Consistently producing effective content for your business is hard. You need to think about ideas, conduct keyword research, create the content, source images/graphics, edit, publish and promote it.
However, there are a range of tools you can use to not only ensure that your content is good, but streamlines your process too.
In this post, we’re going to walk you through a range of content marketing tools you can use at each stage of the content production process to ensure your entire content machine is as good as it can be.
Before you even begin to write, you need to generate some ideas. In most cases, because you’re writing about your business and industry, you’ll have a range of ideas already.
But sometimes, you might want to look for ideas that you perhaps haven’t yet thought of. These ideas are also often what your customers want to read.
The following tools are there to help you come up with the best content ideas for your organisation.
Answer the public
Answer the public is a great tool that helps you generate loads of content ideas.
To use the tool, pick an overarching topic. It’s important to note here that you want to be less specific with your topic as this will give you a wider pool of results.
For example, searching for “SEO” (as you can see in the image above), gives you more results than if you searched for something super specific like “How to increase on-page SEO in one day”.
The reason for this is the tool pulls all the questions people might ask Google (or other search engines) and presents them to you.
This way you never run out of ideas and perhaps you’ll notice ideas or topics you haven’t yet thought about.
Because this tool uses Google, it works well for any industry or topic and what’s more, it’s free.
Although there are plenty of paid tools that help you come up with content ideas – one often underused tool is Google itself.
When you conduct a search on Google, there are two sections that are particularly interesting for anyone who wants more ideas.
The first is the “searches related to” section. This section shows you other searches people have conducted, based on the one you used.
In this example, we can see that we’ve searched for “blog post” but others have searched for “blog post examples”, “best blog post”. It’s clear already that there are plenty of other topic opportunities you can use, alongside your main one.
Further to that is the “people also ask” section.
This section shows you other questions people have asked Google. One thing to remember is when people go to a search engine, they’re (for the most part) looking for answers.
If you can create content that directly answers their questions, you’ll find your own search rankings increase.
When it comes to sitting down and actually writing, you’ll know as well as most that anything and everything else seems to get in the way.
Have to write a 2000 word blog post? Suddenly you remember you need to clean your kitchen.
Need to put together a content brief?
Suddenly you want to reply to all those emails.
It happens to the best of us. The best way to deal with this, though, is to remove distractions.
There are a number of great tools you can use to help you focus on the task in hand and get your content written in record time.
Calmly Writer is a great web browser tool you can use when you simply need to get your thoughts out your mind and onto the screen.
You don’t need to think about editing or formatting meaning you have more brain capacity available to focus on simply writing.
Tracking your time
They say that what gets measured gets improved. This is the same for writing. For many writers, tracking your time is an effective way to identify bottlenecks.
If you start a blog post on Monday and finish on Wednesday, you could argue it took you three days to complete.
But if you actually track your time, you can get better at understanding how long specific tasks take you.
This way, you’ll be able to identify potential bottlenecks that slow you down.
Perhaps you notice that it takes you 10x as long to source images compared to others on your team.
Could you maybe outsource this task to someone else, or speak with your team to help you improve the way you find suitable images.
These tools will help you track your time and streamline your processes.
You can use Clockify to help you track total time for your projects but also individual task time too.
The platform is nicely designed and completely free to use.
Adding creative images
We’ve briefly touched upon the idea that adding images to your blog posts is one part of the entire process.
Now when it comes to images, you have a range of options.
You could create your own images, or source them from an open-source platform
If you want to take your blog to the next level, you might think about including bespoke images. In previous times, design tools were expensive and also suited to actual designers.
Canva is a great tool that allows even complete non-designers to create beautiful images and graphics.
With a range of templates available, you’ll find inspiration for any type of design.
The platform has a free and paid tier. For most casual users, the free tier has enough features to get by. However, if you do require the advanced functions, the monthly paid tier is an option.
Sometimes, though, you don’t need to use your own images, but you do want to use aesthetically pleasing images within your posts in order to boost engagement.
In these instances, Unsplash is a great tool. Unsplash is a resource of great images. The best thing about it is that all the images are free to use and you don’t have to provide attribution.
Although, if you want to, that’s fine as well.
People are generally tired of the same, boring stock images and so Unsplash is a refreshing curated tool that enables you to find interesting images to support your blog content.
Simply type a keyword into the search bar and you’ll be presented with a range of different images to suit your needs.
In general, no one writes a perfect first draft and that’s okay. Some organisations are fortunate enough to have an in-house editor.
However, if you’re not, you might want to use these tools to help you cut out the fluff and correct those spelling and grammar mistakes.
Grammarly offers a free and paid version of their app. The free version is fine if you’re simply looking to catch spelling and grammar mistakes.
However, their paid version offers a much more detailed analysis of your content.
The tool is great for those who want to give their content a second-eye to catch the mistakes you might’ve missed during your own edit.
Going further than just spelling and grammar, you want to make sure your blog post reads well – HemingwayApp is perfect for that.
As you can see the image above, Hemingway lets you know if you’ve used passive voice within your sentences as well as highlighting when sentences are too hard to read.
There is also a handy grade score you can use to check that your work will be received well by your target audience.
Hemingway is free, but if you feel as though it’s a tool you’ll use regularly, they have a paid desktop version you can download.
This is particularly useful for when you’re working offline.
Creating great content doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re strapped for time, struggling with distractions or need better ways to put together images, the tools listed above can help you do just that.
What tools do you use to improve your content production process?