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7 Simple Tools to Make Your Blog Posts Even Better

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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 November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

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    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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