Top Ten Things That Make Our Life As Bloggers Easier/Better
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.
Kindle/Nook - When books began filling every corner of my office, I knew I would have to cave and buy a device. I discovered I enjoy reading digital versions nearly as much as reading printed books. My Kindle Fire allows me to easily transport more books when we go on vacation than I could manage before. In addition, I'm not stuck with ARCs of books I didn't care for taking up space in the house. While my daughter uses her Nook to access Netflix and play games, I mostly use my Kindle to read.
Library - When I began taking writing seriously, I found I visited our local library more often for research materials. The Internet only takes you so far and it's too expensive to buy research materials for each new project. Spending so much time at the library, reminded me how much I enjoyed borrowing books when I was a kid and couldn't afford to own every book I wanted. Now, I visit to borrow books for entertainment, and the overwhelming majority of my daughters' reading material is also borrowed.
Rafflecopter - What a pain in the neck blog giveaways were to manage before Rafflecopter. Now they are quick and easy. I can use the same Rafflecopter account for multiple blogs. Rafflecopter will also tell me when a giveaway has started and ended. It also picks the winner, lets me email the winner directly by clicking a button, and announces the winners for me. Love it.
Virtual Book Tours - I know I am biased (I coordinate virtual book tours for a living, after all), but virtual book tours have given me access to tons of books I never would have discovered otherwise. I don't have time to browse the Internet looking for new releases. Emails from virtual book tour companies let me pick and choose what books I want to read and when. If I don't have time to participate or aren't interested, I simply delete the email.
Twitter - I love Twitter. Though Facebook is wonderful, I don't feel the need to share so much on Twitter (the character limit helps). It allows me to promote my blog and I can easily find items of interest with hashtags.
Buffer - I tried TweetDeck. I tried HootSuite. I never really understood them or used them much. Then came Buffer. The Buffer app allows me to schedule tweets on a customized schedule. In addition, it quickly provides analytics that show me how many retweets, favorites, mentions, and clicks my tweets receive.
Pingomatic - Admitting up front that I don't know a ton about it, I discovered Pingomatic from a virtual book tour I work with. It's a service that tells different search engines your blog has been updated. I can definitely say I've received an increase in traffic since I began using it. Not a tremendous amount, but it's helped.
Daily planner - I don't know what I would do without my trusty calendar. Managing six blogs and contributing to several others, organization is the key to keeping me from going insane.
Free blog templates - I'll willingly admit I am somewhat of an HTML dummy. I can't create my own templates--even if I had the time to learn. Sites like hot bliggity blog and The Cutest Blog On The Block help me keep things fresh and interesting for my readers.
Blogging friends - I love visiting other blogs. I've met a bunch of people through blogging. Since I'm not a social butterfly at home, it's nice to meet others online and find common interests.