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15 Blogger Resources Not Previously Featured on ProBlogger

This is a guest post by the creators of the new site Bloggers’ Domain: 369 (and counting) blog tips, tools and resources.

One of the most exciting things about being a blogger is finding new ways to improve your blogging experience. Whether that’s by implementing a new plugin to give your site extra functionality, finding an untapped traffic source to boost your reader numbers, discovering a resource that will help you create more entertaining posts, or learning of a website that’ll reignite your blogging mojo.

Here, we’ve listed 15 blog tools and resources you may not have heard of (none have been featured in ProBlogger articles prior to now—we checked!). Some are new, some are hidden gems, and some are old favorites too good not to share.

1. Hello Bar

What is it? The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that sits across the top of your blog. It’s designed to deliver a single message, either a link to a post you’re trying to draw attention to or your latest tweet.
Three reasons to bookmark it

  1. The dashboard provides you with options to customize it.
  2. You can view the all-important click-through statistics at a glance.
  3. You can then use this data to work out what grabs your readers’ attention the most, and adjust it to something else if need be.

Did you know? It’s fast becoming popular with its invite-only approach to site membership, and the likes of Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss and Chris Brogan all having added the Hello Bar to their blogs or websites.

2. Lanyrd

What is it? A social-media conference directory.
Why is it worth bookmarking? Sometimes, the best places to learn about all things online, is offline. And getting to know your readers and fellow bloggers IRL (in real life) is a highly rewarding experience. This is where Lanyrd is useful—use it to find blog conferences by topic or location. Find out who’s going, their Twitter handle, and other conferences they plan to attend.
Bonus info: Can’t make it to the event? Lanyrd collates numerous resources covering it, including write-ups, videos, slide decks and photos. Learn what went on, even if you weren’t there.

3. HTML Ipsum

What is it? Pre-written HTML ready and waiting for you to use.
Why it’s worth knowing: If HTML doesn’t come easy to you (and that’s okay—not everyone’s an expert at it), this handy site will make adding tables, ordered lists, and more headache-free. Simply find the HTML you’re after, copy and paste it into your blog’s HTML editor, and replace the text with your own.
How refreshing! It’s as simple as that. No sign-up, invite-requesting, tweeting or liking required. Just head to the site and use it.

4. BlogDash

What is it? A tool designed for blogger outreach.
How does it work? For publicists, it claims to provide the tools required to reach bloggers who’ll care about their story. For bloggers, it lets you set up your preferences for how you like to be pitched—email? LinkedIn? Twitter? The choice is yours. BlogDash also lets you select the type of opportunities you’re open to receiving, such as products to review or events to cover.
Bonus info: More than 25,000 bloggers are currently listed.

5. TinyLetter

What is it? A very simple newsletter tool you can use for free.
Why is it worth bookmarking? If you’ve ever wanted to charge your readers for a newsletter subscription, but lacked the technical set-up know-how, TinyLetter is as simple as they come. Simply create your account, decide what you’ll charge per month (or of you’ll charge at all), and embed the sign-up form on your blog. Easy.
Other options? The Letterly.net concept is similar, however readers must pay to subscribe.

6. Timely

What is it? A Twitter tool that tells you the best time to tweet for maximum impact.
How does it work? By looking over your last 199 Twitter messages, Timely analyzes the best times to schedule your tweets for the highest engagement. Including a link to your blog? Well then of course the more people who see it, the more traffic you’re likely to get from it.
Also note: Timely is free, but the pro account features also include letting you post to Facebook.

7. TinEye

What is it? A reverse image search tool.
Why would you use that? Scenario 1. To help discover if one of your images has been used on the web. Scenario 2. To try and find the origin of an image you may have discovered that you were hoping to use on your blog.
How does it work? With image identification technology. Either upload the image you’re reverse searching for, or enter its URL. Either way, you’ll be shown results whether they’re the same, and have been cropped, or even Photoshopped.

8. Wylio

What is it? A shortcut for finding, resizing and using Flickr Creative Commons images.
How do you use it? Simply search for the image you’re after, select from one of the many options, and choose how you’d like it sized and positioned. Copy and paste the HTML into your post article and you’re done.
Bonus info: The image is embedded on your blog, complete with Flickr credits.

9. Stella

How is it described? As a developer’s tool for monitoring and debugging websites and applications.
Why is it worth bookmarking? For a free, quick check-up to find out how fast your blog is. Enter its URL and click “Run checkup”.
What happens next? You’ll get a result indicating how your site compares to the average speed of others checked that day, as well as an idea of how fast your site is considered in plain English. For example: “Not so fast.”

10. Vokle

What is it? A broadcasting tool allowing you to host your own video talk show right from your blog.
What can you do with it? You can take “live” calls from your readers who can participate via web cam or chat. Worried about who might appear on your video? Set up a friend as a “screener” to preview them behind the scenes.
Features worth noting: You can cut to close-ups of the host or caller, making your production look extremely professional.

