Consistent content creation is one of the hardest parts of online marketing, especially if you are not armed with the right content creation tools to get the job done.
No matter how hard you sit and think and squeeze your fists and click your bright red heels it’s always a struggle to come up with new content ideas.
And, even when you do have a new idea, how do you know if you’ve written it well and it will perform?
Thankfully these content creation tools are here to take the sting out of it.
#1 - Feedly
Feedly shows you all of the relevant feeds in your niche under a quick search, and consistently updates new content into your feed each and every day. So, you’re never out of the loop.
But what makes it a good content creation tool?
Because by adding your competitors into the tool you’re able to see:
- New content when it’s published
- The hot trends you need to talk about
- Where you can add blog comments to drive traffic back to your blog
- Steal content ideas that you can Skyscraper
- Curate content for your social media feeds
For example, when I look at my Affiliate & SEO feed every morning, I’m greeted with everything my competitors have been doing:
And you can even take it one step further and narrow it down to each individual competitor:
And you get all of this for the grand total of…free.
Plus with the new Feedly integrations, like with Zapier and IFTTT, you can curate content directly onto your blog, tweet them or store them in pocket:
You have to upgrade to Feedly Pro for these ($5.41 per month) so if they’ll come in handy, I’d definitely recommend using them.
#2 - Quora (not for the reason you would think)
The usual reason to use Quora is quoted as, “Find out what your audience is asking about and create content about it!”, which is great and all, but I have a different variation on why you should be using it.
It’s not only to find ideas to write about but to actually write about your content. Let me explain…
Darren Rowse says one of the best outcomes from Blog Commenting is that you’re immersed and it often births new ideas for blog content because you’re forced to write about a specific topic or angle and share your opinion.
And, he’s not wrong.
By using Quora for this you’re able to do it for all of your platforms, too. Finding questions and answering them you force yourself to create content more frequently and cement your opinions. Which is where content ideas come from.
I left this comment when someone was asking about email marketing & blogging-
Which led to me write a much more detailed guide about email marketing along with my full personal strategy & copies of all of the emails that I send out as part of my autoresponder.
Instead of just looking for questions and writing your answers somewhere else, commit to writing answers there and look for the content ideas that come from them.
There’s a much better way to answer questions on your own platform coming up next…
#3 - AnswerThePublic
AnswerThePublic helps you find questions online and is one of my favorite pieces of content creation software.
All you have to do is enter a keyword & you can find all the questions your audience are asking about it.
You have it return the questions in a table format like you see above.
Or if you prefer visual content creation tools you can use the visualization wheel format which you can see below-
The best course of action here is to be broad.
If you find a question that has been poorly answered you’ve just found a content idea and a place to distribute it. Well done you, pat on the back.
#4 - Flipboard
Where you would use Feedly to target your competitors, you should use Flipboard to find new competitors and even more on-the-pulse trends.
Flipboard is available on your phone, and desktop, and most Samsung Phone users will already be well acquainted with it (swipe right on your home screen).
Now, stories of Taylor Swift’s love life aside, you can set it up to follow specific channels and topics. And, it’ll bring you all the relevant stories that have been submitted to Flipboard up to this very moment.
If I type in Plumbing – a hard topic to create content about – you’re given this extensive list of topics (it goes on beyond the image):
For your Plumber’s social media feed or blog you now have a virtual cheese board of content ideas to choose from, curate and skyscraper.
From this list I’ve already got:
- 10 Quirky Ways To Decorate Your Pipes
- Natural Bath Designs (That Don’t Need To Be Natural)
- 15 DIY Bathmats You Can Make For Under $10
- How To Create A Household Sink And Drain Unblocker
This is one of those content development tools you can check every day just for fresh inspiration, and can delve into much more deeply when you’re really stuck for an idea. And, guess what? It’s free.
#5 - Content Gems
Content Gems is a keyword specific content finder that is great for your Search Engine Marketers out there.
Simply take a keyword – preferably a root keyword – and put it into their search bar:
This will bring up all content and sites containing, or relevant to, that keyword:
You can even use it to exclude or contain an exact match of that keyword, too.
This content creation tool is free for one interest (keyword) but you can upgrade to pro and search to your hearts content from $99 a month.
#6 - Udemy
Udemy is an online course tool where you can learn just about anything.
And the courses are a content creators dream. Why?
No matter your niche is there is a course for you to look at and, all of the course curriculums are content goldmines.
Let me choose one of the arts and crafts courses from above. If I click on How To Paint With Acrylics… it’ll show me the course page and course curriculum (the list of everything that happens on the course):
Here you have access to an entirely new article, with a perfect structure. Let me show you through the power of subheadings:
- What is acrylic painting (and why should you care)
- Getting Started: How To Choose A Reference Photo And Backdrop
- How To Create Perfect Darks
- When Should You Add White?
- Making It [Colour]…
- Making Your [Shape] More Lifelike
- How To Add Extra Colours
- Finishing The Job
This strategy could be an article in itself. But, in short, you have tried and tested content that people are willing to pay for, so it’s worth you turning it into a free article (or download) that you can market with.
Just be sure your end product is different and you’ve got gold.
#7 - Pocket
You’re busy and have things to do. Pocket helps you save the content that you see doing your day-to-day tasks (that you always forget about later) and store it so you can come back to it. All at the click of a button.
Same rules as Feedly and Flipboard apply, just delayed until you get some free time to look at them.
