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What are Your Top 5 Blogging Tools?

If you had to choose 5 blogging tools that were the only ones you could use for the next 12 months what would they be and why?

I’m asking this because I want to put together a short list of recommendations on blog tools for a presentation I’m doing in a couple of weeks time.

By Blog Tools I am speaking pretty broadly and include:

  • Blog Platforms
  • Desktop Publishers
  • Metrics Packages
  • Promotional Tools
  • Content Sourcing Services
  • Design Tools

Basically anything that might help you to blog better (but not advertising networks).

Looking forward to your suggestions.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. George says:

    Hard to keep it down to five (and it’s always changing), but here goes:

    1. WordPress
    2. Technorati
    3. Bloglines
    4. MyBlogLog
    5. Wordtracker’s Search Tool (http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/)

  2. Rodney Olsen says:

    Blogger
    Haloscan
    Sitemeter
    Feedburner
    Technorati

  3. The Enigma says:

    This is a very hard list to put together. I find that my most invaluable tools are often the opinions offered by other bloggers/writers that get me thinking, on tangents or otherwise. Anyway, the list in no particular order:

    1. Blogger (yes, I’m still on it and don’t really mind it at all)
    2. Feedburner
    3. Yahoo Groups and various other forums
    4. Statscounter.com
    5. The many other bloggers who get me thinking.

  4. Jay Wilson says:

    1. Life – Simply an outing with a friend, or a trip can spark enough content to last for days. I went to WonderCon in San Fran last week and it produced tons of blog content, of which, only a portion I used so as not to make my readers think I now run a comics blog.

    2. Firefox – The new spellcheck feature is GOLD.

    3. EV-DO connection – For hopping on the web from anywhere there’s cell service – no hotspot hunting!

    4. Netvibes – My RSS reader.

    5. Business cards – Keeps folks in touch.

  5. Thejesh GN says:

    1. WordPress and drupal
    2. Performancing blog editor
    3. Google Analytics
    4. GoogleReader
    5. Firefox
    6. del.icio.us

  6. Heiner says:

    It’s hard to reduce it to just five ;-)

    * WordPress / Blogger
    * Firefox spellcheck
    * Blogscout (German statistics tool)
    * the whole internet as source of information
    * digital camera

  7. bdeseattle says:

    1. feedburner
    2. technorati
    3. mybloglog
    4. ff2.0
    5. del.icio.us

  8. AL says:

    I’ve written a post about the publishing tools only check it out if you want.

  9. Wictor says:

    Here are my shortlist:
    * Windows Live Writer – to write the posts
    * FeedBurner – for statistics of both site and feed
    * Microsoft OneNote – to make notes of what to write and to make partial screenshots

  10. calvin says:

    my blogging tools include:
    1. wordpress
    2. Coffecup FTP – file transfer and editing
    3. Browser – firefox it’s just better than IE7
    4. Notepad ++ – for editing
    5. Microsoft word – writing
    6. Photoshop 7 – image editing
    8. Online payment – paypal

  11. Rhys says:

    Mine are:

    1. WordPress (obviously)
    2. W.bloggar (though admittedly not as much now, thanks to wordpress always saving and if having a firefox spellchecker
    3. Macromedia Fireworks, because it’s so easy to cut/crop graphics from it.
    4. Google Reader, I’ve only recently started using a feed reader, can’t believed I survived so long!
    5, Technorati Tag Generator – Okay, it’s a cheap plug, but I made it when I was on blogger, and still use it to this day. I just find it so easy and useful to make tags.

  12. carl says:

    here’s my list:

    my blog platform (wordpress
    notepad (because wordpress don’t allow rich text editor)
    spell checker
    keyword research (to build the right post title)
    feedburner

  13. avi says:

    Most of my blogs are published on Israblog, a Hebrew blogging website. Hence:
    1. IsraBlog
    2. Google Docs
    3. None – I’d gather audience virally

  14. Philip May says:

    1) WordPress
    2) Google Reader
    3) Google Notebook
    4) Gimp
    5) Firefox
    6) Firebug (Firefox Plugin)

  15. Let’s see
    >Blogging Platform:Blogger[out of beta]
    >Desktop publisher:W.bloggar
    >Metrics packages:Google Analytics and Feedburner stats/
    >Promotional tools:Pingomatic,Kping and Feedshark for pinging.
    >Content Sourcing Services:I use Feedburner feeds for my blog and personally
    use Greatnews rss reader[a free reader] for feed aggregation.
    >Design Tools:Gimp and Picasa.

