Every writer knows the feeling. You sit down to work on a project and … nothing. Nada. Zip. Your deadline is approaching and your page is blank. You have encountered, once again, the content creator’s arch nemesis: writer’s block.
As awful as writer’s block can be, there may be something worse. Even after all is said and done, you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, and you put your work out there for the world to enjoy, it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. In this Digital Era content is about much more than the words on the page. The endless possibilities for formatting, images and interactive elements are enough to make anyone’s head spin.
But take heart! You’re not on your own. The following 15 apps and programs will do just about everything you need to create outstanding content. And best of all, most of them are free. From writing content to choosing fonts to taking screenshots to editing graphics to creating video, this arsenal of tools will set you up for the success your hard work deserves.
Writing and Content Creation
Online content may be more than just text, but the actual words on the page are a necessary foundation. Content must be clearly written, well-worded and free of typos and grammatical mistakes. These tools will help you build a solid foundation for your content.
Whether you are best motivated by the promise of reward or the fear of punishment, Write or Die will offer the necessary incentives to keep you on task as you are writing. Inspire yourself with music and background images in Stimulus Mode, incentivize yourself with cute puppies in Reward Mode, or risk losing all your vowels if you don’t meet your goals in Consequence Mode. Try the web version for free or buy the desktop version.
Even the most talented writer misses a typo now and then, and few things are more frustrating than finding an error right after posting your finished work. GoProofreading is an online proofreading service to the rescue. In addition to checking spelling and grammar, Goproofreading can check for plagiarism and even makes style and vocabulary suggestions to improve your writing. Also you can use free proofreading analogue – paperrater.com.
If you find yourself up against an impossible deadline and the words just won’t come, put EssayMama’s team of expert writers to work on your project. EssayMama writers are highly educated native English speakers just waiting to provide you with research and writing assistance for the perfect essay. Check out their competitive pricing for writing assignments, or visit the EssayMama blog for free tips and resources.
For the easily distracted writer, Quabel eliminates all the bells and whistles of most word processing programs. Using the straightforward online interface a writer can set goals, track progress, and simply get it done. When you are done writing and ready to add in all the fancy formatting, Quabel allows you to export documents in multiple file types.
Styles and Fonts
Before readers can become captivated by your brilliant content, you first have to catch their attention. Displaying your content in a unique font is a perfect way to do just that. You can increase the immediate visual appeal of your content by using a memorable and distinctive font—and the options are practically endless.
If you’re bored with the dozens of fonts available in MS Word, check out Dafont and choose from over 25,000 fonts. You can sort the fonts by popularity to see what’s hot right now, or find that one-of-a-kind font by browsing themes such as Graffiti or Decorative.
What if instead of browsing all the options you could just do a quick Google search and find your perfect font? Well, Google Fonts essentially lets you do just that. Pick your category (Serif, Sans Serif, etc.), specify your desired thickness, slant and width, and watch as Google presents you with an eye-catching font to match your writing.
Tools for Screenshots
Screenshots often provide a necessary supplement to your content. Whether you are writing a how-to article or sharing an entertaining Facebook comment on your blog, a screenshot elevates your text to the next level. Do more than just hit the Print Screen button your keyboard with these free programs.
Monosnap is a free, easy-to-use app for capturing and editing screenshots. It allows you to capture all or part of your screen, add text and arrows, blur parts of the screenshot to keep them private, and save your final product to the cloud or to your device. You can even capture short videos of what you are doing on your screen.
If you need to capture all or part of a web browser page (including more than just the portion visible on your screen), Awesome Screenshot will do just that. This browser add-on also lets you modify your screenshot with text, arrows and blurring. Upload your customized screenshot to the app’s website and access and share it via a unique URL.
Jing allows you to capture still images, animation and basic video up to five minutes long from your screen. Enhance your image with captions, and share it quickly and easily via IM, email or social media.
Images and Design
Every content creator is likely to have a project that requires more graphics than just screenshots. The following tools allow you to add a professional-looking graphic design touch to your work without paying for a complicated design program. Free and simple-it doesn’t get any better than that.
Canva is a free online tool that makes design straightforward and accessible. Simply create your free account and get started making stunning graphic designs with your own photos or Canva’s library of hundreds of images and fonts.
Take your graphics straight from Canva to ThingLink to create interactive images to make your content stand out. ThingLink allows you to create links within your image and embed it in a website or social media. Readers can interact with additional information via your graphic without ever leaving your page.
PicMonkey lets you edit and touch up photos, design pictures for banners, cards, etc., and create collages. The PicMonkey Blog has dozens of tutorials and how-to articles to provide tips on both the basics and more in-depth use of PicMonkey.
Infographic and Video Creation
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? Put the finishing touches on your content with these free tools for creating infographics and video. Your work is sure to leave its mark.
Do you love to write cover letters and resumes? No? Welcome to Visualize.Me. This site is a free tool to create a visual resume. Skip the conventional bullet points and present your skills and qualifications in a unique, unforgettable infographic.
Wideo markets itself as an online video tool that is both easy and fun. Users can choose from a selection of video templates to customize or start from scratch to create and share animated videos. Wideo provides tutorial videos and easy step-by-step instructions to create the ideal video for your project.
Transform your plain text into a memorable, interactive infographic. Piktochart offers 100% customizable themes to create your own infographics and build your brand. When how you say something is just as important as what you say, Piktochart can help your content go the extra mile.
Now that you have an arsenal full of tools to defeat writer’s block, boring formatting and lackluster text, go forth and create awesome content for the world to enjoy!