Tag Archives: tools

If This Then That – My new best friend

If This Then That

I’ve written about IFTTT.com before. It’s a wonderful tool to automate and track things that  happen online by using triggers on different internet channels. In their own words, they are a service that lets you create powerful connections with a simple statement.

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If this, then that. This little recipe, used on a variety of incoming and outgoing channels can create a very handy set of customized tools. Here are some of my recipes:

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  • The weather forecast is daily sent to my calendar
  • Changes on my Wikipedia watch list are sent to my Evernote account
  • When I tag something in Feedly, it creates a draft message in HootSuite
  • When I publish a blog post, or make a status update on my Facebook page, a note is added to my publishing calendar.
  • I can even send a text to IFTTT and have it record things I am tracking daily, like my weight or amount of exercise I’m getting.
  • There’s no end to the number of cool automated actions you can take to keep your favorite online tools connected.

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By having these channels automated and connected I feel that I have a better handle on the information flow in my life. I will write again soon about Evernote and how learning to use it a little better (and installing the mobile and desktop versions) has also been a life changer for me.

What I really want now is a way to connect a private online journal so that posts get posted to my diary calendar. I tried WordPress, but a private blog won’t work with IFTTT, Penzu doesn’t have an RSS feed that I could access, nor does 280daily.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

3 Great Tools for Bloggers

Ask Joanne Blogs

I made a goal to blog daily (on at least one of my blogs) on April 5 2013 and (so far) have been able to keep that up. So, now that I am spending more time blogging I find that there are tools that I use regularly to help me keep going and feed the “relevant content” beast. I use WordPress for all my blogs, so this is not about platforms, but instead tools and services for bloggers.

  • Evernote is a fantastic tool for all kinds of web-clipping and note taking. You can download the desktop and/or mobile versions so that you can have access to your data from any device. I use Evernote to make notes on possible blog topics, outlines of posts, and all my references and resources. Evernote also integrates with Penultimate, Skitch and via 3rd party software, with Outlook. It’s a fantastic service and forms the basis of all my notetaking and information gathering.
  • Feedly is a news aggregator (like Google Reader) that allows you to pull into a single “dashboard” all kinds of online content (RSS feeds) sorted by topic, so that you can “watch” what’s being said on certain topics which can either help you with curating great content for your blogs or social media or help spark some ideas and references for your own new blog posts. You can also use Feedly mini to tag/flag/share great content for later use.
  • IFTTT : If This Then That is a wonderfully useful tool that can help you manage information by linking online activities together and automagically create other kinds of actions. For example, I have a “recipe” in IFTTT that when I tag an article in Feedly with a specific tag, IFTTT can create a draft post on HootSuite, so it helps me “fill the queue” with information that I might want to post to my social media channels.

I also watched a fantastic Mozinar “From Nothing to Expert: How to Blog like You Mean It.” I really liked several of the main points that Tanner Christensen presents like “Focusing on Answering Questions,” “Learn to Write Well” and “Interesting Things are Often Widely So.” It’s a great webinar and more than worth the time to watch. It helps to keep me inspired.

Do you blog? What tools to you use?

5 Best Tools for SEO Analysis

SEO Analysis Tools

Following is a list of my (current) favorite tools for SEO Analysis. There are many, many tools available; some paid, some free. This list is simply my current favorite tools.

  1. A1 Website Analyzer by Microsys
    • This handy-dandy tool is an inexpensive piece of software that scans and documents all the URLs on a website. It shows the URL, the response code, the number of internal links and external links, the page titles, meta-descriptions, meta-keywords, H1 and H2 text, and lots of other data about a website’s pages. This the first tool I use when asked to analyze a website for an SEO project. The spreadsheet that you can create via export also serves as the basis for part of my final reports where I replace the current data with my SEO recommendations.
  2. Google Webmaster Tools
    • Using Google Webmaster tools is the best way to see how Google sees your website. There’s so much information here it deserves it’s own dedicated post and screencast. For now I will just say it’s a tremendous tool, but if you don’t have your site verified with Webmaster tools, you can use things like the Google AdWords Tool to learn more about how Google sees your site.
  3. Google’s AdWords Tool
    • I use Google AdWords keyword tool (if you have an AdWords account, it’s right there in your dashboard, if not use the external tool) to see the keyphrases that Google sees on a website. By typing in the website address in the website field and clicking search  you will see the words and phrases that Google sees as being related to the site content. They provide you with estimated search volumes, level of advertiser competition and estimated costs-per-click if you were to advertise on those phrases.
  4. WebCEO
    • This was my very first SEO software related purchase and I still use it today. There are many things you can do with WebCEO including keyword research, link research, and rank checking. These days I mostly use it for keyword rank checking. They’ve added a new level of information that can show where the site is appearing for organic search, paid search, local/map results, video, etc. I used to use this tool alot for link research, but now I use…
  5. OpenSiteExplorer
    • I have a sort of on-again off-again relationship with the pro account at SEOMoz. I love the tools, especially the newest ones like Followerwonk, but the starting price for the Pro Account is $99/month and I just can’t justify that price for the regular information I need. Anyway, OpenSiteExplorer is a great tool to explore the incoming links to a site, the anchor text of those incoming links, the page and domain’s authority. You can also compare up to 5 different sites for some fantastic competitive metrics.

Do you have some great tools to share? Please comment below.

Highlighting Web pages Made Easy

by: +Joanne Marcinek

Have you ever wanted to highlight a part of an online article, either for your own future reference or to point out something specific to someone? Well, I just found a cool tool called AwesomeHighlighter.com that lets you do just that.

Once you’ve registered for an account, you can highlight text on any URL. AwesomeHighlighter will save a summary of what you’ve highlighted and create short URLs to the highlighted page that you can share using email, twitter, facebook, delicious or wordpress.

I just used it this morning to send links to my sister on several articles (important parts highlighted) on a topic of interest to us both. Check it out.