The research is in, and it shows us that the difference between a writer who produces excellent content, and one who writes internet fluff is in the tools they use. Great creators regularly utilize a variety of tools to polish their material to a perfect shine. After all, it’s not only their readers they have to impress; it’s the search engines as well.
If you do any writing at all, you know how time-consuming it is to produce quality articles consistently. You probably also struggle to find the time to create the quantity needed for the typical content marketing campaign. However, it's a lot easier than it was 10 or 20 years ago because blog content creators now have access to a plethora of tools to help them tune their articles to perfection.
As a content creator with hundreds of happy clients, I always have to be working hard at improving my output - both in quantity and quality. One of the best ways to ensure my clients receive content that works for them every time is to use the right tools, so here are a few of my favorites.
Tools for Content Creation
Grammarly is the software version of a Grammar Nazi standing over your shoulder, ruler at the ready, poised to whack your fingers for every little mistake. It will highlight every little error, provide a detailed explanation of where you went wrong, and then offer up handy suggestions for fixing them.
Grammarly has settings you can tweak which serve to relax or tighten its grip on correct Grammar. You can set it to be a real stickler, or have it ease up so you can write naturally without being prompted to fix areas so often.
Grammarly is also a great backup solution, as all of your content is stored in the cloud. Grammarly's system has saved me from lost material more than a few times.
A large job some time ago took me several days of work to research and write. After editing the content in Grammarly, I transferred the document to Word and sent it on to the client. For some reason only the first line of content had made it through. The corrupted document had since synced across all my devices, meaning that is was totally lost. Fortunately, the Grammarly version was intact and saved me from days of extra work.
The free version of Grammarly is a huge time saver, but the Pro version has a few extra tools up its sleeve that are well worth the subscription price. The algorithm will detect and highlight passive phrases and sentence fragments, which both help to streamline your prose. You also have the plagiarism checker, which is the easiest way I have found anywhere to make sure your text is 100% unique.
Optimize Your Content with TextOptimizer
The algorithm for TextOptimizer focuses on organic rankings using the query you are targeting. The application will then churn out a list of related terms and concepts that you may have missed in the original article.
Measure and Analyze Traffic with Finteza
Making improvements on anything, including your content, means it must first be measured. But how you do set up analytics on your content without spending a fortune. The Google webmaster tool is one free solution, but it can be somewhat limited in the data it gives you.
Another, more advanced, yet still free alternative, is Finteza, which provides real-time web-analytics on your traffic. Finteza is available as a WordPress plugin, which makes it very easy to install if that's your platform of choice.
If you don't use WordPress, you can still use Finteza by grabbing the code off their site and follow the instructions to insert it into your website. Tracking your site's performance is then as easy as logging into your Finteza account. There is online tracking of your audience, stats on bots and toxic clicks, and a counter code on every page of your site.
Publishing Schedules and Promotions
Track Content Publishing with SocialBee
It's one thing to create content, but getting it out there and circulating is a challenge unto itself. Fortunately there are tools which can help you get your work in front of more eyeballs with less work.
It's a tough challenge to track all of your content marketing channels and make sure you remain active on each one.
Being seen on the platforms where your target market hangs out is the surest way to receiving steady work or making more sales.
However, between social media, guest posting, and posting content on your website, it can hard to know where you should be spending your time. A content post scheduler is like having another hand on deck to save you time.
SocialBee is a handy resource for prolific content creators and bloggers which can help them keep track of their marketing efforts. You can easily create different categories to promote all types of content on most social media platforms. No longer will you have to sit down at your desk and wonder what you're supposed to do next.
Easily mix up your schedule with relevant engaging posts from your own content, or other bloggers you admire and respect. Share once, or create evergreen channels which send out the same post according to how you set your schedule (great for promotional content).
You also have the ability to create variations of your evergreen posts so you can promote the same content with different images and descriptions. This feature goes a long way to adding more variety to your feed.
The scheduling calendar isn't as full featured as some other offerings, but the team is hard at work adding new features. The platform does include Pinterest scheduling via the Hootsuite API, which was worth the price of admission for me.
Promote Your Content
To be successful at content marketing, you need to get your stuff in front of as many eyeballs as you can, which means lots of promotion.
No doubt you have looked at advertising as one way to get your content out into the world, but you need it to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible - especially when first starting. Viral Content Bee allows you to promote your links to a lot of marketers at once.
Sharing other's content gets you credits, but you can also buy more with real dollars to accelerate your efforts.
Viral Content Bee is also useful for more than just spreading content, as it also makes a great testing bed for your material. Add your content, and then see how it spreads and performs on the various platforms. You can then use the data to tweak and refine your campaigns.
Email marketing is still the best tool for starting and building relationships. It consistently produces the best ROI for your marketing dollar, and best of all, it's free to get started.
MailChimp has been around for a while now and offers a free startup plan. Though, they do limit some of the functionality. Mailerlite is another email service provider which provides a free service to start, which then transitions into paid once you get a few subscribers under your belt.
Of course, you don't have to use any tools to be able to call yourself a content creator, but if you utilize one or more of the tools above you should see yourself achieving more with less effort while maintaining high-quality output. What are your favorite tools, I'd love to know - especially if they are free to use? Let us know in the comments.
Leigh has been working as a professional content creator for the last 7 years, providing unique, engaging articles for web sites and blogs. His educational background is in web development, marketing, and IT, provides him a broad range of experiences to draw from in his writing. Leigh's content strikes the fine balance needed to give your human readers an engaging article, while also providing the search bots what they need for correctly ranking your site. Leigh prides himself on providing excellent customer service and always enjoys meeting and working with new clients. Contact Leigh today for all your content needs.