Guest Posting and Link Building: My Warning

Warnings of who is asking to guest post

On Thursday 25th May 2017 Matt G Southern a well-known and respected writer at the Search Engine Journal published the article “Google Issues a Warning About Guest Posting to Build Links“.

I began to read the article hoping that an issue that happened to me recently would be mentioned, but it wasn’t.  This article is also a warning, but of a different kind when accepting guests posts onto your website for the purpose of forming genuine, respectful links.

However, as already stated in the published post by Matt Southern, the posts can be misleading and the links are in fact spammy.  This was what was quoted yesterday directly from Google.

Google has issued a warning to remind site owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the purpose of building inbound links.

The company doesn’t frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts. That’s the reason behind this sudden warning from Google.

Distributing content on a large scale when the main intention is to build links back to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes.

But what if there is another reason that people are approaching small businesses to guest post?  I, from experience, can tell you there is.

Is Guest Posting What it Seems?

I have been approached by email on several occasions over the years I have had my website asking if I accept guest posts.  Surprised at this as Virtuadmin.uk to be perfectly honest doesn’t have a tremendous amount of traffic, so together with other SEO (search engine optimisation) publishing guests posts is an ideal way to gain genuine backlinks to improve my SERPs results myself.

The person that contacted me introduced themselves to me as a “Content Writer & Editor” full of praise for my website and to quote in their opening statement “I am a business content writer and I chanced upon virtuadmin.uk“.

I am no website designer, personally, I feel that my website is somewhat amateurish but enjoy the challenges of attempting to improve it to what I consider a professional standard (not there yet but trying!); I am not a website designer but an experienced touch typist and transcriptionist!

Emails were sent back and forth, not very frequently, once every two weeks or so.  They would send an email to say they were working on my article and would email once it was ready for review and any edits I would like.

When the final article came back, I read through it very impressed, suggested some edits to the post, which were duly done.

In the meantime of waiting for the finished article to come back and then be published on this website, I decided to do a bit of research into the person that had contacted me.  I usually do this when I get requests to accept guest posts or infographics.

My Shock

I was horrified to discover the person that had initially contacted, maintained communications with me so professionally, written such a brilliant post I couldn’t wait to publish it, was my biggest competitor. 

Just to be sure of my facts, I looked for information on the person on the professional alternative to Facebook, LinkedIn and Tweeted the company directly to ask if they had a content writer of that name, to which they replied they had and gave me their email address!

This company did not just provide the service in the niche area that I am working solo as a transcriptionist and typist, but many other types of administration duties that can be outsourced and carried out online.  They are very established, very large.  In my mind, if someone chanced upon the article upon my website, I always reference guest post at the beginning, therefore technically I would have been sending business to them.

Personally, I just can’t help wondering for a company so large why are they trying to take out small-time work-from-home Mums like myself?  It’s not just that, why the underhanded way in which they approached me, not even volunteering the information of who they worked for as a Content Writer and Editor!

My Warning and Advice

My warning to anyone that is trying to genuine improve their website rankings without the budget of hiring SEO experts or other tactical ways of achieving page one on Google SERPs, if you are approached out of the blue, just like I was, be polite, the might be genuine but check them out.

How?  Firstly, Google or Bing is a great start.  If it is a common name like the person I was researching, narrow the results down with the details you have.  Location, their job, email address, alternatively LinkedIn.

Even with minimal information, I only had a name, email address and job title, for example, but believe me, you can research the person concerned, you can find out who they are that has contacted you to make this request it.

Hopefully, unlike my unfortunate experience, they are equally a small-time business or stay-at-home Mum or Entrepreneur looking to make genuine backlinks because you share a common niche area.

 

 

 

 

An easy account of how important transcripts are for videos

Using video in your content marketing strategy is being talked about everywhere today.  People are not searching for a product or service online via their desktops or laptops as much as they once were, mobile phones, phablets and tablets have advanced so much these are quickly becoming the most popular devices to view videos, especially via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Videos can be used in a variety of ways; short explainer videos, adding one in an email, embedding one on your website's landing page.  They are a great way of driving traffic to your website where potential buyers of your product or service get to explore what you have to offer even more.

With video broadcasting becoming more and more popular it is projected to claim more than 80% of website traffic in 2019, so the question is how do you get your video to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) above everyone else's?

The answer is a transcript.

To help everyone who is considering the use of video in their marketing plan, or maybe just starting out, for remembering how important it is to add an accurate transcript, I have designed and created an infographic acronym please see it below.

Acronym of Transcripts
Transcripts are important for video marketing search engine optimization (Background image by Freepik the acronym was created by Virtuadmin.uk)

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Designed by Freepik

 

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How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way

Video Marketing SEO The Affordable Way

With social video and video marketing becoming one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience, the digital landscape has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. 

Digitalisation and technology have become less expensive than it once was.  In today’s digital world you don’t necessarily need to contract a professional video producer.  Today’s modern technology allows you very simply to create a marketing video yourself, upload it to a video hosting platform like YouTube or Vimeo to name just a couple, plan your marketing strategy and off you go.

Marketers, Entrepreneurs, businesses, anybody making a video with the intention of marketing their brand, service or product to an audience, it is 100% essential to create and upload an accurate transcript for enhanced SEO and accessibility for the hearing impaired.  Something else Google will think highly of your video for.

In a recent post by leading marketing agency Marketo, last month published a post on essential SEO tips for videos.  Number 1 recommendation on their list of ‘5 SEO Tips for Videos‘ was “Transcribe Your Video Content”.

Nate the author of the post explains “providing both a video and transcription on a single page offers dual benefits: it caters to different reader preferences, and it makes video content more likely to appear in general Google searches.”  He goes on to say “full transcripts provide more engagement SEO opportunities“.

By adding an accurate text document, either a full transcription or providing text highlights (as described in the article on the Marketo blog), the transcript will create closed captions (subtitles).  Search engine crawler bots cannot see visual images or hear the speech, they rely solely on the readable text.

Unless you add an additional transcript bots only have the information you input in the title, subtitle, description in the metadata.  That is until you upload your video transcript to the hosting platform of your choice.

Automatic captions are not indexed

Yes, the video hosting platform will most probably automatically create subtitles/captions, however, Google (and other search engines) do not index them, which they do need to be to appear in search engine results pages. Closed captions (subtitles) ‘auto-captions’ are not considered accurate enough to rely on for indexing purposes.

So if your video doesn’t get crawled and indexed, your ranking will not be that great.  This is because there is so little information about the content.  The only source of information that they can reliably use is the basic title, subtitle, content of the video within meta tags.

If search engine crawlers cannot index your marketing video, for example, it will not get found, this is not the desired result.  It is also an issue that you do not need when it’s for business or entrepreneurial intentions.

Why add a transcript?

