Tools For Content Marketing

Producing great content is very important, so I have decided to give a few of my secrets away showing you what I consider to be some of the best tools for content marketing.

You need to be attracting hundreds if not thousands of people to your articles, blog posts & services in order to increase your subscriber list and grow your authority as an expert in your chosen field.

The list below will show you how to write engaging blog posts, create many article ideas along with very attractive headlines, also I show you how to distribute your content and much more.

Getting Content Ideas

Topsy will allow you to find the most popular content on Twitter, it is great for generating ideas for your daily blogging efforts. You can discover exactly who is sharing and see what and who the key influences are at any given time. You can see who has re-tweeted your content simply by putting in a blog post url and clicking search. Also there is a cool tab called “influential only” which will show you who the most influential people are who have shared an article or blog post, it’s a great way to build relationships with others. Add value & promote for them and they will do the same for you, it’s win win all round.

BuzzSumo will help you find the most popular content on any subject you care to think of. Obtain detailed stats on social media from the dashboard, and find the most shared content and those sharing it. Search any keyword and see the main people influencing that subject field. There are so many things you can do with this tool, check it out to see what I mean.

All Top allows you to discover all of the top blogs on any given subject by aggregating the best of the web. Find a category you are interested in from the dashboard and keep track of the most recent popular posts, giving an endless array of content ideas.

Tag Board, here find interesting content on any topic, by entering a hashtag and watch as the tagboard retrieves countless amounts of epic content from across the internet. It does this by aggregating all of the recent posts from, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook and many other social media platforms that contain the particular hashtag you are after.

Feedly helps in the finding of great content ideas to share online, again this tool will aggregate all of your selected favourite blogs in one easy to navigate dashboard.

Scoop It Here find numerous content ideas by doing a quick and easy search. Nice piece of kit, simple to use.

Social Crawlytics With this tool discover some of the most in depth social sharing data available on the net, and find out which posts are the most popular on the top social media sites around like LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. Identify the most popular content on your website, thus allowing you to see what is working and what is not. This will give you constant information as to what to blog about next, and which services & products to promote, great for affiliate marketing ideas.

Quora is a great little Q & A facility. The questions here are usually unique, interesting & intelligent asked daily, which will allow you to find new angles to master in any new content marketing campaign. Explore new and interesting ideas for articles and blog posts alike, also good for email marketing content ideas as well as any videos you may be thinking of doing. Quora is not like Yahoo Answers where there is so much repeated waffle and garbage talked about.

Listly Here you can simply type in any keyword and get hundreds of content ideas on any topic, I use it for headline engagement.

Uber Suggest Is great for long tail keyword research and generating new topic ideas as well as finding new keywords to use.

Gaining Creative Content

Toggl Is a cool little productivity tool, it is a simple time tracking tool. To use it just enter the task you are currently working on and click start. Toggl will track your time in the backgound thus keeping you focused on the task in hand.

Evernote can go hand-in-hand with Google Drive & is ideal for writing your blog posts within the system they provide. With Evernote you are able to record audio and turn it into text, free of charge.

Quabel is a distraction free writing app that allows people to focus on creating content speedily. Set yourself a goal and let the timer begin, also this will back up your work as you create it, automatically.

Stay Focused is a Google Chrome extension which blocks sites which appear as time wasting ones, there is also a Firefox plugin called Leech Block which does a similar job.

Camtasia is excellent for creating video, for Mac users then Screenflow is probably best.

Audacity is a free audio editor for those who want to create great podcasts and place them on sites like itunes, soundcloud or stitcher radio.

Canva will help you create very engaging graphics even if your design skills are not too good. There are built in templates to help create social media posts, blog graphics, pinterest photographs, twitter headers, Kindle & facebook covers plus there ads. Creating cool looking graphics is of paramount importance these days when dealing with any kind of social media platform.

Pic Monkey is another photo editing tool that makes life easier when creating images for blog posts, to gain attention.

Pixabay has thousands of copyright-free images that can be used on your blog or
ever for commercial use. No registration is required.

Unsplash Gorgeous, copyright-free images.

123rf  One of the most affordable stock photography sites online. It’s about
a dollar per image.

IconFinder allows you to use icons in blog images.

GraphicRiver Thousands of icons, web graphics, infographics, and other design elements that you can use in your blog posts. Here’s a quick image I whipped up using some cool graphics from GraphicRiver…

ReciteThis Create picture quotes. Great for posting on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Slideshare – Find unique and engaging Slideshare presentations to embed in your
blog post. Fun and easy way to add value to your posts AND stand out.

Recordit Make your content stand out with animated screencasts. Record quick videos with Recordit and then turn them into animated gifs that you can put in your blog post. It’s a great way to make your article stand out from the rest. These also work well on Google Plus.

Wordle Create beautiful word clouds in just a few clicks.

QuotesCover  Create beautiful picture quotes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram. QuotesCover makes it easy.

 

Blogger Outreach

The first step to blogger outreach is finding the top influencers in your niche. The best two tools for identifying the top bloggers and social media influencers are Topsy and BuzzSumo. On Topsy, you can enter ANY url (or blog post) and find out the top social media users who shared that article. This is a super easy way to find the top bloggers who are most likely to share your article. The other is is BuzzSumo. Simply enter your main keyword and find the top social media users around that topic. After every post you write, send a personalized email to at least 50 related bloggers and let them know about your latest blog post. This alone can easily generate thousands of highly-targeted visitors. In fact, if I could only choose ONE strategy for promoting my content. This would be it. Even above email marketing.

