Your company has a unique story and a strong message to convey to your potential customers, but without high-quality, intriguing content for your website, those potential customers may never hear your message or learn about your brand. It is important to create engaging content that is directly applicable to your customers and provides incentive for them to follow your blog or website. The content marketing process starts with idea generation and also includes content creation, writing and editing, organization and time management, and marketing efforts. The following websites will guide you through the process and offer you helpful resources along the way.
Feedly is a fantastic idea generation website for your blog or website. You choose the topics that interest you or are applicable to your business, and Feedly sends you news stories, website, and articles that might interest you.
Similar to Feedly, Alltop lets you create a customized newsfeed of articles and stories that you care about. In addition to the articles it sends you, you can also link directly to other news websites like Mashable, Lifehacker, and WIRED.
Discover what’s trending all over the world with Reddit. Use the site for inspiration or to build on existing article ideas. You can either search the “hot” categories, or type in a keyword to see what people are saying about your content.
BuzzSumo analyzes what content works best on various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. Type in your subject and get inspired to find new content ideas or to start posting on a new social media platform.
Canva is the “easiest to use design platform in the world.” The simple website lets anyone become a designer and improve the aesthetics of their website. Either start your image from scratch or use the drag and drop feature to build large images from Canva’s collection of pictures.
ThingLink lets you make your images interactive. Add share buttons, social media links, or article links. If you’re a travel blogger, you could have a huge map on your main page with links to articles about each country. Or a chef could link recipe articles to a menu photo.
HaikuDeck is a beautiful website that lets you make slideshow that can easily embed into your home page or blog. Why stop with basic photos when you can have a slideshow!?
Writing and Editing
EssayMama offers a professional writing service. The writers have advanced degrees in various topics, so you can be sure you will receive content that is accurate and relevant to your business. This service can really take the stress out of the writing process.
Plagiarism on your website should be avoided at all costs. Not only does plagiarism, even unintentional plagiarism, reflect poorly on you and your business, but it can also make your website blend in with the “noise” in your industry. Make sure your writing is distinctive and unique. PlagTracker can remove instances of plagiarism. You can also contract the writers to rewrite any plagiarized sentences to make them original.
When you write content for your website, it’s important that the content is clear and easy to read. Hemingway Editor will scan your article to make sure the writing isn’t too complicated. It will also point out instances of passive voice or excessive adverbs.
Organization and Time Management
Pocket is my favorite organizational tool. Anytime you find web-based content that you want to read, store it to your Pocket app. You might not have time to read it right now, but with Pocket, you will never need to miss out on an important story again.
Evernote is one of the best and most widely used organizational tools available today. The app lets you save important articles and websites, take notes that automatically save (so you never risk losing data due to a system crash), manage schedules, lists, and timelines, and record voice memos. It’s like an entire office in your pocket.
Tomato-Timer can help you maintain your schedule when writing new marketing content. Set the timer to one “Pomodoro,” or increment of 25 minutes. After each Pomodoro, take a 5-minute break. Structure your day to include as many Pomodoros as you need. This method is surprisingly effective to help stay focused on the task at hand.
Wunderlist helps you keep all of your lists in one place. From possible subjects and titles to an editorial calendar, meeting calendar, and other important lists, Wunderlist will keep them all in one place. You can easily share lists with other Wunderlist users and edit them from your computer or smartphone.
Marketing and Distribution
You can use Buffer to schedule your content posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use the site to learn the best times to post, and then schedule posts for the most opportune times to reach your audience.
Tweriod helps you determine the best time to post your content on Twitter. The site analyzes your followers pages to learn when they tweet and compare that to your content to tell you the exact best times to post.
ShareThis lets you add share buttons to your blog so people can easily spread the content to your social media pages. Having your existing customers help promote your site is one of the most effective ways to grow your marketing base.
Mail Chimp provides an email marketing service that even a chimp could manage. The basic service is free as long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers. You can send up to 12,000 emails every month.
Now that you have the tools to improve your content marketing efforts, go out there and start creating stellar content!
About the Author
Kenneth Waldman, a professional freelance writer and content creator. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.