost. Thankfully, they had their posts backed up, but can you imagine the work of finding a new blogging platform and transferring (or re-writing) their posts?

(This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for me Wednesday.)

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