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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

    More by this author

    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 January 2, 2019

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

    Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

    Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

    Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

    1. Just pick one thing

    If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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    Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

    Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

    2. Plan ahead

    To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

    Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

    Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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    3. Anticipate problems

    There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

    4. Pick a start date

    You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

    Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

    5. Go for it

    On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

    Your commitment card will say something like:

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    • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
    • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
    • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
    • I meditate daily.

    6. Accept failure

    If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

    If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

    Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

    7. Plan rewards

    Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

    Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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    Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

    Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

    Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new?

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