Thursday, December 18, 2014

3 Websites I Found in 2014 and Will Keep Using in 2015

It's entirely possible you've heard of these 3 websites. If you have, congrats! You may like or dislike them for whatever reasons; different methods for different folks.

From various articles I skimmed this year, I found 3 websites that have become indispensable tools for work and personal use.
These websites relate to: 
• Curating images
• Creating infographics and
• Free website services.

Hopefully by this time, bloggers realize how crucial it is to include images in their posts.

Often, it can be challenging to find a quality image that is free and clear to use legally. (Unless you have a good-sized budget to spend on Shutterstock.)

Even if you THINK an image is labeled for re-use (a search option available from Google), that does not mean that it IS legal for you to use. I learned this the hard way. Getty Images has a dedicated staff searching sites for unlicensed images.

Not to worry, there are MANY sites where you can find good quality, free images.  Some of these free image websites require time-consuming scrolling if there is no search engine or tags with images.

Website #1 - Pixabay (Free Images - Photos, Vector Graphics, Illustrations)

Easily searchable by type of graphic, orientation and color.
This is where I find nearly all my blog images now - for just about any topic.

Infographics have shown to have a huge impact on whether content is shared. It is much easier to visualize data than to read about it (especially when the average reader has an 8 second attention span).
There are a number of websites that assist with creating Infographics. I go with what I find most user-friendly and the design options.

Website #2 - - (Create and Share Visual Ideas)

It's a fun way to present data and a good practice in editing for the blogger. Trim down your content to the most important points and make the info easier to consume and share.
Perhaps I should have done that for this post?

Landing Pages are known to be a great way to capture lead info. Compel people to visit a web page focused on a single concept, and use one call to action (like a form). Leads fill it out to get access to a report or other info.
I have used Unbounce for this as well as other sites. All have similar features to my new, favorite site.

Website #3 - Instapage (Build Quick and Professional Landing Pages - A/B Testing)

I was using Unbounce for landing pages when I read about Instapage and gave it a shot. VERY user-friendly, clean, wonderful templates to choose from, and excellent customer service (and I've only used the free version).  You can upgrade 29$ a month to get rid of the logo, customize CSS, add Javascript, SEO features and more.
It's also a great service for someone who only needs one page for a website. A tech novice can easily use a professional template and edit any components to make it look unique.  There are a wide variety of templates for various categories.

Though I use dozens of sites on a daily basis, those 3 were exciting discoveries for me.

Comment below - what web tools have you discovered recently and why do you like them??

And what will we discover in 2015...