When it comes to creating and promoting web content, content creators today have to know and complete a variety of content marketing tasks. This includes coming up with article ideas, organizing content, creating graphics, promoting content, and more.
Finding the time to do it all is nearly impossible. That’s why as writers and content marketers, we need to find tools to help us get the most out of our time and effort. With that in mind, we created this list of 10 content marketing tools that will help you save time creating, editing, publishing, and promoting content, so you can focus on what’s really important–making your content the very best it can be.
Google Docs is a word processor like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice. However, all writing, editing, and organization of documents is done via the cloud.
One of the biggest advantages to Google Docs is the ease of collaboration. Google Docs users can share documents and multiple collaborators can edit the document at the same time. Google Docs also allows collaborators to post comments and suggest edits. I write all my content in Google Docs. Then, when it comes time to share the first draft of an article with a client, they can easily suggest edits and make comments. This shortens the back and forth time needed to make revisions.
Grammarly is an online app used to check spelling and grammar in your writing. Since discovering Grammarly, I always run my work through the app before I send an article to a client. Grammarly highlights any grammar mistakes I’ve made and makes suggestions to correct the mistake. Grammarly finds mistakes that Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and other word processors miss.
Grammarly also has a Google Chrome extension that checks your writing as you go. The extension checks writing in forms, online writing apps, and the word editor in a CMS like WordPress. However, the one downfall is that the Chrome extension does not work with Google Docs.
If you write in Google Docs, you have to manually copy and paste your work into the Grammarly editor.
It’s also a great tool for coming up with content ideas. There are a few ways to use Ahrefs to generate ideas. The first is to use their “Content Explorer” tool. This tool enables you to search a particular topic and find the most popular articles on that topic. This is helpful to see what types of articles and headlines work well on a given topic.
Another way to use Ahrefs for content research is by searching competitor URLs. By inputting a specific URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer tool, Ahrefs will display the top pages on that given website and the keywords the site ranks for. This is helpful for determining what type of content performs well. If your competitor ranks for a certain keyword, you can create a better article on the topic and rank for the same keyword.
If you’re struggling to come up with article ideas, Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a great tool to help you come up with ideas and article titles. To use it, enter a topic or keyword. The tool will then generate potential article ideas related to the keyword you entered. If you don’t like the idea, simply click the refresh button for a new one.
While this tool is useful for idea generation, I would also suggest taking a look at Google related searches, questions related to your topic in forums like Quora, and looking at your competition to see what has worked for them and how you can create something better.
Have a great piece of content but still need a killer image? Unsplash is a great resource for finding images. Unsplash has thousands of stock images that you can use for free. In addition to Unsplash, Pixabay is another great resource for finding free stock images.
Canva is an online drag-and-drop image editor and graphics creator. If you aren’t an experienced designer, but you still need to create engaging graphics for a blog post, web page, or other piece of content, Canva makes it easy to create amazing graphics without any prior design experience.
Canva includes pre-built templates for blog graphics, ebooks, call-to-actions, social media posts, and more, while the drag-and-drop builder is simple to use and offers thousands of graphics, icons, and images you can use for free in your designs.
The tool is free to use and offers paid plans for teams. There are also premium graphics you can use for a one-time fee (typically $1).
Trello is a project management tool that allows for collaboration. Almost all of my clients use Trello to manage content creation and promotion.
Using Trello is a great way to keep track of content in the brainstorming, editing, publishing, and promotion stages. If you’re a content marketer or freelance writer, I would suggest you become familiar with Trello.
If you write in Google Docs and you or your clients use WordPress, Wordable will save you a lot of time when publishing your content.
Wordable is an online app that takes a Google Doc and automatically posts it to a WordPress website with the click of a button. The document is posted to WordPress as a draft, so you can review the content and simply click “Publish” to post the content live on the site.
Wordable is free to use for one site. The paid plan at $19 per month enables you to export unlimited Google Docs to multiple WordPress websites.
Buffer is an online app used to schedule social media posts across multiple networks. The app is free to use with up to three connected social accounts. However, the free plan will only allow you to schedule up to 10 posts/month. To connect more social accounts or to schedule more than 10 posts/month, you’ll need a paid plan, which starts at $10/month.
Using Buffer will save you a lot of time promoting your content across your different social media profiles. It’s especially helpful if you’re a writer with multiple clients.
Additionally, the Buffer Chrome extension enables you to schedule posts directly from a page URL. If you want to go a step further, MeetEdgar is an online app that offers similar social scheduling as Buffer but will allow you to automatically cycle through past posts. MeetEdgar costs $49/month.
As a writer, often you may want to reach out to industry experts for interview opportunities. Additionally, you may want to contact influencers to promote your content. However, finding contact information for these people can be difficult and time-consuming.
Norbert can help speed up the process of finding email addresses. To find a specific person’s email address, all you have to do is enter their full name and their company web address. Then, Norbert will go to work to find the person’s email.
This saves a ton of time–and it sure beats trying to find the person’s email manually. Norbert’s demo plan will allow to find up to 50 contacts for free. From there, prepaid and monthly plans are available. Personally, I use the prepaid plan at $0.10 per lead.
Lastly, note that you are only charged when Norbert is able to find an email for the person. If Norbert can’t find the email, you are not charged.
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