On top of the exhaustive amount of content research you need to conduct, you also have to spend hours – if not days – writing and polishing the content itself.
After all, you want your content to tick both boxes when it comes to getting noticed by search engines and users.
Having the right skill set is a good start, but if you really want to produce content that stands out from the competition, you also need the right tools in your arsenal.
In this post, we’ll uncover the best and brightest tools to up your content game, wow readers, and drive conversions.
These tools span different areas of content development, including research, editing, and analytics.
Let’s dive in.
In content writing, the challenge starts way before you type in the first word.
There’s an often lengthy research process involved when it comes to generating content ideas, scoping out the competition, and identifying the right target keywords.
BuzzSumo simplifies the entire content research process by pulling in popular posts based on keywords.
These results can then be sorted according to their reach in social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
This allows you to scrape the web for content ideas that pique your target audience’s interest.
You can also use custom filters to further refine your search.
For example, you can look specifically for “how-to” posts, narrow your search down to a specific country, exclude a certain domain, and much more.
While intended as a tool for keyword research, Ubersuggest can also help you find content ideas that will get your audience’s attention.
It works by expanding the seed keyword using suggestions from Google Suggest and Google Ads Keyword Planner.
In some cases, Ubersuggest results include keyword ideas that can be used as content titles right off the bat. These are usually “long-tail” keywords that include three or more terms.
To prioritize them in your search, click the small down arrow next to the “Keyword” column.
With Ubersuggest, you have a near-endless supply of search-worthy content ideas.
Leadfwd is a website where you can turn an unknown visitor into a potential lead.
That means if a seemingly anonymous visitor ventures to your site, you may be able to capture their information, follow up, and turn them into a paying customer.
This is a highly valuable tool, particularly for marketers. Lead generation is one of the most important tasks for any digital marketing company.
While the name might suggest that it is not a tool that helps your content creation, the opposite is true.
Since it tells you how a visitor spent their time on your website and shows the graph of the session, you can then use this insight to alter your content and make people spend more time on your website.
In fact, with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), the tool can scan your website in real-time to deliver dozens of insights that help with lead generation and content creation.
For example, the company sector, contact info, key personnel, social footprint, and many more are very much needed to contact the prospect and adapt your content for the right audience.
Awario is a unique tool that lets you monitor and listen to people’s conversations on social media.
With this feedback in hand, you can better spot and correct any mistakes you’re making with your content.
What better way to improve your content than to get feedback directly from users?
This tool allows you to bypass surveys and messenger bots and instead gain insight straight from the source.
You can use this information to create a better experience for users on your website.
5. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is another awesome tool that can give you an array of content ideas within seconds.
What’s better, it’s a completely free tool that’s simple to use and provides an endless supply of content topics that you can easily turn into blog posts.
Do you often struggle to write click-worthy blog titles? This tool will help you overcome writer’s block and come up with engaging titles your audience can’t help but click on.
Sometimes, the best source of attention-grabbing content ideas is the online community itself.
Using Q&A websites like Quora, for example, is a great way to stay in touch with what your target audience is asking.
Simply use the built-in search feature and a handful of useful suggestions will pop up:
You can comb the Quora results for blog post ideas, questions for your FAQ pages, and more.
You can even leverage Quora to promote your content by offering it as an answer.
This can help your content reach the right people, attract potential backlinks, and generate leads for your business.
Reddit is another online forum that’s filled to the brim with content ideas supplied by its massive user base.
It serves as a discussion site that has specific subcommunities or “subreddits” to cover everything from content marketing to plumbing.
You can use Reddit by asking for feedback and insights that can help you improve your content.
In some cases, this will also help you find partnership opportunities with other content marketers and attract backlinks to your website.
8. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a free content idea generation tool that works by providing a “web” of terms or topics users often search for on the web.
Simply enter a primary topic (say, “Pinterest marketing”) and Answer the Public will provide a visualization of topics you can then turn into blog articles or web pages.
This tool also provides limited data on how these search terms are used, which related terms exist, whether the topics are framed as a question or a comparison, and more.
