Giving Thanks: 11 of Our Favorite Blogging Tools

Blogging Tools We're Thankful For at Thanksgiving

It’s National Blog Posting Month, so over the course of November, we are focusing on how to blog better and faster. Catch up on our other tips for bloggers on the Blogging section of Beyond Bylines

When you run a blog, one of the biggest perks is that you’re in charge. You’re writer, editor, photographer, videographer, graphic designer, programmer, marketer, and more.

This also makes blogging one of the biggest challenges because not many of us start out skilled in those areas.

Fortunately, there are many resources and guides to remove the mystery from blogging. Better yet — many of them are free or incredibly inexpensive to use.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday and the final week of National Blog Posting Month, we asked bloggers from all over PR Newswire:

Which blogging tools are you most thankful for?

Here are 11 of the tools they shared. When you try them out, we think you’ll be thankful, too.

Graphic Design Made Easy

To say I’m obsessed with Canva is a gross understatement. I think I love Canva more than blogging itself.

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of design tools and software and have found Canva is among the easiest to pick up.

When you start a new design, you can choose from 17+ templates. You no longer have to look up the ideal dimensions for a Facebook ad, Google+ cover photo, or Instagram post. The Canva team has gathered best practices for all different types of digital and print designs. If none of them work for your current project, you also can customize your dimensions.

Canva is completely free to use if you upload your own image or choose from its large library of free graphics. The only time you’ll spend money is if you use a graphic from Canva’s premium library. Even then, it costs just $1 per image.

Although I love how free and easy Canva is to use, it’s the site’s commitment to good design that makes Canva my absolute favorite blogging tool.

From a library of inspiring layouts to the Design School’s online tutorials and workshops, Canva is dedicated to giving everyone the tools — and the knowledge — needed to create stunning graphics.

– Amanda Hicken, Manager, Media Relations

3 Blog Management Essentials

There are three sites I can’t live without for managing ProfNet Connect’s blogs.

Google Calendar: An easy, and free, way to schedule blog posts. I can also give my team access so they can see what blog posts everyone has coming up.

AP Stylebook online: I’m a big fan of AP style, so I check this website multiple times a day.

Google Analytics: An easy tool that helps us plan future blog posts by knowing which posts do well and which don’t.

– Maria Perez, Director, Online Community Relations

Writing 101

Being given the opportunity to write a regular series about grammar and writing has been an amazing journey. When I first took over PR Newswire’s Grammar Hammer column, I really had no idea where to begin.

I come from a long line of writers, teachers, educators, and speakers. I felt confident that I could add my voice to this esteemed lineage and make the family proud. I review news releases all day long. I see grammatical mistakes in many of them and know exactly how to correct it.

This new assignment, though, meant that I’d have to explain why something was wrong and give some tips on how to remember that. Somehow, I didn’t think my college writing guides from the early 1990s would be incredibly helpful.

I turned to the internet and found a great cache of sites that I have come to rely on when testing my own knowledge of grammar rules and topics. I recapped a few of them here.

– Catherine Spicer, Manager, Customer Content Services

Insta-great!

Instagram has become one of my favorite tools as a blogger. I’m a visual person and when Instagram came on the scene I couldn’t wait to embrace it.

At first, integrating images into blog posts meant snagging images and uploading it to a blog post or using Instagram’s instant upload to Flickr. Over the last year, though, they have created easy embedding capabilities.

The most recent upgrade included the ability to have captions appear, as well as automatic resizing to fit your blog’s width.  As a bonus, readers can click on the image to take them to your online Instagram feed to like, comment, or even follow.

Posting images onto Instagram isn’t enough. Using hashtags is the best way to connect your images to those who are interested. As with any social media service it is important to engage with other users, comment, and remember to shout out thanks when appropriate. You also can cross-post on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare for greater engagement.

– Mary Johnson, Office Manager; Blogger at iNeed a Playdate

Traditional Journalism Meets Social Media

While I’ve been fortunate to nurture relationships with great sources as a longtime business journalist, social media has taken my reporting and blogging to a new level.

