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Windows Live Writer: What Took Me So Long?

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I’m always the last person on the blogging block to install plugins or software. I don’t immediately join social networking and media sites and know nothing about modifying my template. It’s not laziness, mind you. I’m just rather confused when it comes to technical matters. In order to make any sort of changes I have to consult various online glossaries and tutorials and call in favors from a few teenaged nephews. In addition to said consulting of nephew and glossaries, it’s not always easy for me to find time to research products, services and sites. Lame, I know. But I’m getting better.

Which brings me to my point, and yes, I have one.

I could kick myself for waiting so long to use an offline editor. A few years ago I tried Qumana but it was too buggy and I was prone to regular crashes and other computer calamities.I promptly forgot about using an offline blog editor. Posting via the WordPress dashboard is fine, but since I maintain about 9 blogs, I need something to help me manage things a bit better. While at Blog World Expo, everyone and his brother recommended I try Windows Live Writer. I made a mental note to check it out and promptly forgot. Obviously I’m a person who needs to write stuff down.

A couple of weeks ago the subject of offline blog editors came up again and I decided to give it a whirl. I downloaded Windows Live Writer and my life has changed for the better. Here’s why I’m singing its praises:

It’s easy to install: No teenagers were employed to assist in this installation. I did it all by myself. Me. I didn’t consult manuals or call in the Army Corp of Engineers. If I can do this, you can too.

I don’t have to switch dashboards. All my blogs are on the same dashboard. Now, there was the time I forgot to change blogs on the drop down menu and ended up with my Freelance Writing Jobs post appearing at Celebrity Cowboy, but hey, who says gossip mongers couldn’t benefit from a few writing tips?

I can blog offline. With an offline blog editor, I can blog anywhere I want and set the time stamp to post whenever. This is the main reason I employed Windows Live Writer. I wanted to be able to post ahead for the holidays and actually take time off while on vacation.

One of the things I like best about Windows Live Writer is the video embedding feature. Pre-offline editor, I embedded videos directly onto the WordPress dash, I couldn’t come back and edit the post or the code would go all wonky. For someone as technically challenged as me, this was a major frustration. The video embedding feature in this editor allows me to embed and edit to my heart’s content.

It’s only been a couple of weeks, but so far I have no complaints. Using an offline editor is much more convenient than switching from blog to blog. Uploading photos and embedding videos is a snap and I can play around with design options without breaking anything.

Tell me, do you use an offline blog editor? If so, which one and why?

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My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

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How to Get Endless Content Ideas for Your Blog

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Writer’s block.

Smacked you in the head sometimes, right?

Me too.

Nothing feels worse than slamming into writer’s block. But nothing feels better than having endless content ideas on tap, making you a prolific, traffic and profit driving machine.

Content ideas abound. But you need to learn how to and where to find these ideas to become incredibly prolific.

This feels challenging at first but finding content ideas seamlessly:

  • increases brand awareness
  • gives your readers a steady stream of content to benefit them
  • increases your blogging profits through a variety of income travels
  • inspires your readers to defeat writer’s block and other mental blocks
  • helps you become a prolific guest poster
  • gives you more ideas for future blog posts

Follow these tips to get endless content ideas for your blog guys.

1: Poll Your Readers

Poll your readers via an email newsletter.

Publish posts questioning readers on their biggest problems related to your niche.

Ask readers questions to get blog post solutions.

Content ideas dance around in the minds of your readers.

Just asking my readers on Facebook or Twitter about their most pressing blogging problems is an easy way to get content ideas. Sometimes I probe into their struggles. Other times I just ask if they have blogging questions. Some days I get 10 answers or questions and other days, 1. Keep asking guys. Probing and polling readers provides ample blog post ideas for you.

2: Hang out on Niche Specific Forums

I spend time daily both answering questions and finding content ideas on the Warrior Forum.

Help folks and see what to write about by observing forums aligned with your blogging niche.

See the most popular posts. What questions do people ask? How do people struggle?

Mine content ideas in the struggles of your ideal readers.

Be an active contributor on forums to better tune into the needs of folks intrigued with your niche. By regularly publishing posts on Warrior I can see and hear problems experienced by aspiring or even professional bloggers.

3: Follow Top Blogs in Your Niche

Read top blogs in your niche. Keep an eye out for popular posts. What do folks have problems with?

Read the comment fields to get a feel on what readers are chatting about. Many commentors have few issues sharing their pain points via blog comments. Pay close attention to complaints, rants or folks who share their biggest dreams. Tune in to these emotional push buttons to find an endless flow of prospering content ideas.

Pro Blogger and Blogging Tips are 2 smart places to scan for blogging tips bloggers.

4: Become a Life Observer

I have nabbed more blog post ideas watching life than you’d ever believe.

Look at yesterday’s blog post: Blogging Outside of the Lines.

See how I spotted a blog content idea by coloring with my niece? Life presents you endless blog post ideas if you quiet your mind, relax, and become an observer of it all. The key is to cease trying to do stuff and to simply relax, and watch, life unfolding around you.

Review your last trip to the store. Who did you chat with today? What life lessons did you learn recently?

Draw an analogy between your experience and your blogging niche. Stay on blogging topic. Be on point. Speak to your readers while relating to them on a deeper level. Be a watcher. Find unlimited blog post ideas.

Bonus Tip

Meditate or do deep yin yoga.

Both practices expand your awareness, a must for folks intent on clearing their head trash to find more blog content ideas.

Wrap Up

Work these streams diligently.

Calm your chattering mind.

Find unlimited content ideas for your blog.

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11 Tips on Finding the Right Infographic Ideas for Your Brand

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Infographics have become ubiquitous on the Internet. Whether you’re on Facebook, Pinterest, or Linkedin, you’re bound to come across an infographic online.