This is certainly handy if you are completely stumped on what to write about on your blog or social media channels.
Content marketers often work best as a team.
This is because the more hands you have on your project, the more content ideas you have at your disposal and the more human-power you have to create some amazing content.
In an ideal setup, there’s usually:
- Someone who does content research.
- A team of skilled writers.
- Editors who maintain quality.
- Marketers who handle content distribution.
You might even add a graphic designer to whip engaging images or infographics.
To make such a setup work, you need a platform that streamlines collaboration, file sharing, and project tracking.
Here are some of your top options.
9. Google Docs
Many content marketing teams today use Google Docs, as this is the most widely available (and free) content sharing tool of it’s kind.
This cloud-based document editing platform allows multiple users to seamlessly work in a single document.
Google Docs has all the features you’ll ever need from a word processor. You can customize your fonts, create bulleted lists, insert tables, add images, and so on.
Google Docs also allows you to quickly share a file with other users through the conveniently placed “Share” button on the upper-right corner of the screen.
From which, you can also specify the access privileges of those who get the link to your document:
If users are given the ability to at least leave comments, they would be able to do so by highlighting certain parts of the content:
Users can also make suggested edits to streamline the editing process.
This empowers content marketing teams to all be on the same page (literally) and collaborate on content in real-time.
Asana is a project management tool that allows teams to collaborate on projects, monitor deadlines, share details, and more.
Within Asana, you can assign tasks to users, add comments, check project status, and share documents with other team members.
This makes it easy to stay on deadline and ensure quality control for all of your content.
Slack is perhaps the most popular collaboration tool for businesses, marketers, and teams.
This is due to its user-friendly interface and, let’s face it, fun atmosphere that allows users to share images, documents, memes, videos, and more.
Slack is designed to replace your traditional email communication.
It also adds value to the company’s management as you can monitor at what time your employees are logging in and logging out.
How does this relate to content creation?
Well, in any organization, communication among all departments is crucial.
Slack makes it easy to collaborate across departments and ensure that each piece of content passes through the right hands.
For example, your SEO team can easily provide the target keywords for the post, your writer can write up the first draft, and your editor can put the finishing touches on your content – all within Slack.
This saves time and expedites the content creation process.
12. Dropbox Paper
If you already use a different communication app and simply need something that helps with file collaboration, then you should check out Dropbox Paper.
This is a minimalistic, cloud-based app that allows you to:
- Write content.
- Add files.
- Include images.
- Create to-do lists.
- Pretty much everything else you’d expect from a word processor.
You can also invite other users to edit, comment, and share your document.
In other words, it’s the leaner and more straightforward version of Google Docs.
If you’re trying to choose between Dropbox Paper and Google Docs, it all boils down to your team’s preferences and unique needs.
Effective content marketers not only know how to produce engaging content, but they also know how to optimize content for search.
The quality of writing is an important factor, but there are also other details – the proper use of subheadings, keyword optimization, and so on.
Here are some of the tools that can help you zero in on content optimization in a jiffy.
SEMrush is a favorite amongst SEO professionals due to the wealth of data and insights it provides, not only when it comes to SEO but also competitor research, content creation, and link building.
SEMrush is a premium SEO tool (with a limited free version) that allows users to research target keywords, spy on their competitor’s content strategy, identify backlink opportunities, and inform their paid advertising strategy.
You can use the Keyword Magic Tool to find high search volume, low competition keywords that you can then turn into web page and blog post ideas.
Then, you can use the SEO Content Template and SEO Writing Assistant to better optimize your content for search engines.
This will help you increase your organic traffic, attract backlinks, and stand out from the competition.
14. Yoast SEO
As a content marketer, you’ve likely heard of WordPress – the most-used content management system for website creation purposes.
If you currently use it in your projects, then the Yoast SEO plugin is definitely a must-have.
Once installed, Yoast works by rating the readability and SEO-friendliness of your content in real-time.
It also highlights the specific issues you need to be mindful of as you work:
You can also use Yoast to set a focus keyword for each individual post.