    Blogger Whale
    http://bloggerwhale.blogspot.com

  16. blair says:

    Why do people keep saying wordpress (obviously)! I have used Blogger, WordPress and Drupal and IMHO Drupal is far superior to WordPress. Each to there own, but just a little confused as to why people think WordPress is the obvious and only choice.

    Anyway, my five:
    1. Drupal (obviously!!)
    2. Firefox’s many extensions
    3. Fireworks for graphics.
    4. A whiteboard – for brain storming and listing things to do
    5. Someone to talk ideas over with. Usually my wife, who gets a little bored with it all!

  17. Razeen says:

    The list of free tools that i used
    1. WordPress for blogging platform
    2. Sitemeter for stats
    3. Firefox for Browser
    4. Filezilla for to upload my files
    5. Notepad++ for web authoring tool

  18. taoski says:

    1. wordpress
    2. transmit (OS X ftp client)
    3. SubEthaEdit (OS X text editor)
    4. Photoshop CS3
    5. Firefox web developer toolbar

    And most importantly…

    6. Coffee

  19. Logler says:

    I’d scratch with:
    1) Drupal as a blogging platform
    2) BlogJet as a client
    3) Macromedia Dreamweaver as a html editor
    4) Google Analytics for stats
    5) Google reader for effective RSS aggregation

  20. c.urdaneta says:

    1. WordPress
    2. Firefox
    3. NetNewsWire
    4. ecto
    5. Firefox

    and iTunes… for me it’s impossible write without music

  21. 1. Firefox (with various extensions)
    3. 103 Bees (analytics)
    2. Google Analytics (analytics)
    4. Google Reader for my daily updated news
    5. Google Notebook for writing drafts of my posts, current thoughts, and future post topics.

    Google, Google, Google. :-)

  22. Windows Live Write
    Wordpress
    Flickr Uploader
    Foxmarks – For organising my finds/sources between my 3 machines
    Google Reader

  23. Ellen says:

    Mine are

    1. WordPress
    2. Windows Live Writer
    3. Clicky for site stats
    4. Winsnap for taking screenshots
    5. Feedburner

  24. 1. Joomla CMS. Awesome power and flexibility. I will be using WordPress more in the future on smaller sites.
    2. FeedBurner. Great feeds and analytics.
    3. Google Analytics. The Arbitron and Nielson of the Internet.
    4. Copywrite. It’s a minimalist writing tool on the Mac platform. Minimal distractions, writing-oriented organizational tools, clean text output. I never compose online.
    5. Photoshop (Elements, in my case). GIMP would work as well, but it’s not really Mac-native at this point. Lighter Footstep is graphics-heavy, so I spend a lot of time in this program.

    Pity it’s only five. I could easily add Firefox’s Web Developer plugin; WYSIWYG Pro, an excellent 3rd-party editor with integral file management that mates with Joomla and WordPress; Google News Alerts; and my trusty Newsfire RSS reader. I’ve also begun saving story outlines, links, notes, graphics, and audio files in Journaler, a kick-ass shareware organizer for Mac.

  25. Sharon says:

    Hard to limit it to five but here goes:

    WordPress
    Feedburner
    Performancing for Firefox (and Firefox itself)
    Clicky for site stats
    Google Reader

  26. 1. Feedburner.
    2. Firefox Live Bookmarks
    3. Social news site mini-links
    4. Problogger.
    5. Blogger for now…

  27. thp says:

    - WordPress

    - Firefox

    - Google Analytics

    - Mint

    - Flickr

    - Itunes

    - Fireworks

    - flickr

  28. Alex says:

    1. WordPress
    2. Microsoft Live Writer
    3. Google Analytics / Feedburner
    4. Pageflakes.com
    5. Digg / Sphere

  29. Adinel says:

    * WordPress
    * Firefox 2
    * My own thougts
    * Adobe Creative Suite

  30. WordPress-
    Microsoft Word-
    Adobe Photoshop CS-
    Adobe Premiere Pro-
    and the all that mother nature can dish out at me.

