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5 Indispensable Tools for a Content Writer

5 Indispensable Tools for a Content Writer

The life of a content writer is not easy. We understand that. It sure is a tough job to produce content which is well written, well researched, factually correct and pleases Google baba enough to list it in its searches! Here’s how we’ve tried to make your life a teeny bit easier by sharing these resource hacks with you. If you were a shoe-maker, these tools would be your elves. Well, you are a writer, and these tools can still be your elves!

1. Tagcrowd

A post which is not search engine optimized might do well to not exist on internet at all. This tool helps boost search engine optimization by enabling you to create your own tag cloud from the text in your content, to visualize word frequency. It gives you an idea about what your post will look like with word clouds and frequencies.

2. Evernote 

From your grocery shopping to your research bibliography, Evernote is the ‘one size fits all’ solution to note keeping. It’s our favorite here at OBOlinx as well. The interface is easy and the layout is clean and simple with tons of useful features. It enables to create entire notebooks so that your notes don’t get jumbled up. The web clipper extension is especially useful when you are researching on something and taking notes simultaneously, instead of switching windows, it enables you to view the web clips while you take notes! The best thing – it syncs your notes automatically, allowing you to start from where you left off, on any of your devices – laptop, desktop, phone or iPad!

3. Factbrowser

The facts you incorporate into your content should always be from a dependable source and verified by you, as a writer. While people may not appreciate when the facts are accurate (because that’s what you’re supposed to do anyway!), it surely damages your credibility as a writer if they are not correct! Factbrowser to the rescue. This website is a savior when it comes to helping you find dependable sources for studies, surveys, reports, stats and other kinds of facts you need to add some meat to your writing.

4. Grammarly and Correctica 

If you are a content writer, you would know, the wrath of a Grammar Nazi is the worst thing to bring upon yourself. Especially since you are one yourself! (a safe assumption?) Grammar and spelling errors are extremely embarrassing, more so if you are a writer. We may be merciless editors ourselves, however, just to triple check, use tools like Grammarly and Correctica before you publish your posts. Additionally, Grammarly also checks for plagiarism.

5. Headline Analyzer 

People do judge a book by its cover and a post by its title. Only 62% of readers, read past the title (yes I have used Factbrowser for this one). Spend as much time, or more, as you spend on writing the content to come up with a kickass title for the post. And when you think you’ve found it, use Headline Analyzer. This tool scores the title of your post and rates its SEO value, ability to attract traffic and generate shares on social media. It also shows you how far up or down below your post will appear in the search results! Which content headlines will get you most results? Have a look at this post to crack the secret.

Did you know about these tools? Do you think there are other awesome tools we have missed out on? We are all ears!

5 Simple Life Hacks to Help You Write Better

5 Simple Life Hacks to Help You Write Better

Being a writer is a full time job. You are not on vacation even when you are on vacation because you are constantly thinking about what to write next! Being creative 24*7 is quite a challenge and a very difficult one to live up to. We, at Oorja Biz Ops have been brainstorming about changes we can bring about in our daily life, to help refuel the creativity. Here are five hacks that will work for you to write better (they certainly did, for us !):

Write Better Hack #1 – Start your day early

Being an early riser has a lot more advantages than you think. This is the best way to give your day a head start. Schedule the first 45 minutes of your day to write five hundred words of anything you can think about. With consistent practice you will see your writing skills improve significantly in just a matter of weeks. Accomplishing a task right at the beginning of the day is also a great confident booster and keeps you pumped up all through the day.

Write Better Hack #2 – Replace the caffeine

Did we hear a collective gasp? We know what coffee means to writers. For many, it can be impossible to start a day without a cup. However, it is a proven fact that a regular dose of caffeine is not a very healthy thing for your body. Caffeine also causes anxiety and restlessness which may not be what you need when you are already on the edge due to work stress. Try and replace caffeine with healthier options like green tea or even regular tea or some other healthy beverage. Might be worth it to give it a shot and notice the difference!

