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Fashion blogs are in vogue and now is a good time to start your own. You just need to know how to start one.
With a little know-how and some elbow grease, you can start your own fashion blog on WordPress and even make money through it.
So, here’s how to do it!
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carefully choose the name you pick: it represents your blog.
Here are the characteristics that make for a great domain name:
- It’s relatively short in length.
- It’s effortless to remember.
- When someone hears it, it’s straightforward to know how to spell it.
- It’s unique
Sometimes you may not get the exact name of your blog, but a close variation is typically still a perfectly suitable option.
You can choose a domain name that is misspelled on purpose or that’s a made-up word. Sometimes, it can work. Just be sure you carefully consider the pros and cons of a name with these characteristics.
While it works for Reddit and Pinterest, it may not be right for your fashion blog. The reason being that both of the aforementioned sites are strictly online.
If you followed in their footsteps and plan on doing in-person appearances at fashion week in the future or you want to be a guest on podcasts and even do TV show appearances, it helps to have a memorable domain name where its spelling will be obvious.
That way, people can actually get to your blog after only hearing about it.
After you have decided on a domain name, you can buy it from a domain registrar.
Check out How Much Does a Domain Name Cost? 4 Key Factors Influencing What You Should Expect to Pay more for details.
A domain name is your site’s address and represents your blog.
Picking Reliable WordPress Hosting
Hosting is where your blog is stored so it can be accessed and there are various plans you can choose between from a variety of hosting providers.
If you want to know how to start a fashion blog, it all begins with choosing a hosting plan and setting up your blog on it.
Picking the right plan is essential. If you pick one that doesn’t have enough resources and your blog goes viral, your site can be shut down until you upgrade your plan or you may end up paying a small fortune in overage fees.
On the other hand, if you get a plan that’s too robust for your needs, you’ll overpay for resources you don’t even need.
If you don’t opt for managed hosting, you could also be stuck with maintaining your blog and hosting environment on your own. Sometimes, it can seem like a full-time job in and of itself, especially if something goes awry.
The bottom line is, if you want to know how to start a fashion blog, especially if you want to turn it into a business, you need to get the right hosting plan.
Otherwise, it’s like being stuck with a pair of pants that don’t fit from three seasons ago when you’re about to meet Ralph Lauren.
You don’t want to take any chances in either case.
Why Free Blogging Platforms Aren’t Ideal
It can be tempting to get free hosting so you can learn how to start a fashion blog for free, but there are a few reasons why that isn’t a good idea, especially if you plan on making money from your blog.
For starters, free hosting providers display ads on your blog in order to cover costs. This may not seem like a problem until you consider that visitors could click away from your blog and not return to it again.
In some cases, the ads could be associated with your brand and not in a good way.
Free hosting also comes at the price of not having full control over your blog since plans often have restricted features and capabilities so they’re financially viable.
That means you’ll be limited when it comes to how much you can customize your site’s design, layout, functionality, and other similar elements.
While it may be okay starting out, once your blog grows, free hosting just won’t cut it.
So, if you plan on growing quickly, self-hosting your fashion blog is the best option.
How to Pick a Reliable Host
You need a reliable host that has great customer support and that can also deal with traffic surges to ensure you are on the right footing. It’s a part of the technical aspects you need to know how to start a fashion blog.
With stable hosting and great support, you can rest easy knowing any issues that may arise happen rarely and are quickly solved.
A reliable host is not only stable, but runs fast and is secure as well.
If you need help with your blog, managed hosting is a great option since so many crucial aspects of managing your blog are taken care of for you such as security and updates.
For example, a host like Kinsta has all of these qualities.
Kinsta has reliable, stable, and fast managed hosting.
Choosing a Good WordPress Theme
When it comes to knowing how to start a fashion blog, it’s essential to pick a solid theme. That means a well-coded WordPress theme to help your fashion blog load faster. But, you also need one that’s eye-catching.
Get a theme that has both and you’ll create an improved user experience. This helps visitors stay on your blog since over 46% of people judged the credibility of a site based on its design such as in its layout, font size, typography, and color schemes.
You can find WordPress themes that are free and look great, but premium themes tend to look more professional and stunning. They also tend to have more options for quick customizations as well as support.
Whether you choose a free or premium WordPress theme, be sure it looks visually striking and inviting.
Choosing and Setting up Plugins and Tools
Next up on the to-do list for learning how to start a fashion blog is to create a WordPress site and add any plugins and tools you need to it.
Here are common types of plugins to include:
- Image Optimization
- Social media
- Photo gallery
- Other types you may need such as affiliate marketing, lead generation, membership, and advertising
Many of these types of plugins are necessary to ensure your blog runs and is maintained smoothly, while others such as photo gallery plugins are entirely optional.
It’s also a good idea to use plugins that will enhance the performance of your blog to help your site rank well in search engine results so people can find your blog.
Using caching as well as speed and image optimization plugins can help your blog load faster which is a great way to help users stay interested in your blog.
According to Pingdom:
“From the above graph, we can see that the average bounce rate for pages loading within 2 seconds is 9%. As soon as the page load time surpasses 3 seconds, the bounce rate soars, to 38% by the time it hits 5 seconds.”
While speed optimization plugins can vastly improve the performance of your site, it’s also necessary to ensure your host is fast as well. That way, you’re covered on both fronts.
If finding a hosting provider is still on your “how to start a fashion blog” to-do list, consider looking for hosts that are already optimized for speed.
For example, by hosting your site with Kinsta, your site will automatically be up to 200% faster.
It may also be worth noting that some hosting providers may ban certain WordPress plugins due to security or incompatibility issues. Be sure to check with your host for any plugins that have been known to cause issues.
For details, check out A Beginner’s Guide to Website Speed Optimization, How to Properly Run a Website Speed Test (You’re Doing it Wrong), and How to Speed up Your WordPress Site (Ultimate 2019 Guide).
Picking a Niche
There may be a lot of fashion blogs out there, but there isn’t one that has your unique point of view. Narrowing down your niche can help you stand out among the crowd.
If you do some research, you can see what other fashion blogs are doing. Then, when you’re familiar with what the competition is doing, you can think about how your fashion blog will be different and pick a niche.
It’s also valuable to decide what your writing style will be like since that can help further your brand and set you apart from the competition.
Whatever you choose, be sure your content is authentic and relatable. This will help draw people in and keep them engaged.
Content Strategy for Your Fashion Blog
A content strategy is essentially a plan of what you want to do with your blog’s content, then developing, managing, and marketing it.
A good content strategy includes:
- Competitor research and analysis
- Keyword research
- Editorial calendar
- Market research
- A chosen niche
Once you have analyzed all these areas, you can plan the type of content you will publish on your blog for maximum engagement and conversion of visitors to customers.
For details, check out 5 Things More Important for Your Content Than Content-Length in 2019, How to Create Evergreen Content That Lasts (17 Tips and Tricks), and Visual Content Strategy: How to Use Visuals to Get More Traffic.
Create a Blogging Schedule
Now you’re really starting to get somewhere with figuring out how to start a fashion blog of your own. Once you have a content strategy and you’re starting to come up with blog post ideas, you need to set up a publishing schedule.
To do this, you need to decide how often you’re going to publish blog posts.
Researching other fashion blogs and taking a look at how often they publish articles can help you decide how frequently you should publish posts.
Ideally, you should aim to push content out as frequently or recurring more than your competitors.
Blogging frequency (Image source: Hubspot.com)
The higher your publishing frequency, the higher your traffic. According to Hubspot, blogs that posted 11 or more articles per month saw two times more traffic than blogs that published only one to two posts a month.
When you publish articles more frequently than your competitors, search engines take notice and designate your blog as active and relevant. This places your posts higher in search engine results so they can be seen by more people.
To help you schedule posts quickly and efficiently, you can use an editorial plugin like Editorial Calendar or PublishPress.
Creating a publishing schedule will help you post articles frequently.
Content Marketing and SEO
Before you’re ready to start writing blog posts, it’s a good idea to get familiar with content marketing and SEO.
Content marketing entails writing engaging articles that are informative and help promote a brand naturally, and without sounding salesy.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about improving and optimizing your site and its content so it can rank higher in search engine results.
This helps direct more traffic to your blog without you having to pay for advertising.
Here are several resources with more detail:
- Content Marketing Essentials
- How To Be A Solo Content Marketing Ninja With WordPress
- What Is Inbound Marketing? (And Why It Works So Well)
- WordPress SEO Checklist – 45 Tips to Increase Traffic by 571% in 13 Months
- How to Use Yoast SEO on WordPress: Complete Tutorial
- How to Diagnose Decline in Rankings (Craziest SEO Issue We’ve Seen)
One of the ways you can implement SEO on your fashion blog is to do some keyword research.
In the SEO space, keywords refer to terms that are most frequently searched for in Google and other search engines. When you pick a popular keyword and add it to an article several times, it tells Google (and other search engines) that this is the topic of your blog post.
This helps Google know that when someone searches for that keyword, your site should be listed in the results.
Adding keywords to your content is useful because it helps more people find your articles and blog.
There are three types of keywords:
- Short-tail – A keyword that’s only one word and is typically difficult to rank with them since they are used so often by many different sites
- Medium-tail – Keywords that are about two to three words in length
- Long-tail – Several words or a phrase that may contain articles such as “at, a, to, or,” and others
Long-tail keywords are typically the best ones to go for since they’re specific, more descriptive and tend to be less popular so not everyone is writing content around it. But, it’s also popular enough that hundreds of people or more are searching for it regularly.
If you really want to know how to start a fashion blog that’s successful, content marketing and SEO should be a key area of focus.
You can check out A Step-By-Step Guide to Keyword Research (Bonus: Best Keyword Research Tools Compared) for details.
Writing Blog Posts with SEO and Users in Mind
After you have picked keywords to include in your content, be sure to write them in naturally. Otherwise, search engines will assume your content is just spam.
The core of writing for SEO is ensuring your blog post answers the questions users have when they search for your topic and chosen keyword.
This is absolutely essential because it will help you rank well, and it will also help you be seen as trustworthy and reliable to readers.
How to Make Money from Your Fashion Blog
When you want to know how to start a fashion blog, a big part of it is the technical details, but just as important is knowing how you’re planning on making money from your blog.
Here are several ideas:
- Affiliate marketing – Linking to products in online stores where the link is tracked so you get credit and a commission for each person you refer who places a purchase through your link.
Selling digital products
- Ebooks – You could write a book to boost your credibility or plan to turn your blog posts into an ebook in the future, then sell and promote them on your blog.
- Online courses – Teach various skills related to fashion that could range from how to style outfits properly and practical fashion guides to how fashionistas can land jobs or start careers in the fashion industry.
- Other digital products – You could also sell practical items such as downloadable clothing patterns.
- Membership site – Set up a paywall so users have to sign up to view premium, exclusive content like how to design and create your own clothes and clothing line, for example.
- Digital magazine or look book – You can keep your users up-to-date with the latest fashion trends and sell ad space for extra revenue.
- Ads – Display ads directly on your blog to share in the revenue they bring.
Offer a service
- Fashion consultant – You can let clients book consults directly on your site and meet over a free video chat app like Skype or a premium option for an enhanced, professional feel.
- Events and event tickets – If you want to venture away from your computer and engage with your fans in person, you can plan events and conferences and sell tickets to them on your blog. You can even use webinar tools to create digital events if you prefer to stay at home.
For more ideas, check out 4 Proven Website Ideas for Your Online Side-Hustle, Why Your Business Should Be Based on the Recurring Revenue Model, and 11 WordPress Membership Plugins to Capture Recurring Revenue.
Social Media Marketing
Once you get started with your fashion blog and you’re becoming comfortable with your knowledge on how to start a fashion blog, you can do some social media marketing to help your blog get traffic by networking and posting relevant content on social media platforms.
For more ideas, check out: 6 Ways to Leverage Facebook for Marketing Success, 8 Ways To Leverage LinkedIn for Marketing Success, Twitter Marketing Strategies to Beef up Your Social Game, and Pinterest Marketing Tips and Strategies for WordPress Users.
Creating a Social Media Calendar
A social media calendar is a document or spreadsheet where you have your social media posts planned out.
This includes the date and time you want to schedule each post, the content you want to publish including text, links and images as well as the social media sites where the posts will be published.
Social media calendars are useful because they keep you organized and to help you regularly post content so your blog is more visible to people. The more people see your posts, the more likely there are to visit your blog.
This also helps boost brand awareness.
Social media calendars should be created with varying types of posts to keep readers on their toes and engaged in your content.
If you publish only one type of post, it can get really boring, real fast and people will skip past your posts automatically at a certain point. That’s why you shouldn’t only post when you publish a blog article.
Here are different types of social media posts you can plan:
- Informational articles such as user guides, and practical tips
- Recently published articles with some details that will pique people’s curiosity
- Promoting other people’s articles that are relevant to your blog
- Inspirational quotes or phrases
- Funny posts such as jokes and anecdotes
- Striking images, especially accompanying other types of social media posts
- Your daily life and routine
- Daily fashion picks and styles you love
- Ask questions to your fans
Be sure to also join the conversation and reply to comments and tweets. You can also find relevant conversations and add your two cents.
As long as you’re adding to the conversation instead of squashing it or spamming, you can increase engagement on your posts. The reciprocity also leads to an increase in brand awareness.
While the sheer number of social media sites out there can seem overwhelming, you don’t have to join them all. Find the platforms where your potential fans are and stick to those ones.
As a general rule of thumb, if you want your target audience to be between 18 and 35, then ComScore’s survey results show you should focus your attention on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The most valuable social media platforms for millennials.
Networking and Further Promoting Your Blog
What’s the final step in learning how to start a fashion blog? It’s networking. It can help you by spreading the word about your blog.
Here are ways you can leverage networking as well as other promotional ideas:
- Write articles and submit them to fashion magazines and blogs.
- Join blogging and business groups and wait for opportunities. You may come across podcasters that need guests or maybe your favorite fashion icon is visiting your area and you can request a meeting or an interview with them. You can also get inspiration for your own marketing campaigns.
- Seek out fashion events and conferences for chances to spread the word about your blog. You can also offer coverage of these events in your blog since writing about trendy, current events helps elevate your chances of being noticed.
Consider planning a marketing campaign as well.
These are plans that include multiple marketing strategies where you make a schedule of content, ads and other promotional items over a prolonged period of time. They’re focused on a specific message that resonates with your brand and audience.
When done right, marketing campaigns can boost positive brand awareness and increase engagement as well as conversion rates. It can also lead to more sales.
For details, check out The Ultimate Guide to Marketing Campaigns, Use These 5 Steps to Create a Marketing Plan, and 13 Ways To Create An Effective Marketing Campaign On A Tight Budget.
If you have wanted to blog about fashion, it’s easier to start now than it ever was in the past.
To start your own fashion blog, you’d need to:
- Pick a domain name and a reliable WordPress hosting
- Choose a WordPress theme
- Set up plugins and tools
- Pick a niche
- Go all-in with a solid Content Strategy (editorial calendar, SEO, social media) covering all the areas and channels where your prospects hang out and engage with them
Now, it’s your turn: do you plan to start a fashion blog? Have you ever launched a new blog? Share your experience in the comments!
The post How to Start a Fashion Blog in 2020 appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
Starting and monetizing a blog has never been easier than it is today.
Not too long ago, creating a website would’ve cost you thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to set up and maintain. Monetizing a website was just as difficult. PayPal was in its infancy, Stripe didn’t exist and email marketing was nowhere near as flexible as it is now.
Today however you can start, maintain, and monetize a blog on WordPress with just a few hundred dollars (this can vary based on what you need to do). But just because it’s easier to make money with your blog today, doesn’t mean that most bloggers do.
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According to ConvertKit’s 2017 state of blogging report, pro bloggers reported an average profit of $138,064 the past year, while amateur bloggers (who made up 86% of those surveyed) made only $9,497.
This is terrible, especially when you consider that most bloggers start a blog so they can be their own boss and quit their dull 8-to-5 job.
Why did you start your blog? (Image source: ConvertKit)
So how do you go from being an amateur blogger to one of the pros hitting six figures every year?
Well, you need a solid marketing plan, this includes content, a profitable niche, and a great monetization strategy.
You also need to need to do some quick math.
email list should be to make money from your blog because that all depends on what you sell and how you sell it.
(Suggested reading: How Much Is My Website Worth?).
However, having two things straightened out first will help you a lot:
- Get steady traffic: You don’t need tens of thousands of visitors but at least a thousand visitors a month means you’re doing something right.
- Grow your email list: Again you don’t have to aim for anything crazy here. We’ll show you examples of people who had a small list but still used it to their advantage.
Now these two things matter, but primarily, monetizing your blog efficiently is all about the numbers.
For example, if you need to make $6,000 from your blog:
- You can sell a $200 product (say a course) to 30 people.
- Or sell a $600 course to 10 people.
- And even by charging $6,000 for consulting with a client.
Monetization is math, not magic.
This doesn’t mean that the key to monetization is simply increasing the prices of what you sell. Rather it means that you should choose a monetization strategy that aligns with where your blog is right now or where you want it to be in the future.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can monetize a blog and make money online whether you get thousands of page views a month or you’re just starting out.
We’re going to show some solid strategies other bloggers have used to generate revenue from their own blogs in diverse niches and teach you how to do the same with your own blog.
1. Become a Freelance Blogger in Your Niche
One of the easiest ways to make money from your blog is to become a freelance writer for more prominent blogs in your niche.
Think about it, you probably started your blog because you have experience/knowledge in that area, so why not use that to your advantage?
Businesses are looking for people that can create content to fuel their marketing so who better to create that content than someone that has knowledge in that niche.
Freelance blogger Bamidele Onibalusi used his blog, Writers in Charge, to show his content marketing chops while also growing his audience. He now makes a full-time income blogging for other businesses.
According to data from Glassdoor, the average freelancer in the United States makes about $40k a year. Keep in mind that this figure is influenced by your experience level and the niche you write in.
Here’s a breakdown of how much you can earn in different niches according to the Editorial Freelance Association:
What average freelancer writer makes by niche (Image source: Contena Community)
You might not be able to charge these rates when you begin, but as you gain more experience and credibility your rates go up. Be careful not to charge too low in the beginning though.
Charging $10 for an article might seem like an easy way to start getting clients, but in truth it can chase quality clients aways as your skills are called into question, not to mention charging so little can drain your motivation to continue.
Since we’re on the subject of pricing, it’s better to charge your clients on a per project basis rather than on an hourly rate since it can be hard to determine how long it’ll take you to complete a task, especially when you’re just starting out as a freelancer.
Charging a fee based on the project itself means you get rewarded for finishing quicker and your clients know how much they’ll pay from the onset.
According to WriteWorldwide, here’s how much you can charge per project in your first year as a freelance writer, without accounting for your niche or previous writing experience.
How much to charge for writing (Image source: Write Worldwide)
The best part about freelance writing is that you don’t need a lot of traffic on your blog to start making money, all businesses really care about it that you can write great content.
Jorden Roper, for example, made $5,000 in her fourth month of being a freelance writer and Jennifer Gregory pulls in about six figures a year from her freelance writing business.
As a freelance blogger, your job is to create written content that attracts visitors to a business’s website so some of these visitors can convert into customers for the business.
According to Content marketing institute’s 2019 report, marketers are set to spend more money on content creation and 50% of the marketers surveyed expect their content marketing budget to increase in 2019.
B2B increased spending on content creation (Image source: CMI SlideShare)
If there are businesses making money in your niche and so as long as these businesses are creating content then you can bet they need writers.
Notice that I mentioned that the business has to be making money. One of the worst mistakes you can make as a freelance blogger is picking a niche where businesses can’t afford to pay you.
For example, writing about art might be your idea of fun and you might have extensive knowledge of it, but how many blogs can pay you regularly to write about that?
The path to profitability as a freelance blogger is finding the right market to position yourself in.
A quick way to test whether there’s money to be made in your niche is to find at least ten writers that cover the niche you want to write in. You can do this by simply making a search on LinkedIn with the keywords for your niche.
For example, when I search for individuals with the exact title of “freelance personal finance writer” on LinkedIn I get about 42 results. You could also do it without quotes for a more broad search which will generate even more results.
Freelance personal finance writer search on LinkedIn
This is an easy way to validate your niche.
We’ve already established that you don’t need a lot of traffic to make money as a freelance writer but that doesn’t mean people will just find your blog and hire you.
You have to go out and promote your service.
When you’ve created writing samples on your blog and maybe guest posts on other blogs, you can start reaching out to businesses you want to write for.
You can also use freelance marketplaces like Upwork, SEOclerks and Fiverr. But while there are a few freelance writers that make a lot of money, like Danny Marguiles who made over $100k a year on Upwork, the majority of freelancer writers on these platforms make very little money.
To avoid the race for the bottom that is freelance marketplaces, you’ll have to do most of the outreach yourself.
How to Find Blogs to Write For
The best way to find businesses or blogs in your niche to write for is to simply make a Google search for keywords related to that niche and see what comes up.
Because clearly, the blogs that show up in the first few pages of Google are investing a lot in content marketing.
For example, if I was looking for blogs to write for in the fitness niche, making a simple search term like “Fitness blog” shows me this:
Fitness blog Google search
You can also search for terms related to your niche specifically, for example, in the case of fitness something like “Workout plans”:
Workout plans Google search
Now all you have to do is contact the blog owners and pitch them your freelance writing service.
Take Advantage of Your Own Site
Besides searching for new writing gigs, you should also take advantage of your own site, you’re a writer after all.
Use inbound marketing and SEO to drive people to your site where you can then offer them your writing and blogging services.
Freelance writer, Maddy Osman does this on her freelancing site, The Blogsmith.
Maddy Osman freelance writing prices
2. Sell Ebooks to Your Audience
Selling ebooks is one of the most popular ways bloggers choose to monetize their blogs. It’s perfect because it’s relatively easy to create and is usually priced adequately enough that most visitors can buy.
But ebooks do more than let bloggers monetize their blogs quickly. As a blogger selling an ebook can be the fastest way to test if people are interested in what you’re covering enough to pay for it.
Ebooks are also a low-risk way for your website visitors to judge the value you can bring before buying more expensive products.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t need a lot of traffic on your blog to make money with your books. For example, David Oudiette converted the knowledge he’d gained building landing pages into a 252 page $39 ebook.
He didn’t have a lot of traffic on his blog as all he did at the time was consulting, but David was able to generate over $13,000 in revenue from his ebook.
The landing page cookbook ebook (Image source: your landing page sucks!)
Here’s what David had to do to sell that many books:
- He asked his blog subscribers about their landing page, gave them free tips and then pointed them to his book.