  31. Chris M says:

    1) ImageWell – instantly resize/crop images and quickly dump into my image directory via FTP. How did I blog without this?

    2) MovableType – I’m a web developer by trade, so it’s essential that I be able to write new pieces of functionality and have my own hosted webspace with active server pages — MovableType gives me plenty to tinker with, without giving up my platform of choice

    3) PhotoShop – It’s obscenely complicated, but I guess once you’re this deep there’s no turning back. I use Photoshop for my graphics creation — logos, banners, etc. I’ve been using it for years, and never really got into the swing of things with Gimp.

    4) Google Reader – Gotta stay on top of what’s happening in the world… where else can I get entertainment news sites right next to Perez?

    5) Macromedia Dreamweaver / Microsoft SQL Server – I have a bunch of home grown systems to run a “Top 10 Posts” feature as well as “Top Referring Links” and such — I develop my custom platform with Dreamweaver and do all of my data wrangling in SQL Server. While this is an essential tool for me, for the casual blogger it’s completely unneccessary. =)

  32. Jeremiah says:

    1. WordPress – Life saving blogging platform in that it is easy to use and to theme.

    2. Firefox – Can’t surf the web or check out the latest news without my trusty web browser.

    3. Dictionary.com – Great website to define all those “hard-to-say” words I want to master

    4. TheGimp – Great for editing photos and screenshots.

    5. Your blog – great tips on progressing my blog. I read daily, thanks.

  33. 1. Dual Monitors
    2. WordPress as the platform
    3. Ecto for publishing
    4. NewsFire for RSS subscriptions
    5. Quicksilver

  34. R2K says:

    Large, dual monitors.

    Digital spy camera

    Firefox (tabs)

    Blogger

    Other blogs!

    http://r2000.blogspot.com

  35. 1. WordPress – I was a skeptic, but now I can’t get enough of it.
    2. Akismet – Phenomenal spam trapper, a must-have for WordPress.
    3. Fireworks – Great for quick and dirty image crops and resizes.
    4. MyBlogLog Stats – About the only thing they are good for anymore.
    5. Firefox’s spell checker – Fixes the spelling, now I need a grammar checker.

  36. Koki says:

    a) WordPress
    b) Firefox
    c) Bluefish for editing the php and css files.
    d) Reinvigorate for the statics (better that Google Analitics because they have live statics)
    e) Google Reader

    All of them (well, WordPress, Firefox and Bluefish) on my Kubuntu Linux :)

  37. Greg O'Byrne says:

    I am the odd man out here hmmm….

    Platform – dasBlog (what can I say I’m a .Net kinda guy and besides it’s a great platform)
    Writing – mostly windows live writer, but you can find me in notepad or even word on some occasions.
    RSS Reader – Sharpreader.
    Graphics work – Corel (JASC) Paint Shop Pro or Paint.Net. But hey what’s the diff they’re all the same.
    Promotional – Digg, technorati, mybloglog, blogtopsites, etc.

  38. James says:

    I think I may be the only person in this list not using WordPress. Dammit I wanted to switch but those stupid themes gave me nightmares, I couldn’t figure them out. CSS was a breeze for me on the other hand.

    I also think I may have taken this question too literally.

