I have to admit, I was blogging awhile quite awhile until I finally started to use Windows Live Writer. I’d heard about it a lot, but for some reason I didn’t think it would be very useful. Boy was I wrong! It makes posting so much easier and streamlined. I have no idea what I was waiting for.
As far as writing the post, it’s very similar to a word processor. It’s pretty straightforward. I find the word count in the lower right hand corner handy as I’m writing a post. It keeps me on track to make sure I have at least the minimum 300 words that most SEO looks for.
The disk in the upper left hand corner saves a post. I find that Windows Live Writer is pretty good at automatically saving posts while I’m writing, but I always save right before I hit publish just in case something happens. The blue curvy arrow is undo.
The publish button (the globe with the arrow) uploads your post to your blog. With one click the post goes from my computer to my blog, it’s as easy as that. It takes a few minutes to connect your blog to Windows Live Writer before you post for the first time, but it’s pretty straight forward. I was able to do it on my own pretty quickly, even though I’m not technically inclined.
The WordPress icon next to Get Fit Fiona allows me to pick which blog I want to upload the post to. I also have a book blog (Geeky Reads that I really need to update more often), that I have connected to Windows Live Writer as well as Get Fit Fiona. I really like that you can have multiple blogs connected at the same time.
I honestly don’t use the Post draft to blog function. If a post isn’t finished I simply save it and leave it on my computer until I find some time to finish it, and then upload it once it’s complete. I guess if you’re blogging from more than one computer it would be handy to upload a draft to WordPress from one computer and then finish it from another computer.
As with your typical word processor, you can change the font, font size, bold, italic, underline, centre, and align text left or right. That’s what I really liked about Windows Live Writer when I started – it was familiar and therefore easy to use right off the bat.
That long blank bar at the bottom is the set categories input. A list of categories that I have on my blog is in the drop down menu and I check the ones I want for the post. It’s nice to be able to do that on Windows Live Writer instead of WordPress after I’ve uploaded the post.
Adding links, photos, and videos is really easy too. For links, simply highlight the text you want to be the link and then click on hyperlink. You type or paste in the web address you want it to link to, check open in a new window, insert, and you’re done.
To add a photo you click on picture, where the photo is you want to add (your computer, the web, etc.), and click open. I have all my blog photos saved on my computer so it’s just a matter of finding the right folder that the photo is in.
Adding a video is very similar to adding a photo. Once you’ve clicked on video you pick to find the video you want to add from either your computer or the web, click insert, and it appears in your post.
I don’t actually use the spell check function, because as you type misspelled words are automatically underlined. I fix my typos as I go. I also don’t use the word count because as I mentioned before it shows up in the bottom corner as I’m typing away.
I really like that Windows Live Writer has a set post date option. I usually like to have my posts ready to go before the date that they’re published on. This function allows me to do that in Windows Live Writer instead of WordPress. That means once I’ve uploaded a post to my blog I don’t have to worry about going back to change the date I want it to post on. Scheduling posts in advance has saved me more times than I can count.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to have Windows Live Writer a try. While there’s a small learning curve when you first start using it, I think it’s worth sticking with it. It makes things so much easier for me, I can’t imagine going back to using the post editor in WordPress. You can download Windows Live Writer for free here.
Do you use Windows Life Writer? What’s your favourite feature?