Today, I’m posting on behalf of a great blogger and social media professional, Melissa Lierman. In the past 10 years, Melissa has spoken, educated, and trained thousands of people at more than 300 events about digital strategy development, social media, marketing, website development, and SEO. She applies those skills in her day-to-day professional life as the Director of Social Media for Mom It Forward, Premier Fitness Camp, ZarBee’s Health Products, The Madow Dental Group, and Women in Social Media Evo Conference. When she’s not speaking, she loves the one-on-one consultation she does with businesses, brands, PR agencies, small businesses, and bloggers. Melissa has three children, is a mom blogger at TimeOutMom.com, an avid tweeter @TimeOutMom, and loves connecting with people all over the world!
We live in a society of content consumers. Over 1 billion pieces of content are shared daily just on Facebook! The goal of sharing content is to engage current and potential consumer bases or target markets. If you have a blog for moms, you would want your content to be focused on topics, articles, and blog posts of interest to moms. If you have a financial services business, then you would want to provide your community with content in alignment with what you recommend and advice for your clients.
A great way to keep your blog interesting and to get some help in providing valuable content to your audience is by using guest bloggers. Guest bloggers can be an endless supply of fantastic information for your blog that can really provide high value on very specific topics that you may not have the knowledge or experience in yourself, but is of interest to your community. Many blogs use dozens of guest bloggers each month to provide valuable content for their blogs like: timeoutmom.com, momitforward.com, todaysmama.com, and mashable.com.
Windows Live Writer has truly changed my world when working with and managing dozens of guest bloggers! I work both with blogs on the Blogger and WordPress platforms as a Blog Content Manager and Editor. I work with so many great writers, but they may not have a lot of experience in utilizing and navigating through the various popular blogging platforms.
I used to spend quite a bit of time training new guest bloggers on how to use either the Blogger or the WordPress platforms and dashboards. Now, I spend very little time training them because I require that they use Writer for guest blogging.
Its form and format is so simple and clean. A huge challenge is that the WordPress dashboard can really seem like a airplane cockpit’s dashboard ready for takeoff! Whereas, Writer looks similar to Microsoft Word which most all of us are familiar.
In fact, I specifically took screenshots of the same blog post in the Windows Live Writer and then from the WordPress dashboard from the blogger’s perspective for a recent blog post book review about Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book The Thank You Economy (a great read by the way to learn more about social media and its impact on business).
Here is an actual screenshot from the WordPress dashboard. This used to take me a lot of training time just to teach a blogger how to navigate around this platform as there are so many options and possibilities that many guest bloggers don’t need to know.
Now look at this Windows Live Writer screenshot in contrast. This is in the blog post in Edit mode where the blogger writes their posts. What? Really? That is what I said the first time I saw this experience. If you look way at the top of this image you can see the options and buttons. Doesn’t this look just like a Word document? You can easily see where you can use bold, underline, justify the text, or insert a picture. Can you see how this has rocked my world when working with guest bloggers?
How to get started with Windows Live Writer
Windows Live Writer is a free application that each of my guest bloggers can download to their PC. Then in 3 easy steps each blogger can add their main blog account in a matter of minutes and they are ready to go on their first blog post.
1st you select the platform such as Blogger or WordPress. 2nd you type in the blog address URL. 3rd you type in your username and password for that platform. Writer then accesses the blog and imports the blog’s theme and account information right into Writer. Now, you are ready to get blogging.
Another bonus as a Blog Content Manager and Editor is that my guest bloggers can either save the post as a draft for me to review or make it live. I like that the guest blogger isn’t seeing the dashboard, our statistics, or having the chance to click around in the wrong place and accidentally change something they shouldn’t have (and believe me this has happened to me! Once, I had a guest blogger somehow delete posts, widgets, and entire columns!).
I am learning everyday about all kinds of extra options and enhancements that Windows Live Writer can do that I can’t do in the Blogger and WordPress dashboards. I have four more posts in the works to help you with your Windows Live Writer experience. There are great things that you can do with photos, videos, and maps that will save you and your bloggers hours of time each month + make your photos look better than they ever have before!