BuzzStream  One of the most popular platforms for blogger outreach. Buzzstream allows you to scale your blogger outreach without losing the personal touch.
You can build a list of influencers, create email templates, set reminders, schedule emails, track your conversation history, and more.

Contactually Helps you track, manage, and build relationships with other top bloggers. Gives you a systematic way to scale your relationships and keep up with the people who
matter. You can also use their ScaleMail feature to send up to 250 personalized messages. Add a few personal notes to each one and then click send to broadcast your email to all of your contacts. Contactually allows you to create ongoing, meaningful conversations.

InkyBee One of the best tools for finding the most popular bloggers in any niche.
Gmail Canned Responses – Gmail has a magical little add-on that is perfect for content marketers. It’s called “Canned Responses”. First, you’ll need to open up your Gmail settings and click on the “Labs” tab. From here, you can enable “Canned Responses” in your Gmail account. You just enabled a hidden feature that could easily save you hours of time every month.

You can now start creating email templates for your blogger outreach, customer support, frequently asked questions, joint venture emails, and more.
I have 5 different email templates I use for blogger outreach. So each time I publish a new blog post, I can click one button and upload one of my favorite templates. From there I do a bit of customization. I like all of my emails to be fun and personalized 🙂
The more fun you have with your emails the better responses you’ll get. Most people are way to uptight and professional in their emails.
Have fun with it! You’re not a robot.
And then you send it off! But by creating templates, you can send 25 outreach emails in a fraction of the time.

Boomerang Gmail plugin that reminds you to follow up on emails. You can setup Boomerang to remind you in X number of days if you don’t hear back from someone. This tool is essential for any content marketer doing a lot of blogger outreach. Helps you stay on track of multiple conversations. Or even schedule recurring emails to remind yourself of important tasks you need to finish.

BananaTag See what happens to your emails after you press send. BananaTag allows you
to find out whether or not someone opened your email or clicked a link. Integrates seamlessly with Gmail and Outlook. Get detailed metrics for ALL of your blogger outreach.
So when you email your favorite blogger, you’ll know exactly when they opened your email and whether or not they clicked on your link. BananaTag will even tell you whether they’re on their desktop or mobile device. And best of all, your email appears NO different to your contacts. All of the tracking is done seamlessly without any change in the user experience.

Rapportive Integrates seamlessly with Gmail to give you additional (insightful) info on every contact in your inbox.

Refresh.io  This one is a hidden gem. It’s a great blogger outreach tools but still quite undiscovered in the social media world. Basically, Refresh allows you to search just about ANY person on the web and find out some really cool stuff about them.

Tools For An Easier Way To Blog

Don’t you wish there was an easier way to blog? From coming up with ideas to writing and promoting, there is a lot that goes into content marketing.

You can use a number of tools that can help you generate ideas, make the writing process easier, and even market your content for you.

Before you can start writing, you need to come up with ideas, ideally ones that will be popular.

Content Discovery Tools

Buzzsumo – type in a word or a phrase, and Buzzsumo will show you the most popular posts around the web that contain that phrase.
Portent – if you are struggling to come up with a cool idea or title, just type in a keyword on Portent, and it will generate catchy titles for you.
Quora – this is a great place to look if you need some inspiration. People ask questions in every industry, and Quora will help you spot the hot ones.
Google Trends – the last thing you want to do is blog on a topic that isn’t popular. Google Trends will point you in the right direction as it shows search volume for different keywords and phrases.
Alltop – not every blog is worth following. Alltop ranks and organizes the top blogs around the web so you can see what others are writing about.
Twitter – most people use Twitter for distribution, but I also use it to see what’s trending.
Pulse – LinkedIn created a product that is like an RSS feed. It allows you to subscribe to specific topics and interests so that you know what is being discussed.
Evernote – as a blogger, you’ll eventually have more ideas than time. With Evernote, you can keep track of all your ideas.
Trello – the more organized you are, the smoother the content marketing process will be. Trello is a great place to organize all of your ideas.

Once you have figured out what to blog on, the next step is for you to start writing.

Tools for writing

If you use the tools below, you’ll find that not only will you write better but you’ll also be able to create content faster.

Google Docs – instead of blogging in WordPress, consider writing your content first in Google Docs. It will help you spot grammar and spelling issues, plus you can collaborate with others when you need help.
Wunderlist – if you want to write list-based posts, check out Wunderlist. It makes it easy for you to create lists on everything.
Meme Generator – who said creating funny images is hard? With a few mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, you can start generating memes in minutes on Meme Generator.
Visual.ly – infographics don’t have to be expensive. Visual.ly will help you create your own.
Infogr.am – graphs and pie charts don’t have to be ugly anymore. You can now create pretty ones that generate social shares.
Skitch – from screen captures to quick photo edits, Skitch is a simple photo editing tool. It may not have as many features as Photoshop, but it is much easier to use.
Uberflip – sometimes you’ll want to create ebooks or PDFs on your blog. Uberflip is a simple tool that will allow you to do so, plus it gives you stats that show you how popular your content is.
TinyMCE – if you prefer blogging within WordPress, this tool will ensure you are using correct grammar and spelling.
Text Broker – ideally, you should be writing your own content, but if you don’t have the time, Text Broker can take care of the writing process for you.
Problogger Job Board – similarly to finding help on Text Broker, you can find freelance writers on Problogger.
Shareist – from capturing content around the web to embedding links and videos, Shareist helps with the whole content marketing cycle. It’s a platform made for small and medium businesses.
Kapost – if you want a tool that does everything, Kapost is worth checking out. It’s worth using if you need help with scheduling and writing, but it can do much more than that.
Editorial calendar – once you get the hang of blogging, you’ll want to use a content calendar to organize publishing of your posts. This will help you spot holes and figure out how often and when you should be blogging.

