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7 Best Productivity Apps for Bloggers

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bigstock-Blog-824779 One of the biggest challenges with blogging is that it can be time consuming and hard to do when traveling. However, in recent years, thanks to wonderful and inspired app makers, there are now numerous tools available for bloggers which helps tremendously make blogging easy, convenient, and fun! With these productivity apps, blogging has become less complicated and you can get your daily tasks done, even while on the go.

Here are some of the best productivity tools for bloggers:

Blogger and WordPress

For iOS | For Android

Yes, blogging platforms top this list of productivity apps, since they make blogging on the go possible. Blogger is an app created by Google Inc. that makes writing, saving, scheduling, and publishing posts easy. The Blogger app also makes uploading pictures direct from the phone to the blog is very simple.

For bloggers who use travel a lot and who use the WordPress blogging platform, the WordPress app is another ‘must-have’ productivity tool. The interface is very user-friendly if you’re familiar with WordPress, making it easy to blog whenever you have time, even if you aren’t at home in front of your computer.

(Editor’s note: If you’re trying to decide between Blogger and WordPress, check out our post about choosing a blogging platform.)

Boomerang

For Gmail | For Outlook

Have you ever experienced forgetting to send an important email to a client or a boss? Boomerang is the answer. This app allows you to write the email ahead of time. You simply schedule when you want it sent; the app will do it for you. Boomerang can do more! This app is really like your virtual secretary. For example, if you sent an email containing a guest blog post to another blogger, you can set the application to remind you to get in touch with the recipient again if you don’t get a reply.

SEO Tool – Check Site Position

For iOS

For serious bloggers, knowing their search engine rankings is very important, and this used to be a challenge for bloggers who are always mobile or on the go. SEO Tool – Check Site Position provides the answer to this challenge. With this app created by Nopreset, bloggers can now easily check their page rankings wherever they are. It is also convenient to use especially for bloggers who have several domains or websites.

Memonic

For iOS | For Android | For Mac | For PC

Excellent posts often require lots of research. Researching however, can be very taxing. With memonic, bloggers now have a better way of tracking their research and saving it for later. Using this app, bloggers can effortlessly save any web content with just a click to their online notebook anytime. No need anymore to bookmark a lot of websites and visiting them again and again.

Otixo

For iOS | For Android

Bloggers who have challenges with too many files found their answer with Otixo, a convenient file manager for perfect for Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, and other popular cloud services. With Otixo, bloggers can easily find their files across cloud-based services, and with a single username and password, access these online services with ease. Here’s another thing that many bloggers like about this app: they can easily copy and/or move files from one service to another without the need to download them to their computer. The process is very easy because it’s just drag-and-drop and then it’s done!

Pixlr

For iOS | For Android

Great images make blogs more attractive to readers and visitors. For your not-so-perfect pictures that need editing, Pxilr is the perfect tool. This app is free and it allows the blogger on the go to edit pictures in order for them to fit perfectly to a blog post.

In your option, what are the best productivity tools out there? Do you have any favorite productivity apps that help you blog more efficiently when you’re not at your computer? Share them with a comment below!

Image Credit: Bigstock

The Mobile Majority Wants Your Small Business

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mobile small business Remember when mobile phones used to be about..making a call? Neither do I. The explosive growth of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices over the past few years has drastically and permanently changed the way we socialize, work, and do business. The net-net? It’s imperative to travel with your customers and prospects wherever they go.

In fact, a recent report revealed that 28% of smartphone users and 55% of tablet users shop online: That means they are searching, evaluating, or making purchases—possibly all three in one fell swoop. That’s why small businesses—whether  a consultant, online site, or retail—are now expected to serve up discoverable, easy to navigate, and actionable content on mobile devices. If not, there is a gaping hole of awareness, customer and  prospect interaction, and the opportunity for your competition to grab business.

Consider these recent mobile device statistics:

Convinced?

Even though you know it’s the “right” move for your business, thinking about the effort required can be overwhelming, or perhaps you don’t even know where to start. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to position your business in the mobile marketing game without reshuffling your plans, allocating a huge budget, or calling yourself a tech-genius.

