Five useful blogging tools

By Kristopher A. Nelson
in November 2010

500 words / 3 min.
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Looking for some useful tools that can help enhance your blog and your blogging? Here’s a list of some of my favorites.

Note: this post is from 2010. Evaluate with care and in light of later events.

Occasionally I like to take a break from my historical focus on law and technology, and instead take a look around at the contemporary blogging landscape. In that spirit, here’s a compendium of five of my current favorite cross-platform blogging tools and enhancements:

Image representing Lijit Networks as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase

1. Lijit

Quickly leverage custom Google searches for your site, along with enhanced results displays and search tracking information to help see what your visitors want. Allows for searching not just your blogs content, but also other data you generate on the Internet (your Twitter feed, Delicious bookmarks, and so on) Available for multiple blog platforms.

Lijit’s technology platform provides valuable information about reader behavior and intent. Use our site search and content discovery tools to build your community, expand your brand, and make more money.

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

2. Zemanta

Easily add related images and links to your blog postings. Available for multiple blog platforms, either as a plugin for your blogging software or for your browser. Zemanta’s site says that:

Zemanta is a tool that looks over your shoulder while you blog and gives you tips and advice, suggests related content and pictures and makes sure your posts get promoted as they deserve to be. We at Zemanta are thinking hard to help make blogging easier for you. We’re engineering better creative tools to help you get the most out of your blogging time.


3. LinkWithin

Add thumbnail images and links to related material within your site, all automatically. Works across many different varities of blogging software.

LinkWithin is a blog widget that appears under each post, linking to related stories from your blog archive. We retrieve and index all stories from your blog archive, not just recent stories, making them accessible to new or casual readers of your blog who would not otherwise encounter them.


4. Outbrain

Outbrain suggests related posts both on your site and off, and does the same for other bloggers. As a result, you benefit your visitors by showing related material from across the Web, and gain new visitors from other sites who see your posts on other blogs. It works via a simple cut and paste of Javascript, so it works on many different kinds of blog.

Our content syndication program, Outloud, exposes your most valuable content to the most qualified audience across thousands of sites. Site owners get to offer their readers great recommendations, readers get to discover interesting new articles, and Outloud customers get to grow their audience.

Disqus T-Shirt Found in BenSpark's Big Box of ...
Image by BenSpark via Flickr
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Image via CrunchBase

5. IntenseDebate, Disqus, or Echo

Image by evo_terra via Flickr

All three of these tools do related things: shift your comments to the cloud, with a corresponding increasing in social networking potential, extra features, and general utility. There may be nothing really wrong with your built-in commenting system, but hosting your comments elsewhere can give your visitors a much more sophisticated commenting experience. All of them have plugins for a variety of blogging platforms.