Author Archives: Catherine Mong'ina

25 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Blog

25 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Blog

I have been blogging for 4 years and writing on E-Tech Africa for two years of that.

I’ll be honest, before I started this journey, I didn’t have a plan.

Blogging just seemed like a really cool passion project, so I went for it.

Starting out, it felt like such as whirlwind of making mistakes, rinse, and repeat.

Since then E-Tech Africa has offered me a chance to supplement my income as well as meet some great people online and offline.

My blog has also given me the chance to hone my writing skills as well as acquire online marketing skills I didn’t otherwise have.

That said there are still quite a few things I’m still learning.

In this article I’m going to share with you what I have picked up along the way.

Hopefully, you can learn from my journey and start off on the right foot or change course.

 

1. Your Blog Name Is Everything

Probably goes without saying but I cannot emphasize enough how important your blog name is.

Your blog name is your brand, both online and offline.

If I had known then what I know now I would have picked a better name from the start

The process of coming up with “E-Tech Africa” wasn’t glamorous either.

I simply wrote out a bunch of names on my notebook and picked one. In fact here’s the actual piece of paper. geeky

Scan of my old notepad

There is no proven formula that you can use to help you create a name for your blog.

I guess all it takes is a little bit of luck and creativity.

 

2. Social Media Plays a Big Part in the Success or Failure of Your Blog

As a blogger, all you have to do is write and they will come, right?

Well, that’s not how it works exactly.

This is too passive, even the best writers in the world promote their content on an ongoing basis. This is the only way people will discover you.

For bloggers, the best way for them to promote their content is through social media.

It’s important to start growing your social media audience from day one.

They will be your raving fans. Think of them as your “online tribe”.

The best approach is to focus on one social media platform at a time.

In my case, it was Twitter. I now have over 40,000 followers on Twitter accounting for over 90% of my social traffic.

If you study some of the most successful bloggers in Kenya, and the world, they all use the same approach.

It’s rare for bloggers to have dominance on all social media channels at once.

Of course, as your popularity grows you’ll start to see a trickling effect.

 

3. Blogging Is Addictive

That’s right, you’re gonna be hooked.

For bloggers, curating content is a creative outlet, there’s a feeling of accomplishment that comes along with doing it.

So if you’ve been writing for as long as I have, it’s hard to stop. Knowing this I block out an hour every day simply for writing.

Having an audience who consistently read and comment also motivates me to keep going.

I love every minute of it, it’s addictive but enjoyable too.

 

4. Blogging Will Inevitably Change Your Life.

I believe all experiences good and bad will have an impact on your life.

In my case, blogging changed my life by giving me options.

An example is it exposed me to the world of digital marketing.

Prior to me starting “E-Tech Africa” digital marketing was a foreign concept to me. Even the term “S.E.O” scared the living daylights out of me.

Now I’m using the digital marketing skills I’ve learned to promote my blog to help other online business owners grow their own brands online.

Also, the long periods of intense concentration that blogging requires have helped improve my productivity.

Recommended Read: How To Use Blogging To Protect Yourself From Unemployment

If you had told me my blog would have had this kind of impact on my life back in 2015, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.

 

5. The Best Bloggers In The World Are Also Digital Marketing Ninjas.

Unless you plan on hiring, most bloggers have digital marketing skills.

Other than coming up with creative content, your online marketing skills will set you apart from your competition.

From design, branding, copywriting, growth hacking, social media marketing, influencer outreach, back linking, search engine optimization list goes on.

These are just some of the digital marketing skills you’ll be required to master in order to successfully promote and position your blog online.

 

6. Blogging Is A Career

Looking back now, I wish I had known this before I started my blog.

If I did then I would have approached it differently, by looking at it as a job.

Instead, I wrote simply because I had something to say and I loved writing.

If you’re thinking of blogging professionally, take is seriously from the start.

And just like your regular 8 am to 5 pm job it should pay.

Right from day one think about what revenue model you would like to implement for your blog.

Recommended Read: 10 Highly Profitable Revenue Models For Your Online Business.