- He answered questions and gave feedback about landing pages on Quora and Reddit, then pitched his book as an additional source of information.
- David also added the book on Product Hunt.
- Even more impressively, David cold emailed businesses and gave them free feedback on their landing page, he then answered replies and linked to his book.
So David didn’t have a lot of traffic but he did do a lot of work.
There’s also Taylor Pearson who sold over 5,000 books in four weeks and in 2015 had made over $60k from just that book. Taylor had just 700 email subscribers at the time.
Taylor credits the success of his book to a few things:
- Getting fans of his blog to become beta readers during the writing stage.
- Creating a Facebook group to communicate his book’s progress with core readers (Read: How to create a Facebook page).
- Sending the book to everyone on the Facebook group so they could leave an honest review on Amazon.
- Keeping everyone on his list informed about the book’s progress which makes them more involved and likely to buy later on.
- Synchronizing social media messages during and after launch.
- Sending a personalized email about his book to every one of his Gmail contacts.
- Doing a giveaway to promote the book.
The book ended up a bestseller on the Amazon small business section and the rest is history.
The End of Jobs ebook (Image source: Amazon)
What’s great about both of these examples is that they show that with the right marketing and a good book, you don’t need that many subscribers and you certainly don’t have to be an expert writer.
None of these authors published and hoped, instead, they did a lot of work for their books to take off.
Where to Sell Your Ebook
You can then choose to sell your ebook directly on your blog or through platforms like Gumroad or Podia.
Selling your ebook on your own site can be advantageous, as you get to keep 100% of the profits. For example, Harsh Agrawal of ShoutMeLoud has an entire section of his site dedicated entirely towards his different ebooks.
You can easily create something like this with the Easy Digital Downloads WordPress plugin.
If you choose to publish your ebook as an Amazon Kindle then you can only keep 70% of the profits but it comes with the added advantage that the more books you sell the more exposure you can get which leads to even more sales.
Selling ebooks aren’t restricted to a particular niche either. There are ebooks on blogging, photography, fitness and anything you can think of.
For example, if you had a blog that taught gardening you can sell an ebook that taught your audience in more detail how to grow their own gardens or a particular plant.
You can even repurpose some of the content you’ve already written on your blog and then add more detail and context.
How to Make the Book
If you don’t have the time or skill to write a book yourself you can hire ghostwriters to do it for you.
You can find ghostwriters on LinkedIn, Scripted, Upwork and even Fiverr. Keep in mind that, like anything, you get what you pay for. More experience ghostwriters will charge you more than beginners.
You can also create your book cover yourself with tools like Canva, Photoshop, and Snappa or you can pay for a service like 99designs and let a professional do it for you.
3. Create and Sell Online Courses
Another way to monetize your blog is by selling online courses. What holds most bloggers back from creating their own course is that they think you need to be some sort of expert to teach a course.
But this isn’t true, all you need to really teach a course is to know more than the people you’re teaching and to be able to present this information in a way that people will get value from.
Ramit Sethi of IWT makes millions from the courses he creates not because he’s a certified financial planner but because he helps people eliminate problems in their lives.
Finance course (Image source: I Will Teach You To Be Rich)
You don’t need to be a certified chef to create a course that teaches people how to cook. If you can cook better than most people and create your course material in a way that can truly teach people how to cook then there’s nothing holding you back from creating your course.
More people are taking online courses than ever before, the e-learning industry is expected to grow to about $325 billion by 2025.
You also don’t need to be an influencer like Ramit Sethi to make a decent income from your courses.
There are people like Joseph Michael who made $40k as a newbie teaching writers how to use the popular writing software Scrivener.
Scrivener course (Image source: Scrivener Coach LLC)
Joseph didn’t have thousands of visitors or a gigantic email list. He sold his course by reaching out to influencers and promoting his course on webinars he spoke on.
How to Come up with Course Ideas
If you already have an audience then you simply need to identify a problem that a lot of them share that you can solve.
Ways to Identify Pain Points Your Audience Needs Solved:
- Send a survey: The fastest way to know what problems people in your audience have is to ask them. You can do this by sending a simple survey through email.
Here’s an example of Ramit Sethi doing just this in one of his emails just before the New year:
- Read blog comments: Your comment section can be a treasure trove of ideas if you pay attention to them. And if you don’t have that many comments on your blog you can read comments from other blogs in your niche.
Blog comment (Image source: Nerd Fitness)
If you don’t have an audience, however, then you can come up with course ideas by brainstorming a list of things you do better than most people.
Here are a few questions to help you figure this out:
- What do your friends compliment you on?
- What do people come to you for advice for?
- What does everyone around you complain about, but you seem to have no problem with?
- What have you learned from your past job?
- What can you do better than most people you know?
For Joseph, he knew how to use Scrivener which most people found to be too complex. In your case, it may be playing an instrument or dressing. As long as you can do it better than most people you can teach it to them.
Hosting Your Courses
You can choose to host your courses on WordPress in which case you’d keep most of the profit from your course but you’d have to set up everything on your own or hire a developer to help you with it.
There are also third-party platforms you can host your courses on. These platforms either charge a monthly fee or a percentage of sales and in exchange, you get a more professional platform to host your course on.
WordPress Extension for Your Courses
- WP Courseware
Third Party Platforms to Host Your Courses On
4. Start a Coaching/Consulting Business
Sometimes people want more detailed and personalized instructions than a book or course can provide them and so they turn to one on one coaching (or consulting depending on the type of services you offer).
Coaching or consulting is a monetization strategy that most blog owners who’ve found success in selling books and courses turn to when they want to create an additional revenue stream.
It’s not just for established bloggers however, consulting can also be your monetization strategy from the start.
Coaching like most of the monetization strategy we’ve already covered banks on you being able to use your skills and experience to help people solve problems in their lives.
Brennan Dunn for example, helps businesses sell more with marketing automation and charges about $9k for a consultation and Nagina Abdullah makes over 100k a year coaching with clients that want to lose weight.
Here’s a snapshot of Nagina’s earning throughout the year:
Consulting revenue (Image source: Growthlab)
If you’re already generating revenue with books and courses, consider offering one on one consultations to people in your audience.
And if you’re just getting started, the low volume nature of consulting means that you can start to generate revenue without much traffic.
With consulting it’s not just about how much traffic you generate, it’s more about getting the right kind of traffic, i.e people that need your services and can afford to pay you.
That means writing targeted blog posts on topics your type of clients care about, it means speaking on podcast your audience listens to and going to events where they gather so they know about you.
5. Offer a Paid Membership Plan
Businesses with subscription models are becoming increasingly popular, so much so that some people have started calling it the Subscription economy.
Everything from Netflix, web hosting providers and membership sites are part of the subscription economy.
Subscription economy (Image source: Emma)
A membership site is a gated section of your online business where members subscribe either monthly or annually to receive exclusive benefits.
The people in your community share a common interest and the benefits they pay for can include exclusive articles, advice, reports, webinars, in-person meetups and just being around like-minded people.
Membership sites not only allow you to reach more people, but it also gives everyone a sense of community and belonging.
One thing I love about membership sites is that everyone’s part of a group whether they realize it or not.
That means that if you have an interest in something the world is so big and the internet so connected that you can find other people just like you.
For example, Ryan Levesque loved Orchids and knew how to grow them so he created Orchids made easy where he offers his members exclusive content and provides them a platform where they can meet and learn from other Orchid lovers.
Ryan’s members pay $9.95 every month and since he has 1,800 members that put his revenue at a cool $18k a month.
Club (Image source: Orchids Made Easy)
Even better, based on how much you charge for your membership you might not need that much traffic.
Will Hamilton of Fuzzy yellow balls teaches tennis players how to up their game and he once had 600 members paying him $25 every month. That’s over $15,000 a month from just 600 people and this was back in 2010.
You can create a membership site for almost anything as long as the people you’re targeting have money and are dedicated.
For example, tennis players put in hours of practice to be good so they’re committed and they also spend money on tennis gear, so they have money to spend.
Another great example is golfers. Golfers are willing to put in the effort to improve their skill and they also spend money on equipment.
Which is probably why Sean Ogle of Breaking Eighty was able to get 150 members to join his golf membership within 8 months of starting his blog. Breaking Eighty members pay between $250 to $500 annually.
If you have an audience that’s dedicated and already spend money to improve then creating a membership site might be the most profitable thing you can do. You can easily start making thousands of dollars with only a few hundred members.
When it comes to creating and managing your membership site, you can use WordPress plugins or third-party platforms.
Managing Memberships Sites on WordPress
- Ultimate Membership Pro
Managing Membership Sites with Third-Party Tools
- Uscreen: If you have mainly video content.
- Wild Apricot
6. Make Money with Display Advertising (Banner Ads)
There’s a lot of hate on display ads in the blogosphere. Most people talk about how it’s a bad monetization strategy because you can’t make anything decent with it.
In most cases, they would be right, but there’s a reason display ads are still popular despite all the bad press they get.
The reason is that they work and are the fastest, even if not the most profitable way to start monetizing a website.
In fact, some bloggers start with display ads until they can find more profitable monetization strategies. For some people, those first few dollars give them enough motivation to continue with the blog.
For example, Alborz Fallah of Car Advice started out monetizing his website when a friend bugged him to put display ads from Google Adsense on his blog. The ads allowed Alborz to go from making nothing on his blog to earning a steady $200 a day while he kept his full-time job.
Suggested reading: 22 Best AdSense Alternatives to Consider for Your Website in 2019.
Alborz later started working directly with car manufacturers that paid as much as $30,000 for sponsorship deals. All of this wouldn’t have been possible if that friend hadn’t convinced him to monetize his blog with Adsense first.
Alborz isn’t the only one that’s found success with display ads either, so has entrepreneur Jon Dykstra from Fat Stacks.
Here’s a snapshot of Jon’s Adsense earnings in 30 days.
Revenue from display ads (Image source: Authority Hacker)
Not bad for a poor monetization strategy right?
Jon says the secret to his Adsense success is optimal ad placements, generating a lot of traffic on the numerous sites he owns and picking niches where display ads work.
A great free WordPress plugin you can use to optimize your ad placements is Ad Inserter. With it, you can easily A/B test your Ads to see which perform better and it even allows you to customize how and where your Ads appear on your website.
For example, if you want an ad to show in your article, but only after the first two paragraphs of content, you can easily do that.
With ads, you don’t need a product of your own to sell but you do need traffic and the more of it you can generate the better you perform.
It might take some time for ads to start working for you as you begin to grow your blog and improve your content marketing but eventually, you’ll get there.
Ads don’t even have to be permanent, it can just be a temporary way to make money with your blog until you can find better a way to monetize it.
But we are living in the age of ad-blockers and they are affecting your income in a negative way.
7. Become an Affiliate Marketer
You can’t have an article about monetizing a blog without mentioning affiliate marketing. It’s one of the most common ways bloggers make money online.
In fact, affiliate marketing powers a lot of the web, approximately 15 percent of the digital media industry’s revenue comes from affiliate marketing and in the U.S affiliate marketing drives as many e-commerce orders as email.
With affiliate marketing, you promote the products of other businesses and get a commission for every sale you help bring in.
Affiliate marketers work the same way as most salespeople. They help promote and sell a company’s product and get a commission when someone buys.
Here’s a visual breakdown of how it works:
How affiliate marketing works (Image source: HubSpot)
It’s really that simple, say for example your commission is $5 for every sale, and you get 200 people to buy that product, you would’ve have made $1000.
What attracts people to affiliate marketing is that you can just piggyback on a great product and sell that to your audience.
With Affiliate Marketing You Only Need Three Things
- A niche (This seems to be popping up a lot doesn’t it? ).
- An affiliate product.
- And an audience to promote the product to.
You build your audience by writing about topics related to your niche and once you have an audience, you can find products from affiliate networks like:
- Rakuten Marketing
- Amazon affiliate (make sure to check out the AAWP WordPress plugin)
- eBay Partner Network
- Clickbank affiliate
We also have an affiliate program here at Kinsta. Kinsta’s affiliate program comes with 10% recurring lifetime commissions and many bloggers are already earning a lot of passive income through it.
You can also check what affiliate products other blogs in your niche are promoting, and reach out to those businesses yourself.
One thing to keep in mind when monetizing your blog with affiliate marketing is that you should be focused on providing value to your readers and not just pitching products so you can make a sale.
Case in point, the best affiliate marketers don’t even come across as affiliate marketers.
Take, for example, Ryan Robinson who makes tens of thousands of dollars in affiliate earnings every month through his blog.
Affiliate earnings (Image source: Ryan Robinson)
Ryan creates a lot of valuable content for his readers and pitching products he likes and uses feel like a natural part of that.
Since more and more businesses now have affiliate programs you can start promoting products no matter what niche you’re in.
Making money with sponsored post and reviews is one of the least common ways of monetizing a blog, probably because you’ll need to have a lot of traffic and credibility to pull it off.
With sponsored posts and reviews, a blogger will charge a company a fee to write about their product on the blog and give their opinion of it. The product gets exposed to the blogger’s audience and the brand gets more exposure and new customers.
When you think about influencer marketing, your mind quickly pulls up images of the influencers you know on Instagram and Youtube.
But writing sponsored posts on your blog is influencer marketing and it’s exploding right now. More than 63% of businesses who already use influencer marketing, plan to increase their spending this year.
Influencer marketing has already experienced tremendous growth and is expected to have a market size of about $6.5 billion in 2019.
Influencer marketing growth (Image source: Influencer Marketing Hub)
When featuring a product on your blog make sure to give your honest feedback about it because it’s not worth losing the trust of your readers for a few bucks.
For example, Matthew Woodward who charges close to $1000 for a sponsored review clearly points out on his advertising page that a paid review doesn’t mean a good review.
Being transparent with his audience maintains the trust he’s built with them which is much more valuable than $1,000.
Michelle Gardner of Making sense of cents, who charges around $5,000 per sponsored post and makes $10,000 to $20,000 a month from sponsored posts writes mainly on products and services she uses herself. That way she can ensure that the people in her audience will love it too.
Here’s a comment from a product she reviewed on her blog that shows what I mean by this:
High-quality review engagement (Image source: Making Sense of Cents)
As I’ve mentioned before, the only downside to sponsored posts is that you need a to have a solid online presence before you can get companies to pay you anything substantial.
Companies need to know that paying for a sponsored post will lead to sales to make it worth the investment. So sponsored posts may not be the best monetization system for beginners but are great for more established bloggers.
If your blog is already generating traffic you can start reaching out to businesses in your niche whose products or services you already use and offer to write a sponsored post or review.
For example, if you write about technology you can do sponsored reviews for companies that make smart doorbells, laptops, cameras, etc.
Alexis Schroeder of Fit Financials writes about fitness and personal finance so when she started generating enough traffic she reached out to companies in personal finance and fitness space.
Alexis charges around $750 to $1500 per post and makes an average of $3000 per month from them alone.
9. Sell Physical Products to Your Audience
Another way you can monetize your blog is by selling products directly to your audience. Some bloggers even move from selling just a few items to launching full-fledged ecommerce websites alongside the blog.
The popular e-commerce store Beardbrand, for example, started out as a blog where founder Eric Bandholz wrote about beard grooming before he started selling the beard grooming products Beardbrand is known for today.
Eric turned his beard blog into a business that’s been featured on the New York Times, Inc, Shark Tank and now makes more than $100k a month.
Beardbrand (Image source: Beardbrand)
Eric isn’t the only one to discover that selling products to your audience is an excellent way to monetize your blog.
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal makes about $375,000 a year selling merchandise related to the comic he draws on his blog.
Both Eric and Matthew can monetize their blogs this way because they had built a dedicated community that truly wanted what they offered.
If you’ve already built up an audience, one of the most profitable way to monetize it, is to sell products directly to these people.
They already trust you and since you cater to them you probably know more about them than most manufacturers and retailers.
Shari Lott started Spearmint Baby as a blog for mothers and as she grew her online presence she began to learn more about what her audience of mothers wanted.
Shari launched Spearmint LOVE, an ecommerce store that sold baby clothes and in less than five years grew it into a business that made $1.5M in 2016.
Baby clothes ecommerce site (Image source: Spearmint LOVE)
If you already have an audience, then start paying attention to the problems that they have and see if you can sell something that’ll help them solve it.
10. Sell Digital Products to Your Audience
Sometimes the best way to solve the problems your audience have isn’t with a physical product but with software and digital downloads.
Clay Collins got the idea for Leadpages through his blog where he wrote about optimizing landing pages. When Clay started giving away landing page templates for free he found out that people wanted more from it.
They wanted to customize it, integrate it with their tools and even to carry out split tests and so he created Leadpages. A business that now has $38 million in funding and generates $25 million a year.
If you have other skills, beyond just blogging and creating ebooks, don’t let them go to waste. If you know how to code you can create software or WordPress plugins and then sell them to your existing audience.
Even if you don’t know how to code, you can always hire a developer. Omar Zenhom of Webinar Ninja built the first version of his product with developers he hired from Freelancer.
You can even sell digital products like templates, themes, and even audio recordings to your audience if that will help them solve a problem they have.
For example, Relaxing White Noise sells audio tracks that help their listeners relax and fall asleep. The Luxe Lens sells Lightroom and Photoshop templates to photographers. Camera gear website Shotkit sells Lightroom to earn a commission.
The Luxe Lens
You can even sell printables like Jennifer of lifeismessyandbrilliant who sells digital planners and stickers on her blog.
11. Launch a Virtual Summit in Your Niche
If you keep up with internet trends, then you’ve probably heard or have even attended virtual summits before.
Keep in mind that virtual summits or web conferences are different from webinars.
The main distinction is that virtual summits are a lot more interactive and engaging. They’re essentially conferences you can attend online with a host, Q&A sessions and multiple speakers covering a specific topic.
Now while the virtual summits themselves are usually free to attend, you can only access them for a limited time period. The organizer makes most of their revenue from selling an “all-access pass” that allows attendees to go over the conference material anytime they want.
Tom Morkers who runs the $100k Launch School summit made more than $20,000 from selling all access passes after one summit.
$100k Launch School summit
Hosts of virtual summits also make money by selling related products such as membership plans and courses on the topic after the summit is over.
The part about virtual summits that makes them a great monetization strategy even for newbies is that you don’t need to be a well-known blogger to host one. Mostly because you’re pulling credibility by interviewing other influencers in your space.
Jon Schumacher for example only had about 2,000 email subscribers when he launched his Webinar Mastery Summit.
The summit not only resulted in close to $26,000 in sales after just 10 days, but it also added 2,854 subscribers to his email list.
Virtual summits exist for almost any niche you can think of. For example, in publishing, there’s the Best Seller Summit that teaches how to write and publish a best selling book.
And Membership Site Summit teaches entrepreneurs how to launch and grow a successful membership site.
If you’ve already built up an audience even if it’s not large, you can create a virtual summit by partnering with influencers in your space.
The best way I know to find influencers you can connect with on any niche is to use a tool like Buzzsumo.
All you’d have to do would be to go to the Buzzsumo home page and type in your niche keyword.
For example, if I wanted to hold a virtual summit on book publishing, I’d type in book publishing in the search box.
Enter a keyword in Buzzsumo
Then make sure to click on the influencers tab:
You can then filter by follower count, reply ratio and whatever criteria matter to you.
When you’ve found the influencers in your niche it might be tempting to reach out to them immediately and ask them to speak at your summit but that rarely works.
Instead, you want to build a relationship with them slowly before you make any kind of ask. Start by following them on Twitter, then read, comment and make guests posts on their blog. In other words, you want to deliver value before making an ask.
12. Accept Donations on Your Blog
You can also monetize your blog by making it possible for your audience to make donations. This works particularly well if you’re a nonprofit.
You can accept donations with WordPress plugins like Give, Charitable, and PayPal Donations.
Here’s how the Charitable donation plugin looks on the Uganda Water Project campaign page:
Uganda Water Project
Now while accepting donations are the norm for non-profits they can also be used to monetize blogs that aren’t non-profits.
You might be a little skeptical about how well donations can work for a blog, so was I until I started reading about bloggers like Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex who makes $2493 every month from just 410 fans on Patreon. Keep in mind that Scott only blogs part-time and still has a day job.
Scott Alexander is creating blog posts (Image source: Patreon)
There are also bloggers like Tim Urban of Wait But Why who makes over $12k per month on Patreon alone.
This doesn’t mean that any blog can make money with donations though.
It took most of the bloggers I mentioned quite a bit of time to start getting substantial income from donations.
That’s because you need to have a really dedicated audience to make donations work for your blog and that requires giving a lot of valuable content for free first.
For example, Tim Urban spends between 40 – 80 hours writing and researching to create one of his blog posts, some of which are longer than the ebooks people sell.
That’s a lot of work that goes into creating something he’s giving away for free.
His audience realizes this and loves Tim’s work so much that they support him with donations. Tim wouldn’t have been able to get donations if he just churned out 100 words listicles every week.
How to Accept Donations on Your Blog:
So far I’ve pointed out examples of people accepting donations with the Patreon platform or using WordPress donation plugins.
But which should you use? That depends on what matters most to you.
Accepting donations on Patreon can be more expensive because they take a 5% fee on your incoming revenue and you also have to pay another 5% in transaction fees.
In return, you have a platform that’ll handle all the chargebacks and declined payments. Plus it’s easy to accept donations and manage your donors with minimal effort. Patreon even has a WordPress plugin to help you make money from your blog’s content.
If you choose to use WordPress plugins, on the other hand, you’ll pay fewer fees but you’ll have to do most of the set up on your own. You’ll also have to handle the transaction errors and create a way to manage donors on your own.
So essentially, if you want to get started as quickly as possible and don’t mind paying extra for an already built platform, Patreon is a great option. If you don’t mind setting up donations on your own and managing donors yourself, then WordPress plugins are perfect for you.
13. Start a Podcast
Podcasting is exploding right now. According to Paid Insights, as of April 2019, there are over 700,000 active podcasts and over 29 million episodes.
More people are beginning to listen to podcasts all over the world. Here’s the percentage of the population that now listen to podcasts around the globe:
The State of Podcasting (Image source: Statista)
If you already have a blog, including a podcast can be a really smart way to get more traffic by piggybacking off the growth of podcasts.
Podcasts are great especially when you’re a newcomer because most of the established blogs in your niche have more written content than you do.
But how many of them have a podcast?
Podcasts are what allowed John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire to go from making $69,879 in revenue in 2012 to $1,545,090 in 2018.
Entrepreneur on Fire podcast (Fire Nation)
Podcasts are doing so well that even popular bloggers like Noah Kagan and Darren Rowse now have podcasts alongside their regular blog content.
