Creating content material is not all the time a stroll within the park. (In actual fact, it could possibly generally really feel extra like attempting to swim in opposition to the present.)
Whereas different components of enterprise and advertising and marketing have gotten more and more automated, content material creation continues to be a really handbook job.
That being stated, there are many instruments on the market to make creating content material a lot simpler.
Beneath, you may discover a checklist of 36 incredible instruments and sources that will help you analysis, write, edit, and design content material extra simply. (You will discover there are quite a lot of design instruments in right here — that is as a result of visible content material is commonly the a part of the content material creation course of the place individuals get probably the most nervous and annoyed. So don’t fret, we have a ton in there for you.)
Let’s get began.
36 Free Instruments & Assets to Make Content material Creation Simpler
1) Google Drive Research Tool
Google not too long ago added a instrument to Drive that permits you to conduct Google searches with out ever leaving your Drive window. All it’s important to do is click on “Instruments” from the menu bar and select “Analysis” from the dropdown menu.
It is a useful Google hack I take advantage of on daily basis. Mainly, it permits you to do a Google search that is restricted to a specific web site.
For instance, if I wished to look HubSpot’s weblog for advertising and marketing sources so I can cite one in all our outdated weblog posts, I would do a website:seek for weblog.hubspot.com with the search time period advertising and marketing sources. The method for website search is website:samplewebsite.com [search query]. So my instance can be website:weblog.hubspot.com advertising and marketing sources.
3) Google Webmaster Tools
Doing web optimization and key phrase analysis? Your advertising and marketing software program ought to have the ability to assist. But when it could possibly’t (otherwise you’d like to enhance your information), Google’s Webmaster Instruments could be a nice assist. You possibly can examine issues just like the variety of listed pages in your web site, submit your website to Google so that you’re getting crawled and listed, and even disavow unhealthy inbound hyperlinks. It additionally can provide you info on search queries which have a big quantity of impressions however low clickthrough price.
Inside Google Webmaster Instruments, go to “Your website on the net” and select “Search queries.” You will see a desk exhibiting a search question, impressions, clicks, and clickthrough price (CTR). Evaluating this information to your different analytics information may help uncover some alternatives.
4) Percentage Change Calculator
I am unable to even start to inform you how helpful this little calculator is when searching for and analyzing information. Ever need to know the share change of two values with out having to recollect the method? Merely enter the 2 values into this calculator, and it will spit out the share change. Belief me, you may need to bookmark this one.
Listed here are a couple of different useful calculators:
- 3-Way Percentage Calculator – Calculates solutions to those questions: What’s X% of Y? X is what p.c of Y? X is Y% of what?
- Conversion Rate Calculator – Spits out a conversion price once you enter the entire customer depend throughout a particular timeframe and the variety of occasions throughout that timeframe these guests took a particular motion.
- A/B Test Calculator – Works for a fundamental state of affairs with two teams of individuals (A & B) who get to see one model of your web site and for whom you monitor the variety of conversions or objectives (purchases, downloads, clickthroughs, and many others.).
- ROI Calculator – Analyzes your web site’s month-to-month gross sales and lead technology efforts to find out methods by which advertising and marketing efforts could be optimized.
Atlas is Quartz‘s information heart, and it is chock-full of graphs, charts, and information visualizations. You possibly can seek for virtually any subject or key phrase, and Atlas may have a graphic based mostly on latest analysis information for you. It is a useful gizmo to get background info on a subject you are researching, or to search out contemporary information to make use of in a undertaking you are engaged on. This is a chart based mostly on information from early 2016:
6) Search in a Giphy
You already know that coworker who all the time appears to search out the right animated GIFs to your social posts or inner chat consumer? With the free Giphy Chrome extension, you’ll discover nice GIFs simply as shortly.
To make use of the instrument, all it’s important to do is open the extension in Chrome, search, select a GIF, and drag and drop. To date, the instrument works in Gmail, Twitter, Fb, and extra — they usually’re continuously increasing assist.
