If you are a person that blogs, then it is a good idea to have the best and most efficient way to get your writing online. For quite a long time now I have been very happy with the MarsEdit blog posting software from the software company called Red Sweater. Before that I was using an application called Blogo and the main attraction for using that software was that it allowed me to post to a web service called ping.FM. It wasn’t quite good enough to do all I wanted for general posting to blogs though. I have not used that Mac blogging software for some time now and if you are looking for a blog application to buy right now, then it might be worth your while to also look at Blogo as well as MarsEdit.
Blog software download possibilities
If you are looking for blog publishing software then the first place to look is in the Mac App Store. Following that you may do as well with a Google search for blog software Mac. Also look through the Mac20Q website search for Mac blog software reviews. The Mac Store is a good option for getting your weblog software because you can put it onto more than one machine that you own. It is also very handy to have all of your software from one place for updating purposes. It is very easy to just open up the Mac App Store application once a week and see if anything needs updating. This is better than having to open an application in order to find if there are updates available.
Now you can blog Mac style with MarsEdit 3
So what do we need from a blog editor? For the most part, making a blog post is simplicity itself with text and one or two images, but other things to consider are the meta tags that you add to the post and also to any images you put in your blog posts. For example when you are adding images you have created in Pixelmator to your blog article, for SEO purposes it is a good idea to add the search term that you wish to be listed for in the title tag for the image. With MarsEdit it is easy to do this although it is necessary to make some adjustments within the default settings to get it to work exactly right. Once you have set it up within the MarsEdit Mac blog software, then it is very easy to have it work the way that you want, without having to think about it.
Editing your blog post in your Mac software for blogging
Within MarsEdit you have two choices for editing your blog posts in the blog editor. There is a rich text editor which is completely WYSIWYG, so that you can see exactly how your blog posts will look once they are published. Personally I prefer to use markdown to write my blog post and that would be a feature I would like to see in MarsEdit at some time. The way that I do it now is to write my blog posts in Dragon Dictate, which I then move into Scrivener. I use Scrivener for the editing because I just like the full-screen mode and it just feels better for editing the text after I have dictated it. I would dictate directly into Scrivener but unfortunately Dragon Dictate doesn’t let me do that successfully. No worries though, I don’t mind doing a little bit of copying and pasting, just so long as I have a good writing workflow.
After using Scrivener for Mac, I will then move the text into Textmate. The reason that Textmate is the app that I prefer to use for that part of the workflow, is because I use Keyboard Maestro shortcuts that work well in that application. I use it to put in links to other pages on my Mac OS X blog or any of the other blogs that I write for. With a couple of key strokes, I am able to create a markdown referenced link and the text is perfectly set up to be converted into HTML. Another reason for doing it that way is because I like the format of the HTML as it is converted out of Textmate.
The HTML formatted text is pasted into the MarsEdit blog application in the HTML editor. Now it is time for me to add the images to the blog post and even though I am using the advanced HTML editor within the Mac blog software of MarsEdit, I am still able to see how the post will look by using the web preview window. Either that or I could use a keyboard shortcut and swap briefly into the rich text editor of MarsEdit. I like being able to see the HTML code and also to be able to see the finished article at the same time. Within MarsEdit html you do have syntax highlighting with different colours for the attributes, keywords and tag structure which makes it easy to spot any syntax errors within your blog posts.
Adding pictures to your blog post in your favourite blog editor
There is built-in support for adding images to your blog posts within the MarsEdit Mac blogging software and I will look at that in a moment, but often I prefer to use the drag-and-drop method. Often I will add images that I have selected with a screen grab by using Skitch. This is particularly useful when I am adding annotations such as arrows, extra text or various shapes. Working with images to get them ready for publishing on the Mac 20 questions weblog using Skitch is handy, because I can crop images and resize them before I get anywhere near to the blog editor.
Using the MarsEdit media manager
To open up the media manager you can tap on the media icon in the toolbar and this gives you access to your various images in three main places. If you want to use images that all ready have been published to any of your blogs, then you can see all of them by tapping on the Published tab. Then if you wish you can filter down to specific blogs and then there are also search facilities allowing you to find images by name.
The next place that you can go looking for your images will be ‘On My Mac’. Once you select this tab within the Media Manager you have access to any images on your computer within whichever photo libraries you have, including iPhoto, Aperture and Lightroom. You can also go searching on a folder by folder basis.
The other place to go looking for your images will be at Flickr.com. You do have to authorise MarsEdit to be able to use Flickr, but no worries as that is a very simple process and it will remain authorised until you do you de-authorise it.
From the Media Manager you can select an image on your Mac and have it uploaded to your blog. Generally you will do this when you are placing an image on a blog post and you can set the alignment, file name and the alt text as well as the size of the image for your blog posts. I would suggest that the best thing to do with regards the size of your images for your blog post, is to decide beforehand the size that you want. Better that you have the correct size before it arrives on your post. If you have images the right size, you will find that the webpage will download faster for your readers.
Dragging and dropping images into MarsEdit
Generally I found that this will work quite well, although on occasions I did have small difficulties. This was due to MarsEdit not realising where the cursor was and inserting a picture in a place where I didn’t want it. I have found that if when I click on a place with a cursor then hit the return key once or twice, then I don’t have the problem. The image goes where I want it to be.
Getting started with the MarsEdit blogger editor software
Setting up a new blog is pretty easy, you just put in the URL of your blog and MarsEdit will detect the settings for that blog. Either during that process or when you post your first weblog post, you will enter the username and password for your blog. That’s about it, after that, all you have to do is to write the words, get your pictures in there and publish.
MarsEdit – Easy to use Blog Editor for Mac
If you post a blog post without using MarsEdit, then you can use the refresh button in the toolbar of the Mac blogging application to have all of your blog posts in front of you. It is also possible for you to edit a post that you have already posted, even if you completed that post on the website. MarsEdit works well with WordPress blogs, I have also used it with Blogger.com. It will work with other blogging platforms too.
When you are posting a new blog post to your Mac software for blogging, MarsEdit, you can choose the category and also add tags. On my blog site I use the All In One SEO plug-in for WordPress and unfortunately I can’t access that from within MarsEdit. Even though I do have to go to the website to fill in the details for the SEO, I still prefer to use MarsEdit to do my blog posting. It is very easy within the application to split a blog post and edit the main part of it or the extended entry. If you are a podcaster also, you can add your details for your podcast using this blog publishing software.
Configurability of the blog application MarsEdit
When I add in a link to a blog post, I need to have two different types of link. If the link is to an internal page on the weblog then a straightforward HTML link is just fine. If I am linking to an external page from my blog, then I need to set it up so that it will open up in a new tab or a new page. Within MarsEdit I have been able to create formatting configurations that will allow me to have the right sort of HTML code for external links. It is also possible to edit the HTML5 code of the preview template in case you have specific settings on your blogging site and you wish to have the webpage preview look as much as possible like the real thing.
If there is some HTML code that you put in many of your the blog posts you can set up a mark up macro, so that with one click you can enter the code from within MarsEdit. One such use for this could be if you have specific code that you use for a pull quote. It is simple to create new HTML macros or to edit the macros that are already there. Not only that, but you can also assign keyboard shortcuts to these macros. You can have the macro either paste in a URL or ask you for one while the macro is in operation.
From MarsEdit you can set the status of the post from draft to published, you can set whether the comments are open or closed and whether you wish to accept trackbacks.
Don’t forget to look at the Wizardgold Mac20Q Channel on YouTube for videos showing how to do things with the Mac.