Now that you’ve nailed down the writing process, it’s time to focus on distribution.

Tools for distribution

Promoting your content doesn’t have to be hard. There are a lot of tools you can use to help you out.

Yoast – search engines are a great source of traffic. Yoast will optimize your blog for you so that you can maximize your rankings.
Buffer – pushing out your content to all of the social sites can be a pain. But with Buffer, you can do so with just one click.
Click to tweet – by making quotes and phrases within your content tweetable, you will get more social traffic. When I tested this out on Quick Sprout, I was able to generate 26% more tweets.
Tweroid – your followers may not be online when you are tweeting. Tweroid will help you determine the optimal twitting time to get the most exposure.
Slideshare – why not turn your content into a presentation? Submitting your content to Slideshare in a presentation format is a great way to get extra traffic and more branding.
Outbrain – if you want to generate more traffic, Outbrain is a good source for cheap traffic. For a few cents a click, you can get more people reading your blog.
Flare – social sharing buttons don’t have to be ugly. Flare lets you take control of the way your sharing buttons look, plus it tells you the number of clicks they get.
GetResponse – email is the best way to generate traffic to your blog. Through GetResponse, you can start collecting emails on your blog and then do an email blast to your list every time you publish a new piece of content.
Google Webmaster Tools – if you want to know where you rank in the search engine results, this is the only tool you need. You can then take the keywords that rank on page one, build some links to them, and increase your rankings.
LinkedIn Groups – one of the simplest ways to get more traffic is to submit your content to LinkedIn groups. Join groups that have over 100,000 members and are in spaces related to yours. Submit your content, and watch your social traffic grow.
Audience Bloom – these guys have an internal tool that helps companies get guest posts. They only charge you when their tool helps you land a guest post from relevant sites. It’s a great way to increase your referral traffic and gain new readers to your blog.
Google Blog Search – through Google’s blog search, you can find relevant blogs within your industry. Once you find a handful of blogs, read their content, and start commenting, providing great information. This will help drive people back to your blog, which will increase your readership.

Conclusion

Content marketing isn’t rocket science. The tools I mentioned above will make it easier for you to generate ideas, write articles, and promote your content.

I’ve tested all of them, and they’ve helped me with the whole content marketing process. Best of all, they help me save hours each week, which allows me to either focus on other marketing initiatives or write more content.

You Will Never Have A Viral Blog post

We all, as bloggers and business owners crave that one day what we write about will be seen by the masses, we need our posts to go viral. A single viral blog post can make your website a hot property and create a huge buzz around your business brand very quickly.

imagesSo what makes a post go viral?

Let’s dissect some recent posts that captured readers’ attention and attracted loads of social media shares. Here are some examples and lessons from blog posts that went viral.

 

 

 

1. Positive content

Uplifting content gets shared more than you may believe. Practical advice that can help improve life skills is always in demand. There are countless posts that hand out tips on leading a happier and more fulfilling life. Some do it better than others and make readers care enough to share.

I discovered “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself’” on StumbleUpon. The post has garnered over half a million likes, over 20,000 tweets and thousands of shares on other social media.

a. The enticing headline:

A post’s headline is a key viral driver. Unless it motivates readers’ enough, it won’t get clicks no matter how great your content may actually be. Negative headlines have been seen to convert better than positive titles. Readers can be skeptical of positive superlatives like ‘best’ and ‘most’, perceiving them to be cliché or an attempt at endorsement, and view negative ones like ‘worst’ or ‘never’ to be authentic and impartial. In this post, use of the negative word ‘stop’ makes readers pause and wonder if there’s something they’re doing that they shouldn’t.

b. The list

Time and again, studies and split-tests have shown that headlines containing numbered lists attract massive click-throughs.
c. Structure:

Online readers get put off by chunky paragraphs and scarce use of bold and italicized font. “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself“’ presents 30 points in numbered list with no more than four lines under each. It’s easy to read and digest.
d. Actionable tips:

The post offers readers actionable advice that can be incorporated right away. Every tip tells you what to stop doing and what positive action to take. Some also have links to books on a similar topic for further reading.

2. Personal stories

A well-told first personal account of an experience and lessons learned thereof adds authenticity and makes for an interesting read.
Consider a recent LinkedIn post ‘Why I won’t take your business card’ that was shared 281 times and elicited several comments and opinions (some from the top 1% of most viewed profiles on the network).

The post discusses the importance of building relationships over making an explicit sale at networking events through the lens of a marketing strategist who found herself in a similar situation.

While the honest narrative is compelling enough to encourage responses, the author ends her post by asking questions and soliciting comments. A simple “do you think……” or “I would love to hear your opinion on……” at the end of your blog post can nudge readers into leaving a comment. Even one or two comments encourage more people to comment, which in large part, can be attributed to the psychological phenomenon known as ‘social proof’, where we are influenced by and conform to others’ actions.

Another hugely shared (4,685 times on LinkedIn) post ‘Four Business Rules I Learnt in Kindergarten’ is an example of the author’s creative and playful approach to discussing a serious business topic. Attracting over 400 comments, the post struck a chord with readers for delivering simple yet valuable lessons we sometimes tend to oversee. A black and white photograph accompanying the post gives it a warm picture book feel, and really sets it apart from other LinkedIn posts.

3. Make it intriguing

imagesExplore ways to deliver useful content without sounding like thousands of other posts doling out tips and advice on the same topic.

