Blogging Tools, Blogger Hacks & Directories ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Blogging Tools, Blogger Hacks & Directories

I'm not a real geek, I tell you. But I do like technology, and sometimes you people ask me about the blog hacks and tools I use. Rather than praise my favorite technology haphazardly, with sporadic posts, I've made this list. (I'm also developing an answer to the question, "How can I get more blog traffic?" I think these two posts will compliment each other.)

Here are my categories:
Blogging Accessories (my favorite online tools, related to blogging), Blog Tools (extra functionality—Blogger programs and hacks), and Directories (where you can list your blog). Questions or suggestions? Let me know. This is a work in progress.

Recent additions:

Free Email Forms

Adding a contact form to your blog encourages interaction while killing spam. This is the same
service I use.

If you're the type of person who puts a lot of links in your sidebar, BlogRolling is an easy way to manage your link list and customize the way your links are displayed.

Pandora Internet Radio
This "music genome project" lets you find music you like and create "radio stations" feauring your favorite tunes. Then you can add your radio station to your blog with some simple code.

Blogging Accessories

Get Firefox!
Firefox is my browser of choice because it's customizable, with lots of extensions and shortcuts that lend themselves to blogging.

Subscribe in Bloglines
The feedreader par excellence; I use Bloglines to read my favorite blogs in one place. (You can subscribe to BitterSweetLife as a test case.:)

CoComment tracks all the comments you leave on any topic anywhere. Tag your comments with descriptive labels, keep track of the blogs & forums you've visited, and, best of all, see instantly if anyone has replied to your cutting-edge observations. is a social bookmarking site where you can store all your favorite web pages and index them with tags. It's like a searchable, massive bookmark collection, because you can view other people's collections as well (and even subscribe). I post a lot of my favorite blogs to so I can find them later, and also have a dedicated account that I use to index BitterSweetLife.

LibraryThing is an ingenius online platform for people who love books. Easily create a tag-able, search-able, share-able list. Then show off your excellent taste in books with a sidebar widget (like I do).

BitterSweetLife at
A thorough index to the blogosphere's hottest Christian spirituality blog, powered by
(Excuse the self-promotion, I had to put this button somewhere.)

Blog Tools
Some of these tools & hacks will require adding code to your template. If you're not familiar with HTML, be sure to proceed with caution. Check Blogger Help for lots of step-by-step template instruction. And always "preview" your changes before you save.

Feedburner is the top dog when it comes to customizing your blog's RSS feed. Once you understand the basics of RSS, (think of it as making your blog content "portable") get a free account to add personality to your feed. A good RSS feed means more readers.

More than a directory, Technorati is a community of users who search and tag blog content. Be sure to "claim" your blog so you can take advantage of the stats, news and publicity. Technorati also provides widgets for your sidebar - blog search and "which blogs link here?"

Statcounter is a free service that tracks your blog visitors with lots of demographic information; it also monitors links and page loads to reveal which of your posts are the most popular, most searched-for, etc.

Meebo is a message platform that channels all your IM accounts (AIM, MSN, Gtalk, etc.) into one place and lets you put an IM box on your blog for real-time conversations.

BlogFlux provides multiple services including a directory, button-maker, and stat tracking.

FreshBlog is the source of a lot of the hacks that I've incorporated on BitterSweetLife. There are a lot of guys in their basements writing hacks for Blogger; FreshBlog acts as a kind of clearinghouse for the really good ones.

Blogger Hacks Wiki
This is a list of the better Blogger Hacks, continuously updated by a group of smart guys.

This "1ClickNotifier" hack allows you to send an email to people who have commented on your blog, notifying them that you've responded.

The "Evangelical Aggregator" is a massive listing of evangelical Christian blogs. Signing up with them may or may not add credibility/traffic to your site...

TTLB Ecosystem
This definitive blog directory doubles as a blog-ranking system. You'll want to sign up, even if your blog does begin life as an "insignificant microbe."

The Vocabulary Reclamation Project will be a shot in the arm for those of you who don't want to have a vocabulary like, well, umm, yeah. It's verbal cortisone with a smile.

Blogger Limelight was the concept I came up with to encourage blog discussions on a given topic. Anyone is free to exploit the idea to spur discussion and drive a little blog traffic, if they follow the official rules and bylines of Blogger Limelight... ;)

Blog Directories
This list is definitely not exhaustive, but here are some of the better known blog directories where I've listed BitterSweetLife. You should also submit your blog to the main search engines.

Listed on BlogShares

Top100 Bloggers
Top 100

Religion Blog Top Sites

blog search directory

Blog Directory

What's that? You want to link this blog, as a way of saying thanks? Well...

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


Holly said...

What an awesome list of goodies!! thanks for posting them! Just in time because I am going to start getting back to blogging!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your dissemination of all this blogging chicanery. Now I can track my 2 person readership!

AJ said...

"Now I can track my 2 person readership!"

Hey, you have to start somewhere. When I launched this blog, not even my mom read it. I could count my daily visitors using my limbs. So take heart.

"Just in time because I am going to start getting back to blogging!"

Great, I'm glad the timing worked out so well.

Andrew Simone said...

Bloglines is key, KEY, I tell you.

I owe you big for turning me on to it.

Berni said...

Like what I see and will spend more time perusing. Thanks a lot

Susannah said...

Printed off to apply later. Too much to digest now! Thanks much.

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Anonymous said...

shit , still have to use the commont of the blog ...faint

. said...

Good Stuff for bloggers. Contact form is a must for any blogger, this one is really simple.

Gayathri said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

Great Article! Really helpful!
By the way, take a look at this site: and get paid for hosting cool videos in your blogs.

Anonymous said...

Scores of people surf the internet on a daily basis looking for blogs on specific topics and if you are among them, you won’t be disappointed after landing up at Bloggersblaze, a website that provides you with a blog directory that is considered to be the largest and most comprehensive over the internet. You will surely find the blog you are looking for in our social blog directories and by coming in touch with bloggersblaze, you would be able to enhance your knowledge on blogging and also it would be possible for you to connect with bloggers worldwide.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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potenta said...

thank you very much for these infos.:)

Said said...

Thank you a lot!

Tim Jones said...

I agree Pandora is an excellent tool for discovering new music online. I buy silver lined cds to record the music I stream on pandora.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife