Today’s top-notch content marketing copywriters go beyond the basics of creating compelling content. They’re tweaking titles to get more clicks. They’re using content writing tools to look for trends that are more likely to go viral. They’re trying to stand out among a crowd of writers that all start to sound the same.
It’s exhausting…but exciting!
These top 12 resources for content marketing copywriters will make your life easier.
1. For Finding Trending Topics — BuzzSumo
Google Trends can tell you what people are searching for, but BuzzSumo tells you what people are sharing. You enter in your keywords, and you see the top articles shared via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. If you’re trying to create viral content — and wake up, you should be — this information is invaluable. It can help you decide what type of content will work best for your customers. It’s also a good reminder that the things that get shared are often related to trending news or seasonal patterns. Hint: You’re not likely to see a “Top 10 Ways You Can Use Our Product” title at the top of the BuzzSumo list.
2. For Generating More Ideas — Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator
Everyone poops out sometimes. After months of generating ideas related to your topic, you just can’t think of anything unique anymore. Let Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator come to your rescue. You type in a few words related to your topic, and the generator spits out several different ideas. Sure, you’re probably going to quickly figure out how their algorithms work, but you can always take the idea and work it in a new way.
3. For Mixing Up Your Words — Power Thesaurus
While we like to think that every word we type comes from a place of brilliance, the truth is that every writer gets stuck in a rut. If you’ve been writing about the same topics for a long time — and I’m guessing you have — you probably have a few words or phrases that you use far more often than you probably should. It’s time to shake that up. Power Thesaurus has the word-generating benefits of a thesaurus, but there’s a twist. Synonyms and antonyms are submitted by users and voted up or down. You get good ideas, but you also get a sense of how popular those other words are.
4. For Cleaning Up Your Writing — Hemingway Editor
We’re writers, so we love words, and this means that sometimes — perhaps more often than we’d like to admit — our sentences can drone on and on, which might cause readers to have a hard time understanding our beautiful prose, and — at worst — this could lead your readers to look for solutions elsewhere by clicking the back button, checking out another company’s brochure, or simply asking a friend. The Hemingway Editor helps you avoid sentences like that one. Hemingway is known for his concise writing style. That’s the style that works best in today’s world. Putting your text into the Hemingway Editor will make it more readable.
5. For Planning and Collaboration — Trello
I’m sure that many of you reading this have never ever ever dropped the ball because you forgot to write something down in your Bullet Journal. You’ve never talked to a client and then had a hard time interpreting your own handwriting. For the rest of us, a collaborative planning system like Trello is the key to staying on task. Think of it like using index cards on a bulletin board except that it’s on your computer or phone.
6. For Checking Your SEO — Yoast SEO Plugin
It breaks my heart to see great pieces of content getting completely ignored by the search engines. While it’s a relief that keyword stuffing no longer works (I’m still giving the evil eye to the client who wanted 36 variations of “trucking in California” put into a 500 word piece.), you still need to pay some attention to SEO if you want things to get into the SERPs. The Yoast SEO plugin helps you stay on task by making sure that you haven’t forgotten anything. It will help you live up to that detail-oriented reputation you built for yourself in the job interview.
7. For Analyzing Your Headlines — CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer
Think you have a snappy headline? You’re probably wrong. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer will show you all the ways you can make it better. At this point, you may be thinking that the headline can’t possibly make that much of a difference, and you just want to get the darn piece done and over with, but headlines really do matter. They’re the difference between a post that gets clicked on and one that doesn’t; between a post that people share and one they scroll past. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer will look at the headline you wrote, show you how it looks in the SERPs or as an email subject, and show you all the ways you could make it better.
8. For Previewing Your Search Engine Results — Portent’s SERP Preview Tool
Your web pages and blog posts don’t always show up in the search engines right away, but you want to make sure that it looks absolutely perfect when it does. Portent’s SERP Preview Tool allows you to see what your users will see when your content does finally make it to the SERPs. Make sure that it doesn’t cut off in a weird place and that your readers are seeing what you want them to see.
9. For Scheduling and Managing Social Media — Hootsuite
There are a lot of studies telling you the best time to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest, but you’ll find those times are scattered throughout the week (and sometimes late in the night). Sometimes, you just want to sit down and get all your stuff done at once amiright? With Hootsuite, you can. It allows you to link up your social media accounts and schedule things to post when you want them to. That leaves you with more time to focus on your other work. Buffer is another good option, too.
10. For Writing and Sharing Docs — Google Docs
Boring! Google Docs is so basic that few people realize what a great resource it is. However, have you ever started getting messages that your computer is running low on storage? And when you try to clean things up, have you noticed how you have multiple copies of everything you’ve written because people change the name slightly when you’re going back-and-forth with edits? And have you ever forgotten to attach your document to a client’s email, causing a delay? Just me? Well, anyway, Google Docs helps you keep your computer clean. You can send someone the link to your document, letting them edit or comment on it. Easy, peasy.
11. For Ditching Annoying Cliches — Cliche Finder
Mark my words, you use annoying cliches more often than you realize. It’s time to nip that in the bud or risk the head honcho telling you that your writing’s not all it’s cracked up to be. If you want to make money hand over fist, you should avoid cliches like the plague. The Cliche Finder will search your writing for common phrases that you should change to make your writing stand out. Before you know it, you’ll be the best thing since sliced bread.
12. For Learning More About Content Marketing — Content Marketing Roadmap
Yeah, it’s a shameless plug, but to be the best, you have to learn as much as you can about content marketing. This resource might not be necessary if you’ve been heading up your company’s content marketing division for years, but if you’re someone who’s been focused on the on the writing or copywriting side of things, learning a bit more about the principles behind content marketing help you improve your skills. Byron White’s Content Marketing Roadmap shows you how to blend wordsmithing and technical elements to create a content marketing strategy that will work for your customers.
Shannon T has been writing professionally for over 10 years. In addition to the thousands of articles, blog posts, and web pages she’s ghostwritten, she has bylined work that’s been published on sites like Headspace.com, ModernMom.com, Chron.com, and Fool.com (The Motley Fool). Having earned the HubSpot Academy Inbound Certification, she’s able to craft pieces that satisfy the needs of both readers and search engines.