Today, researching stories and ideas is way easier. And social media offers a variety of ways to connect with sources through other platforms. (You can read our coverage of a few of these tools here.)

It’s opened up my Rolodex, allowing me to reach a great many more folks for stories I’m working on.

– Christine Cube, Manager, Media Relations

Photos At The Ready

I am thankful for many things in my life, but as a blogger, one thing I can’t live without is Flickr’s Creative Commons. It’s a database filled with images I can use to spice up any project I’m working on.

Thanks to the Flickr users who have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, I won’t have any trouble finding a photo to complete my latest blog post before heading out for Thanksgiving vacation.

– Ryan Hansen, Audience Researcher

2 Must-Haves for Multi-Author Blogs

I manage 10 active content contributors for PR Newswire’s Small Business PR Toolkit, a program and resource center that educates small business professionals about PR and how it can help their company or organization gain visibility and grow.

Luckily, I am very much a type-A personality and can keep up with the process; however, I have found that by putting certain systems into place I can save some time and focus my efforts elsewhere. I am thankful for the following two blogging tools:

Editorial Guidelines for Content Contributors: I initially provide this to our contributors during the onboarding and it helps tremendously by streamlining the submission process. Why continue to explain the steps over and over again if you have a handy one-sheet that does the job for you?

Editorial Calendar: Over the years, this has become my right-hand man. I schedule posts and submissions on a quarterly basis and this provides me plenty of time to communicate these dates to our contributors and also helps me keep up with the deadlines. I was never able to find a tool online that met all of my needs, so I created my own in Excel and I would be lost without it.

– Amanda Eldridge, Director, Strategic Channels

PR Newswire for Journalists — and for Bloggers

Don’t let the name fool you. PR Newswire for Journalists offers many free tools for bloggers. Registered bloggers get one-stop access to breaking news, subject matter experts, story ideas, and high-resolution multimedia.

Customize a profile to receive only the news you want, at a time that’s convenient to you. Newsfeeds can be targeted for any topic, by industry, geography, subject, keyword, brand name and more. Press releases can be emailed in real-time or in a digest as often as you want.

Our ProfNet service can connect you with thousands of experts and brands. Submit a query, search the more than 60,000 profiles on ProfNet Connect, or get timely sources and story ideas sent to you by email.

Need an image? Search and download high-resolution images via PR Newswire’s multimedia gallery. All images are free to use in blog posts.  Video, audio, and other multimedia also are available.

Get started at prnmedia.prnewswire.com/registration.

Before we head off to celebrate Thanksgiving, the team at Beyond Bylines had one last thank you — a thank you for YOU, our readers. Our blog wouldn’t exist without someone reading it. Thanks for always stopping by, sharing, and engaging with us!

If there’s a blogging tool you’re thankful for, let us know in the comments.

Amanda Hicken is a media relations manager at PR Newswire. Follow her on Twitter @ADHicken for tweets about the media, Cleveland, and comic books.

Blog Profiles: Food Blogs, Volume 2

Food Blogs We Love, Volume 2

Food Blogs We Love, Volume 2

Welcome to Blog Profiles! Each week, PR Newswire media relations manager Christine Cube selects an industry or subject and a handful of sites that do a good job with promoting, contributing, and blogging about the space. Do you have a blog that deserves recognition? Tell Christine why on PR Newswire for Bloggers.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

I may have been looking forward to revisiting food blogs since April (Food Blogs, Volume 1) or even when I reviewed beer, wine and spirits blogs in June. Or coffee. Or cheese and fine dining.

I really love you food bloggers. Or maybe it’s the food. Anyway. You guys write – and cook up – some good stuff. (I didn’t even need the excuse that November is National Pomegranate Month or Sweet Potato Awareness Month to go here.)

Bake at 350 is the blog of baker and author Bridget Edwards.

Her most recent book came out this fall – Decorating Cookies Party: 10 Celebratory Themes * 50 Designs. Edwards believes “cookies are made to be eaten, not to be perfect,” and “your time is better spent EATING cookies with family and friends than slaving over them.”

As such, this is a fun blog, and the photography is amazing (if I could just figure out how to get a fork through the computer screen).