Creating a successful blog that generates income can take months even years.

So it’s important to ensure you’re spending your time and money on strategies that will enhance the likelihood of making money

 

7. The More You Write the Busier You Get

There are no off days as a blogger.

Every morning I wake up with to-do-lists as long as my arm.

In fact, as soon as I’m done writing and posting this article I’m going in to design 50 image quotes for my Instagram pages.

The reality is the more content you produce on your website the more you’ll get noticed.

This means more comments to engage, increased contact on social media, more emails to respond to, more guest post pitches, more invitations to events it just never stops.

If you follow a posting schedule, it gets even tougher to consistently produce content on a regular basis while managing all these moving parts.

Having a personal time management system not only keeps you motivated but also productive.

Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of feeling overwhelmed.

 

8. Focus Quality Not Quantity.

I’ve learned the no one cares about how many blog posts you’ve written in the past, all they care about is the one they’re currently reading. 

Focus on the quality of your content rather than the quantity.

Quality content leads to an increase in page views, engagement and ultimately shares.

An example of quality content would be a 5000-word article explaining all you need to know about Facebook Ads.

These types of blog posts are packed with loads of valuable information which your readers will find helpful.

To be regarded as a thought leader within your niche, then you’ll need to focus on the quality of your content.

As a start, I would recommend writing a minimum of 2000 words for every blog post you publish.

 

9. There is no Formula

Just like in business, there is no formula to success when it comes to blogging.

It’s all about hard work, persistence and 100% commitment.

A lot of work goes into your blog in the beginning and it often takes time before you can see any tangible results.

That why it’s important to practice patience and not give up.

Part of being successful also means clearly defining what metric you’ll use to define your blog’s success.

For most people success is the number of page views they receive on their website.

For others, success is defined by their profit/loss statement at the end of the month.

Keep in mind, what worked for another person might not necessarily work of you.

 

10. Your Blog Is The Unedited Version Of Yourself.

Your blog represents your individual personality and style.

In my own experience, I express my unique view of the world in through this blog.

I’ll give an example.

I didn’t study journalism, media or communications, so when I get invited to cover and write about events (which I often do) I often turn them all down.

Explaining why I don’t publish any press releases, cover recent events or break news stories.

It’s therefore important for me to maintain my individuality throughout my blogging journey.

I always say don’t try and be someone you’re not, your readers will see right through it.

Ultimately by being yourself, you’ll gain the trust and respect of your audience.

 

11. Do Your Best Work From Day one

This is one I admit not doing well in the beginning.

If you’ve had some past experience with blogging it’s easier to hit the ground running with a new blog.

However, for the majority of new bloggers, it’s often a steep learning curve.

The fastest way to learn how to be the best is by studying other bloggers.

This way you can discover what mistakes you’re making and attempt to modify them.

 

12. Avoid Comparison.

Avoid comparing your blog to similar ones within your niche.

I know it’s tough to blog, but even the best blogs in the world started with no audience.

Remember it’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon, so take your time.

It’s advisable to build your audiences from the ground up.

 

13. Build Your List From Day One.

Email marketing has been proven to be the most effective and efficient way of monetizing blogs.

As the saying goes “The money is in your list”

Successful blogs start building their email lists from day one.

It doesn’t just stop there; you’ll also need to continuously engage with your audience by sending them regular emails.

Come up with creative ways of capturing emails through your blog.

An example would be to offer a lead magnet such as an eBook in exchange for your reader’s email address.

 

14. It’s Okay to Take a Break to Get Inspired

Bloggers often get overwhelmed with constantly creating and promoting content.

That is why it’s important to takes breaks even if it means disappointing your readers.

You’ll notice I recently took time off blogging and this is actually the first article I’ve written in over a month.

Breaks will help you reenergize and stay inspired.

 

15. Perfection Is Frankly Overrated

There is no degree or diploma for blogging, that means the only way to learn how to blog, is by continuously doing it. 

Looking back now, my first few articles were terrible, yet I still got people to read them! 🙂

As a self- identified perfectionist, I’ll tell you, there is no room for perfection when it comes to blogging (or life for that matter).