A great example is ‘Marriage Isn’t for You’, which not only managed 10,000+ shares on Twitter and Facebook, but also landed the writer a book deal.

Two things work for the post:

The interesting headline that instantly incites curiosity. There’s also more to the headline than meets the eye (a clever move by the writer), which lifts the value of the post.
A refreshing and heart-warming take on marriage. Check out the post here.

Say you’re giving financial advice to entrepreneurs. A title such as ‘Here’s Why You Can’t be the Next Millionaire’ is a more intriguing title than ‘How to be a Millionaire’, which is pretty standard stuff for blogs in your niche.

Instead of saying what you should do to set the cash registers ringing, you can explain what you may be doing now that’s keeping you from being the next millionaire. ‘A Little Mistake that Cost me $7000 a Year’ is another click-worthy title and an interesting lesson on preventing financial mistakes.

If your title is a click-magnet, make sure your content sustains the curiosity created by it. Also remember that it may not be possible to drum up a captivating, click-worthy title for every post.

4. Capitalise on the most happening news events

Readers tend to get behind blog posts surrounding buzzing news and major events they’re exposed to on news sites, in the papers and on their social media pages.

Oxfam GB timed their blog post on maternal health around the birth of Prince George, a hugely popular event that took the web by storm. The charity organisation used Facebook to draw attention to their blog post and delivered the important message that every baby’s arrival into the world is a cause for celebration.
Use Google Trends, BuzzFeed, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit to stay on the pulse of trending news items. Explore possible ways of relating news stories to your niche. Lessons, opinions, potential consequences : there are many ways in which you can use viral news to grab readers’ attention and encourage shares.

Finding blog post ideas

Viral Blog posts with useful content keep readers coming back for more. You must keep posting new content on questions people are asking, topics they’re searching for, and discussions they’re having online.

It continuously supply blog post ideas. You’re sure to find issues and topics that may have escaped your radar. Don’t worry about the spelling, grammar and style of forum posts, they are bound to be very casual. Focus on what people want to know about and the kind of problems to which they’re soliciting advice from fellow forum members.

Identification of forum members occurs through user names and some forums also allow guests to comment. Naturally, discussions are honest and open. This gives you a chance to really get into people’s minds and understand their needs, problems, interests, fears and lifestyles.

Quora

It is an authoritative and popular Q&A social media site that can help you zero in on winning blog post ideas. Its early adopters were technology pundits, internet marketing gurus and entrepreneurs. As such, the content quality and credibility of the site ranks highly.

You can type a keyword to see questions related to your topic. You can also test if potential blog topics may generate interest and response from readers by posting questions and seeing if they’re answered.

Yahoo! Answers

It is another community-powered Q&A site covering 25 categories. You will not find as high a number of intellectually curious and elite members on the site in comparison to Quora. There is, however, no dearth of opinions, musings and personal experiences, which can spark off interesting blog post ideas.

Parting tips

Here are a few more tips to make your content move and become viral posts.

Analyse blog comments for ideas
To increase views, link to past and future posts
Post to Facebook, Twitter and Google+
Submit to Reddit, Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon.

What about you? What content and headlines have you found to work? Look forward to your insights in the comments below.

5 Blog Topic Tips

Never Run out of An Idea for A Blog Topic Again.

Below are five Simple Blog Topic Tips that Work

Developing new and exciting article topics, titles and inspiring headlines can be challenging for content marketers due to the overwhelming amount of existing online content.

To help content producers and bloggers create lists of article topics and create great headlines when they face writer’s block, I’ve listed five topic creation techniques you can use to make sure you never run out ideas for blog topics.

 

1. Use the blog topic generator

The Blog Topic Generator is a HubSpot tool which generates a list of article topics based on the keywords you input.

For example, if you fill in the fields using keywords SEO, content marketing, and social media, Blog Topic Generator will generate potential topics such as 10 Signs You Should Invest in SEO, What Will Content Marketing Be Like in 100 Years?, and 15 Best Blogs to Follow About Social Media.

Using Blog Topic Generator to develop a list of article topics saves you a tremendous amount of time because you’re getting a tool to do the preliminary brainstorming work.

2. Play the ‘Ad Strategy Game’

Here’s how the ad strategy game works:

Create a list of marketing practices such as content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing.
Create a list of industries such as accounting, manufacturing, and retail.
Select a marketing practice and industry.
Develop an article topic based on the marketing practice and industry. For example, if you select content marketing and retail, create articles such as 5 Content Marketing Secrets Retailers Should Know or How Content Marketing has Revolutionized Retail.

While the ad strategy game is similar to the function of Blog Topic Generator, it’s slightly different because it forces you to think outside the box using your own creative juice and develop article topics that the Blog Topic Generator can’t produce.

3. Visit your older articles

Visit your older blogs and develop new article topics based on them.

For example, if you’ve previously written articles such as 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2013 Every Entrepreneur Should be Aware Of or Unraveling 10 SEO Tips Digital Marketers Must Know in 2013, create new articles such as Entrepreneurs! Pay Attention to These 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2014! or 2014 SEO Secrets Revealed. This approach will help you develop articles quickly since you’re just updating new versions of older blogs.

As a bonus, developing new versions of previous articles gives you a chance to perform internal linking and boost search ranking. When you create a new version of an older article, you can link the new version to the old one, and vice versa, and pass SEO juice between the two. This tactic will help both pages improve their search ranking. To learn more about internal linking, read HubSpot’s Deep Dive Into Internal Linking for SEO guidebook.

4. Think about your clients’ pains

Come up with different client pains and address them in your articles.