    1. Movable Type
    2. Dreamweaver
    3. Sitemeter, Google Analytics and Feedburner
    4. nothing really
    5. Google Reader
    6. Photoshop

    Trust me, it all makes more sense in context: http://www.seoblogpro.com/archives/blogging-tools/what-blogging-tools-do-you-use.php

  39. Jim Duncan says:

    1. ecto
    2. NetNewsWire
    3. Firefox
    4. cyberduck ftp
    5. statcounter for quick insight into what readers are searching for/reading (i use google analytics for deeper analysis)

  40. Alex Mielus says:

    1. WordPress / Blogger (I say this because I’m very familiar with them) or it can also be ANY other blogging platform that you are used to work with
    2. Adobe Photoshop with ImageReady + Illustrator for photo editing and optimization / vector images creation
    3. Feedburner – for feeds / avoiding high loads on your server
    4. Google Analytics – monitoring tool
    4. Akismet / Spam Karma – for antispam (MUST-HAVE tools)
    5. CuteFTP – transfer of files
    6. Technorati / MyBlogLog / Digg / del.icio.us / Bloglines – you all know why :)
    7. EditPlus – text editor with excellent php / html coding references
    8. Firefox + spell check
    9. YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video, MotionBox, Metacafe and Grouper for many quality videos that can become your content or supplement it
    10. Google Search … definitely the best tool above all

  41. webee says:

    i’m new at this… so if you have that section… i’m eligible for that:
    mostly a use:
    1. wordpress
    2. google analytics
    3. technorati
    4. feedburner
    5. reader

    see you.
    webee.ro

  42. Pre Pro Sports Blog

    1. Blogger (Out of Beta)
    2. Feedburner (RSS/Atom Feeds)
    3. Google Personalized (Reader)
    4. Google Analytics (Stats)
    5. Adobe Photoshop CS (Images)

    http://blog.preprosports.com

  43. Keith Dsouza says:

    1. Joomla
    2. My Custom Desktop Publisher for Joomla
    3. Google Anaylytics / Feed burner stats
    4. Links / Google IMs
    5. Feeds / Google Alerts
    6. Adobe Photoshop

  44. RachelAPP says:

    WordPress
    Notepad
    Napster (so i can check out new bands etc)
    Wikipedia (when in doubt about something, i check it ou on Wikipedia)
    IMDb (very useful when writing film reviews)

  45. Cas says:

    1) Safari for browsing – without a browser, really what’s the point?
    2) WriteRoom for writing – I’ve tried a lot of different writing environments and WriteRoom just pushes my buttons. I love how at full screen it really is full screen, just you, your words and the insertion point, no distractions what-so-ever.
    3) Flickr uploader – all those gorgeous pictures have to get online somehow.
    4) Vienna for RSS – RSS reader of choice. Again, I’ve tried lots but Vienna just fits how I work.
    5) WordPress for the platform – it does what it says on the tin, and does it really rather well.

  46. 1. TypePad (Pro level) – beacause you can do CSS without going into Advanced Templates if you like, and the customer service Help folks are fantastic!
    2. iStockphoto.com – I’m one who likes to have pictures in posts.
    3. Thesaurus.com – So my posts can be more creative and entertaining.
    4. iLife – for GarageBand, iMovie, and iPhoto – Podcasting in GarageBand is so easy a Caveman could do it.
    5. Adobe CS2 Standard – for Photoshop and Illustrator

    Side note: I don’t like blogging as an island. I cannot blog without other bloggers for inspiration, support, and bonding.

  47. tony dean says:

    It seems to be popular the stats on the server seem to prove it, the FREE blog software on this site:- http://www.worldnetsources.info
    is downloaded at least sixty times a day!
    It is FREE and comes with full instructions and is fully functional, it is freeware.

  48. Rick says:

    WordPress (I see a theme emerging here…)
    Performancing for Firefox
    MS Live Writer
    Technorati
    Feedburner
    Akismet spam thingy

    Ok, that’s more than 5.

  49. Don Ray says:
  50. Jesper says:

    Being a total beginner I still write my posts in WordPress directly, apart from that do my PHP editing using PHP Designer 2007, and use various SEO tools (like the ones found at SEOBook.com and webmaster-toolkit.com) to try to optimize my blogs for SE visibility.

    It’s already starting to pay off as one of my blogs are getting more and more SE hits (a one month old blog).

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