Writing a story is tough, and there are multiple moving pieces in each post or article that journalists and bloggers need to consider before publishing.
When it comes to apps and sites, who doesn't love one that will actually make the day-to-day easier?
We decided to put together a list of some of our favorite online tools for journalists and bloggers to help at nearly every stage of the writing process.
Have a tool you think should be included? We'd love to hear about it! Leave a comment or tweet us at @BeyondBylines.
Answer the Public
Answering a question for searchers is key to getting your content to show up in search results. But how do you know what the question is? With Answer the Public, you can plug in a keyword and the tool will give you the most popular Google and Bing searches related to that term. Free and paid options are available depending on your needs.
If you have a topic in mind but are having trouble coming up with a headline, BuzzSumo can show you what headlines are performing best for that topic. You also can provide the URL for a competitor and see what headlines are working best for them. The free plan allows for 10 searches per month, but several paid plans are available as well.
By monitoring Parse.ly’s network of thousands of high-traffic, premium content sites, Currents allows publishers to gain insights into what topics are performing best and the keywords audiences are using to find articles that they read. This measurement of attention, not just shares and searches, is key to helping journalists understand the attention habits of their readers.
This tool extracts data from across the web and can be incredibly helpful for data journalists and investigative journalists. With Import.io, writers can pull data from multiple sources, like the US Census Bureau, World Health Organization, and CIA World Factbook. The site explains that data "lends credibility to sources and can help explain complex topics to the public in a visual way."
This URL monitoring tool crawls websites of your choosing and, based on filters you create, extracts core content changes and includes these in daily/weekly emails and side-by-side text comparisons. It's particularly useful for monitoring updates on government and political sites.
It can be tough to keep track of all the content that needs to be promoted, what to post on which platform, and when. Get organized by signing up for Falcon.io, a social media management tool. It allows you to schedule social media posts to a range of social platforms, reply and comment directly from the tool, and measure how your posts are performing.
Wavve makes it simple to share audio clips on social media platforms. The tool is a great way for podcasters and radio hosts to add an engaging visual element to their audio clips. Users can create a custom video with their branding and design. HD templates also are available in the sizes most suitable for each social network.
Visual & Audio Creation
Need a soundbite for your story? Audioburst is a vast library of live and prerecorded audio content from radio stations and podcasts. You can also create a customized stream based on interests and trending topics. Including this fresh audio content on your site or app can help boost engagement and increase time spent on the site. And if you're the audio creator? Use the tool to increase your reach.
In our opinion, Canva is one of the best graphic design apps available. Whether you need to create an infographic, a social media post, or an email banner, Canva has you covered and then some. Available on desktops and mobile, Canva has a "freemium" model: most of the graphics are free and others are available for a small fee (usually $1). The tool is great for design newbies, pros, and anyone in between.
Including an infographic with your story is a great way to increase engagement among readers. This is an easy-to-use tool for creating infographics and other data visualizations like charts, maps, and reports that present your data in a compelling format. Extra features like analytics, images, and templates are available with paid packages.
Instead of making readers choose between reading and listening, use Soundcite to add inline sound bites. Choose a word or phrase to link to the audio, and it will play right from the text when clicked on. The site offers a few ideas like music, spoken word, and natural sounds, but the options seem endless with this tool.
This add-in extension is a great option to help even the best writers perfect their writing. You can add the Grammarly writing assistant extension to Google Chrome for free. Upgraded plans will help you with things like tone, readability, and plagiarism. This tool has saved this writer from publishing quite a few easy-to-miss typos. No matter how great a proofreader you think you are, the value of a second set of eyes on your content can never be overestimated.
Transcribing audio can be a rough process. This online transcription tool makes the tedious task easier - it can export to multiple platforms, supports video files, and allows you to transcribe without taking your hands off the keyboard.
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