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Time-Tested Tips and Tools for Faster Blogging

In 2008, Lifehacker published a list of 10 ways to get blogging done without it becoming a chore. "Writing your blog should be a fun way to stretch your mind and stay connected to trends, friends, and the greater world," they note, "not another computer task." 

Best practices for blogging haven't changed much since Lifehacker's informational post (ask any online publisher). The advice has stood the test of time—and while we recommend reading all 10 Lifehacker tips, we'll summarize our four favorites here.

Don't copy/paste; AutoCopy. Tumblr facilitates the common practice of quoting passages from other webpages by enabling users to "reblog." But most non-Tumblr bloggers have to copy/paste the manual way. Save yourself the trouble with AutoCopy, a Firefox extension that automatically adds text you've highlighted to your clipboard, then pastes it when you middle-click anywhere in Firefox.

Make reusable templates for posts and images. Most posts are structurally similar, so save time by reading this useful guide to automating Photoshop actions. For hand-coding HTML, build templates out of your common formats, then just plug them into a text-substitution app. Blogger, Wordpress and other sites also have free easy-to-use templates.

Liveblog from your phone! Platforms like Posterous let you do this easily, and even automatically convert any image or video links you add into the actual image or video within your blog. If you're on another platform, try Nuance (formerly Jott). This voicemail-to-text service enables you to "blog" with your voice. It works with a number of common blog platforms.

Waste less time resizing images. Online image editing site Picnik is a free alternative to Photoshop that lets you easily resize images. For Windows users, there's also free desktop service Irfanview (which has good editing options for multiple images at once). For Mac users, the best tool we've found is GraphicConverter (unfortunately not free, but not nearly as costly as Photoshop).

The Po!nt: Cut corners wisely. Once you've learned a few pointers, blogging doesn't have to be a chore. Master a few time-tested tips and tools, and you'll be a speedy pro in no time!

Looking for great social media marketing data? MarketingProfs reviewed hundreds of research sources to create our most recent Social Media Marketing Factbook (May 2010). With 140 pages and 102 charts, it is full of relevant social media marketing stats and trends. The Social Media Marketing Factbook is Part 5 of the complete Digital Marketing Factbook (our 296-page full report).

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Vol. 4, No. 44    November 4, 2011

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