Depending on whether you have a store-front, are a consultant, ecommerce site, or other business model, you will have one or more content areas to mobile-ize. Additional factors to consider will be your overall marketing goals, tools you use to promote your business, and how often you communicate with your customers and prospects.

Let’s start making your content mobilicious:

  • Entice with easy-to-read mail: The great thing about optimizing email for mobile devices is that you’ll get a two-for-one: Not only will your email be easier to read, visually pleasing, and clear on what action to take, it will result in a better promotion on any size screen. Here are some rules of thumb:
    • Keep the text short and punchy: Edit. Edit. Edit. What email wouldn’t benefit from that?
    • Use time and space wisely with your Call-to-Action (CTA): Think discounts, free offers, and new services you want to promote.
    • Have few images but make them clickable: Streamlined but effective graphics can pull double duty by being touch-friendly to navigate and also prompting action, such as pointing to social media icons, or click to buy, to name a few.
    • Let the fingers do the walking: With virtually all smartphones using a touchscreen these days, make sure your email is “finger-friendly” to open, navigate, and zoom around the content.
    • Consider getting help: If email marketing is a big part of your business, think about hiring a vendor to do the heavy lifting for you, such as Movable Ink or BrightWave Marketing.

So is your small business ready to join the mobile majority? Yes, it will require some initial work, but taking these steps today will put you front and center with your customers and prospects wherever they are, now and in the future.

Once you get on the mobile marketing train, I recommend that you stay up to speed on the trends: Because it’s a growing and ever-changing technology, being ahead of the curve will help improve your chances for mobile marketing success. Check out resources on all aspects of mobile marketing. There are tons more online.

What’s next? Start thinking about blinging out your presence with apps, QR codes, video, texting, advertising, search widgets, which will be covered in my article next month.

Image credit: Bigstock

How Nonprofit Leaders Avoid Social Media Burnout

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Afrif running marathon

In 2009, I battled through an experience only 45,000 other people in the world can say they conquered that day—The Chicago Marathon. With five months of training, nearly a million people cheering us on, and runners who became my heroes, I finished the race and crossed it off my bucket list.

Many nonprofit leaders experience a different kind of marathon that is often referred to as social media management. Instead of shin splints, there’s higher chances of carpal tunnel. Instead of getting sweat in your eye, yours are just dried out from staring at the computer screen. Instead of losing your lunch like many marathoners do, you’re losing your temper because the friends who promised to like your Facebook page are too busy liking pictures of their pets. Don’t fret, you can learn from my running experience to avoid social media burnout.

Stay The Course

As excited as all the runners were to start, there were more than a few disqualifications during the race. These runners either decided they couldn’t finish the 26.2 miles like everyone else or were so delirious they ran through the barricades to finish at world-record pace. My assumption is they tried taking shortcuts because the task at hand seemed too daunting. And many social media managers go through the same thing. You’ll soon realize creating content that no one wants will do more harm than not creating any content at all. There are tens of thousands of reasons to browse the web. By showing conviction in your writing, videos and other media, you will begin to build a following. If you’re all over the place, how can you expect people to understand you message and what value you bring to their Internet experience?

You should do one thing and do it well. Once you’ve mastered that one thing you should feel confident to move on to another. For example, many nonprofits sign up for several social media sites and stretch themselves too thin to grow a loyal audience. By focusing on one or two platforms at a time, you can develop your voice, create a culture, and reward your audience in unique ways. When starting out, you should have time to respond to everyone’s comments and inquiries. Each one is an opportunity to strengthen ties and leverage partnerships.

Reward The Little Victories

The day of the marathon, I stood awestruck at the sheer magnitude of the event. When I started the race alongside 45,000 others, I felt like if I stopped no one would know or care but me and the few people who were cheering me on. I was so wrong! To my surprise, at mile 12, I reached a party of epic proportions. Music blasted, volunteers cheered us on as they offered us energy drinks, Powerbars, and most importantly a congratulations for getting that far. Obviously the end of the race is the ultimate goal, but them rewarding us with much needed goodies and support strengthened our collective resolve. The next mile—another raucous celebration of the human spirit. Each mile was an accomplishment and they wanted us to acknowledge that as well.