Don’t overwork yourself to make things better, your blog posts are not set in stone.

As long as your content is able to effectively and clearly communicate your message, the rest are details that can be fixed along the way.

Lastly, the only way to get better at blogging is through, practice, practice, practice

 

16. Blogging Takes Time

Success in blogging is just like success in life, it takes time.

The highest earning blogs in the world are more than five years old.

Initially, a lot of hard work and sacrifice goes into your blog. Patience and consistency are ultimately what separates the winners from the losers.

Take time to also create quality content that is helpful.

As more and more people get to discover you, they’ll start to trust you.

This is trust is what will drive the revenue for your online business.

 

17. Start Simple, Get Fancy Later.

Avoid overspending on your blog, especially in the initial stages.

You don’t need a fancy website to make money.

All you need to hit the ground running is to invest in a high-quality premium theme and a reliable hosting plan.

Overspending can put a strain on your finances and may not necessarily get you the results you need.

Also, avoid the temptation of buying traffic in the beginning. Allow your audiences to grow organically.

 

18. Define Your Niche

You cannot be a master at everything, that’s why you need a niche.

If you create content that is too broad, you run the risk of confusing your readers.

People like knowing what to expect.

Pick four to six key categories that are related to your blog and clearly communicate it clearly it to everyone visiting your website.

Personally, I’ve done this by clearly writing niche under my website title.

I picked four main categories. They are; Social Media | S.E.O | Website Development | WordPress | Online Marketing.

Defining your niche allows you to focus your concentration on a few topics enabling you to create higher quality content.

 

19. Your Ideas Are Not Unique

Hate being the bearer of bad news but there’s nothing unique about your blog.

Whatever you’re thinking of writing has probably already been written.

That doesn’t mean that people don’t need the information you’re providing them because they do.

What will make your blog post unique is YOU! 

That’s why the right people to start blogging are those that have a passion for telling a story.

But the reality is your readers can get information from somewhere else not necessarily from your blog.

20. Backups are Important

There are no guarantees when it comes to technology.

It’s important to backup all your files so that in case of an interruption or failure you can recover to full operation in the quickest time possible.

I personally store backups of all my blog posts in multiple locations both online and offline.

You never know when a disaster will occur, its better being safe than sorry.

 

21. Think of Your Goal First

This is probably the biggest regret I have when it comes to blogging.

I realize now how BIG a blog can get and I wish I took it more seriously in the beginning.

It’s important to think about what you want to accomplish before you even start.

Having a goal in mind will keep you focused.

Start by writing down a list of short-term and long-term goals for your blog.

Next, find a system to help keep you accountable and on track, and before you know it, you’ll be WINNING!

 

22. S.E.O…. What’s that?!

One million blog posts are published every single day.

So how do you rise above the “noise”?

That’s where search engine optimization shortened S.E.O comes in.

To be successful in blogging you need to familiarize yourself with white hat S.E.O strategies.

While I’m not an expert in S.E.O, I know enough about the topic to optimize my content and website to the best of my knowledge.

In order for your content to rank well on search engines, you’ll need to implement both On-page and off-page S.E.O strategies.

I recommend you can start by reading this free valuable S.E.O resource guide here.

Ultimately your S.E.O knowledge will give you a head start against your competition.

 

23. You Need To Block Out Time To Write.

Writing is part of every blogger’s life.

Successful bloggers, block out a specific time every day for writing.

Personally, I dedicate an hour every day from 5:30 am to 6:30 am just for writing.

I find mornings to be the perfect time for me when my mind is fresh and there are no distractions.

I’ve also disciplined myself not to go beyond an hour of writing regardless.

 

24. Bloggers Are Avid Readers.

To be successful in blogging you need to develop the habit of reading anything and everything.

When I started blogging I discovered the more I read the better my writing became.

So I just kept going until reading become a part of me, just like writing now is.

It’s a simple equation: The More You Read = The More You Write.

