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7 Simple Tools to Make Your Blog Posts Even Better

7 Simple Tools to Make Your Blog Posts Even Better

Creating blog posts that stand out in an over-crowded space is a challenge. These days, it feels like a simple text post on its own isn’t enough. Picking an interesting idea and writing out a thoughtful post is only half the battle. After all, there are a ton of posts out there already filled with pictures, infographics and videos.

The need to create visuals and graphics to enhance your post can seem daunting at first. But if you’re not design-saavy, there are tools created with you in mind.

With the click of a mouse, you can create content that looks as if a professional customized it just for you. Even though I don’t create visuals, I personally found using a number of these tools easy to use (and even fun).

So take a look at the resources below and see if they can help make your content creation easier.

1) Piktochart

At first glance, infographics can look complicated to make. But Piktochart can make things much easier. They provide some free templates for different situations. You can customize the template to your liking by using the shapes, fonts and images available.

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Besides infographics, you can also use Piktochart to create presentations, reports, and posters. Below is an infographic I fiddled around with by using a template:

Piktochart

    2) Haiku Deck

    You already know about SlideShare. But what about Haiku Deck?

    Haiku Deck enables you to make beautiful decks using templates, images, and font designs. They are designed in a simple, yet elegant way so that you have a scenic backdrop for your message. Adding a deck to your blog post creates a visual element that’s easy for readers to flip through.

    3) Photopin

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    Do you ever feel frustrated when you see a nice image that’s perfect for your post, but then realize you can’t use it? Try using Photopin instead. Photopin is a free resource for bloggers to use that has a large database of Creative Commons photos. You can select the image size and then grab the HTML for attribution (hey, it’s only fair, right?).

    4) Canva

    Adding a downloadable freebie is a simple way to add value to blog readers at the end of the post. Providing a PDF that’s a worksheet, checklist or simply a summary of the post is a good way to make your post stand out.

    If you want to make it look professional, Canva is easy to use. It provides pre-made templates, images and easy editing.

    5) Word2CleanHTML

    If you’re like me, you probably write your initial blog post draft in Microsoft Word or Google Drive. But even though these programs make it easier to craft your article, it can be a pain to transfer over the post to your content management system.

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    This is where Word2CleanHTML comes in. It takes your document and fixes it so that it’s HTML friendly. All you have to do is paste the document, click a button, and the job is done. Voila!

    6) Google Scholar

    Linking to scientific research helps create credibility and authority. When writing a blog post, Google Scholar is a great resource to look up academic journals and studies. It’s just like typing into regular Google, except you get the output of research data. One of the best features is that you can adjust the period of research, which keeps you from having to sift through outdated data.

    7) Hemingway App

    Find yourself rambling on in your writing? Hemingway App, named after the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, helps you simplify your writing. The app highlights words and sentences that could do with some tweaking.

    Just copy and paste your work into the app and it’ll analyze your writing. The lower your grade, the more readable your writing is.

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    Conclusion

    Going the extra mile with your blog post can work wonders. Your post becomes more appealing, making visitors more likely to share your content.

    Don’t be afraid to experiment around and see what works. Remember, though, these are simply tools to get you started. You need to decide how you want to use them in order to increase the value of your content.

    What’s a resource you like to use to give your blog post that extra shine?

    Featured photo credit: Mans Hands Typing On Laptop With Smartphone, Book And Coffee/ Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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    Melissa Chu

    Founder of JumpstartYourDreamLife.com

    6 Things Happy People Never Forget 5 Things You Need to Stop Doing If You Want To Be More Productive This Is How I Stop Procrastination. 7 Simple Tools to Make Your Blog Posts Even Better

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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