When it comes to social media, you should consider taking the same approach. Remember when you had 0 likes, 0 followers, 0 comments, and 0 page views? And you felt like the first few you got in each category didn’t count because your friends and family felt guilty for not getting on board sooner? But then came the day a stranger “favorited” your tweet or shared a link of your blog post. I hope you thanked that stranger profusely. He or she had so many other things they could have been doing but they decided to read your content, watch your video, and let their friends know that it was quality stuff. Do me a favor: the next time a stranger acknowledges your existence on the web with a share, retweet, follow, etc., send them a personal note. Give them a few sentences about what that little victory means to you. And I can assure you those little victories will turn into something grand.

Run Social Media, Don’t Let it Run You

I’m apprehensive about admitting this next part but it helps set the tone for those nearing a social media meltdown. Ego aside, there was a point I didn’t think I was going to finish the marathon. At mile 20, the pavement felt like quicksand, my shoes felt heavier than my first computer screen, and I felt like my arms had been hauling furniture all day. The marathon was beating me and I had no recourse for overcoming it.

My clients have felt the same way with their social media efforts. To give you a sense of what I tell them, you have to take control and take ownership of the social identity you’re creating. Inconsistent posts, boring videos, and tweets about how much @random_person doesn’t deserve to be as famous as they are will only add to the noise that already exists. Instead: Create value. Offer solutions. Build relationships. Gain respect. All this will come when you become a pro at media channels you utilize. One secret is to create a great piece of content and have it pushed to one or two platforms automatically. A website you’ve probably never heard of does exactly that. It’s called If This Then That. They do a much better job of explaining how their service works than I could, but once you’ve used it, please comment below on how it’s your new best friend when it comes to automating the content you produce.

Everyone’s a Winner

You don’t have to be the best at social media management to accomplish your goals. When I was running the marathon, I felt a sense of community. We were all pulling for each other. Not everyone can run like a star athlete and not everyone can be the Gary Vaynerchuk of social media. Everyone who finishes a marathon is a winner. And if you put your best foot forward in social media management, the same is true. People will ultimately recognize your commitment to the good cause you’re passionate about and will do something to help.

Realizing When Social Media Is Junk Food

Preparing for a marathon wasn’t just about running around the neighborhood a few days a week. The training was an entire lifestyle change. I had to be in top form and that included changing my eating habits to maximize my performance. I had never been on a diet before then; I love food too much for that. But I knew running the best I could would take discipline and a commitment to healthy living. Late night snacks and junk food can ruin your regimen and have a detrimental effect on race day. When social media becomes pervasive, listen to that same inner-voice when you enter a McDonald’s at 2am: You gotta get outta there! When social media language invades your real world conversations, “Hey dude, was it just me or did you all LOL throughout the entire movie. I’m sure you guys would agree that last scene was hashtag—epic! Right, Right? I’m definitely updating my status on the ride home.” Get outta there! When you’re following three times as many people as the Twitter followers you have…Get out! Get out! Get out!

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

I learned the hard way at mile 20 of the marathon but I ended up finishing with my hands raised like a champion. When it comes to social media, use it to incrementally build your brand and execute on a legacy that will take years to develop. Trying to bounce from social media craze to next one may leave you in the dust. So foster a quality community with quality content on your favorite social site(s). And when the time is right, take smooth strides towards the next logical platform. People can recognize authenticity from a mile away, so use it appropriately as new and old supporters cheer you on to the finish line.

BlackBerry Wants to Reward You to Make Your Online Content an App

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Blackberry is excited to tell you about our port-a-thon that starts this Friday, January 18th at 12pm ET and runs for 36 hours straight. It’s your chance to earn big rewards for just a few minutes of work.

After our warm welcome, successful app generation efforts and many connections made at NMX in Vegas this month, the BlackBerry team came home to hold the third and fourth in a series of port-a-thons we have been running in our effort to generate apps for BlackBerry 10.

That said, we are thrilled to let you know about this weekend’s “BlackBerry 10 Last Chance Port-A-Thon.” This event expands the acceptable apps to include those built with our BlackBerry App Generator, as seen on site at NMX. It’s a great opportunity for anyone or any business to build an app for BlackBerry 10, BlackBerry PlayBook, and BlackBerry 6/7 smartphones, with no technical knowledge required.