 

25. Inspiration For Your Content Is Everywhere.

I recently wrote an article whose title you’re probably familiar with Enthralling Social Media and Content Marketing Lessons from Game of Thrones.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I got inspiration for the article while watching Game of Thrones surprised

Bloggers are often required to think out of the box. That may mean occasionally letting your mind wander.

Creativity also requires you to be introspective and self-aware. And I love it! 🙂

 

 

Take Home,

Rome wasn’t built in a day and same goes for a successful blog.

A lot of hard work and patience is required on your part especially in those first few months.

Be a student and learn as much as you can on blogging and make adjustments along the way.

Like I mentioned earlier, there’s no formula, just stay consistent and don’t give up.

Was this article helpful?

If so, would you consider sharing it with others who might appreciate it as well? Thanks.

As always, I would love to hear from you. Please do leave a comment below.

Drop me an email at Catherine@e-techafrica.co.ke  tell me a little bit about yourself or your business. You can also send your comments to yoursay@e-techafrica.co.ke

 

Need Help Blogging Click Here

Founder & Director of E-Technology Africa
Content Creator | Social Media Consultant | Digital Marketing Enthusiast.
Please follow me using the social media buttons below.

4 Ways Your Sales Team Can Utilize Live Chat To Capture Leads

4 Ways Your Sales Team Can Utilize Live Chat To Capture Leads

Not many years ago, the key goal of every online store, or any website in general, was to generate more traffic.

Everything was about good click through rates and low bounce rates.

But, things have changed now.

Currently, websites are not only eyeing to drive traffic but also wants to share engaging content, obtain relevant information about the online visitors, capture leads and ultimately increase the conversion rate.

In other words, it isn’t easy to have a successful online store nowadays than it used to be a decade ago.

Since the demand engaging content and generating relevant leads have gone up significantly, so has the emergence of tools that make this job somewhat easier.

One such tool is live chat, and in this article, we will discuss how your sales team can utilize it for capturing leads.

Chat Conversation

According to Forrester Research, 44% of online customers prefer a website that has a salesperson who can answer their questions via live chat and consider it as an important feature.

This to an extent proves that live chat is an amazing tool because it makes your team instantly accessible and instills a greater sense of security with your customers.

Your salesperson might not even have to put on a presentation and list out all of the available products and special offers.

In fact, many times, simply answering questions and providing the customer with a product that meets their needs will be enough to make a sale.

In order for this to work, you will need to have a well-trained customer support team with a good insight into everything your store offers.

Many online shoppers will know that they should turn to you for help but won’t know where to look for the solution to their problem.

So, having someone who understands customer needs and the product will help you increase your sales by simply chatting via live chat.

Another way to increase conversion is to collect information and to ascertain if there are quality prospects you can tap into.

If your salesperson ascertains that the visitor is a prospect, they can divert them through the sales funnel.

This is done by giving users a call to action that incentivizes them to sign up for your updates, like a newsletter, or by allowing them to download an e-book, etc.

Email Capture

In order for the chat to be truly effective, it means that someone is constantly available to revert to queries.

However, you will have customers from all across the world when you are in charge of an e-commerce shop and due to different time zones, it is not possible to have someone who simply sits and waits for potential leads 24/7.

Luckily, you do not need to be available all round the clock because with live chat you can store the chat messages offline even while you are not present.

Basically, your live chat can capture leads on its own, as it can provide you with a list of emails of potential buyers.

Another really good reason why live chat assumes relevance is the flexibility it offers.

You have seen how it can basically switch to auto-pilot and gather emails, but it also allows you to communicate with users ‘on the go’.

Usually, live chat has apps which can be installed on your Android or iOS devices.

You will receive a notification when someone is trying to reach you and you can start the conversation even while on the move.

Social Media Inclusion

If you want to generate more leads, then you need to see just how much hype you can create online, or on social networks, to be more specific.

It would be wise to reach out to people who are actually discussing your product, yet never visited your website somehow.

By searching for the right hashtags or simply using search features to find out how many people mentioned your brand or product, you can discover a whole new base of potential customers who can be tapped.

