Photo Credit: epSos.de
61% of survey respondents say their personal blog helped Them Win Their Latest Job. My personal blog launched my new career in digital marketing strategy and analytics.
My last post shares why our professional and digital identities shouldn’t be beholden to a single social media platform. Do more than the herd. A personal website or blog differentiates you from other job candidates by showing how you go the extra mile.
7 Habits and Resources To Rocket Your Blogging Productivity and Creativity
It feels scary in the beginning. That’s okay. Dance with those scared and excited feelings — it means you’re on the right track:
I’m a Mac Fan so my app suggestions comply with that platform. I have no affiliations or business relationships with these products. I’m a loyal fan who wants to share these helpful resources with others.
Let’s get to work!
1. Edit Your Blog Posts with MarsEdit for Mac
Mars Edit is amazing. This Mac app turbocharges offline time into ultra-productive blogging goodness. No internet connection required.
I host my personal blog on TypePad. No WiFi access meant no draft posts. I worked in TypePad’s editor because copying/pasting from another offline application (e.g., Microsoft Word) meant more time formatting.
A top-notch blog editing tool:
- Uploads your post to your blogging platform
- Transfers all formatting into your platform (with zero or minimal editing)
- Speeds up adding hyperlinks (a huge deal when linking / citing support sources)
- Focuses your writing
2. Scour Industry News and Blogs with an RSS Dashboard
RSS feeds (real simple syndication) are how I track and monitor hundreds of industry publications and blogs for content ideas. An RSS dashboard allows for headline scanning In the time it takes to chug a cup of coffee. Make it your heads-up-display (HUD).
3. Catalog and Remember Your Online Research with Evernote
How do you remember all that amazing research you discovered for future blog posts? Answer: Evernote for Mac. Like MarsEdit, the desktop app maximizes offline time. You can search, find, and integrate hyperlinks into your post without WiFi.
I read a lot to stay current on trends and research in:
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Corporate Strategy
- Technology and Media
- Creative Thinking
I accidentally trip over great articles when researching future content ideas. Google Chrome’s Evernote Web Clipper makes saving and finding articles quick and painless. Highlight key sections and record ideas in seconds. The Evernote iPhone app syncs information with your desktop app (and vice versa).
Brett Kelly’s Evernote Essentials is a go-to resource. As I learn more hacks and tricks, I’ll share Brett’s advice in future posts.
4. Record Your Ideas in an Idea Journal
I love my Moleskine Cahier Journals. If I lose one of my idea journals, I’ll tweet Lost SOS Images every five (5) minutes until it’s recovered:
Set aside time everyday to write down notes and ideas. Writing on paper activates your brain’s cognitive and learning processes better than digital tools. James Altucher refers to this process as using and developing your idea muscle. The Goal: Transform yourself into an Idea Machine.
5. Immerse Yourself in Books
Build confidence in your writing, knowledge, and critical thinking by reading books. Mitch Joel says it best:
From Mitch’s post: The Five Business Books That Shaped 2011: Read. Read. Read. Blog posts are great. So are Twitter, online newspapers and magazines and the occasional Podcast, but if you really want to deep-dive into a topic and spend more than a grazing moment with it, you have to read a well-written book about the topic that interests you.
My best 2014 professional development investment: Upgrading my Kindle. I read more at night without disturbing my wife (my snoring already annoys her, but that’s a post for another time).
Knowledge is competitive advantage. Reading one book per month, propels you ahead of the average American book reader by a factor greater than 100%. Thought leaders know this professional development habit rigs the game in their favor.
I like those odds. Don’t you?
6. Credit and Share the Work of Others
My go-to destination for beautiful, memorable pictures is Flickr’s Creative Commons Site. Pictures convey thoughts our words cannot.
Always cite the author and link back. The person who created that memorable picture, article, quote, etc. deserves the credit. Do the right thing.
Photo Credit: Abee5
7. Study Your Industry’s Best Writers
Fast Company is my favorite business publication. The thought-provoking articles inspire me. Their talented writers teach me how to write: Jason Feifer, Austin Carr, Danielle Sacks, and Lydia Dishman.
A close second is Wired. Jessi Hempel departed Fortune.com last summer to join them, Might be time to ditch my Fortune Magazine subscription. If Christina Warren leaves Mashable, I’m toast.
In Fortune 500 years, I’m ancient. My personal reinvention process started six (6) years ago (one blog post at a time). Pivoting your career in a different direction is a good thing.
Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts in the comments. I would love to hear from you. I’m here to read, listen, and learn from YOUR PERSPECTIVE. Comments are open. So let’er rip!
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