Adding an external transcript of the speech content is a huge asset, it enables search engine bots to read the text and:-

  1.  Find your page, crawl it and know the content is good quality content
  2.  Index it accurately accordingly
  3.  Keywords tied to your niche subject area are naturally spoken and will occur regularly within the transcript

Here are a few statistics to help you understand exactly how popular video marketing has become in recent years.  Courtesy of Buffer, from their comprehensive post of ‘50 Video Marketing Statistics to Help You Create a Winning Social Media Strategy in 2017‘ states “Captions on Facebook video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.

If that is on Facebook Ads alone, what would it do for your video marketing efforts by adding a transcript; how much extra view time would that generate for your product or service?

Case Study (3playmedia.com)

Digital Discovery Networks performed a study that proves captions on YouTube videos boost SEO and increase views by 13.48% in the first 2 weeks and 7.32% overall. To test this, they searched for a keyword phrase that was present only in their video captions, not in the title, description, tags, or metadata.

Video transcription does not have to be expensive

Ultimately adding a captions file in the form of a transcript is the right way to increase your video ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages) increasing customer views, there are few ways you can do this.

  •  Create the text document yourself
  •  Outsource to a video captioning service (expensive)
  •  Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist (affordably)

Creating the text document yourself

If you are fairly quick at typing this can be the most economical option for you, it won’t cost you anything!  However, there are factors such as the length of the video, how man speakers, when you ideally would like it to be completed for, that determine if you can indeed produce the captions file quick enough.

Also, without transcribing software and a transcribing foot pedal, it is not so easy to go back and replay a couple of seconds to replay what was said if you missed it the first time.  This can eventually lead to frustration and time delays, something you do not need or want.

Outsource to a transcription/video captioning service

With the growing popularity of video marketing, so has the demand for video transcription.  With higher demand comes higher costs and no shortage of online digital transcription vendors specifically available to transcribe the speech from the spoken content within your video.

Unfortunately, however, these providers do have overheads if their staff are on-site office based.  If this is not the case, they operate purely via the internet, they still have overheads to take in consideration that they obviously need to factor into their fees when contracting out their specialist services.

This can be expensive and unaffordable, especially if you are a start-up, solopreneur/entrepreneur, self-employed and working from home, that are just a few examples.  You are trying to obtain the best professional service with the outcome of an accurate transcript with the least expenditure.

Outsource to a freelance transcriptionist

This is ‘How To Increase Your Video SEO The Affordable Way’.

There are some excellent freelancing websites out there today full of talented people waiting to provide their professional services at a fraction of the cost, transcription and video captioning is no different.  It is ultimately a risk-free way to get your video transcribed into text that you can then go on to use as a captions file.

How is it risk-free?  If you order the service of a transcriber via a freelance website you will deposit funds for their services into a holding account, such as Escrow, for example.  When the work is completed, delivered and you are happy, you pay them the funds.  If the worst happened and the transcript wasn’t delivered to you or it was totally unsatisfactory and not fit for its purpose, then it is simple to either hire someone else or ask for a refund.

Finding the right freelance transcriptionist can be time-consuming, invaluable when you find one.  As a freelance typist/transcriptionist here at Virtuadmin, over 20 years experience transcribing audio and video, a video up to 15 minutes in length, with a single speaker, would cost just £10 to transcribe and send in a text (.txt) file format.  This is how affordable video SEO can be. 

Other formats for closed caption files are available, however, from experience in captioning and uploading text (.txt) files to YouTube, I know this format works extremely well at automatically syncing the speech with the text.

Conclusion

If you are or planning to use video as a promotional tool for your brand, product or service, how is your video going to be found amongst the millions without a transcript? 

The only way to be sure of optimising your video for SEO the affordable way is either type it yourself into a text document or outsource to an experienced transcriber, like me at Virtuadmin, with the relevant equipment to deliver exactly what you need.

Transcripts are a great investment too, especially from a marketing perspective.  Once you have your document there are other alternatives ways to utilise it.  See my infographic ‘9 Ways to Use Your Audio Transcript’ for other instances to capitalise on your investment of a transcript.

Have you got any questions about video captions for SEO?  Please do not hesitate to get in touch, I would be happy to answer queries you may have.

 

 

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How to Run A Business While Travelling For Six Months Every Year

How to Run A Business While Travelling

Thank you to Start Blogging Online for their guest post/infographic on Virtuadmin.

A lot of successful business owners would suggest that running your business while far from your actual business location is effective. Even if you are far away, you can still keep things running. It is just a matter of time management and division of tasks.

As the owner, you can make major decisions or think of creative ways to boost your business. You can leave someone to manage the day to day activities in your store. The point is for you to not get burnt out. If you are affected by the pressure of running the business well, everything else could fall apart.

Making the business work while you are away is easy. The difficult part is being away from your family. Of course, you can’t bring them with you. They also have to go to school or work. To solve this problem, divide your time within the year.

Perhaps, you can spend 6 months away from home and 6 months at home. This also helps you manage the business in different locations. While you are home, make the most of your time and spend it with the people you love. Make up for the time that you are away from home.

Just be positive. It can be done. It is even easier than running the business on location at all times. For more tips on how to make it possible, check out the infographic below. It provides useful information that you can also try.

How to Run A Business While Traveling For Six Months Every Year

21 Common Grammar Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

This post first appeared on Business Insider on 25th March 2017. 

Grammar rules can seem like a nuisance. Honestly, do you really need to check every single document for appropriate hyphenation?

According to CUNY Journalism Press editor and writing coach Timothy Harper, the answer is a resounding “YES.”

“The whole point of grammar and punctuation is clarity,” he told Business Insider. If you write that a woman has “dirty-blonde hair,” for example, people know that you’re referring to the color. “It doesn’t mean that she needs a shampoo,” Harper said, which it would if you’d written “dirty blonde hair.”

We asked Harper about the most common grammar mistakes he sees, and added some that drive us crazy on a daily basis. Read on for a list of tricky – but super important – rules that get broken way too often.

1. Confusing ‘fewer’ and ‘less’

Harper said he winds up correcting this mistake pretty often.

He explained that “fewer” is appropriate when you’re discussing countable objects. On the other hand, “less” is appropriate when you can’t count the thing you’re describing.

Here’s an example of each word in a sentence:

“Fewer than 20 employees attended the meeting.”

“I spent less than one hour finishing this report.”

2. Confusing ‘amount’ and ‘number’

Again, it’s a question of whether you can count the thing you’re describing.

Harper gave examples of how you might use each word:

“There is a really large number of books in that library”

“There’s a huge amount of water going over the dam right now.”

3. Confusing ‘it’s’ and ‘its’

Normally, an apostrophe symbolizes possession. As in, “I took the dog’s bone.” But because apostrophes also usually replace omitted letters – like “don’t” – the “it’s” vs. “its” decision gets complicated.

Use “its” as the possessive pronoun: “I took its bone.” For the shortened version of “it is” use the version with the apostrophe. As in, “it’s raining.”

4. Confusing ‘who’ and ‘whom’

When considering whether to use “who” or “whom,” you have to rearrange the sentence in your head.