Podcasts don’t just help you get your name out there and generate more traffic for your blog. It can also be another source of revenue for your blog.
With a large enough audience, you can start selling sponsorship slots on your podcast to businesses that want to reach the people in your audience.
Andrew Warner from Mixergy generates additional revenue by offering companies a chance to reach his audience of entrepreneurs through his podcast.
Here are two of his sponsors for an interview he did with the founder of Codementor:
Podcast sponsors (Image source: Mixergy)
Where to Host your Podcast?
To get started with Podcasting you’ll need a place to host your audio files much like how your website is hosted.
A media host is a company that allows you to store your audio files so they can be streamed and downloaded by listeners.
A few media hosts for podcasts include:
- and Transistor
There are also WordPress plugins that can help you manage and even host your podcasts like Seriously Simple Podcasting, Smart Podcast Player and Simple Podcast Press.
What You Need to Start a Podcast
Most people overestimate what they need to start a podcast and so never begin, but if you already have a computer you’ll need just a few more things to get started, such as:
- A microphone: You can get one for as little as $10 on Amazon.
- A headphone: You probably have this already.
- Audio editing software: There are free options like GarageBand (Mac) or Audacity (Windows).
- Podcast hosting: You can get plans as low as $12 a month.
- A Skype or Zoom account: If you plan to do interviews on your show.
That’s it, you can now start creating episodes for the world to listen to.
While it’s easier than ever to start a blog, most bloggers, as the ConvertKit study shows, have trouble monetizing it. Blogging alone doesn’t generate revenue unless you can find a monetization strategy that works for your blog.
And as most of the examples have proved, you don’t need that much traffic or leads to start generating income from your blog. And while your niche does matter, it’s not the most important factor that determines if you’ll succeed.
We’ve seen people make money with tennis, beards, golf, baby clothes, cars, and even orchids.
What you do need is an understanding of the numbers needed to make your monetization strategy successful and the determination to work hard to promote what you have to offer.
Reading this is the first step, we hope you now have the strategies and tools to start making money with your blog.
Have any other great tips on how to make money from a blog? If so, share them below.
The post How to Monetize a Blog in 2019 (13 Profitable Ways) appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
When it comes to writing and publishing content on the web, “copying” is not something to be taken lightly. You can’t go around stealing or copy/pasting other people’s images or content and using it as your own. Some instances of this might be OK, but you must either get permission or give proper attribution.
It can also be frustrating when you’re on the receiving end. You’ve worked hard on a piece of content or creating a beautiful image, and then someone uses it without your permission. This is why the DMCA exists. Today we’ll dive into how to properly handle a DMCA complaint against yourself as well as how to create a DMCA takedown notice.
What is the DMCA?
The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) is a United States copyright law focused on digital mediums that helps content owners get their stolen content removed in a fast and efficient manner. This extends to places such as Internet Service Providers (ISP), web hosting providers, and search engines.
A DMCA takedown notice applies to where the content is physically hosted. So people outside the US can still file DMCA complaints. For content hosted outside of the US, many hosting providers will still honor DMCA complaints, however, legally they are not obliged to comply.
Migrate today for free
One thing website owners tend to forget is that a DMCA takedown doesn’t require the content to be copyrighted in order to process the takedown or for the request to have the content taken down acted upon by the website owner or ISP.
Here are some examples of digital content that this applies to:
- Text (TXT, RTF, DOC, DOCx, PDF, PPT, etc.)
- Images (BMP, EPS, SVG, JPG, JPEG, GIF, WEBP PNG, PSD, RAW, TIFF, etc. This includes on social media)
- Video (MPG, AVI, RM, MOV, Quicktime, Windows Media Player, RealPlayer)
- Music (AIF, AU, MP3, MP4, MID, WAV, etc. )
Over the last decade, it has become very important for bloggers, webmasters, and hosts to understand how the DMCA procedure works so that everyone can keep their content protected; as well as knowing how to deal with complaints or notices when they arrive. According to Google’s transparency report, requests to remove content due to copyright have been increasing rapidly.
As over March 2019, URLs requested to be removed due to copyright issues has surpassed 4 billion!
Number of DMCA complaints filed
DMCA.com which provides copyright protection services. In other words, the website owner is paying DMCA.com to handle the takedown notices for them.
DMCA protected (Image: DMCA)
How Do I Handle a DMCA Takedown Notice Against Me?
The first thing you should know is how to deal with a DMCA takedown notice when it is filed against you. Generally, when your ISP or web hosting provider receives a DMCA complaint they will demand the removal of the content immediately, or do it for you. And by this, it sometimes means they even shut off your hosting. So don’t ignore emails about DMCA takedown notices.
Your provider might not necessarily even check into whether or not your content is actually infringing. Depending on their location, they might be legally obligated to take this content down and will do so in a fast and efficient manner.
If you believe that you received a complaint in error, or that you do in fact own the content, then you can submit a DMCA counter-notice. Under section 512(f) of the DMCA, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability. So be very careful when you file a DMCA counter-notice, if you are not sure whether or not you own the content then you should probably seek legal advice.
Your counter-notice needs to contain the following information:
- Physical or electronic signature
- Name, address, and phone number
- Identification of the material and its location before it was removed (URL)
- A statement that the material was removed by mistake or misidentification (remember you are liable)
- Consent to the jurisdiction of a federal court in the district where you live or where your service provider is located
- Consent to accept service of process from the party who submitted the takedown notice
How Do I Issue a DMCA Takedown Notice?
The other side of the DMCA process is when you find that someone else has stolen your content. Here are the steps you can follow to ensure it gets taken down.
Try Reaching Out to the Website Owner First
Before drafting up an official DMCA complaint, it can sometimes be quicker to email the owner of the website directly. You can check to see if they list their email anywhere online or if they have a contact form on their website. After getting an email like this, some will just remove the content right away.
Here is a template we use. Feel free to copy and modify it:
I work for [COMPANY] and we discovered your website (https://domain.com) has been using content that is owned by us.
Here are some examples of our content:
- https://yourdomain.com/~ [EXACT CONTENT/IMAGE LOCATION]
And here are copies on your site:
- https://domain.com/~ [EXACT CONTENT/IMAGE LOCATION]
Please remove all copyrighted content belonging to [COMPANY] immediately otherwise we’ll have to proceed with filing a DMCA complaint.
I have created a case ID #xxxx to track this issue until it is resolved.
If you have any questions regarding this, let me know.
Due to the fact that people are busy and sometimes miss emails, you might want to try sending an email more than once. Here you can find a few solid tips on how to find anyone’s email address.
If they don’t respond then you can proceed with the steps below.
1. Find The Person
The very first thing you have to do is find the person’s web host so that you know where to file the DMCA complaint. An easy way to do this is to look up the IP address of the website. You can either ping it or use a free online tool like Domain Tools. In this example below, we are using a site that is hosted on Kinsta on Google Cloud Platform. You can see Domain Tools easily shows us the IP address of the domain we looked up.
Find IP address for DMCA takedown notice
You can then take the IP address and look it up using the ARIN Whois Service. They have a good database of records and comments about which IPs are owned by which companies. You can see in this example once we looked up the IP address, it immediately shows us that it is on a netblock used by Google Cloud customers and the email address and web page for abuse complaints.
Google Cloud platform abuse example
DMCA also has a great free Whois lookup that generates network information. You are limited to 5 free lookups per month. Another alternative you can try if the above doesn’t render any good results is the free Who is Hosting This tool from HostAdvice.
Who is hosting this?
Note: If they are running behind a CDN or proxy such as Cloudflare, this makes it a lot harder as they will show as the owner of the IP address. In that scenario, you might have more luck reaching out to the individual site owner first (if you haven’t already). However, Cloudflare does have a DMCA complaint form.
2. Where to Submit the DMCA Takedown Complaint
Now that you know where the person’s content is hosted you must submit the complaint. Most providers have easy ways to access them. Look on their contact pages, or in the footer for anything that says “complaints” or “abuse.” Here are a couple of links to some common providers.
- Google Cloud Platform Abuse
- DigitalOcean Abuse
- Linode Abuse
- Vultr Abuse
If you can’t find an online form then you must contact a DMCA agent directly. This is usually a long drawn out process. Contacting the web host or ISP provider directly is usually the fastest way. You can also pay a professional team to handle the DMCA takedown for you.
3. What to Include in the DMCA Takedown Complaint
You must include the following information to ensure your takedown complaint is handled properly.
- Physical or electronic signature
- The location and identification of the material you are claiming is infringing (this could be URLs, etc)
- Your contact information, address, phone number, mailing address, etc
- Statement of good faith that the use of the material is not authorized by the copyright owner or you
- A statement that everything is accurate (again, remember you are liable under penalty of perjury)
DMCA Takedown Template
Here is a DMCA takedown template that we use. Feel free to copy and modify it:
Subject Line: Takedown Notice Pursuant to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998
My name is [NAME] and I’m the [POSITION] at [COMPANY].
This is a notice in accordance with Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (”DMCA”) requesting that you immediately cease to provide access to the following copyrighted material. A website that your company hosts (according to WHOIS information) is infringing on copyrighted material owned by our company.
The original [CONTENT/IMAGES], of which we own the exclusive copyrights, can be found at these URLs:
- — [EXACT CONTENT/IMAGE LOCATION]
The unauthorized and infringing [CONTENT/IMAGES] can be found at this IP address/URLs:
- — [EXACT CONTENT/IMAGE LOCATION]
My contact information is:
I have good faith belief that the use of the described material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or by operation of law. The information in this notice is accurate, up to date, and I can confirm that [COMPANY] is the copyright owner.
Should you wish to discuss this further, please contact me directly.
4. Getting the Content Removed from Search Engines
If the original content is taken down, then it will automatically get removed from the search engines. However, if for some reason the above process fails, you can also submit a complaint directly with Google and Bing.
While this won’t always get it removed from the person’s site, it will at least remove it from SERPs so that nobody can find it. It will also ensure that it never ranks over your own content.
Remove Content From Google Search
To remove content from Google Search, use this tool. Select the “Web Search” option and fill out the remaining questions according to your individual case.
Remove content from Google search
Remove Content From Bing Search
To remove content from Bing Search, use this tool, and fill out their copyright infringement report.
Remove content from Bing search
How Long Does a DMCA Notice Take?
Generally, a DMCA takedown notice will take around 72 hours. However, we’ve seen them go really quick (within 24 hours) and also drag on for 6+ months. This depends on a couple of things:
- How fast the company is at processing the DMCA requests.
- The location of the content. Remember, DMCA is only applicable to copyrighted material in the United States. Therefore, if you’re emailing a company outside of the United States, you might never hear back. Although most hosting providers, regardless of location, will try to help.
Hopefully, now you now know a little more about DMCA and how takedown notices work, both when filed against you and when you need to protect your own content.
Have any experience with people copying your content or images? We’d love to hear about it below in the comments.
The post How to Issue a DMCA Takedown Notice (Or Handle Your Own) appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
A text editor may sound boring to some, but it’s the lifeblood of so many organizations around the world. From development teams to publishers, text and code editors are intertwined with almost everyone’s workflows. Many of us bounce in and out of them all day long. Whether you’re writing PHP, or simply taking notes for a project, there are plenty of great tools to make this task a little easier. Today we’ll outline the absolute best text editor solutions.
Some of the text editors are excellent for experienced developers, while others are more for beginners or writers. You’ll also find some great editors for collaboration, real-time code sharing, and much more.
Collection of the Best Text Editors (And Some IDEs)
Here’s a collection of our favorite text editors. Some of these are also considered IDEs, which stands for “integrated development environment.” Meaning you can do a lot more with them than simply write code. We highly recommend testing each one to see which one works best for your own workflow.
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- Sublime Text
- CoffeeCup – The HTML Editor
- Komodo Edit
- Visual Studio Code
1. Sublime Text
The Sublime Text editor is definitely one of our favorites! It offers a free version for testing, but all continual users are required to pay $80 to keep it active. While $80 might sound steep for a text editor, it’s important to note that the licenses are per-user, rather than per-machine, so you can enjoy Sublime Text on as many computers and operating systems as you wish with your license.
As for the features, Sublime Text has an advantage in that it’s extremely lightweight (low resource usage), but still keeps around some of the more advanced features you would expect out of a top text editor. The primary benefit is that Sublime Text offers shortcuts and search tools for immediately finding certain functions and making changes to multiple lines at once. Jumping to specific symbols or words takes only a few seconds.
In addition, Sublime Text automatically creates an index of all functions and methods so that you can work with the shortcuts and customize it for locating bits of code while working.
Sublime Text editor
Going along with the trend of shortcuts in Sublime Text, the text editor lets you type in a few keystrokes to move directly to menu items. So, if you wanted to sort something in your document, you wouldn’t be required to sift through the entire menu to find that functionality.
Sublime Text has a Python API, meaning that a wide variety of plugins can be integrated with the text editing solution. This includes the thousands of plugins that are consistently created by the Sublime Text community.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Sublime Text lets you test out the text editor before committing to the investment. Although it’s a bummer you have to pay for this text editor, you at least get to try it out–and the pricing isn’t that expensive.
- The text editor runs on multiple platforms such as Mac, Windows, and Linux. It’s also cross-platform, so one license will work on all of your devices–no need to purchase more.
- Sublime Text provides split editing for managing and editing files next to each other. You can also open multiple windows and place them on different monitors.
- The Python API opens up opportunities to upgrade Sublime Text with plugins you, or other people, create.
- Sublime Text has extremely user-friendly and powerful shortcuts. From finding and modifying multiple lines to locating certain functions in the menu, Sublime Text should make shortcut lovers happy.
- You can also customize just about anything in Sublime Text. This is especially true when talking about shortcuts and menus. We recommend tweaking the settings to open files in the same window (new tab).
- Has some great community themes available. Check out the Dracula Sublime theme.
Sublime Text makes the most sense for heavy coders. These developers will enjoy the shortcut functionality and the high level of customization. The cross-platform abilities are also nice for launching the same text editor on all machines.
With Atom, you gain access to an open source text editor with developers in mind. In fact, the creators of Atom state that they made it just for developers. Also, there’s a community of developers who contribute themes and plugins, much like WordPress or some other opensource tools. An experienced developer should have no problem working with Atom, since it offers clean collaboration tools, a sleek editor, and some great organization tools for keeping your projects in check.
All of your projects can be shared and edited in real-time, helping out teams that are far away from each other or simply those teams that want a more dedicated workspace. Furthermore, Atom has a GitHub package already included with the text editor. This way, your team can create everything from branches to stages in one interface.
Atom text editor
Another great thing about Atom is that it’s a cross-platform system, working on operating systems like Linux, OS X, and Windows. The smart autocompletion is one of my favorite features, and the multiple panes should make you feel right at home with several panes open to edit code between files. Much like an iPhone (or WordPress,) Atom has extras that you can install called packages. These are offered to expand the functionality of the basic text editor. You can also install themes to make your editor look prettier and easier on the eyes.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Atom is an opensource text editor with a large community of developers. This means you get consistent updates and new themes and packages. Check out the Dracula theme for Atom.
- It’s a cross-platform solution that works on the major operating systems.
- The editor is useful for coding alone, but its true strengths come into play when you need to collaborate with other people. All of the editing and creation can be done in real-time.
- Atom provides a GitHub package for integrating and doing things like pull requests and resolving merge conflicts.
- You can search for new packages and themes right from the text editor.
- It’s fairly easy to edit your code with smart autocompletion, a file system browser, and a find and replace feature.
- Atom offers multiple panes for comparing and editing code side by side.
I would recommend Atom for those developers who want a collaboration tool in addition to the text editor. You can manage projects with other developers and see changes right in front of your eyes. Atom is also nice since it’s opensource–meaning you get it for free, the community is solid, and you can choose from packages and themes. In short, if you like working with WordPress, Atom seems to present itself in a similar fashion.
Debatably the most popular advanced text editor on the market, Notepad++ comes in a compact package with no fees and powerful editing components. It is given away for free on a General Public License, meaning that all developers and content creators are able to take advantage of the text editor right after a quick download. Notepad++ runs on Microsoft Windows, and it strives to use less computing power than the average text editor.
One of the things that makes Notepad++ stand out is the fact that it’s already been translated into over 80 languages, allowing access to people all over the world. Furthermore, you’re able to translate Notepad++ into your native language if you don’t find your language on the list of translations.
Notepad++ text editor
Writing code and manipulating text in Notepad++ comes easy, as it utilizes syntax highlighting and folding. There’s also a wonderful search and replace tool, along with an entirely customizable user interface. For instance, you might want a vertical tab or a document list–all are possible with the Notepad++ text editor.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Notepad++ is completely free for everyone to use.
- The text editor is already translated into dozens of languages, and it provides the documentation needed to translate into more languages.
- You receive a multi-view editor with syntax highlighting and folding.
- The customization tools are easy to understand and powerful enough for the most advanced developer.
- The auto-completion settings ensure that you can finish functions, parameters, and words without having to type them in over and over.
- It offers a multi-document interface for switching between tabs and managing multiple projects at once.
- Notepad++ provides a list of plugins to improve the functionality of the text editor or integrate with other programs.
- You can open a function list, which reveals an outline of all functions found in the current file. This also includes a search engine for quickly locating functions in large documents.
4. CoffeeCup – The HTML Editor
CoffeeCup’s HTML Editor provides extremely advanced text editing for coding and overall web design management. The editor has a free trial, but in order to continue, you must pay the $49 one-time fee. There’s also a fully free version, but the features are pretty watered down.
We like CoffeeCup for creating HTML documents, but you might consider avoiding it for many other code languages. However, it makes sense to take advantage of CoffeeCup if you’re simply learning a language like HTML or PHP.
CofeeCup The HTML Editor
As mentioned, creating and editing HTML is fairly simple with CoffeeCup. This takes your web design to the next level, especially with the tools for tag references and code completion. There are plenty of components to take advantage of that instantly update various elements across your entire website.
What’s more is that the CoffeeCup text editor comes with several responsive website themes. You may want to start from scratch if you’re trying to learn more about coding, but the themes expedite the process for when you need to generate client websites by a deadline.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- CoffeeCup has a free version and free trial. Also, the premium version is affordable.
- This is one of the best text editor options with themes. These aren’t completed websites, but it gets you close to some designs that might look appealing for some of your clients. Why reinvent the wheel when you can start further into the process?
- The FTP connection allows you to go live with your website with the click of a button. Publish your website anywhere you want by selecting a server or web host.
- CoffeeCup is one of the more visual text editors, with a standard split-screen view, but also a live preview to see what your code creates on the frontend.
CoffeeCup is a great choice for those interested in learning HTML, CSS, and PHP. The components library, combined with the theme selection, delivers a good starting point for those who are on a time crunch or don’t feel like beginning from scratch.
TextMate comes offered as a free download, but you can also decide to upgrade to the premium version for $59. Keep in mind that this payment only gets you one license, so you would have to pay for multiple seats if you have a whole team of people in need of the text editor.
To get started, TextMate strictly works on the macOS. It seems like a simple editor at first, but it actually has quite a bit of functionality crammed into a small package. Some of the standards you would expect from a text editor include find search and replace tools, autocompletion, and board management. All programming languages are supported by TextMate, and it does have a tool for Xcode projects.
TextMate text editor
TextMate lets you create multiple insertion points for editing and swapping out pieces of code in bulk. You also receive a list of all version modifications. So, the list includes file changes and allows you to jump back in time if needed.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- TextMate comes with free and paid versions, both of which provide excellent features.
- It’s a lightweight text editor with a clean interface.
- TextMate offers bundles so that you can customize almost every element in the text editor. Want to change languages? That’s possible. Want to adjust your workflows? Go for it.
- You have the option to generate macros to speed up your production processes. All of your repetitive work is eliminated with these macros.
- An advanced file searching tool is included, along with multiple carets for swapping and adjusting multiple lines of code all at once.
If you’re using a Mac, and would like a text editor that supports all coding languages, TextMate is a solid choice for you. It also appears to be a nice solution for those who like bundles and macros.
With support for Windows, Linux, and Mac, the Vim text editor is a stable, reliable editor that integrates with many popular tools. It’s designed for use both from a command-line interface (CLI) and as a standalone application in a graphical user interface (GUI).
Vim was created in 1991. Back then, it was considered one of the most prominent text editors, which allowed developers to generate updates and scripts with a series of commands. This makes it one of the oldest text editors, and it’s quite impressive that Vim is still being used by developers around the world.
Vim text editor
It’s worth noting that Vim is one of the most advanced text editors on this list. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the most user-friendly. Vim definitely requires a learning curve and a willingness to immerse yourself in a whole new feature-set that might not be the same as some other text editors you are used to.
Having said that, you can expect a strong search and replace functionality, along with a large collection of plugins to extend the feature-set in this text editor. We also like the fact that Vim has a large online community to trade tips and learn about new tools to expand upon the base text editor.
You’ll probably notice just how archaic the Vim website looks. Well, the interface for the text editor isn’t much different. That being said, it’s still a high-powered solution for your text editing needs.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Vim provides a system that’s friendly for people who enjoy using plugins for expanding upon the text editor.
- The Vim online community is a place for learning more about extensions as well as new scripts, tips, and tools.
- It is completely free and is an open source solution that receives updates on a regular basis.
- It’s also one of the oldest text editors on the market, and it continues to have some of the most powerful features and a strong following.
- You can integrate Vim with several tools that you are already using for your business or design needs.
- It doesn’t matter what programming languages you’re using, because Vim supports hundreds of languages, along with several different types of file formats.
- With the open source nature of Vim, and the vibrant community, you can vote for new features and really make an impact on the future development of the text editor.
- You can utilize the text editor on all of your machines, since it works on Linux, Windows, and Mac. There are popular projects like MacVim which provide a better GUI.
It’s tough to say which developers would enjoy Vim as a text editor. It’s an old system with an outdated interface. Yet, it still has the charm and powerful feature-set that the average developer needs. I would recommend it to more advanced developers who enjoy using open source software and being a part of a community–like the one you can find behind Vim.
Nano is another popular alternative to Vim used by developers.
UltraEdit also serves as a viable solution for your text editing needs. It’s not free. In fact, you have to start by paying at least $99.95. That gets you the standard UltraEdit text editor, along with free upgrades for any future releases. You can also install the software on three machines, whether it’s Windows, Mac, or Linux computers.
After that, there are plenty of upgrades and additions to UltraEdit, such as an FTP program, compare tools, and finder options. You can decide whether or not any of these will help with your work process, but each one of them requires an additional payment. As for the core text editor, UltraEdit is known for its performance and customization abilities, along with some nice-looking themes so that you don’t always have to start from scratch. You can replace and find files, and most of the tasks like these are done in a rapid fashion.
