Windows Live Writer is one of a number of blog writing/management tools out there, and personally, it's my favorite. It's completely free to download and use, works with both Windows XP and Vista.
Grab Live Writer here.
Essentially what Live Writer is, is a word processor for blogs. Type and format until you're blue in the face. Spell check, save a copy to work on later, insert rich media easily etc. It makes writing long and complex blog posts incredibly easy.
Plus, it does auto-thumbnailing of images if you have somewhere to post them.
Configuring Live Writer is the only tricky part, and to do that you need only a few bits of information:
- The URL of your blog (i.e. http://zoomba.joeuser.com/ )
- Your login information (username/password)
- The JoeUser MetaWebBlog API File:
Now, once you have Live Writer downloaded and installed, it's time to start it up and configure it to connect to your blog.
Configuring Live Writer
When you start Live Writer for the first time, it will ask to create a new weblog account. If it doesn't, just go to the Weblog menu and select "Add Weblog Account" from the bottom of the list.
You'll see this window:
To start, you'll want to select "Another weblog service" since neither of the other options applies.
Now enter the URL for your blog, and your login information. I suggest you check the box to save your password.
It will briefly try and detect some settings. You'll then be told to select a provider.
Select Metaweblog API from the drop-down list, and enter this into the Remote posting URL field:
Now it will try and detect your blog theme and ask you if you want to create a temporary post. Click no. JoeUser does not support this feature.
And you're done! Just make sure you have your JoeUser blog selected from the Weblog menu before you start writing blogs to publish.
Using Windows Live Writer
Using Live Writer is incredibly easy. You can almost treat it as a regular word processor.
Here's a quick look at the major parts of the Live Writer interface:
The most important parts are the Publish Button, the Writing Area and the Category List.
The first line you see in the Writing area is your blog title. Live Writer unfortunately doesn't support subtitles like JoeUser does, so you'll have to edit those in on the site later if you want to include one.
Write your blog, format it however you like, go crazy. When you're done, make sure you have a category selected from the list, and then hit publish. After a few seconds, the post will be done and you'll automatically be taken to your article on the site.
It couldn't be easier!
You can also edit previously posted articles by selecting them from the "Recently Posted" list on the right bar. It will download your post from the site, allow you to edit it in LiveWriter and then update it.
It's important to note that this will only work with articles originally posted via LiveWriter.
Well, those are the basics. Later on I'll put up a tutorial on advanced topics like uploading images, special formatting settings etc.