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Tons of people use Evernote. More than 100 million, in fact—and that was two years ago.
And lots of those folks are bloggers and marketers like Colin here:
A1: I usually start with ideas and planning in Evernote. #CoChat
— Colin Haas (@colinmhaas) June 4, 2015
Some awesome bloggers like Michael Hyatt are also extremely vocal about using Evernote for blogging—just check out his ultimate guide to creating blog posts with Evernote.
So last week when CoSchedule made it possible to convert Evernote to WordPress, we thought you’d enjoy some actionable advice on how to use Evernote for blogging and content marketing. Yeah, let me repeat that quick: You can now turn Evernote notes into WordPress blog posts with CoSchedule.
Here is how to use Evernote for blogging (and stick around to the end for tips on how we use Evernote at CoSchedule).
Evernote, at its core, is a note-taking tool. It helps you organize notes into notebooks, which helps you remember everything.
While it’s a simple concept, Evernote has some serious features that make it a blogger’s best friend.
Any blogger who’s been at it for a while will relate to Emma’s problem with blog post ideas here:
@eradscantina see ideas always come at inconvenient times and by the time I get home its gone – I write it down now
— Emma White (@TheRealSupermum) March 19, 2015
It seems like great post ideas come—they exist for a few seconds—then we forget them. Since Evernote is on your smartphone (which, let’s face it, is always with you), you can use it to “write it down now” and never forget an idea again.
So how can Evernote help you capture blog post ideas?
How many times have you cruised the interwebs and found inspiration for a blog post? Evernote’s Web Clipper is awesome for capturing those fleeting thoughts before you ever forget them.
With search engines like Google looking further into facts, data, and research in your posts to rank them higher on their search engine results pages, Evernote makes it easier to gather the information you need to boost your SEO.
Watch this, and you’ll know exactly how to use Web Clipper in less than a minute:
Here are a few ways you can use Evernote’s Web Clipper and Helper for blogging:
Get started with Evernote’s free Web Clipper to gather blog post ideas easier than ever. Just imagine how many more ideas you’ll have in your drafts bin! And how much time that can save you when writing your posts.
Skitch is a super powerful tool to take screen shots and provide context to your readers to help them understand what to focus on. I’ve seen tons of bloggers use Skitch including thought leaders like Neil Patel.
You may already know the importance of using visuals in your blog posts: 60% of your audience is visual learners. Skitch makes it easy to include more images in your posts to help you visually tell your story.
Again, Evernote pulled together a great 2-minute video to show off some of the ways you can use Skitch to take screen shots and mark up pictures:
Skitch makes blogging easier for four reasons:
Get Skitch for free now to include better annotated images and screenshots on your blog.
If you’ve never used Evernote before for capturing your blog ideas, I totally get the learning curve of figuring out a new tool. So why not start gathering ideas with a tool you’ve used for years—your email—and simply send them directly into Evernote?
Michael Hyatt has a detailed post to help you understand the tech behind this. It’s really simple to get started:
Even if you don’t remember the subject line syntax, that’s fine. The email will just go into your default folder which you can change under Preferences > General.
While you could move files from your default, it saves a ton of time to learn the subject line syntax now and simply know that your notes are filed properly without any other manual steps.
This feature is awesome for bloggers and marketers:
Admittedly, I don’t use these ways often (yet). But they sound pretty powerful for those of you who blog slightly differently than me:
Michael Hyatt has some great advice for turning blog post ideas in Evernote into actual content. Begin with a template and flesh out your blog post outline right in Evernote:
Set up a blogging template in Evernote. There are certain components that I want to create or collect for every blog post. For example, I am now using the SCORRE™ method from the Dynamic Communicators Workshop (DCW) to prepare every post. This is an acronym for Subject, Central Theme, Objective Statement, Rationale, and Evaluation. I store my template in an Evernote notebook called Templates, along with numerous other templates I use on a regular basis.
Michael even included a screen shot of his template you can use to build your own:
Essentially, you’ll use this template to turn a blog post idea into real content. This is an easy way to shape up an outline for your posts, getting the inspiration flowing for that idea you may have thrown in Evernote a couple weeks or even months ago.
Here is that blog post template in text format so you can easily copy and paste it into a new note in your Evernote:
[What do I want to talk about?]
[What do I want to focus on?]
Persuasive: Every person should ___ because of/for ___ (keyword).
Enabling: Every person can ___ by ___ (keyword).
Write the first draft
Edit the first draft
Read it aloud
Insert relevant HTML code
Publish a draft
Proof-read the draft and make corrections
Insert metadata and run post through ScribeSEO
Tweak as necessary
Schedule for publication
Set the featured image in WordPress
What I like about this template is that it helps you turn an idea into real content. It helps you focus on:
And one of the cool things about this template is that you can tweak and customize it for your own preferences. At least now, you have a starting point to see what it may look like in your Evernote.