#8 - Hubspot Blog Topic Generator
If you’re still really in a pinch for ideas, the HubSpot idea generator can be great for getting the juices flowing.
These ideas are simple, but the headlines they give you may spark the right part of your brain & give you a creative idea.
Enter three different nouns and it’ll give you a list of headlines based on them. You may need to work through a few cycles and try a few variations, but it’s content, right?
#9 - Portent Idea Generator
This is the last straw for content creation ideas, but if you’re really stuck, use this.
Portent created a random content idea generator that shows you headlines out of the weird and wonderful. Enter your topic and it’ll show you a suggestion like this:
Like I say, this is your life raft if you really need a content idea. But, it never hurts to have a final stopping place.
#10 - Google Docs
Okay, now you’ve got your content ideas, let’s take a look at the best ways you can create them.
Google Docs is a free way to replace Microsoft Office, and I’d argue that it’s better.
It contains Excel, Powerpoint and Word equivalents. And you don’t lose any important features by using it.
The big reasons why you need to use this as a marketer though is the collaboration features.
You can share your documents, add comments and create beautiful looking pieces that can be turned into any other form of document also.
This, combined with Google Drive, is perfect for any remote work as well as in-house work between multiple computers. I use it to create all of my: blog posts, sales copy, articles and for any external writers I use to submit work.
#11 - Hemingway
Hemingway is an editing tool that shows you how to improve your writing based on lessons from Ernest Hemingway.
Let me explain…
If you copy and paste your writing into the tool it shows you all of these different colours based on different rules.
Here’s the key to putting it into perspective:
By using this grid you can go through and edit the text to sound clear, crisp and have a little more pop.
Here’s the improved version from before:
If you don’t have an in-house editor, or can’t afford to hire one, it’s a great way to edit the parts of your content that need to be edited and save time by not worrying about the rest.
There’s a free version for your browser, and the premium goes for a one-off payment of $9.99 and can be used on your desktop.
#12 - Scrivener
This tool is designed for people writing books and long form content. You can turn your segments – like the area between subheadings or chapters – into different documents but still keep the flow of the document:
The easy to use side panel allows you to swap seamlessly between areas – great for one of those mid-flow ideas – and the research board works like a bulletin board where you can just drop your latest ideas and pages you need to link to:
If you’re in the habit of creating eBooks and really, really long form content like this article, you can’t go wrong with this tool. Once done, export it to a .doc and you can turn it into an easily downloadable PDF or Amazon Kindle book.
Grab a free 12 day trial on their site, or drop $49 for the product right away.
#13 - Powerpoint
Okay, I know I just told you not to use Microsoft Office, but I’d recommend having a Powerpoint tool (or the Google Docs equivalent) in your arsenal for your content creation. Why?
Because it makes creating actionable parts of your content so much simpler.
What do I mean? Take a look at this image:
That image was used by adding a screenshot from my phone into Powerpoint and then adding shapes onto it to make it: more actionable and easier to understand.
And, according to research from Moz, custom images like this make your content more shareable and linkable.
You’ve probably already got this weapon in your arsenal. If not, use the Google Slides version here.
#14 - Headline Analyzer
Which is what makes CoSchedule’s headline analyser a must have:
Enter your headline and get given a headline score:
Along with a bunch of suggestions of how you can improve it-
This content creation tool is essential because you probably don’t put in the time and effort needed to write a great headline.
And, knowing where to improve never hurt anyone.
Not bad for free title creation tool either.
#15 - Facebook Instant Articles
Facebook instant articles are still new to most marketers , but there’s a good chance you’ve been reading them unawares.
Born from Paper, their failed attempt at collecting news from your feed, Instant Articles are native to Facebook, but still link up with your site. How does that work?
By connecting to the Instant Articles tool on Facebook, you can integrate it with your WordPress software so that your articles will show natively on the site. Meaning they load quicker and your bounce rates go down.
Statistically, according to Buffer:
- They load 10x quicker
- People are 70% less likely to abandon your articles
- They get shared an average of 30% more than other web based articles articles
And they include great features, like instant video playing, which can grip people to your content even more effectively.
If you've been browsing Facebook & clicked an article that loaded quicker than you can blink, this is how they did it.
The Best Content Creation Tools.
Here’s your four tool dream team for content creation…
Choice #1: AnswerThePublic
The best type of content is content that helps people solve their problems and AnswerThePublic provides a comprehensive list of questions around any given topic.
You can use these suggestions to structure a new article or to add an engaging FAQ section to the end of an existing piece of content which will in turn - help you to rank for a bunch of long tail keywords in Google.
Plus it is 100% free - who doesn't like free content creation tools?
Choice #2: Udemy
The content method here is tried and true.
Find a course that fits your needs. Turn the curriculum into a content outline. Build it out from there. It’s premium content that people are willing to pay for and it’s going to survive on your blog.
And you even have the opportunity to show people how it used to be done, and how you’ll do it instead.
Bonus points if you use Udemy so much you even create your own sellable course.
Choice #3: Hemingway
If you want clean, easy to read writing, without breaking the bank on an editor, Hemingway is the answer.
I’ve used it for a long time and it’s made a huge difference to how I write. So if it teaches you as you work, it’s got another level most editing tools don’t.
And, for free (or a one-time only $10 for the download) you’ll never go wrong.
Choice #4: CoSchedule Headline Analyser
Headlines are still super important to the success of your articles. And, this, combined with the last two tools can really set your content on fire.
There will be testing you need to do outside of the tool, but this steadying hand can guide you towards success.