Can I quote you? Tools for writing articles based on quotations.

Photo Source: iclipart.com
Photo Source: iclipart.com

Do you use the technique of starting an article or blog post with a quotation?  It’s a fine way to generate content quickly. With the quotation, you already have the main idea and theme.  And if you use a template with it, you can almost “fill in the blanks” without a lot of effort.  (If you haven’t picked up my free template for writing with quotations, go get it here.)

I’m quite fond of using quotations and I came across one today that I wanted to use:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

It was attributed to Albert Einstein.  But I was skeptical.  I can’t count the number of times that I’ve found misattributed quotations online.  Including on quotations sites, which apparently don’t check them.  I probably have a few in past articles and posts that I wrote before I caught on that nobody was doing any fact checking on the quotations sites.

These days, I check the quotation source myself.  If I can’t find the origin, I’ll publish the quotation as “attributed to.”  Or, if it’s fairly certain that the most usual attribution is in error, I might mention that the origin is unknown but usually “mis-attributed to.”  After all, a good quotation is a good quotation, regardless of who originally said it or wrote it.  So I don’t throw away a perfectly good idea.

But, back to the supposed Einstein quotation. I did some searching and found many instances of the quotation.  With the same attribution. And I found some sources that questioned if Einstein was the author of the quotation. Then I found a tool that I’m recommending to you today.

QuoteInvestigator.com  is Garson O’Toole’s website.  He meticulously researches the origins of quotations and publishes his findings in detail.  He also has a “resources” page with links to other tools and sites.

I’ve added the site to my own resources.  I found it by using my usual method of simply typing the quotation into a search box with the words “who said” or “did x say.”

But, it’s a good idea to start with specialized sites like O’Toole’s.  A “who said” search on your favorite engine usually turns up a lot of hits, but it takes time to research them.  If you start with a site like his and find he’s already done the investigation, you may be all set.

If you don’t want to investigate the origin of quotations, at least start using “attributed to” instead of declaring authorship that you don’t know for certain.  If you are trying to build trust and authority with your content, you want to keep your facts straight.

A New Productivity Tool: List of over 200 blog post ideas

Photo Source: iclipart.com
Photo Source: iclipart.com

I follow Ryan Deiss’s blog at DigitalMarketer.com.  He and his team constantly come up with interesting ideas and share a lot of content for free.

A couple of days ago, Digital Marketer published a list article by Russ Henneberry: “The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas.” (http://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog-post-ideas/)  It’s a very long article.  In fact, he ought to rewrite it enough to meet Amazon’s standards for avoiding duplicate content and publish it as a Kindle booklet.

I know I’d pay for something of this quality — if he hadn’t already made it free.

It’s 212 blog post ideas. Explained and categorized. Not to mention that he has a downloadable mind map version.

If you have a site or blog that you have to fill with content, you can really use this handy tool.  Go get it.

Performance and Productivity Tool for Website and Social Media Engagement

I found a first-rate performance/productivity tool for you to increase user engagement on your blog, site or social media.  Look at this:

glorioussky

Isn’t that a smashing photo?  I created the text/photo combination in a couple of minutes and downloaded it for this blog. You could have it on your own blog.  Or as a visual tweet.  Or on Facebook.  Or whatever.  It’s pretty well-known that visuals create greater engagement than text alone.  Much, much greater.  It’s also well-known that visuals communicate a considerable amount more than text.  That visuals keep your reader’s attention better than text alone.  That visuals get people to stop long enough to actually read your text.

But, back to the photo above. If you got it from the same source as I did, you could put your own words on it.  Or a great quote.  You could modify the photo.

You could do many things with this and hundreds of thousands of other photos, vector drawings, textured backgrounds, color backgrounds, etc.  And you can do that in minutes.

You can then share it directly to social media and/or download it to use on your site or blog.

ShareAsImage.com has a little web-based tool that lets you put some attention-getting text into a background and automatically share it.  They provide the backgrounds and the text-creation device.  So, for example, it you wanted to share a quote or create a quote from some article you were reading online, you’d just clip the text, hit the bookmarklet for ShareAsText, pick a photo or other background, paste it in, adjust the text block, hit the share or download button and be done.

Boom! You’ve created a tweet with an image.  Which will be more likely to be noticed and retweeted than simple text.

But wait.  For a couple more days, AppSumo is running a special on the Pro version of ShareAsImage for $25 for a lifetime membership.  Considering that at this time it costs $8 per month for the Pro version, that’s an outstanding bargain.  (There is a free version that you can try out.)

Go try out ShareAsImage.com and if you like it, buy it at AppSumo.  But you need to be quick to get the $25 price.

P.S. Although the photo was marked as public domain, I like to give credit when I know who the photographer is. The photo was by Fré Sonneveld