Blogs are great for publishing content, but most of them all have the same format on the Web and on mobile devices. Sometimes you may want something a little different to make your blog stand out or just to beautify your content.
To do this, you may want to turn to tools that can turn your blog into an online magazine. With tools like this, you can customize the look and feel of your blog and often add in content from other sources such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
We’re going to take a look at five totally different tools that can turn your blog into a digital magazine. Some of these tools are great for touch mobile devices, while a couple are perfect for the Web. You can see which ones at a glance in the comparison table below.
|Service||Social Integration||Web Support||iOS Support||Android Support||Other Devices||Pricing||Pro Version|
|Google Currents||Yes||No||Yes (native app)||Yes (native app)||No||Free||No|
|Onswipe||Yes||No||Yes (native app)||No||Kindle Fire||Free||No|
|PressJack||Yes||Yes||Yes (browser-based)||Yes (browser-based)||No||Free||No|
|Treesaver||No||Yes||Yes (browser-based)||Yes (browser-based)||No||$49/month||No|
|Paper.li||Yes||Yes||Yes (browser-based)||Yes (browser-based)||No||Free||$9/month|
Digital Magazine Tools
Google Currents is a mobile app for Android and iOS devices, that turns your favorite blogs and publications into a swipable magazine. What’s so great about Google Currents is that you can become a publisher and create an edition – turning your own blog into a mobile magazine.
Once you sign up as a producer using your Google account, you can use the Google Currents Producer to customer your edition, add new sections, add and manage articles, give other access to help manage it and much more. The best part is that you can see a live preview (simulation) of your edition on the Android, iPhone, iPad and Tablet.
While it may take some time to get your magazine just as you want, it will be well worth it once it’s complete.
Onswipe is another tool for mobile devices – specifically iOS devices. It creates an optimized version of your blog on the iPad; optionally, you can choose to enable it on iPhone devices as well. The end result is a beautiful, swipable magazine. Onswipe is extremely customizable. You can choose a premade theme and leave it as-is or change it up a bit.
One of the best things about Onswipe is the ability to pull in content from numerous other sources along with your RSS feed. You can also add Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Tumblr, Pinterest and more. This way, your readers can keep up with your blog all over the Web.
Once you’re done, you can preview your magazine to make sure everything looks good.
PressJack is in private beta, so unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it. You’ll need an email invite in order to use it. The website states that you can use it to “turn your blogs, RSS feeds or Web content into an interactive digital magazine in seconds.”
According to Listio, it will allow you to automatically build a digital magazine without needing any design or programming skills. You can add single or multiple RSS feeds and then organize your magazine as designed. You’ll also be able to publish your digital magazine to your own website.
Treesaver is a paid service that costs $49/month. For that amount you can publish a digital magazine (also known as a Treesaver publication), host it on the Web and upload content as often as you’d like. There is no coding experience needed.
You can divide your content into pages as you see fit and the layout is responsive, so it will automatically adjust to fit any size browser. Treesaver is built using HTML5, which makes for easier social sharing and better SEO.
The high cost of Treesaver alone, makes it a good choice for established businesses and those that are really serious about creating a digital publication.
Paper.li is a content curation service (similar to Scoop.it and Themeefy) that allows you to create an online newspaper (very similar to an online magazine). You may be familiar with it from Twitter because many people use the service, and it sends out daily tweets automatically with mentions of users with “top stories.”
However, Paper.li is not just for tweets. Besides Twitter, you can add content from Facebook, Google+, YouTube and RSS. If you sign up for a Pro account, you can even add your own logo, remove ads and customize your notifications.
You get to name your paper, add a description and choose the update frequency (daily, mornings and evenings or weekly). Of course because it’s a curation tool, you get to choose which content sources to add and how many. Once done you can edit your stories, share your newspaper and even embed it on your blog.
Do you use any of these tools for your own blog? If so, which one(s) and what are your thoughts? If not, do you use another tool to turn your blog into an online magazine?