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Essential Tools for Content Marketers

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No it’s not cheating, trust me. These handy tools will make your life easier and your content stronger.

Ever heard of mental block? For content marketers it’s that moment when you can’t even think of a topic let alone begin writing the content. Then there’s the frustration of submitting work and noticing a typo or worse still, word repetition.  Enter the content marketer’s toolbox – a set of go-to sites and resources that will put the good stuff back into your content.

Say goodbye to troublesome typos and neglected deadlines; these handy tools have got your back.

Content calendar

You need a content calendar. Simple. Planning your content weeks or even months before you write it allows you think carefully about what is most relevant to your audience. Before you know it, you’ll have the sweet satisfaction that your content is getting read and shared by the people who are most likely to get involved with your business. Plus, you know what you’re writing and who else is writing what and when, so you can meet every deadline without endlessly smashing away at the keyboard.

HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

Before you start filling out your content calendar with blogs and articles, have a go on HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator – a search engine that creates blog titles based on topics. You can put up to three words into the search and then let the generator do the hard work for you. If you type in ‘Content’ and ‘Blog’ and ‘Marketing’, for example, it comes up with the following results:

The worst advice you’ve ever heard about content

How to solve the biggest problems with blog

7 things about marketing your boss wants to know

Why we love content (and you should too)

15 blogs to follow about blog

They’re by no means perfect, but think of it more as an inspiration tool than one to give you the best converting title. It’s the tool to use when you’re wracking your brains for a title, and with five to go at, you’re bound to find one you can take as your starting point.

Asana

According to Asana, if you can use your email, you can use its app. It’s basically a ticket system where content can be assigned to team members. With your content calendar laid out in an online system everyone in the team can stay on track, and you can move tasks around so deadlines are never missed. People can comment on tasks and start conversations, and with loads of ideas in the mix, your content will flourish. The app can be used on PCs and laptops as well as tablets and phones, so it’s ideal for in the office and for home. Whether your team is in house, freelance or on the move between meetings, you are all on the same page, quite literally.

Trello

Similar to Asana, Trello helps you to organise your workflow so tasks are completed on time. It’s all about efficiency, so you can drag jobs to different lists – the checklist, the to-do list or the in-progress section. Tasks can be moved around the dashboard to show progress and when you’re working on a campaign it’s easy to see what needs to be completed first. You can create different boards for each project you’re working on so nothing gets neglected. Spend less time creating and updating spreadsheets, and more time doing what you do best – being a creative genius.

Google Calendar

You can’t go wrong with a good old Google Calendar. It’s the Filofax of the 21st century; the ultimate in organisation that once you’ve got you can’t live without. With all appointments, blog articles and tasks saved in an online calendar, you can access it anywhere and share it with your colleagues. Release your inner Monica from Friends and create a calendar for each campaign. #smugface

Hemingway

Once you’ve written your article, get Hemingway to give it a once over. Copy and paste your test into the app and it will highlight areas for improvement in five categories – complicated sentences, long sentences, complex words, adverbs and use of the passive voice. It then tells you what you need to do in order to streamline your copy and make it bolder. Before you know it, you’ll be the next Hemingway (sorry).

Grammarly

Avoid submitting typos and grammatical errors by putting your copy into Grammarly. It will tell you where you have gone wrong so you can correct it. Even the best writers make mistakes, and this site will help you get rid of them before it’s too late. It also picks up on duplicated content from over eight billion websites so you can make yours unique. Google will love you, and up and up your content will climb on the SEO ladder.

These tools are just a handful of all the apps and websites out there that are made for content marketers and bloggers. They are the ones I like the most and I know there are heaps around. Do you know of a tool that you think I would love? Leave a comment – and thanks, in advance.

UK based SEO Consultant and co-founder of Hidden Pixel with a passion for everything related to online marketing. Works with clients of all shapes and sizes, along with offering PPC consultancy services. Find him on Twitter - @mattbeswick

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Blogging

Do You Assume too Much?

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One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.

These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.

This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.

A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.

