When you’re finding amazing content to share on social media—the kind of thing that grabs attention and gets people to click, share, and comment—one of the most valuable, most original places to turn is your own blog. Here are some blogging tools that help content marketing.
So the questions become: How to create amazing content, how to put together blogposts strategically and efficiently, and how to get your content out to the masses. These are among the areas these blogging tools help.
To avoid getting stuck in a creative rut, I’ve collected a series of tools I call upon whenever I need a little help getting the wheels turning and help productivity. Whether you’re into doodling or inspiring quotes, this roundup is designed to provide you with the resources you need to get unstuck and start creating.
The crowdsourced answer website can help lead you to the types of questions that real people are asking, questions that you can answer in-depth with a blogpost. Search for your keyword, and follow topics related to your blog’s focus.
Enter a URL into Quick Sprout, and you get an analysis of the site’s performance and content. The “Social Media” tab shows you which posts from the site have been home runs, and you can take inspiration from the highlights on the list.
Blogging tools that help content marketing … Lucidchart
From brainstorming to project management, Lucidchart provides users with the tools they need to create professional-looking charts and diagrams to illustrate their ideas.
The platform is built for collaboration and employs a drag-and-drop functionality that makes it easy for non-designers to produce high-quality content without the hassle.
It’s also compatible with many other programs, including Google Apps, which makes exporting and sharing different file formats a breeze.
Enter a subject into the Portent tool, and you’ll get a sample blogpost title, complete with helpful and witty breakdowns of why the title might make for a good read. Refresh as many times as you’d like for new ideas.
The trending topics section on your Twitter homepage can be a super spot for grabbing ideas from the latest news. You can tailor your trending topics to go uber-local (the big cities near and around you) or even receive fully tailored tweets that take into account your location and those you follow. (Click the “Change” link at the top of the Trends section on your Twitter homepage.)
We like to add all our blogpost ideas into Trello, turning each idea into a card that we can spec out with notes and move from list to list with a simple drag-and-drop.
Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution, wrote about benefits of doodling :
I use doodling for a variety of reasons: I use it to get clarity around a concept, I use it to relax, I use it to communicate ideas with others and get their refinement of them.
When it comes to the versatile power of doodling, we couldn’t agree with Brown more.
To help unlock your creative spirit, check out Doodle.ly — a social drawing tool available for desktop, iPhone, and iPad.
It provides users with a space to scribble down their thoughts and ideas and easily publish them to share them with their network. Plus, it’s free.
For super fast idea collecting, you can drop everything into Evernote—notes, snippets, photos, webpages, and more. The tagging system in Evernote is incredibly robust, so you can keep your ideas with a simple tag in a number of cool ways—by topic, by idea stage, and more.
Inspiration strikes at the most unlikely times.
With Evernote, you always have a place to record your bright ideas — no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Evernote is a modern workspace that is designed to sync across any computer or phone. This enables users to jot down their idea on one device and pick up where they left off on another.
Whether you’re a seasoned designer or just getting your feet wet, Photocopa is an awesome tool to inspire your efforts.
With Photocopa, users can upload a photo from anywhere on the web, and the tool will generate a color palette inspired by the colors in the image. To retrieve the hex code for each color in your custom palette, simply hover over the square.
This makes it easy for you to put together high-quality visuals for your blog articles, social media posts, or website.
Place your ideas into a to-do list where you can schedule when blogposts might go live and break down the blogpost writing process into manageable steps. Todoist lets you collaborate on
When your ideas come with files, Dropbox is one of the best spots to store and share things like pdfs, Word Docs, design files, photos, and more.
It’s not uncommon to walk into a Starbucks and see a dozen people tapping away at their laptops. The hum of the coffee machines and the murmur of conversation creates a work environment favored by creatives of all kinds.
While it’s nice to escape to a coffee shop and pump out some work every now and then, some days getting out of the office just isn’t a possibility.
For those days, there is Coffitivity.
Coffitivity is a unique app designed to simulate the ambient sounds of a coffee shop to help boost concentration and creativity.
Is your blogpost idea a popular one? You can run the topic through Google Trends to see search volume for the different keywords and phrases you’re considering using.
One of the most straightforward and fun time tracking tools you’ll find, Toggle lets you add a task, push the Start/Stop button, and check back in to see a full dashboard of stats on how you spend your time. It could be really useful for bloggers who want to focus on the time they spend writing, researching, and editing.
A really interesting free marketing tool, Hemingway analyzes your text for readability, highlighting sentences that are a bit too complex or dense. The readability for the list post you’re reading now: A seventh grade reading level.
Copy and paste your article into Grammarly’s online grammar checker to how it performs against checks for spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, style, and more. The initial score is free to see. The specifics of what to change (as well as suggestions from Grammarly) come with their paid plans.
Every month, receive an email with links to a new collection of free, high-res lifestyle photos. The site offers a premium subscription as well to be able to access and search its full archive.
Grab screenshots and annotate with notes, arrows, and icons. Skitch connects directly to your Evernote account so you can save all the screengrabs you take.
Probably our most-used image tool at Digital Spark Marketing, Canva makes image creation super easy (especially for non-designers) with their premade templates, custom image sizes for every social media channel, drag-and-drop interface, cool fonts, and more. Most every original image you see shared from our social accounts was made in Canva.
Once your blogpost is written and published, you can set up an easy sharing schedule with Buffer. Schedule your new article to go to your social channels multiple times with different headlines or images attached to each update. A huge time saver for us.
Built by the team at CoSchedule (which also makes a helpful WordPress calendar and scheduler), this WordPress plugin makes it simple to highlight snippets of your blogpost for readers to easily share on Twitter. For sites not running WordPress, consider a tool like clicktotweet.
In a single WordPress plugin, Filament contains a group of useful features including Flare, a social share button plugin that makes it easy for others to share your blogpost on Twitter, Facebook, Buffer, and more—even spots like Hacker News and Reddit. Other Filament apps include: MailChimp subscribe form, Google Analytics tracking, all-in-one profiles, code management, and share highlighter.
MailChimp is one of the biggest and best (and free) ways to send email to your list of contacts. You can set up automated campaigns that deliver each new post that you write, or you can create campaigns from scratch. MailChimp offers free accounts for those with fewer than 2,000 contacts in their list.
I can’t believe I used a paid ($20/ month) service with less functionality for 3 years before I switched!
What are your favorite blogging tools? Which ones did I not include here that you would add to the list?
I’m always keen to learn more about what tools are out there. Please do share in the comments if you have any tips or tools to talk about!
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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