Well, technically you can actually publish your blog posts from Evernote to WordPress—or to HTML or PDFs. It’s all possible with the new integration between Evernote and your CoSchedule editorial calendar.
Watch this video to learn exactly how to plan your Evernote notes as content with your editorial calendar:
Sidebar: Some of you—the planning nerds like me—may want to plan your Evernote posts on your editorial calendar before you start writing it. There are a lot of benefits of doing just that:
And planning your Evernote ideas on your editorial calendar—even before you write the posts—is totally possible. Follow this same process, just write your posts later on.
The process is simple:
It’s seriously that easy.
You just learned how to capture blog post ideas, write your blog posts in Evernote, and how to transfer your posts to WordPress and beyond. Well done!
So here’s a bonus of how we use Evernote for blogging at CoSchedule.
You just read all about this in some extreme detail, so I’ll save you from repeating myself on the how-to process. At CoSchedule, we capture blog post ideas using the Web Clipper, Evernote Helper, and email into Evernote features.
Right now, we have one note where anyone on the team can add in ideas, too. That way, if it’s just one sentence and a link to the source of inspiration, we have slightly fewer notes to sift through for the good ideas versus the stinkers.
We use one notebook for all of our notes relating to blog post ideas. That same notebook is where we start to flesh out posts, too, with research.
Once we vet our ideas to know if they’re any good, we throw them on the calendar as Content in CoSchedule. From here, we use Evernote’s tools like Web Clipper and Evernote Helper as we conduct online research to fact-check our posts before we ever write them.
This also plays into Evernote’s ability to record audio. We do a lot of case study-esque content to help our audience learn how to plan content even better from the pros who use CoSchedule like Raven Tools, Convince and Convert, and THINK creative group.
After doing a few of these interviews with me writing a million miles an hour, I started researching how to record what my interviewees are saying to help me focus on the conversation instead of just writing down their answers to my questions. I’m excited to try out the recording feature for the next interview.
Garrett has mentioned this before: He writes every post in Evernote. It’s nice to forget about formatting for a little bit, and concentrate purely on writing great content.
Here’s what Garrett has to say about it:
One of my all time favorite writing tools is most definitely Evernote. I use it to keep track of all of my blog post ideas and regularly add notes and outlines to my documents as I come up with new ideas or details for posts. With Evernote, I can easily take my “blogging brain” on the go, so time and location are never a limitation to my writing process.
Here’s a screen shot of how he starts with a brief idea, then fleshes out his outline in Evernote first, then fills in the blanks with his real posts:
Read the post this outline turned into: How To Save Time Writing Blog Posts.
I’m at risk to nerd out right now. So I’ll try to be as clear as possible.
CoSchedule is a software as a service (SaaS) startup built on agile development processes. That works for us for the development team, so we’ve adopted that model of project management for marketing.
Essentially, we have one note to which the entire team has access. This note has three main sections:
Some projects constantly happen every week—so we know they’ll happen—like publishing on our blog, sending emails and newsletters, and hosting our Twitter chat.
Yet this process, managed at a high-level in an Evernote note, helps us plan the additional projects we’re working on. This note serves as the itinerary for our Monday marketing meetings, and helps us talk through the projects, know who the owners are, and address any road blocks.
Read this post on Evernote’s blog for a lot more detail on how we use Evernote to coordinate marketing and our team.
I just mentioned we have marketing meetings on Mondays. Just as it’s important for us to know what we’re doing this week and get a glimpse of next week’s projects, it’s super important for us to understand how our past marketing performed so we can optimize future projects.
We document our progress toward our marketing goals in a notebook with new notes added once a week to track weekly progress.
Our goals include increasing:
Our weekly reports run through stats from a bunch of different tools, often of screenshots of various dashboards showing our weekly progress:
At the start of a new month, we’ll look at how all the data added up. Basically, we look for trends to understand what’s working and what’s not so that we prioritize our time (and future projects) according to what will drive growth.
Evernote helps us track all of that.
I don’t like clutter. So I don’t like new notebooks for every project because sometimes they’re really small and then notebooks just sit there, making it difficult for me to see the few notebooks I use every day.
We have one notebook for one-off active marketing projects we’re working through. We actually write a lot of our content in Evernote notes, whether it’s blog posts, Web pages, landing pages, case studies, tear sheets—you name it.
When a project is done, we move the notes to another notebook for closed marketing projects. This keeps it simple to archive since we’ve most likely edited the content once it was formatted, so we consider the final published content to be the master source.
For ongoing projects like our #CoChat Twitter chat, we have a notebook to which we add new notes all the time. For example, it makes sense to manage all of our #CoChat stuff together, and to easily reference what we’ve created in the past.
The beautiful thing about Evernote is that there are a billion different ways to use it. We’d love to hear how you use Evernote for blogging!
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