Archive of ‘Resources’ category

Unique Blogging Tools & Resources-Part 1

One of the most exciting things about being a blogger is finding new ways to improve your blogging experience. Whether that’s by implementing a new plugin to give your site extra functionality, finding an untapped traffic source to boost your reader numbers, discovering a resource that will help you create more entertaining posts, or learning of a website that’ll reignite your blogging mojo.

Here, we’ve listed a  few blog tools and resources you may not have heard of. Tommorrow we will be posting a few more unique blogging tools and resources to help you build a great blog!

Lanyrd

What is it? A social-media conference directory.
Why is it worth bookmarking? Sometimes, the best places to learn about all things online, is offline. And getting to know your readers and fellow bloggers IRL (in real life) is a highly rewarding experience. This is where Lanyrd is useful—use it to find blog conferences by topic or location. Find out who’s going, their Twitter handle, and other conferences they plan to attend.
Bonus info: Can’t make it to the event? Lanyrd collates numerous resources covering it, including write-ups, videos, slide decks and photos. Learn what went on, even if you weren’t there.

BlogDash

What is it? A tool designed for blogger outreach.
How does it work? For publicists, it claims to provide the tools required to reach bloggers who’ll care about their story. For bloggers, it lets you set up your preferences for how you like to be pitched—email? LinkedIn? Twitter? The choice is yours. BlogDash also lets you select the type of opportunities you’re open to receiving, such as products to review or events to cover.
Bonus info: More than 25,000 bloggers are currently listed.

TinyLetter

What is it? A very simple newsletter tool you can use for free.
Why is it worth bookmarking? If you’ve ever wanted to charge your readers for a newsletter subscription, but lacked the technical set-up know-how, TinyLetter is as simple as they come. Simply create your account, decide what you’ll charge per month (or of you’ll charge at all), and embed the sign-up form on your blog. Easy.
Other options? The Letterly.net concept is similar, however readers must pay to subscribe.

50+ Free Resources for Writers, Bloggers, And Other Freelancers

 Do you maintain a blog for your freelance business? Are you a freelance writer, blogger, or someone who writes regularly? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this article is for you. From organization, to finding ideas, to doing the research — there are dozens of free resources that can help you write better. In this post, we’ve found 50 that we think will be valuable to you.

Here are 50 free resources to help your writing or blogging efforts:

Types of Free Resources for Writers and Bloggers


We’ve found 50 different free resources for writers and bloggers. The resources listed here will help you:

  • Write or Blog
  • Research
  • Organize
  • Check your work
  • Illustrate your work
  • Find work
  • Get connected

Let’s start with resources to help you write or blog.

Resources to Help You Write or Blog

There are many free tools available online to help the freelance writer or blogger. The following list includes several of the best free writing and blogging tools that we’ve found:

  1. WordPress — Import this popular content management system to a private domain or host it directly on the wordpress.com site. (WordPress is also available as a mobile app.)
  2. Blogger — Provides a platform for creating and hosting blogs.
  3. Advanced Marketing Institute’s Headline Analyzer — Analyze headlines for intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual strength.
  4. Open Office Suite — Productivity suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet, slideshow tool, graphic tool, and database.
  5. RoughDraft – Donationware word processor designed specifically for writers.
  6. Jarte – Tabbed word processor includes many advanced features such as dictionary and thesaurus lookup. (Includes WordWeb.)
  7. Zoho Writer — Part of the Zoho productivity suite which has a wide range of applications ranging from an email service (Zoho Mail) to conferencing software (Zoho Meeting).
  8. Google Docs — Allows you to create and share documents online.

Resources to Help You Research

There are many online resources to help freelance writers and bloggers. Here are just a few:

  1. Meriam-Webster Dictionary — Free online dictionary.
  2. Reference.com — Contains a full suite of reference tools including a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, and translator.
  3. Refdesk.com — Reference tool to help you access a wide variety of information.
  4. Word Web — A simple dictionary and thesaurus utility that you can download. (A more advanced version is available for a price.)
  5. InfoPlease.com — Another good way to locate data online.
  6. Encyclopedia.com — Search multiple online encyclopedias.
  7. Symbols.com — Describes the history and meaning of symbols.
  8. Library of Congress — Use the world’s largest library to discover what you need.
  9. History.com — Website for the popular History television channel contains a wide variety of historical information.

Resources to Help You Get Organized

There are many free resources to help writers and bloggers organize their thoughts, or their work. Here are a few:

  1. Bubble.us — Create and share mind maps online.
  2. FreeMind — Java-based mind mapping software.
  3. Remember the Milk — Mobile friendly to do list.
  4. ToDoist — Another mobile-friendly to do list utility.
  5. Evernote — Create virtual sticky notes that you can access when you need them.

