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10 Essential Tools Used By Professional Bloggers

10 Essential Tools Used By Professional Bloggers

Blogging requires you to do extensive research. In addition, the posts in your blog must be interesting, grammatically sound and authentic. This will consume a lot of time. However, there are different tools professional bloggers use to make their job easier.

You are going to find here ten essential tools which are there to serve you if you are a blogger. These tools are guaranteed to save your time and help you on your journey to be a professional blogger.

1. Evernote

You might be casually travelling in a public bus and surfing internet for something interesting and new. Lucky for you, you accidentally hit something interesting. What would you do? Well, what would a professional blogger do? A professional blogger would (probably) use the ‘Evernote’ tool.

Evernote allows you to save web pages, which you can access from anywhere at any time. Well its usability doesn’t end here, you can also save images and sounds with it in your own account. Another notable feature of this tool is that you can search specific text from saved pages and even from the pictures.

2. Windows Live Writer

If you know this or not, the material you publish are going to be there for everyone to see on the internet over eternity. Hence, a professional blogger always wants to publish sensible materials, so they mostly use the Windows Live Writer to edit the blog.

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Yes, you’ve got your own blog editor depending upon the blogging platforms, but it allows you to have a preview of the post before you hit the publish button. Moreover, this makes it easier to use multiple blogs as it has hundreds of plugins, which allows you to enjoy many features and functions without spending much money.

3. Plagium

Remember the college days; when you copied your friend’s report and your professor found out and gave you a fair warning. Well, the blogging community also ostracizes plagiarism.

If you have written something novel and are quite unsure about whether the post has appeared earlier, then don’t fret. You can use Plagium tool like professional bloggers. This tool allows you to check whether the content is replicated or unique which increases your confidence in a material.

4. PollDaddy

A material which includes surveys and opinion of the public is always appreciated and readily accepted without a second guess. How does a professional blogger manage to get those surveys done? If you don’t know, they use PollDaddy, which helps you to get opinion and feedback of the reader quickly and easily.

This offsets the process where you have to read and analyze individual comments. You can conduct surveys and get quick responses from iPhone, iPad and iPod users with it.

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5. Grammarly

A professional blogger doesn’t commit any grammatical error. The secret behind this is the use of the Grammarly tool. It’s one of the most used blogging tools by professional bloggers to check grammatical mistakes.

It is available as an extension of Chrome browser or Microsoft Word. It remedies any grammatical error. Fed up with frequent minor grammatical mistakes? Why not to use Grammarly? Who knows? You could be swimming with the big fishes in blogging world with its use.

6. Dropbox

Imagine waking up the next day to find your mobile and laptop gone. You could lose all of your materials for blog, but professional bloggers don’t worry about such losses as they use tools like ‘Dropbox’.

You just need to add those items to Dropbox, it will store your material without any charge. It allows you to sync the files between mobile devices and computers. Since it is available for every type of devices, you don’t need to worry about compatibility issues.

7. Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is a CRM software, a sales tool and ecommerce platform, all combined into one complete package. This might not be essential for all the professional bloggers out there but it’s a must have for bloggers who are involved in business through their blogs.

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Infusionsoft’s major selling point is its powerful CRM, especially beneficial for small businesses, offering support for importing contacts, tagging and segmentation. It lets you score customers based on their past interactions.

The other benefits include marketing automation, sales automation, ecommerce platform and support for integration. There’s no free trial for you to play around with but there are demos for you to see how the tool fares. Moreover, Infusionsoft pricing has also been set into different categories based on your requirements.

8. SEO Blogger

Ever wonder what professional bloggers use for optimizing their blogs? If you are not quite sure, then believe me when I say this that SEO Blogger is one of the most used tools for optimizing the blogs.

With the help of SEO Blogger, you can find the keywords, which are mostly sought by blog readers. It also allows you to find the most popular keywords and compare many keywords in your content. Moreover, you can find out how many times you have used those words and find out the keyword density in your posts.

9. Sucuri

If your blogs are not famous, you don’t have to worry about external threats such as hacking. However, professional bloggers have to be careful of hackings because it takes considerable time to build a loyal reader base.

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Once their blogs are hacked and insensitive materials are posted, it would be, literally, a matter of days before they lose all of their subscribers. To avoid this, they use Sucuri. It safeguards the blog from hacking and losing its goodwill. The only downside of this tool is that it is very expensive. But, it’s worth every penny.

10. Shareaholic

A good blogger always uses the social media to attract more viewers. How does a professional blogger do it? They use Shareaholic. With its help, you can share your blog posts easily and quickly all over the social web. Actually, Shareaholic is an extension for browsers, and it supports hundreds of services for saving and sharing your posts.

Featured photo credit: Publicdomainpictures via publicdomainpictures.net

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Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

Better Job Offers

Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

A Shot at Entrepreneurship

Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

1. Update Your Resume

You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

To hone this skill:

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Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

To hone this skill:

Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

To hone this skill:

Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

How to hone this skill:

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Practice being resourceful.

Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

How to hone this skill:

Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

How to hone this skill:

Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

How to hone this skill:

Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

How to hone this skill:

Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

How to hone this skill:

Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

How to hone this skill:

All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

12. Build Networks and Relationships

You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

How to hone this skill:

Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

Final Thoughts

Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

Happy career switching!

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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