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4 Reasons You Should Use Listly as Your Blogroll

June 9, 2014 8 comments
listly-blogroll

An visual example of how Listly list looks when used as a blogroll.

I use a lot of social media tools in my weekly personal and professional lives. And one tool that I adore is Listly.

It’s pretty self-explanatory: It’s a tool to make, curate and vote on lists. But it can be much more than that if you harness it correctly.

What do you think when you first hear about a tool to make lists? Groceries, tasks to do and more, probably.

But Listly can be much more than just a tool for everyday tasks. It can be a tool that you can group similar things or ask a question or save things from around the web.

Yet one way Listly shines is as a blogroll tool. Here are 4 reasons why.

1. It’s open for collaboration

As a blogger, I have a small set of time to use to work on writing, editing and publishing. That’s why anything or any tool that I can use to save time is a good thing. Listly provides that with its open collaboration. Let others help curate a blogroll and you can focus your time on other pursuits.

2. You can embed it

What good is making a list if you can’t use it on your blog? No worries with Listly, though, as you can embed it on your blog and replace your long-standing, but often forgotten blogroll.

3. It’s visually heavy

Across social media, no matter where you look, one thing is common: Visuals stand out. So when you have a choice between making something stand out visually or having it be text-based or a drop-down menu, the visual way to display the information is the one that should win.

4. You have several display options

What are the best blogs to follow? Collaborators can let you know by voting, if you enable it. Then they can quickly see which are the best blogs to read. Or you can display it alphabetically, the default for a blogroll. Either way, you have options, and they don’t end with those two.

Listly is your blogroll

These are the main reasons why Listly should be the tool you use when you build your blogroll. (And hey, you can even use someone else’s list if you find one you like.)

But there are other great ways to use Listly on your blog, like for your guest blog posts. It’s a great tool to use

Your Audience Owns Your Content

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

If you hadn’t heard, I’m a contributing blogger for Social Solutions Collective. And the Collective has a weekly Twitter chat, #collectivechat, on Mondays.

This week we talked about owned vs. leased digital real estate. One of the questions was “Who ‘owns’ the content you post online?”

I’ll admit, my answer, by and large, was the same as most everyone else: You do. But I had a nagging devil’s advocate in the back of my mind. So I answered:

And that’s what I’m going to do.

Why you own your content

You create your content, so that gives you a right to receive credit when it is shared. You went through that hard work to make content that would be good, useful and used.

You are the one putting all the hard work and effort into getting an idea, a little wisp of a thing floating around in your head, onto paper or photo or video or whatever.

That’s your work, from start to finish, and that’s why it’s your content.

Why your audience owns your content

But let’s get things straight: Just because you create content doesn’t mean you own the content. You can slave over that blog post, spend hours getting the right lighting or nitpick over video edits, but it doesn’t mean you own the content.

Sure, it might be your copyright, your hard work, but it’s not yours.

It belongs to your audience. To your community.

After all, that’s who you created the content for. So it’s their’s to read, to view, to consume, to share. It’s their’s to modify, to tweak, to use.

And if your community doesn’t use, consume, share or discuss your content, does it really matter who owns it?

HOW TO: Use Mind Maps to Write Blog Posts

April 8, 2013 6 comments
How To Mind Map

My mind map for writing this How To Mind Map blog post.

If you’re struggling to write blog posts, there’s an easy solution: Mind maps.

Mind maps allow you to take those thoughts floating around in your brain and put them into a concise order. From there, it’s just a matter of formatting and ordering, then writing and editing.

Mind maps are basically an offshoot of sketchnotes, which I learned a lot about from Mike Rohde.

Plan first

When you map out your post, start with your topic. I put mine at the top of the page, but you can put yours at the center or do whatever makes sense for you.

From there, it’s easy to break it down.

Each big balloon is a sub-topic, divided by subheads. In this post, the first subhead is “Plan first.”

Extend branches from each big balloon, which each branch acting as a paragraph underneath the subhead. You can add more depth to each branch when you plan or when you write.

Blogging time!

Now it’s time to decide how you will format your blog post.

There are many ways to do it, but here are a couple of examples. The reverse pyramid is typical is journalism wherein the top of the writing is general information and the specifics and details increase as the piece goes on. Or you could write chronologically, with the oldest information first and the newest last.

Mind maps are great because the framework is done for you during the mapping stage. During the writing stage, it’s just a matter of putting everything in the correct place and then adding details where you need them.

Be your editor

Before you start editing, take a break. You need to take some time away from the blog post — and this is something you should do with any post — before you start editing and whittling away useless words.

Fresh eyes are what you need for the editing process. Those fresh eyes will help you catch more mistakes and improve your post significantly.

Then, when you’re done and ready, it’s time to publish and share with your networks. It’s really that simple.

Reader Feedback: Have you ever tried to mind map before you wrote something?

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