Some of my favorite posts (there were several) include Biscoff Coffee Cake with Biscoff Crumb Topping, Cake Batter Blondie Bars, and Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies.

If you want to follow Edwards, I recommend starting with her Pinterest page. Or, follow @bakeat350tweets on Twitter.

Eats Well With Others takes a “vegetable- and cupcake-laden approach to life (always with a bit of laughter on the side)!”

Blogger Joanne Bruno started the blog in 2009, while a senior in college as a way to teach herself how to cook.

“What started as just a spur-of-the-moment whim has morphed into something I spend the majority of my time thinking about, an obsession if you will,” Bruno writes, admitting the blog itself has undergone a lot of changes, particularly in the last couple of years, when she embraced a “vegetarian whole-foods based lifestyle.”

Honestly, her Moroccan chickpea and butternut squash soup is probably one of the tastiest bowls of fall soup I’ve laid eyes on.

Also: Curried root vegetable pot pies and rigatoni with spicy pumpkin cream sauce.

Follow @joanneeatswell on Twitter.

Tom’s Foodie Blog says “life is too short for bad food and cheap wine.”

Blogger Tom Holmberg covers a lot of information on his blog, from restaurant reviews to food trends.

Because it’s almost Thanksgiving, a post that caught my eye was Top 15 Alternate Ways Turkey Recipes, which covers everything from smoked turkey to turducken.

I appreciated Holmberg’s recent featured post: Hidden Orange County Wine Loop – Napa Valley, Eat Your Hvarti Out!

Some other posts that I enjoyed include Top Produce Trends from PMA Fresh Summit 2014, Best Las Vegas Buffet Bacchanal or Wicked Spoon? and Top 10 Cookie Recipe Hacks.

Follow @tomsfoodieblog on Twitter.

The Baker Chick honestly had me at cheesy cauliflower gratin with bacon. I mean, seriously.

Blogger Audra Fullerton moved from the Midwest to New York to pursue her dream of performing on stage. After five years of acting and doing what she loved, Fullerton pursued another life passion: Baking and cooking.

“I created this blog in February 2011 to document my baking endeavors,” she writes. “Since I can remember I’ve loved everything sweet, and after turning into the ‘go-to girl’ for baking tips and recipes, I decided it was time to start a blog!”

The Baker Chick is a great site. I could honestly spend hours here, pouring through recipes like peanut butter banana cream pie, ginger vanilla bean ice cream sandwiches, cranberry swirl mini cheesecakes, and buttermilk spice layer cake with brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

Have mercy.

Follow @TheBakerChick on Twitter.

Eat, Play, Love chronicles the family and kitchen adventures of a Midwest family of four.

I like how this family cooks “outside the box.”

“In an effort to get out of the at-home, standard-fare rut, to learn to try new things and to open our children up to other cultures around the world, we thought it would be fun to start sampling different recipes from around the globe,” the blog says. “Every month (or so) we select a new country or region from which to try new recipes. We also select a new U.S. state each month and sample some of its local cuisine (and desserts!).”

In her recent post, Proud Mama, Mom Kristy covers her family’s hand at making Yemeni Ka’ak (“Ka’ak is an Arabic word for cake and the Yemeni version of ka’ak is like a cross between a biscuit and a cookie,” Kristy writes.)

I especially love how involved and hands-on her children are in preparing meals.

Other posts I enjoyed include A Busy Kitchen (Ok, kitten Hobbs – adorable), Harvesting the Last Days of Summer, and Country Magic.

Follow @eatplayloveblog on Twitter.

The Duo Dishes is a Southern California blog that experiments with blending family tradition, regional fare, and new ethnic flavors.

It’s written and managed by freelance culinary consultant and writer Chrystal Baker, who covers recipes, restaurants, and food events.

How Baker and friend/blog partner Amir came up with the name ‘The Duo Dishes’: “We figured that we’re two folks who like all things about food — talking about it, learning about it, teaching others about it and, of course, cooking it. We dish up food and dish about food, hence The Duo Dishes.”