For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency and your clients have trouble attracting customers over the summer because their target audiences are on vacation, you can write an article on how businesses can stay top-of-mind with prospects by using mobile Facebook ads. Customers who are on vacation go online more than ever these days to post holiday photos, stay connected with friends back home, or browse for local restaurants and events.

Thinking about your client’s pains and developing topics based on them will help you generate plenty of article topics because your customers, just like every other business, have numerous problems.

5. Think about your product benefits

Think about your product benefits and create articles on each benefit.

For example, if you offer social media marketing services, write an article about how social media is an effective marketing research tool.

Then take it further. Maximize the number of articles you can write for each benefit by showcasing the benefit from different angles. For instance, you can develop articles such as How Facebook Helped Me Discover 10 New Clients, 10 Effective Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing Research, and 18 Simple Ways to Generate Inbound Leads Using Instagram. These articles all focus on the central benefit: social media is a powerful marketing research tool.

Once you’ve developed a large list of topics, schedule them in a content calendar. A content calendar helps vary different topics so that you avoid writing articles about the same benefit too close together.
Wrapping it up

With the increased usage of content marketing by companies, content marketers are expected to develop new, enticing articles on the fly to compete for consumers’ attention. This can be mentally challenging because it’s difficult to constantly create new article topics.

By using the five techniques above, you can leverage free tools such as the Blog Topic Generator to develop new article topics easily and quickly, visit older blogs for inspiration, and think about your clients’ pains and create numerous articles to address their issues.

If you’ve other topic creation approaches you want to share, please leave them in the comments section below!

Content Marketing Made Easier

Putting my research hat on again I discovered some cool tools to make your content marketing strategies a lot easier.

Content manager and content marketers lives can get a bit hectic. They spend a lot of time identifying what is seen as relevant and valuable content, in relation to their product, with the intent of changing or enhancing

consumer behavior.

That is content marketing and the belief of this marketing strategy is that if you help increase the intelligence of your consumer base by putting more information in front of them, valuable information, then they’ll reward

you with their business and loyalty. This often requires long hours of internet research to find what is considered relevant and valuable information that will elevate your target audience, putting together posts that have both great content and great visuals, and doing it on a consistent basis.

Below are 15 free content marketing tools that will help you deliver that amazing content to keep your customers coming back for more.

Tools for screenshots

Let’s face it, content is always great to have, but human beings are visual creatures. “I’ll believe it when I see

it,” didn’t become an adage for no reason at all. There is universal truth in that statement, which is naturally

understood. Consumers most often prefer to be shown, not told, about the features to help them best make

their decision, or to increase their knowledge of your industry, niche, or products. This is where screenshots or how-to videos come in. These are the tools to help you with them.
1. Jing

Jing is a downloadable tool that allows it’s user to capture the screenshot, alter the screenshot with different

markup features and send screenshots to your social media platforms with easy sharing tools. What sets

Jing apart is its recording feature that is maxed at five minutes for “instant, focused communication.”

2. Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is actually a plug-in that is created based on Google Chrome, but also can be used in

other popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s default browser Safari. Its stand-out feature is

that it’s built-in to the browser, so if your work or product is internet based (what isn’t now a days?), it’s

easier to utilize this tool than one that needs to be downloaded and ran separately.

3. Monosnap

Monosnap also comes fully equipped with the expected features of a screenshot tool, allowing you to

highlight the important parts of the screen with pen, text, arrows and shapes. Be sure to use the blur out tool

to blur out your confidential information. This tool comes with free cloud storage.

 

Writing & Editing Tools

The most important part of all content marketers’ job is the content. This is the bread and butter; the chicken

& the gravy. Without professional, accurate, knowledgeable content delivered in an easy to understand

manner, there is no work. There will be no consumers seeking out your company’s service or product.

Ultimately there is nothing without content. Here are the tools to make sure your content meets all these

criteria, or if you have difficulty generating content, resources that will help you do so.
4. Paper Rater

Paper Rater is a Natural Language Processing engine that runs behind Paper Rater is the stand-out feature

of this website. It not only checks for plagiarism but it seeks to improve the writing of the author by avoiding

false-positives on grammar detection which happens a staggering 50% of the time with other technologies.

5. Essay Mama

Essay Mama is different from paper rater, whereas instead of checking your work, you can purchase essays

or content from writers who hold Master’s degrees and PhD’s in their field. If you have a large enough profit

margin for your business, and think having 100% original content from experts in your industry will help boost

the value you give to your consumer, then Essay Mama is the place for you.

6. Copyscape

Copyscape allows you to protect your content by seeking for exact copies online. It’s been ranked number 0ne by

independent tests as the most powerful and most popular plagiarism detection software. You can purchase

Copyscape premium for upgraded features; therefore, unlocking the full power of the plagiarism detection

software. Copysentry is the second feature of Copyscape Premium, which automatically scans the web

daily or weekly and e-mails you if any copies of your content are found.

 

Image and Design Tools

Beyond the penultimate, valuable content, with how-to tutorials and/or valuable screenshots, consumers want

to know that their decision of utilizing your website for valuable information is the correct one. Having a great

web design and utilizing images, helps increase credibility, and build your brand. Here are a few places to

help make this component of your content grade A.

7. Thinglink

Embed content within your images with ThingLink, from product descriptions, links to purchase pages of

products, tell the story behind the image, etc. all to increase your click-through rate and increase consumer

interaction. They offer real time analytics of consumer engagement, and can even make a ThingLink image

an interactive App on Facebook. Utilizing ThingLink is sure to increase consumer engagement.

