Are you starting to build your content marketing tech stack, and you have no idea which tools to choose? Or maybe you’re just overwhelmed by the plethora of tools that are available. In this article, I’m about to share with you 15 of my favorite content marketing tools that you can start using today.
By the end of this article, you’re going to have both free and paid tools that you can use for keyword research, outlining as well as content management.
Keyword and topic research tools
1. Keywords Everywhere
The first tool I’m going to go over is Keywords Everywhere. And the reason why I like keywords everywhere is because they’re super cheap and they’re easy to use. It takes just seconds to get set up and immediately you’re going to get things like the search volume, as well as the average CPCs for all sorts of long tail keywords that you might be researching.
Today, there’s a ton of Keywords Everywhere copycats. Some of them pitching their product as free, but personally, I haven’t found a better keyword research tool for initial preliminary research than Keywords Everywhere. They’re also super affordable. For just $10 you get a ton of credits that lasts for a really long time.
I reload my account maybe once every nine months or so. And that’s personally good enough for me to support keyword research for a ton of niche sites I run as well as business projects and personal projects. If you don’t want to pay for Keywords Everywhere, some alternatives that you can explore are Google autocomplete, Keyword Planner, LSIGraph, as well as Keyword Surfer.
One thing I will say though, is avoid Long Tail Pro if you can. The reason why you’ll see a ton of advertisements for these guys is because they have a really lucrative affiliate deal that they cut for every single person that promotes their product. I personally though tried out their product. It wasn’t super easy to use and also took forever to actually get information off of the tool. So, it’s something in which I would say, give that a pass if you’re going to be looking for alternatives.
The second tool recommendation that I can give you for keyword research, as well as topic research is answerthepublic. I’ve mentioned this in a few of my content marketing videos at this point. Answerthepublic is great because they’re going to give you a couple of free searches every single day. And the reason why they’re really powerful is because they output all of the intent based questions that are frequently asked on any topic or niche that you are researching.
Another great feature of answerthepublic is that they provide you with a visual breakdown of the keywords that are related to the topic. So, this can be great if you don’t like just reading through lists and you actually want to see a visualization of how everything might look or how everything might connect to one another.
I love these guys because they’ll let you see what has previously gone viral in your space so that you can get some inspiration for your own content pieces. They have a free trial that lasts for seven days or up to a hundred searches whichever one comes first. So what you can do is sign up for a free trial. And then from there, you can do all your research during that time period and get some really great ideas as to pieces that have a higher probability of going viral.
This is my favorite way of finding evergreen content. And this is something that I will always do when I’m taking on a new niche, trying to understand the ins and outs of what readers in this particular area care about.
4. Keyworddit or QuestionDB
This tool searches through any Reddit for all the relevant phrases that commonly come up within any community. So, this is a great way for you to do some initial research if you don’t know much about a particular space or you’re looking for particular keywords that are frequently used by different people in this particular topic that you’re talking about. I would recommend using this if you’re not super comfortable using Google search operators, such as site: or in title: otherwise though you will find that this tool is pretty basic in terms of the results that it’ll give you.
5. Scraper plugin
I love this plugin for two big reasons. The first one is because it makes it super easy for you to scrape the people also ask section as well as the things that people also search for from just the default Google results. The second reason why I really liked this plugin though, is because it makes it super easy for you to scrape the headers that your competitors are using as you start doing some market research and understanding what sort of topics you’re going to write about and what areas your competitors are not fully addressing and what they are addressing.
So, what I like to do is I like to pull up three to five top ranking posts and then understand what all of their headers are, identify commonality as well as differences, and then see where there are opportunities for me to create epic evergreen content.
I love this tool because it’s a great way for you to copy an article by your competitor or input the URL of your competitor and figure out how many words they wrote about that particular topic. It’s important for me to give a disclaimer here, though, which is just writing a ton of words on a topic doesn’t necessarily guarantee your ability to rank on page one.
