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How to Use Evernote to Plan Your Blogging

How to Use Evernote to Plan Your Blogging


    I’ve been an avid user of Evernote for quite some time–heck, I even used it exclusively to plan my book!

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    As I got back into blogging regularly, I realized I needed to also get back into planning, scheduling, and organizing my posts and my thoughts. Evernote, it turns out, was a perfect solution. If you’re like most people in the world, “blogging” is a second- or third-priority item, after your 9-5 job. While many people want to blog, maintaining a steady schedule and still finding the time to write can be challenging.

    Basically, Evernote is a multi-platform program that allows you to keep virtual “notebooks” close at hand. You create notebooks and notes, and you’re given a set amount of space per month free of charge (the premium versions allow for additional storage space). Here’s a rundown of what Evernote has to offer bloggers:

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    • Multi-platform. I have a MacBook Pro and an Android phone, but at work I use a PC. I want to be sure I can take my notes on any device–whatever I’m currently using.
    • Syncing. Evernote is awesome at syncing between devices. I’ve never had an issue getting my notes I’ve taken on my phone or my MacBook Pro to my PC at work, or vice-versa.
    • Flexible. Other than organizing by a hierarchical “tree”-style of notes inside of notebooks, Evernote doesn’t care how you use it. Name your notes and notebooks anything from blog/website titles to website addresses.
    • Great, working design. Since I’m a Mac user, this one’s important. I haven’t found any bugs or any design stumbling blocks in Evernote–it seems to work as well as I’d hoped!

    So, how have I been using Evernote to increase my productivity when it comes to my blog?

    Specifically, I’ve been using it to both schedule (and sometimes write) my posts and organize my general thoughts. Instead of just writing everything into an Excel spreadsheet or a Word document, I can create a notebook called “LiveHacked.com” (the name of my site), with sub-notebooks. Here is a list of the sub-notebooks I find helpful:

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    • Blog Post Ideas.” This notebook helps me keep a running list of blog post headlines and topics. I come across some cool ideas during the workday, and need a place to write them down (if I don’t write it down, it won’t happen!). I can tweak the headlines, add/remove them, and just get a basic idea of how they’ll look.
    • Blog Post Categories.” For the planning stage of any blog, it’s important to know what categories you’ll be posting under. I like to have a few notes set aside where I can manage my category landing pages. This improves my on-site SEO, but it also makes my blog much more navigable for my users.
    • Blog Posts.” This notebook has any current posts or snippets that I want to keep track of. Usually I can just open WordPress and type a post draft, but it’s sometimes easier to not have to log in, navigate to my posts, etc. Plus, Evernote works while I’m offline (it’s a downloadable app), so I don’t need to have an internet connection until I’m ready to sync.
    • Calendar.” I like to keep a schedule of my posts, both for my site and for guest posts on other sites. I’m in the middle of a large guest-posting campaign, so it’s adamant that I know when and where my writing will go live around the web, so I can link/share it with my networks and be around to follow up with commenters.
    • SEO.” At one point I had an SEO notebook (I don’t use it much anymore–now it’s on a spreadsheet) that I used to track my backlinks, keywords, and SEO for my site. It was nice to be able to add a quick link when I was at work and came across a site that I could target for a backlink.

    There are numerous other ways I’ve used Evernote for blogging, but these are probably the main things most people could get use out of. Again, Evernote isn’t the only solution for blog management, but I find it absolutely wonderful. It’s dead-simple to use, and includes a wide array of helpful tips and tricks to keep you productive.

    If you haven’t ever tried it, give it a shot sometime — and leave a comment below to let me know what you think!

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    (Photo credit: On-line Blog Concept via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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