12 Tools to Spark Your Imagination for Content Marketing
January 20, 2016
You’re sitting at your local coffee shop with a blank page and a cursor that won’t stop blinking at you. You want to start content planning.
It’s tough to kick yourself into action and start writing. You don’t want to lead yourself down the wrong path. What’s the point if the article might become a pile of trash? What if I publish it and nobody cares?
Sometimes cookin’ up a quick bacon sandwich will do the trick, but more often than not it’s because you’re just not in the mood.
It’s ok—you’ll do it tomorrow, right?
Tomorrow comes and sadly, it passes. You still haven’t got anywhere. Oops.
You busied yourself with less important tasks so that you didn’t have to deal with it. Silly you.
There’s always tomorrow, eh?
Tomorrow is a lame excuse
It’s easy to put things off until tomorrow, particularly with content planning. We hope somehow we’ll be better versions of ourselves the next day and find the inspiration we need.
Some magical unicorn will save us from our pit of doom, right? Wrong.
If that’s you, you’re not alone. It happens to all us, and it’s something you’ll just have to deal with as a content marketer.
Since I started writing in April last year I’ve come across a heap of awesome tools I can use to get in the zone. The words flow onto the screen, I tap away at the keyboard and make good progress.
To help you out when you’re stuck, I’ve curated a list of tools.
If you’ve got any to add, feel free to get in touch—I’d love to try out some more.
If you’re anything like me, getting music to your ears can make a huge difference.
Wanna to shut off the world and focus on your writing? Stick on a huge pair of headphones and start listening.
Here’s some top audio tools for pumping out quality content.
When I spotted Brain.fm as a deal on AppSumo I knew I’d love it instantly.
I’m not a big fan of bass when I’m trying to write, and so found it difficult to find anything to listen to. Sure, there were movie soundtracks and ‘study’ albums, but they were super boring.
Brain.fm is great—the tool features 3D audio tracks that help boost your productivity. It also checks up on you every now and then to make sure the unique soundtracks are working correctly.
Much like Brain.fm, focus@will offers instrumental audio tracks that are created specifically not to distract you, but to boost your brain’s ability.
The tool has been created by leading Neuroscientists, so you’re in good hands.
Nobody said writing good content was easy.
There’s grammar, spelling and word count to think about. That’s before even touching on how you’re going to make an article interesting enough for the reader to get to the end.
Here are some awesome tools I use to make sure my content marketing is not only mistake-free, but enjoyable to read.
Is your writing droning on, or is it difficult for your visitors to read certain sentences?
If it is, Hemingway Editor can give you a helping hand. The tool highlights difficult-to-read sentences, shows you words that don’t need to be there and can even give you a head up on simpler alternatives.
Grammarly is like a better (less annoying) version of that pesky paperclip on Word. It attaches itself to any text area on the web (including Contentacle) and will let you know if something needs changing.
While I wouldn’t say Word Counter was a good place to actually write your pieces, it is a quick and easy place to paste in your article and find out how many words you’ve written.
It also gives you information about the reading time, level of writing and how many paragraphs, sentences and words there are.
We all have bad days. Sometimes you’re just not up to writing a 3,000-word essay.
At times like these you need an injection of inspiration. Here’s a list of tools that take me from wanting a Netflix marathon to a day writing an awesome piece.
If you can’t think up an idea for your next piece, ÜberSuggest might be just the ticket. Pop in a keyword or two and it’ll find you some ideas. Scroll down the list and see what you find interesting.
BuzzSumo is a popular tool for finding articles with the latest…well…buzz. It gives you the ability to filter and sort through the most shared articles in the past year, 6 months, month, week and 24 hours. It’s great for getting ideas for you next blog post, particularly if you’re up for using the Skyscraper Technique.
More and more writers are turning to LinkedIn Pulse not only to write their articles but to syndicate them too. Even if you’re a regular Pulser, there’s a handy tool in the platform you may not have noticed.
If you click on the Publish post button, the platform will automatically find popular topics and suggest you an awesome headline. Neat, huh?
Portent Content Title Generator
While the Portent Content Title Generator isn’t the most useful (it’s actually pretty useless), it does come up with some hilarious titles. Pop in your subject and hit enter.
The title generator will come up with some clickbait headlines you couldn’t make up. You never know, it may spark your imagination.
I have some other tools up my sleeve that didn’t fit into any particular categories. They’re super useful for speeding up your content workflow.
Contentacle’s Blog Title Case Converter
Ok, so I know what this looks like. We’ve conveniently added our own tool to the list. Crafty us. But it’s not like that, I swear.
We actually use our blog title case converter all the time. We’re pretty lazy like that. Why bother if you can get a robot to do it for you, eh?
CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Sometimes you just wanna know how well your headline will perform. Is it the worst title ever known to mankind, or is it better than Unicorns? 🦄
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer can work that out for you. It also helps you see what it’ll look like on the web.
When you’re planning a massively long post, sometimes you need to quickly nest things and create some order in the chaos of planning.
For situations like this, I use Workflowy. It’s super useful. Slack used the tool to plan out their software at the beginning. Neat, huh?
Stop procrastinating, start writing awesome content
Writing is difficult, particularly if the day started badly. With these top 12 tools for content marketers, you’ll be able to turn your day around for the better.
So it’s time to get your head into gear and those fingers tapping on the keyboard. The best thing you can do is start writing something amazing.