This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
While freelancers are entitled to many perks that come with the job, such as flexible work schedule and the ability to work from home, there is also the less glamorous side of it which doesn’t get mentioned a lot. One of those thankless aspects of freelancing is the fact that every freelancer needs to be a jack of all trades, or at least most of them, if we are serious about finding success in the industry.
As a freelancer, more often than not, you will come across clients that require you to be equally adept at writing research papers in nuclear physics, putting together recipes for cupcakes, and coming up with stunning visual images to go along with everything you write. The more skills you have as a freelancer, the bigger your chances of getting hired and increasing your income.
Today, content consumers are more demanding than ever, and crafting punchy and effective written content that is both visually appealing and useful is imperative for every freelancer, regardless of their professional orientation. This is the reason why we have come up with a list of 11 online tools which will help you create high-quality content on a regular basis.
1. Write! – One of the biggest enemies of every freelance writer, and freelancers in general, is the sheer amount of distractions on the Web. While you can’t avoid being online, you can check out Write!, which will provide you with a distraction-free writing environment and some cool features you usual text editor doesn’t have, such as the ability to open and create documents in different tabs, or even clone them. Plus, it looks fantastic.
2. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – Every good article or blog post needs to have a good headline which will invite the reader to click on it and find out more. However, even though you may think there is not much to it, CoSchedule Headline Analyzer may convince you to change your mind. The app will break down your headline and analyze its effectiveness based on a number of factors, and provide suggestions on how you can improve it.
3. Ginger Grammar Checker – You may not be the next Hemingway or Shakespeare, and that’s fine, but the least you can do is make sure your writing is top-notch by checking for grammar and spelling mistakes before you publish it for your audience. In addition to proofreading it yourself, run it through Ginger Grammar Checker, which is capable of detecting grammar errors often missed by writers and similar grammar-checking apps.
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4. Pixlr – It goes without saying that having some sort of visual content to go along with your writing is an absolute necessity nowadays, but Photoshop and similar image-editing juggernauts are so complicated they can take ages to master. Pixlr, on the other hand, is much simpler and much more user friendly and will enable you to create brilliant images thanks to its wide variety of editing, tools, effects, and filters.
5. Pablo – Apart from creating visual content for your website or blog, you also need to enhance your social media presence with some eye candy, so why not use a tool that is designed specifically for that purpose? We are talking about Pablo, which is a web-based image editor that will help you create covers for your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Simply choose a pic, apply some of the effects, add some text on top of it, and you’re good to go.
6. Skitch – Another occasion where you might need to enrich your content with some images is when you’re creating how-to articles and tutorials, or simply when a picture is telling a lot more than words. Skitch can be used to capture screenshots and annotate images with text, shapes, forms, and arrows, in order to make the content more concise and palatable for the reader. Simple and effective.
7. Venngage – You would be hard-pressed to find a blog online which doesn’t feature some important data in the shape of infographics, which seem to be lauded as the next best thing since sliced bread. Seems like a job for a graphic designer, but not if you start using Venngage, an app which helps you craft stunning infographics in a matter of minutes, by relying on configurable, pre-made templates and visual elements such as bubble charts, treemaps, shapes, and so on.
8. Meme Generator – If you want to try your hand at creating some viral content, one of the best ways to do it would be to create memes, which goes double if you are active on Reddit. Imgflip’s Meme Generator makes the entire process incredible simple. Just choose of one the wildly popular images, or some which you think have the potential to become huge, and add some text, drawing, or text boxes on top it.
9. WeVideo – Instead of wasting precious hours trying to figure out how some massive, clunky video-editing suite works, opt for a more elegant solution and use WeVideo. It is a cloud-based video editor which enables you to upload your raw video footage and edit it online, as well as add effects and transitions to make your videos looks professional. The app also allows you to collaborate with your friends, which can upload their video materials, as well.
10. Apowersoft Online Screen Recorder – If you think screenshots simply don’t cut the mustard when it comes creating useful and informative tutorials, then why not capture a video of what’s happening on your screen? Apowersoft Online Screen Recorder is the perfect tool for the job, and your audience will probably think so to.
11. Biteable – When talking about eye-popping visual content, animation falls into the category of forms that are essential, and Biteable is free online animation and video making software which will equip you to create animations in no time once you get a hang of it.
With these 11 tools, you will be capable of scoring top clients and producing top-notch content consistently, even if it means wearing multiple hats. I'm eager to see what you’ll come up with!
Antonio is a blogger and a consultant who provides writing assistance to job seekers at Resumesplanet. He loves writing about marketing, education and productivity. He's also crazy about riding his bike and bumping into new people (when he's on foot). He will be happy to meet you on Facebook and Twitter.