Also, instead of limiting your conversation to 140 characters, you can Tweet the link to your live chat, where a more meaningful interaction can be achieved.

These links can also be embedded on your social media profiles or included in your emails if you want to increase interaction with your users.

Word Of Mouth Referrals

You might be wondering how can live chat count as a word of mouth referral?

Well, you are right, it doesn’t.

However, live chat can actually trigger word of mouth referrals, which is still the most potent form of marketing, and for conversion.

People trust the opinion shared by friends, family members and they will refer you if you give them emotional stimuli.

In order to inspire your customers to refer you, they must have a positive shopping experience, which can be achieved via live chat conversations.

If they have an insightful conversation with your support team, they will tell their friends about it.

Conclusion

To sum up, getting a live chat software for your website should be a no-brainer; after all, it has a lot of benefits that make the whole shopping process more convenient and it has a positive impact on sales.

So, do keep the suggestions in mind and start utilizing your live chat to its full potential.

Founder & Director of E-Technology Africa
Content Creator | Social Media Consultant | Digital Marketing Enthusiast.
Please follow me using the social media buttons below.

Top 17 Bookmarking Apps That Pretty Much Save Everything You Discover Online

Top 17 Bookmarking Apps That Pretty Much Save Everything You Discover Online

Have you stumbled across something interesting online and kept the window open to read it later?

Then accidentally closed your browser?

It’s a common problem.

Bookmarking has become a way of browsing the internet because you’re not always in a place to read instantly.

Whether you want to plan your next day trip or revisit your favourite web pages, bookmarking apps help you track the posts you want to remember.

As a blogger, I consume lots of content from news, background research to industry trends.

Being able to access and find information quickly is crucial for me.

That is why I use bookmarking apps to stay organised and avoid the 50-tabs open syndrome.

The downside of using the browser extension within the browser itself is it doesn’t give you a way to organise your bookmarks.

With the help of extensions/tools, you can have all your bookmarked pages in one place.

These tools allow you to add, edit, delete and organise the web pages you’ve bookmarked.

Here’s my curated list of some of the most innovative bookmark manager tools for 2017.

 

1. Start.Me

FREE

I’ve been using Start.me for a while and I absolutely love it!

It has a great user interface, really simple and best part it did a great job of organising all my existing bookmarks.

Start.me is a web-based personal start page with an integrated bookmarks manager.

The tool supports news feeds and has a library with thousands of widgets that help connect to popular services and custom data sources.

Screenshot of my Start.me Dashboard

 

By being able to properly organise your favourite websites, you will save valuable time not having to search for the address of a site.

I would highly recommend you give Start.me a try.

Key features:

  • Keyword alerts
  • Embed Analytics
  • Offers calendar support
  • Bookmarks are stored in the cloud
  • Categorises your bookmarks
  • Keeps the news you value in view

2. BookMark Ninja

$23.88/Month – 30 Day Free Trial

Bookmark Ninja is a cloud-based tool that allows you to access your bookmark from any device.

That means all the bookmarks that you create whether on desktop or mobile they’re instantly available.

The tool also allows you to email the link to the page you want to save to add[at]bookmarking[dot]com from your registered email.

Your email automatically gets added to a list.

Bookmark Ninja also lets you create your own category and tabs, so each time you add a new link it gets added into a category.

Key features:

  • Cloud-based service
  • Email links to your dashboard
  • Categorise and Manage bookmarks
  • Adds tags to your bookmarks

 

3. Google Bookmarks

FREE

This is a free service offered by Google and can be used with any browser.

There is nothing impressive about this extension other than the fact that it allows you to easily bookmark links.

It’s a simple bookmark manager app.

This app is not the same as the default extension offered by Google Chrome.

Key features:

  • Is best for Firefox browser users
  • Allows you to have subfolders
  • It is the best cross-browser usable bookmark service
  • Categories, tags and changing folders is much easier in Google bookmarks.

 

 

4. Diigo

FREE

Diigo lets you bookmark pages from the browser to your Diigo.com account using its simple, light app.