I take advantage of the free model of Evernote each single day. From to-do lists and analysis notes to writing complete chunks of articles, it is confirmed useful at each step of the writing and enhancing course of.
One nice function? Its cellular, desktop, and internet apps sync robotically so long as you have got an web connection. (And should you work offline, it’s going to sync the following time you have got web.) Plus — and that is tremendous essential for content material creators like us — it is continuously saving and syncing your work robotically, making it a secure place to write down and retailer concepts.
Use it to maintain a working checklist of concepts, take notes, retailer inspiring articles or ebooks, or plan your editorial and social media publishing calendars.
In the event you like drafting weblog posts in applications like Microsoft Phrase, Evernote, or Google Drive as a substitute of your content material administration system (CMS), then this easy instrument could be your finest pal. Why? As a result of once you copy a doc from Microsoft Workplace and paste it into your CMS, a number of little, bizarre formatting points can crop up in your HTML.
Word2CleanHTML applies filters to repair all these issues added into the HTML, leading to well-formatted HTML you may paste immediately into an internet web page CMS. Merely paste in your draft, click on one button, after which copy the ensuing HTML straight from the instrument. Once you paste that into your CMS (most may have buttons studying “HTML” or “</>” of their instrument bar above your draft), it’ll seem good and clear. No hair-pulling or swimming by means of code required.
There isn’t any “proper reply” for how long a blog post should be. So long as it serves its objective — whether or not that is thought management, driving leads, explaining a brand new idea, or one thing else — size does not matter. However though we do not advocate writing weblog posts with a phrase depend in thoughts, generally phrase depend can come in useful. WordCounter works precisely the way in which you assume it does: Paste in your content material and it will spit out precisely what number of phrases you have got.
In accordance with a study out of the University of Chicago, “A average degree of ambient noise is conducive to inventive cognition.” In different phrases, being the tiniest bit distracted really helps you be extra inventive. That is why for many individuals, myself included, white noise helps promote focus.
There are quite a lot of white noise turbines on the market, however my favourite is Cofftivity. This explicit one presents continuous café background sounds at various intensities, from “Morning Murmur” and “College Undertones” to “Lunchtime Lounge” and “Brazil Bistro.” It is accessible on the net and as an app on iOS and Android.
11) & 12) Zerys & eLance
Want to begin creating content material however haven’t got the bandwidth? We hear about this roadblock so much. One solution to get round it’s by hiring freelancers from respected marketplaces like Zerys or eLance. These sources offer you entry to expert freelance writers who can write weblog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and different items of written content material for you.
13) HTML Hacks for Marketers
Whereas this is not strictly a writing useful resource, fundamental coding information is shortly becoming a must-have skill for the fashionable marketer — bloggers and written content material creators included. However studying from scratch could be daunting. The place on earth do you begin?
In the event you’re a complete newbie, begin with HTML Hacks for Marketers, which my colleagues at HubSpot created with Codeacademy. It’s going to train you fast however helpful hacks anybody — no matter coding information — can use of their advertising and marketing. For instance, you may learn to make small modifications to HTML like altering headers and spacing, creating textual content in block-quote type, and inserting social share hyperlinks. My private favourite is the hack to vary font colours.
As soon as you have mastered these fundamental HTML expertise, transfer on to Codeacademy’s free interactive courses. They discovered a solution to make studying HTML and CSS really enjoyable — and you’ll undergo every lesson at your individual tempo.
14) Blog Topic Generator
If you could get to writing weblog posts however aren’t positive of an angle or title to get your creativity shifting, HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator can do the be just right for you. Merely enter a couple of key phrases that your weblog focuses on, and the Weblog Subject Generator will produce per week’s value of titles and subject concepts for you. It may not produce the ultimate title of your weblog publish, but it surely helps get you occupied with inventive new angles for matters you have written about earlier than.
