4 Great and Free Social Media Post Creation Tools to Try

Being active on social media is both necessary and often times difficult if you are a small business owner or you’re a one-person marketing team. Fortunately there are a variety of tools available for you to pick from that help with this. From scheduling posts to manipulating, designing, and getting free images, you have a lot of options.

However, some people can’t be bothered about hopping onto multiple platforms. So here is a brief list of some incredible – and free – platforms that make these processes easier. You won’t need to hop between platforms to create fantastic posts with these.

Image Quote

Previously known as Instaquote, this tool does what it says on the box, it’s a tool designed to generate a random quote while providing various graphics for you to pick and choose. There is a lot of flexibility with this app and of course offers more should you decide to pick the premium option. The only catch to this is this is a mobile app with no desktop option so if you need to bring the post you created to your computer for whatever reason, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to get there.

Setting that aside, it’s a great and convenient tool for any smartphone user who uses their mobile a lot. Here is the app on the Apple app store.

Pablo

Pablo is similar to Image Quote in that it generates quotes and has a wide selection of images for you to choose from, but that is where their similarities end. Pablo is an incredible tool to use as the platform is created by Buffer, the social media scheduler. If you have a Buffer account (free or paid) you can easily make a post and schedule it right there.

On top of that, there is more flexibility to the overall post you are creating. You have a little more choice than on Image Quote in that you can make a post designed for a specific platform rather than having a static image designed for one social media platform. Pablo also has a feature for you to include your own logo in these posts as well.

Quotes Cover

Quotes Cover is another incredibly unique tool to consider if you need to make content quickly and has some interesting perks. For one, there is no login or sign up page which means you don’t need to make an account in order to use this tool. I love not needing an account!   And best of all, this tool is available on mobile and desktop via its website which means you don’t need to download an app in order to get this either.

But getting into this platform, you really start to see the value of it as the site can generate a wide variety of posts similar to Canva – another great social media post creator I might add. You can create wall posters, desktop and phone wallpaper, greeting cards, as well as social media posts for a variety of platforms.

But what Quotes Cover does differently than Canva is that Quotes Cover also shows off what others have created. This incredible because you are free to download, share, and distribute this work as is. But what’s even better is that you are free to edit these posts meaning you can use other peoples designs or their quotes as inspiration for you to create something different. This may bother you or you may like it, you can decide.

Stencil

Another alternative for post creation to consider is Stencil. It has the same kind of speed as Pablo in that everything you need to make a post is right in front of you. However the big differences is that Stencil provides a lot more.

It’s not that Pablo is a weak tool, however since Pablo is free, it’s a given that you’ll be running into the same quotes and using the same images after you’ve made a certain amount of posts. Stencil breaks that eventual staleness by doing the same thing, but offering significantly more.

Stencil offers:

  • Many images, fonts, quotes, icons and graphics available to pick from ensuring that you can make the right post for you.
  • Upload and storage for several logos. This allows you to use this tool for both clients or for your business.
  • Access to custom sizes ensuring there is some flexibility to the posts you are creating in cases where the pre-loaded sizes aren’t cutting it.
  • Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
  • And a premium version which grants you access to hundreds of templates that’ll make post generation faster.
  • This is only the tip of the iceberg as Stencil is loaded with additional features. To find them out, you’re going to have to see it for yourself.

Great Post Creation Tools For You

As you can see, there are many great tools out there that are going above and beyond scheduling and making images. Some of them can make images faster while others make the tools easily available with very little clicking. If you’re in a bind and need to generate a lot of content quickly, consider these options. They provide quality images, have access to many quotes, and making these posts will take literally minutes. What’s not to love about that?

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How to Delete All Emails on Your iPhone or iPad on IOS 12

How to Delete All Emails on Your iPhone or iPad on IOS 12

A lot has changed from 2013, but not so much in the way of ease of deleting emails on your iPhone or iPad. Back then, I managed to find some undocumented information that helped me in deleting all my emails which I outlined here. However with multiple version updates and several years, the “Mail” application still has features that require you to do a little digging.

Now, to Apple’s credit, deleting all emails was a little bit easier. There was a simple Trash All button in some previous versions and updates. However those features have gone away and there is a more hands on method. In fact there are two methods.

First Method: Removal Through Multiple Selection

The Trash All button was such a time saver, however as soon as you update your phone to any iOS 11 or iOS 12 versions, that feature is gone. That being said not all hope is lost and there is a way to delete multiple or all emails on your iPhone with relative ease. All you need to do is the following:

  1. Launch the “Mail” App.
  2. Go to the folder you plan to delete mail from and click on the “Edit” button in the top right corner.
  3. Manually select every single email you wish to delete (sadly there is no select all) followed by selecting “Trash” or “Archive” in the bottom right corner.
  4. Finally confirm the action by selecting “Trash/Archive Selected Messages”

This method is good, however it’s not that helpful if you have stored hundreds of emails. If you’re in that camp, consider the second method.

