There are many tools that can take your blogging game to the next level. And the good news is, most of these tools are free and easy to use! During my time freelancing, I’ve found some great resources to support my writing process. Here are some of the apps and websites I use for blogging.
To help me concentrate while I write blogs, I use Brain.fm. The app plays ambient music that’s formulated to help you focus. They also have music to help you relax and sleep. I’ve found a huge increase in productivity while using the app.
I use Self Control for Mac to block distracting websites for blocks of time while I work. This usually includes Facebook and Reddit. I block them for portions of the day so I don’t end up checking them repeatedly while I work.
There are many places where you can write your blog entries. You can write directly in a blogging platform like WordPress or Medium. Doing this gives you the convenience of having your blog posts all in one place, but adds the distraction of being online and able to click around your site.
Another option is writing in Word or Pages and disconnecting your internet access while doing so. It’s rumored that novelist Johnathan Franzen writes all of his books on a computer with no internet access to avoid the possibility of distraction.
I write all of my blogs in Google Docs. I prefer this platform because the layout is plain and doesn’t distract me. It updates every few seconds so I never have to worry about whether my work will be lost. In addition, should I want someone to read over one of my posts before publishing, I can easily share the Google Doc.
I also use the free tool Grammarly for Chrome. This is similar to spell check where it underlines words that are spelled wrong or grammatically incorrect. Although I have a degree in English, I don’t always remember every single grammar rule – there are a lot! I had to complete an entire course on grammar to receive my degree and it was one of the hardest classes I took.
There are many free stock images sites out there. My favorite is Librestock which searches 47 free stock image websites. This is where I find all of the images that I use on my blog.
When I need to create an image or add some text to an existing image, I use Canva. I’ve been using Canva for 2+ years and I love it. Eventually, I’d like to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, but until then Canva does a great job for my current needs. Both of these resources offer basic functionality with a free account.
Once I post a blog, I use other tools to promote it which I’ll discuss in a future post.
The most important thing about writing a post is actually sitting down and doing it. Remember, BICHOK is the key to writing – Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard. If you spend enough time writing eventually you’ll produce something useful, entertaining, or interesting.