Tag Archives: blogging

Desk, a Mac Desktop Blogging Editor

I have a serious addiction: Mac apps. As things go, it’s not a serious addiction, of course. However, it’s a nuisance. Just this week, I bought Typed, a Mac Markdown editor. Now there’s Desk, another blogging editor. (Sigh.)

Why, oh why yet another app? A couple of reasons. I like blogging as a break from serious writing — that is,  client projects. It’s my little reward, so I’m always working on a blog post. Also, Desk lets you use Markdown. I adore Markdown. So I couldn’t resist. Obviously I like playing with apps and blogging more than I like doing serious work. :-)

Desk, a desktop blog editor

 It’s not easy to find a GOOD desktop blog editor

WordPress is my blogging platform of choice, so I usually blog in the WordPress editor. However, that can be a royal pain, for various reasons. So, when I saw how many great reviews Desk received, I couldn’t resist.

Over the years, I’ve used many other Mac desktop blog editors. Most handle publishing to a blog reasonably well, except when they don’t. That’s when I give up in disgust and go back to blogging in WordPress.

There’s another reason I like to blog in the WordPress editor: SEO. I use the Yoast plugin, which reminds me of keywords, page titles, and the rest. When you use a desktop editor, you have to go back into WordPress, and add those things afterward. This can be a hassle, if you’ve got five other things to do in the next 60 minutes.

This is a test post for Desk: review to follow

I’m writing this post in Desk, and I’ll complete it once Desk has sent the post to WordPress.

I’ll write a proper review when I’m more familiar with the app, but I like the ability to drag images from the desktop right into a post.

My major quibble after 20 minutes playing with the app? No typewriter scrolling. Desk has a great community already, and someone has asked for that feature, so I added my voice.

Now to hit Publish, and see what happens. :-)

… and we’re live

I’m back in the WordPress editor, adding the meta data.

Desk has done an excellent job; I managed to add a few too many non-breaking spaces, but that’s OK, for a first attempt.

I’m really impressed that the image I dragged into Desk is right where it should be; that will save time.

My verdict on my first Desk post: the app’s fun to use, and it does what it says on the label. :-)

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

5 Blog Post Ideas You Can Use Today

5 Blog Post Ideas You Can Use Today

When I work with clients on their blogs, I make lists of blog post ideas they can use if they wish. By the time they work through the list, they know how to generate their own ideas.

Ideas are everywhere. For inspiration, check your email, and the news, and ask your colleagues to help you to brainstorm.

If you’ve still got nothing, try these ideas.

1. Create a list post

List posts are super-easy. Choose a topic, and think: why, what, why, when, where and how.

Examples:

  • 5 Reasons Yoghurt Is Good For You
  • 5 Simple And Trendy Yoghurt Desserts
  • 2 Ways To Make Yoghurt At Home
  • Simple Good Health: 4 Super-Foods To Include In Your Diet

You can often turn posts in your archives into list posts.

2. Post an image from your location

You’ll see these kinds of posts on social media: an image of what someone saw on his way to work, or the view from a poster’s living room window.

Make this theme your own. If you’ve got a bricks and mortar shop, you’ve got endless opportunities to snap images.

They don’t need to be pretty — they just need to be a slice of life.

If you’re a writer, post an image of your desk, or the cover of your book, or the unboxing of something or other. YouTube’s full of unboxing videos, because they’re popular.

3. Post the answer to a question (include WHY)

You get questions every day. If you’re stumped for a blog post idea, scroll through your email.

Tell your readers why you responded as you did. The reason will be evident to you, but for someone who’s new to your topic, it’s a mystery.

4. Create a post in a format you’ve never used before

Most bloggers get stuck using the same couple of formats. However, there are many different blog post formats. If you’re using WordPress, check your theme.

Here’s a selection of formats.

Blog post formats
Blog post formats

5. Just for giggles, use an idea generator

Sometimes your brain feels like mush, and ideas won’t come. Make yourself laugh. Humor makes you more creative.

Idea generators can come up with some weird ideas.

Here’s Hubspot’s. Enter three nouns.

Here’s what happened when I used it.

Blog post idea generator
Blog post idea generator

Collect blog post ideas

I’m a big Evernote user. I’ve got a notebook called Drafts, in which I collect ideas.

Here’s the key to collecting ideas so that they’re useable: jot down a couple of paragraphs, rather then just a phrase, an URL, or a title. The more you write about your idea now, the easier the blog post will be to write later.

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Get coaching, and build your skills at Angela’s online store.

Writing Journal 73: Free Content Library Available Now

Writing Journal 73: Free Content Library Available Now

My writing journal for Friday, October 24, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

The mystery novel went well, as usual, with 2,200 words. Then on to the two nonfiction books, with 1,800 words.

Honey’s breakfast, and my own, while catching up with email. It’s predicted to be warm today, with showers later, so I left for my walk.

As soon as I got back, I caught up with client phone calls and messages. Friday’s my day to update clients on their projects’ progress.

Next, I analyzed traffic, and brainstormed content for clients’ websites and blogs. This afternoon, I’ll need to fit in some more blog content research.

Julia and I left for an early lunch, just in case someone called and we got caught up again. We’ve missed our Friday lunches. Hummingbird cake for dessert, of course. :-)

Back again to work on the copywriting projects I developed concepts for, and brainstormed, yesterday. The drafting went quickly. I’ve learned never to worry about projects at the draft stage. It’s essential to get something written, no matter how useless the writing appears. Then you can work with what you have.

