Life as a content marketer and copywriter can be busy. Managing multiple roles, such as writing blogs, guides, social media posts, researching and planning content for clients as well as writing content for my business, it can be chaotic.
Luckily, tech is a marketer’s best friend. Streamlining processes and speeding up tasks that would otherwise take a lot of time.
Here is a run-down of the tools and apps that I frequently use in my content marketing and copywriting work:
I’ve been using Microsoft Word for decades and as a word processor it’s fine, But, if like me, you frequently have to share documents with others, then Word doesn’t cut it, whereas Google Docs is ideal.
A web-based platform, Google Docs allows you to create, edit and share information with multiple people. Any changes you make to a document are automatically saved, with the document being available as a printable download.
It’s accessible everywhere on a phone, tablet and PC as long as you have an internet connection. And, it’s free! Unlike Word which you have to purchase as part of a bulk package from Microsoft.
Crafting written content that flows and which is interesting and engaging is hard work. Sometimes, we all need a helping hand, including us writers.
When I need a second opinion on something I’ve written I use Hemingway.
A web-based platform, you can copy text into the app or type into it directly to get instant feedback. It highlights if your sentences are too long, or too complex – meaning people will struggle to understand it. It even tells you if you’re writing in a passive voice.
Another tool for making your writing better. And, I’ve got to say, I think this is my most used app. Even as a copywriter, I sometimes still need help with my grammar and to sharpen my text.
You can either upload text to the site or install the browser extension and check text as you type.
There are two versions of Grammarly, the free and the paid-for version – premium subscriptions. I use the free version. This checks my text for spelling mistakes, grammar errors as well as offering suggestions to make sentences flow better.
Of course, the premium subscriptions come with an array of additional features, such as suggestions for improving readability, and vocabulary suggestions and a plagiarism checker – in case you’re writing unintentionally sounds like someone else’s.
If you want the additional features that come with the Premium subscription, packages start from $29.95 a month or $59.95 for 3 months.
If you manage social media accounts, you know how much time it can take. If you use multiple platforms, it doesn’t make sense to be posting and managing comments, etc. manually – you wouldn’t have much time to anything else.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool. This means you can use it to post to multiple platforms from one dashboard, you can schedule posts in advance and access analytics from within the tool.
Since finding Hootsuite I haven’t used anything, even though there are several alternatives out there.
I find it incredibly easy to use and it offers a free version, which many other social media management tools don’t do. I use the free version, and this allows me to connect three social networks. This is perfect for me as I only use two social networks, LinkedIn and Twitter, but I understand it’s limiting if you use more than three.
Hootsuite do offer Pro plans and these start from £25 per month and of course the more you pay the more networks you can add, the more users you can have on one account, and you also get access to a wealth of other features.
Sharing your website links across social media and email is key to driving web traffic and getting people interested in your content. But, sharing long URLs on social posts can take up valuable characters and it also looks messy.
For shortening URLs, I use Bitly. It’s got a smart and user-friendly dashboard, which gives me access to click-through rates as well as being able to shorten and customise shortened URLs. This feature is particularly useful if you’re tracking visitors to the same page but from different sources.
I currently use the free version, but if you’re managing a team or want access to more features, there are paid-for versions, which start from $29 per month.
Canva is my go-to site for creating graphics for my website, social media and marketing.
I’ve used Photoshop (a long time ago!) and I found it incredibly difficult to use. Canva, on the other hand, is user-friendly (their templates are amazing) and they provide access to thousands of copyright images, so you don’t have to scour the internet.
I use Canva three or four times a week to resize images, to overlay images with text and to create branded social media posts. But you can use it for much more than this, like producing flyers, CV’s, brochures, business cards, infographs… the list goes on.
If you want your website to be found online, you’ve got to invest in SEO, particularly optimising your content for search engines.
Keyword research is key to creating SEO optimised content, and Ubersuggests is a great alternative to Google’s keyword planner – which can be clunky to use.
Ubersuggests was bought by SEO guru, Neil Patel in 2018 and he’s been busy adding new features to the tool.
Enter a keyword e.g. content marketing, to see how many searches are carried out each month for the word, to get an average cost per click – if you’re interested in doing some paid advertising, to find related keyword searches and ideas for content.
You can even enter a competitor’s URL to see what keywords are working well for them. You can take this information and great even better content to get ahead of them.
You get all these features from one site for free. Amazing!
WordPress is a content management system. It’s a tool that allows you to build and manage a website without knowing how to code.
Like anything it takes time to get used to, but once you’re confident with it, it’s easy to use. And, it’s suitable for all sorts of sites; eCommerce, portfolios, blogs, membership sites…
The WordPress.org software is free to download but it requires you to have an account with a web host to install it on.
WordPress.com is owned and hosted by WordPress. So, there’s no downloading and installing of the software or paying a third party for web hosting.
The main difference between the two is that with WordPress.org you get access to all the WordPress features and you own the site. Whereas, you’re limited (unless you pay to upgrade) with what you can do on a WordPress.com site.
I like to have full control of my website, so I use WordPress.org.
We’ve all got hectic lives, so why not take advantage of the tech that can make things simpler.
If you think I’ve missed something off this list, let me know by sending me a message. If you want to hear more about my content marketing and copywriting services, get in touch to arrange a time for an initial chat.
You can find out about content marketing in my ebook ‘Content Marketing Guide for Busy Business Owners. Sign up to get your free copy.