Some pretty great posts that caught my eye include Saffron Split Pea, Potato and Bacon Soup, Sharing The Art of Tea, and Making Macarons with a Pro.

Follow @TheDuoDishes on Twitter.

P.S. Ever wonder how we come up with ideas for our blog profiles? Our handy list of industries and subjects on PR Newswire for Journalists stays top of mind. If you’re a blogger or journalist looking for food and beverage or restaurant news, let us know. We’re happy to customize that feed for you on PR Newswire for Journalists.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. She woke up early to hit the farmer’s market for the cinnamon rolls. THE cinnamon rolls. Follow her @cpcube.

Did You See That Press Release? Terrorism Increases; US Popularity Declines

With thousands of news releases published each week on PR Newswire for Journalists, no one can possibly keep up with every one of them. Here’s some of the past week’s top headlines that you might have missed.

If you’re not already a registered member of PR Newswire for Journalists, you can register at prnmedia.prnewswire.com.  Customize your profile to get the press releases you want before they make the news. It’s free and takes only a few moments.

Source: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Source: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

2014 Global Terrorism Index: Number of Lives Lost to Terrorism Increased 61 Percent YOY; Number of Countries Experiencing 50 or More Deaths Increased 60 Percent YOY

The number of lives lost to terrorist attacks increased by 61 percent in a single year, according to the second edition of the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), rising from 11,133 in 2012 to 17,958 in 2013. The index also recorded a 44 percent increase in the number of terrorist incidents, rising from 6,825 in 2012 to 9,814 in 2013. Explosives accounted for the majority of these attacks, while suicide bombings accounted for less than 5 percent.

First launched by the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) in 2012, the GTI ranks countries by the impact of terrorist activities as well as analyzing the economic and social dimensions associated with terrorism.

The index scores 162 countries, covering 99.6 percent of the world’s population, and examines trends from 2000 to 2013. The indicators used include the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries, and property damage. See the full release to learn more.

Want to make sure you don’t miss releases like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to have releases emailed to you about public safety, international affairs, and other topics you cover. Get started now.

Germany Knocks USA Off ‘Best Nation’ Top Spot After 5 Years

After holding the No. 1 place since 2009, the USA this year has been pushed down to second place by Germany, which now takes the lead in the Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index (NBI).

People around the world now have more positive perceptions of Germany than of 49 other developed and developing countries, according to the annual NBI study.

The study measures global perceptions of each country, based on 23 different attributes that make up the six overall dimensions on which national image is based: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism, and immigration/investment.

For the 2014 study, a total of 20,125 interviews were conducted across 20 countries.  See the full release to learn what other countries made the list.

Interested in receiving more survey and trends news like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to get releases sent to you by email on the topics you cover. Get started now.

Source: PRNewsFoto/American Standard

Source: PRNewsFoto/American Standard

American Standard Issues 2014 Global Sanitation Report on World Toilet Day

In recognition of the 13th annual World Toilet Day on Nov. 19, American Standard released a Global Sanitation Report offering the latest information on the lack of adequate sanitation resources afflicting nearly 40 percent of the world population.

The document also provides updates on the company’s Flush for Good campaign, which aims to reach 20 million people by 2020 with improved sanitation facilities that can reduce disease to help save lives.  See the full release to learn more.

Don’t miss other health and corporate social responsibility news like this. Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to get releases sent to you by email on the topics you cover.  Get started now.

Kelley Blue Book Announces Winners of All-New 2015 Best Buy Awards; 2015 Ford F-150 Named Overall Best Buy

Kelley Blue Book kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, announced on Nov. 17 the winners of the 2015 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards, honoring the top new model year vehicle choices available in the U.S. market.

The 2015 Ford F-150 is named Kelley Blue Book’s Overall Best Buy of 2015, alongside Best Buy Award winners in 12 major vehicle categories.  Watch the video and see the full release to learn more about the winners.

Want to make sure you don’t miss releases like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to have releases emailed to you about the automotive industry and other topics you cover. Get started now

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Source: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Actavis to Acquire Allergan to Create Top 10 Global Growth Pharmaceutical Company with $23 Billion in Revenue

Actavis plc and Allergan Inc. announced Nov. 17 that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Actavis will acquire Allergan for a combination of $129.22 in cash and 0.3683 Actavis shares for each share of Allergan common stock.