Why does this matter to you? The app takes advantage of any existing content you have in an RSS feed, WordPress or Blogger blog, Tumblr or Posterous site, YouTube channel, Facebook page or Picasa/Flickr gallery.

That’s not all. There are some great rewards for participants, with up to $2 million (USD) available. Register and submit an app during the port-a-thon and you’re eligible for $100 per app, up to 20 apps. Submit five or more apps to be eligible for a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device draw (250 devices to be drawn)!

Register and port your content into an app to see for yourself how simple it can be to provide your readers with an engaging, shareable app.

From No Tech Knowledge to a Growing “Tech Tester” Population

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Ten years ago, I was the President of a boutique marketing agency located in the New York Metro area. Although I’m no longer with the company, the lessons learned during my tenure live on. We were an integrated communications firm with clear roles assigned. The PR professionals developed the business stories, the marketing folks creating the sizzle and pushed the creative envelope and the multimedia people developed the powerful interactive applications. We had our share of internal struggles, but none of us argued over the technology that fueled our clients’ programs. Companywide, we knew it was the responsibility of the in-house Web development team.

One day, sitting around the boardroom table, I remember saying to my executive team, “Why can’t the PR people update the online newsrooms themselves? Why do we have to wait on a lengthy production schedule to post a news release? Our job is timely disclosure. We have to move quickly with our news and information.” I’ll never forget the look on their faces. They were surprised (borderline confused) that I wanted the PR people to be much more hands on with technology. Shortly thereafter, my communications department became more actively involved in technology.

Moving forward, our clients’ websites were built with backend content management systems and the PR team was trained to upload images and news releases. They also learned how to update copy on website pages and to maintain the newsroom. This new, hands-on process bypassed the long wait on the Web production schedule, when a client’s news was pressing. Clients were thrilled and PR people rolled up their sleeves and got involved in technology.

Technology has become a Natural Part of the Connection Process

Today, no one would bat an eye to hear that a PR professional or any other professional (sales, marketing, customer service, etc.) were savvier with technology. Social media has created a culture of citizen journalists who create their own media. We see companies taking the time to train different departments, giving employees the right tools and also the policies to guide “proper” participation. The baffled looks I received at the boardroom table 10 years ago would be looks of approval today. This isn’t exclusive to PR, but to those outside of communications as well.

A natural part of adopting social media includes Tech Testing, no matter what your area of responsibility. It’s important to continually research and test technology to make better connections and build relationships. In my book, Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional, Practice #3 is the role of the Tech Tester. However, Tech Testing has extended into additional areas of the company, especially as social media is used companywide. From sales and marketing to HR and product development, chances are most people in your company are using social media personally or professionally and experimenting with the resources and applications that go along with it.

How does Tech Testing Work? In some cases it becomes a natural part of the workday and for others, it might be taking the time and interest after hours to experiment. Companies that support the role of the Tech Tester provide social media training classes and toolkits with informational articles or guides. However, you may also be Tech Testing on your own time.

Regardless of when you Tech Test, here are 5 important areas of tech evaluation, which deserve attention. Experimenting in these areas will help you to create better engagement opportunities through social media, with the people who matter to you and/or to your company.

1. Social Media Monitoring & Measurement Tools

By now, you’re probably not a stranger to the term “Listening,” with respect to social media conversations. There are excellent monitoring tools and platforms that aggregate the conversations and offer data regarding daily volume (buzz), share of voice, blogger influence, real-time news and sentiment. Understanding how to listen to conversations and track keywords is a lesson in understanding how your audience wants you to interact with you. If you’re a Tech Tester, then there is no shortage of helpful free resources including Google Alerts, Social Mention, SocialPointer, HootSuite, and Addictomatic, to name a few. When you select the keywords related to your company, brand, industry and competitors (or your personal passion), you will uncover an enormous amount data that you can analyze to gain insights on how to participate more effectively and to build better relationships for the long term.