The tool allows you to organise everything from text notes, pictures, links and bookmarks into lists added to your library.

It’s more than just a bookmarking service, it a new kind of online collaborative research tool.

Diigo integrates tags and folders, highlighting and clipping sticky notes enabling a new process of online knowledge management.

Key features:

  • Personal research tool
  • Collaborative research platform
  • Social content site
  • Knowledge sharing community

 

5. Dewey Bookmarks

FREE

Dewey is a browser extension for tagging, searching and sorting your Google chrome bookmarks.

The tool displays your bookmarks in a grid with each bookmark displayed as a card.

It also lets you sort the grid by date, title or web address.

Unfortunately, this extension only works with Google Chrome browser.

Key features:

  • Displays bookmarks in a grid
  • Sorting available
  • Allows grouping into folders
  • Enables editing of bookmarks URL or title.

 

6. Bookmarks Tagger

FREE

This is yet another Google chrome extension tool that allows you to add tags to your new and existing bookmarks.

The extension is available on the Chrome Web store.

When you want to add a new bookmark you simply hit the button, and add your tags.

You can then retrieve the pages quickly from the address bar itself.

Key Features:

  • Tags new and existing bookmarks
  • Built-in bookmarking feature in Chrome
  • It’s simple to search.

 

7. Hush Bookmarks

FREE

 

When you’re browsing in Chrome’s Incognito mode, private bookmarks gives you a way to hide and show a special list of bookmarks.

To access your bookmarks you may need a Password.

With this extension, you can manage all your bookmarks more efficiently.

You can also create folders for all your bookmarks for easy access.

Key features

  • Safe and secure
  • Password protect all your bookmarks
  • Bookmarks are completely encrypted
  • Gives you a special list if bookmarks just in incognito mode.

 

8. Own Cloud Bookmarks

FREE

 

Available as a chrome extension it allows you to manage and organise your bookmarks a lot easier.

The tool allows you to sort and organise your bookmarks into distinct categories.

If you want to add a bookmark to the bookmarks application, you can either use the main interface or the bookmarklet.

A “Bookmarklet” is a small button that you can drag and drop in your bookmarks.

Key features:

  • Edit/Delete a bookmark
  • Search for bookmarks
  • “Bookmarklet” feature
  • Save bookmarks into categories

 

9. Neater Bookmarks

FREE

Neater bookmarks manage your bookmarks in an efficient and compact manner.

The tool is available is a Google Chrome extension.

When you install the extension your bookmarks are arranged like a tree with indentations to the folder or subfolder.

The options of the extension also let you control how the bookmarks are opened.

Key features:

  • Gives your browser a tree like a view
  • Can retain your previous bookmarks menu view
  • User-friendly browser extension
  • Compatible with Google Chrome.

 

10. Save to Pocket

FREE

 

Save to pocket is a popular “Read it later” app available for iOS and Android.

You can browse and search your saved items in Pocket and seamlessly share them.

Just recently Pocket for Firefox was launched allowing Firefox users to save content using the pre-installed Pocket button.

The idea at the core of the service is you have one Pocket account but numerous apps can plug into it to save content for later.

Key Features:

  • Saving an article for later takes just a moment
  • Create simple browser bookmarks
  • Dedicated space for all links
  • Improves reading experience

 

11. Skloog

FREE

Skloog is a simple organisation tool that allows you to access all your favourites websites by simply clicking on their logo.

The tool also allows you to arrange all your favourite websites into categories. Each category is then displayed as a tab on your Skloog dashboard.

You can access your bookmarks easily by searching it by entering its first few letters.

Key features:

  • Sorts your bookmarks by URL, name, date they were added
  • Let’s you search the web right from your start page
  • Optimises your browsing experience
  • Quick access to all your favourite sites

 

12. Instapaper

FREE

In my opinion, Instapaper is the best “Read it Later” service on the internet. It works similarly to Pocket.

The tool offers you a simple way to save and store articles for reading: offline, on-the-go, anytime, anywhere.

