That is a typical scenario for us, writers, but also for people who work in creative industries.
You can’t keep churning out content without loss of quality – unless you use some proper content creation tools.
As programmers continue to come up with new ways to make everyone’s jobs easier, we’ll keep using the tools they create. If it weren’t for some of these tools, well, we’d probably look for the next best thing.
We decided to have a chat with a few experts in the field of content marketing to see what content creation tools they’re using. With their help, we created a list of the top ten tools and websites that shouldn’t be missing from your utility belt.
1. The Idea Maker – Quora
Using Google as one of your only sources for inspiration won’t cut it.
Sometimes, you just need to go into deeper details about a subject. The problem is, without some books that cover your preferred subject, you can’t.
And when you have deadlines around the corner, you can’t spend the time sifting through giant tomes. That is why you consult a professional online.
Quora is a great place to discover experts on all sorts of topics. The community is more moderated than alternatives such as Yahoo! Answers, for example.
Muhammad Asfand Yar, Senior Content Writer at ListEnthusiast, drops off a very helpful hint here:
“Pro Tip: Find an initial idea about any topic on Reddit, then plug those keywords into Quora. This way, you will get a handsome amount of keywords you can integrate into your content.”
You’re bound to find many informed answers on your topic. If not, you can ask a question yourself and wait for the community to answer.Quora is a great place to discover experts on all sorts of topics. Click To Tweet
2. HARO (Help a Reporter Out)
If you’re a journalist, you know how it’s like looking for new topics to explore. Sometimes the stories just don’t come out of the woodwork, and you’re left with a slow news day.
You need contacts and sources to bring you up-to-speed before anyone else. It’s the only way you can stay ahead of the competition.
HARO (Help a Reporter Out) is a tool that lets you do exactly that.
You can also act as a source for other people that require accurate information on a certain topic. For example, if I’m writing an article about startup tools, then HARO would be the perfect place for me to find experts that can guide me in the right direction.
With HARO, you can create a network of trusted sources and journalists to work out the news before it’s news.HARO is a great tool for connecting with journalists or finding sources. Click To Tweet
3. Buzzsumo – Trendy Content Creation Tools
Don’t necessarily want to be a trendsetter, but want to be one of the first on the bandwagon? BuzzSumo is the tool for you.
It works well if you’re trying to find key influencers in your field of study. You can see what thought leaders are saying with regards to your domain.
Alexander Grosu, SEO Manager and Web Administrator at inSegment, gives us his reason for using BuzzSumo:
“I use it because it gives me a very good idea of what people are reading at the moment, and how I could help them gather even more information for their topics of interest.”
The most important feature is the “Trending Now” section. It shows you exactly how many shares a story has on all the main social media channels.
You can use that to weigh in on trending topics with your own information.Finding influencers and trending content - Buzzsumo has it all. Click To Tweet
Do you sometimes turn to Google’s auto-suggest feature when you’re looking for topics to write about? I know I do.
What if you could get an excellent visual representation of the auto-suggest results? That’s what Answer the Public is for.
In fact, the tool takes the results from a host of other search engines and creates its own neat graph.
Let “the Seeker” above offer you insights about the questions your audience may have. It’s the best way to remain continuously connected to your fans’ wishes.
Plus, it’s excellent for brainstorming ideas. When you have all the topics at your fingertips, it’s not hard to come up with something new.
Angela Stairs, Content Marketing & PR Specialist at seoplus+, offers insight into why she uses the tool:
“Answer The Public offers a great visual keywords tool that helps spur ideas when brainstorming ideas for content calendars.”
5. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
To create some smashing headlines, you need to use quality content creation tools.
Luckily, CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is the tool you’ve all been waiting for.
It’s not a surefire way to attract more people to your articles. But it does help you gain some insight into why some headlines work and why some don’t.
Alexander Grosu of inSegment is here to confirm the efficiency of great headlines and CoSchedule’s use in the process:
“Headlines are absolutely crucial when it comes to quality content – and although automated headline creation tools are almost never actually useful, this one is.”