8. Canva

Canva is a design tool that was founded by a design visionary to take as much hassle out of design as

possible. Design software has been complicated from the beginning and can take weeks to months of trial

and error before you achieve your desired result, even if you do. Utilize Canva, and you can create beautiful

designs with the simplicity of their stand-out, drag and drop feature. The designs can be made for web or print

and covers things such as flyers, presentations, Facebook covers, blog graphics, business cards, posters,

and invitations.

9. PicMonkey

PicMonkey has a bunch of cool things going on with their team, which includes a monkey of course. Their

features include Touchup, which users can utilize to get the best look out of their profile pictures. They also

have a photo editor, loads of collage templates, and graphics that can be used to customize the design for

your brand, product or service. What is standout about PicMonkey are the tutorials that they offer for support.

So not only do they provide you with the tools for free, they teach you how to use and get the most out of

them for free as well.

 

Creative fonts

Fonts, not just any fonts, but creative ones, help to create the creases and ripples in your brands fingerprint.

If chosen correctly, and adhered to, it will help separate yourself and give you a more defined brand identity.

These are a few sites that offer free, downloadable fonts that you can use as your brands namesake.

10. Dafont

Either if you know it or not, Dafont has been around since 2000! Pushing on their fourteenth year

anniversary is only a testament of how longevity favours simplicity. You can easily find fonts either via

alphabetical order, or type and in a few clicks you can have it downloaded and running in your program of

choice. Use their FAQ and Forums for help getting your newly acquired font, into the software or website

where you want it. They also have a tools section which advertises purchasable font software.

11. Google Fonts

Google just seems to find any and everything they can capitalize on, and then do it. Here is another example

of their subtle monopoly into every possible online frontier imaginable. With over 600 font families, Google

Fonts makes it just three easy steps before the font is running on your website. The standout feature is

simply that – the Open Source CSS font code is already prepared and easy as adding it to your website in

seconds.

 

Infographic and video creation.

If you haven’t seen an infographic, you’re not with the times. These are graphic visual representations of data

or information that’s intended to present information clearly and quickly. The tools for video creation will be

beneficial for the content manager who needs to make more than just a five minute how-to by using a tool like

Jing.

12. Piktochart

Never made an infographic before? This is the tool for you. Hit the ground running with your choice of 100,

fully customizable themes, a library of over 1,000 images to use or upload your own and share it with as

many consumers you can reach. How many more consumers could you inform if you were spreading your

product/service data with infographics instead of old school articles? The standout feature for piktochart has

to be their support. They have the most comprehensive resource list out of all these tools and advertise the

most support. There’s no way you can lose with Piktochart.

13. Infogram

Infogram has already had more than 2.5 million inforgraphics made on their website, and yours should be

next! They offer 30 different chart types, with a backend spreadsheet that allows you to easily edit your data

and alter your charts. No design skills are required to create and you can download your infographics as

PNG or PDF for presentations or to send to consumers via e-mail marketing. If you have any trouble you can

contact them via their support bar on the side, or reach them via a social media channel such as Skype, FB

or Twitter.

14. Wideo

Wideo is an online video creation tool that allows its users to create, edit and share video for free. The videos

are fully animated and are made with their own available images, movement, objects, shapes, audio or text;

or you can upload your own images, backgrounds and music. Wideo has been utilized for business,

education and just for fun! Either way, animated videos are always fun and if utilized appropriately can be very

beneficial for your purpose.

 

15. Stupeflix

Stupeflix, a startup online video creation tool, created in Europe can be used for personal reasons, education,

business, and developers. The videos can be up to 20 minutes long and each one comes with a free theme,

made and ready for the web with a single click. Standout Stupeflix features are its ability to add maps,

custom transitions, add voice-over, set movie pace, individual durations or even slo-mo. Stupeflix does offer a

PRO version with an additional fee.

Website Load Speed Matters

When it comes to your user’s site experience and position in search engines, your website load speed matters and is a vital factor.

runnigInternet users today expect a website to load as fast as possible. High quality content, inbound links and easy navigation are not enough to make your blog or website successful.  They really feel cheated by blogs that take a very long time to respond to their web requests.

 

Why speed matters

User experience:

It’s a well known fact if a website takes too long to load; a visitor is more likely to move on to other website (most likely competitors). With the increased internet speed, usage and accessibility, today’s users expect the fastest and most reliable online experience. Everyone has “very limited time” to surf the internet and no one likes to wait on a web page to load.

So, what’s the time limit for a visitor to wait for loading a web page? Previously it was considered that maximum waiting time should be less than seven seconds. But today, in the world of improved technology, users expect a web page (with simple content) to completely load within two seconds or less. And if a web page takes more than two seconds to load, chances are up to 40% of users may leave your site.

AdWords quality score:

Maybe you’re not aware of this, but the speed of your website can actually impact your Quality Score. Google knows very well that customers are likely to convert on a faster website, so they’ve put more emphasis on the landing page loading speed. If the performance of your landing page is dull, then your Quality Score will suffer.

Apart from this, Quality Score drives your CPC campaigns. It means faster loading speed can help you reduce your advertising costs. In short, faster page load speed results into higher quality score, and higher quality score leads to enhanced spending efficiency and more reach.

Organic rankings:

In 2010, Google announced that page load speed would be an important factor in determining the ranking of websites in search engine results. Google algorithm makes use of multiple factors to determine where to rank your website in search engine result pages. Some of these factors are evaluation of the legitimacy of the website itself (like number of quality inbound links and age of the domain name), while others are related to a webpage content itself (like title, description, text, URL etc.).