Just recently, November 2016, Instapaper dropped its monthly subscription offering its service ad-free to all users.

Key Features:

  • Sort by length, read progress, or popularity
  • Option of sorting into folders
  • Able to share individual passages of articles
  • Ties into the web automation service IFTTT.
  • Ability to save articles via email.

 

13. Historious

FREE

Historious saves a copy of bookmarked web pages saving you time by helping you find them easily.

You can bookmark your sites with a single click.

The tool allows you to search for any word in the content of the pages you’ve already bookmarked.

Key features:

  • Simple search tool
  • Records cached version of the pages you’ve bookmarked
  • Bookmark your favourite sites with just a single click.

 

14. Evernote Web Clipper

FREE

Evernote is the world’s most popular note taking app.

If you’re not already familiar with this amazing app start by reading my review here

Evernote web clipper browser extension allows you to clip anything and everything you find online and add it to your notebooks.

You can access Evernote from your browser, PC, mobile or tablet.

All your saved links, pdf files and photos are stored on the cloud and synchronised across all your devices.

Key Features:

  • Captures everything; if you can see it or think it, Evernote can help you remember it.
  • Everything you capture is organised into Notebooks
  • You can find anything fast through its advanced search filters
  • Let’s you save interesting stuff you find on the web.

 

15. Zoho Notebook

FREE

Zoho Notebook is an equally fantastic note taking app which is relatively unknown.

It’s a great tool to help you build your own personal online notebook.

As soon as you start the app, you will be brought to a screen that showcases the apps best-handcrafted covers.

Key Features:

  • Visually organise your notes into notebook
  • Offers tutorials on how to group your notes
  • Intuitive interface
  • Easily links to your Facebook and Google account.
  • All your notes are saved automatically on the cloud and synced across different devices.

 

16. Xmarks

FREE

 

Xmarks is a browser add-on compatible with internet explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.

You can synchronise all your bookmarks online across multiple browsers.

The tool goes a step further and is capable of synchronising passwords between computers, even if different browsers are installed.

Xmarks is the easiest way to ensure that your bookmarked websites can be accessed from ay computer.

Key features:

  • Password synchronization
  • Bookmarks can be accessed from any computer
  • Provides additional information about websites including visitor reviews

 

17. Simple Note

FREE

The simple note app offers a simple way of taking plain text notes online.

The tool is a web-based application with client interfaces for a great number of platforms.

Simple note allows you to search through all your notes almost instantly.

Key Features:

  • Simple web and mobile app
  • Syncs your notes to Dropbox if your wish
  • Search through all your bookmarks and notes easily.

 

Over to You,

It’s so easy to read an article or discover a cool web page you like, only to forget it and never find it again.

With bookmark manager tools there’s no reason you have to lose stuff you find online.

With little effort, you can have a curated list of all your favourite pages neatly organised in one place.

Switching between desktop to mobile?

No problem, these online bookmarking remain the same no matter what device or browser you’re using.

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Founder & Director of E-Technology Africa
Content Creator | Social Media Consultant | Digital Marketing Enthusiast.
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13 Reasons You Need Help Authoring For Your Business

13 Reasons You Need Help Authoring For Your Business

We all know the business advantages of adopting an authoring functionality to help manage online help content, create and format content, and monitor and review content usage.

The payoff for business from an effective system comes in the form of productivity gains, cost efficiencies, and a skilled workforce.

One of the enduring keys for sustainable business success is to deliver exceptional customer service.

Help documentation is one of the unsung heroes of customer support as it is often the first point of contact for information about a product’s features, user manuals, schematics and similar FAQs.

 

Why HATs?

Increasingly, we are seeing Help Authoring Tools (HAT) play a productive role in creating a logic-based system that helps both customer service agents and customers understand the often-complex features and benefits of the products and services they purchased.

Once the user guides and instruction manuals have been drafted, they need to be configured in the different software formats to ensure they are easily accessible to customers.

HATs allow an easy transfer of information into these different formats.

When a knowledge base is complete and populated with its information and documents, it will receive constant updates and frequent revisions.