2. Social Media Influence Tools

When it comes to influence tools, one question is always asked, “Is it influence or is it popularity?” It’s a little bit of both. We all know that popularity will get us large numbers of friends and followers, but influence will have your community members sparking into action, based on what you say or share. Various tools have different algorithms, which are used to calculate influence from Klout, which evaluates about 400 different online and offline measures to gauge influence to other popular tools including Traackr, PeerIndex and Twitalyzer. Building relationships with the right influencers will certainly help to amplify your voice to an audience of audiences.

3. Website Analytics and Measurement

It’s not only the Web and digital interactive professionals who should be paying attention to Website analytics. Where social media analytics end, the website analytics begin. From click to conversion, you’re able to see what content resonates with stakeholders, what drives them to your website and how they behave when they arrive. Analytics including page views, referring keywords, recent visitor locations and user profile data will guide you on better ways to share content and how to contribute as a valuable resource to your social media communities.

4. Design and Visualization Tools

Did you ever imagine taking design into your own hands? Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll never hire another designer for a project or campaign. However, when budgets are tight, the Tech Tester knows how to find the tools and to gather the scarce resources to build attractive and well-designed content, including infographics with Easel.ly. As a Tech Tester, you also learn to identify and leverage key community relationships through visualization tools including MentionMapp and Facebook TouchGraph. Visualization helps in your research because you can identify the stronger relationships and capitalize on them. At the same time you can also see where other connections in your network are weak and require further relationship-building strategies.

5. Blog and CMS Platforms

Understanding and building a blog or CMS platform doesn’t mean you have to study web development. Whether you choose WordPress or Blogger, knowing the blogging basics is a must for anyone who wants to share content and have a voice “in an instance” rather than a voice that misses the real-time dialog. Social media conversations don’t wait and it’s imperative to know how to initiate and join the conversation at the right time. Of course, there will be times that you will need to rely on the programmers for coding, but the opportunity to drive the conversation in a timely manner makes you a more valuable resource to your community.

Researching and testing different platforms, tools and applications definitely help to facilitate deeper connections. Although it’s the strategies and the people who make the communication “go,” it’s the technology that makes it possible to have more creative and often deeper interactions. Using technology the right way will definitely enhance a connection. Being a Tech Tester doesn’t mean you should run out and join Codecademy (whether you’re in communications or not). However, there is a feeling of liberation by being able to create and drive communications the right way through social media, because you understand both the people and the technology.

Where Do Your YouTube Viewers Bail?

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I don’t need to tell you that video is an important component of any content production effort nowadays. The stats demonstrate that: every 60 seconds there are 24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube alone. This means that there’s no way to stay caught up, but it also means that there are a ton of people consuming video. Do a Google or Bing search and it’s quite common to see videos appearing as top search results too.

You can easily see how many people watched your video on YouTube and even see if people liked it or not, or left comments, but if you’re posting five minute videos that you’re convinced are super interesting, does your audience agree? Remember, the “viewers” stat refers to the number of people who began watching the video. If ten seconds in they say “Yikes!” and bail, it counts the same as someone who watches the entire video and visits your site for more information when they’re done.

That’s why YouTube has some pretty slick analytics available to anyone who uploads video. What surprises me is how few people know about it, even people who are enthusiastically uploading video on a regular basis. Perhaps it’s denial since it can be such a stark reminder that what you find compelling someone else might find boring and unengaging? Let’s hope not!

I produce a lot of videos myself and I know that there’s a pretty consistent drop-off in user-produced video viewership. I imagine that an episode of Big Bang Theory or the ten scariest minutes of a new horror film have very different viewership patterns, but for us small players, having people watch a few seconds, or a minute, or get half way and then lose interest is to be expected. What I look for are points during the video where the retention graph changes, either suddenly going flat, meaning that spot is extra engaging, or suddenly dropping, meaning that there’s something about that point in the video that causes lots of people to bail.

To find these analytics for your own videos on YouTube — you can’t see it for other people’s video — go to your own video, then click on “Analytics” on the top right toolbar. Then click on “Audience retention” on the left menu of analytic report options. This is the sort of thing you’ll see:

You can see what I mean now. In general, the further into the video, the more likely a viewer is to bail out and stop watching. In fact, the video is just over two minutes long and the average viewer sees about half, bailing at 1:12. I think that’s pretty good, actually, in our highly ADHD world when they’re on YouTube, a click away from millions of other videos.