So the question, “Whom did you give the letter to?” changes to “You gave the letter to whom?” “Whom” suits the sentence instead of “who” because the word functions as the object of the sentence, not the subject.

It’s not always easy to tell subjects from objects but to use an over-simplified yet good, general rule: Subjects start sentences (or clauses), and objects end them. In short, who does it to whom.

For reference, “Who is a hypocrite?” would be a perfectly grammatically correct question to ask.

5. Confusing ‘him’ and ‘he’

Harper said he often hears people say something like, “Him and me went somewhere.” That’s incorrect. Instead you should say, “He and I went somewhere.”

Things get slightly more confusing from here. It’s incorrect to say, “He gave it to she and I.” Instead you should say, “He gave it to her and me.”

If you’re having trouble with this rule, Harper suggested taking away the “and.” For example, you can probably tell that the sentence “He gave it to I” sounds weird, so you can figure out that “He gave it to she and I” is also incorrect.

Read the remaining grammar mistakes by Business Insider here

5 Secrets to Increase Your Typing Productivity and Speed

Type more accurately with speed
Type more accurately with speed
5 Secrets to Increase your Typing Productivity and Speed

A transcriptionist or typist is often involved in repetitive work and meeting very tight deadlines.  A typist is either looking at the text to be copy-typed or a transcriptionist listening to recorded speech and typing the text spoken.  When undertaking the transcription or typing process, there are things that you can do to help you obtain better productivity, efficiency and accuracy.

As a touch-typist and transcriptionist with over 20 years experience, to help you achieve a higher capacity in the production of transcripts or copy typing text, I will give you my top 5 secrets to increase your typing productivity and speed.

  1. 5 Secrets to Increase Your Typing Productivity and Speed
    Picture courtesy of Cornell University Ergonomics

    Before starting any work at all prepare your workstation to the correct ergonomics for your stature.  Preferably work with an ergonomic keyboard too.  This is a picture of the ideal workstation set-up to prevent any strains on your joints through repetitive typing work.

2.  Take regular and frequent breaks.  I personally like to take a break from typing or transcription every 20 minutes for 5 minutes.  Recommendations by the University of New South Wales in Australia also recommend taking breaks every 20-30 minutes, if only for 2-3 minutes.  This gives you chance to stretch, give your eyes and ears a break too.  Even after just a couple of minutes not listening to someone speak, or looking at the text to be typed, is enough to recharge and carry on more productively.

3.  If you are a transcriptionist and using specialist software, such as Express Scribe Professional, make sure everything is set-up correctly and to your specification.  Test your foot pedal is ready to use to what you are used to.  When I am transcribing I like to have it set to jump 5 seconds back for if I don’t catch what the person said the first time round.  Listen to the first few minutes of the audio and adjust the replay speed according to your typing speed and the rate of speech that is being spoken.  Check there is no background noise, if there is, some software players have ‘background noise reduction’ feature such as Express Scribe Professional.  Alternatively, if that hasn’t had an effect or has helped but not cleared the audio up completely try an online converter such as www.online-convert.com.  I have found from past experience that converting an audio can sometimes help clear any background or interference noise.  If it is not in a mp3 format I will always convert an audio into the mp3 format and then perform the background noise reduction feature again.

4.  Check with your client the purpose of the transcript.  If you are transcribing a video it may be prudent to produce the transcript in a text (.txt) file and not a word document if it is being used for closed captions.  Syncing the speech with the text is much easier.  If it is to be produced in a Word document utilise the auto-correct and find/replace if you need to perform several replacements of a word.

5.  Ask your client for the names involved in the audio or how they would like them referred to in the transcript if more than one speaker.  Before commencing also enquire as to whether there is any specialist terminology you should be aware of, and/or any websites that may help with research if you cannot quite make out the word.

So there are my five secrets to help you type more accurately and transcribe more productively.  Even taking regular breaks may seem like it is time you could be transcribing, as many transcriptionists have to work to tight deadlines.  This may feel the case, but in reality, because you have taken even just 2 minutes away from listening, you will return to your keyboard and foot pedal and type more productively because of it.  From many years experience working from work as a typist and transcriptionist, I know that frequent breaks and the correct ergonomics, preferably with an ergonomic keyboard too, are instantly going to help you be more productive and complete the work much quicker.

Please don’t hesitate to use the ‘contact me’ form if you would like to ask any questions about transcription, typing or my virtual assistant services that I can offer.

 

 

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What is a smartphone virtual assistant and how to use one

What is a Smartphone Virtual Assistant and how to use one
Image credit: http://wccftech.com

What is a smartphone virtual assistant?  This is the question that immediately popped into my mind when I started reading the article ‘How Do People Use Virtual Assistants on Their Smartphones?’

As a virtual assistant, I immediately presumed the worst, digital technology is automating more of the services I offer virtually.  I was relieved to read further and discover that actually, a smartphone virtual assistant, or defined on Wikipedia as an ‘Intelligent personal assistant’, are satisfying users in their search for information. 

Another key aspect of an intelligent personal assistant is its ability to organise and maintain information, making it quick and easy to access.

A search for information by text or voice command, answered by a software agent via your smartphone is a smartphone virtual assistant.  But they can also be used for other things, not just answering questions, listening to and downloading music, reading books. 

Google Now, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Samsung S-voice are all virtual assistants that are currently being underutilised in the new technological world.  Digital virtual assistants on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are there to instantly help and assist.

E-Marketer attributing this to the generation of the which the users come from and their reasons for using them are different.  Taken from E-Marketer’s post on the 17th February 2017 the reasons and generations are:-

Millennials were most likely to manage alarms, play music, play audiobooks and search for movie times.

Gen Xers were most likely to look up someone’s phone number, search for a song playing on the radio, create a shopping list and check news headlines.

Baby boomers tended to use smartphone virtual assistants to play voicemail messages, look up measurement conversions, search calendar events and discover recipes.

Although the statistics in the article, based on an American survey by Higher Visibility SEO company, found that 28.7% still do not use smartphone virtual assistants.

So the next time you get out your smartphone here are just a few of the more customary search queries conducted via these assistants that you can perform, including requests to play music, manage alarms, find a weather forecast, search for a contact’s phone number or ask a fun question, the era of smarter smartphones is upon us!

In the meantime, if you smartphone virtual assistant can’t help you with those laborious tasks such as typing, or replying to emails, get a human virtual assistant such as Virtuadmin, where you can chat directly with me to discuss your virtual assistant requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For Video Content Marketing Success You Need Transcription Services

For Video Content Marketing Success You Need Transcription Services

Video marketing, video viewing is the new content marketing, it is everywhere. What’s more is, it has evolved dramatically over the last 10 years.  From the age of desktops to laptops, viewing videos has become even more portable, where they can be viewed by anyone, anywhere, with a hand-held device or tablet.

