Do you use Google Chrome when you get online? It can make a busy blogger’s life a tad easier! Google Chrome has extensions that can simplify your internet browsing, help organize your reading lists, and maximize your productivity on social media. Get ready to save some time with these tips.
What is a Google Chrome Extension?
Google Chrome Extensions are add-ons that you can download to your browser. You can browse them in the Google Chrome Web Store.
One Tab. I’d like to call this the greatest of all Google Chrome extensions. I’m one of those internet users who has too many tabs open at any given moment. Whether I’m leaving blog comments, repining content, or just going through email newsletters, I always open things in new tabs. It is my “to do” list. The number of tabs open reminds me what I’m working on, who I meant to contact, and where I should be spending my time. I use One Tab to consolidate these tabs and save them for later. With the click of a button, all my tabs are “saved” for a later time. When I restart Chrome, it tells me what tabs I saved to look at later. I can choose to view them then or just revisit them later. When I need to log off the computer in a hurry, I just click One Tab and go!
Pinterest. There are many ways to pin blog content to Pinterest including the Chrome extension. This is how I choose to pin content to Pinterest (when I’m not using a Pinterest scheduler like Ahalogy), and I am surprised to hear that other bloggers don’t use this. When I first switched to WordPress, I had trouble finding a Pinterest Hover icon plugin that was compatible with my theme. I actually received emails from readers who didn’t know how to “pin” my content since there was no Pinterest icon when they hovered over my images. I thought to myself, “Don’t they have the extension for Pinterest?” Apparently not. So, if you don’t have it, just grab it in case you need it! It’s also available on Firefox.
Bit.ly. Make short links in a hurry with bit.ly. There is a lot of research that shows shortened links (specifically bit.ly) generate more user interaction, especially on Facebook. If you’re browsing Facebook on your smartphone, users are more apt to interacting on images with a bit.ly short link for both the blog post AND the Pinterest pin. I also like to customize my bit.ly links so they’re memorable. You can change the default link in the Google Chrome extension popup when you create a bit.ly. For example, I changed one of my long URLs to http://bit.ly/glampingparty which takes you to a glamping party. It not only attracts readers, but it helps me easily remember my links on the go!
Buffer. While many bloggers may prefer Hootsuite, I’m a Buffer kind of blogger. Buffer is a tool to schedule social media shares, and I upgraded to a paid account. I like the interface and overall look and feel of Buffer better, and I have used it for about two years. If you see an update on Twitter, it was probably pushed through Buffer. I love to retweet other blogger’s content, but I will just “buffer” it out so it is not all posted at once. I have nearly all my social media accounts synced with Buffer (including LinkedIn, Facebook, my Google Plus page, and Twitter). It is so simple (and fast!).
Pocket. While One Tab consolidates your tabs to read later when you use Google Chrome, Pocket can save web page as well to be accessed anywhere with the Pocket app (think your smartphone or any internet browser). I use Pocket to save blog posts to remember, writing inspiration, branding ideas, motivational quotes, everything really. You may say, “Well, that’s what I use my Pinterest for.” I, however, don’t agree. I use my Pinterest primarily as a marketing tool and a way to connect with readers. I pin content that is valuable and re-sharable. Not everything I read on the web is content I want to display publicly on Pinterest (or even privately in a secret board). My Pocket is for news articles that aren’t things I want to share or highly time sensitive content. If there is a giveaway I want to enter or something that needs a reply soon, I add it to my Pocket. When it is in Pocket, I can access it from my computer or even on my phone.
Alexa. If you are a blogger, you may be familiar with Alexa. While some individuals believe it is an outdated method of blog ranking, some brands still ask for your rating. I usually get asked my Alexa ranking once a week on an application for a campaign, so I try to stay current with Alexa. Alexa is a tool that measures websites and gives them a rank both nationally and internationally.The lower your score, the better. By having the Alexa toolbar installed, you are telling Alexa what websites you are visiting. You are letting Alexa know how long you stayed at each site, how you got there, and other browsing information. Alexa then provides a ranking to each website. You can better your Alexa score by encouraging users to stay longer on your site, increasing page views, and more.
Mix. If you were using StumbleUpon to grow your blog, now is the time to switch to Mix. This isn’t the place for me to explain how or why to use it (consider that coming up in another article!), but if you are using it or are ready to start, download the Chrome extension. You can add posts to Mix directly with the Mix toolbar.
Wise Stamp. Ever wanted to know how to get a cool email signature? Try Wise Stamp! It’s available in other browsers as well, but it’ s an easy way to add a colorful signature with all your social media and blog links. You won’t have to worry about sending a canned response or copy and paste all your links. With Wise Stamp, you can easily design this yourself.
PicMonkey. We already know PicMonkey is one of the best tools to edit photos for your blog, and the Chrome extension can save tons of time. Take a screenshot and instantly edit it in PicMonkey. Say goodbye to trying to figure out where your print screen key is or how to navigate Microsoft Paint if you don’t have Photoshop. Just download Picmonkey’s extension and get started!
Take the time to review this information and see what works for you.
Do you use Google Chrome? What extensions do you like?