Writing content can be difficult, and even when you have an idea, getting it down succinctly can take time. I’m currently writing a book, (almost finished, just the last finishing touches!) have written a free report, as well as lots of blog posts, but I would have been really stuck if I didn’t have some great websites to help me. So I’ve decided to share with you my 7 top websites that could help you too.
All of these websites are free to use, and most of them you can create a profile which can really help with your online brand and Google rating. In fact the last site I recommend is the one that appears at the top of Google when I type in my name, and that is critical when you’re running an online business and you need people to find you.
Of course if you are not interested in building an online brand, and just want some helpful and inspirational sites – then the other 6 should help you with your writing and blogging too.
1. Google (www.google.com) – it may seem obvious, and everyone uses Google now, but it is one of the best places to start – for any type of writing or research. Check your facts before you make a bold statement, and do be careful to check a few different sources before you print anything, it’s amazing how much mis-information is on there as well! Not sure of finer details, just head over to Google and the answer is usually just a click away. I use Google all the time (I’d be lost without it) and it’s helped me produce some great blog posts, as well as helping me use all my features on my WordPress site!
2. YouTube (www.youtube.com) – and no, I don’t mean to watch the latest music video! There are hundreds of online training video’s available on YouTube and I’ve had to rely of more than one to make the most out of my blog; from learning how to share my blogs on Facebook and twitter – to installing anchor tags for easier navigation.
3. I-stock (www.istockphoto.com) – if you want to liven up your writing with great pictures, or stock photography, then I-stock is a great website to find these. You can join up for free, and have ‘lightboxes’ which store all of your favourite photos and illustrations that you find. You can also group them into different projects, so everything is organised. I love to add a picture to my blog posts, as it piques people’s interest. Plus I use this site for a lot of my clients book covers, as well as having music clips for audio products, and movie shorts for presentations. Give it a go yourself.
4. SpellJax (www.spelljax.com) – there is no excuse for publishing blog posts that have spelling mistakes. And yet, you see them. Don’t let this happen to you – always check your spelling before you publish anything online (it makes you look lazy if you don’t) and this site is a quick, easy to use platform that allows you to do just that.
5. Amazon (www.amazon.com or.co.uk) – I use Amazon a lot for inspiration and ideas. If I’m designing a book jacket, I use Amazon to see what other book authors have used – need to know who wrote a book, then this is the site. Want some help on what to write about, well check out the books on a similar subject as yours, and use the ‘Look Inside’ feature – this is usually the contents page and is full of useful information, all of which you can use for your writing.
6. E-Lance (www.elance.com) – need some help with transcribing or ghost writing, then sign up to E-Lance where you are then able to post jobs that need doing, and then bid on the ‘worker’ you want to complete your task. Its also a great place for customised graphics (if I-stock hasn’t helped). It’s easy to use, and very competitive as the prices are kept down by fierce completion. I use E-Lance for transcribing, which I then turn into blog posts or articles. It speeds up the process, as jobs are usually completed within 24 hours, and all at really good rates.
7. LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) – if you’re a small business owner that relies on SEO and you sell time for money, and you’re not on LinkedIn then you should be! This is the Facebook for business owners, and it provides you with tonnes of information, inspiration and the ability to connect and join groups that are all within your business sector. Don’t know how to set up your account, use Google and search for LinkedIn – there are hundreds of online tutorials with how to set up your account, as well as many handy tips to use LinkedIn to your advantage.
So there are my top 7 free websites that I use on a regular basis, to help me write and keep me inspired. I hope you find them useful too; no doubt you have a list of your favourites, so why not share them as well.