Blogs have become important marketing tools for many companies these days. Of course, being in the forefront of technology means that software and tech companies are early adopters of business Blogs. Whether it’s for marketing purposes as an online newsletter, to obtain feedback from the customer base, to have dialogue with potential clients, or to simply add interesting content to your website thereby increasing its “stickiness”, business Blogs are all the rage.
It’s challenging enough to come up with the content to include in your Blog. What you don’t need is difficulty in implementing that content, quickly and easily, into your Blog.
Unfortunately, some of the standard tools provided by the Blog software companies and services leave a bit to be desired. I use Blogger by Google as the infrastructure to my own Blog, Morettini on Management. I am generally happy with Blogger, as it has most of the features to meet my needs, and is generally stable.
But one area where Blogger is weak is in tools for creation and editing of Posts. The biggest problem is that the tools are browser-based. That’s a good thing in general, but when I’m trying to quickly write a serious document of any length, the lag time between typing and appearance on the page can be maddening. In addition, the editing tools aren’t exactly “feature-rich” with respect to formatting issues. For this reason, I prefer to use an offline editor, to create and publish my posts.
Luckily, there are some add-on tools out there to make your life easier. I use an MS Word add-in provided by Blogger itself, called Blogger for Word. It integrates in smoothly with Microsoft Word, and adds a few menu items to Word which enable “one-click” posting. Using this tool, I can create Posts like I do any other document in this venerable word processor, and simply post to my Blog with a single click. All the formatting that I use in Word is maintained when the document is posted to the Blog. It works great!
If you don’t use Blogger, there’s also a similar, but more general tool available: w.bloggar. This tool is an editor that can be used to post to a number of the well-know Weblog systems that are available. Currently, w.bloggar is compatible with all Weblog Systems that implements Blogger API, metaWeblog API, MovableType API and b2 API; all based on the XML-RPC definition. I haven’t used w.bloggar yet personally, but it looks pretty slick.
Both Blogger for Word and w.bloggar are available for free, although w.bloggar appreciates donations. Try them out and send me your own review.