A guest article by Elena Vakhromova. You too can be part of this great knowledge sharing community. Take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.
Why do people guest-blog? For self- or product promotion, for traffic, money or just for interest’s sake. Indeed, guest blogging has become a marketing goldmine and all self-respecting online business owners tend to create a discourse around their product or service in blogosphere. Not all of them have the ability to write excellent posts which make the readers beg for more. Still any writing skills aren’t inherent or intuitive. Instead, good writing is a learned skill and it may be easily developed through practice.
If you’re preparing to plunge into guest-posting, you will need not only a knack for writing but a bunch of good tools to aid you in daily chores. Here is a roundup of handy web and PC-based applications which I find indispensable for everyone aiming at comfortable and effective guest-posting.
Those who get tired of MS Word and OpenOffice, will definitely love this free note-taking app. Evernote is an ideal solution for drafting a guest post. Its main asset is being perfectly cross-platform: notes are easily accessible from a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android phone and from the Web. Beside text notes, Evernote can keep whole web pages or excerpts, images, HTML code, PDFs, music, business cards, etc. Everything added to Evernote is automatically synchronized and made searchable. Evernote is also remarkable for its auto-saving, absence of cumbersome editing tools and ability to email notes.
Every guest post requires images, to say nothing about software roundups or reviews – here screenshots are a must. FastStone Capture greatly simplifies the task of taking snapshots of any screen fragments – full screen, active software windows, drop-down menus, web pages, or any selected areas of the above mentioned. Just hit the PrintScreen key and save your image in a desired format copy it to the clipboard. FastStone also has a basic image editor that lets crop, resize, rotate, adjust colour of the capture, add captions, print or email images. The only unpleasant feature that it has only 30-day trial and it’s $19.95 to register a version.
If you need an eye-catching image for your post but you aren’t skilled enough to use Photoshop, address Flickr – an online photo hosting service. It’s a great place to find images on any topic you’d like, just type a query in search and browse thousands of cool images that are Creative Commons licensed, meaning you can use them in your post as long as you attribute credit to the image owner. Plus, Flickr has a huge community of photographers who share their impressive photos there.
The main reason behind guest posts is quality backlinks building. Still some resources have a very strict backlink policy and put tag “nofollow” for any external links. To figure out such blogs, use NoDoFollow – a helpful Firefox extension that lets see if links on a page are dofollow
or nofollow. It highlights all the links according to their follow status: blue for dofollow, red for nofollow. The extension is compatible with Firefox 4 and up.
It’s very important for a guest blogger to spread a new post via social media channels- Facebook, Twitter and others. SMO specialists recommend to retweet your own content multiple times a day for different time zones. Bufferapp lets perfectly complete this task. This is a free web-based app which allows you to arrange tweeting as many times a day as you wish and keep your social presence while you’re absent. A convenient analytics tool provides feedback details on every bufferapp post. There’s also a similar option to schedule Facebook posts.
It’s needless to say how grammar and spelling are important for a guest blogger, especially for a non-native speaker. Here WordWeb comes to the aid. This is a free powerful dictionary and thesaurus program that provides the definition, synonyms, antonyms of any given word without requiring you to go online. It has about 150,000 words in its database and allows you to look up a word in online reference sites. The app is also notable for its hot key support: you simply use a hot key combo when the cursor is pointed over any word, and WordWeb will pop up onscreen with all pertinent information. The Pro version ($19.50) includes more word definitions, advanced Web search options and other features.
Guest posts may get better coverage due to multimedia addons. If you’d like to put a video into a post, you can’t do without Freemake Video Converter. This is a free Windows-based software that lets turn any offline video into web-compatible format (Flash FVL or SWF) or easily upload it to YouTube. You can also cut unnecessary video parts, choose a custom video resolution and even create video out of photos and music.