As a blogger, I have a tendency to throw off a blog post as a stream of consciousness sort of thing and then go back and edit. Because I like to blog in my own voice I tend to have less than flawless Grammar and my writing style is pretty simple. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I know I can do better. Recently I discovered a Chrome app called Grammarly and my writing instantly improved at least 30% (more if I’m honest about it).
Grammarly finds typos and grammar mistakes that even MS Word doesn’t always find, makes suggestions to clarify what I’m talking about and even recommends synonyms. I can use it right in the browser, so it works on social networks, Gmail, Tumblr, Medium and right in WordPress.
Now, let’s say you want to step up your writing a bit but you don’t want to spring for a copy editor. The Hemmingway App points out long, wordy and hard to read sentences and suggests how to make your writing more readable and suggest changes that make your writing the best it can be. You can use it right in the browser or download a desktop app, whatever works best for you.
Blogging and sharing on social media these days really requires unique and approachable images. Those stuffy old stock photos are not gonna cut it. Check out my List.ly list of free image resources for quality free images and then use apps like Canva.com or Buffer’s Pablo to create great images without a graphic designer.
Journaling for topics. I’m constantly thinking of topics I want to cover. Maybe they need to be fleshed out a bit, a little research or I’m just not in the right place to blog about them right now. What to do? I keep a journal of topics and half-started blog posts. When I’ve got time to finish them or I really need a new post and have nothing to talk about I go back to my journal and find a whole pile of things to spark my imagination.
Originally I used Evernote for this, and I still have quite a few ideas floating around in there, but a recent find has taken it’s place. Day One Journal allows me to dictate on my phone or desktop using SIRI and write just the way I like to. There is a desktop, iPhone, iPad and Mac desktop app. If you are working on a travel post and are taking photos as you go, Day One can keep everything in context for you by adding a map, EXIF data from images, time, date, music you were listening to and even your step count. Day one allows you to tag and sort your data too so its super easy to find just the information you’re looking for. Then you can publish via email, Tweets, PDFs or HTML.