Even though your main activity happens on your WordPress blog, you will still need some extra blogging tools to help you become more efficient and to measure your progress and results.
Having efficiency and progress in mind I will only recommend you a list of 10 essential tools for serious blogging.
In time, after you will get more into blogging and have more experience with WordPress and third-party software you can enhance your arsenal of tools for serious blogging.
Site & RSS Analytics
Essential Tool #1 - Google Analytics
You can user Clicky for free if you want to track only one website that has under 500k pageviews/day.
Google Analytics is also free and it got updated recently.
!!!You can only use Google Analytics if you have a self-hosted WordPress, because Wordpress.com has built-in analytics.
Essential Tool #2 - Feedburner
Tools for Writing
Essential Tool #3 - Darkroom (Windows), WriteRoom (Mac)
Also, its great because it doesn't push that nasty unnecessary HTML code that Microsoft Word is pushing when you are pasting an article in your web editor.
Essential Tool #4 - After the Deadline
Well, that’s the risk where you are not an english native speaker.
You can also use Microsoft Word for proof reading or any other proof reading software you like.
What do you need to learn from this is that you need to proof read your articles before publishing. If you have an assistant that can help you with that, or a piece of software, it's up to you.
From time to time, I invest a few hours into manually correcting published articles,having in mind to write better and spot mistakes before making them.
If you are a writer here on Infobarrel, you already have After the Deadline installed and you also get a notification before saving your module text, to not forget to proof read.
Tools for management & backup
Essential Tool #5 - Dropbox
Dropbox backs it up in the cloud and I backs it up on my desktop,as soon as I get connected to the Internet. This way, my desktop Dropbox folder & my laptop Dropbox Folder are always in sync and with a copy in the cloud.
Also, if you need more advanced info, here is how to do a WordPress backup and send it to your Dropbox Folder.
Essential Tool #6 - TweetDeck
Essential Tool #7 - Evernote
I also use Evernote to write short notes on product ideas, business ideas, quotes and other stuff.
Essential Tool #8 - Basecamp
For those who are searching for more complex project management solutions I recommend you Podio. It's very customizable and has great apps you can add to your account.
Essential Tool #9 - Aweber
You can try Aweber the first month for the price of 1$ and then you will have to pay 17$ for 500 subscribers. I think it’s pretty pricey (especially if you are a newbie), but if you are serious about cashing in from an email list, I suggest you go with Aweber, especially if you are a blogger.
For bootstraps Mailchimp is another great solution for email marketing. It’s has an impressive free plan, allowing you to manage a list of 2000 subscribers without charging you.
As a consultant I used Mailchimp mainly for e-commerce clients and for clients that didn’t wanted to pay (for now) an effective email marketing solution.
Essential Tool #10 - Google Reader
If you need to understand how RSS works check out this website: What is RSS?.
All in all, you need to use a few extra tools to get more productive and expect bigger results. There are a plethora of tools out there but this essential 10 tools will probably suffice.
Before this article ends, I really want to ask you, what tools are you using to complete your blogging arsenal, and are making you more productive?