This will provide you with a checklist of objectives that can ensure the optimization of your content.
Keep in mind that Yoast is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to SEO, though.
You will still want to conduct keyword research and competitor research on your own (or using more advanced SEO tools) to ensure that your content is fully optimized.
15. Surfer SEO
Surfer SEO is one of the best tools on the market when it comes to SEO content creation.
Essentially, Surfer SEO works to analyze the top-ranking search results for your target keyword and then provide an array of suggestions to help you create content that will be competitive in search.
These suggestions might include aiming for a target word count, including your target keyword in your page title, or increasing keyword usage on the page.
Surfer SEO also provides docs that allow you to write, analyze, and optimize your content all in one place.
It’s one thing to create content that’s optimized for search engine bots and another to create content that users actually want to read.
A great content marketer is able to do both.
With the following tools, you can improve the readability of your content so you not only drive traffic but encourage users to read your content from start to finish.
Grammarly provides a free Google Chrome plugin that analyzes your content for grammar issues and readability.
It can be used in Google Docs, on social media, and across a variety of content platforms.
Grammarly takes the stress out of checking your content for spelling errors and readability issues.
You’re able to edit your content in real-time, and then rest easy knowing it’s error-free and optimized for your audience’s reading level.
17. Hemingway App
Like Grammarly, the Hemingway App serves as a free online writing assistant but differs in that you paste your content directly into the content editor.
The tool then analyzes your content for readability, passive voice, and any spelling and grammar issues your content may have.
Why does readability matter?
Well, each audience has a certain level of understanding when it comes to the topic you’re writing about.
For example, writing about SEO for marketers will likely involve more complex terms and explanations that if you are writing for a novice audience.
Tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway App helps you pare down your content and write in a way that makes sense to your target audience.
As a general rule, you should aim for a readability “grade” of 5 to 8 for most audiences.
Let’s face it – even the most skilled content marketers in the world have room for improvement.
They only need a clearer view of certain performance metrics to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and how to turn these insights into data-driven decisions.
Here are some of the best content analytics tools that can help you accomplish all three goals.
If you are wondering what the visitors have seen and read on your website – and how you can convert them from possible prospects into potential leads – then here is the solution for that.
Inspectlet records a video of user behavior so that you can know how long they were on your website, how they engaged with your content, and which elements grabbed their attention.
This is one of the main advantages of Inspectlet over the other analytic tools in the market.
With this tool, you can also come to know where your website is lagging if someone leaves your website after facing an issue on your website.
Based on these analytics, you can create your content and make it more appealing to your readers.
19. Google Analytics
It’s impossible to leave out Google Analytics if we’re talking about the top analytics tools.
Google Analytics is a free platform that can help you improve your content, optimize your website, and examine the source(s) of your traffic.
With Google Analytics, you can easily measure important engagement metrics such as page views, average session duration, and bounce rate.
This will allow you to identify specific types of content that appeal to your existing audience.
For example, if you notice that your content on email marketing performs significantly better than other posts, you can double down on that topic to maximize your results.
To learn how to integrate Google Analytics into your website, you can follow their step-by-step guide here.
Discover the different reports and features to leverage from this Search Engine Journal article.
20. Raven Tools
Raven Tools provides a full stack of SEO and analytics tools to help you increase your web traffic and optimize your content.
Trusted by thousands of agencies, Raven Tools is a top option for those looking to generate detailed analytics reports and gain insight into how to create better content for users.
Raven Tools also provides tools for keyword research, competitor analysis, and backlink analysis so you can implement a holistic SEO strategy.
You can then track the success of your content in terms of keyword rankings, traffic, and social media shares.
In the modern marketing landscape, content marketers are often required to wear many hats to do their jobs effectively.
After all, content is the lifeblood of any digital marketing strategy – the secret sauce that will help you establish your brand in the online world.
You can argue that content marketing isn’t all about who has the bigger guns, but in a competitive world, tools can definitely make a huge difference.
In this guide, you’ve discovered some of the top tools for creating amazing content like a pro.