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The Essential Beginners Guide to Blogging

The Essential Beginners Guide to Blogging

From personal to corporate, a blog is a must-have when it comes to your online presence. They help create visibility, awareness and a touchpoint for customers, fans, fellow hobbyists, whoever you chose to address. Blogs can turn into a day-to-day lifelong commitment to prose, or a random visual record of events and achievements. Whatever your blogging style of choice, there are several rules and best practices that everyone should follow.

1. Choose the Best Platform For You

The word blog means so much more than just a stream of text these days, WordPress and Blogger are leading platforms that can help you craft well-designed sites or pages. Pinterest lets you take a photographic lead to your blog, while Periscope is the new way to share your live video, or you can host shows on YouTube and Facebook.

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These and many other niche services are all viable. Consider how you can best present yourself, your company or products to the world and go for broke with the most appropriate platform, or play safe and stick with a standard blog you can add many types of media to. Go for an appropriate style and design to attract users

2. Find A Voice For Your Blog

How you address your audience depends on what you want to say and who you wish to appeal to. Personal blogs should reflect your own voice, while a company voice can be narrated by a “persona”, with whoever updates the blog taking on that role. Alternatively, blogs updated by a range of people can have many voices to lend variety and unique perspectives to the mix.

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Over time, you will discover what sort of content attracts an audience. Keep mixing that in with new ideas and vibrant images, riveting information and exciting content to keep people coming back for more. Any content that you can provide, either a unique insight or a useful collection of statistics or facts will always be eagerly sought out. Infographics are very popular and easy to create, but don’t go overboard.

3. Get More Insight Into Your Followers

However you track your followers, be it the number of subscribers, clicks or comments, you will want a useful way to be able to contact them. The best way to capture that information is through a contact form. By gathering useful information, even if it is just a name and email address, you can use it to send out regular updates or newsletters. Entice them to sign up, with offers for exclusive content or information and keep in touch as you cultivate a relationship with your followers to find out what they want from you.

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4. Build A Reputation

Blogs rarely grow a massive following instantly. Instead, they generally develop slowly until established, and then pick up the pace as more people share news about them, be prepared to put in the hard yards on your blog. No matter how niche, or how small the audience, they will come, as long as you keep at it and provide a genuine voice. Stay true to that tone, and don’t go for gimmicks or pad your blog out with dubious content, users can spot fakes and fakers, and will turn away instantly.

5. Link and Be Linked To

The key to any degree of success is the use of web links. Linking to other blogs and sites will help your ranking. Getting people to link to you, or adding relevant links in forums, discussions and across social media will also help people discover your blog. Paying for links, comments, reviews or followers falls under the faking it category and will be immediately obvious to real followers. There is endless discussion of link types, but don’t let that drive the direction of your blog.

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6. Protect Your Blog

Successful blogs are prone to be cloned or have their content being ripped off. Ensure you patrol the web for plagiarists. Also, ensure that your blog text and images are backed up somewhere safe, in case your blog is hacked, the server if corrupted or the host fails. Ensure you only allow trusted contributors access and safeguard passwords and use two-factor authentication to make certain no one else can take control of the site.

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Last Updated on May 25, 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

1. ToDoist

    ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

    For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

    However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

    The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

    Available on iOS and Android

    2. monday.com

      This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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      The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

      The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

      If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

      Available on iOS and Android

      3. CloudApp

        CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

        Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

        The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

        Available on iOS

        4. Quip

          If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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          Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

          There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

          Available on iOS and Android

          5. Trello

            Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

            Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

            The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

            Available on iOS and Android

            6. Focus Keeper

              This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

              This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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              The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

              Available on iOS and Android

              7. Quire

                This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                Available on iOS and Android

                8. Asana

                  This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                  The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  9. Toggl

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                    You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                    The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    10. Omni Focus

                      This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                      It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                      Available on iOS

                      Summary

                      All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

                      More Tools for Productivity

                      Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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