Writers tend to struggle with getting stuff down. The solution is to write something. Once you have something, you can revise it, or trash it completely. Even if you trash it, you’ll find that the effort you put in isn’t wasted. You may well come up with a brilliant idea, sparked by your rubbishy drafts.

Angela Booth's EASY-WRITE Process 4 for 2015

If you want more information on how all this works, I cover it in great detail — with exercises — in the Easy-Write Process.

I developed the strategies in the Easy-Write Process over many years, and of course, I use them myself.

Writers love the Easy-Write Process, because it helps you to write, rather than worry, and it eliminates procrastination completely.

 

 

 

 

Writing Genii launches, with the Free Content Library

Writing Genii

Writing Genii has finally launched. I hope you enjoy the Free Content Library. I wrote about the site relaunch on my freelance writing blog. I said:

Today, 30 MILLION pieces of content flow onto the Web, each and every day. That’s a LOT of content. You, I, and every other writer has to compete with that for attention. As we said in Professional Writing Going Forward to 2015, professional writing is changing. If you want to make a great income from your writing, you need to become much more entrepreneurial.

The Free Content Library helps new writers to get up to speed on the world of writing as it is in 2014, and in 2015 and beyond. Eventually, we’ll have many ebooks in the library for you to download, and put to use. You can download the first two ebooks now. My hope is that they’ll arm you to develop a real writing business.

Basically, Writing Genii is for anyone who wants to turn their creativity into a business.

Onward…

With the copywriting material drafted, I drafted some blog posts for clients’ blogs. I’ll complete the posts, and scheduled them for publication next week. I always like to have a collection of draft posts ready to go, otherwise you can fall behind on your blogging very easily.

And that’s it for the day. My daily review is done, and so’s the writing week.

Check out Writing Genii

Check out Writing Genii; we’ll be publishing more content to our Free Content Library. Enjoy the resource. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.

Writing Journal 62: Evernote Everywhere

Writing Journal 62: Evernote Everywhere

My writing journal for Monday, October 13, 2014. You can find all the writing journal entries here.

A busy day today; I need to find time to work on my own new blog. I started with fiction. The mystery novel’s still going well. Just 1200 words; I need to plot several scenes. Mysteries are always a bear, because there’s a lot happening. You’ve got the crime, the sleuth, red herrings, actual clues… I looked at the Murder Board Paper, and I’m tempted to buy it.

Then the two nonfiction books. Writing them in tandem isn’t working – I need to focus on one at a time. I’ll start with the ebook, and then on the print version. With that decided, I managed 1800 words, which is excellent.

Breakfasts; Honey and my own. Rather than getting stuck on email, I went for my walk. Apparently storms are on the way, so I need to get my exercise early.

Back; it’s time to read and write emails. There’s still a backlog, but I should be able to deal with the rest of it tonight.

Work on my new blog

(Sigh) I love creating blogs, but I’ve been procrastinating on this one for several weeks. There’s a lot to plan, and I’ve managed to get myself confused. I created a cluster on a whiteboard, so that I can get it out of the sandbox and published sometime this week. I hope.

A client needs a rush presentation, so that’s next. I’ve done several for him, so I have a template. I plan the headlines, and the text, and send it off to him for his review. If he can get it back to me today, I should be able to complete it by tonight.

Lunch at my computer, checking out social media. I haven’t had time to squeeze it in for days, and I’m way behind in my reading in Pocket.

Evernote resources: just get started — dump everything in

If I know I’ll be working with a company on a long project, I set up a shared notebook for them in Evernote. My contact’s asked me for some good Evernote resources, so I made a short list. It might be useful for you too.

Here’s the basic process I suggest for Evernote — dump everything it, sort it out at the end of the week. That process serves me well. I’m on a Mac, and run the Evernote Helper in my menu bar. I drag files (PDFs, images, work files) to the icon, and they’re sent to Evernote. If I want to remember something, I paste it into the Helper, or just type a note into the Helper. (I assume there’s a version of the Helper for Windows.)

Three great Evernote resources

Evernote Essentials – Brett Kelly’s excellent book. I’ve skimmed most of it; even if you’re an Evernote veteran, it’s useful to scan it occasionally to see what you’re missing. There’s so much in Evernote it can seem overwhelming at first — this is why I say, just dump everything in there. :-)

Evernote’s own Getting Started tutorials –  the basics.

“I’ve been using Evernote wrong” – a great Lifehacker article, which discusses the Web clipper (essential), saved searches and tags, and more. The article points out that the more you have in Evernote, the better it becomes. Very true. The Related Notes feature surfaces articles I’ve long forgotten, because I’ve been using Evernote since 2009.

Blogging: draft posts, and publishing

After lunch, I work on the presentation, then on a series of blog posts for my own and clients’ blogs. I need to sort out some images clients have sent in Photoshop.

Next, admin chores. Oh, the horror. I turn on Spotify and determinedly work my way forward. As a reward, I do some research for a client. Yes, I look on researching as a reward. Someone once asked me why I became a writer, I responded that I like to read. Reading is both a reward, and work.

Finally, it’s time for my daily review. I need to work on my schedules tonight, before they become more complicated.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, and on YouTube, too.