Based on the closing price of Actavis shares on Nov. 14, the transaction is valued at approximately $66 billion, or $219 per Allergan share.

The combination will create one of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by sales revenue, with combined annual pro forma revenues of more than $23 billion anticipated in 2015.  See the video to learn more.

Interested in receiving more pharmaceutical and financial news like this? Sign up for PR Newswire for Journalists and create a free profile to receive releases by email on the topics you cover. Get started now.

Larry Grady is online content manager at PR Newswire for Journalists. He has worked in business media for nearly 30 years and enjoys reality TV and daydreaming about travel and wine.

Around the Wire: Tips for Freelancers in a Danger Zone, Time Inc. Tops in Buzz, Reuters to Cut Jobs

Welcome to the latest installment of Around the Wire, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging, and freelancing stories from the past week.

1. For Freelancers Alone In Danger Zones, A Communications Plan Is Crucial (PBS Media Shift)

Being a journalist in a conflict zone is difficult enough. As a freelancer, the degree of difficulty is that much greater. There is no one to fall back on, and no office to consult when things begin to escalate. Preparing a communications plan not only is smart, but it could save your life.

2. Time Inc. Leads Magazines In Generating Social Buzz (New York Post)

It was announced this week that Time Inc. is tops when it comes to generating social media followers. The leading four publishers garnered a significant amount more than those that round out the Top 10.

Most surprising is National Geographic Society edged out Hearst, due largely to its photographic images.

I guess a picture really is worth a thousand words. Or in this case, followers.

3. Reuters To Cut Jobs Despite Budget Increase (BuzzFeed News)

Layoffs loom as Reuters is expected to cut 55 editorial jobs. Though there will be a 1 percent increase in the 2015 budget, it is not enough to uphold the current staff. In addition, Reuters will begin to transition resources to areas with more growth potential. Fortunately, some — but not all — will find new opportunities within the company due to this restructuring.

4. Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine Photos Are Lewd, Shrewd PR (Ragan’s PR Daily)

Looking past the suggestive images, there are things that can be taken away from this. Did she break the internet? No, not even close. Was the media buzz that followed impressive? It absolutely was. You can debate the content as gratuitous and over the top, but not the fact that she accomplished exactly what she was looking for, an enormous PR event.

5. Media News & Moves For Week of Nov. 17 (PR Newswire MEDIAware)

MEDIAware details who went where in the world of media over the past week. This week saw a few changes at The New York Times, a promotion at CNN Digital, and a departure from Chicago Tribune.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines in the sidebar or add our RSS feed to get media trends, journalist interviews, blog profiles, and more sent right to your inbox or feed reader.

Ryan Hansen is an audience researcher with PR Newswire keeping track of the latest New York media moves. Follow him @RPH2004 for tweets about media, food, and his general take on something that may be irrelevant.

Grammar Hammer: Each and Every One

blog_grammarhammer

Which is correct? To say that I write a blog post for Grammar Hammer each week or to say that I write a post for Grammar Hammer every week?

“Every” is used to talk about how often something happens.  If I say I write something on a weekly basis, I’m saying I write something “every week.”

You should also use every when the number being referenced is indefinite. Think of it as being half way between each and all. “Every” sees things as singular, but as part of a group (e.g., every house).

“Each” is used to emphasize individuality. If I’m trying to make the point that I stop at each neighbor’s house on Halloween to collect candy, I’m trying to emphasize the number of houses.

Grammar Hammer: Each and Every One

Here’s one quick way I remember which word to use. If I’m only talking about two things, I need to use the word “each.” It doesn’t make much sense for me to say, “I don’t go walking in the woods after dark unless I have a flashlight in every hand.”

DO:

  • Use “each” when you need a determiner like “of” before an object pronoun. For instance, you can’t say “every of.”
  • Use “every” when you are using an abstract noun. Example: You have every reason to be happy.

DON’T:

  • Use a determiner with “each” or “every”.