Second Method: Moving Emails to A New Folder and Deleting All Emails

Technically speaking there is a delete all emails on your iPhone method, though it’s only permitted on specific folders. The idea is to move emails from one folder and move it into Trash or Junk folder which do have a remove feature. Here is how it works:

  1. Launch the “Mail” App.
  2. Go to Inbox, Sent or Draft folder and then tap “Edit” and select one email.
  3. From there, press and hold the “Move” button at the bottom and uncheck the email you just selected. Make absolutely sure you do not release your finger from that button until you’ve unchecked all the emails you checked off before.
  4. A new screen will show up allowing you to move all emails from one folder to another folder. From there, you can select Junk or Trash.
  5. Once all the emails have been moved to the Trash or Junk folder, you can go into that selected folder and click “Edit”. There should be an option to “Delete All” or “Trash All.”

The Mail app made a big leap in the past only to regress a little bit in recent versions. But just like with most apps on Apple, they are always looking to making tweaks and adjustments and maybe we’ll get some of the better features that Mail had in iOS 10 someday.

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How to Avoid Echos In Your Videos and Audio Recordings

How to Avoid Echos In Your Videos and Audio Recordings

One of the many challenges that you will face if you are recording outside of a sound room is echoes and reverberations. While there is nothing stopping you from recording in reverberant rooms, you will still have to deal with the fact that any sound you make in that room will create an echo and that you’ll have to deal with when editing your audio recordings or videos.

But all of this can be avoided in various ways. Like with shaky smartphone videos, there are specific approaches and tools you can turn to.

Post-Production Software

The first method is looking to post-production software that will avoid the issue entirely or kind of address the issue. The degree of quality depends on how high-end the software is. However there are some other cheaper alternatives to consider.

Soundproof Or Sound Muffling Material

One avenue you can look at is to find a way to muffle sound. Naturally a sound room is ideal, but if you want to record in a warehouse or a bathroom, you have to be creative than that. No matter the surface, each one reflects sound to some degree. Particularly surfaces that are hard and smooth, such as bare walls, tile floor, or hardwood floors, reflect the most.

Knowing this, your task is to find ways to place softer surfaces covering those areas. Sound blankets, everyday blankets, towels, and even clothing or anything similar to that can help in blocking off sound and avoid echoes.

Create A Makeshift Sound Room (Big Or Small)

Another alternative is making your own makeshift sound room. Best of all is that you can either go big or small with this. Ideally this tip applies more for voice overs or where you’re recording in one specific spot.

Small Sound Room

For the small version, you’ll need a few things. First is a box that is big enough to fit your head in. There are many tutorials that use smaller boxes, but some people still sound like they’re talking in a cave. To mitigate this, make sure you have a big enough box where you can move your head into the box.

Second you’ll need to line the box with a soft material. You can go cheap with this so things like memory foam, or any of the materials I listed above work great.

Thirdly is adhesive glue. Foam and cloth don’t like to stick if you use traditional glue.

Once you have the materials needed, measure the material out so it fits in the box. Make absolutely sure you have enough space to fit the microphone stand in it and that it’s deep enough so your head can get into the box if necessary.

After that, cut a hole in the fabric so it’s big enough for the microphone and start lining up the insides with the material. Also make sure you read the instructions on the adhesive spray as there will be pointers of what not to do with it when apply it.

If you’re still having reverbs, grab some other pillows, blankets, and other sound muffling material and bury yourself in that area. LOL

Big Sound Room

A big sound room is simple to make and is affordable as well. Generally speaking, you’ll be looking at $200-250 for this design, but Musician On A Mission created a quality instruction guide outlining how to make this sound room using joints, pipes, shower curtain rings, acoustic blankets, and a junior hacksaw. You can read all about it here.

Adjusting Computer Sound Settings

And finally another method to consider is adjusting the sound settings on your computer. If you’re relying on the built-in mic of your computer or a microphone that’s hooked into your computer, there are ways that you can adjust the sound and therefore echo.

For Windows, go to your Control Panel, click Sound then Recording tab. Right click, and select Properties followed by the Enhancements tab. Disable all enhancements and then apply the changes.

For Mac, open system preferences and click on the sound icon. Click on input and un-check the “use ambient noise reduction” and close the window.

You can also use programs like Audacity and Audition.

Conclusion

These are the just a handful of quick tips, but generally speaking, sound can be muffled better the more softer surfaces there are in the area you’re recording. Always keep that in mind and you’ll have cleaner and less echoes in your recordings.

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6 Great Social Media Apps That Schedule Social Media Posts

6 Great Social Media Apps That Schedule Social Media Posts

With more people flocking to social media, many social media sites have become marketing goldmines for businesses. By being on social media and having a social presence, businesses are able to engage with users immediately, and create deeper connections than other traditional marketing tactics.

