Monday, March 2, 2009

A Blogger's Toolbox ...

As we all know, a lot of hard work and valuable time go into creating a blog and maintaining it. Of course, there is nothing written in stone about the maintenance part -- it's strictly up to the blogger how much time he or she wants to spend on it. But if you're like me, I try to post something new (and, hopefully, interesting) every day, and that's not easy to do ... at least, it isn't easy for me.

Thank goodness, there are a few tools we bloggers have at our fingertips which make it less stressful -- and more fun -- to create our masterpieces.

For instance, I have an icon on my desktop for Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus, and it's practically worn out. I'm always clicking on it in hopes of coming up with new and eloquent words to replace the tired old adjectives that I find myself using over and over ...

And I really can't imagine creating a blog post without my camera and Photoshop Elements 7 program ...

And my books that tell me how to USE my camera and photoshop program (oops ... I should have removed the "For Dummies" books!).

And then there's the No. 1 blogger's tool ...

Can you imagine writing a blog without Google? I also use Google's "Image" Search" feature a lot.

And, of course, what would we do without Blogger and all those wonderful little widgets ...

And then there are the fun tools that imaginative bloggers have created themselves to stimulate imaginations and creative writing skills. Such as the "Memes," where we can confess our innermost secrets or vices ... and "Theme Days" for every day of the week where we can write about our Blue Mondays, Red Fridays, and Pink Saturdays.

Or the "Show and Tell Days" when we can talk about our latest flea market find, or "trash" that we've transformed into treasure, or our elegant or whimsical tablescapes.

There is even a "Wordless Wednesday Day" when we don't even have to write anything... we can just show our prized photos depicting the "word for the day" (I hope to participate in that one soon).

Another great tool I use is Blogger's Help page ...

It has simple, easy-to-follow (aka "for dummies") tutorials that show you how to put pictures in your header, edit templates, insert a background in your blog, and lots of other good information.

I created my blog less than a year ago, on April 21, 2008, and wrote my first post which was called Only a True Southerner Knows the Difference. It was about as "plain Jane" as you can get (not one picture, can you believe?) ... and I was thrilled when four sweet ladies left comments about it. I couldn't believe they even found it, much less took time to leave a comment. Bless you, Judy, Nancy, Rue, and Dot!

I'd like to think that I've come a long way since that first scary post ... and I'd like to thank my blogging friends for the encouragement, kind words, and inspiration you've given me since that first tentative step I took into the world of blogging. You, my friends, have been my greatest "tool" of all!



southerninspiration said...

Wow, less than a year ago!! You've definitely got the blogging way down now! I love your blog. I see you read my blog yesterday...any trouble getting there? It seems that some of my viewers are locked out, and I don't know what to do to fix it. I've gotten some advice from the Blogger help forum to delete all the gadgets and start this something you know anything about?


Unknown said...

Hi Janie,
I know I'm guilty of using the same adjectives over and over! So, I'm so glad you posted that link.

Your blog is one of my favorites. It is hard to believe you have only been at it one year!

I too have a hard time coming up with ideas every day, but all the blogging Meme's do help!

Hope you have a great day!

Stacey said...

Wow you take such an educated approach. I blunder my way through it.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I'm glad to see all of your tools, Janie. I think sometimes I still fly by the seat of my pants. LOL! Maybe that's why your posts are always so beautiful and well thought out, and some of mine are... well, questionable. LOL! I also catch myself editing even after the post is up. ;-)

Loved seeing your blogger tools!

Love your blog...


Sheila :-)

Unknown said...

I, too, just found your blog and love it. Thanks for sharing as I'm also a fairly new at blogging.

Sue said...

This so helpful to me, thank you for sharing!!! You are such a jewel.

~TexasLady~ said...

Great post*! I am looking forward to start getting involved in the theme days. Sounds like fun*!

Melissa Miller said...

Hi Janie,
I'm so happy to have found your beautiful blog full of inspiration!

Thank you for posting the helpful blogging tips.
I really do need them.
I'm not sure anyone would have ever found mine at all if it wasn't for the themed days.

I hope you can come by and say Hello.
You're always welcome!

Have a blessed day.
~Melissa :)

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

I can so relate since I'm a new blogger too. I discovered blogs from people mentioning their blog on Rate My Space. I would check it out. I read other blogs for a couple of months before I created mine. Now I read my blogs much more than check out RMS. Thanks for posting.

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

This is so helpful... I too use the same adjectives over and over again..I'm sure most are tired of reading some of them.. lol..thanks so much for sharing..hugs ~lynne~

Anonymous said...

Which ever words you choose, it doesn't have created a beautiful blog, I love coming here to visit !!

So glad we've become virtual friends...

Kathy :)

Justabeachkat said...

Hi there!

Thanks for your visit and comment today. I hope you'll come and visit me often. I love getting to know other bloggers. I've sure enjoyed my visit here.

You're so right about all of the "tools" we use to help us with blogging. You know, I didn't think about putting the dictionary on my sidebar. I use the one on my desktop all the top, but it sure will be easier adding it to my sidebar. Thanks for the hint.


English Cottage in Georgia said...

What a lovely blog! Blogging has been interesting, but I do feel limited by my lack of tech savvy:-(
When you put your "dummy" books up for sale, let me know.

Jon said...

This was a very informative post with lots of good tips. By the professional looks of your blog, I would have thought you have been blogging for years. You are a FAST learner for sure.

It is nice of you to share your toolbox with us to help us climb this steep learning curve. I for one need to master photo editing software.