MarsEdit is one of the leading blogging tools available for Mac users. Unlike LiveWriter, it’s not a free application; rather, it costs $39.95 USD. From what I’ve seen thus far, that’s a reasonable price and one which can be written off as a business expense. It’s a well-regarded application – John Gruber, author of the “Nearly every word I write for Daring Fireball is published through MarsEdit.”
To get it up and running, click on the link above, then select the download link on the MarsEdit home page (if you are still running Leopard i.e. OS X 10.5, there is a link to an older version for this platform). Save the download to your Mac’s Downloads folder, then double-click on the zip file.
Unusually for a Mac application, there is no installer so the application is unzipped and remains in your Downloads folder. This is quite advantageous for running the software during its free 30-day trial period – if, for any reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can delete the zip file and the application from the Downloads folder. If you use it and decide to keep it, simply drag and drop the program into the Applications folder.
When you first launch MarsEdit, it will ask you for details about your blog (If you ever want to add another blog, just choose the File > New Blog… menu item). Type a title (e.g. “Rapid Time News”) and then type or paste in the home page URL – so http://rapidtimenews.com/ in this case. If you create content for additional blogs (and not necessarily WordPress ones, either) you can manage the process from within MarsEdit.
Once you’ve added the title and URL, click “Finish”. You’ll then be presented with a login dialog:
Here, enter the credentials you were sent when you signed up to contribute. You’ll only need to enter this information once – the credentials are stored in the Mac’s Keychain, which is a database managed by the operating system.
Once you’ve entered your information, click “OK” and MarsEdit will connect to the Rapid Time News site. That’s it, you’re set up, so now get writing!
Click on the New Post icon on the toolbar, enter your article title and any tags you might want to use, then select your preferred Categories from the Options window on the right of your screen (if it’s not displayed, click Options in your post edit window).
Once you’ve done all of that, now comes the hard part – letting the creative juices flow. The toolbar in the post edit window allows you to save a draft as you work, you can preview your content to see how it might look when posted, then, when you’re ready to unleash your content on an unsuspecting world, click on “Send to Blog” – and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now…
Des Dougan is Principal of Dougan Consulting Group, which provides technology support services to small businesses in the Metro Vancouver area. Des has over 30 years experience in the computer business and can be contacted here and via @ddougan on Twitter.