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If you are running your own small business and are struggling to keep up with the world of social media and online marketing then keep reading because I want to share some tools with you that should help to take the sting out of the information overload byte.

So you have probably heard of a bunch, or had first hand experience with concepts and buzz terms such as social media tools, scheduling apps, content creation, growth hacking, re-marketing, retargeting, blogging, cost per click and the list goes on. You’ve been told you should have and maintain a Facebook page, post videos on Youtube, get on Pinterest, start an Instagram page, Tweet, Tumble and Squat…Ok maybe not squat, but you should squat, it’s good for you.

Most of the time when you get told about this stuff it’s either from shifty marketing nerds trying to overwhelm you into hiring them or, annoying friends who have just read a blog like this. Well, let me tell you something about all this stuff and break it down for you real simple. You need to create content to be effectively present in this space, without any content all these services, terms and channels are a waste of time. You can share content from other creators, but that won’t last forever. And here’s the thing, you can create content pretty easily, in fact anyone can and it’s not as hard as you think. All you need are the right tools and resources, a spare hour and your favourite stimulants such as a block of chocolate or can of Columbian Cola. I can’t really help you with the chocolate or cola, but I do know of some tools you can use to get started so let’s take a look.

Online Ventures Group
One of the hardest parts of creating content when you’re feeling creatively challenged is coming up with an original idea, so luckily this site has emerged to do the hard thinking for you. Who needs inspiration, original ideas or innovative concepts when you can type a few words into a program that spits out combinations of a topic with different angles of exploration? Enter Online Ventures Group Ideas Generator. To give you an idea of how this works, all you need to do is visit the site and type in a term to get started. I typed in gerbils and chose the location New Zealand. The nifty little program worked it’s magic and came up with some of these gems.

• baby gerbils for sale
• best bedding for gerbils
• can gerbils eat strawberries
• did gerbils cause the black plague

Brilliant right? Hmmm…Well, you get the idea. Try typing in some of your own products and services and see what you get.

Develop your ideas and consolidate your research

Annotary
So now you have a title and an idea for your article it’s time to do some research and start putting together the facts for your story. An old fashioned Google search will set you in the right direction for collating some facts and topical data about your chosen subject. But what is the best way to collate this new found holy grail of information and start panning for gold?

One way would be to open a bunch of browser tabs and cross reference each one as you construct your article, or you could bookmark some pages to refer back to, or you could use Annotary.

Annotary is a rad bookmarking tool that lets you bookmark web pages with annotations. You can set up categories and index your content with notes to refer back on. What makes Annotary more than just another bookmarking app on roids is a gnarly feature that allows you to select snippets of a web page, which get saved to your Annotary profile. Head over and create a free account and start bookmarking your content and it won’t take long until you have a repository of great articles and information to begin crafting your story.

So now you have a title and a collection of related articles, data, facts and research to start creating your own majestic piece of content. So what’s next?

Lets get some structure going on

Ginko
Now you have all this information you may want to get out your crayons and start structuring your article, or you could use Ginko.

Draft
By this stage, you should have strung together your masterpiece but what if you are a hack writer like me and need a pro to take a look over your work and edit your grammar? Well for as little as $6 you can use the online editor service Draft. Just upload your article and Draft’s experts will notate and suggests edits to improve your article. Badabing ya gotcha sum dope gramma nowz.

Add some jazz hands

Canva
Let’s get visual. Hunting around Google to find an accompanying image for your article is one way and then there is the right way. What is the right way? Stock libraries are the place to find images that will save your arse from getting sued for copyright infringement, but you may have noticed some of them are expensive? And now that I’ve shown you how to be a pro blogger in a few easy steps you will more than likely be spitting out shit loads of blogs each day so the bills could rack up if you don’t get resourceful with your image sourcing. So you have two options, take bad photos with your iPhone or sign up to Canva. No, I’m not getting paid to recommend them but at $1 an image and easy to use editing tools Canva is fast becoming the one stop shop for bloggers sourcing visual assets.

Publish
OK you have your awesome article now so start sharing it with the world. In my next blog I will discuss channels and resources for getting your content across to wider audiences so make sure you subscribe to my updates or join the Facebook page.

End of story

So that’s pretty much it. And yes gerbils can eat strawberries.

 

 

 

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