As marketers are embracing these new ways of visually showing their potential customers what their service or product is about, it delivers what the customer wants to see, when they want to see it.

So where is the link between Video marketing and it’s bright big future in content marketing with transcription services? Transcripts.

Transcripts that are you produced from the speech content in your marketing video have tremendous value. When uploaded to YouTube, for example, it enables Google search engine bots to have more information about the content of your video. Also by uploading an additional transcript, your video will be indexed by Google more accurately due to the keyword rich text it can now read. Effectively, from the transcript text, they can read about your video content and will rank higher in Google SERPs (search engine results pages) as a result.

Here are some video marketing and it’s future in content marketing statistics that were published in an article on Forbes on the 3rd February 2017.

  • Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
  • Embedding videos on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
  • According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • 87% of online marketers are currently using video content in their digital marketing strategies.
  • A third of all the time people spend online is dedicated to watching videos.
  • Video ads now account for more than 35% of all ad spending online.
  • 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post.
  • Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words.

If these big number percentage predictions and the facts as they are stated in Forbes, as a freelance transcriptionist, I see the way forward for video content marketing as building and forming relationships with transcription services.

I approach many video marketers online regarding adding a transcript to their video, they claim they are happy with the automatically generated captions that their video hosting provider applies when they upload a video.

However, it’s not just about captions for the hearing-impaired, what they do not realise is that Google and all other search engines DO NOT index video’s.  The video hosting platform may automatically generate captions but search engines do not index them for search engine optimisation due to them not being reliable enough for indexing purposes.

Therefore, creating a transcript, for a freelancer trying to build up their business, or marketer building up their video marketing business, anyone with a low budget, small business, start-ups, freelancers really do provide quality services at a much smaller cost proportionate to specialist transcription vendors and video captioning agencies.

The way forward to getting a quality service for a fraction of the price is using virtual assistants, and they are very versatile in their abilities and skills and many have grown and developed their experience in this new digital age.

For a fraction of the price, contracting a virtual assistant with transcription skills, or a freelance transcriptionist can be your best asset for your video content marketing strategy for the duration of the campaign.  To find a reputable typist or transcriptionist, from my experience, I can recommend People per Hour, Fivesquid and Fiverr.

If you know that you are planning a series of videos, no matter how short or long in length, or how frequently, building up a rapport with a transcriptionist, will create a rapport that builds trust.  You are assured of creating your video, while the transcriptionist, in the agreed timeframe, will deliver the transcript back to you.

A virtual assistant wth transcription experience, such as myself outsourcing under the brand of Virtuadmin, can be a big asset and contributor to the success of your video content marketing campaign.  I brand myself because I am not just a transcriptionist, I can copy type documents and recreate them quickly.  I can also compile Health & Safety Manuals for the completion of commercial buildings, but that was in another life in construction before freelancing.  You never know what hidden talents of a virtual assistant can help and assist you.

My qualifications are in Information Technology, Bookkeeping, Secretarial and Construction.  Since the advancement of technology and quick growth of the internet and social media in the last 10 years, my past experience is among things, copy-typing a unique authour’s book, captioning a series of juicing videos (one example can be viewed on my home page, select CC for the captions to appear), social media management  But in the last couple of years equally split equally between copy-typing and audio or video transcription.

A professional transcriptionist, if using professional software like myself, Express Scribe Professional software can play video via their software player, type into text and create your transcript a text format (.txt) document that will be uploaded to your video host hosting platform and gain higher quality recognition from search eng bots.

So videos future for content marketing?  Look at the bulleted facts and figures about video as the future of content marketing, then remember that the one advantage for your marketing video is to add a transcript.  It instantly boosts search engine optimisation and not only that, there are other valuable assets to a transcript  Take content from the transcript and create Tweets, Facebook posts, topics to go deep into in a blog post.

Being on a tight budget it’s always about cost, but the value of a transcript for your video marketing now and in the future has to be, has to be weighed against the initial investment, when you think of the alternatives that it can be used for, in conjunction with promotion and separate for blog posts.

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14 Free Website Tools to Formulate Your Best Marketing Strategy

Free Tools for Your Marketing Strategy
14 Free Website Tools to Create your Best Marketing Strategy

The tools contained in this list are taken from How to Build the Best Marketing Strategy You Can Using Only Free Tools published on Entrepreneur.com on 11th February 2017 and written by Murray Newlands

From the original post, I have compiled the list of free tools, with links, that are recommended to formulate your digital marketing strategy.

   SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

  1. Ubersuggest
  2. SEMrush
  3. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  4. Yoast

    Analytics

  5. Google Analytics
  6. Google Search Console
  7. Google Trends

    Writing, Grammar  & Headline Analysers

  8. Grammarly
  9. Hemingway
  10. CoSchedule Headline Analyser
  11. Writefullapp

    Content Automation

  12. Buffer
  13. Hootsuite
  14. TweetDeck

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How to Grow Your Podcast Audience with Transcription Services

Grow your podcast audience
Transcription Services Assist Podcasters

Podcasts are a great way to connect your audio (or video) content into the public sphere, it is not just about music these days.  If you are a business, for example,  if it is quite a specialised niche, this can be a great way to get your product or service noticed, holding regular podcasts online or distributing regular content via this medium.  This new way of communication can gain valuable new customers and increase relevant traffic to your website.

Currently, most who are familiar with podcast hosting are technically savvy, but it is clear that podcasting will be more than a passing fad as many businesses are adopting podcasting and employing it in unusual yet powerful ways. Podcasting can be used for talk shows, tutorials, music demos, educational training, stories, comedy clips, debates or even foreign language tutorials.¹

Not only is podcasting a type of advertising, it gives you more visibility for your niche subject.  It also has great SEO (search engine optimisation) benefits too. Listeners will visit your website to listen to your podcast or download it.  For them to find it in the first place, your podcast has to be optimised for it to rank highly and be found.

Transcription Services

Podcasts can vary in their format but usually are delivered in audio, video, PDF and ePub formats.  Luckily, all of these formats can very easily and economically have a transcript produced and uploaded to them, further increasing the SEO of your website, therefore more visitors seeing and listening to your podcasts.

A freelance transcriptionist like myself here at Virtuadmin or transcription vendors can all assist in the process of creating your accurate text document that acts as a transcript to upload to your podcast.

By hiring a transcription service to transcribe your podcast content into text will boost your reach as it is supporting content that you want to be exposed to search engines for indexing.  By uploading your transcript that is by the nature of the transcribed content will be keyword rich, to your podcast, search engine bots can accurately index it, increasing your search engine results pages for that particular niche search.