Listed here are the weblog publish titles I acquired after I entered “content material,” “inbound advertising and marketing,” and “running a blog”:
15) Blog Post Templates
All weblog posts aren’t created equal, however we have discovered that there are steps you may take to make your posts complete and shareable. With these blog post templates, we’ll stroll you thru a top level view to write down profitable how-to, listicle, newsjack, and curation weblog posts. As an alternative of ranging from scratch, you may save time and, hopefully, nail your weblog objectives.
For Content material Editors
16) Editorial Calendar Template
Making a balanced editorial calendar could be robust, particularly if you do not have one centralized calendar that you just and your workforce can confer with. To avoid wasting you time and headache, we have created editorial calendar templates for Google Calendar, Google Sheets, and Excel that you may fill in and share together with your workforce to begin the following month or yr off on the precise foot.
17) & 18) Grammarly & Correctica
Whereas human editors will have the ability to catch most grammatical errors, enhancing instruments like Grammarly and Correctica are nice instruments for triple-checking earlier than you press “publish” or “ship.” Each free instruments examine for grammatical errors — and Grammarly even checks for plagiarism.
19) Hemingway App
Ernest Hemingway, admired for his succinct writing fashion, is the namesake for this useful enhancing app. Wish to make your written content material simpler to learn? Paste your content material into this free internet app, and it will assess your writing and determine alternatives to make it easier.
My favourite options embody figuring out passive voice and hard-to-read sentences. Take a look at the right-hand aspect of the screenshot beneath, the place the instrument has summed up how readable my writing is with a grade. (Some room for enchancment right here.) Their suggestion to enhance readability general? Shoot for decrease than a tenth grade studying degree.
20) Headline Analyzer
This is a scary stat for you: Only 60% of people that click on into an article find yourself studying previous the headline. That makes your headline each the primary and presumably the one likelihood so that you can compel readers to maintain studying — so it’s very value it to spend the additional jiffy arising with a very good one.
What does a very good headline appear to be? The free instrument Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule can inform you. It scores your headline high quality and charges its means to drive social shares, site visitors, and web optimization worth. In my expertise, its energy helps you strengthen particular parts of your title. For instance, it studies on perceived sentiment and commonality of phrase sorts. It’s going to even present you the way it will seem in search outcomes.
So though you must take these scores and grades with a grain of salt, you need to use this to offer your headlines a “once-over.” (And read this blog post to learn more about writing awesome headlines.)
21) Nimbus Screenshot
That is one other instrument I take advantage of on daily basis. Positive, you may seize a screenshot of your complete display screen or a part of your display screen utilizing the outdated keyboard shortcut method. However what if you would like your screenshot to incorporate stuff that is not seen in your display screen?
Nimbus Screenshot helps you to seize the seen a part of an internet web page, a particular space, a particular scroll (my private favourite), the complete web page, or the complete browser window — together with all the things beneath the fold.
As soon as you have taken the screenshot, you may crop, edit (like including notes and callouts), and select to print or save to your desktop or Google Drive.
In the event you like creating stunning visual content in a very quick period of time, you may love Canva. The time and sources it takes to study design, pay for design property, and/or get impressed to create magnificence from scratch could be actually tough once you’re observing a protracted checklist of to-dos — however Canva presents an enormous library of pre-made templates and property that you may manipulate whereas additionally including your individual imagery.
Better of all, they’ve so many property and graphics accessible at no cost that you just will not should pay a cent should you do not need to. If you wish to use extra “premium” property and graphics discovered by means of their picture search, they’re going to cost you $1 for every. However there’s loads of worth at no cost.
This is an instance of one thing you may make:
Ever wished to make a picture (or infographic) clickable? ThingLink helps you to add a picture and add little icons to it that seem when an individual hovers their cursor over the picture. These icons permit customers to go to hyperlinks, watch movies, or learn messages you have written. Plus, it is simple to share: Customers can simply embed ThingLink photos. (Click here for step-by-step instructions.)
