Consistently writing quality content is not easy. Not only do writers need to come up with concepts, but they need to turn those concepts into unique and interesting ideas, research those ideas and organize them into actual content, then edit the content into something that is easily digestible by the audience. Some writers are lucky enough to have a team that works on the different parts of the content, and some have to do it all themselves. Luckily, there are tools out there that can help writers or writing teams create better, more organized, and easy to read content. We’ve created a list of some of our favorites below:
Tools for Inspiration
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator: While it’s not the only blog topic generator out there, Hubspot has a pretty decent one where you can put in your general keywords that you want your content to focus on and the generator spits out titles you can use for your blog. Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a similar tool that might help you get some new ideas.
Buzzsumo is a very interesting tool in that it will show you what existing titles are most appealing within a certain topic – it shows you the most popular content by whatever keyword you search. So if you have a topic that you want to write about, this tool can help you form it into a title that might be more appealing to your audiences.
Daily Page helps your writing skills on a more general level – it is a tool that gives you a daily writing prompt to get you into a writing habit and to keep you motivated even on your content “off days”. The tool gives you daily reminders as well as stats and scores on your writing. Essentially, you are being nudged to write every day so you don’t get out of practice.
Help me write is a tool if you want to crowdsource some writing feedback. You can add your ideas of what you want to write about, and people can comment on your ideas to help you develop the story or to adjust your writing. You can then publish your content and your network can comment.
Tools for Research
Here’s an obvious one: Google. I say you should use Google as a research tool with a caveat, you must make sure to use it in a responsible way and make sure to only use reputable sources for your content like government agencies, authoritative agencies, original research reports, major media outlets. In general, if you are going to quote a statistic, make sure that it is backed by a solid source, and always make sure to source your information.
Tools for Organization
Trello is a tool to help you and your thoughts stay organized. Keeping track of content ideas, and content, in general, can be difficult for a writer. You might get inspired with an idea at any time, so it’s important to have a place to convene those thoughts so you can organize them into something coherent later on. Trello is a project management tool that kind of looks like a whiteboard where you can put ideas/notes/thoughts into categories and move them around to make sense of them. This tool is also great on a bigger scale – it can serve as a sort of content calendar. Team members can jump in and assign themselves to topics and the content manager can keep track of the status of each project.
Tools for Editing and Wordsmithing
Yep, I’m going to get old school here with the thesaurus. I LOVE using the thesaurus. Often times writing can get stale because people use a lot of the same words over and over. Using the thesaurus to bust out some new synonyms can really bring some life into writing. How often have you used the word “great” in your content? Probably a million times. How about next time bust out “brilliant” or “first-rate” instead? Using a different word can really pack a punch in writing.
Grammarly is a tool for the basics. Now, I consider myself a “grammar bunny”, and have always prided myself on writing some quality written content. Even I make mistakes sometimes – that extra comma here, that wrong preposition there – so why not take a second to drop your content into Grammarly before getting it posted? You can even make it extra easy on yourself and download the Grammarly extension to your web browser – that way the tool checks any and all content that you put on the web.
The Hemingway App helps with the readability of your content. You drop your content into the tool, and it assesses your writing and gives you suggestions on how to make it simpler.
The real-life human being editor is, of course, one of the best methods for content editing. While technology is getting more and more advanced, nothing beats a real person reading through your content to make sure everything sounds right, flows well, and carries your brand voice.
Here’s the thing about being a good writer: it all comes down to that old phrase “practice makes perfect”. Consistent writing practice, valuable feedback from peers, and of course, a little help for some tools here and there will help improve your writing skills in the long run.