If you’ve ever needed to take a picture of a Web page, grab a logo or otherwise turn page into an image, you know well that it can be a difficult task. Though Windows, Mac and most Linux distros offer some means of capturing screen images built in, they are often not adequate for precision or annoted screenshots of Web pages.
As such, several Firefox extensions have been written to help surfers and bloggers alike grab images from the Web and either save them on their hard drives or upload them to the Web. These tools can be a valuable resource, especially when you can not get at your usual screen capture tools.
So what are some of the best tools? Here are some of my picks for Firefox-based screen capture tools.
Iimmgg Tools is a breathtakingly simple application to use. Once installed, the extension sits as a drop-down icon in your toolbar and as an option on the right click menu. It allows you to take a screen shot of either the whole page (including the portion not visible), just the visible area or of a selected region.
The “selected region” feature of the extension is easily the most powerful. You can either drag freehand over the portion you want to select or choose the exact site you want of the screen shot (down to the pixel) and then drag the square over the portion that you want to capture. This feature is especially important for anyone that needs specific-sized screenshots for any layout purposes (such as magazine-style themes).
Once you’ve captured your image, you can either download it to your computer or, as the application defaults to, you can upload it to Iimmgg, the image host that created the add-on.
FireShot is the equivalent to Adobe PhotoShop of Firefox screen capture tools. It is robust, powerful and, at times, very intimidating.
Though the application only allows you the choice of grabbing either the full page or the visible area, after it does that it whisks you to an editor interface where you can crop the image, add highlights, draw shapes, overlay text and much more.
Once you’re done with the image, you can either save it to your computer, export it to another program or upload it to application’s chosen image host.
FireShot is also unique in that it is the only one of the three that offers a for-pay pro version that has more features, including unlimited undo and the ability to edit multiple files at once. The initial download comes with a 30-day trial of the pro version, which can be purchased for $35 at the end of the evaluation period.
All in all FireShot is likely a solid choice for anyone who needs a lot of power out of their screenshot application, especially those who do a lot of highlighting and note-taking.
Less of a screenshot app and more of a general blogging tools, DashBlog provides a good medium between Iimmgg Tools and FireShot in the screen capture department.
It’s screen capture is able to grab either the visible portion of the page or a selected region and it can also do some simple markup, including drawing, adding text and adding arrows of different colors. When it is done, the application can either download the image to your desktop or upload it to your WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, etc.
For bloggers, Dashblog is a natural choice as it makes it easy to add other forms of embeddable media, such as YouTube clips, to your blog as well using your blog’s API. It can be a quick way to generate off-the-cuff posts about whatever you find on the Web.
Word of Warning
Obviously, when you use any of these tools in conjunction with your blog, you’re going to want to make certain that you are not infringing the original site’s copyright. It is important to be respectful of the Webmasters whose sites you’re taking the screenshots of, that you obey any licenses and that you only use what you need to make your point.
Though using a screenshot tool is legal and, in many circumstances, posting the image on your site is not an infrignement either, you have to be careful to not go too far or you may risk having some very angry content owners demanding removal of their work.
Though none of these tools will likely be full replacements for the professional screen capture tools used by many Webmasters, they do provide a good backup solution, especially when one is away from their primary computer.
Personally, of the three, I use Iimmgg the most. Though I find DashBlog to be interesting and compelling, I find the simplicity and speed of Iimmgg to be more useful. Also, as someone who uses a magazine-style layout with specific image requirements, I need the precision of Iimmgg.
In the end though, which you use will come down to your specific needs and wants. Your situation may demand a very different set of tools and, if that is the case, one of these applications will likely give you exactly what you need.
How Much Confidence Do You REALLY Have in Your Blog?
Watch this video I recorded in Brooklyn Heights today:
Sweet view, eh? I made a powerful point too. Bloggers sometimes boast of their confidence and clarity. Puffing themselves up, they believe deeply in themselves and in their blog. Critics? Who cares? These dynamos seem unstoppable. Belief! Success is on the way, right? Awesome. Then, after mentioning their blog in front of a parent or sibling or cousin, their loved ones make fun of “blogging”, telling these idiots to “get a real job”. OUCH! Like a balloon being popped, your loved ones took a pin to your ego, deflating you. AND showing how you genuinely have little confidence in your blog. Turns out, you feel filled with doubt and pure uncertainty about your blog AND in yourself, blogging-wise. This is a good thing. Critics trigger and unearth deep fears you need to face, feel and release, to reach the next stage of your blogging career. So…how much confidence do you REALLY have in your blog? Talk about your blog to friends and family members, or to strangers. You will find out. Fast. Because these folks are non-targeted and often highly NOT interested in blogging.
I recall mentioning my blog to my fam about 10 years ago. Before doing this, I believed I felt super confident about my blog and self. I BELIEVED in myself! Wild-eyed, ignorant, deluded newbie blogging excitement covered up the fact I doubted myself and my blogging abilities, horribly. After that little chat – even though no family member seemed terribly critical – I felt like crap. Awkward, and lost, my family’s questions triggered deep fears in me. I doubted myself. I doubted my blog. In truth, I had no idea what I was doing because I refused to learn from pros. Bad idea. Naturally, I gained confidence after this session – eventually – because I faced and felt doubts eating into my blogging confidence.
The quickest way to gain blogging confidence is to discuss your blog and what you do with anybody on earth, from friends, to fam, to strangers. Never try to convince or influence or convert folks, because doing so shows your lack of confidence. Let people live their lives and make their choices. Your job is to see how shy or clear you feel discussing your blog. Shy bloggers feeling awkward chatting blogging with folks simply feel filled with fear. Blogging fears need to go for you to succeed. Speak about blogging in public. Broadcast live in a public spot. Record videos in busy spots with heavy foot traffic, as I did above, in Brooklyn. Face, feel and release self-conscious fears that need to go for you to reach the next stage of blogging growth.
One way to be a smarter and richer blogger is by facing your blogging fears routinely. Speaking to or in front of fam or strangers about your blog certainly unearths some of those deep fears. Do it. See where you are at, confidence-wise. Being straight with yourself is hands down one of the quickest ways to accelerate your blogging success. Relax, share your blogging exploits and honestly assess how you feel, to increase your blogging success.
Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend
Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.
Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.
All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.
Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.
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Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!
Practice in private. Shine in public.
Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!
Do You Assume too Much?
One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.
These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.
This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.
A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.
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