You could give Tiger Woods the crappiest set of golf clubs in the world and he could still easily beat you at golf. But Tiger Woods doesn’t use crappy golf clubs, does he?
Are you a great blogger? You could be a great blogger even if you never used anything but the standard post interface of your blog, because what matters is what you write. But, could you be a great blogger if you couldn’t keep up with the news and information that’s relevant to your blog’s subject matter? Could you be a great blogger if you couldn’t network and communicate properly with your readers or people who are important to your blog’s subject? Could you be a great blogger if your computer died because you didn’t know how to take care of it properly? Could you be a great blogger without the ability analyze visitor data?
I think you see where I’m going with this. The most correct answer to most of those questions is a longshot “maybe.” It’s possible you could still write remarkable content without access to the right news or the latest info. It’s possible you could still have a strong readership in spite of your inability to keep track of your communications.
But it’s not likely.
Back to Tiger: Even with junky, busted, old rusty clubs, Tiger could beat you in a game of golf, but could he beat another professional golf player of similar skill?
Again, not likely.
Blogging is one of the most fiercely competitive “sports” of all time. For every niche, there are thousands of bloggers competing for the attention of others. Happily, a lot of these other bloggers can be your friends and you can be part of a larger community. But they are also your competition to some extent. You are playing against them. You’re Tiger Woods, and they are other professional golfers.
You don’t want to use those old junky clubs, do you?
Didn’t think so. You need good tools, like Tiger, but you also need to rely on your skills, like Tiger. Here are some benefits a great tool will offer: (explain)
- Reduces repetition and redundancy
- Gathers intelligence
- Operate on your behalf
- Helps you organize your blogging
- Helps you manage other supportive tasks
- Does more than one of the above simultaneously
What You Can Do Right Now
Check out these tools, some of which I’ve written about in the past (and some of them I plan to review in the future). The list isn’t comprehensive, nor is it meant to be. It’s meant to be a place to start and give the most help in a short time.
- Weblog Tools Collection for new daily WordPress plugins.
- Hackospere for you Blogger users out there.
- Flock, social networking and blogger-friendly browser built on Firefox’s code base.
- Windows Live Writer, for writing blog posts.
- Remember the Milk is a feature-rich to-do list on the web.
- Wridea is an idea manager and brainstorming tool that lets you share with friends.
- NetVibes is a powerful personal home page manager and feed reader that can be used as your personal blogging command cetner.
- iGoogle is a personal home page manager from Google. If you use a ton of Google services, this is the one for you.
- Technorati Tag Bookmarklet to help you quickly and easily add Technorati tags to posts the same way for different blogs on different blogging systems.
- Google Analytics is probably the most powerful free web visitor statistics package available.
Your Feedback is Desired
Tell me if you use these tools are are planning to in your blogging. At the end of this series, I’m going to pick the best examples and link to them. So please leave a comment below and subscribe to my RSS feed so you don’t miss the rest of them! Tomorrow is the Seventh Key: Personal Productivity.