Today we have a guest post from the wonderful Sarah Arrow:

Sarah Arrow is the creator of the 30-Day Business Blogging Challenge where you can turn your content into customers.  I have been working with Sarah for many years, she has been a guest on Virtually Amazing the Podcast too. Contact Sarah for all things blogging and head over and take the blogging challenge. It really works! Read on to the end of the post.

As an assistant, blogging can sometimes feel like herding cats, can’t it? You’ve got ideas, drafts, schedules, and metrics all running wild, and of course you need to get content approval before you schedule anything!

 If you’ve ever found yourself wishing for a tool that can tame this wild beast, you might be surprised to find the solution in Microsoft Word and Excel. Yes, the same tools that probably brought you some late-night assignments and last-minute office presentations. Together, these tools will become your blogging best friends.

Section 1 : Penning Down Your Ideas – Microsoft Word

1.     The Power of Drafting

You’ve probably been using Microsoft Word for years. But did you realise that it’s more than just a digital notepad?

Spellcheck & Grammar: Word’s in-built spellcheck function is as handy as having your English teacher looking over your shoulder but far less intimidating. Just go to “Review” > “Spelling & Grammar” and let Word do the rest.

Track Changes: Collaborating with others? Use Track Changes to see every little edit. Simply click “Review” > “Track Changes.” It’s like a highlight reel of your grammatical triumphs (and mistakes).

Example: Imagine you want to see changes made by your editor. With Track Changes turned on, every edit is highlighted, allowing you to accept or reject each change.

2. Templates Galore

  • Consistency is key, they say. In Word, you can create or use existing templates for your blog posts.
  • Click “File” > “New” > search for a template or use your existing one.

Example: Create a template with your blog’s header and footer, so each post feels like part of the family.

3. Incorporating Multimedia

Adding images, charts, or tables is as simple as pie.

  • Click “Insert” > choose “Picture,” “Chart,” or “Table.”
  • Example: Want to add a chart from your recent survey? Click “Insert” > “Chart,” and choose the type. Voila, you’ve got yourself a fancy pie chart!

Section 2: Mastering the Spreadsheet – Microsoft Excel

1. The Editorial Calendar

Creating an Excel sheet to keep track of blog post ideas is like having your organised friend who loves planning, right on your computer.

  • Best Practice: Use Conditional Formatting for visual cues.
    • Highlight a cell > Click “Conditional Formatting” in the “Home” tab > Choose your criteria (e.g., highlight posts due this week in red).
    • Example: Have a column for post status. If it’s marked as “Completed,” it turns green automatically.

2. Analytics Tracking

Monitor views, engagement, and other metrics with Excel.

  • Example: Create a weekly tracker for views. If views exceed a target, use Conditional Formatting to highlight that in green. Just another reason to celebrate!

3. Collaboration Station

Excel allows you to collaborate seamlessly.

  • Click “Share” in the top right corner > Invite others via email.
  • Example: Share your Editorial Calendar with your content team, and you can all update in real time.

Section Three: Synchronising Microsoft Word & Excel

1. Linking Documents

Link Word documents in Excel or vice versa.

  • Example: In Excel, click “Insert” > “Object” > “Create from File” > “Browse” to select your Word file.

2. Automatic Updates

Set up automatic updates between Word and Excel.

  • Example: Linking a Word file within Excel? Click “Insert” > “Object” > Select “Link to file.” Now, changes in the Word file automatically update in Excel.

Section 4: Tips, Tricks, and Caveats

1. The Handy Shortcuts

  • Example: Press “Ctrl + C” to copy and “Ctrl + V” to paste.

2. File Management

  • Example: Save files in dedicated folders or use OneDrive for cloud storage.

3. Potential Pitfalls

  • Example: Keep backups to avoid loss of data.
  •  

Microsoft Word and Excel might just be the dynamic duo your blog has been waiting for. It’s a bit like finding out that your favourite teacup and saucer can also be used to bake delicious muffins (if only!). From drafting to tracking to sharing, these tools take you through every step of your blogging journey.

Ready to elevate your blogging game? Embrace Microsoft Word and Excel and turn those ideas into well-managed masterpieces. It’s a bit like having a personal assistant, without the awkward small talk. Happy blogging!

To learn how to use the Microsoft applications Word and Excel mentioned here, go to www.msofficemaestro.com and sign up for Essential Office for The Savvy Assistant, or if you want to get a team trained up, get in touch for a chat. Let’s Chat

Shelley Fishel - The MS Office Maestro
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Course is packed with so much valuable information in a easy-to-understand and follow language, even for a complete beginner. I can respect the fact that sometimes it’s very hard for an expert to break the information down to basics. but Shelley has done it brilliantly. I was sure that I knew quite a bit but Shelley has proven me wrong even at the very beginning of the basics of PowerPoint. Lessons are short and precise which allowed me to easily transfer the new skill into practice without being overwhelmed and to carry on adding on more with each lesson. I had so many ‘Aha!’ moments and for most of them I couldn’t believe I used to pay graphic designer to do it for me, now, thanks to Shelley, I am looking forward to creating, designing, converting my presentations all by myself!

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