This may involve totally restructuring the information and documentation held in the knowledge base.

A Help Authoring Tool can streamline this process, significantly reduce both the conversion time and resources required to complete the update process.

 

13 Reasons Why You Need HATs

There are many advantages of using HATs. They provide a working platform to create helping material such as articles and definitions.

They allow a business to improve its customer support and provide a method for future growth of information.

Here, are 13 reasons to take advantage of HATs in your business:

 

1. Handles Data in Different Formats

Almost all HATs are capable of multiple format creation.

A HAT ensures the hassle is taken out of the conversion process and all information and documentation are readily converted to the desired software program and format required.

2. Build A Knowledge Base

Clearly when information is not centralized and less readily available then problems start to happen.

Help authoring tools allow teams, particularly geographically dispersed teams to centralize information, create guides and manuals, which in time will turn into a dynamic knowledge base.

3. Collaborate In Real Time

Help authoring tools provide collaborative options, which stakeholders and team members to come together to revise, edit and structure information in real time.

Providing organizations with the option of “creating collaboratively” creates a strong incentive to improve learning and reduce the time it normally takes to create manuals, guidelines or other documentation.

4. Add-On Features

HATs are software programs designed to help make the creation and updating of help content easier and less time intensive.

HATs software programs come with many add-on features such as media libraries and listed elements to extend their functionality.

5. Powerful, Intuitive Search

As content grows, retrieving information often becomes more difficult. By incorporating search engine technology, help authoring tools significantly reduce the time it takes to search for content.

For Help Centers, this means users can just type the word or phrase they need to look up and the HAT displays their answers instantly.

6. View Content From Any Device

Help authoring tools have also adapted to the multiple formats and devices that users use to access content online such as smartphones and tablets.

This allows content to be viewed from a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Hence, help authoring tools can be consulted on demand.

7. Create Content In Multiple Formats

Whether you are authoring an eBook or a PDF file, help authoring tools allow content to be published and shared using multiple formats including the web (HTML).

This provides organizations with the flexibility to create the information they require based on context and user demand.

8. Trouble Spotting

Many instruction manuals and help documentation are lengthy and convoluted, as they strive to document a range of content topics.

Most HATs comes bundled with built-in analyzers.

These tools automatically run checks on the documents for broken links and flag duplication even as it clusters media elements together in easy to read lists.

9. Eliminating Language Barriers

Imagine that you are working on a project in Japan and need to consult a design manual.

If that document is written in a foreign language, it may be difficult to understand.

Help authoring tools integrate with specific translation add-ons, which automatically translate the content.

10. Imagery

Images are an important part of any help documentation as visual representation is often the only viable method of communicating the information to the end user.

HATs have built-in image resolution tools change image size and resolution.

11 Relevant Content

One key function bundled into help authoring tools is enabling users to comment and provide feedback on the information they use.

In design environments, often processes are updated or modified as new solutions emerge.

When teams are given the opportunity to expand on this information and keep track of changes, organizations discover new ways to accelerate their learning cycle as knowledge is shared instantly.

12. Monitor Content Usage And Relevance

Although organizations are attracted to leveraging a knowledge base, organizations are similarly interested in identifying content reuse and relevance.

Help authoring tools help keep track of relevant content and monitor usage trends.

13. Reduced Customer Tickets

Your Help Center continuously encounters similar problems repeating over and over again.

Solving them rarely fixes the root cause, leading up pattern repeating.

HATs help structure and document FAQs enabling customers to self-serve for common FAQ s.

Over time this reduces the number of tickets generated and reduces dependency on human service agents.

Conclusion

For any knowledge base to be used effectively, it is essential that it should be accessible.

Online help systems improve customer support and ensure that users can learn directly about their products.

Help authoring tools encompass much more than simply FAQs.

They help create an online knowledge base, which can assist knowledge utilization and increase help team productivity.

Organizations can benefit greatly from the simple functions that they provide.

Founder & Director of E-Technology Africa
Content Creator | Social Media Consultant | Digital Marketing Enthusiast.
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