UltraEdit text editor
The multi-caret selection tool is sure to speed up development by allowing you to delete, paste, and cut anything you would like with the selection from your cursor. Live previews are also available. They’re displayed side-by-side as you make markdown changes right next to the preview. The feature set from UltraEdit is one of the most comprehensive on this list, so we can’t cover them all. However, we do particularly enjoy the customizable user interface, which allows you to lay out your workspace however you’d like.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- UltraEdit is a premium solution that provides customer support, a decent community, and a wide variety of features that you wouldn’t always get with a free or open source text editor.
- It’s one of the fastest text editors you’ll find, especially in terms of replacing and finding files and selecting and editing multiple bits of code.
- The HTML live preview brings a visual aspect to your programming process. It sits right next to the text editor and renders an HTML preview for you to see right in the program.
- You’re able to edit extremely large files with UltraEdit. Many times, you’ll find that a less powerful or free text editor will crash when you try to customize these large files. That’s not the case with UltraEdit.
- This is a multiplatform text editor, and when you pay for one license you can use it on three different machines.
- All the tools are configurable in the text editor. You can even choose from some editor themes that serve as skins for the program.
- There are several smart templates that automatically complete some of the code as you type.
UltraEdit serves a few purposes. First of all, it allows developers and programmers an option for uploading and editing large files. You’ll also notice that it has incredible power and performance for locating files and searching for areas in those files. We also like it for corporate use, seeing as how you can install it on three different platforms and it’s one of the more secure and trusted solutions on the market. From regular text editing to web development and file comparing, UltraEdit provides an impressive set of key features that come at a reasonable price.
Coda is for all the Mac lovers out there. It costs $99 for one copy, and the pricing gets progressively cheaper per copy if you purchase multiple copies at the same time. In addition, Coda is very reminiscent of many other Mac products, in that it has one of the most beautiful interfaces of every text editor on the market today. Mac users rave about it, and it’s not hard to see why. First of all, you receive a built-in terminal and an inspector to go along with an interface that lets you edit both remote and local files.
Coda text editor
Coda is also an elder in this space, seeing as how it’s been around for over a decade. Coda2 is actually the text editor that you would be installing on your computer. This version offers some unique features such as local indexing and a CSS override for editing CSS on a live website. Another notable new feature is the publishing tool that tracks all of your files outside of the Coda app. You can then save and publish any of these remote files directly into the text editor.
On the surface, Coda is a basic text editor with features for syntax highlighting, code folding, and autocompletes. However, you will find some rather unique editing options, like something called a wildcard token that lets the user rapidly generate items like gradients and colors as you type. Although the text editor goes for $99, you receive a great value, along with excellent customer support and plenty of free e-books and resources dedicated just to the Coda editor.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Coda provides a one-click wildcard token for adding little changes throughout your document when working through the find and replace tool.
- It offers one of the cleanest, most modern interfaces out of all text editors.
- You receive excellent basic tools for working with a wide variety of languages and highlighting syntax.
- It is designed specifically for Mac users, so it’s great if you love Macs.
- File management is a breeze on Coda, seeing as how you can edit remotely through FTP or Amazon S3 servers, or even access your local files and publish them remotely.
- Much of your coding is completed through the text editor on your desktop. However, you can remotely edit your code, or even test out previews on your iPhone or iPad while editing in Coda.
- The new version includes some revolutionary tools such as CSS overriding, Panic syncing for passwords and private keys, and local indexing to autocomplete anything from classes to functions.
If you want the most beautiful interface on this list, this is the text editor for you. It’s also important to remember that this is one of the few text editors made just for Mac computers. So, if you’re a Mac user, it makes sense to go with Coda. You also might consider it if you would like to improve your coding previews or need to figure out a way to edit your files both remotely and locally.
BBEdit is an editor that spawned from the same technology used in TextWrangler. Now that TextWrangler has been decommissioned, all of its users are being pushed to use BBEdit instead.
Similar to Coda, BBEdit is also exclusively used on the Mac operating system. It offers highly advanced features, but also strives to have a bare-bones like appearance to go along with the acronym BB. BBEdit includes excellent features like Git integration and auto-completion. Syntax highlighting and quick lookups are also provided, along with editing windows that you can split up and place next to each other for easier editing. The current version of BBEdit costs $49.99 for an individual license. You can also upgrade to new versions for cheaper prices.
BBEdit text editor
With BBEdit, you have complete control over the text in your editor, it’s extremely easy to search and locate items due to the clean interface and smooth workflows. Text handling is one way to use BBEdit, seeing as how it offers excellent features such as canonization, hard wraps, and case changes. You’ll also find this text editor useful for web development, with its powerful previews in any browser and the ability to add special characters to any HTML.
The BBEdit text editor has impressive options for programming as well. For instance, many programmers enjoy the ability to auto-indent and check their syntax for certain scripts like Python and Ruby. We also like the fact that this text editor has code folding so that you can read your files easier by hiding larger sections of code. Overall, BBEdit is one of the best text editors, especially for those who are already using the Mac operating system.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- BBEdit features code folding and text completion, both of which make for a cleaner interface and speedier coding.
- It works with a wide variety of languages and has syntax checking for multiple scripts.
- You receive a bare-bones interface that is meant to clear out all distractions while still keeping around the features that make for a strong text editor.
- This text editor is created just for Mac users, so you won’t have to worry about getting used to a new interface.
- Search and replace tools are available for adjusting individual items throughout multiple files. There are also several navigation functions as well as syntax coloring.
- You can add special characters to your code and insert attributes and tags that might assist you while writing your HTML.
- Under construction HTML and markdown can be previewed right next to the code being edited. Not only that, but all updates you make to the code are automatically changed in the preview before your eyes.
- It offers automated completion tools for suggesting things like clippings and symbols.
- You can take advantage of basic and more advanced text handling features such as the ability to exchange characters and words, the straightening of quotes, and full canonization.
- All of your projects have folder listings so that you can organize your work and then browse and edit your directory listings with speed and precision.
- All files can be accessed and manipulated through SFTP and FTP.
BBEdit works wonders for those on the Mac operating system. It has the tools you need for web development, along with text handling. So, you might use it if you’re a writer or a programmer. It’s also worth noting that with the fairly low price and incredibly clean interface, it might make more sense to go with BBEdit over Coda.
10. Komodo Edit (Or IDE)
The idea behind Komodo Edit is to offer something powerful, yet with a certain level of simplicity, so that even beginners should be able to grasp it. You can download Komodo Edit for Mac or Windows operating systems. It’s free and open source, allowing those who don’t need all the advanced features a text editor that gets smaller projects done.
Also, if you require more advanced tools like code profiling or unit testing, the Komodo IDE upgrade does the trick. Support for all languages and frameworks is provided through Komodo IDE, making it ideal for web development. Also, this upgrade doesn’t cost you anything since it’s also an open source project.
Komodo Editor text editor
However, I would recommend trying out Komodo Edit first to see if it has all of the tools you need for projects. After all, it’s a cleaner interface and lighter weight solution for keeping projects better organized. Komodo IDE has all of the features from Komodo Edit but then it adds on dozens more. For instance, both offer things like the multi-language editor, skin sets, and the ability to make multiple selections.
However, you would have to switch to the Komodo IDE text editor if you need print debugging, or if you’d like tutorials for learning about the system.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Komodo Edit is one of the best text editor options since it offers two separate versions, one that’s great for light users and another that’s for the advanced power user.
- Both of the versions, including Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE, can be downloaded for free.
- The Komodo IDE version has real-time code collaboration tools for connecting with other developers on your team and sharing and editing files together.
- The interactive shells in Komodo IDE include Python, Ruby, and Perl.
- The Komodo IDE option also has plenty of integrations. Some of these are Gulp, Grunt, Yarn, and Vagrant.
- The live previewing in Komodo IDE ensures that you can render HTML visuals while adjusting your code.
- The Komodo Edit version has the ability to track changes and make multiple selections.
- Both versions have multi-language editors that include skin and icon sets.
When you think about it, Komodo makes solutions for everyone. Since Komodo Edit and Komodo IDE are both offered for free, less experienced and advanced users can take advantage of the text editor. So, if you’d like a lightweight version, or just something simpler, go with Komodo Edit. If you’re looking for more ambitious tools, the Komodo IDE text editor provides everything from print debugging to custom workspaces.
11. Visual Studio Code
As one of the younger players in the game (launched in 2015) Visual Studio Code puts forth quite an effort for building a stable community and ensuring that users are getting the features they need. The hard work definitely shows, since the plugin library has been growing quite a bit. It’s also an open source project that you can download directly to macOS, Windows, or Linux for free.
A few distinct areas make Visual Studio Code an appealing text editor for all developers. First of all, Visual Studio Code is often considered to be faster than older editors on the market. You can also clear out all of the clutter by opting for the Zen Mode, which removes all menus and items that don’t involve your editor.
Visual Studio Code text editor
We also enjoy the IntelliSense feature, which takes syntax highlighting and auto-completion to the next level–with the help of smart completions based on function definitions and other items like variable types. The Visual Studio Code editor has Git commands programmed into the system. This way, you’re able to pull or push from all hosted SCM services.
Finally, the Visual Studio Code website has numerous tabs for you to learn about the software. The documentation page walks you through steps like the setup and working with different languages. You’re also able to check out some tips and tricks and learn all of the Visual Studio Code keyboard shortcuts. Along with a blog, updates page, extensions library and API information, Visual Studio Code looks like a great choice.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Visual Studio Code is a completely free text editor with open source access and a large collection of extensions to make some upgrades.
- The community is strong and the website includes plenty of documentation, a full blog, and lots of information in the form of FAQs and API page.
- It provides built-in Git commands.
- The IntelliSense feature does a wonderful job of upgrading the standard autocomplete and syntax highlighting features you would expect from most text editors. Essentially, it creates smart completions based on items like function definitions and variable types.
- You have the option to debug your code directly in the editor. Therefore, there is no reason for print statement debugging.
- This is a multiplatform text editor, with support for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
There are a few reasons you might consider Visual Studio Code for your text editing needs. The first is if you would like a free text editor that actually has a thriving community behind it. The second reason would be if you like the idea of extending and customizing your text editor in terms of language, theme, and debugger support. We also really like the IntelliSense feature, so it makes sense for people who are also intrigued by the smart completions.
Looking for a cool Visual Studio Code theme? Check out Shades of Purple, created and maintained by Ahmad Awais.
The Brackets text editor comes from the folks at Adobe, in an attempt to offer a more modern, open source solution for developers creating websites. This is a free text editor, with some appealing visual tools for previewing your work and allowing for frontend developers to examine the changes. Writing code is the main focus in Brackets, and it’s done with the help of inline editors, live previews, and nicely organized files.
Because of its affiliation with Adobe, Brackets has somewhat of an integration with Photoshop, in that it can take pieces of your PSD file and generate code for your project.
Brackets text editor
Brackets is open source and offers a decent community. It’s also available on Mac, Linux, and Windows machines. The interface is fairly simplistic, but the text editor has a wide range of features for you to play around with. In addition, developers are able to upload their own extensions via GitHub. If you would like to use one of these extensions, all you have to do is go to the website.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- Brackets delivers on value and its feature-set, especially considering you don’t have to pay a dime and it’s specifically designed for web developers.
- It has somewhat of an integration with PSD files.
- The text editor connects with GitHub.
- Several extensions are provided for you to expand upon the current text editor and potentially customize what your interface looks like.
- Brackets is a cross-platform solution for use on all of your operating systems.
- The live preview feature ensures that all developers can see their work in a more visual manner.
- The inline editors let you select an area inside of your code and open a window right in the editor. This way, you don’t have to have several tabs open while completing your work.
Brackets has plenty of features to consider, but it seems like developers will most enjoy the visual live previews–considering you can’t get this type of presentation in most text editors. It’s also nice for those who want a good value for a free text editor, considering the extensions and overall community vibe is strong.
The CodeShare text editor takes a completely different approach to online code editing. It’s built for developers, and it has a focus on giving these developers the opportunity to share code in real time and speak to each other through a video chat. So, essentially it’s a real-time code editor combined with a Skype-like communication service.
The reason we like this configuration so much is because the development teams no longer have to be in the same room to see and edit changes right before their eyes. This is highly beneficial for interviews, considering you could remotely hire someone and see their coding abilities along with their face. You also might use it for a debugging session or to review any type of code for your organization.
Keep in mind that any code written on CodeShare is only stored in the text editor for 24 hours. It’s then deleted. So, you either have to save it to your own machine or you have to sign up for an account at CodeShare. A sign-up is not technically required but it does give you that huge feature of saving your code.
Other than that, there is no fee to get started with CodeShare. All you have to do is create an account and then you receive access to the video chat functionality as well as the real-time coding.
Which Features Make This One of the Best Text Editor Tools?
- CodeShare stands out as the very first text editor to offer real-time sharing.
- This is also one of the best text editors because it has an integrated video chat solution for logging in multiple members of your team. This might come in handy for interviews or team sessions where seeing a person’s face and hearing their voice would be beneficial.
- It’s a completely free text editor.
- CodeShare is a fairly bare-bones code editor, making it perfect for those who like fewer distractions.
- Your code can be saved if you sign up for a free account.
First of all, Codeshare is made primarily for developers. So, it really doesn’t make sense to use it if you are a content creator or publisher. That said, Codeshare should be considered if you like the idea of having a video chat embedded into your online code editor. You don’t necessarily have to always use the video editor, but it is there as a feature. It’s also worth looking into if you want one of the best real-time code sharing solutions on the market. Overall, we would recommend it for those who would like to code with their teams, interview developers, or teach other people how to program through video.
If you’re still a little confused about which text editor to choose, here’s a list of our final recommendations (remember, we recommend trying each of them out to find the one that works best for your workflow):
- Sublime Text – This one makes the most sense for heavy coders. Is lightweight with low resource usage.
- Atom – We like Atom for people who also want a collaboration tool with the text editor.
- Notepad++ – Consider this text editor if you’re a beginner or advanced user. It has the features developers need without being too confusing for those just starting out.
- CoffeeCup HTML Editor – If you’re learning coding languages, think about trying this editor.
- TextMate – Consider TextMate if you have a Mac and need support for all languages.
- Vim – Use Vim if you’re an experienced developer who might enjoy an older interface or prefer something via the command line.
- UltraEdit – If you need to upload and edit large files, UltraEdit does the trick.
- Coda – Go with Coda if you’re using a Mac and would like an incredibly pretty interface.
- BBEdit – This one is also good for Mac users.
- Komodo Edit – You can use Komodo as a beginner or experienced pro. Just make sure to download the right version depending on which one you are.
- Visual Studio Code – Here’s a text editor with a unique auto-completion feature. Try it out if that sounds interesting to you.
- Brackets – Try out Brackets if you like live previews and extensions.
- CodeShare – Consider CodeShare if you’re a developer or teacher who could use real-time code sharing and a video chat component.
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the best text editors, share your thoughts in the comments below. Let us know if you’ve used any of these options and what your favorite feature is. Also, mention any other editors that we might have missed.
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From writing emails to crafting the perfect travel blog post, grammar means a lot if you’d like to maintain credibility in the business world. Some of us are native English speakers but could still use some tips along the way. Others are not native to the language, so they’re trying to make sure they sound professional whenever writing. Regardless of the situation, the solution is to consider one of the best grammar checker tools.
We particularly like the grammar checkers that integrate with WordPress and other online apps for email and social media. Having a native app is also a plus, as nobody needs yet another tab to keep open.
Some of our suggestions focus more on niche needs, such as correcting passive voice and switching languages. But we’ll cover them all! Keep reading to learn more about the best grammar checker options on the market today.
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The Best Grammar Checker Options
- Hemingway App
- Language Tool
All of the grammar checkers on this list have been tested and approved by our team. The top two (Grammarly and the Hemingway App) are frequently used by the Kinsta team for finding grammatical errors in WordPress, avoiding passive voice before publication, and merely spotting mistakes we might otherwise miss.
It’s also important to realize that a lot of companies nowadays are spread across the globe working remotely. That means many on your team might not speak English as their first language. For example, team members at Kinsta speak all sorts of languages! From Hungarian to Spanish, French, and English. In these cases, grammar checker tools become really important!
Grammarly is not only one of the most popular and best grammar checker tools, but it offers some excellent integrations for those working with WordPress and other online writing programs. To start, Grammarly has a free Chrome extension that proofreads and suggests edit in your browser. So, you can expect to see Grammarly working when WordPress is open, as in other programs like Gmail, Google Docs, and social media accounts.
Grammarly isn’t only a spellchecker. It’s designed to polish your grammar and spelling based on the context of what you’ve already written. Because of this approach, Grammarly identifies items like weak adjectives, misspelled words, missing articles, and improper comma usage. What’s more is that Grammarly provides error explanations so that you can improve your writing in the future.
The basic Grammarly Chrome extension is free. This extension activates a wide variety of Grammarly features in most browser-based apps. There’s also a free download for a version of Grammarly that works with Microsoft Office, as well as native apps for Windows and Mac.
Grammarly Mac app
That being said, some individuals and organizations out there might want more advanced Grammarly features. In that case, Grammarly offers a premium version for $29.95 per month, or $11.66 per month if you pay annually. This expands on the original extension by adding features like advanced checks for sentence structure, vocabulary suggestions, and genre-specific style analysis.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- The free Chrome extension offers critical grammar and spelling checks, making it far more advanced than a regular spellchecker.
- You can upgrade to get some incredible features like a plagiarism detector and advanced context checker.
- The Chrome app installs itself in your browser in a few seconds and starts working in WordPress, Gmail, Google Docs, and other apps without having to configure any settings.
- Weekly progress reports and error explanations ensure that you don’t use Grammarly as a crutch, but actually, learn from your mistakes.
- Unlike a regular spellchecker, Grammarly looks into more complicated fixes, like for subject-verb agreement and comma splicing.
- You have the option to save and gain access to your past work from any computer.
- Grammarly stores your personal dictionary so that it corrects or ignores certain words that you use on a regular basis.
- You can disable Grammarly on certain websites. For instance, it might not work as well on some websites or you might find that you don’t need it for some tasks.
- The native apps work great so you don’t need to worry about bookmarking it or keeping another tab open.
2. Hemingway App
The Hemingway App is a little different than your standard grammar checker. This is because it strives to make your writing more succinct, active, and engaging. It’s named after Ernest Hemingway who was known for including vivid detail in his writing, while still using short, clear sentences. Not only that, but he focused on always using active voice instead of passive. Therefore, the Hemingway App lets you paste in your writing (or write in the app). Then, it provides a grade for readability, while also telling you the following:
- How many adverbs are being used (the fewer the better).
- How many times you use passive voice.
- If some phrases have simpler alternatives.
- If some of your sentences are hard to read.
The Hemingway App doesn’t have a direct WordPress plugin or Chrome extension to use with your browser, but it’s still an essential grammar checker for those who want to make their writing more masterful. We recommend writing your articles in WordPress (or whatever word processor you like the most) then copying the finished product into the Hemingway App before publication. This way, you not only learn what you’re doing wrong, but you’re able to clean up things like passive voice before people read it.
The online version of the Hemingway App is completely free for you to use. You might also consider the desktop app for $19.99 if you’d like to install a native version of the tool on Mac or Windows computers. The good news about the desktop app is that it has a direct integration with WordPress for a one-click publication process.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- The free tool is available on your browser and allows you to quickly copy in your text before publication.
- It focuses on correcting problems like passive voice, adverbs, complicated sentences, and more.
- You receive a readability score so you know exactly how your readers are going to view your writing.
- The free app also includes some simple metrics like reading time, words, sentences, and paragraphs.
- The paid desktop version is only a $19.99 one-time fee.
- With the desktop version you don’t need an internet connection, it connects with WordPress, and you can export to Microsoft Word and other editors.
The Ginger Software claims to be the world’s best grammar checker tool, so we put that to the test. It turns out to be a wonderful option that works similar to Grammarly. You start by installing the free Ginger Chrome extension. After that, your work in WordPress, or other word processors, is analyzed for grammatical, spelling, and context errors. You can even take advantage of Ginger in apps like Slack, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Gmail.
The grammar checker is the main tool you’ll notice when correcting your writing, but Ginger also provides tools for translation, sentence rephrasing, and dictionary lookups. The only problem with Ginger is that the coveted grammar checker isn’t actually included in the free version. The free Chrome extension only has translations and definitions, but nothing else.
In order to activate tools for grammar checking, sentence rephrasing, and analysis of your mistakes, the premium version is required. This plan starts at $12.48 per month, but that’s if you pay annually. The standard monthly price is $20.97. Overall, Ginger is a quality grammar checker, but it’s more of a premium solution that you have to pay to get the best features.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- The interface is clean and user-friendly with support for grammar checking, sentence rephrasing, and text reading.
- There is a free Chrome extension for translations and definitions.
- The pricing isn’t that steep if you pay for it annually.
- Ginger proofreads as you type in a wide range of online apps, such as Gmail, WordPress, and Slack.
- It offers a personal trainer feature that helps you improve your English over time.
- The text reader feature allows you to listen to your written text to see how it sounds.
- You can use Ginger while writing on several devices, such as phones, computers, and inside of Microsoft Office.
The WhiteSmoke software completes several tests as you write your articles, papers, or emails. WhiteSmoke comes as three separate products, all of which complete similar tasks. It all depends on which programs and devices you’re utilizing.
The first one is called Desktop Premium, which works on Windows and all major desktop browsers. The second is called WhiteSmoke Web, which is not a native software but a browser-based version of Desktop Premium. Finally, the Mobile App ensures that all of your texts, mobile emails, and other communications are done the right way on your smartphones and tablets.
There is no free plan for WhiteSmoke, but the pricing starts at $8.33 per month and goes up to $22.99 per month, depending on the features you need. These prices are for when you pay a full year upfront. You also have the option to almost cut those prices in half if you opt for a three-year payment plan.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- WhiteSmoke comes with hundreds of email and document templates to start your writing off on the right foot.
- Although WhiteSmoke does not have a free version, the premium plans are quite affordable and the feature-sets make it a great value.
- It’s one of the few grammar checker tools that have a viable mobile app for keeping your writing clean on your mobile devices.
- A plagiarism checker is included to make sure you’re not copying anyone else’s work.
- You can translate your writing to several other languages.
- Some of the plans work with both Windows and Mac computers.
- WhiteSmoke instantly proofreads your work in both Microsoft Office and Gmail.