11. NameChk

What is it? A tool to check for available usernames.
Why would you use it? Along with setting up a new blog, comes setting up its related online profiles (Twitter, Facebook, and more). Consistency is key for your “brand” so try to register the same usernames or vanity URLs if you can.
Bonus info: NameChk will search across 160 of the most-popular sites. A similar tool is KnowEm.

12. My Blog Guest

What is it? A directory for bloggers looking for, and offering, guest posts.
Why is it worth bookmarking? Sometimes you’re short on time to write a post—especially if you’ve got a vacation coming up and you’re trying to schedule content in advance. Guest posts can help you save that time. My Blog Guest acts as the man in the middle, helping you find guest posts to publish, or blogs that will publish your writing.
Stating the obvious: Guest-posting is a great way to get new traffic to your site.

13. Color Scheme Designer

What is it? A simple tool that creates color combinations with the click of a mouse.
Why would you use it? Using an easily customized theme is one thing, lacking an eye for color is another! The Color Scheme Designer will help you quickly choose a color palette of up to four colors and you can feel confident they’ll work in harmony on your blog—even if you’re not Leonardo Da Vinci.
Clever feature: If you’re the type who just can’t make decisions, click “random” and see what you’re offered.

14. My eCover Maker

What is it? A 3D ebook cover-maker.
Why is it worth bookmarking? It offers free ecover making options, meaning you can have a professional-looking book cover to download in minutes—no sign-up required.
Worth noting: You’re not limited to ecovers. This online tool also lets you create 3D images of software boxes, iPads, and iPods (though sign-in is required for these features).

15. MeasureIt

What is it? A Firefox Addon that measures an area of your screen in pixels.
Why is it worth using? If you’ve ever tried to create buttons or graphics, or insert images of a particular size into your blog, getting the size exactly right can sometimes be tricky. MeasureIt is like a ruler for your screen, taking the guess work away.
Bonus info: MeasureIt is just one of many useful Firefox Addons to help with the design aspects of your blog. Others include Firebug and ColorZilla.

What’s your must-use blogging tool or resource?

Bloggers’ Domain is the home to all things blogging. It’s an extensive list of click-worthy resources (such as those listed here), for bloggers of all platforms, levels of experience and budgets. All items are categorized and arranged in alphabetical order, making them easy to find. The site also offers a 2011 Blog Conference and Event Calendar.

About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to guest post for ProBlogger check out our Write for ProBlogger page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our community.

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Comments

  1. Peter Joseph says:

    Thanks for the great collection of tools, and HTML Ipsum; cannot believe that i missed it; always been copy pasting text to fill up posts for testing.

  2. Can’t wait to dig into these! I have visited Color Scheme Designer and it was very helpful. Planning another visit soon for a new blog. Thanks for sharing-

  3. Hi,

    All I can say is AMAZING. Wonderful post packed with resources. I have many tabs open on the side I am going to check them all.

    I think I will find BlogDash, Timely and eCover maker potentially useful for me. But the links to those anchor texts point here: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/07/02/achieving-%E2%80%9Cthe-package-deal%E2%80%9D/

    *Confused*

    Thanks for the wonderful post.

    Cheers,
    Jane.

  4. Ram karthik says:

    Those are some really good resources. Most of them, I have never heard before.

    I would add TweetWhen.Com, created by Dan Zarrella, which works similar to Timely but instead of analyzing the last 199 tweets, TweetWhen analyzes the last 1000 tweets and tells you the best date and time to tweet for maximum impact.

    • Gregory C. says:

      Agreed, minus the fact that the links should have been to the sites themselves, this was a great post.

      More I would add are all of the Envato sites for great plugins and themes, and Pop-Up Domination (unless they’ve been mentioned before.)

      I just got an invite to the Hello Bar a few days ago, I’ve yet to implement it as I’m currently redesigning my site, but if anyone is interested in getting an invite let me know (leave a comment on a blog post or notify me on Twitter)

    • Brian says:

      Agreed, I never heard of it before but I’m going to use it. Namachk is really useful to start.

  5. Tim says:

    Wow. These are some awesome links! I especially like HTML lpsum. HTML can be the worst part of blogging for some people.

  6. Jenny says:

    Thanks! Lots of great resources I need to check out.

  7. Luke says:

    All of your links are borked. They have MS Office-style inverted commas within the href attribute.

  8. These tools look great and I’m looking to add a couple to my journey. Thanks for the update..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  9. Simone says:

    All the link are broken

  10. Marco Puccia says:

    Great list of resources — can’t wait to give some a spin! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Matty says:

    I have to admit that I didn’t know about almost all of these. Very helpful, especially for a small time blog like mine looking to grow. Thanks for putting these out there. I hope to take advantage of some of them.

  12. Nars says:

    Great info! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Maaike Quinn says:

    Nice! Except for all the broken links. I’m especially looking forward to try TinEye. Somehow I always encounter gorgeous images on blogs without proper photo credits, so I never know if I can use them or not. I hope this works as good as they say!

