15 useful Firefox extensions for bloggers

If you're looking for ways to improve your blogging efficiency, look no further than these browser add-ons. From SEO information to search help, we have you covered.

As a Firefox user and blogger, I realized not too long ago that the best way to be more efficient was to find useful add-ons for the Mozilla Web browser.

After trying a variety of Firefox extensions, I've found 15 that do a fine job of making my blogging more productive.

Firefox extensions

Apture Editor
Apture Editor lets you grab anything. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Apture Editor: Apture Editor enables you to easily add contextual images, videos, reference guides, links, and more to a blog post. Whenever a reader moves her mouse over an Apture-linked term, a box is displayed, showing the related media you chose. Whenever a reader clicks on an item, a new window opens, displaying the source of that media. It's a great way to add more value to your blog posts.

Clipmarks: Clipmarks lets you "clip" (copy) sections of a Web page , including text, images, or video, and add them to your Clipmarks profile. You can then send all your saved clips to your blog. You can also send them to Friendfeed, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks. It's a useful tool. Check it out.

Fire Analytics: If you want to track how well your blog is doing, the Fire Analytics Firefox extension will help. To use it, you'll need to link your Google Analytics account to Fire Analytics. Once complete, you can see all your Google Analytics reports in Fire Analytics without ever going to Google's page. It's not as pretty as Google's reports, but you'll get the same information in a much shorter amount of time. It's worth trying out.

FireFlix: Finding images for your blog post is made simpler with FireFlix. The sidebar extension lets you quickly search and upload photos from Flickr without leaving the page you're on. If you use Flickr to find photos for your blog, this extension is for you.

MeasureIt: MeasureIt is an extremely useful tool. It gives you the exact height and width of anything on a Web page. So if you want to see how big an image is before you add it to your blog, open MeasureIt, check its dimensions, and if necessary, use an editing tool to get it to the desired size. MeasureIt is an outstanding extension.

Monkiri: Similar to Clipmarks, Monkiri lets you grab Web page elements and copy them to your blog. You need only to highlight the Monkiri extension, drag your mouse over the areas of the page you want to syndicate, and you're all set. You can then add it to your blog. It works well and comes in handy when you're trying to finish a quick post. Try it out. I think you'll like it.

MyWords
MyWords saves your most used phrases. Don Reisinger/CNET

MyWords: Do you use certain phrases often in your blog posts? If so, MyWords is for you. The extension lets you save those phrases for later use. While you're working on your post, you can right-click on the page, choose "MyWords," and pick the phrase you want to use. It will will be added to your text. You can save as many terms as you'd like.

ScribeFire: ScribeFire lets you drag and drop text from Web pages, take notes, upload images, and post them to your blog in seconds. With ScribeFire installed, you don't need to go to your blog's respective administrative console to post your article. ScribeFire significantly cuts down on the time it takes to write a blog post. It's a great extension.

SearchStatus: SearchStatus gives you all the information you need to determine your Google PageRank, Alexa rank, Compete ranking, and SEOmoz Linkscape MozRank. It also provides a keyword density analyzer and backward link information. If you want your blog to grow, SearchStatus is worth using.

Shareaholic: Shareaholic lets you quickly and easily share your blog post with all your friends across multiple social networks. Simply click the Shareaholic option, and you can choose where to send your post. It works well, but beware that it breaks down at times, when trying to add a post to Digg.

Slingalink: Slingalink makes it easy to share your blog posts. Simply "sling" your mouse to the left side of the screen. A sidebar pops up with the page's link already populated in the field, ready to be sent via e-mail or to social networks like Twitter. If you want to monitor your click-through rates, the tool also lets you track how many people have clicked the link you sent.

Surf Canyon: When you research a post on Google, Yahoo, or Live Search, chances are that you might be missing some relevant links on pages that are lower in the search results. That's where Surf Canyon comes in . It analyzes your query and searches deep into results to find all the pages that best match it. I've used it on multiple occasions. Almost every time, Surf Canyon returned outstanding results. I highly recommend it.

WebMynd: If you have a list of sites that you always consult when performing research for a blog post, WebMynd is for you. Once installed, it adds a sidebar to Google Search results containing all the relevant results from sites you frequent, like Wikipedia and Digg. It then records what you've clicked on so you can easily go back to it at a later time. Not all sites are supported, unfortunately, but I think that you'll quickly learn that finding the most relevant results is much easier with the help of WebMynd.

Word Count Plus
Word Count tracks words. Don Reisinger/CNET

Word Count Plus: If you're a prolific writer, monitoring your word count might be a constant concern. To help, Word Count Plus counts your blog post's word count. You can have it keep track of your count, or reset it to zero and start over, if you want to see how many words are in a particular section of the page. I use it every day. It works quite well.

Zemanta: Zemanta is simply fantastic . As you write a blog post, it automatically finds and delivers content suggestions relevant to the blog text. So if you're writing about the iPhone, Zemanta will find images, links, and articles on the Web that are relevant to the device. If you like what you see, you can quickly add that to your post with a single click. Zemanta is a must-have. It's as simple as that.

The top three

Looking for the best of the best? Here are the top three Firefox extensions you must have.

1. Zemanta

2. WebMynd

3. Surf Canyon

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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