However, after the announcement of Google, it became crucial for website owners to improve their page load time. So if you care about getting ranked higher and more traffic from Google, you should improve your website website’s performance. Though fast load time isn’t a huge ranking factor, but it’s quite important.

Mobile users:

Generally, it is considered that mobile users have more patience than desktop users. The reason is that they use a slower internet connection. But in the present scenario, while the internet connection speed is very fast, page load time became an important factor for mobile users.

Therefore, website owners should keep in mind this factor while using tools to manage mobile versions of their websites. Also, designers and coders should create simple and lightweight mobile version of a website in order to avoid server overload and make sure that the website will load quickly on mobile devices.

Competitors cash in:

When a user clicks away from a web page on your site due to slow load speed, your competitors benefit from it. In traffic rush hours, 75% of online consumers move to a competitor’s site rather than having the patience to wait for a website to load. Hence, if your site is slow, you’re not only going to lose your visitors and money, but also indirectly handle your valuable customers over to your competitors.

 

Free tools to test your site’s speed

Google PageSpeed Insights:

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool lets you test the performance of a web page both for desktop and mobile devices. It fetches the URL of a web page twice, once with a desktop user-agent, and once with a mobile user-agent. It measures how the page can boost its performance on: time to full page load and time to above-the-fold content load. After analyzing the content of a web page, it generates “consider fixing” and “should fix” type recommendations, which you can use to make your web page faster on all devices.

YSlow:

YSlow, developed by Yahoo, analyzes a web page and accordingly gives you suggestions to improve its performance. All the generated suggestions are based on a set of 23 web performance rules, which are defined by Yahoo’s Performance team. Additionally, it gives your web page a Grade that is based on one of three predefined rule set.

GTMetrix:

GTMetrix is another popular and effective website performance testing tool that helps you optimize your website’s speed and give your visitors an all-around improved experience. Using Google Page Speed and YSlow, it grades the performance of your site and makes actionable recommendations available to you. In addition, you can also set up monitored alerts and view your page load in a filmstrip view.

Pingdom:

Pingdom offers a wide range of website speed testing tools that enables you to monitor the performance of your website and provides invaluable insights to help you make it faster. Using Pingdom, you will be able to monitor individual files and requests on your site and can know the reasons which cause poor website performance. From page analysis to a performance grade, they provide quite useful information related to your website.

MaxCDN Tools:

MaxCDN recently released their set of testing tools through which you can test your website’s performance at 12 different locations around the globe. Performing Ping test, you can compare the ping speed of two domains and know how your site performs against your competitors. Finally, the HTTP Speed Test enables you compare the speed of first and last byte of two websites.

 

Quick tips to speed up your site

Upgrade your server:

The connectivity and speed of a website depends on the type of server being used for hosting. If your site is hosted on a shared hosting server, upgrade it to a VPS or dedicated server that allows your website having more server resources available. Hosting your website on a shared server may result in web pages being load slower.

Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network):

One of the best ways to decrease your website’s page speed is to host your media files on a content delivery network. Using a CDN, you can save up to 60% bandwidth and halve the number of requests made by your website. Some of the popular and reputed CDNs are MaxCDN, CloudFlare, and Amazon CloudFront.

Minimize HTTP requests:

According to Yahoo, up to 90% of the end-user response time is tied up in downloading the different components – like images, scripts, flash, style sheets etc. – of a web page. When someone land on your website, an HTTP request is made for each one of these components. The best practice for minimizing the number of HTTP requests is to eliminate all unnecessary things from your site.

Enable Gzip compression:

Nowadays, Gzip is the most used compression method that doesn’t only save bandwidth, but also speed up web page load time. A web page containing high quality content is often bigger than 100kb and this result in slower page load time. By compressing your website’s content, you can reduce the response size by about 70%. To check whether your site is Gzip enabled or not, you can use Gziptest.

Optimize images:

There are two important things that you should keep in mind while uploading images to your website: size and format. As large images take much longer than expected time to load, so it’s crucial to crop your images to the correct size before uploading. For the format of your images, .jpg and .png are best options. Use GIFs for small graphics, and also avoid using .bmp and .tiff formats.

Minify your HTML, CSS and JavaScript files:

WYSIWYG resources make building web pages easy for people, but they sometimes generate junk code that can slow down your website. To avoid slow loading time, you need to minify your files. To minify HTML, you can use chrome extension PageSpeed Insights to get the optimized version of your HTML code. To minify CSS, try cssmin.js and YUI Compressor. And to minify JavaScript, use JSMin and Closure Compiler.

Put scripts at the bottom:

If you want to get your content delivered to your visitors as fast as possible, it’s highly recommended to put scripts as close to the bottom of your page as possible. The reason behind this is simple: visitors would not like to see a blank page while the browser is busy in loading different script related files. Also, put your CSS at the top of your page since browsers would render the CSS file before rendering your page.

Minimize redirects:

Though sometimes it is necessary to redirect a visitor from one URL to another, but if you have a lot of redirects on your site, your site will suffer delay in page load. Redirections lead to additional HTTP requests, which increase web page load time. So minimize the number of redirects even though you have a responsive version of your web site.

Enable browser caching:

When a visitor lands on your site for the first time, different components (like HTML document, style sheets, JavaScript files and images) of your website are stored on his hard drive in a temporary storage, or cache. The next time when the user visits your site, the browser loads the web page from its local cache instead of sending another HTTP request to the server. So, it’s quite important to enable browser caching in order to enhance the performance of your website.

