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Content Marketing 9 min read March 29, 2017

7 Essential Tools for Content Creators

10 Black Hat SEO Techniques to Kill Your Search Engine Visibility

Alex Ivanovs
Lead Editor at Colorlib
Content creation isn't just about writing words, it's also about productivity because a productive environment allows you to write more, in less time. It sounds counterintuitive but bear with me.
When I first started blogging 10 years ago, there weren't that many resources to help bloggers manage their time, calendar, and tasks at hand. Everything was pretty much recorded in Word documents or simple Calendar applications.

These days, content has become the king of the web. And naturally, the available resources for being a better content creator have sprung open like a pandora's box. Even if you're fully satisfied with your existing workflow, you might find a tool or two in the following list that could become a regular acquaintance of your content creation efforts.

Content Writing

I spent many years stuck in my WordPress dashboard. The idea of using Word documents for writing content wasn't appealing to me, and I preferred to just copy and paste my WordPress posts into a document later on. Nowadays, I've come to realize it's an obstacle towards productivity.
#1

Google Docs

Today, I'm almost exclusively using Google Docs, it's a productive document management environment that is easy to share with my clients, and it allows for direct content editing amongst a large group of people.
You can highlight text, leave comments, and export content into many different formats. The collaboration feature really stands out and helps to crowdsource ideas and feedback long after you've finalized your draft.

Google Docs comes equipped with a selection of templates to choose from, significantly reducing the amount of time you need to prepare a particular piece of document. Yet, it remains brilliantly simple when it comes to writing content posts and doing general content editing.
#2

Read-Able

Content writing is fun, but it's possible to get carried away.

When working on larger pieces (2,000+ words) things start to get complicated, and it's crucial that content is easy to read, despite it being full of useful information and concepts.

Small paragraphs and brief outlines of takeaways work well when working on a big project. I always check my content against any possible readability issues, especially if I'm writing for a diverse audience.
Read-Able from WebpageFX is easy-to-use online tool that can analyze your writing for you instantly. It accepts direct URL's, or you can copy paste your text directly onto the site.

Another similar tool is Hemingway, which differs in that it provides a more direct approach to editing your content in the browser, with suggestions and tips on how to structure your content for optimal readability.

Project Management

#3

Trello

Trello stands out with a simplicity of use, and a unique boards-style design that won't take you even an hour to understand and learn how to use.

You can organize your Trello Boards to streamline the process of writing content, so that you can differentiate from content that is already written but needs editing, and content that you've already written, and it's ready for publishing.
You can create a smooth content editorial experience for yourself and your team, while enjoying well-designed collaboration features that can be used to invite your clients, or members of your team, to help with the publishing process. The only difference between other platforms is that Trello can be tailored to be used in many other contexts, not just streamlining your content writing. Journalists, content marketers, and editors can increase their productivity by delegating tasks on a Trello board. To learn more about Trello itself, its anatomy and best practices to use it check this useful guide by Time Doctor.
#4

CoSchedule

If you're an established writer with a lot of clients to manage, you may want to consider signing up for CoSchedule – a more distinct editorial calendar platform that's perfect for managing writing projects.
Through scheduling content with individual steps, you can put your time to better use by not having to worry about missing deadlines, or forgetting to finish a major piece of content.
"CoSchedule makes it super easy to manage our team of internal and external contributors. We can assign content, comment and share files nearly effortlessly...Contributors can create the content in a Google Doc, then just attach it, check off that they've submitted it and boom! the workflow begins! It's awesome."
Kim Stiglitz Courvoisier

Visual Content

Whether it's quotes, charts, or simple stock images – adding visual imagery to your content will increase engagement many times over.

Infographics, in particular work really well for generating links back to your content, but they can be expensive to create, and typically free infographic tools can be limited to a freemium model.

All's not lost though as some of my most favorite visual content tools are free to use and provide plenty of ways for me to create engaging visual imagery to compliment my content with.
#5

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a visual image management platform that you can use to quickly create witty quotes and similar imagery for your content posts, and also for social media sharing.
You can yield inspiration from the Inspirational Gallery, but one other feature worth mentioning is Video Creation. Through combining clips, photographs, and custom music, you can quickly create engaging videos that complement your content.

Needless to say, the price tag is free, and it's an absolutely must have tool for any content creator who understands the value of visual content.
#6

Canva

Canva is perhaps one of the most complex and complete visual design platforms that are hosted directly on the web.

From infographics, to banners and social media posts, there is little this platform cannot do, and the fact that it is all done in your browser makes it that much more appealing.
Perhaps the most striking feature of them all is Canva's ability to deliver the same visual design experience across many different devices simultaneously, including mobile and tablet.

This means that the next time you're stuck on a long train ride, you can prepare visual content for whatever is next on your publishing schedule.
#7

Pixabay

Featured photos for blog posts, in-body visuals to complement an idea, there's always room for visuals in your written content.

While we could talk about hundreds of free stock photo sites, the best one of them all is Pixabay. Not only because it offers more than 900,000 free photos and vector art, but also because a majority of other stock sites source their images directly from Pixabay API.
Videos, icons, photographs, digital art, it's all there, and it's free to use in whichever way necessary for you. I can't even begin to fathom a number of times I have used Pixabay content in my projects, so rest assured it's a time-tested service and quality is impeccable.

Summary

You are the content creator, so it comes down to understanding what makes your workflow more productive. I have grown to love all of the mentioned tools on this list, and I'm sure that gradually that list is going to expand.

Share your favorites tools that you know are essential for being a better content crafter, there really are no limits for ways we can utilize our time and creativity, so I hope that you were able to take away something from my list.

If it's not enough for you, look through First Site Guide list of best blogging tools and resources, there're lots of great tools to choose from.

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