That being said, though, it is significantly easier to rank for page one when you have a substantive enough content relative to the competition, than a situation where you have less content than the competition. So, I like to use this tool to figure out how long people typically write about a particular topic and then I’ll usually add a couple of hundred words on top of that in my own evergreen content post.
Now that we’ve covered some keyword, as well as topic research tools, let’s dig into the next phase of content marketing, which is the actual writing process.
Content writing tools
1. Hemingway Editor
The reason why I like Hemingway Editor is because makes it super easy for you to see which sentences of yours are potentially way too complicated and could be simplified. Writing simply is a really difficult skill to pull off sometimes, especially when it comes to business writing. But it’s something in which Hemingway Editor has got your back.
It’s also a free resource that you can use at any time. And so all you need to do is go to their website, input your texts, and then they’ll output the results as well as the estimated reading level of the writing that you have input.
I love Grammarly because it allows me to catch some grammatical errors as well as typos that may have been not been picked up by the classic Microsoft word autocorrect. Two big advantages of the premium plan is that it’ll account for even more commonly made advanced grammatical mistakes that people make. And also it has a plagiarism checker, which can save you on spending money on some other tools.
If you are looking for an alternative, though, when it comes to checking for plagiarism, I also use Copyscape and it is a pay-per-use platform in which it only costs you a couple of cents to do so. But what it does is it searches your text against all of the web.
Some major benefits to Grammarly though, is that at this point they’re super easy to use and they have a full on experience in web browsers, as well as in word editors, which makes it great for teams in terms of scaling out some production of content, as well as ensuring that you are minimizing your mistakes.
3. Headline Analyzer by the Advanced Marketing Institute
The reason why I like this tool is because of it doesn’t require any registration and allows you to see how good your headline is. This is a useful tool because it has a ton of applications. If you’re a YouTube creator looking for a catchy video title, you can plug it into the headline analyzer.
If you’re trying to name your next blog article, you can also do that. It pretty much just makes it easy for you to tell whether or not you are drawing on this sort of emotions or feelings that you want your own audience to have when they are experiencing your headline. Another alternative that I’ve personally used in the past is CoSchedule’s headline analyzer. That being said, though, I think they put it behind a login screen now. So, you actually have to create an account in order to use that particular tool.
Now, let’s dig into two of my top recommendations when it comes to graphic tools.
The first tool I can’t talk enough about is Canva. The reason why is because it’s free to create an account and with the free account, you can pretty much do anything you need when it comes to some basic design or marketing needs. Whether it’s creating a flyer, a blog graphic, YouTube thumbnail, or a YouTube end card, you can do it all in Canva. Two of the big benefits to Canva is it’s super easy to use, and they have a ton of existing templates that make it super easy for you to plug and go.
It’s not like those Microsoft templates that look like they were made all the way back in the nineties. Canva is super modern and sleek. I use Canva for all of my blog featured images. And what I’ll do is I’ll create a baseline template that my virtual assistant then builds upon for all the different posts that they have to create.
What I’ll also do is I’ll put together some downloadables. For example, any downloadable on my YouTube channel was created first in Canva. And then what I’ll do is I’ll have my virtual assistant help me out in creating other versions of different downloads using that same core template.
2. Pixabay and Unsplash
The reason why I love these two sites is because they have some really high definition and quality stock images that don’t give off that traditional stocky feel. So it can be a really great way for you to break up some texts that you have in a long form blog post, or to just work in some B-roll into your YouTube videos if you’re a creator. I use Unsplash a ton for my videos thumbnails, B-roll, as well as a ton of blog content that I prepare and create content for.
The reason why I love Notion is because it is a full suite tool for productivity. So, it is a great way for you to get your thoughts organized for you to create Kanban boards for your teams and also to create different databases that you can reference really easily. It is like the combination of Trello, Asana, Airtable, and a ton of different productivity tools all in one.
So what I did a few weeks ago was I migrated all of my boards and Trello into Notion using their auto importer. And as a result, my team productivity has significantly increased. It makes it super easy for you to collaborate between team members, to leave comments on different work, as well as to incorporate different sources of information.