- The software seems to work pretty well when you have WordPress opened in a browser.
You may be familiar with Jetpack as an all-in-one plugin for WordPress. You can take advantage of everything from social media sharing to security tools. That’s just a small portion of what Jetpack can do, but overall, it can be a good option for those who don’t want to install dozens of plugins on one WordPress site.
Jetpack also provides support for grammar checking and proofreading. This is powered by the After The Deadline technology, which is an open source grammar checker software which is used in some corporate applications, including WordPress.com.
Because Jetpack uses After The Deadline as its grammar checker, all you have to do is install and activate the Jetpack plugin. Then, enable the “Check your spelling, style, and grammar” option within the Jetpack settings.
Enable Jetpack grammar and spell checking
After that, a proofreading button appears in the text editor for posts and pages.
Proofreading writing with Jetpack
Since this is After The Deadline technology, the software checks for misused words, spelling problems, style issues, and grammar mistakes. One of the most interesting parts of Jetpack proofreading is that it also checks for poor writing–like for double negatives, hidden verbs, and offending language.
Some of the features in Jetpack require a payment, but the proofreading and grammar checking tool is free of charge.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- Jetpack is one of the most commonly used plugins on WordPress, so you know it’s going to work well while writing.
- You also get several other tools with Jetpack. Some of these include powerful options for SEO, security, social media, and more.
- The Jetpack grammar checker is free.
- You have the option to turn on/off some of the proofreading settings.
- Style options include checking for jargon, bad phrases, complexities, and biased language.
- The grammar checker is not only for English users. It also supports German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
LanguageTool has the best of many worlds coming together in one of the sleekest and best grammar checker tools on the market. To start, you can copy and paste in a piece of text right on the Language Tool homepage. It also provides a highly-rated Chrome extension to use the grammar checking features in all of your favorite web apps. This includes options like Gmail, WordPress, and online text editors.
The premium version gets you more grammar checking tools and an integration for Microsft Word–all for $19 per month. This price goes down quite a bit if you pay for one or three years in advance.
The free version is quite suitable for most users, considering you get most of the standard features. The only limit is the 20,000 characters per grammar check. So, you might find that some of your long form articles are unable to utilize the LanguageTool technology. Other than that, I really like Language Tool for its descriptions on each grammar or spelling correction. This explanation is automatically shown at the top of the suggestion box instead of forcing you to click on some sort of “explanation” button (like many of the competitors make you do).
One of the best parts about LanguageTool is that it supports a large library of languages besides English. The app tries to auto-detect your language, but you can also set it from the start. At the time of this article, I’m counting 27 languages, including Greek, Romanian, and Italian.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- It has a free version with most grammar checking tools included. The only limit is the character count.
- Language Tool is one of the most powerful options in terms of language support.
- The premium upgrade is extremely affordable if you pay for one or three years in advance.
- You can install a Chrome extension to grammar check writing in WordPress, Gmail, and other apps.
- There’s an online grammar checker if you find that Language Tool doesn’t integrate with your app or if the Chrome extension doesn’t work well for an app.
- Dozens of add-ons and native software options are provided for things like Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and LibreOffice.
OnlineCorrection appears to be the most basic of all of our best grammar checker tools on the list. However, there are some subtle features that make it perfect for some users out there. To start, it’s only a web-based grammar checker. Therefore, you must navigate to the website and paste in your text (or write inside of the text box) to see the suggestions. So, it doesn’t offer a direct integration into WordPress, but maybe we’ll see something in the future.
That being said, I mentioned that a few smaller features will stand out for some users. To start, all grammar suggestions are highlighted. That sounds pretty standard, but where OnlineCorrection excels is how the suggestions appear automatically when a user scrolls over the highlighted text. I know this sounds minuscule, but most of the grammar checkers on this list require you to click on the text, adding an extra step.
In addition, OnlineCorrection covers far more than grammar. In addition to grammar, it provides hints for spelling, typographical errors, spacing, and duplication. You can even make it so that OnlineCorrection automatically corrects these errors without having to go through the document. In addition, stylistic hints are shown in the box below the text editor, expanding on what has been shown up above.
Finally, some unique English dialects are supported through OnlineCorrection. For instance, you can switch between American, British, Australian, New Zealand, and South African English.
Why It’s One of the Best Grammar Checker Tools for WordPress
- OnlineCorrection is free.
- It has a clean online interface so you don’t have to worry about integrating with any other apps. Simply paste in your text and click on the Submit button.
- A handful of English dialects are supported.
- Some unique checks are made, such as spacing errors and duplication.
- Text correction is also provided for several different languages, such as German, Polish, and Italian.
- All grammar, style, and spelling hints and suggestions are shown when the user scrolls over the highlighted text–as opposed to having to click on it.
Which of the Best Grammar Checker Tools are Best for You?
Some of the best grammar checker options are made for integrating with multiple apps. Others have specific functionalities for finding unique errors or supporting different languages.
If you still have questions about which is the best grammar checker for you, take a look at our final recommendations:
- For integrating with WordPress and getting the best all-around grammar checker – Use Grammarly.
- To fix passive voice and adverb problems – Use the Hemingway App.
- For a clean Grammarly alternative – Think about Ginger.
- If you want the best mobile app grammar checker – Go with WhiteSmoke.
- For a free grammar checker that integrates perfectly with WordPress – Go with JetPack.
- For a clean online grammar box and dozens of languages – Consider Language Tool.
- If you want faster suggestions or support for other English dialects – Consider OnlineCorrection.
If you have any further questions or thoughts about the best grammar checker tools, let us know in the comments section below.
The post Best Grammar Checker Tools for Writing and WordPress appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
At least 40% of internet users in the US have an active ad blocker installed, according to some reports. When you consider that Chrome has come prepackaged with ad-blocking capabilities since February of 2018, along with the multitude of other ad blocking extensions available to install, the picture for online advertising looks bleak. Or does it?
For business owners who rely on advertising to monetize their websites, however, that’s not an immediate concern. What you really want to know is this: Are ad third-party ad blockers, including Chrome’s built-in ad blocker causing your income to take a hit? Or has it already? Short answer: it depends. Long answer: on a lot of different factors.
Ad blocking and advertising are a nuanced coexistence, and there’s no cut-and-dry answer. Today, we’ll dive into the relationship between ad blocking, advertisers, Google, and your website. Then, we’ll cover actionable alternatives for monetizing your site.
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- How Third-Party Ad Blockers Work
- How Google Chrome’s Ad Blocker Works
- How to Disable Chrome Ad Blocker on a Site
- What The Future of Ad Blocking Holds
- 6 Alternative Ways to Monetize Your Site
How Third-Party Ad Blockers Work
Let’s backtrack a bit and talk about how ad blockers work and the state of them before Chrome’s new addition.
It’s estimated that as much as 41% of consumers between 18 and 29 years old use ad-blocking technology. Kids between the ages of 13 and 17 trail behind at 29%. Then, the further you move up the age spectrum, the lower the usage becomes.
Who is blocking ads? (Image source: MGR Consulting Group)
It follows that industries with more tech-savvy users will experience higher incidences of ad-blocking technology.
There are two key reasons that users say they start using ad-blocking technology:
- Their computers were infected with a virus (not distinguished from malware and spyware).
- They were made aware of ad blockers.
So while publishers may not love ad blockers, users very clearly do. But just what are ad blockers doing to earn their acclaim? Ad blockers work like gatekeepers for users and prevent them from downloading unwanted elements. It interrupts the conversation between server and user before ads can be displayed.
You can see this point nicely illustrated below.
How ad blocking works (Image source: AdGuard)
They don’t just interrupt the conversation between ads and users, however. Some also stop tracking codes from sending information about the user’s activities back to the website. For marketers, this can be a serious analytics killer.
A lot of these new ad blockers and privacy features block Google Analytics by default. Which means you if you’re using Google Analytics to track traffic, conversions, and even send data back to AdWords, your entire data set could be seriously skewed.
- The uBlock Origin ad blocker Chrome extension blocks Google Analytics by default (prevents the
analytics.js scripts from loading.). This extension has 10+ million users.
- The Adblock + Adblock plus Chrome extensions both block Google Analytics if the Easylist option is enabled.
- The Tracking Protection feature in Mozilla Firefox automatically blocks Google Analytics.
- Browsers like Ghost block Google Analytics by default.
- Hundreds of other extensions and tools like Disconnect also block Google Analytics.
- GDPR plays a role in this now as well.
But for users, it’s a major privacy concern. And it’s not an unnecessary concern. Just consider the case of Stylish, a now-banned browser extension that let users customize their web experiences and cut down on clutter. It was well-loved by its fans until one discovered a serious breach of privacy.
Browser extension steal internet history (Image source: Robert Heaton)
It was sending back every URL visited, and it had been storing the web history of every user since January of 2017. While this story takes it to the extreme and is technically a browser extension, it illustrates the point well: trackers can be a real problem, and ad blockers are an equally real way for regular users to deal with it.
Still, it puts website owners who rely on advertising for income in a tight spot. There are a few solutions to contending with third-party ad blockers, but they’re not always easy or worth the effort.
You can always gate your content, similar to how Business Insider does it here. On the one hand, this may help you capture revenue by getting users to sign up for special memberships (more on that later).
On the other, you may lose that lead entirely if they decide to move on to greener, more ad-block-friendly pastures.
Alternatively, you can take an even more aggressive approach and circumvent the technology altogether by “blocking the adblocker,” but that’s even more of a gamble.
You could just end up investing funds in forcing ads in front of prospects who’ve already indicated that they don’t want to see them. At best, you’ll lose money. At worst, you’ll frustrate your users. And keep in mind that this approach is only valid for users who aren’t already on Chrome, the world’s most popular browser.
So, your mileage may vary on that approach. Plus, you can always just ask. The fastest way through a locked door is often knocking, after all.
Here’s an example from Nexus Mods.
Ask to turn off ads (Image source: Nexus Mods)
This request unobtrusively fills the space where the advertisement would be. It maintains the user’s experience and gives them something to think about. Here’s another example from Credit One Bank, a financial services/credit provider.
Using ad blocker notification
In both cases, users are given a request (but not a compulsion) to whitelist the provider. If they’re interested in browsing the website or using the service, they can still get to know the website with the security blanket of an ad blocker.
By contrast, users who visit Business Insider have to decide then and there between a purchase, removing their ad blocker, or leaving.
If they’re not already sufficiently motivated to pay or turn off their ad blocker, they won’t have the opportunity to find that motivation on their own.
Now that you know how third-party ad blockers work and your potential solutions, let’s talk about how Chrome differs — and how it doesn’t.
How Google Chrome’s Ad Blocker Works
We’ve mentioned already that Chrome is the most popular browser. But just how popular is it? According to StatCounter, as of August 2018, Chrome claims 59.69% of the browser market share. That’s a lot!
Global browser market share
So no matter how you cut it, the ad blocker is going to hit anyone with online advertising. Unless it doesn’t.
Let me explain. Chrome’s new ad blocking feature functions the same way as third-party ad blockers by interrupting the dialogue between the server and end user. How it assesses “unwanted elements,” however, is based on the usability of a website and how compliant it is with the Better Ads Standard.
This standard was developed based on research with over 25,000 users across both the US and Europe to identify the types of ads that compel users to adopt ad blockers. In other words, the most cringe-worthy ads that are detrimental to the user’s experience.
The results are pretty interesting. Here are the four types of ads that make desktop users crave an ad blocker.
Desktop web experiences
Note that ads specifically refer to advertisements and not modals or opt-ins that may take the same format. Mobile users identified twice as many ad types that repel them.
Mobile web experiences
If your current ads don’t fall into any of these categories, you’re golden. But if they do, and if your site is flagged as violating the Better Ads Standard for more than thirty days, you can expect Chrome to block all advertisements on your website.
John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, explains during one of Google’s Webmaster “office-hours” hangouts:
If we recognize a site that violates the standard the way that it’s defined, then Chrome would choose to not show any ads. So that’s specifically with regards to Chrome.
Those aren’t typos, by the way. Unlike third-party ad blockers, Chrome doesn’t work ad-by-ad. If you’re found violating the Better Ads Standard and don’t submit for re-review within the 30-day window, all ads, compliant or not, will be blocked.
Here’s an example of Chrome in ad-blocking action.
Chrome blocking ads (Image source: GSQi)
It’s worth noting that violations are considered on a device basis. For example, if the mobile version of your website is in violation but the desktop version isn’t, then the desktop version will display normally. And vice versa.
In other words, if your advertisements are compliant with the Better Ads Standard, then this change won’t impact you at all. You can check your site in Google Search Console. If you see “Status: Not reviewed,” then your site isn’t in violation.
Ad Experience Report not reviewed
If your site is in violation then check the Site design issues tab or Creative issues tab. These will have additional information to inform you why, and what you can do to fix it.
However, you’ll want to check out the end of this article for our five alternative methods for monetizing your site.
How to Disable Chrome Ad Blocker on a Site
Chrome’s Ad Blocker is built right into the browser now and by default, it’s enabled for every site. If you want to disable the Chrome Ad Blocker on a site (allow ads), simply click on the little icon next to the site’s name in the address bar and click on “Site settings.”
Chrome site settings
You can then choose whether or not to allow intrusive ads on the page or not. Again, these settings are on an individual site basis.
Allow Chrome Ad Blocker
What The Future of Ad Blocking Holds
Swing by the Chrome store if you get a chance and check out their ad-block section. It’s (still) booming.
Chrome store ad block extensions
Over time, however, the momentum is expected to decline. And that’s great news.
Although these ad blockers will continue to work, experts anticipate that fewer and fewer users will seek them out as more become aware of and benefit from Chrome’s new ad block feature.
Which means that, over time, Chrome may actually lead to more Google-friendly (and user-friendly) ads landing in front of users than if the third-party market was left unchecked.
And that, in turn, can only benefit advertisers in the long run. That, however, is the long game. And it’s not without some ethically-hairy problems regarding the position of one company dominating advertisements and browser use.
In the meantime, it’s a complex web (no pun intended) for business owners to navigate. A lot of the same things that can hurt your search engine ranking on Google’s “mobile first” index overlap with the Better Ads Standard.
One business watched their organic rankings steadily decline thanks to advertisement-heavy layouts, compliance notwithstanding.
Advertisement-heavy traffic decline
No one wants to see that kind of performance drop. Although SEO and advertising aren’t synonymous, they can both be detriments to your bottom line, and untangling them is a headache best saved for the marketers.
Plus, there are better ways.
6 Alternative Ways to Monetize Your Site
Instead of trying to wrangle compliance and make your old advertisement strategy work in this brave new ad blocking world, why not turn to alternative (and often lucrative) solutions for monetizing your site?
Let’s talk about six of them now.
1. Fallback to Alternative Ad Format or Show Warning
You can use a solution like Detect AdBlock to figure how just how much of your site is being impacted. You can then fall back to alternative ad formats if an ad blocker is detected or show them a warning.
Ad blocking statistics
For example, perhaps you run Google Adsense. If an ad blocker is detected you could have it fallback to an affiliate ad instead. Typically affiliate ads are just image banners and shouldn’t be impacted by ad blockers. The Ad Inserter WordPress plugin is one that has a function to serve different ads for users using ad blockers.
Or you could go down the route of showing a warning to visitors running an ad blocker, with something like the Ad Insanity add-on. The idea here is that you encourage visitors to disable ad-blocking (whitelist) on your website to help support the costs of running it.
Make sure to check out our post on some other WordPress advertising plugins you could use.
2. Sell an Ebook or Digital Download
How does $3000 in two weeks sound? How about with a tiny email list you built over time? If you’re Doug Beney, it sounds like your first ebook launch.
Ebook launch success
Very nice, right? Doug’s story proves two things:
- First, you don’t need to be a big publishing house to make a digital download lucrative.
- And second, that G Suite really can do anything.
He made his ebook in Google Slides, after all. Impressive!
Ebook in Google Slides
But in all seriousness, the ebook industry is thriving. Traditional publishing houses felt a 10% drop in 2017 ebook sales, but that’s good news for the website owner. Why? Because that loss came at the hands of indie publishers.
So get in while the getting is good. If you have a story or knowledge to share, find your market, test out your ideas like Doug did, and load up Google Slides.
3. Create an Online Course
The e-learning market is another untapped hotspot. It’s expected to balloon to $325 billion by the year 2025. And there are a ton of LMS plugins that can integrate directly with your WordPress site.
Setting up an online course is easy. And if the booming market growth isn’t enough to convince you of its merits, consider the story of Nick Stephenson. Nick pulled in $130,208 in his first week of sales.
With an email list of around 3,500. What could you do with a list that size or bigger to launch your online course? Install an LMS WordPress plugin today to find out.
For our third monetization alternative, let’s talk memberships.
4. Offer Premium Memberships
Memberships aren’t an overnight profit-turner, but their slower burn is worth the wait. Why? Because memberships are a scalable and, most importantly, recurring source of revenue.
What is a membership site? It largely depends on who you ask. But generally, it’s any site that charges a regular fee (monthly or annually) and provides members with exclusive content.
Usually, the content includes webinars, articles, podcasts, and a community forum. For instance, Copyblogger’s “My Copyblogger” fits this definition to a T.
Copyblogger membership site
The site offers free content and lead magnets for visitors, but they save their best features for their paying subscribers.
How do you know if a membership model is right for your site? It depends on what you produce. If you’re an e-retailer, a premium membership package may not be an easy leap to make.
But if you’re already pumping out ridiculously awesome long-form articles, it may be a perfect fit.
Another factor to consider is the technical demand on your WordPress host. Due to the concurrent users and unique challenges for WordPress membership sites, it’s best to have a performance-backed plan if you want to pursue this avenue.
But have I mentioned how profitable membership sites can be? It’s pretty astounding. One creator was able to translate her social media following into an $8,000 membership launch. Another maintains a revenue stream of $5,000 a month with her course-based membership site.
So if you’re already in the content world and looking for a way to monetize your website, a membership program is definitely worth considering. You can check out our actionable tips and favorite plugins for running a WordPress membership site.
Our last tip of the day may be the best yet. What’s better than extra income? Extra income that fills up your editorial calendar.
5. Feature Sponsored Content and Reviews
If you follow any food blogs, you’ve probably seen a sponsored post in action. For instance, here’s one from Pinch of Yum on behalf of Land O’Lakes Butter.
Sponsored post example
Sponsored content is, as the name implies, content that’s paid for by a sponsor and posted on a website or platform by the owner or an influencer.
However, it’s important to distinguish it from advertising. Although it serves as a form of advertising for the sponsor, the content itself is created to be genuinely valuable to the users, such as the recipe above. Plus, when done well, sponsored content can absolutely dwarf advertising in terms of engagement and brand impressions.
Consider the case of Lula Kids. Creating three pieces of unique, engaging content that were distributed to the Parent Co. audience as sponsored content netted them over 125,000 impressions.
Sponsored content impressions
And it achieved a click-through rate that’s four times higher than the standard on Facebook. Which is why companies are willing to pay for it.
How much should you charge or expect to make? Nailing down an average price is difficult. Factors like domain authority, niche, follower size, and more will change it. But the writing brains behind Hobo with a Laptop have put together an excellent “rate card” for bloggers interested in accepting (or creating) sponsored content.
Charge for sponsored content
But there’s one last thing to keep in mind with this monetization strategy: if you accept sponsored content in exchange for revenue, services, or goods, then you absolutely must disclose your relationship in the content.
It can be as simple as the example you see from Pinch of Yum. Or, it could be a note about the product such as, “Thanks, Company X, for sending me a free sample.” But skipping this step creates legal problems, so if in doubt, always make it bold, clear, and at the top.
Here’s the wrap-up: if you have an active blog, you can increase revenue by accepting or creating sponsored content. Just make sure that you’re disclosing it and charging a rate that’s fair to both the sponsor and yourself.
6. Diversify Income Streams with Affiliate Marketing
And last but not least, you have affiliate marketing! This is a type of marketing where you receive a commission based on selling someone else’s service or product. Typically this involves a visitor clicking a special link on your website which results in a cookie being placed in the visitor’s browser for a pre-defined time period (typically 30 to 60 days). If the visitor ends up purchasing the service or product during that time period, the website owner who was promoting it gets a commission.
This can be an excellent alternative to ad revenue. You can utilize a multitude of different affiliate programs, therefore never putting all your eggs in one basket. Or even combine affiliate marketing with your existing ad revenue.
Sometimes affiliate marketing gets a bad stereotype, as some marketers tend to bend the truth just to make the sale. But many make a full-time living promoting only high-quality products they use and love. This could be anything, a travel blog, a food blog, or even a site where you just chat about WordPress products you use!
We know this works very well because we, in fact, have an affiliate program at Kinsta. You can earn up to $500 for every referral + 10% monthly recurring lifetime commissions. Many are already making a lot of money each month.
Kinsta affiliate program
To understand how Chrome’s new ad blocker will impact your income, you have to understand how it does and doesn’t differ from third-party ad blockers. Third-party ad blockers, for instance, work by interrupting the communication between a user’s computer and the server responsible for the ad. Some of them also block tracking codes such as Google Analytics.
Chrome’s ad blocker is both more and less discriminating. Unlike third-party ad blockers, Chrome works on a site-by-site basis. If it flags your site for violating the Better Ads Standard and you don’t fix it within a 30-day window, it will suppress all ads on your website. Even the compliant ads.
But this change is actually a positive one for the advertising industry. In the long run, it’s expected to lead to a decline in third-party ad blockers and help advertisers get more compliant ads in front of users.
Here’s the bottom line: if your current ads are compliant, you shouldn’t expect any change. If they’re not, you’re going to have to change tactics. Fast. Better yet, why not change your monetization strategy altogether?
Ebooks (or digital downloads), online courses, membership sites, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing are all easy and lucrative alternatives for monetizing your site. And, best of all, you won’t have to wait for the other advertising shoe to drop.
However, when it comes third-party ad blockers and new browser privacy tracking features, these are having a huge impact on website owners. Both from an income perspective and from a marketer’s perspective as Google Analytics for a lot of users might simply be blocked altogether.
Have ad blockers affected your income or data? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.
The post Ad Blockers – Are They Affecting Your Income? (What to Do) appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
Proofreading is something that is often not given the priority it deserves. It’s easy to leave it to the last minute, and then be forced into doing it quickly. But proofreading is important and should be seen as a crucial step in the writing process that requires a good block of time.
There’s nothing worse than creating a really interesting blog post, only to realize once it’s gone up that you’ve missed some mistakes. Proofreading doesn’t have to be difficult, it just requires time and a few good strategies. Here are some good ways to proofread your WordPress blog.
