This week for Fashion Beauty Friend Friday, we’re talking about technology, specifically the tech behind our style and fashion blogs.
1. What are the tools you use to blog?
In my life as a blogger, I use a lot of different tools, for different reasons. They fall into these main groups:
- Blog post creation and publication. These tools are the nuts and bolts of getting a blog post up and running.
- WordPress. This blog runs on self-hosted WordPress; my host is HostGator. Within WordPress, I have several plug-ins, but the ones that are key are Akismet for catching spam comments; Google Analytics for WordPress to insert my GA code into every page; WordPress SEO to easily manage title tags, descriptions and keywords; and Yet Another Related Posts to add related post links at the bottom of every post automatically.
- Google Docs. I write my blog posts in Google Docs, then copy and paste them into WordPress. I do this instead of creating the drafts in WordPress itself because I have some recurring pieces of text and it’s easier to grab them and re-use when I write several posts in one place.
- Picnik. I’ve been using Picnik to edit my personal style photos. Sadly, Google is absorbing it and it’s disappearing as a stand-alone service in April so I’ll have to find another online photo editor.
- Polyvore. For advice posts, I frequently create associated collages of garment ideas in Polyvore. It makes a good-looking, original image with automatically generated links to the products, plus being on Polyvore provides another way for me and my blog to be found.
- Blog promotion. Once a post is published, I promote it to offer another way it can be found.
- Bit.ly. I shorten my post links here, then auto-post them to …
- Twitter. Who doesn’t use Twitter? It’s so key. Don’t forget to use hashtags!
- Facebook. Another given. A zillion users can’t be wrong.
- Pinterest. The new popular kid, based both on usage stats and breathless “ZOMG Everyone Is Using Pinterest!” posts that seem to appear daily. This isn’t a huge traffic driver for me yet, but I think it’s worth building a following and community anyway, plus it’s fun and great for inspiration.
- Quora. Haven’t heard of it? It’s a question-and-answer site populated by lots and lots of really smart people from all walks of life all over the world. I try to visit once or twice a week to answer questions in the fashion-related topics. Every time I do, I look up and suddenly an hour has gone by.
- Google+. I haven’t quite gotten into the rhythm of this one yet, I confess. (I’m not really in love with it.) But it’s unavoidable now that Google has changed the way it ranks pages to include shares and other social signals from Plus.
- Mobile. Crossing over between creation and promotion are the apps I use on my iPhone.
- Instagram. I tend to use this one mostly for fun, but I follow a lot of fashion folks here, too. Talk about inspiration.
- Pinterest. Sometimes the only way I find time for it is by surfing it via the mobile app.
- Twitter. Ditto.
- WordPress. I rarely use it on the phone because it’s so cumbersome to write a post that way, but I have used it to generate a draft of an idea I had while on the go.
And then there’s Tumblr. I’m not sure where it fits in these categories. For me, it’s sort of a third space in between my blog and Twitter: content that’s too long for Twitter but not worthy of the editorial treatment of a full blog post.
It’s also another way for me and my main blog to be discovered.
2. What technology item is on your wish-list?
I really need to get a timer and proper tripod for my digital camera so I don’t always have to rely on the hubby’s availability for photo shoots. My daughter could even help with that!
3. Through the barrage of posts, tweets, pics, poses, messages, etc., how do you avoid becoming a slave to the constant infiltration of information?
Very carefully–and it doesn’t always work.
First, I try to be targeted. For each channel, I try to have a specific reason for using it, such as direct promotion, community building, inspiration, or SEO.
Then, I try to be scheduled. I set aside certain times of the day or days of the week for using each one. It’s the only way I can keep Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and Quora from being a total time suck!
- That’s how I use my blogging tools? What about you? Are there any I’ve missed?
[This post is part of Modly Chic’s Fashion Beauty Friend Fridays.]
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