The pressure to create great blog content is always on. You need to post often – on your blog and on social media. But unless you are a creative genius and prolific to boot, you will inevitably hit bottlenecks and dry periods. It’s just the “nature of the beast.” There are ways to tame the “beast,” and here are 18 of them.
Creating King Blog Content
Tools for Topics
Coming up with topics on a regular basis can be tough. You may be able to ease this with these:
- Buzzsumo: If you want to know what’s trending in your niche, this tool will do it. All you have to do I type in a few keywords, and you’ll have some great data – blog posts that have been written sorted by popularity for example
- Alltop: It’s sort of like having your own news feed based upon topics you determine. Set up an account, list your topics and you will receive what’s new on a daily basis.
Tools for Headlines
Recent tests by Upworthy have found that traffic to articles can vary as much as 500%, depending on a headline. If you don’t engage your reader with a headline, your blog content won’t even be scanned. Here are a couple of tools to help.
- Contentideator Headline Generator: This site will give you both titles and topic ideas. Very easy to use. Type a keyword into the search bar and click “submit.” You will get lots of potential titles. Don’t use the titles word for word, because others have probably used them already. Add your own “flavor.”
- Link Bait Generator: I like this one a bit more, but it will give you some racy titles now and then. Not only do you enter a keyword, but you then also select a “tone” – controversial, fun, a list, shocking, etc.
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer: This handy little tool tells you how much appeal your headline has to emotion and/or to power. Just enter you headline, and wait for your percentages. It will also give you a pretty in-depth analysis, such as the following:
You are shooting for anything above 50% on emotion and power. Here’s a good exercise to try. Type in your old post headlines and see where they stood too. This is good information to have so you know what to work on. You will also get lists of words and phrases that are good for emotion and power.
Blog content has to be readable and scannable. This means that the reading level has to be correct; the text has to be broken up with headings and bullet points; the grammar and punctuation has to be right; and you should have visuals. But you already know this. Translating these “rules” into great, creative writing, though, is sometimes tough. If you have concerns for your writing, there is help.
- Grammarly: This is a subscription-based tool that edits your text. You copy and paste your post, and you will get the grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and more analyzed. Suggestions for fixing the issues are given too.
- Hemingway Editor: Ernest Hemingway was known for simplicity of writing. And blog content should be simple too. This tool will analyze your writing for “fluff” and complexity and make suggestions. It will show you, for example, where you can eliminate adverbs that do not add to your message. You want simplicity.
- Read-Able.com: Reading level is important. When you use complex sentence structures and sophisticated vocabulary, you lose readers. The goal is to get your reading level to that of about a 13-year old. You can copy and paste your post and get a reading level analysis. While it will not tell you how to fix the level, it is free, and over time you will learn what to eliminate/change.
- Top Writers Review: Sometimes you just don’t have the time or the skill. There are some great writing services out there that have departments devoted to writing blog post content. You want one with creative writers who can take your topic idea and generate a great title and engaging text. This is one of the best I have found.
- Google Docs Research Tool: If you are not familiar with Google Docs, you should be. Within this array of functions, you will find a research tool. When you need to back up what you are saying with some research or data, this is the perfect and easiest way to do that. You can type in a keyword phrase and immediately get a list of articles – it’s a time saver.
No content today will attract readers unless it has visuals. The research is very clear on this. Visuals include photos, infographics, memes, and drawings. Video has become more and more important. People will view explainer, instructional and “how to” videos when they will not read text with the same blog content. There are tools for any kind of visual or videos, so you do not have to hire a designer to do this.
- Canva: Here is an amazing all-around tool that is about as easy as it gets. You can create customized images, adding text, pictures, shapes, logos, icons by just clicking buttons. Start with a blank canvas and start adding. You can change sizes and positions of anything you add. There are both a free and fee-based version.
- Piktochart and am: Both of these tools have great templates for making your own infographics. Pick your template and just add the text or paste in pictures. Super easy. These will not have the great variety that you might get from a visual designer, but there are enough templates to satisfy most any content.
- Skitch: This is a product was originally designed for Mac’s. But there is now a download for windows too. What this tool lets you do is annotate pictures. You can write a caption, impose some text right on the picture, or create things like arrows to point to important parts of a visual. Easy to do.
- Thinglink: Engaging readers by participation is always a good idea. You’ve seen interactive infographics before. You click on a picture and you get more information. Chances are the author has used Thinglink.
- TryInteract: If you have taken any of those quizzes that show up on your Facebook wall, they probably were created with this tool. People cannot resist them and will definitely share them with their communities.
- Quickmeme: You’ve seen these too. And they make great posts for Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. You can easily create one using their templates and superimpose your text. Part of spreading your brand is to be entertaining and humorous. Memes are highly shared. And if you put them into your blog post, the whole thing gets shared.
- HaikuDeck: Slides are great ways to visually offer information, statistics, and instructions. It’s actually easier than PowerPoint because you can imbed your slideshow right into your blog post (tough to do with PP). You can select an image for each slide and then add your text. There’s a great tutorial on the site that walks you through every step.
- WindowsMovieMaker: Smartphones have made it possible to create videos with clear resolution and sound. Try producing some videos for your blog content. And then use Windows Movie Maker to edit them. It is easier than you think.
Millions of pieces of blog content are published every day. And some of that is in your niche, created by your competitors. If you intend to stay in the game as far as content is concerned, it has to be creative, engaging, and valuable to your audience. Otherwise it does not get read/viewed or shared. These 18 tools should help you be more competitive.