Monitor & improve:

One of the best ways to make your website super speedy is to monitor its performance on a regular basis and make necessary improvements accordingly. Furthermore, always run some quick tests especially when you make any changes in your website’s code or content to see the results.

 

Finding Your Blogging Niche

Finding your blogging niche should be one of the aspects of blogging which the blogger carefully considers before starting a blog.

This is especially important if the blogging is being done for the purpose of financial compensation. Ideally a blog owner should select a blog subject about which they are passionate and knowledgeable.

However, bloggers should also carefully consider the direct competition as well as the purpose of the blog before starting their blog.

This message will discuss these considerations in greater detail in an attempt to assists bloggers in choosing a subject for a new blog.

This information is applicable to both bloggers who are completely new to blogging as well as experienced bloggers who are considering starting a new blog.

Isolating Your Interests

One of the first considerations for a new blogger is his personal interests.

This is important because a blogger who is passionate and knowledgeable about a particular subject will not only have an easy time coming up with ideas for new blog posts but will also likely be highly successful.

This success will likely be attributable to the fact that blog visitors can sense his passion for the subject matter and greatly appreciate the knowledgeable posts which are informative and accurate.

The interests of the blogger may run the gamut from subjects which are widely popular to subjects which are of interest to only a small subset of the population.

However, there will likely be interested readers regardless of the subject of the blog. Therefore bloggers are not discouraged from opting to blog about even the most obscure subjects.

However, bloggers who are seeking financial gain through high blog traffic should consider selecting a topic which appeals to a larger audience.

Evaluating the Competition

Once a blogger has selected one or more subjects he is considering for a blog, it is time to begin evaluating the competition.

This includes viewing other blogs covering the same subject matter. This will not only give the blogger a good indication of whether or not the market is already saturated with blogs on this subject and the quality of the existing blogs on this subject.

Based on this information the blogger can make an informed decision about whether or not he feels capable of competing for blog traffic with the existing blogs.

Considering the Purpose of the Blog

Another important consideration for bloggers is the purpose of the blogs.

Blogs can be created for a variety of reasons including financial compensation, personal use or to promote a cause. Bloggers who are starting a blog for personal use may only wish to consider their own interests when starting a blog because they are not likely seeking high blog traffic.

However, bloggers who are creating a blog for purposes of generating a profit or promoting a cause do have to consider factors such as the ability to generate blog traffic. In these cases the blogger should choose a subject which appeals to a large audience.

Additionally, the Internet should not already be saturated with blogs on this subject because it will likely be difficult for the new blog to garner a share of blog traffic.

Finally, blog owners should consider the quality of the blog they are capable of creating on a particular subject. The blogger should choose a subject where he is confident he can not only make regular posts but also ensure these posts are original, informative and interesting.

Blogging For High Traffic

Optimising Your Blog for Search Engines

Building your brand and blogging for high traffic to their blog and maintaining a successful blog should pay particular attention to search engine optimisation techniques which can help to improve the search engine rankings of their blog.

Search engines all employ some type of ranking algorithm which is used to determine the order in which websites are returned when an Internet user searches for information on a particular topic. However, not all search engines use the same algorithm for this purpose.

As a result there is no simple solution to optimising a blog for high rankings on all search engines. There are a few tips though which can be useful with most search engines. These tips include using relevant keywords, generating back links to your blogs and using image tags in a beneficial way.

The Importance of Keywords

The use of relevant keywords in blog posts is one of the most common and also one of the simplest ways to optimise search engine rankings. However, not all bloggers agree on the best ways to use relevant keywords to optimize search engine rankings.

Some bloggers believe keywords must be used often to create high keyword densities while others believe using keywords at lower densities of 1%-3% and paying attention to placement of the keywords is the most worthwhile strategy.

Still other bloggers argue that simply using relevant keywords as they come naturally in the flow of the blog posts is sufficient to ensure search engines understand the content.

Regardless of the keyword strategy a blogger opts to employ all bloggers can benefit from researching relevant keywords. They may have a blog which pertains to a general subject such as gardening but may not be aware of the search terms typically used by Internet users when researching this subject.

Fortunately there are many programs available which generate related keywords for a particular time which provides the blogger with other keywords they should consider incorporating.

For the example of a blog pertaining to gardening the blogger may want to use additional keywords such as container gardening or home gardening to attract more interest from search engine users.

Generating Favorable Back Links

Back links are also another common factor used in search engine ranking algorithms. Many search engines consider the number of back links pointing to a website as well as the quality of the websites which provide these back links.

This means the search engine rankings of the website which points to your blog could influence the amount of weight the back link contributes to your own rankings. This is because some search engines consider higher ranking websites to be more valuable than other websites which do not rank well and therefore reward websites receiving back links from these high ranking websites quite favourably.

Some search engine algorithms also consider whether or not the back links are reciprocated or not reciprocated. In these cases non reciprocal links are usually considered to be more valuable than reciprocal links.

Also, back links which come from link exchanges or link farms are typically not considered to be very influential to search engine rankings.

Images Can Improve Search Rankings

Bloggers should also be aware that any pictures used on their blog can be used to improve search engine rankings with some search engines.

This aspect of search engine optimization is often overlooked because many believe the pictures are not viewed by search engines.

While this is true the search engines do crawl the code of the blog in addition to the content on the blog. This means the search engine will view the information provided in the image tags.

Bloggers can take advantage of this by using the image tags to provide relevant keywords which can bolster search engine rankings.

However, care should be taken to ensure the keywords used in these tags also accurately describe the image because blog visitors will often see the text included in these tags when they scroll over a picture on the blog.