So, remember, each person is unique. Every person sees things differently.

Have a grammar rule you’d like me to explore? Drop me a line at catherine.spicer@prnewswire.com.

Click here for more Grammar Hammer and writing tips.

Author Catherine Spicer is a manager of customer content services at PR Newswire. A version of this post originally appeared on Beyond PR.

The Importance of Minority Blog Awards & 3 Ways to Stand Out From Other Nominees

3 Steps to Winning Blog Awards

It’s National Blog Posting Month, so over the course of November, we are focusing on how to blog better and faster. Catch up on our other NaBloPoMo posts and more tips for bloggers on the Blogging section of Beyond Bylines

Landing an industry award has the potential to boost your career to the next level. Unfortunately, when you are part of a minority group, you may find yourself competing for nominations in a limited amount of categories.

The same holds true for bloggers, who without comprehensive minority blog awards, often struggle to get the recognition they deserve.

For many Black bloggers, winning an industry award that recognizes the best Black blogs has an even deeper significance.

“Those awards opened doors for me in terms of guest blogging for other major sites, being invited to keynote social media events and has expanded the reach of my blog,” says African-American blogger Jesse Muhammad (@brotherjesse).

Muhammad has been blogging for more than seven years and says the Black Weblog Awards have inspired him to be a better blogger and serve his readers.

It’s also connected him with fellow Black bloggers. His blog jessemuhammad.blogs.finalcall.com has received multiple nominations over the years, including Blog of the Year, Best Personal Blog, and Best Microblog. This year, he won Best Twitter Feed.

According to Gina McCauley (@blkweblogawards), who organizes the Black Weblog Awards, new categories were added this year to recognize excellence in all of the popular social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Nonetheless, she explains the Black Weblog Awards always will be blog-centric because it’s important African-Americans own and control their own platforms.

“As awesome and influential as some of the free services are, we don’t own them, but they are an important part of the social media communities we’ve built,” she says.

Muhammad and McCauley share the following tips to make the most of your blog.

Quality First:  Staying focused on the service and  not the recognition is one of the keys to a successful blog, says Muhammad.  When you finally get recognized or win an award, don’t become complacent, he advises.

“If you jump into blogging just to be recognized you won’t have much longevity because it takes patience, sacrifice, hard work and focus to build up an audience and position your blog to be seen,” he said.

Research the Best: In order to garner new story ideas and perspectives, it’s important you follow a variety of award-winning blogs and focus your attention on what makes site unique.

“If you want to be the best, you have to study the best while developing your own unique writing voice,” Muhammad said. “Forget thinking ‘outside the box.’ There is no box.”

Innovate and Support Your Community: McCauley explains that for Blogger of the Year, the Black Weblog Awards look for someone who’s changing the game of social media.

“Someone who is a blogger’s blogger; someone who is a trailblazer and doing remarkable and important work to build their platform, but also takes time to help up and coming bloggers with advice and guidance,” she said. “Someone who is proud to be a blogger and understands the importance of independent Black media.”

PR Newswire’s African-American press list can connect you with more news about the African-American community. If you are a journalist or blogger who would like to be added, please contact Jessica.Alas@prnewswire.com or follow us on Twitter @PRNAfricanAm.

Jessica Alas is Media Relations Director, Multicultural Markets and Hispanic PR Wire at PR Newswire. Follow her at @alasjessica.

Blog Profiles: Yoga Blogs

Yoga Blogs We Love

Yoga Blogs We Love

Welcome to Blog Profiles! Each week, PR Newswire media relations manager Christine Cube selects an industry or subject and a handful of sites that do a good job with promoting, contributing, and blogging about the space. Do you have a blog that deserves recognition? Tell Christine why on PR Newswire for Bloggers.

With the holidays on my mind, we covered last week some great examples of transportation and travel blogs on Beyond Bylines.

Today, I’m trying to stay mindful that the holidays also should be a relaxing time with family and loved ones.

This makes me think of yoga. (I’m quite fond of Bikram, in particular.)

Yoga Modern provides “ancient wisdom, modern perspective.”