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Blogging

Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice

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Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.

For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.

I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.

Check out my eBook:

10 Reasons Why Fijian Fruit Bats Would Be Absurdly Successful Bloggers

I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.

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Blogging

How to Push Throw Blogging Goals When You Feel Burned Out

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blogger burn out

Blogging is super exciting but there are moments we feel like it’s all crumbling and nothing is moving. Having blogged for over 7 years consistently, I have experienced moments of drought a couple of times. But I’m always still able to rebuild my excitement to move on.

Burnout happens to everyone in the industry. But how to refuel your energy and continue the journey is what makes the difference. We want to point out few tips to help us continue during such moments. So this is not about  how to avoid blogger burnout but what to do when it happens.

Why Blogger burnout?

Before we talk about how to keep your blog thriving during burnout, let’s quickly discuss some reasons why it happens.

The reason you blog

People blog for various reasons. Some were told that blogging is a quick path to financial freedom which is not true. If this is the reason you started blogging, you may soon burn out. The reason is that it takes time and really hard work to start seeing money from blogging.

When folks don’t see results as early as they expected at the beginning, the result is a rush into wrong conclusions as the energy fades away.

Unplanned circumstances

I have seen people get completely blown out of the industry because of an unexpected event that ushered huge losses and disappointments. Sometimes a hack or server crash that leads to complete loss of content or major Google update or manual action bringing massive negative search impact could get your enthusiasm completely damaged.

Successes in other areas

A friend in Nigeria whose blog got over 5000 daily readers picked a highly lucrative job in the oil industry. The next thing I heard was that he was putting his blog on sale. His motivation fully got shifted to his new job.

These and many more reasons may diminish your excitement in blogging and cause burn out. But what are some of the ways to keep your blog going during burn out?

How to keep your blog active when you are burnt out

Now, you must not allow your blogging business to die out when you do not feel like clicking on it. Your fallen passion should not mean a falling blog because there are ways to keep it alive while rebuilding your motivation.

#1. Work on rebuilding your excitement

The best way to keep your blog active is to work on your diminishing excitement. Think about the fact that you can still make it. If others are succeeding despite the odds, you too can despite what has happened.

If you think you had the wrong motivating reasons at the beginning, just get to understand the truth and adapt to it. If you had a bad experience, do not let i t roll you out.

#2. Turn to friends and guest authors for content continuation 

The worst thing that will happen to your blog during burnout is to cease publishing fresh content. Fresh content is your blog’s lifeline. Editing and re-posting old content works great but that depends on the evergreen nature of the existing content.

Guest blogging is an exercise where you open up your blog to your readers to submit relevant content. With qualified guest bloggers, you can always have steady flow of content on your blog, keeping it alive when you are trying to revive your interest.

#3. Outsource or buy content from an agency

If you are burnt out, keeping your blog active is essential. That’s why I suggest you go as far as spending on relevant content. There are several ways:

  • Hire someone to post and promote a certain number of articles per week
  • Outsource to content agency
  • Buy spontaneously from different writers

Agencies may be a bit more pricey but that would be the best way to ensure that your blog keeps getting the best content while you are absent. This is also what a lot of brands and influencers are doing when trying to get more followers on social media. No matter if you are doing marketing or content creation/promotion, make sure any content that is submitted by from external sources is plagiarism free.

#4. Edit and re-post old content

I mentioned earlier that this method works but not as effective as posting new content. If your burnout is not as a result of an impact from  Google, you may consider revamping your existing content to keep your blog going.

$5. Resolve the technical issue

Don’t just fall out and abandon your business because of a hack or broken server. I understand how devastating this could be. But making an attempt at resolving any issues related to your blog may begin producing some good results that may light up your excitement and pull you out of the depression.

Avoid the cheap offers in the  industry. Turn to high performance hosting and invest in your business. Do not create an opening for any bad technical experience that me lead to failure.

Conclusion

If you’ve not experienced blogger burnout yet, it’s good it doesn’t happen. But if it does, it should not mark the end of your blog. Following these tips to keep it alive.

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