1. Proofread in the Morning
Okay, so not everyone is a morning person. Regardless of what your schedule is like, do your proofreading early in the day. Doing your proofreading at the start of your workday means you’re going to be more alert and wide awake. Don’t proofread if you’re tired, you’re a lot more likely to miss something or make a mistake. A lot of people find themselves getting drowsy in the afternoon as their caffeine begins to wear off.
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Tired (Image source: SayingImages.com)
Bottom line: whenever it is that you’re most awake, that is the time to proofread.
2. Take a Break and Come Back to It
As Madeline Jones, proofreader at Academized writes:
Once you’ve finished writing and feel like you are ready to start editing, it’s a good idea to walk away for a little while. Right now your brain is way too accustomed to what you’ve been writing to do a proper editing job.
You’ll be highly likely to miss some mistakes because you’ve been looking at this piece of writing for a while. Come back with fresh eyes a few hours later, or even a few days later, if you have the luxury. Editing with fresh eyes allows you to actually look at the words with a sense of detachment, reading what is there, instead of what you meant to write.
This is especially important on those super long 10,000+ word content pieces!
3. Pay Special Attention to Punctuation
Bad punctuation just looks bad. Watch out for misplaced apostrophes and periods. Semicolons are also one thing that a lot of people seem to struggle with. Remember that a semicolon is used to link two closely related independent clauses in a single sentence.
Here’s an example:
I have a massive blog post due tomorrow; I can’t play Xbox tonight.
The two clauses above are separated by a semicolon, but could work as their own sentences if you put a period between them instead:
I have a massive blog post due tomorrow. I can’t play Xbox tonight.
If you find them confusing, it’s best just to avoid them. You can write a perfectly good blog post without using a single semicolon.
Another one bloggers sometimes struggle with is which words to capitalize in a title or header. There are four main title capitalization styles: Chicago style, APA style, MLA style, and AP style. There’s no right or wrong selection but choose one and stick with it so your writing all feels the same. You can always double check your work in a free online tool like Capitalize My Title. Bookmark this in your browser for when you’re writing.
Correct use of punctuation makes all the difference in a piece of writing.
4. Follow Along with Your Finger or Mouse
One of the most important things involved in effective proofreading is to read slowly. A lot of people struggle with that, but there are ways to slow things down. One way is to point at each word with your index finger as you read. Another popular habit some writers use is to highlight the words with their mouse as they go. By doing this, you’ll be able to focus on each word.
The natural impulse is to breeze through your document as you proofread. You feel like you’re almost done and you just need to quickly go over your work before you submit it. Slow things down, you’ll thank yourself later.
5. Get Rid of Distractions and Stay Focused
Yolanda Fite, editor at AustralianHelp suggests the following:
Do your proofreading in a quiet place that is free of distractions. Turn off your cell phone, pull yourself away from social media, and turn off the TV. Place yourself in an environment where you are unlikely to be interrupted.
Sometimes that might even mean disconnecting from the internet altogether, printing off your document, closing the laptop, and editing with a pen. It’s also a good idea to have a clearly defined editing time, as opposed to editing on the go. If you edit as you go, you’re going to be constantly switching modes back and forth from writing to editing. Switching modes like that can be distracting and lead to things getting missed.
It’s also easy to drift off and not completely focus while you’re proofreading. If you find your mind wandering off as you’re editing, then you need to find a way to get yourself refocused. You can’t proofread well if you’re only partially paying attention. Proofreading is one time when you need to be sharp because it’s very easy to miss an error. Monitor yourself, and if you find yourself drifting away, it’s important to go back and re-examine the section you were proofreading.
Try tapping your foot or hand as you read each word to stay focused. Sometimes you just need to get up and stretch, get some fresh air, and come back a few minutes later. It’s often tempting to want to just push on until you’re finished, but the quality of your post will suffer if you’re proofreading it while tired or distracted.
Sometimes it helps to take notes as you write, so that you remain in writing mode and don’t become distracted and lose your flow or train of thought. It’s a lot easier to just come back later, look at the notes, and then make your corrections.
6. Be Sure You Have Permission to Use the Material
Your blog can really benefit from including material from other people whose knowledge and opinions you respect. Just be sure it’s okay before using it to enhance your blog post. It should go without saying, but plagiarism is not okay. If you’re going to use someone else’s material you need to cite them as the original author or ask their permission if you’re unsure.
7. Figure out What Your Weaknesses Are
Find out what your most frequent errors are. Even experienced writers will tell you that they have specific errors they tend towards. Maybe you have problems mixing up “two,” “too,” and “to,” or you have a bad habit of placing the apostrophe incorrectly. Whatever your weaknesses are, the most important thing is that you identify them so you can pay special attention to watching out for them as you proofread.
Start working on a list of your common mistakes, and keep it with you as you proofread as a reminder. Having the list handy will also save you the trouble of looking it up online. Google Keep and Evernote are great for these types of lists.
8. Have Someone Else Read Over Your Work
If you can, have a friend, coworker, or family member read over your post. There’s nothing like a truly fresh pair of eyes looking over your writing. Someone who is unfamiliar with the subject material is much more likely to identify inconsistencies or areas that require more explanation. Because you’re so familiar with your writing and it’s topic, your brain can easily fill in spots where your post lacks explanation. Bring in someone who is unfamiliar and they will be able to give you feedback that will make your post more accessible to the average reader.
9. Read It Out Loud
Cornelia Jefferson, writer at PaperFellows advises:
Read your writing aloud rather than silently. Reading it out loud will help you identify sentences that don’t flow well, or are just generally awkward to read. It’s also a good way to determine which of your sentences are too long.
Editing by reading silently in your head is much less likely to find these kinds of deficiencies. It is much more obvious when reading aloud that something is wrong. By reading out loud you are putting yourself in your reader’s position and that makes for writing that is more easily understandable and enjoyable.
10. Change the Font
It sounds very simple, but sometimes a simple change is all you need. Try changing the font or printing your post before you edit it. Your eyes have become very accustomed to the font you’ve typed in. You’ve been looking at that font for hours, so change things up a bit so that you’re looking at it fresh. You can try changing the margins as well. What matters is that the writing looks different, so that you can approach it as something you haven’t seen before. It’s easy to start skimming your post without meaning to, because you’ve looked at it so many times.
Sometimes it can be good to break out of the WordPress editor and use a different tool. For those of you on MacOS, the Bear app is awesome and fonts are beautiful! It can also export to markdown, HTML, etc. for an easy transfer to WordPress. Or you could try diving into Gutenberg.
Bear writer app (Image source: Bear)
11. Double Check Your Prepositions
Prepositions are words such as under, on, with, and after. They are used to describe the position of something, the time something happened, and the way something is done. Prepositions can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language, because they are not necessarily logical. Did the couple arrive on Sunday, or did they arrive in Sunday? If you’re having trouble, tools like Google Ngram Viewer can show you on a graph which way is the most commonly used. You should also consult a dictionary if you’re unsure about the meaning of a word and how to use it.
12. Proofread in Stages
One good way to avoid missing errors is to proofread in stages, rather than trying to watch for everything at once. Proofread once for spelling errors, then again for flow, again for punctuation, again for grammar, and so on. Concentrating on one type of error at a time should give you a much higher rate of accuracy. Create a system so that you don’t miss anything. Just make sure you’ve given yourself plenty of time because this method will obviously be more time-consuming.
Don’t rely 100% on a spellchecker, as they are not perfect; you’ll want to make spelling one of your stages. A spellchecker can’t read your mind and know that you were trying to spell “affliction,” and not “affection.” Although tools like Grammarly can help aid in spotting common errors as you go. Especially if you’re proofreading when you’re not most awake. But remember, you shouldn’t do this.
Another great little tool you should check out is the Hemingway Editor. It highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors.
13. Watch Your Contractions
Is it they’re or their? Most writers know the difference, but when you’re typing out thousands of words in a day, mistakes happen, and spellcheck won’t flag them. Keep your eye out for your/you’re and other contractions. Missing them can really make your writing seem amateurish. The grammar police will find you!
Grammar police (Image source: Rysis on DeviantArt)
14. Try Reading It Backward
One good way to proofread is to simply read your post backward. When you read backward, there is no flow and so you are concentrating on each individual word. You will be able to focus on the correct spelling of each word instead of being distracted by what the sentence is about. This method does take quite a bit of time, so it’s just one more reason to prioritize finishing your writing well ahead of time so you have ample time for proofreading.
15. Online Resources Can Help You Proofread
Proofreading is something that few people enjoy doing, but it’s an important skill for any writer to have. It’s common to struggle with proofreading, but there are plenty of resources out there you can use to improve your skills.
- StateofWriting and MyWritingWay
- Try out these writing guides to make your writing process more organized and manageable. Writing involves quite a few steps, and working your way through them is key to creating a solid piece of writing you can be proud of. These guides will make your writing process simpler and easier.
- Essayroo and BigAssignments
- Proofreading is often done as an afterthought, as something to be rushed and completed at the last minute. But it is just as important as any step in the writing process. These are editing tools that are suggested by Revieweal. You would be amazed at the difference between editing on your own and editing with the help of some experts.
- ViaWriting and StudyDemic
- Grammar is something a lot of good writers have problems with. There are a lot of rules to remember and it’s easy to make a mistake. These grammar resources can help you by checking over your writing to make sure everything looks professional.
- Boomessays and UKWritings
- Simple Grad in Boomessays review has endorsed these online proofreading resources. Don’t risk leaving a typo or two in your blog post, these tools can guarantee your writing is flawless. Even if you’ve written an amazing and informing post, if there are mistakes, the effect just won’t be the same on the reader. Use these tools to make sure your posts are as technically impressive as they are interesting and valuable.
- WritingPopulist and LetsGoandLearn
- One of the best ways to learn is to see what other writers are doing. These proofreading blogs are full of information and experiences of writers with proofreading. Learn from their mistakes and use the lessons to improve your proofreading process.
16. Headings, Titles, and Lists
A lot of people forget to go over and proofread their headings, titles, and lists. Make sure you proofread everything. For some, it helps to make these one of the proofreading stages, to ensure they are not forgotten. Headings and titles are easy to forget, but if there is an error, it will be completely obvious to people reading it. Don’t forget to double check any lists in your post and ensure the numbers are in the correct order, and that there are no missing numbers.
17. Those Last Minute Changes
Sometimes when you’re in the proofreading stage, you realize that you need to add a sentence or two for clarity. When doing this it’s important that you go back and reread the paragraph to make sure everything fits. It’s common for writers to add information and then forget to go back and adjust other related words in the paragraph. Make sure you edit those additional sentences you add in at the proofreading stage.
18. Double Check Your Facts, Names, and Places
It’s important you get your facts right. Tools like spellchecker can’t help you here. You need to do some fact checking. Make sure you’ve used the correct names for any places or people you’ve mentioned in your post. If you’re citing statistics, make sure you’ve got them right and have included proper citations.
Your post can be totally undermined if you forget to do this, and leave your reader with the impression that you don’t even know what the capital of Australia is (hint: it’s not Sydney ) A quick fact-checking step doesn’t need to take much time and can make all the difference in terms of your credibility. Just be sure you’ve got some quality sources you can rely on.
19. Don’t Forget Your Formatting
Do your formatting at the end, but just be sure you don’t forget it. Go over and make sure your paragraph spacing, bullets, lists, text wrap, indentations, and so on are all formatted correctly. You’ll want to leave this step for the end, because things can shift around during the proofreading process. Keep your formatting consistent. If you make a headline bold once, keep doing that throughout your article. Pick a style you like and stick to it.
Proofreading doesn’t have to be difficult. If you give yourself ample time and use a few strategies, your blog posts will be professional. Find out what your weaknesses are, and focus on those areas specifically. Take a break once you’ve finished writing before you begin to proofread. Watch out for contractions, formatting, and prepositions.
Learn how to slow down and read each word individually. If that means pointing with your index finger, or reading it all backward, then that’s fine. Don’t let a subpar proofreading process undermine what could have been a great blog post. Get into the habit of leaving ample time to polish your blog post before submission. Figure out what works for you, and be prepared to invest some time into your proofreading process.
Have any other proofreading tips or tricks you use when writing your blog posts? Let us know what they are below in the comments.
The post 19 Proofreading Tips for WordPress Bloggers (Write Better Content) appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
People form their first impression of you – and potentially your business – in less than one second. Scary. Thankfully, online articles have a little more wriggle room. Most web pages have just under one minute to make their case for visitors to either stay or bounce.
But still, that’s not a lot of time. If you have less than sixty seconds to convince a new user that you’re worth their clicks and shares, you better make it short and sweet, right? Actually, no. As it turns out, shorter isn’t always better. If you want to stand out in a sea of content and keep users on your page, long-form articles are the way to go.
What Are Long-Form Articles?
Long-form articles refer to pieces of content that are longer than your typical run-of-the-mill post. While standard post length hovers around 1,100 words, long-form articles are usually a minimum of 2,000 words and often extend up into the 2,500+ word territory. Long-form articles are about telling stories and engaging readers.
Those meatier, in-depth articles are often typically more interesting, engaging, and shareworthy as opposed to a standard 500-word post. Plus, they’re easy to translate into evergreen material. Long-form content helped one marketer pull in almost a quarter of a million visits in a single year for four websites with wildly different audiences. Talk about awesome for SEO.
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But long-form content isn’t for marketers alone. If you have a website, you have the potential to make bank with a well-placed article. And, if you’re using WordPress, it’s super easy to create some real showstoppers. In this guide, we’ll talk about what long-form articles are, why you should be writing them, and the tools you can use to make the most of your website’s first impression.
Is long-form content for everyone? No, most people will benefit from giving long-form articles a chance. If anything, we highly recommend you test long-form articles on your site and see what happens.
- Diving into Long-Form Articles
- Benefits of Long-Form Articles
- Long-Form Articles Have Huge SEO Impact
- 7 WordPress-Friendly Tools and Plugins
- 2 Long-Form Loving WordPress Themes
Diving into Long-Form Articles
At its most basic level, the term “long-form” as it relates to content refers to written articles and blog posts that are longer than your typical run-of-the-mill post. While standard post length seems to hover around 1,100 words these days, a long read is often at minimum 2,000 words and often extends well beyond that up into the 2,500+ word territory, however, content-length is not always the most important factor.
Long-form writing has become quite a trend largely in thanks to sites like Medium.com, the blogging platform started by Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams. And while that site didn’t invent long-form content, it did put long-form articles on the map as it relates to the digital space and how that translates into greater engagement.
If you’re still scratching your head at this point, don’t worry. What makes long-form work are puzzling things to contemplate. After all, plenty of websites have featured long content in the past. Long-winded diatribes are no stranger to the Internet and the whole idea that the best posts are about 500-words got its start somewhere, right?
Yes, shorter word counts have been preferred for quite some time now for a reason. The thinking here was that attention spans are so short and that potential customers are so busy that they just don’t have time to pore over page after page of text. They’d rather get a brief idea of what’s up and then move forward. Sound logic, yes, but the very formulaic nature content writing has taken on is precisely what long-form is reacting against.
Long-form content is the concentrated effort to bring creativity back into content marketing. It’s about telling stories and engaging readers. That sort of thing is hard to define. Take Forbes contributor Joshua Steimle, for instance, who read a lengthy case study on a design firm, Teehan+Lax’s website that fully engaged him—even though he doesn’t typically read case studies. What was it about this long case study that sucked him in? It told a story, yes, but Steimle says there was more to it than that. The answer? The study was written for real people and above all else was something the Teehan+Lax team wanted to write and read.
As unscientific as that sounds, the human approach is what’s so effective here. As Steimle writes:
…if you create content you like, others will probably like it as well.
Benefits of Long-Form Articles
It’s important to understand that long-form articles can be a lot more than just word walls. So we’ll dive into some of the benefits below.
The average blog post from 2017 was, on average, just shy of 1,100 words. And that number will likely keep climbing. Compared to 2014, six times as many blogs put out posts that exceeded 2,000 words last year.
Word count in posts (Image source: CoSchedule)
Does that mean that the average article is now considered long-form? It depends on who you ask. While many would say that anything over 1,200 words is in long-form territory, that doesn’t make it long-form. Because the length of the content is only half of the picture. The other half is in its — you guessed it — form.
Much of the negativity surrounding long-form content emphasizes the “OMG that’s a lot of words!” part. But long-form content isn’t just long. It’s also jam-packed with visual stimulation, subheaders, and easy navigation cues to keep it informative but digestible. Other things that might break on content include Tweet boxes (such as seen below) or even a table of contents.
These little touches make a big and cumulative difference in a long-form piece’s reception. Adding visual stimulation has an especially big impact. Mixing visual content into high-quality, thoughtful articles transforms your text walls into awesome, mentally-engaging obstacle courses.
Adding images also dramatically increases the reach of your content. You can get as much as 94% more shares by adding just one image to your articles.
Images increase shares (Image source: Backlinko)
But the more you add, the better. Canva and BuzzSumo looked at data from over 100 million articles. The top performers all had one thing in common: Images everywhere.
They found that adding an image every 75-100 words gets the most shares. Placing images every 125-150 words leads closely behind.
Words per image (Image source: Canva)
Which means that it isn’t enough for a great long-form article to simply have 1,200 or more words. It also needs ten to twelve images to break the copy up and keep it from being a word wall. That’s what gives it shape and sets it apart from an early 1990s Encyclopædia Britannica set.
So, if you’re committed to creating long-form articles, make sure you’re not stopping at word count. Add some visuals to keep things readable and shareable.
Sometimes the content of long-form articles isn’t even included in the main blog feed. Rather, it’s linked to from the blog and sits on its own static page. A great example of this is our Kinsta Learn Section. Long-form content is more often than not designed to stand the test of time.
Long-form allows you can create better content. How many times have you come across a post that promises to be a “comprehensive guide” only to find that it just skims over a topic? Yeah, that’s pretty frustrating. It’s also unavoidable when sticking to traditional blog post lengths. Long-form content lets you delve into a topic more in-depth, include research, and feedback from interviews. It gives you the opportunity to be thorough and that alone can make for higher quality content.
Long-Form Articles Have Huge SEO Impact
Now, with the “what” out of the way, let’s talk about the “why.” Why should you be writing long-form articles? Well, do you like free search engine traffic?
That question was a bit of a setup, of course. Who doesn’t like free traffic? So, lets put it simply: if you want your organic reach to grow, bulk up your word count. Google likes long-form content.
According to research from HubSpot, the longer your articles are, the more backlinks your website will earn.
Word count vs linking domains (Image source: Hubspot)
This creates a snowball effect for your rankings. The more links your content earns (especially if they’re from websites with a lot of domain authority), the stronger your overall off-site SEO becomes.
Off-site SEO (Image source: Moz)
Which is one of the many reasons why lengthier content tends to hold higher organic slots on search engine results pages. In a study conducted by CoSchedule, they also found the same results; long-form content ranks higher on average than short pages.
Word count vs Google position (Backlinko)
CanIRank, an SEO-specialized agency, wanted to understand this apparent snowball effect. So, they investigated the correlation between content length and organic rank. Their initial results proved stunningly similar to other research.
Content length vs rank (Image source: Can I Rank?)
The team dug deeper into the data to find potential explanations for the apparent relationship between content length and search engine rank. They theorized that the following factors might be the cause:
- Larger sites with more domain authority tend to publish longer content.
- Longer content has more keyword optimization.
- Longer content earns more external links.
- Expert content creators tend to write more relevant material.
Still, even when controlling for these factors, they weren’t able to explain the apparent link between content length and rank. This led CanIRank to conclude that, “…it is, therefore, plausible (though unproven) that Google rewards longer content directly in their algorithm, though the effect is quite small.”
But even if the “cause” behind the relationship isn’t clear, the “effect” is. Just adding 1000-word posts to your content strategy can help you go the distance. The HOTH deployed this strategy with a new client and saw staggering growth in organic traffic.
Content length impact on traffic (Image source: The HOTH)
Which brings us back to the original question of this section: Do you like free organic traffic? If so, then bulk up your content and get your word count pumping. Your SEO will thank you, and as more users find their way to your website, your bottom line will show the same gratitude, too.
Now, we’ve covered the “what” behind long-form articles and the “why.” That brings us to the meat of our content sandwich: the “how.”
Optimizing your content is critical for getting the maximum benefits. Neil Patel used this very strategy and saw huge success. In 2017, he doubled his already-monstrous traffic and rankings with the help of MarketMuse’s content optimization software.
Content optimization (Image source: Diffchecker)
By changing small things like subheadings, doubling down on his writing word count, and updating his content, his website ranked for almost 100,000 keywords and saw twice the monthly traffic within a single year’s time.
And, while the undertaking was still massive for the scale of his site, the changes themselves are easy to replicate on your own. If you decide to move forward with adding long-form content to your site, you absolutely must have the right tools for the job. Here’s a list of third-party tools and plugins that can take your long-form content from drab to Pulitzer-fab. Or closer to it, anyway.)
1. Use Evernote to Keep Your Ideas in One Place
Think of Evernote as a notepad that you never have to refill. You can save audio recordings, handwritten notes, task lists, screen caps, and even whole web pages through Evernote.
It syncs all of your information across your different devices, which makes this platform an exceptional tool for your long-form arsenal (and a serious productivity booster at that). See an idea for an article on another website? Save it to your digital notebook in Evernote. Come across a great email you can use as an example of a marketing technique? Tag it for later.
If you’re working solo, the basic plan is free and lets you upload up to 60 MB of new notes a month. It has lots of other features, too:
- Sync across 2 devices.
- Clip web pages, images, PDF files.
- Search for text inside images.
- Share notes with friends and colleagues.
- Lock the mobile app with a passcode.
Have a team? Evernote offers even more flexibility and options with their business package. CoSchedule, one of the company’s we’ll talk about later, uses Evernote to keep their team organized and on the same page in case of a disaster. Here’s what Eric Piela, CoSchedule’s Head of Public Relations, says:
Every process is documented. If any system goes down, we have the information to recover quickly. It’s all searchable in the notebook.
So if you’re struggling to keep your team or your article ideas in one place, Evernote is a definite must-have for sourcing and saving your long-form research. Plus, integrating Evernote with WordPress is a cinch. But don’t just take our word for it. Let’s take Evernote for a quick spin now.
To start with, head over to Evernote and sign up for an account with your email or Google account.
Evernote sign up
If you use a Google account, you may land on this screen. If so, click on the green “Create Account” button to proceed.
Create Evernote account
This will bring you to the next part of your account set-up. Since we’re using Evernote to save research for our articles, choose the right-hand option “To organize content.”
Evernote organize content
Next, select “Get Web Clipper.”
