Top Tools To Jumpstart Your Content Creation & Keep It Going
How do you constantly churn out new, original content for your business? Columnist Steve Olenski rounds up his top picks of tools to boost your content creation process.
Businesses need to create new content at an unprecedented rate. Seventy percent of B2Bs are creating more content than they did just one year ago, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report.
With this growth in demand comes a unique set of problems. How do business owners continually create new, original content? How do they regularly come up with topics that haven’t already been covered a thousand times before? And perhaps most importantly, how do they find the time to create this content while still trying to run their business?
Fortunately, using content creation tools can help significantly. This post will look at some amazing tools to help you continually create unique, relevant content for your audience.
Content Idea Generators
Sometimes the hardest part of content creation is simply coming up with a topic. You may already have a general theme in mind, while the exact angle may be more illusive. The following five tools can help you overcome brain block by suggesting topics and titles for your next blog post.
This tool asks for three nouns and then provides a week’s worth of blog topics. By providing some basic contact information, you even have the option to receive an entire year’s worth of topics.
ContentForest’s ContentIdeator tool works a little differently than many other content suggestion tools. Instead of suggesting actual topics you can use, it will give you existing blog titles that use your desired keyword.
The free version provides you with a list of titles, which you can then use as inspiration for your own blog posts. The premium version allows you to actually view the source articles, see social media shares, and save your results in an Excel spreadsheet.
BuzzSumo helps you find the most shared content online. Simply plug in your keyword(s), and the tools will return a list of the most popular articles in terms of social media shares. You can also search for top influencers in your industry, as well as trending topics you can use to jump-start your own content ideas.
One of my all-time favorite tools, Portent’s Content Idea Generator suggests blog topic ideas and provides useful copywriting tips you can use for your own blog titles. As with all blog topic generators, the wording be slightly awkward, but tweaking a word here or there easily takes care of this issue.
While not specifically a content idea generator, Searchmetrics allows you to find and track popular industry keywords. Its content optimization module helps you identify topics that will not only be relevant to your niche, but that have already proven to result in conversions.
Content Creation Management
If you typically create your own content, managing its creation shouldn’t be a huge chore. However, if you employ more than one person to manage your content creation, here are a few tools I recommend for keeping the process on track.
Managing a team or writers and designers (especially remote workers) can be a bear. Remembering what each person is responsible for and when specific projects are due can be difficult, especially as your team grows. Basecamp helps by letting you review work in progress, establish deadlines, and assign specific tasks. And with a free two-month trial, testing out Basecamp comes with zero risk.
If you’re outsourcing or have an internal team working on your content creation, coordinating and streamlining the process can be a challenge. A project management tool like Wrike can help by giving you the ability to track the progress of your team in real time.
If you’re using WordPress, a free plugin like Edit Flow can help you easily manage your content creation right from within your dashboard. By using it to manage your content creation workflow, you can be confident that your content is on track and in the right hands.
Use the calendar to schedule upcoming posts, and then hand the rest of the process over to your team — all while being able to monitor where they’re at in the process.
Visual Content Creation
Besides the steady stream of written content you need to produce, you also need to consistently create eye-catching visual content for use on your blog and social media. Here are three of my favorite tools to simplify and streamline the process (even if you have zero design skills).
Sharing images on social media is the No. 1 way to generate likes, shares and engagement. A tool like Canva can help you create inexpensive images with text overlays for use on your blog or social media. Canva also gives you the ability to create posters, presentations and flyers for online or hard copy use.
Create professional-quality infographics without the cost of hiring a professional designer. Piktochart comes with a whole host of templates you can build on and edit using a simple drag-and-drop interface. This program also provides the ability to import data for the creation of charts and graphs.
If image quotes are what you’re wanting, but you don’t need any fancy background images, QuotesCover may be just what you’re looking for. I’ve tried out a number of image quote creation tools, but none are quite as quick and simple to use as Behappy. Simply enter a quote, choose your font and background, and voila — an eye-catching image quote you can share on your blog or in your social media posts.
Over To You
Hopefully this post has given you some ideas for jump-starting your own content creation process. I would also love to hear which tools you find invaluable for content creation. Please link to them in the comments below!