Our 4 Favourite Tools for Creating Better Content
Content has come such a long way. I can still remember the awful days of being a junior copywriter and having to churn out 500-word articles in under an hour. It was an ignorant and stupid way to create anything. But at the time I was young, I needed money, and my job was to deliver as many search-optimised blogs per a day as possible.
I remember sitting with my other young colleagues. These people would grow up to be journalists, publishers, successful writers, and heads of departments. Yet here they were working away in a content farm. Churning out content as invigorating or informative as a Pauly Shore film.
I am so glad those days are gone. Brands and organisations now embrace content as a crucial way to communicate with their audience. As a result, there's been a flood of remarkable new tools and resources helping content marketers create better work.
Here are four of our every day, absolutely crucial, would cry if they weren't there, tools for better content.
Content creators and bloggers are taking a journalistic approach to their work. This often means seeking out other sources to help inform your work. Source Bottle is our go-to tool for seeking out other industry or topic experts. If we’re writing about workplace security for a client we might want to speak to business owners, HR experts or employment lawyers. All we do is fill out a quick form and Source Bottle delivers the callout via their vast email network and popular Twitter account. These contacts often, also, help us promote any content we’re working on. We do this by encouraging anyone sourced to share the content with their own network; or, to republish a snippet or short blog linking back to the content on their own publishing platforms.
We’ve been with Canva since beta mode. At first, we used the tool to make all our social media objects. Their pre-formatted designs are elegant and easy to customise, making it one of the quickest way to get out small design work. We now use it for creating our article-lead images, small infographics, visual quotes, presentations and internal documents. Our graphic designer is often crazy busy creating beautiful websites, but Canva is so simple that even a graphic design dunce like myself can use it. My devotion to Canva cannot be overstated.
Images are so important. But there are few businesses that can afford to have a photography budget encompassing all their visual needs. So time and again we’d resort to stock photography. Sometimes you can find a gem. But more often than not the images are so lame, it’s woeful. The most stock photography would give us is a laugh at how absurd or awkward it was. Then, like a white knight, came Death to Stock. Their subscription packages deliver beautiful, professional photos right to your inbox. These photos are good. Genuinely good! Every time I get them I get excited thinking about how and where I could use them.
In the same vein is Life of Pix. This website provides you with free-to-use images from professional photographers. They’re evocative, emotive and contemporary, which is really what good content is all about.
For me these four tools help make everything better and every day easier. They solve some of the big issues for content marketers everywhere – research, amplification, engagement and style – I shudder to think of my days before them.
What tools help you create better content?
Looking for more? Read ‘6 Tips for Good Content in 2015’