Creating blog posts that stand out in an over-crowded space is a challenge. These days, it feels like a simple text post on its own isn’t enough. Picking an interesting idea and writing out a thoughtful post is only half the battle. After all, there are a ton of posts out there already filled with pictures, infographics and videos.
The need to create visuals and graphics to enhance your post can seem daunting at first. But if you’re not design-saavy, there are tools created with you in mind.
With the click of a mouse, you can create content that looks as if a professional customized it just for you. Even though I don’t create visuals, I personally found using a number of these tools easy to use (and even fun).
So take a look at the resources below and see if they can help make your content creation easier.
At first glance, infographics can look complicated to make. But Piktochart can make things much easier. They provide some free templates for different situations. You can customize the template to your liking by using the shapes, fonts and images available.
Besides infographics, you can also use Piktochart to create presentations, reports, and posters. Below is an infographic I fiddled around with by using a template:
2) Haiku Deck
You already know about SlideShare. But what about Haiku Deck?
Haiku Deck enables you to make beautiful decks using templates, images, and font designs. They are designed in a simple, yet elegant way so that you have a scenic backdrop for your message. Adding a deck to your blog post creates a visual element that’s easy for readers to flip through.
Do you ever feel frustrated when you see a nice image that’s perfect for your post, but then realize you can’t use it? Try using Photopin instead. Photopin is a free resource for bloggers to use that has a large database of Creative Commons photos. You can select the image size and then grab the HTML for attribution (hey, it’s only fair, right?).
Adding a downloadable freebie is a simple way to add value to blog readers at the end of the post. Providing a PDF that’s a worksheet, checklist or simply a summary of the post is a good way to make your post stand out.
If you want to make it look professional, Canva is easy to use. It provides pre-made templates, images and easy editing.
If you’re like me, you probably write your initial blog post draft in Microsoft Word or Google Drive. But even though these programs make it easier to craft your article, it can be a pain to transfer over the post to your content management system.
This is where Word2CleanHTML comes in. It takes your document and fixes it so that it’s HTML friendly. All you have to do is paste the document, click a button, and the job is done. Voila!
Linking to scientific research helps create credibility and authority. When writing a blog post, Google Scholar is a great resource to look up academic journals and studies. It’s just like typing into regular Google, except you get the output of research data. One of the best features is that you can adjust the period of research, which keeps you from having to sift through outdated data.
Find yourself rambling on in your writing? Hemingway App, named after the famous writer Ernest Hemingway, helps you simplify your writing. The app highlights words and sentences that could do with some tweaking.
Just copy and paste your work into the app and it’ll analyze your writing. The lower your grade, the more readable your writing is.
Going the extra mile with your blog post can work wonders. Your post becomes more appealing, making visitors more likely to share your content.
Don’t be afraid to experiment around and see what works. Remember, though, these are simply tools to get you started. You need to decide how you want to use them in order to increase the value of your content.
What’s a resource you like to use to give your blog post that extra shine?
Featured photo credit: Mans Hands Typing On Laptop With Smartphone, Book And Coffee/ Ed Gregory via stokpic.com