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.
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.