Just throw in your headline and the analyzer will rate it based on a few useful indicators:
- Character count
- Word count
- How many common, uncommon, emotional, and power words your headline has
- What kind of feeling your audience will get from the headline (this one is, of course, subject to the occasional inaccuracies)
Try it out with one of your recent headlines. See how you could improve them.A good headline can help you improve click-throughs. Click To Tweet
6. Crisp Writing – Thesaurus
People notice when your vocabulary is limited. That can deter many from your writing.
You might also find yourself struggling to think of the right word. If you don’t want to end up in such situations, Thesaurus is a handy tool for you.
Bethany Griffiths, Marketing Strategist and Content Writer at BowlerHat, gives us her input:
“I use a Thesaurus when I’m struggling to think of the right word. It also helps make my writing more exciting and varied.”
There’s not much left to say about the tool. Just enter your word in the search box and your vocabulary will start to improve.Limited vocabulary can deter many from your writing. Click To Tweet
7. Work Fast under Deadlines – Grammarly
When you have to speed up the writing process but still need to maintain accuracy, Grammarly is the way to go.
The tool corrects some of the most common grammatical mistakes. It also gives you synonym suggestions when it feels you’re repeating yourself.
Ryan Phillips, Marketing and PR Specialist of BioClarity.com, tells us why Grammarly is such a great tool for content marketing:
“When you have to write quickly and accurately under multiple deadlines, Grammarly is a tool that helps keep your writing perfect and your audience engaged.”
Those of you who are hesitant to use a new text editor will be happy to know there’s also a Grammarly plug-in for web browsers.
Now you can use Grammarly when you’re writing in WordPress, for example.Maintain writing accuracy by using Grammarly for proofreading. Click To Tweet
8.Team Management – Trello
You can’t have an efficient content-creating machine without some well-thought management.
Trello offers the means for your content creators and marketers to be on the same page.
Nogah Senecky, Content Marketer at PlayBuzz.com, tells us the reason why her team uses Trello:
“No content creator is an island, and making sure different members on our content and marketing team are on the same page is crucial.”
It’s an easy-to-use task management board which adds some structure to your creative process.You can’t have an efficient content-creating machine without some well-thought management. Click To Tweet
9. Effective Document Management – Google Drive
Hopefully, Google doesn’t need any further introductions. Google Drive allows you to store any file you want up to a maximum of 15 GB for the free version.
The biggest advantage is that the data is stored in the cloud, so anyone you allow can have access to them from anywhere.
Vladimir Gendelman, founder and CEO of Company Folders, supports using the tool for effective document management:
“Google Drive helps us review content for our e-commerce site because multiple team members can make notes for each other, view work at the same time, and make changes without creating duplicate documents.”
As you can see, it’s very convenient for people who need to work remotely on the same documents.
10. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Squirrly
You didn’t think you’d escape the clutches of the Squirrel, would you? Squirrly SEO plugin is a useful tool even for those that have no previous knowledge of SEO.
As you’re writing your articles, its Live Assistant lights up whenever you’re doing something right.
Don’t worry – you’re not in the dark about that. All the required information is readily available on the Live Assistant “checklist.”
All of the previous tools are useful at helping you write quality content. But, because of a few missing SEO tricks, that content might not be found at all by your target readers.It's important to optimize your content for search engines AND humans. Click To Tweet
Your articles need to be optimized for search engines to find and rank you much easier on their results pages. Squirrly does that, among many other things – such as helping you research keywords for your content.
We’ve appreciated the input from the content marketing experts that made this article possible. Take note of their advice, and try to incorporate these apps into your strategy!
With all of these tools, you are now able to:
- Research topics and trends
- Brainstorm ideas and optimize headlines
- Correct mistakes and become a better writer
- Manage your documents and teamwork
- Optimize your content for SEO
Those are quite a few steps to take towards better content creation, but these tools will make your life easier.
What do you think of our list? Which tools do you think should have made the “Top 10” cut? Feel free to leave your opinions in the comment section below.