Wordpress

4 Writing Resources for Bloggers

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Medium

Medium is a hub for writers. The platform was built to unite people sharing stories, viewpoints and original ideas all within a clean reading experience. You can customize your feed to showcase your favorite topics, writers, and publications. All the content that matters to you will be right at your fingertips on the Medium platform. Medium also serves as a content creation tool where users can publish their own stories. In addition, paid members receive access to exclusive content from their favorite publications such as Fast Company, The Guardian, New York Times, etc. 

Ghost

Ghost is a seamless authoring experience. With Ghost, you’ll be able to assign multiples roles for authors, editors and administrators within your own publishing platform. The program allows you to invite your whole team to collaborate, with dedicated public user profiles for everyone. You can also build almost any type of category, section, format or flow using tags as well as schedule posts in advance. Ghost is also customizable, allowing you to add a logo and create navigation menus. Ghost can power blogs, magazine and journalists from Zappos to Sky News.

Draft

Draft is a great resource for writers who make multiple edits and changes throughout the writing process. With Draft, you can edit documents and any changes that you make will automatically sync to the cloud or the platform that you imported the content from, such as Evernote, Google Docs, and iCloud Notes. Draft documents can easily be published to Wordpress, Tumblr, Ghost, Svbtle, Blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, Basecamp and even Mailchimp.

Writefull

Writefull will help to make you a better writer by giving feedback and checking your text against databases of the correct language. The app or Chrome extension uses a large language database to search for the frequency of chunks of text from academic papers and reports, books and web pages. The screenshot above shows an example of when Writefull can help a writer choose the most appropriate phrase depending on the context of the particular sentence. Writefull can also define certain words or phrases from dictionary databases.

By adding these 4 resources to your writing repertoire, you’ll be able to produce higher quality content in less time and also reach readers who are interested in your writing.

The 411 on GIFs

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With social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr on the rise, it should be no surprise that image-based social media posts are all the rage right now. According to this report, between 65-85% of people say they are visual learners and psychologically consumers love imagery and seeing visually appealing content. But it's not just images that are taking over social media; it's GIFs (pronounced Jif - like the peanut butter; although there is some debate, the creator of GIFs has spoken). GIFs are short, moving images that are most likely to put a smile on your face.  Now that you know what a GIF is, it's time to learn how to use them to your advantage. First, you will need to find a suitable GIF for the type of content you're going to pair it with. I should warn you, though, picking out a GIF is the hardest part of this procedure as there is an endless amount of relevant and downright laughable GIFs to chose from. Check out websites like Giphy.com to find a pre-made GIF or if you want to make your own, check out Giffffr.com, imgflip.com , or makeagif.com.

If you are experienced in Adobe Photoshop, here is a tutorial on how to make your own using Photoshop. We tested out some of the make-your-own GIF sites and found them to be fairly straight forward. For example, on makeagif.com, you just copy and paste the URL from a Youtube video, pick the start and end time from the video for your GIF, and click create!

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After you have picked or created the GIF of your dreams, it's time to upload it. Simply download (or right click and save) the GIF to your computer and upload it as an image, make sure it's saved with ".gif" as the extension. This is the best way to use a GIF when emailing, tweeting or blogging content. When posting a GIF to Facebook, you'll need to post the full URL ending in ".gif" to share it. Unfortunately, only personal Facebook pages (not brands' pages) can upload a GIF so that it plays without opening another window. Hopefully, Facebook will soon allow brand pages to follow suit. Also, Giphy.com has recently developed a plug-in for Gmail so that you can email a GIF at the click of a button, rather than saving a GIF and uploading it as an image. More plug-ins for Facebook Messenger and GroupMe are in the works, as well.

Now that you know more about GIFs, it's time for you to up your content game! Here's a great article on how 5 major brands are using GIFs to make the most of their marketing content.

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