For example, I had these virtual assistant SOP guides and Google docs, and I would have them links to these video recordings that I had done in Loom. However, Notion makes this even better of an experience for my virtual assistant, because it allows me to embed a Loom video into the actual notion page itself. It is super cool and it’s free to use. And so I definitely recommend Notion if you have not already tried them out.
2. Google Sheets
The second tool that I recommend when it comes content marketing is Google sheets. And the reason why is because it has some great collaboration features and also it’s great for people that don’t want to necessarily introduce new tooling to their freelancers. So, Google sheets can be a great way for you to run block audits, to run different analysis based on your Google analytics data, or to simply get your content marketing all in one place.
Another benefit of Google sheets is that you can integrate it with something like Zapier. And as a result, when certain things move along in a particular tool, you can have it feed into Google sheets and update the status of a particular cell or column.
I still use these sorts of free integrations with some of my older projects that are still on Trello, that I haven’t yet moved over to Notion. So, I highly recommend Google sheets when it comes to getting back to the basics of getting organized.
Zapier allows you to talk between applications that you already use and allows you to set up triggers for each different core action that happens in one app to impact something in another app. All of its integrations makes it super easy to talk between applications. So, one of the integrations I still have between my old Trello boards and my Google sheets is that whenever somebody moves a Trello card to us certain stage in the pipeline or the Kanban board, what happens is Zapier triggers an event. And as a result, it will mark that particular content marketing piece as complete or ready for approval in my content tracker.
Now you have to note that their free account has been throttled quite a bit in recent years. That being said, though, you’ll still have a few connections enough so to get started and get familiar with the tool.
SEMRush is my absolute favorite digital marketing tool. The reason why I love SEMRush and I’ve been a user for so many years is because it gives so many insights, all in one place. It’ll allows you to see, for example, how a domain is ranking for a certain organic keywords, identify different long tail opportunities that your site may be missing. It also equips you with tools like the Keyword Magic Tool, which pretty much does everything that those first six tools did at the beginning of this video that we went over.
So it’s an all in one solution and it also even goes as far as analyzes your content, when you copy and paste your content into their SEO content marketing toolkit. What it’ll actually do is it will tell you things like the readability score. It’ll tell you things like what keywords to work in that aren’t already worked in to your piece. So, it effectively does a ton of the things that we’ve covered in this video, but all on one site.
There are some alternatives to SEMRush, such as Ahrefs that you can use or MOZ that I’ve referenced in the past. But personally, I’ve always stuck with SEMRush because I’ve always been able to get results with them.
However, I’ve teamed up with them to have a special link in which if you use this affiliate link here, you’re going to get a trial that’s double the length of the standard trial. It’s a great way for you to get a feel for the tool itself. And then to see what it’s like to have a Swiss army knife when it comes to content marketing tools.
In the spirit of giving you guys a ton of value. If you run out of your trial with SEMRush and you decide not to continue with them, but you still want to get use out of a paid SEO tool, then check out Moz next. They have a free trial that you can then use after your SEMRush trial. Also, if you’re looking for another free alternative, you can use something like Ubersuggest.
That being said, I personally don’t use Ubersuggest because it requires you to grant permissions to your Google Analytics that I’m personally not comfortable with. However, it is a free tool that is, is aiming to be a competitor to these paid tools. So by all means, check it out and see for yourself whether or not it can meet your needs.
Two big takeaways from today’s article:
- The first one is that remember that there is always a free option. I’ve included a free tool for every category of tool that we’ve gone over today. So, don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money in order to do digital marketing effectively.
- The second big takeaway is don’t worry if the free tool you use today ultimately becomes paid. The reality is that there is simply too much money to be made in the digital marketing space for the 1% of users that ultimately pay for a tool. That’s there are going to be a ton of alternatives and competitors that pop up for a particular function.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning about this list of tools.