Show Notes

When you are getting higher results, more visitors and listeners, you could then move on a step further with the text content you have invested in from your transcriptionist or transcription service.  You could:-

  • Brief synopsis of the episode
  • Turn the transcript into show-notes with time-stamps and sub-headings
  • Offer the transcript in its original form to listeners
  • Create key takeaways
  • Create slide presentations
  • Get ideas for checklists and worksheets

Once you have the transcript all the bulleted points above can be produced easily.  Ask your transcription service if they can assist, as they are transcribing the content.  Ask for your transcript to be time-stamped and specify the regularity.  If you don’t have the time to create presentations, key takeaways, checklists or worksheets your transcriptionist may be able to assist or outsource to a Virtual Assistant like me at Virtuadmin.  Freelancers and virtual assistants are a fantastic way of getting a professional job done without incurring the high expense!

If you don’t have the time to create presentations, key takeaways, checklists or worksheets your transcriptionist / virtual assistant may be able to assist, like me at Virtuadmin.  Freelancers and virtual assistants are a fantastic way of getting a professional job done without incurring the high expense!

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9 Top Reasons to Add a Transcript to Your Video

Reasons to Add a Transcript to Your Video

Top marketing professionals have voiced their opinions of YouTube Marketing for this coming year, 2017. 

In an article written by Lisa. D. Jenkins, in Social Media Today, where the Pros have made their predictions in what they think will happen to video marketing.  Although they are talking about YouTube, the second biggest search engine to Google, it is largely about video marketing for businesses and the marketing direction it could take.

These are all valid predictions, YouTube is a great way for increasing visibility of your product or service, and love when these predictions come out in the early parts of the year, this year being no different.

The 9 Top YouTube Predictions for 2017 by the Pros are:-

  1. YouTube Solidifies Its Social Network Status

  2. YouTube Explores Long-form Television-style Content

  3. YouTube Channels Embrace Quality Over Quantity

  4. YouTube Integrates Third-party Software to Improve Broadcast Quality

  5. YouTube Marketers Focus on Educational Content Delivery

  6.  Influencer Marketing Evolves Into Exclusive Partnership Programming on YouTube

  7. Increased Socialisation Features Improve YouTube Engagement

  8. YouTube Promotes Longer Engagement Views

  9. YouTube Improves Social Features for Creators and Fans

With statistics in 2016 for the total number of hours of video watched being 3.25 billion, combined with the vital fact that YouTube and other video hosting platforms do not index videos with automatically generated captions.

What does this mean for marketers, entrepreneurs and anyone else wishing to utilise the power of video marketing on YouTube and such like?  Upload a transcript in the format of a text (.txt) file to your video.Video search engine bots, just like Google crawler bots that are curious about your content and how to index it, therefore getting higher search engine rankings, cannot read images, GIFs or hear the audio speech.  What the SEO bots rely on when the post is not in a contextual format, is text, tags, meta and other more in-depth search engine strategies.

YouTube search engine bots, just like Google crawler bots that are curious about your content and how to index it, therefore getting higher search engine rankings, cannot read images, GIFs or hear the audio speech in that video.  What the SEO bots rely on when the post is not in a readable text format containing keywords, tags, meta and other more in-depth search engine strategies.

In number 3 on the predictions list, YouTube embraces quality over quantity, adding an additional transcript immediately tells YouTube about your content, therefore giving it a higher quality rating over others that have no transcript at all.

Number 5 on the predictions list, ‘YouTube Marketers Focus on Educational Content Delivery’ expert Zontee Hou’s prediction, explained “instead of the 30-second video demos of recipes that have taken over Facebook, success on YouTube will require companies to create 1- to 5-minute in-depth demos, courses, and series that answer the viewers’ questions”.

So for educational content that you want to be visible to everyone, even if it is 5 minutes long, you could add a transcript to it for just £5 if you are paying in Sterling, or $5 if paying in United States Dollars.

With The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000 and over 30 million visitors per day, can you afford not to add a transcript?

If you have any questions at all about how to add a transcript, how to create one, or about my video transcription service, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Powerful Tips to Write and Sell Your First eBook (SBO)

A big thank you to the writers and designers at Start Blogging Online for this guest post-Infographic and kindly asking to post on the Virtuadmin website.

The most important thing in writing an e-book is that you inspire people to do something or to take a positive step forward. This is the theme of most e-books. They inspire people to either change their eating habits or start fitness routines that they can easily follow.

E-books cover a wide range of topics, but they were mostly written by experts in specific areas. This is why they can easily motivate people to change because what they have written was based on their personal experiences.

If you consider yourself an expert or knowledgeable enough in a particular field, then you can go ahead and start writing an e-book. Take note though that this is not an easy endeavour. You have to work overtime and come up with really interesting ideas for you to sell the book that you have written.

You need to speak from the heart, but also understand what it is that your target group wants to read. You must have coherent ideas presented in a beautiful manner. It takes time before you can finish the entire e-book, but once it is done, you will surely be proud of what you have made.

It is time to get moving now and write your first e-book. To help you out, we have compiled the best tips for you to follow. The image below will give you ideas on how you can start an e-book and come up with something special for people to read.

10 Powerful Tips to Write and Sell Your First eBook (SBO)

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9 Ways to Use Your Audio Transcript

Do you invest in using audio transcription services?  Or do you think that it isn't worth spending the money because after you have the transcript and used it for its intended purpose, do not know what else you can do with your transcript?

Well here are 9 top ways to get additional benefit from your investment of transcription services audio transcript in an easy to glance over infographic.  I have created this visual because transcription services can seem expensive, even though it is a time-consuming process.  Here are many 9 benefits that you can use a transcript for and here I am going to go through the nine of them so you can get the most use and value from your audio transcript.

  1. Are you a speaker and give public speeches?  Give live webinars or presentations?  Hold regular meetings?  Hold marketing meetings or focus group discussions?  Do you have a product or service that requires negotiations?  Any of these can be recorded and then transcribed.  From the audio transcript that you receive you from your transcription provider such as Virtuadmin, you can create an Ebook from the content that has been transcribed into a Word document.
  2. As mentioned in point 1, if you hold regular staff meetings or focus group discussions an audio transcript is a great way to track what needs to be actioned by your staff.  So send a copy to the participants as a way of achieving this and creating more productivity by having a reference to who is to do what, that was discussed in the meeting.
  3. If you are a mentor or coach assistant others to achieve success by your knowledge and experience, a transcript is a great incentive for you to offer to your clients.  They can be sent a copy of the transcript from a telephone call, video conference or other methods of discussion.  It gives them something to refer back on from the valuable advice that you gave to them during your last mentoring session until the next.  They do not have to rely on themselves taking down notes, that can get scribbled and confusing.  They would have an accurate transcript from each session.
  4. From the content of your recorded audio, you can get ideas for blog, or social media posts.  Simply copy and paste directly from your digital transcript saving you time.
  5. Request your transcript in a text (.txt) format and you can upload it to your video hosting platform.  Search engine bots do not index automatically generated captions, and therefore because they cannot read images or hear the sound or speech spoken an audio transcript is an excellent and economical way to immediately improve your Search Engine Optimisation.  It gives your video more visibility and will appear higher in Search Engine Page Results (SERPS) due to simply adding an external accurate transcript.  They can read the content of your video from the transcript and index it accordingly.
  6. Create slideshows and presentations.  From the content that is transcribed into text, from your recorded audio or video, you can use the wording and create slides for presentations.
  7. Take any part of the content from your word transcript and use these as tweets or social media status updates.
  8. Use as evidence in the case of disputes.  Property inventories are recorded by approved inventory specialists and transcribed from audio for this purpose, as are court cases and such like.
  9. If you are planning a podcast, webinar session or an event that you would like to promote, offering a transcript of coverage of the podcast or webinar, for example, can be offered as an incentive for more participants to take part.

