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I am a huge believer in blogging and genuinely feel that one of the best possible ways to create a social community is by setting up your own blog.
Blogging is a great way to get your name out there and to begin building yourself up as an authority.
But how to find your own blogging style, blog from the heart, always come up with new original content ideas and manage to do everything in order to stand out?
There’s no single way to become a great blogger but there are a few exceptional tools that will help you declutter and focus on what’s important: your unique style and expertise. Here are some useful tools:
1. Hemingway: Remove Distractions
You write everything in one go, without any editing. Then you go back and edit later. The app aids concentration by offering a clean, easy-to-use workspace that limits distractions. You would be amazed by how much you get done using this app.
There’s a desktop app now that you can download for Mac and iOS too, so the app continues to get even better!
You can also edit your WordPress editor with dashboard plugins to make sure it spurs your creativity!
2. Serpstat: Expand Your Topics and Keywords
Showing up in Google searches is one of the most essential ways to getting established. There’s no way around that just yet, so we have to target keywords when blogging. Keywords also help to brainstorm content ideas because they push you to reflect on your audience’s needs and interests.
Often a phrase, question or keyword will be dominated by someone big in the market. A small blog or business is going to have trouble competing against a multi-billion dollar corporation that has a heavy budget for targeting the online sphere. You have to be more creative to get around them.
Narrowing your search terms while still focusing on popular phrases is a great way to do this. You can target your terms a little more closely by adding in additional details. Use synonyms for your main keywords, descriptions of what type of product you are blogging about and even antonyms have the potential to direct people to your website for whatever it is they are searching for.
Serpstat is an excellent tool for researching those keywords and expanding your list of content ideas. Type in your core term and scroll through phrases while paying attention to “keyword difficulty”, i.e. “how difficult it will be to rank for this term in Google”. For content ideas, I tend to focus on keywords with a “keyword difficulty” score of four or lower.
Serpstat also has a helpful keyword grouping / clustering tool that allows you to upload your long keyword lists and will group them by relevancy giving you a nice list of topics and subtopics to cover in one long-form article.
3. Cyfe: Get Organized
Blogging can quickly get overwhelming: You need to keep your content ideas, connect to other bloggers, manage your social media channels, keep an eye on security updates, keep tweaking your landing pages to try and achieve higher conversions and so much more. DigitalEagles‘s author has a good roundup on all the aspects to keep in mind when measuring your content performance.
Unless you keep yourself organized, you’ll keep forgetting important things. With clutter comes stress and that’s something you want to avoid!
Cyfe is one tool that keeps my sanity because it provides a much-needed clutter-free dashboard which you can set up the way you see important things first, without scrolling or going through pages and pages of graphs and reports. I use Cyfe to:
- Keep my Google analytics reports simplified and accessible
- Maintain my simple to-do list
- Keep the list of my content ideas and keywords close
- Keep an eye on my editorial road map. It helps me to prepare for new content at the beginning of the year, so I am ready when the time comes.
You can customize Cyfe the way you want: It allows you to easily import your invoices, leads, social media stats, and so much more!
4. Cliché Finder: Develop a Unique Writing Style
I will be the first to admit that I am a cliché generating machine, especially in more sentimental forms of writing. But with this tool I never have to worry about it impacting the quality of my work.
Cliché Finder lets you copy/paste your text, and it finds overused phrases and metaphors. That means a lot less eye rolling when people read the published piece.
It’s an essential tool if you want to develop your own unique writing style and will help unearth whether you’re using “stolen” phrases from someone else so that you can begin to cultivate your own style.
5. Flipsnack: Use a Variety of Formats
More often than not, a road to standing out is about experimenting, a lot! (At least that’s how I found my style!) I had started playing with different formats – visuals, videos, slideshows – long before it became “a thing” and long before I learned to do it right.
Whenever I was working on an article, I was thinking “Is there any way to convey the information in a more interactive, entertaining and memorable way?”
I’d put together comparison charts and would offer my readers a download of the info in PDF format. Or I’d put together PowerPoint decks with tips and quotes and would upload them to Slideshare in order to embed them into my blog posts.
I am always on an active lookout for new content formats and tools, which is why I am including this new tool in my arsenal: Flipsnack!
Flipsnack creates interactive HTML5 flip books which you can embed on your blog. I think it’s an awesome tool for just about anything.
- Give your readers something to play with
- Offer an interactive and beautiful preview of your (e)books
- Make it easy to flip through your different services or products, etc.
Flipsnack is not the only tool you’ll need to come up with all sorts of visual and interactive content. It’s just one example of how to use a variety of formats in your posts.
Do you have more tools that help you stand out as a blogger? Please share here in the comments or Tweet to me @seosmarty
Image source: Pixabay
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