Look closely at the graph, though, and you’ll notice something curious happens around 0:34 where retention improves for about seven seconds before resuming its usual slope. Conclusion: Whatever happens in the video at that point is good and creates more viewer engagement, sufficiently so that everyone who gets to the beginning of that passage sticks around for the next ten seconds or so.

As a feedback mechanism, that’s obviously something to study and duplicate in other videos! And those closing titles we like to add as video producers? Notice the last few seconds of the graph: when people know they’re at the end, they leave, they don’t wait to read the credits. You see this in a movie theater too, when we get that last fade to black, people are up and out.

There’s a lot you can learn from studying your YouTube analytics. This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And video production? Well, you do know that I am offering a session called “Quick and Dirty Video Production Workshop for Your First YouTube Video” at New Media Expo next month, right? You won’t want to miss it!

Who Swiped Photos from Your Blog? If You Care, These Tools Can Help

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You’re a savvy blogger who knows that it’s important to share not only words on your site, but photos as well. Visitors will be more likely to engage with an article that catches their eye with a great photograph, infographic, or drawing than they will with a wall of text.

Lady Against RedA wise blogger knows that you can’t just use any random photo you find online, so perhaps you’ve purchased some stock images or used Creative Commons photos on your blog.

But what about the opposite scenario? What if you’ve posted your own photos and you have this gut feeling that folks might be taking them or using them elsewhere?

Should You Care?

Before diving into how to police your images, it’s worth considering if you want to spend time doing this. Most interesting images that end up on the internet stand a good chance of being repurposed, reblogged, swiped for a personal blog post, or stolen for some other purpose. Technically most of these uses constitute copyright infringement and in theory the offender is liable for damages, but it’s also worth consideration if policing the web for unauthorized image use is the most productive use of your time. There’s no right answer to this question, but consider what you feel is the harm caused by a potential infringement versus the other work for your business that you could do in the time needed to monitor the usage.

Okay, Let’s Go Photo-Hunting

If you’ve decided it might be interesting to track some of your more interesting photos, there are a couple sites/services that I can recommend.

The leading service in this field is TinEye, which allows you to search for an image on the web from a variety of sources. In the example here, we’re curious about your photo that you originally posted to your website or photo sharing service. You can either upload the image to TinEye, or give it the source URL for your photo as a starting point. TinEye performs some analysis on the photo and then returns a list of results where it thinks it has found that same photo being used elsewhere on the internet. You can browse through the results and see which uses are legit and which might be the result of someone “borrowing” your work. In addition to ad hoc queries, TinEye offers commercial services if you’ll want to search for large amounts of your work on an ongoing basis.

Another good option for the occasional search is Google’s Search by Image feature, which allows for searching the web with the power of Google, except instead of starting with a text query, you start with an image. Much like TinEye, you can start with the image URL, a direct upload, or even use a browser extension to enable easier searching. Google then presents a Google search results page including other copies of the photo with contextual information about where it is being used.

Once you’ve found an offender, you can contact the blogger, webmaster, or even the web host and request either that the image be taken down, linked and credited, or licensed.

Do you police for your content elsewhere on the web? Do you consider the occasional image theft a cost of doing business? Do you use another service that folks should know about? Please share in a comment below.

23 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Podcasting Gear

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Podcasting Gear

I guess this week’s edition should be called “Brilliant Podcasters” instead of bloggers.

When it comes to just about anything in life, you’re only as good as your tools. Podcasting is no exception to the rule. If you use high-quality equipment, you’re going to have a better final product. Previously, we compiled a list of Brilliant Bloggers talking about starting a podcast, but today, we’re focusing on the specific gear you can buy to produce the best podcasts.

Podcasters, I hope you’ll also leave your advice in the comments!

Brilliant Blogger of the Week

daniel m clark The Best Podcasting Equipment by Daniel M. Clark

Today’s Brilliant Blogger is probably a familiar name to you if you’ve spent any time reading the NMX blog. Daniel is a regular contributor here, and when it comes to podcasting advice, he really knows his stuff. If you want a simple, great list of equipment to use for your podcast, his site is the place to find it! He goes over everything from hardware and software to WordPress plugins for podcasters on this list.