So check below my infographic below that can always be referred to for the top 9 uses of how to benefit from the investment in transcription services.

 

Audio Transcript What You Can Do With Yours

What does a copy typist do and what is copy typing?

What does a copy typist do?
What does a copy typist do?

The history of printing and the ability to imprint and the use of seals goes back to the early times of Mesopotamian civilisation before 3000 BCE.

After the initial printing process got developed over the ages came handwriting experts and then advancing to manually operated machines to produce printed characters onto paper.  This mechanical device was a typewriter and naturally followed the development of quick typing method, known as ‘touch typing’ by Frank Edward McGurrin in 1888.

typewriter home keys fingers
Touch typing home keys for a typist’s fingers

Typewriters increased the speed of producing documents, letters, and other important reading material at that time.  Learning to touch type meant that you could get a job and earn a living wage.  Many businesses were using these devices and required touch-typists to produce letters and documents.

 

 

Even though typewriters are no longer used in this advanced technological age, computers and word processors are now used. The good news is that doesn’t necessarily put the touch-typist out of a job.  It just means a readjustment to this new era and way of working.  A copy typist can undertake data entry, online secretarial tasks, audio and video transcription, virtual assistant and many other duties that can be performed online via the internet, our new ‘typewriting and communication’ tool of the 21st century, our modern, new age technology!

As a copy typist, what is it that I do?

As a copy typist, that is literally what I do!  Any type of English text, I copy type.  However, is it usually of non-original digital format, and can be faded or of poor quality. 

Original documents that I have been asked to transcribe into an editable text has comprised of a variety of texts.  I’ve successfully transcribed a unique dot matrix printed 250-page fictional book; religious newspaper articles that were written by E. W. Kenyon; handwritten notes for recipes and other non-digital scanned documents.

Because some out-dated texts, documents, reports, contracts, books and such like have been kept from before the computer age.  Now people are looking back on these and now wanting them to be digitalised.  Or they have found a useful document that they would like to edit but cannot do so because it is not in an editable format. 

PDF’s are a popular request to be copy-typed, simply because they can easily be converted into a Word document, but the software to carry out the process is expensive and generally it is more economical for businesses or individuals to seek the services of a freelance typist, like me, here at Virtuadmin.  I provide my typing and transcription skills through trusted and reputable freelance websites such as People Per Hour and Fiverr.  When printed or scanned documents are requested to be copied, wherever possible, I try to keep the same font, font colour, underlining, page set-up, and any other details.

It is now commonplace for businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals to seek these and other types of online freelance services as mentioned above.  Your money is protected through the website you using to hire/contract the typist, and any non-delivery enables you to get a refund.  Therefore, sometimes it is simply just more economical, quicker and easier to use them than buy software or programs that you may not be able to understand or use, let alone have a lot of use for after your initial conversion project is completed. 

What is my method of working?

A common question I frequently get asked is ‘do I manually type the text or use a text converter of some kind?’  My method is manual, every single time.  My touch typing speed is 80 to 90 words per minute (WPM).  It is actually far quicker for me to manually type any text than use a document converter that I would then have to edit.

I use Microsoft OneNote2013 to take a screenshot, view 2 pages of Microsoft word so that the document to be typed is side-by-side with the page I then type into to.  Then, simply reading the text I start typing away.  Because a touch typist does not need to look at the keyboard, only the text to be typed enables a much faster copy by the professional typist.

Tables, graphs and charts if they are included in the document and required by the client, do take more time, but I can still copy them and accompanying data and would communicate any additional time involved for this.

Am I copywriter as well?

Because the word ‘copy’ is in the title of ‘copy typist’, people often think that copy typing and ‘copywriting‘ are and can be one of the same things that freelancers undertake. No, they are not the same thing.  I am sure there are touch typists out there that benefit greatly from having touch typing skills as copywriters, but it is not the same profession. 

A copywriter is a person that writes online media content, say for a website or marketing agency.  The point of employing content or copywriters is that the written material to be persuasive to people and businesses, and create brand awareness.

As a copy typist, I receive documents and material that people literally just want to be copied, into usually a Word document, but more importantly into an editable format for them to expand and build on themselves once they have received the copy from me.

Conclusion

Most of my freelance ‘gigs’ have been for audio transcription and adding captions to videos for SEO enhancement.  It was only when I started a new gig for typing and copy text documents that I came to understand the amount of printed copy that is not digitalised.  It also amazed me how many people, not businesses, that want the services of a copy typist.  Personal notes, recipes, books, or anything else they required in a hard copy.  For me at the moment, most of the work I undertake is for copy typing and growing in demand daily. 

Luckily I enjoy my job as a typist and transcriptionist, so please look me up on People Per Hour or Fiverr and read about my conscientious service I offer.  I offer customisation for bespoke orders too, please just ask.

 

 

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23 Free Blogging Tools That Will Make You a Better Blogger

23 Free Blogging Tools
23 Free Blogging Tools

Whether you blog to share your experiences or to promote your business, blogging is the best way to connect with the outer world.

But blogging is definitely much more than writing.The work does not end when you hit publish. You should be able to attract your readers time and time again to your site, and keep them engaged.

Are you ever worried about maintaining an engaged blog audience?

It all starts with detailed research and using the right blogging tools.

Here is the deal: Tools alone won’t solve your problems, but they will help you get things done more efficiently.

With that being said, I have compiled a list of 21 free blogging tools that you can start using today. These tools are a great way to improve your performance as a blogger, in terms of workflow, writing quality and visuals.

A perfect topic can make or break your content workflow

It doesn’t matter how great you are at writing, every now and then you will fall into a blogger’s pit AKA blogger’s block.

a-perfect-topic-for-free-blogging-toolsAccording to Allee Creative, producing enough content and content that engages, are the two most difficult struggles that over 50% of B2B marketers face.

Creating enough content is proportional to blog topic ideas. If you can’t find topics to write about, you can’t fill up the content calendar.

These are the tools that will you help find blog topics every day.

1. Answer the Public

answer-the-public-for-free-blogging-toolsAnswer the Public is one of the coolest search query tools I have used in a while. This handy little tool fetches and maps suggestions based on visualization after you type in a keyword.

It breaks down keyword listings to three different parts:

  1. Question: what, who, when, why?
  2. Preposition: for, like, with
  3. Alphabetical: keyword + a, keyword + b

With this tool, you can also get a ton of LSI keywords that you can easily sprinkle throughout your post.

