On Using A Blog Writing Program

For several years now I have used a writing program to write my blog posts, instead of composing posts directly in Blogger - and I have to say, I love it!  I've never been able to go back to writing in Blogger since I started using a program, so today I thought I'd talk about a few reasons why I like it.

1. It allows me to compose posts offline.  This was especially useful when we had a more finicky internet service, but when you are working with a writer, your post drafts are saved to your computer.  So if you are not in a place where you can access the internet, you can still prepare blog posts, format them, and get everything ready to hit "publish".

2. It is easier to add and position photos.  Maybe it's just my computer, but I always have a hard time moving photos around when I try to add them into a post in Blogger.  With a writer, you can just drag photos into the post you are composing, and it's easy to move photos around in a post. 

3. Photos are resized for you and uploaded in one batch.  When you add photos to your post, you can either choose the exact dimensions you want it to be, or in some writers you can even drag the corners of a photo to size it a precise way.  Then when you upload your post, everything is uploaded in one batch, and the sizes of the photos are exactly how you sized them in the writer.  This makes the uploading much faster because the photos are not being uploaded at full size, and it saves me work and space in my Picasa albums by re-sizing photos for me.

Those are the main things I like about using a writer, though I'm sure others could list more benefits that I haven't really utilized.  So what writer do I use?

Windows Live Writer For PC

I first started using a writer when I had a PC, and the program I used was Windows Live Writer.  If you are a PC person, you are in luck!  I loved Live Writer, and I've never been able to find another program that is quite the same after I switched to Mac. 

I was pretty sad to not be able to use Live Writer anymore when we switched - I've adapted a lot since then, so I don't remember all of the things I could do with Live Writer that I lost.  But I do remember the photo-sizing options being more smooth and easy to use because you can drag the corners of photos to size them a certain way.  Live Writer also formats the program so that it looks like the format of your blog - so you can really see how the post is going to look before uploading it.  

I think it also allows you to edit posts that have already been published, and I seem to remember being able to back up my posts from Live Writer (correct me if I'm wrong - it's been a long time).  I think you can also choose to have your photos uploaded to a website other than Picasa, which is nice if your Picasa albums fill up.  All perks of Live Writer.  And the best part is that you can get it for free! You can download Live Writer for free here.

MarsEdit For Mac

I did a lot of research after switching to Mac, and I finally decided on getting MarsEdit.  It's similar to Live Writer, and it looks like they've even improved a lot of things since I downloaded my current version - you can now edit the HTML of a post in MarsEdit, and they've also added a preview feature and an option to format a template to match your blog.  

With the version I have, you can only compose drafts in MarsEdit, you can't update posts that have already been published.  You also can't resize images by dragging the corners (you have to pick the size you want when you add them to your post).  I'm not sure if those things are different in the new version or not.

Live Writer is definitely the best out there, but I've actually come to really like MarsEdit too. It still allows me to compose posts offline and save drafts until I'm ready to publish them, and it still is way nicer for dealing with photos.  I wouldn't trade MarsEdit for composing in Blogger.

Unfortunately you actually have to pay for MarsEdit - I think it's $40 from the app store?  We got a free gift card to use for apps when we bought our Mac, so it didn't really cost me anything extra at the time.  You can try a free 30 day trial of MarsEdit here.

Do any of you use a writing program for your blog posts?  What is your favorite program?  What are some of the reasons you like your writer?  I can only speak about the two that I've used, so I'm curious to hear what you all think!
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Unknown said...

ummm…i didn't even know this was a thing! how have i been blogging for like 5 years and NEVER known about writers? i don't terribly mind composing posts in blogger, but it's a pain in the butt for getting all of my photos to be the same width. I actually crop/resize everything to 600px wide in illustrator before i post (i know there are easier ways, i just haven't taken the time to figure it all out). i will definitely have to check these out! for photos, can you set a fixed width and let the height be determined by the writer (like an "auto" setting) or do you have to set both height & width?

Unknown said...

Wow! I love this idea and had NO idea it existed! Thanks for such an informative post... I'm definitely going to look into this; but, I will tell you that I like writing in Word Press a lot more than Blogger. :) Speaking of which, I promise I'm not ignoring your email... Response coming soon! Thanks girl! E

Kate Craig said...

I started using live writer after you talked about it and I love it :) I always have issues with line spacing in Blogger, and I love that you can size pictures however you want, and that it looks just like your blog. ALSO what's really cool is that you can easily transfer a post from one blog to another.

Unknown said...

I never even knew stuff like this existed! This is so cool, and I think I'll probably be checking it out, if only to see a different way of doing it and because like you mentioned - finicky internet service. Thanks for sharing!

Emily grapes said...

I've used WLW for a couple years and absolutely love it. You can fix posts after publishing them, and republish them (which I do often)! I get nervous if I ever switch to mac for that very reason. I'll miss WLW so much.

Whitney @ Journey Mercies said...

well, at least i'm not alone in feeling, say whaaaa??? had no idea these existed! i'll have to check out the mac writer. if I need to write offline, i usually just use Word, but it would be really nice to actually put the post together!

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