For content creators, the right tools can help in several ways, from helping you organize your thoughts, come up with great ideas, and create a wider variety of content. And for content creators who also manage contributions from others, there are tools that can help streamline the pitch, submission, and editing processes.
Without further ado, here are 20 awesome tools that help with content creation.
Whether you are a one-person content creator or part of a content development team, editorial calendars can help you keep things on track. For businesses that tend to focus on revenue-generating projects, editorial calendars also keep you from forgetting to update the blog that attracts business.
Here are some tools to use.
CoSchedule is more than just an editorial calendar. Not only can you schedule blog posts with it, but you can also schedule your social promotion of those posts!
Looking for something simpler? Google Calendar also does a great job at allowing you to manage content dates with people both inside and outside of your organization. If your content creation lies within your organization only, Outlook Calendar also works.
Trello is a project management tool that can easily be utilized as an editorial calendar for content. You can create a board for your blog, multiple lists that represent different stages of the editorial process (idea pitches, article submission, editing, publishing, promoting, etc.).
Having content creators enter their content into WordPress is a great way to simplify the content submission process. For those who prefer to keep access to their CMS restricted to a small group, or those who have outside content contributors for other platforms such as YouTube, SlideShare, etc., here are some tools that will help convene content into one place.
Dropbox is a popular file sharing service that allows you to create shared folders with others to send content files such as documents, images, videos, and other media.
Google Drive (formerly Docs) is also a great file sharing service. It's especially helpful in the editorial process as multiple people can edit and leave comments on documents as well as upload files related to each piece of content.
If you're stuck on coming up with new content ideas, here are some tools that will help you discover what your audience is interested in and even lay out titles for you.
Content Forest's Title Tool allows you to input a keyword and anywhere from 10 – 100 blog title ideas to go with it. Be sure to save the ideas and use them for future reference.
Want title ideas plus fun quips and tips? Try Portent's Idea Generator. You supply the keyword, and it supplies some witty titles to go with it.
If you want to spark even more ideas for your content, here are tools you can use to see what your audience wants.
Start by subscribing to popular blogs in your industry using Feedly. This will allow you to view lots of titles in one screen. You will also get to see which pieces of content are the most popular on social media.
Want to know what your audience searches? Rank Tracker will give you the top suggestions for keywords that you enter, which could leave you with over 200 new content ideas.
Great images are vital for content – they make your articles stand out on social networks when shared by others, they can help you get traffic from both Google web and image search, they turn dull presentations into captivating ones, and so much more. Here are some tools that make image creation simple
Canva is a free tool you can use to create images for different purposes, including blog posts and social media. While there is a specific category of templates for blog images, you may want to go through other categories to find different sizes, designs, and text options.
Jing allows you to capture custom-sized screenshots for your content. You can also annotate your screenshots with text, boxes, and highlighting to make them even more valuable for your audience.
Surveys can be the foundation of great content. You can use them to collect expert tips, customer insights, and much more. Here are some tools you can use to collect and analyze survey data.
SurveyMonkey is a popular survey tool that allows you to collect responses for a survey, analyze the data, and export it in PDF format for easy sharing amongst other content creators on your team.
If you prefer a free survey solution, Google Forms are the answer. You can create a Google Form with different question formats, and Google will automatically create a spreadsheet to collect the answers. While there is no automatic analysis or easy PDF export of the responses, it is easy enough to copy and paste the answers out of the Google Spreadsheet and into a document.
Screen recordings can make for great video content, especially tutorials and demos. Here are the top two popular tools for creating them, depending on whether you are PC or Mac.
Screenflow is a Mac-based software for screen recording and editing for video demos, tutorials, training, and presentations. You can connect Screenflow to Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms for faster sharing and publishing.
Camtasia is screen recording and editing software for both Mac and Windows users. It's great for collaborating with content creators, regardless of whether they are using Mac or Windows. It even has a feature for imposing yourself within the video with a green screen effect.
Sometimes, you don't have to actually create content yourself – you can use social media content that's already out there and ready to publish. Here are two ways to embed social media updates and turn it into a unique piece of content highlighting the views and opinions of others on specific topics.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ allow you to embed public posts from their networks. Just look for the option to embed posts, which can be accessed using the "more" link when you hover over a tweet, the triple dots at the bottom right of an Instagram photo, or the dropdown arrow at the top right of Facebook and Google+ posts.
By embedding social posts, you automatically give credit to the original source. If you can include an embedded post from your own social networks, you can encourage even more discussion about the topic on your own platform.
If you would prefer to select posts from multiple networks and embed them with one piece of code, Storify is a great curation tool to try. You can grab content from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Getty, Flickr, Instagram, and other sources.
Instead of just relying upon yourself to come up with great content, rely on others through one-on-one and group video interviews. In addition to giving your audience a new perspective on a topic, your interviewee will likely help you with the promotion of your content. Here are some tools that most are familiar with when it comes to recording interviews.
Skype allows you to conduct one-on-one and group video calls with up to five people. Use this when you want to record interviews to edit and share at a later time on your blog or YouTube channel.
For one-on-one and group video interviews with up to 10 people, try Google+ Hangouts. In addition to recording the video, you can stream it live and give your audience the ability to chat live with you and your guest(s). It's almost like having a webinar, but on a free platform.
If you've been having a tough time with the content creation process, we hope these tools will help you get things organized, give you new ideas, and help you create new content! If you use other tools in your content creation process, please share them in the comments!