Producing consistent, relevant content is a challenge for many bloggers as the thousands, even millions of outdated blogs can attest.
Evernote can help. The popular application is used for a host of productivity enhancing functions, with one of the more useful being a repository for blog posts ideas.
Create an account and download Evernote to your computer, then download the mobile app to your smartphone. Now you have three places where your data resides, auto-synced as you type — the browser, desktop application and mobile app. Evernote is free, but there’s also a premium version with bigger upload capacity, greater sharing options, and more. However, for most, the free version will do. I’ve been using the application for a couple of years and the free version still does the job.
Evernote is organized into Notebooks and Tags. Create a Blog Post notebook. If you write for multiple blogs or wish to organize your posts by subject matter, create as many tags as you wish. This will allow you to retrieve post ideas all at once or by the tags you designate.
Text – Ideas for posts can come from a variety of sources, like social media updates, RSS feeds, surfing the web, meetings and conversations. In your Blog Posts notebook, open up a new note, enter the subject matter or title of the piece you just discovered and copy and paste the link into the body of the note. That’s it! When you come across a related post or quote that you might wish to reference, add it to the note. Now when you’re ready to sit down and write, you’ll already have a title and materials to read and reference.
Audio – You can also record your ideas right in Evernote as audio files. This is especially useful when you’re on the road and an idea strikes or those times when you sit down to write and your fingers refuse to move. I’ve composed entire blog posts this way with an additional 15-20 minutes of text editing and formatting.
Images – When composing a note, you can take a snapshot and add it in the note. You can also attach an image from your hard-drive or clip an image from the Web (remember to record the attribution).
I have the Evernote application on my laptop open all day, every day. Once you get into this practice, the ideas saved as notes will quickly add up. Remember to weed. Not all ideas will pan out. I try to keep the notebook of blog posts ideas to under 100 notes, or else it becomes unwieldy and counter-productive.