The site aims to cultivate meaningful conversation that inspires and connects communities. Some topics include “asana, culture, philosophy, science, global affairs, health, and the arts.”

“We invite yoga teachers, students, and notables from various backgrounds to write about universal aspects of our shared human existence,” the blog says.

Moving Through Fear: Do It By The Numbers – Fear Comes in Many Flavors was really striking to me. Especially with its message that “fear is pervasive in our society,” it’s really cool how the post breaks down discipline, self-study, and surrender in letting go of fear.

“When fear arises, stay present with it, drawing the breath down into the belly and breathing smoothly so the inhalation flows right into the exhale, evoking a sense of inner calm,” the post says. “Know that there is a natural order to the universe and in that knowledge, move forward. Accept that fear is there, and take action anyway without expectations regarding the outcome.”

I also liked a couple more posts from Yoga Modern: A daughter uses yoga’s wisdom to face her mother’s Alzheimer’s and Ayurveda’s sweet daily routine for self care.

Follow @yogamodern on Twitter.

Daily Cup of Yoga is an awesome site with tips, tools and wisdom on yoga, books, and technology.

Site owner Brian admits yoga was “one of those things that caught me totally by surprise more than 10 years ago when my mom talked me into doing a Rodney Yee yoga video with her one day over Christmas break.”

“I was always one of those guys who loved sports, but could barely touch my kneecaps because my hamstrings were tight as dry wood thanks to genetics and years of neglect,” Brian says. “Needless to say, I was shocked when I realized that even after years of lifting weights and running and playing tennis, my unnatural attempts at downward-facing dog left my arms shaking after a few breaths.”

I completely identify with this. When I walk away from yoga for any extended period of time, it’s amazing how much your body begins to miss it.

Some posts on Daily Cup of Yoga that caught my eye include 5 Simple Tips for Becoming a Master at Meditation, 10 Benefits of Gratitude, and The Yoga of Travel.

Follow @DailyCupofYoga of Twitter.

Yoganonymous is “an open platform that allows teachers, studios, event promoters, and bloggers a place to interact with the community at large.”

I chose Yoganonymous because of its accessible and comprehensive content. The site covers lifestyle, practice, and wellness.

So I’ll admit the first thing I did on Yoganonymous was take a quiz – What’s Your Element? by My Yoga on Gaiam TV. (Fun quiz; I’m happy to report I’m a balanced element.)

Some of my favorite posts include Celebrate Halloween the Healthy Way (the Ghoul-Amole Graveyard? Brilliant.), Is Yoga Selfish?, and 7 Lessons Thich Nhat Hanh Taught Us.

In the latter post, Nhat Hanh said this about finding peace: “We are peaceful, if we are happy. We can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”

Follow @Yoganonymous on Twitter.

Elephant Journal is “dedicated to the mindful life.”

There’s a ton of great stuff on this site. Look up any category on Elephant Journal and you may find a host of sub-topics. Examples include Green (Bike, Adventure, Ecofashion, and Conscious Consumerism) and Enlightened Society (Right Livelihood, Equal Rights, Animal Rights, Arts, and Reviews).

This is a great site. There were several posts that drew me in.

Some notables include Thich Nhat Hanh is a Hero to Me, Tips & Tricks for Smart Winter Layering (This is currently perfect timing in Washington, DC. It’s chilly out there.), and 5 Lesser-Known Ways Yoga Helps Runners.

“I don’t know a single runner who has not experienced the stitch: that stabbing sensation in between or under our ribs that comes out of no where in the middle of our run,” writes author Abby Rosmarin, in the running post. “As runners, we can utilize yoga breathing to train ourselves to breathe through the physical strain of running and maybe keep the stitch from returning on race day.”

It’s great advice.

Follow @elephantjournal on Twitter.

P.S. Ever wonder how we come up with ideas for our blog profiles? Our handy list of industries and subjects on PR Newswire for Journalists stays top of mind. If you’re a blogger or journalist looking for yoga and/or exercise news, let us know. We’re happy to customize that feed for you on PR Newswire for Journalists.

Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. Follow her @cpcube. Namaste.