2. BuzzSumo

buzzsumo-for-free-blogging-toolsWhat if you could find a topic that you know has the potential to go viral? That’s what BuzzSumo is all about.

It gives a list of posts that have got maximum amount of shares in a given period. This way you know the potential of the topic.

It’s easy to use interface is one of its many benefits that makes it one of my favorite tools. Not only does it hook you up with great data, it binds you to topical relevance. So, you don’t go off topic when searching for ideas.

Just looking at the above topics you can easily tell that list posts are the ones that get the most social love.

Can you do better than that?

3. Google Keyword Planner

google-keyword-plannerfor-free-blogging-toolsMeet Google’s most awesome and popular keyword tool, Keyword Planner. And Yeah, it’s totally free of cost.

In order to use this incredibly powerful keyword research tool, first of all you need to get an AdWords account. And then, you can start the journey to find the right keywords for your business.

Google Keyword Planner might not give you the exact keyword suggestions, but it surely gives you a pretty good number of variations to your keywords, followed by average monthly searches, level of competition (high, medium, or low), average cost per click, and much more.

Effective tip: You can find more blogging ideas by putting your competitor’s url into keyword planner’s landing page search box.

4. Google Trends

google-trends-for-free-blogging-toolsHow can I leave out one of the most versatile tools, Google Trends?

Google Trends displays a list of the top hot searches and charts of the day. You can also see searches by category.

Like other keyword research tools, Google Trends does not give you the actual keyword search number. But, it does not mean that it is completely useless. You need to be smart here and use this tool with the Keyword Planner tool to get the best results.

Rule content marketing by writing captivating headlines

Headlines are the bread and butter of great content. A great headline not only grabs a reader’s attention, it’s the main source of increasing click through rate from organic traffic.

According to a test done by Koechly at Upworthy, traffic varies up to 500% depending upon your headline.

Whether you need to engage your audience on social media, or increase the open rate of your emails, a magnetic headline carries a heavy load.

Here are the free blogging tools that can help you write enticing headlines.

5. Impact Blog Title Generator

Impact blog title generator is a great tool for quickly coming up with blog ideas and titles. Just like any other headline generator, you need to type in your primary keyword. It will then pull out hundreds of enticing title options that you can use.

Hit the heart button if you like any given titles. It will then be transferred to a notebook which you can email later.

One of the creative and fun ways of dealing with writer’s block in this tool is the writer’s block option. Click it and start doodling.

6. SEOPressor Blog Title Generator

seopressor-blog-title-generator-for-free-blogging-toolsIf you are a WordPress blogger, you will absolutely love this simple but highly effective tool. Yes, it comes with a WP plugin, but the web version is equally as useful.

You can simply type in your keyword and get a bunch of blog ideas (it has its own pre-decided keyword categories).

Then, it pulls out a list of easy to use headlines. You can also modify it so that it looks more convincing.

To get more blog ideas, you have to put in your email. And, it will send the list directly to your inbox.

7. Link Bait Title Generator

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Link-bait-title-generatorfor-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

link-bait-title-generatorfor-free-blogging-tools

Recommended for You Webcast, December 14th: Measuring Micro-Moments With Google Analytics

This is not a fancy tool with flashy visuals. However, as the name suggests it gets the job done. As a marketer, we need a headline that entices users to click.

Basically it pulls in headlines that can be a little buzzfeed-esque and targets click bait. If you are a blogger in an entertainment niche, you will fall in love with this tool. Some suggestions might be really insane but it gets the job done.

8. Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Emotional-marketing-value-headline-analyzer-for-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

emotional-marketing-value-headline-analyzer-for-free-blogging-toolsAccording to Psychology Today, consumer decision making is highly influenced by emotion. With this tool you can check the emotion weight of your desired headlines.

Although it’s not as colorful as the other tools in the market, it is easy to use and works perfectly. All you have to do is plug in the headline and choose an appropriate category. You will receive an EMV score that defines the emotional credibility of your headline.

37.50% may look bad as a number. But if you look closely, anything above 50% is considered the best. So, if you have anything within that range, you are doing great.

Add a touch of image beauty to make your blog attractive

Photos play an important role in making your blog visually stunning. If you have photography talent along with your writing skill, then trust me, you don’t need anything else.

The right post with the right photo is what audiences are looking for. But, in many cases, a blogger ignores the fact that images are an important component to user engagement and messes up with cheap stock images.

One case study states that a tweet with an image is likely to boost retweets by 35 percent.

Here is a list of awesome tools that I use to flood my post with top-notch free images.

9. Pixabay

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Pixabay-for-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

pixabay-for-free-blogging-toolsFinding free high quality images that perfectly match your blog content can be a challenging and daunting task. To help you with your free stock photo hunt, Pixabay offers millions of high quality images free.

Pixabay is a resource created with no copyright restrictions. You can use the images for whatever purposes you want, even for commercial purposes too.

A great thing about Pixabay is that there is no registration required. You can simply jump in, find photos and begin to use them.

10. Death to the Stock Photo

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Death-to-the-Stock-Photo-for-free-blogging-tools-1.png.png

death-to-the-stock-photo-for-free-blogging-toolsAre you fed up with visiting websites in search of free stock photos? Well, here’s a solution for your problem.

Death to the Stock Photo sends you free high resolution photos of different categories to your email every month. All you need to do is submit an email address where you want to receive those images. Amazing, right?

Now, you can make your blog posts livelier and more visually appealing with the high quality resolution images that you receive from Death to the Stock Photo.

11. Evernote

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Evernote-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

evernote-for-free-blogging-toolsOne of the best ways to grab images is through screenshots. And, one of the best tools in the market to do that is Evernote. It not only gives you sleek and clean graphics, it organizes your images in a proper format.

First go to evernote and sign up for a free account. Then, download it’s free chrome plugin. Now, whenever you need to take a screenshot, click the little elephant icon in the top right hand corner. You can select the part and save it. It automatically gets saved in your evernote account.

12. PicMonkey

picmonkey-for-free-blogging-toolsAre you looking for a photo editing tool which can spruce up your images and make your blog look attractive? PicMonkey is the best tool to check out.

You can use this fantastic photo editing tool without downloading it to your computer.

With its awesome photo edit, touch up, design and collage features, you have got everything that you need to make your ideas come to life.

PicMonkey also publishes awesome guides to help you create your own visually attractive images. So, if you are an amateur designer and don’t have good experience with editing tools, then PicMonkey is what you need to have.

13. Canva

canva-for-free-blogging-toolsCanva is one of the most used photo editing tools in the world. From its drag and drop feature, the professional layouts and amazing design graphics, Canva has everything that you need for creating your own stunning images.

Whether you are an experienced designer or just a beginner, Canva makes image creation super easy and fun.

With millions of images, hundreds of fonts, numbers of free icons and shapes, and amazing photo filters; Canva is without a doubt the most loved photo editing tool online.

