12 No-Crap Tools to Make Your Blog Better

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Got a blog ? If so this post is for you: 12 truly useful tools and widgets that can make your blog better. All listed services work on any blog, whether it’s a WordPress, Typepad, or a hosted Blogger blog. Enjoy!

1. Amung.us – Amung.us is a tiny real-time traffic analytics widget for your blog. It tells you (and your readers) how many people are currently on the website, what pages they’re reading, where in the world they’re coming from, and more. See our Amung.us widget below:

hit counter

2. Conduit – Got a niche focused blog? If so, why not to offer a custom toolbar? Enable your readers to follow-up on latest posts, search your blog, have one click access to related resources/tools and more directly from the toolbar. I am not going to dwell much into it but this is definitely a must-have. It’s really hard to convince someone to get your toolbar but if you can implement it properly it can be a major plus. I am still working on our own, and I am quite sure it will be a big addition to MUO.

Conduit - Free Toolbar for your website

3. MoFuse – Take your blog mobile. This free service lets you create mobile version of your website in a matter of minutes. All you need is a working RSS feed. Once created MoFuse can automatically detect and redirect mobile readers to a mobile version. [Demo Video]

4. SiteMeter – Comprehensive real-time website traffic counter and analytics. Follow-up on latest referrals, entry/exit pages, visitor details, visits/pageviews ratio, and a lot more. Check out MakeUseOf’s sitemeter counter here.

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5. Google Analytics – Google Analytics will fill-in the parts that you won’t get with Sitemeter. It’s by far the best analytics program out there, and what’s even better is it’s free. It has everything: detailed referral reports, click heat maps, email alerts, individual page performance stats, user bounce rates, campaign tracking, and lots more. See full feature list here.

Google Analytics - Free Traffic Analytics Program

6. BlogRush / AdGridWork – Both of these networks work as “ad exchange” programs where you can earn free promotion credits in exchange for displaying non-obtrusive relevant network ads on your own website (mostly as widgets). The more traffic your website gets the more credits and referrals you earn.

7. PubMatic – PubMatic allows bloggers to make maximum off their website’s advertising space by automatically placing highest performing ad units on each page. It scans multiple ad networks (Google Adsense, YPN, ValieClick, etc.), diggs into ad performance reports and shows ad units with highest payout and performance. It’s completely free, there are no charges or commissions. [Demo Video]

8. MyBlogLog – High chance you already have this one, but in case you don’t, definitely get it. There are two ways you can learn about your loyal readers, one is comments, and the other is MyBlogLog. I learned about many MUO fans this way: zia, pax, pster, mklopez, … ;-). Btw, if you haven’t joined MakeUseOf community already, you can do so here.

9. FatFreeCart – Free shopping cart solution for your blog. It’s simple to implement (simply copy-paste) and works perfectly both with PayPal and Google Checkout.

FatFreeCart - Free Free Shopping Cart Solution

10. Kontactr / Contactify – Both services let you create secure online ‘contact’ forms and embed it on your own blog. Or just link it from your blog using “˜contact’ link.

11. AddThis / ShareThis (WordPress) / Madcast (Blogger, Typepad) – Let your visitors bookmark / save your posts to various social bookmarking sites, or forward as links via email.

ShareThis- Social Bookmarking Links

12. Web2PDF – Free HTML to PDF conversion service for your website. Allows your readers to instantly print and save any article as PDF file. We publish lots of lists on MUO so it’s not really that useful for us, but in case you got plenty of lengthy posts than this is something your readers should appreciate. Read more about it here

Web2PDF -HTML to PDF coverter for your blog

That’s about it. Got anything to add? Let us know in comments.

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