Resources to Help You Check Your Work

Here are some free tools that writers and bloggers can use to check their work:

  1. Article Checker — Checks for duplicate online content.
  2. The Owl at Purdue — Contains many grammar and style resources.
  3. Elements of Style — Classic writing text, now available online.
  4. Graviax — Open source grammar checker.
  5. Word Count Plus — Free Firefox add on utility.
  6. Word Count Tracker — Online utility that not only counts words, it can count pages and posts too.
  7. Keyword Density Analyzer — Measure the keyword density of any website.
  8. Google Analytics — Register your website and learn about your traffic.
  9. Website.Grader — Type in your website URL and this site will tell you whether your website is effective. (The grader.com family of tools also includes tools to measure your effectiveness on Twitter, the effectiveness of your press release, and the effectiveness of your book marketing.)
  10. Textalyser — Provides a number of helpful statistics about your writing.
  11. Citation Machine — Allows you to properly cite your sources based on several popular style guides.

Resources to Illustrate Your Work

Freelance writers and bloggers often need images to illustrate their work. Here are some sources of royalty-free images. (Always read the license agreement associated with a particular image before using it.)

  1. Wikimedia Commons — Many images on Wikimedia Commons are available for reuse.
  2. Stock.xchng — Popular source of royalty-free images.
  3. Flickr — Many photos are available for reuse.
  4. Morguefile — Another source of free photos.

Resources to Help You Find Work

While there are many places to find writing or blogging jobs, online three of the best sites include:

  1. Freelance Writing Jobs — Posts new writing jobs daily Monday through Friday.
  2. About Freelance Writing — Posts writing jobs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  3. AllFreelanceWriting — Has a job board for freelancers.

Social Media Resources

It’s important for freelance writers and bloggers to get connected. Social media is a great free way of doing that. Here are some of our favorite social media sites:

  1. Twitter — Networking in 140 characters or less.
  2. Facebook — Offers a great way to connect with friends and family as well as colleagues.
  3. LinkedIn — Professional networking. (There is a premium version that costs money.)

There are many other social media resources, of course, and most of them are free. You may find others that work well for your freelancing business.

Other Resources

Here are some other resources that you may find helpful:

  1. Timesheets Lite — Track your time. (There is a new version of this software that costs $32, but the older version is free.)
  2. PayPal — Receive money online.
  3. CutePDF — Create PDF files.
  4. 7Zip — Compress and archive or email files with this open source software.
  5. Freelance Switch Rates Calculator — Helpful in determining what rate you should charge clients.
  6. U.S. Copyright Office — Learn about copyright law.
  7. Legal Guide for Bloggers — Maintained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this guide discusses legal issues that bloggers may face.

Share Your Free Resources

We’ve shared 50 different free resources for freelance writers and bloggers. Now it’s your turn to share your favorite resources in the comments.

Tagging Your Posts in WordPress

When you write a new post in WordPress, you have the ability to add Post Tags before you publish your content — this is commonly referred to as ‘tagging’ – but many people don’t know why they should do it, so they often ignore this feature.

Use tags to add some extra meta data, or key words, to your posts.  Search engines use those little tags as key words for their search purposes, and visitors to our site can click on tags to find other articles you’ve written that include those topics.

You may be wondering:  “What is the difference between categories and tags? ” – Think of your categories as your Table of Content and the Tags will be your index. If I wanted find a specific subject/topic, I could search the Tags to see if something specific has been posted. The categories would be used if I was searching for broad topic.  Tags should be short-no more than three word phrases.

Tags can also be looked as being keywords for each page/article you create. These keywords are  sought out and indexed by search engines. Using tags can make it easier for your articles to be found when people search for a topic….with that being said it’s time to make sure you have tags for each of your pages and articles!

How To Build A Better Blog

 

31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a downloadable e-book (actually it’s more like a workbook) designed to help you revitalize your blog by giving you 31 tasks that will all help to turn it into the page view powerhouse you’ve always dreamed of.

 The tasks are really easy to complete and don’t require much of your time.  I like the way the book gives you one task for each day and it also explains the WHY behind the task!  If you are like me, I always want to know WHY I should be doing something!  My time is valuable so I don’t like to waste it.  Another great feature about the book is that you don’t have to complete all of the tasks in 31 days….you can do 1 task a week or even 1 task a month.  The goal is to work thru each task on your own schedule and at your own pace.

You also get a bonus Podcast with the book.  This was my first podcast and I really enjoyed it!  It’s 1 hour Question and Answer session that included some of the most frequently asked questions by bloggers who want to take their blog to the next level.

Some of the different lessons include:

    How to write a variety of different types and styles of posts

    How to promote your blog in a variety of ways

    How to build relationships with readers

    How to reach out to and developed working relationships with other bloggers

    How to develop an editorial calendar for your blog going forward

No the book is not free but at cost of only $19.95, it’s very affordable and it does have a money back guarantee. For a limited time you can get a 25% discount by using the coupon code: november25. If you are serious about building a great blog, this is a must have tool!

Check out the book and let us know what you think about it. Click here to learn more about the book and to download your copy.

How To Blog Webinars

 

Webinars are one way that How-to-Blog.tv seeks to answer the questions that you have as a beginning, intermediate and advanced blogger.  The upcoming webinar schedule highlights many of the basics of blogging including: automation for social networks, analyzing your traffic, optimizing your site for SEO and the best way to use images on your blog.

Click here to register for any of the future webinars: How-to-Blog Webinar Registration

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