There are many perks that come to being on social media, however a lot of these perks come from a businesses ability to make great content. Content marketing. And while that sounds easy, it’s harder than you think.

The biggest culprit that makes social media so difficult is time. It takes time to create posts and time to post them too. And for business owners you honestly can do better things with your time than constantly logging onto Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and making one post. All you need is an app that allows you to schedule your social media posts.

The only problem with that is that there are dozens of these apps.

Here are a handful of these apps to consider so you can pick one you like the most!

Buffer

The biggest social media scheduler of them all and deservedly so. Buffer is strongly established in the market, and some incredible features. These features include a queue, post analytics, team features, and engagement features. Best of all, it can post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Linkedin.

All in all Buffer has a simple design and is easy to get into. Furthermore it’s relatively cheap as well. You can pay as little as $15 per month to upwards of $399 per month depending on how many social profiles you want and how large your team is.

Here is their pricing plan.

Sprout Social

Close behind Buffer is Sprout Social. It’s similar to HootSuite – another social media scheduler – in that it combines similar tools together. Sprout Social has the full suite of features that Buffer has in monitoring, scheduling, and analytics, but where it differs is in the posting. You have a few extra features in creating content tagging and if you have a team working on social media posts there is an approval workflow feature too.

Prices for Sprout Social are higher than Buffer’s however Sprout Social goes into more detail on the data side of things. They also provide a 30 day free trial for you to try it out with no risk.

HootSuite

HootSuite has been around from the beginning. In fact, it might’ve been the first scheduler of its kind. It started in 2008 and offers a wide variety of content features. It has scheduling, content curation, organization, and an RSS integration. Hootsuite also takes pride in bulk scheduling so if you want to upload several posts at a time, you can do that. Furthermore, there is a feature that allows you to create social contests or sweepstakes on social media with ease.

Here is their pricing plan.

Social Pilot

This scheduler is unique in that its filled with features and integrated into one dashboard. Social Pilot isn’t as robust as the previous three schedulers, but if you’re looking to just schedule your posts then this is a no hassle and cheap option to consider.

They offer a 14 day trial with plans starting as low as $25 a month.

CoSchedule

CoSchedule has some pretty neat features, the biggest being the social calendar feature. In short, this platform is geared to helping you schedule and organize every single post. Not only that but it’s also one of the top blogs on content marketing so there is a lot of information you can get access to on the subject.

But that information and unique features don’t come cheap. Their cheapest plan comes up to $80 a month which is the highest base plan out of them all. Still, these are some great features to consider.

Crowdfire

Crowdfire used to be a simple follow and unfollow feature before it evolved into what it is now. It’s the most automated scheduler out of all of these to the point that most users feel Crowdfire is basically an automated robot. Crowdfire makes recommendations for posts you can make through a series of messages. The bot will also set up a wide variety of posts for you without you having to worry at all.

The only catch to this is that unlike the previous schedulers, you can’t make a post from scratch nor can you schedule them. This app is focused solely on social engagement. So it might not exactly fix the issues you have exactly.

Still, it’s the cheapest out of the other schedulers starting off at $7.48 a month.

The Right Scheduler For You

Each scheduler has its own subtle differences and overall feel for it and the best way to know the right one for you is to try them out. While I was focusing on the pricing points of each one of these schedulers, they do have options for free versions or at least give you a free trial. So try them out and see which one makes the most sense for your business.

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Why Does Your Voice Sound Weird When You Listen to Videos of Yourself?

Why Does Your Voice Sound Weird When You Listen to Videos of Yourself?

When you first get into video or audio recordings, there’s a lot to take in. I’m sure you’ll feel excited about making videos and audio recordings or perhaps your nervous. Whatever the case is, the revelations that come from that experience are different when you get to editing those recordings for the first time. The big reason is that your voice doesn’t sound right. In fact many think their voice sounds just awful.

Why is that though? Well it’s because of how sound works. But also the fact that when we speak, we are hearing our voice in two completely different ways.

The first way we hear our voice is through the vibrating sound waves that are hitting your ear drums. This is the way that other people will be hearing your voice. This voice that you are hearing through your audio recording is how other people hear you whenever you speak to anyone.

But why our voice sounds different is because of this second method. This is what we always hear when we speak and we listen to the sound of our voice. When we speak, the same vibrations travel the same way as the first way. They travel up through our vocal cords, through our skull, vibrate our ear drums and are pushed outwards through our mouths. However, when we are listening to our voice, the fact that our voice is traveling through our bones, we get a sense of a lower pitch or bass. We believe that that is our voice, but that’s actually false as our real voice is the voice from the first way, what others are hearing. And that sound is high enough for us to note that our voice sounds weird or different.

So don’t worry so much about it. Yes it’s definitely weird and as you are starting to record you will definitely be noticing. However with practice, you’ll get used to listening to this new voice. All you need to do is keep recording!

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