As the writing world converted from pencil and paper to computers and software such as Word, the tech world started creating novel and useful applications that have made the process of writing, well, easier in a sense. You still have to come up with your own ideas, or at least ones with a unique angle, and actually write your article, screenplay, novel or blog post. But blogging tools and apps do make the process of research, compilation of notes and ideas, and adding images and other media to your work a great deal simpler.
The following free blogging tools will help you, in some cases, craft a story from beginning to end, and share it with the world.
Search for content from around the Web on the Storify platform, or from its own database. Drag images, Tweets, videos, links to other articles onto a page to create a post. Add a title, deck, and comments throughout, and you’ve got a blog post ready to share. You can embed the post on your own blog site as an article or slideshow, create a PDF, or share the story directly from Storify and make the site your main blog.
I’ve been using Google Docs for awhile, and it’s an all around fantastic free writing application. I use the app to write blog posts, eBooks, reports and more. You can publish eBooks directly from Google Docs using the free publishing software Liberio. In addition, I use Google Sheets to create my blog and social editorial calendars. I haven’t used Google Slides yet, as Apple’s Keynote is a great application for that, but it’s part of the Google Drive apps. All your documents from all apps are stored in the cloud storage platform Google Drive. I have Google Drive on my iPad and on my iPhone so I can access my documents from anywhere.
Skitch is a great screen capture tool that integrates with Evernote. You can annotate screenshots with text and shapes, crop and share or save as PDF, PNG, JPG and other formats. The images are automatically saved in a Skitch Evernote notebook. Install the extension on your browser, and with one click, you can take a screenshot of anything on your browser or desktop.
Tumblr is described as a social media networking site, and a microblogging site. However, I’ve seen people use it as full-on blog site. I use it in several ways. For social media networking, I save links on interesting articles I find from throughout the Web as drafts. I later share them on my Tumblr page with brief comments, which are then auto-published to my other social media pages (the next tool explains how I auto-publish to all my sites). For blogging, I use certain linked articles for ideas to created full-length blog posts of my own. You can also reblog posts you find on Tumblr, and add your own comments before publishing.
The acronym stands for If This, Then That. It’s an app that allows you to connect various social and other Web tool channels to create what’s called “recipes.” You can use recipes for anything such as getting weather alerts texted to you, receive daily digests from your favorite Website delivered to your inbox, or save trending stories to Pocket. I use it to auto-publish my Tumblr posts to my other social media pages. For blogging, I save certain Tumblr posts as drafts to my WordPress site. I’ll later flesh out the drafts to create full-length posts for my blog. There are tons of other uses for the Ifttt app, and it’s one of my favorites for linking all my social media channels and blogs.
Writing in and of itself is not an easy task, but these free blogging tools will help you come up with ideas for blog posts, as well as simplify the process of creating a full-length post with images and other media.