Infographics are popular due to their ability to convert complex data and information into something much simpler, making them interesting to look at and easy to understand.

According to Hubspot’s study, infographics are three times more likely to be shared than any other type of content— a perfect investment for those who are looking to bring in traffic and generate leads.

As more infographics are published on the Internet, creating one that will stand out from the rest takes more than illustrations with charts and data. An infographic can have great design but without a compelling topic, it might as well be skimmed through.

So, how do you come up with a compelling topic people want to read?

The truth is, it’s not going to be an instantaneous process. It’s going to take time, effort, and a lot of in-depth research. There are times content creators overlook research and end up with a lackluster infographic.

Narrow Down

Figure out who your infographic is for. Knowing your target audience beforehand can make the process of choosing a topic much easier.

Avoid aiming for a wider audience. Instead, aim for a specific group of people. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work.

By creating a narrow target, it’ll be easier to create effective strategies for the specified target audience. For example, an infographic about basic exercise won’t be of interest for people who are in advanced exercise programs such as Crossfit or calisthenics.

Cook up a (brain)storm

There are a variety of brainstorming methods to use when coming up with ideas for your infographic topic, such as word association, mind mapping, and keyword research. These methods are perfect for coming up with loads of ideas by exploring different angles and connections.

Tools such as Mindmeister and Ahrefs are great for brainstorming and keyword research. Mindmeister lets you create your own mind map online. You can also export the file into different formats and share it with anyone. Ahrefs is a great tool for keyword research, helping you find high-ranking keywords to use for your infographic.

Another way to find ideas for your infographic is to repurpose existing content. These can be from blog posts, videos, or any other type of content.

Repurposing saves you a lot of time and effort. When you’ve gathered the materials you already have on hand, decide on an angle you want to display the information in. For example, if you have a blog post about 30 ways to save money, you can focus and shorten the blog post and instead, do an infographic on 10 money saving tips for impulsive shoppers.

Knowing what is currently trending can also help you come up with ideas for your infographic. A tool like Google Trends allows you to find the most searched keywords. You can see the searches on different topics and different regions.

Although it’s great to have a completely unique topic for your infographic, it’s also important to consider whether or not it’s feasible. Having a topic that’s too niche and has little to no information to support your research won’t do you any good.

A feasible topic has abundant information that’s easy to access and come from credible sources. Since infographics are meant to inform readers and provide valuable content, an abstract or opinion based topic would have little credibility and wouldn’t be very informative.

For more tips and tricks on finding the right infographic ideas, take a look at the visual guide here!

Andre Oentoro is one of the co-founder of Milkwhale, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. He helps businesses increase visibility on the internet with visual data and well-placed outreach campaigns. Read more on his latest guide to Viral Infographics and learn how to get the most value out of your website’s traffic.

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Are You Afraid to Color Outside of the Blogging Lines?

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I am coloring with my 2 year old niece now.

Blog post idea; after 2 photo snaps and a quick analogy realization I figured coloring with a 2 year old conveys a blogging success lesson to you.

My niece does not fear coloring outside of the lines. She is smart as a whip but has yet to master the concept of coloring inside of the lines. Few 2 year olds get this idea.

Scribbling like mad, her work consists of zags, hard lines, zigs, and you better believe she colors almost exclusively outside of the lines. She is as happy as a lark to break the rules, to just be coloring. Coloring is fun to her. Who cares if she stays in the lines?

I instantly thought of my blogging career.

I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging by coloring outside of the blogging lines, choosing to do what feels fun to me versus doing what bloggers said I should do.. No email list at Blogging From Paradise. Not much search traffic either because I don’t do the SEO thing. I publish up to 4 blog posts daily. No doubt; I follow certain rules and do color inside of the lines sometimes but largely succeeded because I blog outside of the box, following my fun, pursuing my passion.

You may look at me and wonder how in the heck I do it? You follow all common blogging rules diligently. Yet you may struggle. What gives?

Blogging is an energy game. If you do what feels fun to you, you will succeed wildly. Even if you break rules in the process.

Even though I promote 1 blogging eBook above all else I still wrote 126 eBooks. Big time rule breaker guys. Most bloggers only write 1 eBook and promote the stuffing out of it before moving on to the next eBook. Nothing wrong with that but this is usually a scarcity mindset in action. I preferred to think abundantly and wrote my rear end off. Coloring outside of the lines. Blogging outside of the box.

Follow Some Blogging Rules But Break a Bunch

Nobody becomes wildly successful or lives a dream life through blogging by following all the rules. Rule breakers stand out from the crowd.

Breaking some blogging rules is just like coloring outside of the lines. Some bloggers believe your blog looks a bit sloppy, or disorderly, or that you are doing things wrong, if you color outside of the blogging lines. But these bloggers are usually totally obsessed with doing things perfectly, struggling like heck because nobody is perfect and when you try to be perfect you will fail. Perfection is the fear of failure and the fear of criticism, combined. Don’t let bloggers who color inside of the lines fool you.

How to Succeed by Coloring Outside of the Blogging Lines

Follow your intuition guys.

Listen to the small, still voice.

Trust your gut.

Do what feels most fun to you; not what bloggers say you should do.

I do not build an email list. This is coloring outside of the blogging lines.

Yet I live a life few bloggers live, spending months in Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica among other tropical paradises.

No SEO on Blogging From Paradise because I do not want to depend on search traffic. Yet I have circled the globe for the past 7 years as a full time digital nomad.

Break some rules guys.

Do freeing, fun and highly uncomfortable things. Even if doing so pulls you away from the blogging herd.

Color outside of the blogging lines guys.

Live your wildest dreams.

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