I also encourage you to check out all of Daniel’s contributions here on the NMX blog if you want to learn more about producing better podcasts. Definitely take a moment to follow him on Twitter at @qaqn after reading all of his great advice.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. Adventures in Podcasting Equipment by Frei Casull (@freicasull)
  2. Best $200 Podcasting Condenser Mics by Matt McGlynn (@recordinghacks)
  3. Choosing the Right Equipment for Your Budget by David Doucette (@residedavid)
  4. Don’t Forget about Shotguns as Podcasting Microphones by Brian Schwartz (@bschwartz)
  5. How I Produce My Podcast by Trent Dyrsmid (@TrentDyrsmid)
  6. How to Start a Podcast – The Gear and Software Needed to Produce Your Own Podcast by Ray Ortega (@podcasthelper)
  7. How to Start a Successful Podcast on a $50 Budget by Jonathan Taylor (@BIBPodcast)
  8. Microphone And Mixer Suggestions For Podcasting And Low-Power Radio by Michael W. Dean (@FreedomFeens)
  9. Microphone Reviews for Podcasting and Video Marketing by Colette Mason (@colettemason)
  10. My Podcasting Gear and the Ms. Ileane Speaks Podcast is Now on iTunes by Ileane Smith (@Ileane)
  11. My Podcasting Gear, Setup, and Process – Lean Blog Podcast by Mark Graban (@MarkGraban)
  12. My Podcasting Equipment by Dan Blank (@DanBlank)
  13. Podcast 101: Session 1: The Basic Gear by Matt Cohen (@cameltoad)
  14. Podcast Equipment by Cliff Ravenscraft (@gspn)
  15. Podcasting Equipment by Ben Curry (@BadDice_Podcast)
  16. Podcasting Equipment: Does size really matter? – Part 1 and Part 2 by Dan Lyons
  17. Podcast Equipment Jim Uses by Jim Harold (@ParanormalPdcst)
  18. Quite Possibly the Best Starter Microphone For Podcasters by David Jackson (@learntopodcast)
  19. Solid Option for Portable Podcasting: iRig Mic and iRig Recorder for iOS by Tris Hussey (@trishussey)
  20. Starting A Podcast: The Best Recording Equipment & Platforms You Should Use by James Bruce (@w0lfiesmith)
  21. The Top Five Most Affordable Podcasting Microphones by Briley Kenney (@BrileyK)
  22. What is the Best USB Microphone for Podcasting? by Jon Buscall (@jonbuscall)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about podcasting gear? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Media Kits

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

Tips for Better Audio on Your Videos

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Hands down, good audio is the most important quality for your videos. People will suffer through choppy editing and grainy visuals all day before they’ll suffer through a video with audio they can’t hear or understand.

It’s not just about having a good mic. It’s about how you hold the mic to pick up your voice, cancel out background noise, and more. In this video from Olivia Speranza with Robert from JuicedLink, they talk about how you can get better video by using the right mic for your situation and holding it in the right way.

Want more video tips? We had an entire Web TV track at BlogWorld New York 2012, and if you missed it, don’t worry – you can check out our virtual ticket here to get recordings of your favorite sessions. And don’t miss New Media Expo in January 2013, where we’ll again be presenting a Web TV track with tons of educational sessions about how to produce awesome video content.

Creating a Professional White Background for Your Videos

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Ever wonder how companies like Apple get that nice, white background on their videos? It looks really professional, so I always assumed that you need an expensively built professional studio to get this look. Not so! Today, I wanted to share this great video from Rapid Video Blogging‘s Gideon Shalwick, who explains how to get that clean white background that looks so great when filming a video.

And yes, he is doing this all in a messy garage!

Having a professional white background helps the view focus on what is most important – you, the subject of the video. It’s great for talking about a product/service or teaching someone how to do something because there are no distractions to take the attention away from you. And if you’re already creating videos, chances are good that you already have most of the supplies you need to make a white background possible.

Hope this video helps you create your next professional video!

Did you know that we had a complete three-day Web TV track at BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2012 that featured tons of great video creation tips? If you missed the event, you can catch up with all of the sessions, as well as sessions about blogging, podcasting, and social media, with our virtual ticket.

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