From time to time, an industry or subject inspires us to create a best-of list. These are sites that produce out-of-this-world coverage in a crowded arena. In case you’ve missed some of these, you can find them here. If you think your site should be considered, give us a holler and tell us why.
Evergreen content. It’s a classic journalistic practice.
A workhorse of the newsroom, this kind of repeat content can serve audiences all year long, as a complement to traditional and hard news coverage.
Journalists always have leaned on old-but-still-relevant ideas to fill gaps. Lately, however, more publications are dusting off their evergreen content practices and converting the focus entirely to service.
The difference now is the content’s purpose has evolved. With news organizations relying more heavily on subscriber models, consumer-centric content is a must-have for getting more readers to subscribe and retain.
Here are 11 websites we love for making it their mission to help readers through systematic how-to posts, guides, and first-hand storytelling.
Service journalism has been part of The New York Times’s extensive coverage for decades, but it’s renewing the effort in the form of a strategic Smarter Living section. Stories range from trending topics like the Olympics to evergreen tips about great museums. It also creates guides on deeper topics, like how to cut out sugar.
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A product of Quartz, Quartzy is a guide to living well in the new global economy. According to the site, the topics that get Quartzy’s writers up in the morning (and drive its coverage) are wellbeing, dressing, culture, design, travel, and dining. Readers can up their engagement level with Quartzy by subscribing to its weekly newsletter or chatting with “cultural companion” the Quartz Bot.
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You know Tasty. Its posts and videos likely are crowding your news feed. Some might argue the Tasty brand has conquered the business of online food. That’s because you literally can search, cook recipes, and watch videos all in one place. If the online experience isn’t enough, Tasty’s shop offers up a cookbook and meal kits to get the necessities physically in your hands. The site also recently announced a partnership with Walmart, featuring a unique line of cookware to support your Tasty habit.
We can’t talk about Tasty without also mentioning Nifty.
Posts here include everything from money-saving hacks to DIYs for upgrading your home and life. Its aim is keep you saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” True to the BuzzFeed brand, Nifty also has products for purchase. This time, it’s all about helping you get organized — whether you’re a parent or just getting used to the idea of adulting.
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While we’re on the BuzzFeed train, let’s talk about its newest venture: beauty and culture brand As/Is. According to the site, “As/Is is a new kind of space, here to embrace you and empower you to live your most authentic life with confidence.” Coverage celebrates individuality and body positivity. It includes a number of tips posts, too, to help make your beauty regimen — and life — a bit easier.
New York Magazine’s The Strategist is dedicated to helping you shop the internet. It is edited by people (not robots), says the site, to bring you products that its staff fully believes in. The site — with support from readers and hyperenthusiastic reviewers — covers fitness things, sleep stuff, home decor, travel necessities, and more. It also has a newsletter that delivers expert shopping tips, exclusive discounts, and great deals straight to your inbox.
Lifehacker is an award-winning daily blog under the Gizmodo Media Group. It features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you work and live smarter. There’s a lot to explore here, from actionable tips to life lessons.
The site’s app directory, for example, offers up tools you need to save time. Its Upgrade section, in contrast, digs in a bit deeper with regard to life hacks — covering purpose, mindfulness, and broken hearts.
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The Financial Diet covers personal finance and living better (without being boring), it says on the site.
Writer Chelsea Fagan founded TFD in August 2014 as a personal blog to track her budget.
It wasn’t long before it turned into a living, breathing conversation about money, with a wide community of contributors. With posts on budgeting, investing, managing debt, smart shopping, and career negotiations, you can find just about everything you need to get your finances in order.
Stories to read right now: 5 Signs Your Financial Life Might Need A Third-Party Makeover and 7 Ways To Start Investing For The Cost Of Your Morning Latte
9. The Balance
The Balance also has your money needs covered. According to the site, its experts aim to give “practical advice that will strengthen your lifelong relationship with money so you can earn more, spend smarter, invest well, and build a more secure future.” Articles here run the gamut — covering everything from freelancing to market wisdom and car insurance.
Wirecutter essentially is a virtual list of the best gear and gadgets. For people who can’t figure out what to buy and want to save time, it’s a must-visit site.
There’s a lot of man-hours that go into the recommendations here. All are made through vigorous reporting, interviewing, and testing by teams of veteran journalists, scientists, and researchers, it says on the site. Wirecutter was purchased by The New York Times in 2016 and is another clear example of the steps the company is taking toward more service journalism.
MakeUseOf’s mission is to help users deconstruct the world of technology and gadgets. It aims to bridge the gap between users, computers, devices, and the web. The articles range in complexity, with quick smartphone tips on one end to computer programming and hardware on the other.