Make writing faster and easier

Anyone can write a blog, but only an experienced and skilled blogger can write an extraordinary piece of content that offers valuable insights and attracts user engagement.

There are millions of amazing blog posts uploaded every second, which grab people’s attention and compel them to share on social media channels. If you want your content to receive such attention from readers, then you need to write amazing and original content.

Do you have a favorite blogging tool that helps you with this?

There are tons of writing tools available online and choosing the right one definitely takes lots of your time and effort. Here are a few tools that can help you with easy and fast writing.

14. Google Docs

Many bloggers use their blogging platform to write and edit their content. But, are you aware of the blog editing and posting features of Google Docs?

Yes, you heard me correctly. Google Docs can be used as a blog editor and you can post your blog entries directly from it.

Google Docs is my favorite blog editor. It allows you to collaborate with others and its amazing spelling and grammar checking tools are worth trying. Being a product of Google itself, you can directly research your queries from it.

15. Readable

readable-for-free-blogging-toolsReadable is one of the most interesting free blogging tools, which quickly analyzes your text for readability. This awesome tool takes your text and analyzes it by giving it a score for the most used readability indicators. So, your text is easier to understand.

It gives you flexible options to carry out a test; test by url, test by directly entering your text, and test by entering a referral link.

16. Grammarly

grammarly-for-free-blogging-toolsIs your content free from grammatical errors? Readers really hate to read content with grammatical errors.

Posts with many grammar errors can make a reader lose interest in reading further. They might not even bother reading your future blog posts. So, make sure to perform grammar checks before publishing your blog.

Grammarly is one of the most used online grammar checkers. It checks for spelling, sentence structure, style, punctuation, alternatives, etc. All you need to do is copy your content and paste it into Grammarly’s online grammar checker.

You can add this tool to your chrome browser and easily use it whenever you need to.

Get more engagement on social media

You just published a post, and you immediately share it to your social accounts. What you see after a few days rattles you.

Only a couple of people have engaged with your post. Sounds familiar?

One of the many reasons why you aren’t seeing any engagement on social media is because you are not doing it right.

For example, your preferred audience may be in a different time zone than yours. The frequency and timing of your post depends completely on the industry and brands.

You can take something from what the big brands do. Every brand has a different set of times to post on Facebook, Twitter or share it on other social accounts. Always check the analytics of your social account to get a better grip of your audience.

After you know the best time, you can schedule your post with these tools and save time.

17. Buffer

buffer-for-free-blogging-toolsBuffer has to be one of the most efficient social media management tools I have ever used. Even though Hootsuite has more supported networks, and is bigger than Buffer, I feel Buffer is easier to use.

Just like any content scheduling tool, you can easily integrate your social media accounts and start scheduling your posts. It also gives you a brief analysis that lets you A/B test your headline versions.

18. Ahalogy

Pinterest can been a great source of traffic for many bloggers. Unfortunately, if you aren’t using the paid version, it’s not possible to schedule Pinterest pins from Buffer.

Out comes Ahalogy to solve this problem. You can easily schedule all your pins to your personal and community boards.

However, the catch is you have to get accepted by Ahalogy to start using it.

Once you get accepted, you have to place a code to track your results. If this is something you don’t want to do, you can download the Ahalogy plugin and it automatically pushes your content to your Pinterest account.

19. Click to tweet

ahalogy-for-free-blogging-toolsClick to tweet are tweetable quotes that are used widely on numerous blogs. What it basically does is offer more traffic from twitter and gives an easy one click path for the user to share your content.

Working with click to tweet is really simple. All you need to do is sign up for a free account. On your dashboard, you can type in the message you would like to tweet. Then, it generates a new line of code. Copy and paste it into the post that you want to display it. You can also see the engagement of your audience and click through rate of that simple tweet button.

Improve your productivity

The tough part after starting a blog is maintaining its quality. If you are a professional blog writer, then you must know how hard it is to write a quality blog with valuable insights at a given time.

Do you want to write better and faster?

There’s a number of free blogging tools that will not only make your writing easier but also help with your time management problem. Check out the time tracking tools listed below which can help you write faster.

20. Egg Timer

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Egg-Timer-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

egg-timer-for-free-blogging-toolsEgg Timer is a simple countdown timer, where you can enter the time that you want to work.

As a writer, you must know how easily time goes by once you start writing. You have no idea how much time you are giving to researching your work, editing or writing. With this free time tracking tool, you can find out how productive you are and manage time for each individual task.

To start, set the time for your task, hit the “Go” button to start time tracking. When the time’s up, you will see a pop-up appearing on the screen with the timer sound.

21. Toggle

image: http://cdn2.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Toggle-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

toggle-for-free-blogging-toolsToggle is a fun time tracking tool which can help boost your productivity.

This one-click time tracking tool allows you to add tasks, and after completing your work, check the dashboard to know how long you spent on each task.

If you are a writer who spends a lot of your time on research and writing, and are looking for a tool that can help you manage your time, Toogle is definitely worth a try.

Track visitors on your site

A thing that separates a good blogger from others is the way he or she keeps monitoring and tracking the web traffic they receive.

Yes, it is true that anyone can write, but not everyone is capable of writing a high quality user engaging blog. The problem seen in most startup bloggers is that they just keep writing blindly. They have no idea whether their blog is getting exposure or not.

To be a good blogger and improve your writing, you should know what is working, and what isn’t, so that you can make improvements.

With so many web traffic analyzer tools available online, you can easily track visitors and traffic to your blog.

Here’s my favorite 2 blog tracking tools:

22. Google Analytics

image: http://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Google-Analytics-for-free-blogging-tools.png.png

google-analytics-for-free-blogging-toolsGoogle Analytics (GA) is the most popular and most used visitor tracking tool. And yes, it is totally free of cost.

This amazing tool not only gives accurate statistics on traffic, but it also tracks almost everything a cookie can store on each unique visitor. You can also see the live traffic status of your blog through GA.

It provides a variety of features like monitoring visitor’s behavior, source of incoming traffic, social media buttons, number of visitors each day, unique visitors, returning visitors, most visited pages, and much more.

23. Sitemeter

Sitemeter is another great analytics program which I use after Google Analytics. It comes in two versions: Free and Paid. You can simply use the free version as it offers almost all the tools a webmaster needs.

You can keep track of your visitors’ referral information and at the same time also find how many people are online on your blog.

Sitemeter allows you to see some of the most important information regarding your latest referring URLs, live visitors, and visitors from the last 1 hr, day and a week.

Wrapping up

Content creation should be the top priority of any blogger. I wish I could tell you that tools alone will make you a better writer, but that’s not true at all.

In fact, there are other key elements and methodologies that you need to implement to produce quality content. However, tools offer additional support and help you get things done more efficiently.

I hope these 23 free blogging tools can help you get through some tough times like they did for me.

**  This article first appeared on Business 2 Community on December 12, 2016.  Written by Nirmal Gynawali