  14. David Spinks says:

    Hey Darren, or mysterious guest blogger haha.

    Thanks so much for including blogdash in the list. We’re very new but working very hard to build a valuable tool for bloggers.

    If anyone has any questions or feedback, they can email me at david at blogdash any time.

    David
    CoFounder, BlogDash

  15. This is a GREAT list!
    I absolutely love finding new resources! Would be great to have some of the links though. Most I could find pretty easily, but the ‘Stella’ site has been a little trickier! (already signed up with Vokle).
    I’ll check out your primary site for the other links.
    Thanks,
    Kim

  16. Thank you!! These are a few things that I have been considering for my blog but was not sure where to look.

  17. Matt says:

    Fantastic. Each of these just went into my Evernote blogging notebook.

  18. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. Thank you so much. These resources are phenomenal.

  19. Lee Curtis says:

    Some great info here. Read the tinyletter section and went straight to it registered, bookmarked it and this page, to much info for one go!

    nice one

  20. Lee Curtis says:

    Just looked at HTML Ipsum

    is there something like this for CSS

    Anyone!

  21. LA Juice says:

    I love this post. I think my weekend is made now!

  22. Nicky Spur says:

    Yo some of these are fantastic. This is one of the first times I’ve actually followed up on some resources I’ve collected from a post. Great stuff. That Hello Bar is going in right away.

  23. Akos says:

    The links are broken…

    But otherwise this post is great. I only used MyBlogGuest before.

  24. Doug says:

    The Firefox web developer toolbar has been around for ages and contains a ruler feature among many many essential functions. No need for measureit.

  25. Sean says:

    Wow excellent post, I haven’t even heard of most of these! Checking them out now, thanks guys! :)

  26. Wow, surprised I’ve never heard of any of these! Definitely checking these out!

  27. This post is definitely bookmark-worthy. I was just asking a friend yesterday if she knew of an online tool to help me build a color palette for my website. Thanks!

  28. Alex says:

    Wow, what an amazingly helpful post! Thanks :)

  29. Wow – I have used the hello bar and the MeasureIt plugin and love them both. the other ones are great and could provide a serious time drain trying to figure them all out. The “why you need it” section of each feature is super helpful.

    Brandon

  30. Henry Bolden says:

    Wow, these are some tremendous resources. I really like the Hello bar. Whats going on with the links?

  31. Sietse says:

    Wow! Most of these sites I never even heard of! Had to look them up through Google (because the links are all broken), but no harm done ;)

    Knew Myblogguest by the way: I’ve met over 30 guest bloggers through this awesome site already and have published near 40! And I only started using it about 6 weeks ago. Definitely a great resource, especially since I’m not much of a writer myself :D

    Great list, thanks!

  32. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article!

  33. keywords says:

    how come I”ve never heard of most of these before? so obscure, but really useful.
    can you fix the links please?

  34. Absolutely awesome resources! I know some of them will definitely come in handy. Thanks :)

    Warm regards,
    Dottson

  35. This is great. Thanks, Darren. Very useful. With some of it, I’m not quite there yet; but some of it (especially #3) I need!

  36. Isha says:

    It’ll be even better when you fix the links ;)

  37. Wasim Ismail says:

    Great list of tools, especially the “My Blog Guest”, a great platform, for anyone looking to build their blog quickly and effectively.

  38. Thanks for sharing these resources! I’m a fairly new blogger and it’s so helpful to have a list like this so blogging stays fun and doesn’t eat up huge chunks of the day.

  39. Ulyzone++ says:

    Excelente Darren!

  40. Wayne Tempel says:

    It’s wonderful posts like this, that make Darren the Problogger, even if he didn’t write it!

  41. Fab tools! Thanks for highlighting these.

  42. ibrochures says:

    Brilliant resource just the sort of info/ advice I need, many thanks

  43. Hannah says:

    This is a superb list. I know already that My Blog Guest is amazing, but will definitely be looking into Lanyrd… Thanks!

  44. Tantan says:

    Great list!
    My latest check that MeasureIt is not compatible with the Firefox 4.0. I’m waiting for the new version that compatible with Firefox 4.0.

  45. bency m kurian says:

    i am just starting out on blogging and this is an extremely useful and timely blog. thank you so very much!

  46. Ileane says:

    I use Timely everyday for scheduling my Tweets. I like it because I don’t need to think about what time to schedule tweets, because Timely figures it out for you. Thanks for the tools, I wish the links were working though.

  47. Really interesting resources discussed in this article. True did not think Ipsum and TinEye is a gimmick. About TinEye in Russia is known to many because Yandex started using this technology to search for duplicate images.

  48. Katie says:

    Good stuff. Always wanted to know how to resize photos easily.

  49. Nasrul Hanis says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! Btw I’m currently with MyBlogGuest and seriously the result is awesome!

  50. Jason says:

    MeasureIt will come in handy, i am heading over to check out MyGuestBlog and HTML Ipsum will save me some time in the near future as well. All in all a few good tools i haven’t tripped over before, so thanks.