No more struggling with idea generation.
We know how writing blog posts is a wonderful thing to do (okay, not always, we are also struck by writer’s block sometimes). We do it for a living and we find great joy in every part of it.
It can sometimes be stressful to write when on a tight editorial calendar, which is why we’ve decided to share some of the content marketing tools we normally use for better structuring our work process. Add these to the SEO tools that can help with your keyword research for a better defined overall content creation process.
We mainly write articles for the tech industry (mobile and cloud), and, therefore, thorough research before getting down to writing is an essential part of the process. We’ve perfected ourselves in time, so we no longer stumble upon every technical phrase – “mobile first” and “Mongo DB” used to give us quite a headache – but we still take our time to understand the different perspectives on a certain topic. Programmers, designers, startup founders or angel investors – they all have their say with regards to mobile marketing, mobile product development or business management and we wouldn’t want to miss on any of them.
This is why research and idea generation take time and effort. To find the proper information sources, to scan them and to make sure nothing of value is forgotten.
Tools for generating ideas and identifying research sources
One of the tools that land you on Amazon, Youtube or Wikipedia after having typed in your desired phrase is Soovle. This one will show you general topics related to your area of interest, with essential focus on the preferred channel (in our screenshot, Wikipedia). By actually pressing the “soovle” button, you are automatically taken to the desired page, where the effective link/article/Amazon book can be found.
Google Images will offer you visual inspiration for your written content. A simple quest for lollipops can result in a batch of several colourful images, whereas United States of America will display various results, among which a screenshot from South Park (the movie).
One of the great tools for browsing through ideas connected to your topic is Google Suggest. Significantly underestimated when it comes to writing content, Google Suggest can give useful hints with regards to what could complete a piece of writing, making it interesting to as wide an audience as possible. Simply typing in your search will not only display the articles most related to it, but will also show you related searches, thus giving you the possibility to cover a lot more.
Tools for better researching your content
If you aren’t already familiar with Feedly, you should look into it. Feedly isn’t only a website aggregator. Once an account is created, it can serve as a very thorough resource for finding articles on the topics you need. Simply typing in the topic you’re looking for will result in a list of blogs and websites that write about it. No need to do any Google research. Plus, you can always use it for browsing through your favourite pinned publications, whenever you feel like reading the news.
Instapaper is one of our favourite all-time tools. Easy to use and free for download (the web version), this one lets you save interesting articles, by the time you stumble upon them. It’s best if you simply bookmark each piece of news, recipe, video you ever find online the very moment you find it; it can always serve you afterwards, when trying to jot down ideas to depart from.
With Instapaper you can even highlight important facts in your readings, so that the next time you’re using it you don’t need to go through the whole piece all over again. The best part about it, though, is the clear, light UI it uses for article display.
Similar to Feedly, Digg also functions as a news aggregator. The difference is that the content on the homepage is published by an editorial team, that chooses topics according to their online popularity. Nevertheless, a “search” option allows for digging into specific content of interest.
Another popular feature of Digg is its Twitter Sync, that lets you visualize and access popular content coming from your stream of Twitter contacts.
Google is just one of the friendliest, most helpful tools you could get. And it’s free. Add Google Trends to the Google Keyword Researcher Tool, Google Suggest, Google Images and to the classical Google Search and you’ll have a whole array of tools that can tell you which way to go, whenever you’re stuck.