Write Better Hack #3 – Find ‘me time’ 

Gifting yourself some time is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself and the best hack to trigger your writing creativity. Set aside about 45 minutes of your day, every day, to recharge your soul simply by indulging yourself. Cook, bake, garden, sing, dance, paint – whatever helps you connect with your inner self and makes you happy. Finding ‘me time’ can be a tall order given the lifestyles we lead. This problem may be solved by going back to what we said about waking up early. That way, you will have more time than you usually do. Even if it’s just an hour earlier, it still gives you some space to fit ‘me time’ into your otherwise cramped day.

Write Better Hack #4 – Read Often, Read More

Read as much as, or more than you write. Reading helps recharge your intellectual resources and keeps those brainy ideas flowing. Reading fires your imagination – the stuff writers are made of.  As Stephen King wrote in “On Writing”:

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut. . . .

It’s hard for me to believe that people who read very little (or not at all in some cases) should presume to write and expect people to like what they have written, but I know it’s true. If I had a nickel for every person who ever told me he/she wanted to become a writer but didn’t have time to read, I could buy myself a pretty good steak dinner. Can I be blunt on this subject? If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.

Just like a balanced diet is essential for a healthy body, balanced reading is crucial for a healthy mind and will make you think in different directions. Make sure your reading list consists of a mixed dose of current affairs, fiction and non-fiction. What you read, reflects in what and how you write.

Write Better Hack #5 – Be Honest with Yourself

While it is crucial to have expectations from oneself, at the same time, it is important to have goals which are practical and achievable. Setting long term targets on a high-on-red-bull day, probably isn’t a good idea. What we mean is, enthusiasm is vital, however, a lot of times we tend to become over enthusiastic with our goals and go on over drive trying to achieve them. Being honest with yourself about what you can and cannot achieve in a given period of time does not mean tardiness, it means being practical. But then, a little pressure now and then does help to shoo the devil called Procrastination away!

And finally, after putting our neck on the line, we leave you with the words from our idol and mentor, Seth Godin :

The biggest takeaway for anyone seeking to write is this: don’t go looking for the way other authors do their work. You won’t find many who are consistent enough to copy, and there are enough variations in approach that it’s obvious that it’s not like hitting home runs or swinging a golf club. There isn’t a standard approach, there’s only what works for you (and what doesn’t).

We hope you enjoyed our post. We would love to hear from you on what you do to help you write more and write better!

Five Takeaways on Blogging from my First Five Posts

Five Takeaways on Blogging from my First Five Posts

Blogging is very new to me. I have done a lot of business writing (large proposals, analytical reports, endless information forms and long emails) but had never actually sat down and written for myself. I got introduced to this whole new world when I became active on Twitter – and with a little bit of push and a whole lot of support from my Twitter Fairies, I plunged in.

I have now written one post a week for five weeks and here are a few things that I have realized :

Takeaway #1 : Writer’s Block is a Myth – Even for someone like me for whom writing does not come naturally, the key is to get started and keep going. Decide a topic close to your heart and let the words flow. As Seth said :

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better. Write like you talk. Often.

Takeaway #2 : Discipline, Discipline, Discipline – Setting small goals and sticking to them helps. I decided to post once a week come what may. I see a lot of abandoned blogs (with excellent posts) and it makes me sad – enthusiasm needs feeding and discipline is a great way to keep the enthusiasm alive.

Takeaway #3 : Little Rituals set the Mood – Develop your own rituals to get you into the writing zone. I keep aside a favourite diary and a pen gifted by my dad for writing my blog. I write in lists of five to keep me focused. Rituals do help in channeling creative energies and act as triggers for inspiration.

Takeaway #4 : Creating vs Curating Content – Curating content is interesting but creating your own content and seeing it shared and discussed gives a BIG high. If I find something of value I love sharing it, but sharing my own content gives me immense satisfaction – it is so much more fun.

Takeaway #5 : A Blog is another window to the World – This is one of the biggest benefits that I have got from my blog. Through comments and shares, I have met people with common interests and different views. It is a great conversation starter and a pointer to wonderful people and writing that I would not have otherwise stumbled across.  What better way to improve writing than by reading what has been written?

So, what I have realized in my blogging journey so far is simply that much like anything else in life, in writing too – you get what you give. It is best captured in the quote below (I love quotes :)) :

“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.”

— Harlan Ellison 

Please do share your experiences on blogging – what prevents you from starting to write, what inspires you to write, what keeps you going, how has blogging changed your world ?