Content creation and marketing are not easy. This is both a blessing and a curse for writers. The blessing is that if you know what you’re doing, you can easily rise to the top of a pile of “junk” articles that are weakly written, scarcely marketed, and poorly produced. The curse is that learning how to accomplish this takes a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, there are numerous useful tools available online to make the process not only easier, but more fun. You can learn what it takes to create exciting content and actually convince people to read it.
Think of writing and marketing your blog as giving a present to a friend. First, you need to create great content (this is the gift). Then, you need to make it as visually appealing as possible (this is the wrapping). Finally, you must market your writing (this is the actual “giving” part of the process). There’s a difference between throwing the gift at your friend while yelling “OPEN IT NOW!” and handing it to them nicely with a hug. The same goes for the marketing process. These tools will walk you through all these steps to make the entire gift giving experience as fulfilling as possible.
Ideas & Inspiration
The first step in the content marketing process is, of course, coming up with brilliant content. There is simply no possible way to gain readers and grow your brand if nobody is interested in what you have to say. If you’re teeming with ideas, and you just need to start writing, then feel free to skip this section. If you’re like the rest of us, you occasionally need some help with finding content on a regular basis.
Some websites like Alltop and Feedly allow users to browse through a huge selection of categorized news articles from all over the web. You can even customize your preferences, so you only see the news that matches your interests or your chosen blogging topic. If you find inspiration throughout the day, but you need a place to store it before you sit down to write, use Pocket. Pocket is an app that saves articles, website, videos, tweets, etc. so you can view them any time you want.
Quora is another useful site for gathering insight and getting inspired. Users post questions across all topics. You can use the site to search for your topic, learn what people are genuinely curious about, and use that as inspiration for your blog content. Bonus: You can post an answer to any questions to draw readers back to your site. So it works as both a discovery website and a marketing tool.
Once you feel adequately inspired, it’s time to start writing. If you have a topic (perhaps you only write about food because you have a cooking blog), head over to Ubersuggest. Ubersuggest takes your keyword and scans Google’s recent search results to tell you what related topics people are searching for the most.
In addition to quality content and effective writing, you need compelling visuals. Your post must have something to keep your readers’ attention. Thinglink and Haiku Deck are great tools to help with this process. ThingLink allows you to embed links into any photo you want. For instance, you can use a photo of yourself with thought bubbles leading to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Haiku Deck creates stunning slideshows, which you can use as part of your blog’s content or as a beautiful background.
Use Meme Generator to create your own meme’s, specifically for your content. You might use a meme to inject some humor into an otherwise dry post, or to make a point in a fun way. Everyone loves a meme!
When you’re ready to edit your post, reach out to EssayMama.com. The site offers team of professional writers, many with Master’s and PhDs across a variety of subjects. They will analyze your article and edit for clarity, grammar, spelling, etc.
Organization & Time-Management
The content marketing process is time-consuming. It can be easy to make it your last priority because of the time commitment involved in posting and marketing high-quality content. Having a few tools to help prioritize you time and make room for the process can go a long way toward your success. Evernote is one of the most recognized organizational tools online. It provides a place to take notes, set reminders, make lists, and basically do everything you need to do while on the go.
Tomato-Timer, Harvest, and Toggl are time-management tools. Tomato-Timer breaks your work into 25-minute intervals. You can use the tool to set aside 25 minutes for generating content and ideas, 50 minutes for writing, and 25 minutes for marketing. It will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed. Harvest and Toggl keep track of how you spend your time so you can become more efficient and learn which projects are taking too much of your time.
MindNode lets you map out your brainstorm sessions so you can visualize what’s working and what isn’t. The app works on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
Marketing & Distribution
Finding the time to market your material is essential. But if you’re not a marketer, it can be hard to know where to start. There are marketing tools that can guide you through the process and help you increase your views and activity. Tweriod is a Twitter tool that tells you when to post your content to reach the most viewers. The website is not only simple to use, but free!
Use Buzzsumo to learn which social media sites your content will perform the best on. You type in your topic, and Buzzsumo tells you how many times that topic was shared across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. If you have a WordPress page, use Yoast to analyze your SEO and recommend simple ways to bolster your presence online across all major search engines. The application is free to use, and simple for even the least SEO–savvy manager to use.
Do you have an email-marketing list? Mail Chimp is perhaps the easiest email-marketing tool available. This is especially true if you’re a small business or a freelancer. The site is free if you have up to 2,000 subscribers and send less than 12,000 emails each month. Another great marketing tool is Social Mention. Social Mention tells you who is talking about your product or business on social media. Use the insight to create better content, engage your customers, or respond to their questions and concerns.
Regardless of how often you write, what you write about, or who your audience is comprised of, it’s essential that you understand the content marketing process. Don’t be disheartened by the amount of work involved. Use the tools listed above to assist you with any part of the process that seems daunting. Over time, the use of these tools will be almost involuntary. You’ll automatically set your Toggl timer and search for your business on Social Mention. Until that time, use this article as a resource. Good luck!
Author: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content creator. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.