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Essential Tools – Blogging Expertise Style

By Char

essential toolsWhat started off as an aside to a conversation with Liz Strauss has grown into a true staple of this blog. This is the 23rd post in the Essential Tools series and I am truly thankful for all of my participants so far, as they have taught us all some new tricks!

This week’s edition features Sarah Lewis of Blogging Expertise. Sarah is known for her super coding skills that can take a blog from so-so to wow in the eyes of the search engines – just ask eMom, Wendy. The following are Sarah’s recommendations.

Sarah’s Tools for Success

  • Google Analytics: This free statistics tool helps Sarah monitor and analyze her blog promotions.
  • Sitening SEO Tools: Extremely useful free tools that Sarah uses all the time for analyzing a site’s search engine potential, tracking current rankings for keywords, and researching potential link swaps.
  • WordPress (the full version): Sarah’s worked with a wide variety of blogging tools and constantly recommends WordPress (free) for its great community support and unique ability to run whole sites in addition to blogs.
  • Google Reader: This free tool makes it easy for Sarah to stay caught up with her favorite blogs and stay active in the blogging conversation.
  • Textmate: A fabulous Mac-only code editor and the primary reason Sarah switched to a Mac for her main work computer.
  • Sarah’s bookmarks are always available to her (and others, which has lead to some very cool collaborative projects), regardless of where she’s at and which computer she’s using.

Since I am on a PC and a Mac, I will need to check out Textmate. I would love to be using my Mac more often for development and this might be the push I need.

Previously featured: Kelly King Anderson (Start Up Princess), Adam Kayce (Monk at Work), Ponn Sabra (Empower Women Now), Easton Ellsworth (Business Blogwire), Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei (Cottontimer), Daivid Airey (Creative Design), Wendy Piersall (eMomsAtHome), Randa Clay (Randa Clay), Ingo Scheusse (stixster), Jason Kaneshiro (Webomatica), Ben Yoskovitz (Instigator Blog), Phil Gerbyshak (Make It Great), Jason Alba (Jibber Jobber), Tony Clark (Success from the Nest), Gayla McCord (MomGadget), Mike Sansone (Converstations), Jennifer Hadorn (Bloggertunity), Robyn Tippins (Practical Blogging), Liz Strauss (Successful Blog) – you could be next – just drop me a line at charlene [at] keystrokes [dot] net!

Categories : Essential Tools



Great list of tools, as always, Char.

I recently spent a bunch of time analyzing Web coding text editors for PC (I love Bluefish for Linux, but needed one for the PC side).

The free HTML-Kit is an excellent choice for hand coders on a PC. Highly customizable and configurable.


Thanks for the additional tool, Tony! I will have to go check it out.


Excellent list, and I’m glad to say that I’m already using all of those tools – with the exception of Google Reader, which I just couldn’t get on with. I’m using Netvibes ( for this instead, and it’s proving excellent!


Paul – I haven’t tried Netvibes yet. I use Google Reader. What is it about Netvibes that you really like?


Char, awesome – this is one of my fav things about your blog. Since I’m too lazy to look, can you point me to a page that has a running list of these recommendations? Now that would be a popular page!

Jason Alba


This is the second time today I have read about Sitening SEO Tools and Textmate. I am anxious to try them both after I upgrade to WP 2.2.

HTML-kit is very powerful but can run very slowly with large find and replace tasks.

Netvibes is excellent so is Pageflakes. I considered migrating from MyYahoo but it would just take to long.


This series is developing into a truly great resource, Char. Thanks for providing it.

I’m wondering whether you would consider collating the tools under headings as an at a glance “round up” every so often e.g. every few months or perhaps, an annual or six monthly round up. What do you think?


Jason & Yvonne – I don’t have a running list of all the tools – but I am thinking that maybe I need to! Let me get that started. Thanks for the suggestion.

Skarld – Now I’ll need to check out Netvibes and Pageflakes for sure. Thanks for the recommendation.


What about could you consider it as a tool..


Yes, Digg and other social bookmarking sites are considered tools.


[...] Ben Yoskovitz (Instigator Blog), Jason Kaneshiro (Webomatica), Randa Clay (RandaClay), Sarah Lewis (Blogging Expertise), Ponn Sabra (Empower Women Now), Lisa Sabin Wilson (Just a Girl in the World), [...]

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