Evernote web clipper
If you want to work with the desktop application, you can also select the left-hand option to download and install that. Both options will open in a new tab. We’ll come back to this tab in just a second, so leave it open for now.
Since we’re using Chrome, that’s the default option on the next screen for us. Evernote is also available as an extension for Internet Explorer 7+, Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.
Google Chrome Evernote web clipper
Go ahead and finish installing it on your browser of choice. Once you’re done, return to the original welcome screen and use the “x” button in the top corner to close it. Here’s what your default dashboard will look like. It’s a little plain-jane right now, but we’re going to change that in the next step. Click through or minimize the “Getting Started” tab.
Evernote get started
Now, let’s do some research and save a webpage. As an example, let’s say that we’re writing a follow-up for our recent website usability guide. So we swing over to Google, put in my keyword terms (“user experience tips”), and find a page we like.
We settle on “7 Tips to Improve Your UX Design Practice. When you find something you want to save, click on the Evernote icon up in the top right corner.
Evernote icon in Chrome
This will trigger a drop-down menu, which enables you to save the page in a few different ways:
- The article as a whole (with the site formatting)
- A simplified version of the article
- The full page with every bell and whistle
- A bookmark
- A screenshot
For now, assuming that we want to be able to reference this page back exactly, select the third option: “Full page.” As it creates and syncs your clip, you’ll see an indicator in the top right corner.
Evernote full page
Once it’s done, head back to your Evernote dashboard and select the second icon from the bottom to access your notebooks. You should see your fully-clipped page waiting for you.
And there you have it. Rain or shine, you can now refer back to this web page with all of its navigational and design features — no matter what happens to the original source. Some other alternative tools you might want to also check out are Google Keep and Trello vs Asana.
But what’s better than a notebook you can never lose? One that corrects itself as you work. For that, turn to our next tool.
2. Let Grammarly Make Your Writing Smoother and Smarter
If you’ve ever tried writing a piece and later discovered that your oh-so-helpful word processor made the executive decision to change “taught” to “taut,” you’re going to love Grammarly.
Part personal editor, part writing assistant, and part motivational coach, Grammarly is a plug-and-play browser extension that integrates seamlessly with most text boxes. Which means that, unlike Jetpack, you don’t have to install or enable Grammarly as a plugin to proofread your posts directly as you type.
What really makes Grammarly stand out from other word processors is its contextual intelligence. If homophones like “taut” and “taught” ever give you trouble, Grammarly can analyze the text and make intelligent, relevant recommendations for potentially confused words or style mistakes.
Don’t leave the quality of your writing up to chance or ineffective word processors. Especially with long-form articles, you’re bound to miss something, no matter how good of a writer you are. Or for those of you writing late at night. Add Grammarly to your browser to proof and polish your copy as you work. It’s free, fast, and easy to set up.
And when you’re done sourcing and proofing your piece, use this third tool to put the final touches on it by checking your readability level and optimizing your keywords.
For more tools and recommendations you can take a look at our other post: Best Grammar Checker Tools for Writing.
3. Optimize Your Content With Yoast SEO
Trying to navigate the ins and outs of SEO can feel like trying to get on every ride at Disney World before lunch. While blindfolded and pulling a wagon full of kleptomaniac lemurs.
Which is to say that even if you’re an SEO expert or professional lemur wrangler, it never hurts to have a little help. That’s where the Yoast SEO plugin comes in.
Yoast SEO WordPress plugin
Don’t just rely on your word count to pull in organic traffic. Use this plugin to analyze and flag your keyword density, meta descriptions, passive voice, nofollow links, and so much more.
There’s a reason this plugin frequently makes “top ten” lists for the best WordPress plugins. You can check out our detailed step-by-step guide to installing and making the most of the Yoast SEO here.
So if you’re not already using it for general SEO, swing by and add it to your website to give your content some much-needed analysis and optimization help. Check out some of these other WordPress SEO plugins you could also use.
But don’t just optimize your copy. Forgetting your images can have disastrous effects on your users and ranking.
4. Make Your Images Sleek with Image Optimization
According to HTTP Archive, as of July 2018, images make up on average 43% of an entire web page’s weight. With long-form articles, it’s more than likely to be even higher than that!
So if you’re packing your articles full of visually-stimulating goodness, make sure your images don’t slow down your page and do more harm than good. Images that aren’t properly optimized can make your web pages take a long time to load. And that’s never good for your site traffic.
Pages that take seven seconds to load can easily lose 30% of their visitors. Yikes!
Bounce rate by page speed (Section.io)
As far as first impressions go, a long load time makes a very, very poor one for new visitors. Thankfully, this is where an image compression plugin comes in. You can easily compress your images without sacrificing their quality, which will cause your pages to load faster.
Here are a few image compression plugins for WordPress that we recommend:
- Imagify (this is what we use at Kinsta)
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
- Optimus Image Optimizer
- WP Smush
- EWWW Cloud
After you set your plugin up, it will automatically optimize everything you upload. Important: all of the plugins mentioned above optimize images offsite, therefore they won’t impact the performance of your WordPress site while the compression is taking place.
And for everything you’ve wanted to know about image optimization but were too afraid to ask, check out our in-depth image optimization guide.
Images ready to go? Now all you need is a “when” and “where” to get your long-form article show on the road. For the “when,” consider trying out this next tool.
5. Build an Editorial Calendar with CoSchedule
69% of businesses that do content marketing rely on an editorial calendar to keep them organized. Whether you’re putting out your content as a solopreneur or have a small team, an editorial calendar helps you map out when, where, and how you’ll publish your content.
Asana and Trello are both popular tools. Here’s a quick peek at a Trello calendar.
Trello editorial calendar (Image source: Trello)
And here’s a similar look at a calendar from Asana.
Asana editorial calendar (Image source: Asana)
Both of these platforms are robust and offer free plans to meet most small business needs. However, neither of them can hold a candle to CoSchedule for one simple reason: CoSchedule has a native, official plugin that ties directly into WordPress.
Here’s what it looks like from your WordPress dashboard.
CoSchedule WordPress editorial calendar
Neat, right? Plus, CoSchedule’s plugin comes with additional features like its world-class headline analyzer to make your articles as engaging as possible.
6. Table of Contents
When dealing with lengthy content, you can help your readers out by providing a handy table of contents. This can be made possible thanks to the Easy Table of Contents plugin. It’s a simple solution that falls in line with Wikipedia-style formatting, though it can be styled to suit your needs with custom CSS, too.
Table of contents
Or you can create a table of contents manually like we do on our blog posts using anchor tags.
7. Post Reading Time
A common trend for sites that host long reads these days is to include the length of time it will take the average person to read a post. Add this to your site using the Reading Time WP plugin. You can display the time in a variety of ways and make your site look more like Medium. Win-win!
Finally, let’s check out some awesome themes that make long-form content a breeze to showcase.
2 Long-Form Loving WordPress Themes
If you want to create long-form articles on WordPress that stand out, you need to choose a great theme. Here are two options to help your content grab attention from your audience. You can, of course, create long-form articles with any theme, but these are ones that were built entirely with long-form content in mind.
1. Let Your Writing Shine with Typology
Aptly named, Typology is a writer-ready theme that places your copy on a pedestal and lets your words dominate the page. If the idea of looking for featured images makes you break out in a sweat, this theme is perfect for you. It features beautiful layouts with or without cover images.
Typology WordPress theme
If you do include a cover image, your words will still take center stage. This theme uses scroll-over effects to keep your copy at the forefront of user attention. Typology is ideal for businesses that want to add long-form articles to their content strategy while still enjoying the benefits of seamless WooCommerce integration. And, it’s fully mobile responsive.
Typology has earned an average rating of 4.96 out of 5 stars, and its $49 price tag isn’t too hard on the wallet, either.
2. Keep it Simple and Clean with Typable
Typable, from Array, is a minimalist’s dream built into one convenient, content-focused theme. It’s clean, crisp, and gives you stellar white space compositions.
In addition to its beautifully simplistic design, this theme is easy to customize and great for showcasing longer pieces of content.
Typable WordPress theme
It has an ultra-sleek drop-down navigation menu. With its smooth-as-silk AJAX post loading, this theme comes SEO-ready out of the box. If you purchase Typable as a standalone product, you’ll pay $49.
The sun hasn’t set on short posts. They still have their place. But the old ban on long-form content has been lifted in a big way. The new rule is this: If you have something to say, say it in as many words as it takes. Basically, don’t let arbitrary guidelines dictate the direction of your content. Instead, let your content be your guide.
Make it easier on yourself and more enjoyable for your users by using long-form articles. Long-form articles are more than just massive word walls. If they feel like a standard blog post, that’s what they are. Subheaders, visual elements, and easy navigation are all distinguishing features of this type of content.
The primary reason to write longer articles? Free web traffic and SEO. There is a strong correlation between word count and organic rankings. Evernote, Grammarly, Yoast SEO, image optimization plugins, and CoSchedule are all excellent tools to add to your content toolbox for creating outstanding articles on WordPress.
Looking for a theme that will let your content do the talking? If you’re ultra-minimalist, go for Typology. If you’re a little closer to center, Typable is a longstanding favorite. But if you want major versatility, any WordPress theme will do.
Remember, just because long-form articles are long, that doesn’t mean that they have to be boring. Use the tools and tips in this article to give your articles some pop and keep them SEO-friendly. First impressions only happen once. Make it a good one. With this mindset, you can’t go wrong.
How are implementing long-form articles on your WordPress site? What tools are you using? Have you run into any obstacles thus far? We’d love to hear all about your trials and triumphs in the comments below!
The post How to Create Outstanding Long-Form Articles in WordPress appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
It might not seem like it takes very long, but every time you need to move your hands away from your keyboard to use your mouse, there’s going to be a short period of wasted time. Over a full day of work, that time can add up! That’s where WordPress keyboard shortcuts can help. We use many of these on a daily basis to speed up our writing workflow.
WordPress keyboard shortcuts let you keep your hands on your keyboard without losing the ability to select text, add formatting, or even moderate your comments section!
To help you be as productive as possible while working on your WordPress site, we put together a big list of every single WordPress keyboard shortcut that we know.
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By the end of this post, you’ll know a huge variety of WordPress keyboard shortcuts to help you more efficiently create content and manage comments.
And even though the Gutenberg Editor is still in beta, we still collected a few Gutenberg-specific shortcuts to get you ready for WordPress 5.0.
- WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for the WordPress Editor
- WordPress Formatting Shortcuts
- WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for Moderating Comments
- WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for Gutenberg
- Create Your Own WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts
WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for the WordPress Editor
These keyboard shortcuts can help save you time when you’re creating content in the WordPress Editor.
Many of the keyboard shortcuts that you use in everyday life can also come in handy when working with the WordPress Editor. Some of these might already be familiar to you – but if not, you’ll quickly grow to love them!
Beyond the general shortcuts, there are also some WordPress-specific shortcuts you can apply.
Windows Keyboard Shortcuts to Select Text
These Windows shortcuts can help you select text in the editor without needing to leave your keyboard:
- CTRL + A – select all text
- Shift + Left/Right – select one letter to the right/left
- CTRL + Shift + Right/Left – select one word to the right/left
- CTRL + Shift + Up/Down – select one line above/below
- Shift + Home – select all text until the beginning of the current line
- Shift + End – select all text until the end of the current line
Mac Keyboard Shortcuts to Select Text
These Mac shortcuts can help you select text in the editor without needing to leave your keyboard:
- Cmd + A – select all text
- Shift + Left/Right – select one letter to the right/left
- Cmd + Shift + Right/Left – select one word to the right/left
- Cmd + Shift + Up/Down – select one line above/below
- Shift + Home – select all text until the beginning of the current line
- Shift + End – select all text until the end of the current line
Windows Keyboard Shortcuts to Manipulate Selected Text
Once you’ve selected some text, you can use these Windows shortcuts to manipulate it or apply formatting:
- CTRL + C – Copy the selected text
- CTRL + X – Cut the selected text
- CTRL + V – Paste the selected text
- CTRL + Shift + V – Paste the selected text without any formatting
- CTRL + B – Bold
- CTRL + I – Italics
- CTRL + U – Underline
- CTRL + K – Insert a link
- ALT + Shift + L – Align left
- ALT + Shift + R – Align right
- ALT + Shift + J – Justify
- ALT + Shift + C – Align center
- ALT + Shift + D – Apply strikethrough
- ALT + Shift + A – Another way to insert a link
- ALT + Shift + O – Starts an ordered list
- ALT + Shift + U – Starts an unordered list
- ALT + Shift + S – Removes a link
- ALT + Shift + Q – Creates a quote
- ALT + Shift + 2/3/4/5/6 – Applies the appropriate heading tag (<h2>, <h3>, etc.)
- ALT + Shift + X – Adds a code tag
Mac Keyboard Shortcuts to Manipulate Selected Text
Once you’ve selected some text, you can use these Mac shortcuts to manipulate it or apply formatting:
- Cmd + C – Copy the selected text
- Cmd + X – Cut the selected text
- Cmd + V – Paste the selected text
- Cmd + Shift + V – Paste the selected text without any formatting
- Cmd + B – Bold
- Cmd + I – Italics
- Cmd + U – Underline
- Cmd + K – Insert a link
- Option + CTRL + L – Align left
- Option + CTRL + R – Align right
- Option + CTRL + J – Justify
- Option + CTRL + C – Align center
- Option + CTRL + D – Apply strikethrough
- Option + CTRL + A – Another way to insert a link
- Option + CTRL + O – Starts an ordered list
- Option + CTRL + U – Starts an unordered list
- Option + CTRL + S – Removes a link
- Option + CTRL + Q – Creates a quote
- Option + CTRL + 2/3/4/5/6 – Applies the appropriate heading tag (<h2>, <h3>, etc.)
- Option + CTRL + X – Adds a code tag
Other Windows WordPress Editor Keyboard Shortcuts
These Windows shortcuts might not select text or apply formatting, but they’re still plenty handy!
- CTRL + Z – Undo
- CTRL + Y – Redo
- ALT + Shift + M – Opens the Add Media screen
- ALT + Shift + W – Enables Distraction Free Writing mode
- ALT + Shift + T – Inserts a More tag
- ALT + Shift + P – Inserts a page break
- ALT + Shift + H – Opens the help screen
- ALT + Shift + Z – Expands the WordPress Editor formatting bar
- Shift + Enter – Move down in the editor one line without inserting a full line break.
Other Mac WordPress Editor Keyboard Shortcuts
These Windows shortcuts might not select text or apply formatting, but they’re still plenty handy!
- Cmd + Z – Undo
- Cmd + Y – Redo
- Option + CTRL + M – Opens the Add Media screen
- Option + CTRL + W – Enables Distraction Free Writing mode
- Option + CTRL + T – Inserts a More tag
- Option + CTRL + P – Inserts a page break
- Option + CTRL + H – Opens the help screen
- Option + CTRL + Z – Expands the WordPress Editor formatting bar
- Shift + Enter – Move down in the editor one line without inserting a full line break.
Keyboard Shortcuts in Action
Here’s an example of some of these keyboard shortcuts in action. We are using Windows. For reference, I’m:
- Typing some text
- Using CTRL + Shift + Left to select the last word
- Hitting CTRL + B to bold it
- Using ALT + Shift + R to right-align everything
- Using CTRL + Z to undo both those actions
Example of WordPress Keyboard shortcuts in action
WordPress Formatting Shortcuts
Formatting shortcuts aren’t exactly keyboard shortcuts. But the end result is much the same and they can be quite handy as an alternative to some of the keyboard shortcuts above.
Formatting shortcuts are a WordPress 4.3 feature that help you automatically add formatting for:
- Ordered or unordered lists
- Horizontal lines
For things like lists and headings, the main advantage of formatting shortcuts is that they don’t require you to hit as many keys at the same time as the keyboard shortcuts above.
Unlike the keyboard shortcuts above, you activate formatting shortcuts by actually typing something into the WordPress Editor. You must be using the Visual tab for these shortcuts to work.
The current formatting shortcuts are below. Note, you need to hit Space or sometimes Enter after typing any of the shortcuts to apply the formatting:
- * – starts an unordered list
- 1. – starts an ordered list
- ## – applies H2 formatting
- ### – applies H3 formatting (continue the pattern to apply up to H6 formatting)
- > – creates a blockquote
- — – creates a horizontal line
Here’s an example of playing around with formatting shortcuts:
An example of formatting shortcuts in action
Beyond editing content, WordPress also includes built-in shortcuts to help you moderate comments.
By default, these shortcuts are disabled. But you can enable them with just a few seconds of work:
- Go to Users → Your Profile in your WordPress dashboard.
- Check the box next to Keyboard Shortcuts to Enable keyboard shortcuts for comment moderation.
- Save your changes.
How to enable comment shortcuts
Then, you can use these shortcuts in the Comments tab of the WordPress dashboard.
First, you have a set of shortcuts to select comments (the comment that’s currently selected will have a blue highlight):
- J – moves the current selection down (if you’re at the bottom of the page, it will also skip to the next page)
- K – moves the current selection up
- X – adds a check mark (this is helpful for performing bulk actions)
- Shift + X – toggles the check mark on or off for all comments
Once you’ve selected one or more comments, you can perform actions by using another set of shortcuts:
- A – approves the comment
- S – marks the comment as spam
- D – deletes the comment
- Z – restores the comment from trash
- U – unapproves the comment
- R – starts a reply to the comment
- Q – opens the quick edit screen to edit the comment
- E – opens the full edit screen
If you have multiple comments selected, you can also use Shift + those previous commands to perform the action on multiple comments. For example:
- Shift + A – approves all the selected comments
- Shift + S – marks all the selected comments as spam
Here’s an example of it in action. In this GIF, I:
- Load the Comments screen
- Hit J to select the first comment
- Hit S to mark it as spam
An example of comment shortcuts in action
WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for Gutenberg
Because Gutenberg is still in beta, this section will certainly evolve in the future as Gutenberg becomes more finalized.
But for now, here are some neat ways that you can speed up content creation in the new Gutenberg editor…
Note – these are keyboard shortcuts that are specific to Gutenberg. But many of the general keyboard shortcuts from the current Editor will also work:
- / – if you type a slash, you can quick-insert a block by its name
- CTRL + Shift + ALT + M – (Windows) switch to the code editor (or go back to the block editor if you’re already in the code editor)
- Cmd + Shift + ALT + M – (Mac) switch to the code editor (or go back to the block editor if you’re already in the code editor)
- Enter – create a new block. This is helpful to combine with the / shortcut above to quickly insert multiple blocks
Here’s an example of these keyboard shortcuts in action:
An example of using Gutenberg-specific shortcuts
Create Your Own WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts
If all the keyboard shortcuts above aren’t enough for you, you can create your own workflow-specific keyboard shortcuts using a program like AutoHotkey.
If you have to perform any repetitive actions on your WordPress site that aren’t covered by the shortcuts above, AutoHotkey makes it easy to set up scripts and macros to boost your productivity. Need something easier? Check out ShortKeeper.
Know Any Other Helpful WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts?
While it might take some time to memorize all these shortcuts, it really is a more productive way to work once they become a part of your muscle memory.
Yes – it will be a little rocky at first while you struggle to remember which shortcut does what. But after a little while, that delay goes away and your productivity will jump up.
Now over to you – know any other helpful WordPress keyboard shortcuts? Let us know in the comments!
The post 65+ WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts for Writing, Gutenberg + More appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
People choose to freelance for a number of reasons—but most often, it is because they desire freedom:
- The freedom to do what they love and what they’re good at
- The freedom to work with the clients they choose
- The freedom to work at their own pace and schedule
But, freelancing is not all rainbows and smiles. Freelancers have to take care of their own finances (including taxes), find and close their own projects (because their income depends on having enough work), and manage their time wisely (since they don’t have anyone else telling them what to do). Certainly, successful freelancing requires wearing many hats—sometimes that includes responsibilities related to hiring and management, too.
Freelancers are starting to become an increasingly larger chunk of today’s workforce. As of 2018, a report from Upwork says 56.7 million Americans worked as freelancers. That is more than one-third of the entire labor force. Luckily, the marketplace is responding in kind with high-powered tools that freelancers can use to be more effective.
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Understanding the importance of information availability, regardless of which tool you’re currently using, most of our picks for the best tools for freelancers integrate with other popular tools for freelancers.
- Calendar Tools
- Cloud Storage Tools
- Communication Tools
- Contracting and Legal Paperwork
- Design Tools
- Finance Tools
- Project Management
- Productivity Tools
- Proposal Tools
- Social Media Management Tools
- Timer/Tracking Tools
- Video Chat Tools
- Writing Tools
One of the best and worst things about being a freelancer is that every day is different. This is ideal if you’re the type of person who hates routine work—but not so great if you’re not self-disciplined enough (or don’t have a system) to keep track of deadlines and appointments.
With this in mind, having a calendar and meeting scheduling tool is a must alongside other best tools for freelancers that you’ll want to start using.
1. Google Calendar
Many people buy multiple Apple products specifically because of how easily they sync with each other. On a similar note, since most people have a Google account, Google Calendar is the gold standard, one of the best tools for freelancers in terms of calendar management—especially now that they’ve introduced new features geared towards business use cases.
- Alerts you before your appointment (you can choose how many minutes before)
- Allows you to input the location and other relevant details of your meeting
- Allows for rich formatting and hyperlinking so that you can share notes and presentations before the meeting
Google Calendar events can be shared with other team members, so if you’re working as a virtual assistant for many clients, you can view and manage multiple calendars at once.
Hate wasting time finding meeting times that work for both parties? Calendly makes it easy to cut to the chase—just send recipients your unique scheduling link, which presents multiple meeting options based on your calendar availability.
Calendly allows you to schedule one-on-one or group meetings, integrating with Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365, and iCloud, as well as apps like Salesforce, Zapier, Slack, and MailChimp. Calendly also automatically handles timezone detection so you can schedule meetings with clients from other countries with less confusion.
Cloud storage has made it easier to store, access, share, and even collaborate on files in real-time: from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Because of all these useful features, a cloud storage solution is necessary for freelancers who collaborate remotely with clients and contractors from all over the world.
Using cloud storage tools can also serve as a backup storage solution, especially since hard drives are prone to viruses and wear. By working in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about a sudden computer shutdown and lost work—your work is automatically saved as you type!
Check out our picks for the best tools for freelancers with cloud storage needs:
Dropbox is a cloud storage software that is free to use with a set storage limit.
You can share files with your friends and complete certain tasks to increase your monthly storage space: like inviting more users and installing Dropbox on multiple devices. You can also opt to purchase extra storage space, depending on your unique needs.
