I hosted a Calgary Blogger meetup last night at Melrose Red Mile. We had a great turn out to talk about Social Media Strategies for Blog Promotion. Some super technically savvy bloggers turned up so everyone took away loads of information and “to do” lists for their blogs. It was definitely a blogger geek fest! (Which is a GOOD thing!) As the evening went along, a few websites, apps, etc suggestions were thrown out and now I’m going to share them with you!
First…for the technical aspects of blogging -
Webpagetest.org - When trying to determine how your site is running, don’t trust your experience. Why? Well, you have opened your site/blog 100 times so most of it is cached on your computer. That makes it super fast for you to open but that’s not necessarily the case for everyone else. This free website tests your page and grades you on response time. Go do it now….it’s definitely eye opening!
Pingdom.com and Alertsite.com - Want to monitor your site and make sure it is always “on”? There’s a service for that! Pingdom.com seems a bit more usable for smaller sites and blogs while alertsite seems for bigger corporate sites. One helpful hint with pingdom…they have a free service for monitoring just one site….and they give you a discount to add sites in the future so always start with the free service first.
Ever wonder what you should be putting as SEO keywords on your blogposts? Yeah…me too. Last night, I learned I should be using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Who knew? Here’s an article on how to use it.
And now for the “consuming” aspect of reading blogs….Great iPad apps (which I’m still learning so I will leave the descriptions to the people who developed them)
Zite – FREE – Zite is a personalized magazine for your iPad or iPhone that automatically learns what you like and gets smarter as you use it. Zite gives you personalized news, articles, blogs, videos and other content from a variety of both mainstream and niche publications and sites. Zite can personalize by syncing with your Twitter or Google Reader account or on its own.
Flipboard – FREE - Named Apple’s iPad App of the year and one of TIME’s Top 50 Innovations, Flipboard creates a personalized magazine out of everything being shared with you. Flip through your Facebook newsfeed, tweets from your Twitter timeline, photos from your Instagram feed and much more. Fill Flipboard with the things you like to read, from niche blogs to publications like Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair, and use Instapaper or Read It Later to save articles to read later. Connect Flipboard to all your social networks, and you’ll have a single place to enjoy, browse, comment on and share all the news, photos and updates that matter to you.
Pulse – FREE - One of only 50 apps in the App Store Hall of Fame, Pulse is a beautiful application that makes reading news fun and engaging. Pulse takes your favorite websites and transforms them into a colorful and interactive mosaic. Tap on an article to see a clean and elegant view of the news story. Save stories for reading later across all platforms or sync them with Instapaper, Read it Later and Evernote. Sharing a story via Facebook, Twitter and email is as easy as two taps.
And now for the time wasting extraordinaire iPad app…..
W.E.L.D.E.R. – $1.99 – It’s like SCRABBLE on crack. It’s so addictive that you really shouldn’t install it….but you will. Don’t blame me! Blame Melissa.