Besides working within Dropbox’s apps, you can install Dropbox on your computer. Doing this makes it so that you can automatically sync your online files for access on your computer.
4. Google Drive
Google Drive is becoming a popular alternative to Dropbox because almost everyone has a Google account, and Google Drive includes access to their suite of software tools, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
These programs allow you to work online and collaborate with others in real time, storing the files in your Drive. Like Dropbox, it comes free with a limited storage space (15GB), with the option to purchase more. You can also install Drive on your computer to sync your online files.
Redundant backups are always a good thing. If you’re a heavy user of Google products (such as Gmail), you can use a tool like Spinbackup to backup your Google products offsite.
It might sound strange to back up something that is already supposed to be redundant. But what if your Google account got hacked? Spinbackup protects Google users from account hijacking in cases where the original Google account has been compromised by cybercriminals. This way, you can rest at ease knowing you’ll never lose those important emails, photos, or documents. They even back up incrementally, meaning only changes are saved, which allows for a super cheap backup!
Whether you’re courting a new prospect or have already closed the sale, staying in touch with those interested in your business is critical for staying busy with projects.
Take a look at our picks for the best tools for freelancers communicating with clients and collaborators around the globe:
Boomerang is helpful for staying on top of email communications. It’s main claim to fame is its ability to schedule emails to be sent at the best possible times. You might get a lot done on weekends but don’t want customers to get used to you responding to them during your “free” time—so use Boomerang to draft pending responses, then schedule them to be sent during your regular working hours!
Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang can also be used to move the sale forward, allowing you to see if your emails have been opened, read or clicked, and it also allows you to set up automated follow-ups. Boomerang offers free and paid options, depending on your needs.
If you’re looking for a more robust email productivity/sales tool, Cirrus Insight has a lot of the same features—and more!
Hunter.io helps you find specific email addresses when you want to pitch a prospect and would prefer to go straight to the decision maker. Simply search for the company website and it will find available email addresses.
For best results (and to help determine the actual decision maker), cross-reference with LinkedIn profile data.
8. Voila Norbert
Voila Norbert was elected the most accurate email finder out there according to Ahrefs. Norbert also has an email verifying tool which allows you to upload a list of emails and get results in no time. Whether you’re trying to reach out to influencers, build marketing connections or reach potential recruits, Norbert’s got you covered.
Make sure to read our in-depth guide on how to find anyone’s email address.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a company not using Slack or a similar communication tool to connect people working together on long-term projects. It assists with organizing communications that require a simple response—where email might otherwise be too bulky and annoying. The major downside of acquiescing to a client asking you to get on their Slack? Notification overload!
If you’re not using it yet, it’s best to download and start using Slack now so you’ll be used to it when a client asks you to use it in the future (and inevitably, they will). Thanks to its popularity, Slack integrates with a lot of other best tools for freelancers shared on this list, like Google Drive, Trello, and Asana (suggested reading: Trello vs Asana).
Contracting and Legal Paperwork
A rookie mistake many freelancers make is working without a contract or a set of terms and agreements. A written contract not only helps to brand you as a professional, but it also protects you by drawing a line between you and the client—and helps to ensure that you get paid fairly for your time and services.
Put simply, the contract states what each party has agreed to do (the scope of work), how much you’re getting paid, and when you’re getting paid. By setting it up this way, you have evidence in writing, which you can then use to seek reparations, should the client prove difficult.
Before getting overwhelmed by incorporating this legal dimension into your company, know that contracts don’t have to be fancy. There are plenty of free and affordable options that you can use to your advantage.
Take a look at our picks for the best tools for freelancers, as they relate to contracts and legalese:
While hiring a lawyer who understands your business and local laws is the gold standard when it comes to creating legal documents, just getting started with basic legal document templates is silver (or bronze, perhaps).
LegalZoom offers members a library of legal document templates for just $7.99/month. To add on attorney support, which can be a great help if you get stuck trying to fill out LegalZoom’s templates, it’s $31.25/month, total. LegalZoom can also help you with business formation (and act as your registered agent), if your business is still new.
If you’re on a budget, consider taking your completed contract templates to your local Small Business Advisory Board—they’ll have legal professionals on staff (and other business operations professionals) available to help advise you for free.
Bonsai is a contract creation and invoicing software tool that makes it easy for freelancers to create contracts, review (and revise) them with clients, and legally e-sign them when your clients are ready. Truly, fill-in-the-blank templates make the process a lot less confusing than having to create or edit the document without any context!
Bonsai also comes with an invoicing system that integrates with Stripe, Paypal, and Coinbase. Bonsai, one of the best tools for freelancers, allows freelancers to get paid using ACH—which many other similar tools don’t offer. This can result in lower payment processing fees for high-earning freelancers.
The premise of Bonsai is making everything simple for freelancers, which is why this tool is used by over 30,000 freelancers (up from 10,000 in 2016!). Bonsai founders Matt Brown and Matt Nish share that Bonsai users get paid two weeks faster than their average with other tools, and experience 3x less late payments than they had before using the tool.
12. AND CO
Thanks to a recent acquisition by Fiverr, all of AND CO’s awesome freelance administrative tools are absolutely free!
Like Bonsai, their contracts tool is fairly intuitive and walks you through the entire process. You can also use AND CO for time tracking, expense tracking, invoicing and more. It works best when used as a complete system.
If you already have a contract template you’re proud of, consider HelloSign for your e-signing needs.
HelloSign offers a free plan for up to 3 document signatures per month (and an affordable unlimited plan if you have a larger need).
Let’s face it, if you’re on the buyer’s/receiver’s end of a transaction, you don’t really read the terms and agreements part. But it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re a seller or service provider—like if you operate an ecommerce business. You need to create and publish these terms before you offer a product or service, to legally protect you, should people decide to come after you.
Termsfeed helps by generating legal documentation, such as privacy policies, terms and conditions, terms of service, return policies, and more.
Many freelancers who provide marketing services get dragged into graphic design—even if they make it clear that it isn’t really their forte! Luckily, there are plenty of free and affordable graphic design tools for freelancers that you can use to produce visual content that clients will love.
Check out our list of the best tools for freelancers who do design for their clients:
Made famous due to social media influencer Guy Kawasaki’s stake in the company, Canva has grown to become synonymous with the idea of creating beautiful graphics without a background in graphic design. If you would like to learn more how to create images with Canva check out this tutorial.
Created with website designers in mind, InVision is one of the best and most powerful design prototyping tools around. Although you can’t create designs within InVision itself, the app allows you to upload your static designs and modify them by adding animations, gestures, and transitions—creating fully interactive prototypes.
A few useful InVision features:
- Syncs with Photoshop or Sketch documents
- Integrates with other tools from this list of the best tools for freelancers, like Trello, Slack, and Basecamp
- Version control and comments (for easy workflow communication)
- Freehand, where teams can collaborate by sketching and presenting designs for feedback—even while they aren’t physically in the same place.
If you’re a freelance designer or freelance writer, you’ll want to work towards creating a portfolio website. If you’re not ready to deal with the cost or technical skills required to create a website, you’ll want to consider another portfolio building tool in the meantime.
Specifically for freelance designers, Behance is a great place to showcase your work. In addition to providing the foundation from which to build a portfolio, the platform boasts a large number of art and design enthusiasts. By becoming familiar with Behance and its users, you’ll find it easier to gain inspiration—and a following.
18. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a subscription service that gives you access to Adobe’s industry-standard design tools.
Adobe Creative Cloud
These tools include Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, Premiere Pro/After Effects, and InDesign. Pick your plan based on which apps you actually need—don’t pay for more than what you’ll use (you can always upgrade later)!
19. Affinity Designer and Photo
Tools for freelancers can quickly add up and while Adobe Creative Cloud is definitely one of the best on the market, there are cheaper alternatives, as well. Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo have become very popular over the past couple years.
They offer almost identical features (same shortcuts, tools, etc) but with a low one-time payment (under $50). They offer both Mac and Windows versions.
Whether they want to or not, freelancers have to take care of their own finances: from managing their budgets, to receiving payments (and chasing down late invoices), and dealing with their taxes. The best tools for freelancers make this part of the job a little easier!
For freelancers with clients from other countries, getting paid via bank transfer can cost a lot in fees and the money can take a long time to arrive.
PayPal is the most convenient way most freelancers get paid. It is available in over 200 countries, can support 25 currencies, and is generally considered as very secure. PayPal is also very flexible: accepted as a payment method by many online merchants.
The only caveat, one that most freelancers know oh-too-well, is that PayPal charges some steep transaction fees as a cost of doing business. The good news? These fees can be deducted from your taxes as a cost of doing business!
Square allows you to accept credit card payments and get deposits the next day.
If you have an eCommerce shop, Square also offers a POS system that deals with inventory, refunds, taxes, discounts, and comes with sales reporting tools. Check out our in-depth comparison: Stripe vs Square.
Mint is one of the best budgeting apps out there. It is very comprehensive, gathering all of your (connected) financial accounts and information together in one dashboard.
It also helps you track your bills, budget, and investments—which helps in analyzing your complete financial picture. This is essential for a freelancer in knowing the amount of money you truly have—but you’ll want to make sure that you’ve already implemented a system that includes a separate business credit card, checking account, and even a (tax) savings account.
Freshbooks is a free cloud accounting software that includes powerful features such as time tracking, invoicing, project tracking, and the ability to accept credit card payments. It also integrates with Hubstaff.
Many freelancers swear by it—but using it over it’s next most comparable competitor (Quickbooks) will largely depend on the specific features you need and how many clients you’ll be billing through their platform.
Quickbooks is another popular accounting software tool that connects with your bank accounts so that you can easily track your income and business expenses. In addition to bookkeeping, you can use it to manage and pay contractors (or yourself, via their Payroll feature), and it can also track car mileage from an expense standpoint.
As your freelance business starts to grow, you’ll have to adjust your accounting practices. Many freelancers decide to structure their business as an S Corp for tax benefits. While this can save you a lot of money, it can be a bit of a headache in terms of payroll.
Save yourself the hassle of managing the day to day financials by using a done-for-you tool like Gusto.
If you’re an independent contractor and are downright confused when it comes to these types of things, then reaching out to a company like ICTaxAdvisors is also recommended. Essentially, they set up your LLC for you (S-Corp if needed) and handle all the payroll integration (they use Gusto) and all the tax filings. This can help make tax season a breeze.
For every $1 billion invested in a business, $122 million is wasted due to underperformance. Following this line of thinking, project management tools are important for staying on top of assignments and not leaving money on the table!
Here are our picks for the best tools for freelancers who need some help with project management:
Asana is a beautifully designed project management solution that is robust with features to the point that it can almost feel like too much sometimes. For this reason, it’s best used for specific projects where you need to collaborate with others (or when a client adds you to their instance of Asana). You’ll probably want to use a different tool for your own personal project management efforts.
Trello is a project management tool that is best suited to those who appreciate visuals and graphs.
In Trello, you can create boards and add cards to represent tasks that you need to do or that you are assigned to. Trello is very flexible and can be used for just anything, from personal task management, to those related to your business and projects. Many top online publications use Trello as their editorial calendar (Kinsta does!).
Basecamp is an all-in-one project management solution that includes functionality for to-do lists, message boards, and cloud storage. It’s best used to manage multiple people in multi-step projects.
One ideal application? If you’re a freelancer who offers social media marketing services and have other team members who are in charge of graphic design creation and scheduling. Using a tool like Basecamp keeps all relevant information in one place, for all parties.
One of the best things about being a freelancer is owning your time and being able to choose which projects you take on. The downside of working on your own time is that no one else is there to supervise you, which can be an easy way to procrastinate or lose focus.
Also, since you’re on your own, you have to think through the details of every little thing. The best tools for freelancers include productivity tools that help keep you on track.
With so many websites and accounts you need to keep track of, 1Password makes it easier for you to create a usable database of this information, securely storing all of your logins for others on this list of the best tools for freelancers. And when you’re ready to use a specific username/password combo, 1Password brings it up for you automatically (as long as you’re logged in and using the Google Chrome extension).
IFTTT stands for “if this then that”, and is one of the best task automation tools currently available. IFTTT integrates different apps and platforms together. All you need to do is select an app or platform, and a trigger action that will allow a different event in another (or even the same) application. These are called ‘applets’, and there are several available on IFTTT.
Understanding that it’s hard to create these applets on your own, without previous experience with the platform, there are many already created and available to use with applications for social media, workflow, weddings, shopping, and even controlling your smart home. Once you understand how it all works, you can create your own!
While working or browsing the internet at random, you likely come across articles, videos, and links that you’d like to refer back to later. Instead of bookmarking these things within your browser, why not save them to Pocket? Pocket makes it easy to save useful resources for later and allows you to access all of this information across your other devices.
Writing is a part of every freelancer’s life. After a while, you’ll probably start to recognize that there are certain phrases you use on a regular basis that are cumbersome to type out time and time again.
TextExpander can help by assigning shortcuts to these phrases. For example, if you find that you’re often typing out your address, just assign a shortcut such as ‘address’ and TextExpander will automatically type in your address.
As TextExpander is only available with a paid plan, you might appreciate an alternative—Auto Text Expander, a Google Chrome extension.
If your dreams include making six-figures as a freelancer, you’ll need to add “business development” to your list of everyday roles.
It’s not enough to apply for available job postings or seek opportunities solely through job boards because usually, these lead sources involve more competition and lower pay. If you’re just starting out, these job opportunities can be good for building your portfolio, but when you’ve gained more experience, you shouldn’t settle for low-paying jobs.
Ryan Robinson (a Kinsta customer) shares tips on how to write a cold email that converts. Additionally, here are some of the best tools for freelancers that can be used to make proposals.
Proposify allows you to create beautiful proposals in half the time it would normally take, by offering a large library of beautiful templates. Proposify’s tools allow you to control typography and layout and add snippets—which you can then reuse to save time in the future.
Proposals designed on this tool are mobile-friendly. You can also add video to your proposal to make it more engaging. Proposify allows you to integrate with many others on this list of the best tools for freelancers. It also gives you feedback regarding things like how long the client looked at your proposal and if they accepted it or not.
Prospero helps you create proposals while also helping you price out each project. For this reason, it’s ideal for new freelancers still getting used to the lay of the land.
As you create the proposal, it asks you questions like: your rate, how long it will take you to complete the project, and the type of work you’re doing (it covers web and app design, as well as print and branding proposals). It will then help you create a proposal with ideal pricing, based on your answers.
Are your products and services fairly straightforward? Instead of spending a lot of time on sales calls, use a tool like Draftsend to walk prospects through proposals. Record audio to go alongside a PDF!
If one of your service offerings involves social media management, any of these tools could help you to do your job better. But even if you aren’t offering social media as a service to clients, these tools can also help you to bolster your own social media presence.
SmarterQueue is a powerful social media scheduling tool that allows you to post across many different social networks and page types. SmarterQueue automatically posts for you, even if you don’t have any content scheduled specifically for the day—choosing from a rotating content library, organized by subject type. For this reason, it’s especially useful for repurposing evergreen content.
Buffer’s main claim to fame is its queue functionality—which allows you to add content without assigning it a specific date or time. From there, Buffer publishes your queued up posts based on the order in which you added them (which can easily be changed or randomized), and the date and times you’ve set to post each day. They offer a bare-bones free and affordable paid plans, depending on your purposes with this tool.
Hootsuite is another popular social media management tool, with options to scale according to business/client needs that are a little more reasonable than Buffer (at least, once your needs grow to be more than what’s offered in their Awesome plan).
Create “teams” for client social profiles that allow them to see relevant scheduled posts—but no one else’s. Run analytics reports and more to continuously improve your efforts.
Another great thing about Hootsuite is that they have a great training platform—not just regarding how to use their tools, but also how to optimize your social media marketing efforts as a whole.
39. Sprout Social
Like Hootsuite and Buffer, Sprout Social is another industry-standard social media management tool—especially popular with agencies and those managing multiple social media retainer clients. Like these other social media management tools, Sprout Social offers users a collaborative editorial calendar, analytics, and scheduling capabilities.
One of Sprout Social’s most unique and useful features is their Social Inbox. Social Inbox makes it easy to respond to customers using your social channels to get in touch, for customer service needs.
If you have or are working with a visual brand, Pinterest may be part of a relevant social media strategy. Unless you have hours every week to manually pin content, you’ll want to use BoardBooster to be more efficient and effective with your time.
BoardBooster has several features that can help you automate your Pinterest marketing strategy. One is the ability to “Pin dump” to Secret Boards, then schedule these Pins to the Boards that your followers and profile viewers can see at the most optimal times. Another is the ability to “loops” Pins—helping to drive more impressions and engagement for your most popular Pins.
As a freelancer, time is your most valuable asset.
Because you own your time when you work for yourself, many freelancers blur the line between work time and personal time. Not having a clear dividing line between the two can eventually lead to burnout—so make sure that you get a handle on your work/life balance before it’s too late!
Timers or time-tracking software can be essential in the beginning of your freelance journey, in terms of helping you to get a feel of how much time you spend on your most popular service offerings. As you start to expand your business, they can also be useful for tracking the time of your contractors.
Here are some of the best tools for freelancers, in terms of their time tracking capabilities:
Hubstaff is a time tracker that was designed specifically for managing remote teams.
It takes screenshots of users’ online activities so you can see whether your teams are working or slacking off. You’ll have to decide if being big brother is a role you want to play with those who work for you—or if you’re cool with a client requiring you to use this tool!
You can also issue invoices and make payments directly from within Hubstaff.
Harvest is one of the most reliable time-tracking tools. It integrates with project management tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, and Quickbooks, and allows you to send invoices from the app, itself.
It also lets you bill clients through the Client Billing feature—making it easy to also share relevant time tracking data.
RescueTime monitors your screen activity and allows you to keep track of how much time you spend on certain websites. It generates detailed reports that you can use to analyze patterns in usage and rectify any mistakes.
Qbserve offers a similar tool, for Mac users.
Are you the type of person who can’t help but get lost in the black hole of your social media news feeds? StayFocusd is a Google Chrome extension that limits the time you spend on time-wasting websites. Since it takes our brains 25 minutes to refocus from a distraction, this will help in improving your productivity.
Toggl is one of the simplest time trackers available. It allows you to track time with a single click. You can easily switch between different tasks and create reports. Download the tool as a desktop application or as a Google Chrome extension.
You might also want to check out Clockify, which is a 100% free time tracking software for teams.
Timeneye is a simple, intelligent time tracking tool that helps teams and freelancers keep track of their projects and also offers budgets and billable hours tracking.
Timeneye combines easy-to-use time tracking with reporting. Freelancers and solo users can start with the free basic plan, and then upgrade to the bigger PRO plan
Working as a freelancer, you typically correspond with people all over the world. Tired of trying to figure out what time zone someone is in? Use a free tool like there.pm to easily keep track of your friends & teammates’ timezones. There’s a Mac app, with a Windows version coming soon!
If you work with clients overseas, calling them over cellular networks can be expensive. Luckily, there’s a handy workaround: video chat applications that allow you to contact people around the world, for free.
Be it audio or video calls, the best tools for freelancders—video chat apps—have made the world seem smaller, facilitating global connections:
Skype is good for both voice and video calls, local or international. It is free to use when both parties are on wifi, but you can also buy credits to use it to call international phone numbers.
Zoom allows you to hold online conferences (or webinars) of 100+ people, with video recording capabilities also available. It’s free to use for meetings of up to 40 minutes with limited participants but paid plans for those who need more than that are incredibly affordable.
One of the most in-demand freelance skills today is content writing. If this is a freelance service you’d like to offer, sign up for Kaleigh Moore’s newsletter to learn from the master (or check out the Creative Class podcast she co-hosts).
It has been found that content marketing is effective in driving conversions and purchases, which is why many websites have a steady need for content (especially SEO-optimized content). Whether you’re doing content marketing for a client or your own brand, these are some of the best tools for freelancers:
The Hemingway app is a free grammar checking tool that offers a number of useful insights into the written content that you create for yourself or for a client. One of the most interesting is the ability to judge the level at which your content reads—like if you’re using words and sentence structure that may be too advanced for the general online audience.
Digging even deeper, Hemingway helps make your writing more concise and readable by making suggestions in terms of things like replacing jargon with simpler words, breaking up paragraphs, and changing active and passive voice for consistency. For even more proofreading tips please see our dedicated post here.
51. Yoast SEO
If you use WordPress on your freelance portfolio website, the Yoast SEO plugin is a must. And as one of the top 5 most downloaded WordPress plugins, using it means that you’ll be in good company.
Yoast SEO plugin
Yoast SEO makes it easy to implement onsite SEO best practices on every post and page. Of course, in order to be effective, you’ll have to do your own keyword research—Yoast can only tell you if you’re using a keyword effectively, not if you’re using an effective keyword.
Yoast can also help with WordPress SEO in general, with features like handling redirects and generating XML sitemaps for your website.
Grammarly offers the best-paid grammar checking tool. It’s hard to think of a freelancer who wouldn’t benefit from using Grammarly—even if you aren’t a writer, you still want to make sure that you come across as articulate on client emails, personal social media, your freelance portfolio website, and so on.
Grammarly fixes grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, punctuation, and modifier placement, and can even detect correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. The best thing about Grammarly is that it explains why the correction was made, helping you to continuously get better at writing.
If you’re working with other writers, it also has a plagiarism checking tool that may come in handy.
If you’re writing for SEO, it’s important to find a keyword to optimize for. KWFinder can help. It offers a number of free lookups per day, in comparison to the now-limited but popular Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest.io. You can use this tool to really dig in and optimize for different search engines and different countries.
If SEO is a big part of your freelance service offerings, consider investing in the more robust Ahrefs for keyword planning, backlink management, and more.
Trying to keep everything you need to know stored in your brain is a recipe for disaster. There’s no way that your brain, all on its own, is capable of storing every to-do and every minute detail of your day.
Use a tool like Evernote to get stuff out of your head and into an actionable (and searchable) note format. Organize notes into notebooks (perhaps by certain clients) and add tags to make it easier to find related information. Evernote is a simple app but extremely useful for brainstorming, writing blog posts, and taking notes on the go.
If you’re just taking simple notes, another alternative you might want to also check out is Google Keep, as it integrates really well within the Google ecosystem and new Gmail.
Scaling your freelance business is infinitely easier with the best tools for freelancers at your disposal. In order to be effective, spend time setting up and getting to know the most relevant options for what you do—then watch your earnings grow!
And if you really want to improve your email productivity, check out these top Gmail add-ons and extensions.
Now, it’s your turn: what do you consider as the best tools for freelancers?
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