Beneath is a part of a a clickable infographic from Thinglink my colleague Ginny Mineo created for another post:
Skitch is a free app by Evernote that helps you talk extra visually. It helps you to mark up photos, digital property, PDFs, and different recordsdata with arrows, callout bins, textual content, and extra multi functional place.
Within the instance beneath, I opened this system on my desktop and used the “Display screen Snap” button to take a screenshot of an internet web page — which then opened proper in Skitch for enhancing and exporting.
Though it is free, it does require you to open an Evernote account — however that is additionally free (see above).
Whereas much like Canva, Infogram is a visible content material instrument that focuses on serving to you create infographics, charts, and information visualization. In the event you prefer to create charts utilizing Microsoft Excel, you are in luck — it additionally presents compatibility with Excel by means of Infogram Charts. Additionally, their infographics are responsive with cellular units.
26) Infographic Templates
As a content material marketer, you would possibly really feel extra snug creating written content material than visible content material, however that is no excuse to exclude infographics out of your technique. Visual content is rising in demand out of your viewers, and infographics are notably shareable. We have created the backbones of 15 completely different templates that you may simply mess around with to customise to your content material and viewers — here is a sneak peek of 1 template, and you’ll grab the rest here.
Supply: 15 Free Infographic Templates in PowerPoint
27) Google Fonts
Wish to spruce up your website pages, displays, ebooks, and different content material with cool and completely different new fonts? Little-known reality: Google has a listing of 600 free fonts prepared so that you can obtain and use.
Merely discover and choose the fonts you want from their directory, then click on “Use” to get the HTML code you may copy and paste onto your website. Alternatively, you may obtain the fonts to your desktop and use them when making new advertising and marketing content material by clicking “Add to Assortment.” (Click here for step-by-step instructions for doing this in the HubSpot software.)
28) Image Color Picker
Do not forget that time you wished to match your call-to-action design to that shade you have been utilizing on all of your occasion swag … however the one one who would know what that shade was did not work at your organization anymore? Subsequent time that occurs, snag an image of that swag and add it to ImageColorPicker.com, or use any picture URL to do the identical factor. Choose any level of the image, and instantly see its corresponding HEX, RGB, and HSV values.
29) PowerPoint Templates
Is there something extra boring than a PowerPoint presentation that includes black textual content on a white background? With the assistance of those templates, you’ll put collectively compelling, visually interesting displays. Whether or not you are driving lead technology or reporting in your weblog’s progress to your workforce, hold your viewers’s consideration with these eye-catching displays.
30) SlideShare Templates
SlideShare does not must be daunting. You possibly can simply create shareable, embeddable SlideShare presentations in PowerPoint with the assistance of those templates — no want to begin from scratch or rent a freelancer. As soon as you have created your first presentation, take a look at our information to marketing SlideShares successfully.
31) Haiku Deck
In the event you’ve ever needed to create a PowerPoint or SlideShare presentation in a pinch, you may want you knew about Haiku Deck. This instrument helps you shortly discover easy layouts, stunning photos, and nice fonts. It is accessible for the net and for iPad.
Wish to see what one seems like? Beneath’s an instance I pulled from their list of featured decks. Be aware the simplicity of the design — if you wish to create tremendous detailed slides, this might not be the precise instrument for you.
Snowed In? – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software program that evokes
32) HubSpot’s Free Stock Photos
Looking for and shopping for inventory imagery could be a ache within the you-know-what — particularly on the subject of deciphering legalese for various use instances. I’ve a liberal arts diploma, and Nietzsche was simpler to learn than no matter legalese inventory imagery firms tended to offer me. All I wished to know is whether or not to quote or not cite a inventory picture of a laptop computer. Why was it so laborious?
That is why our workforce determined to create a library of 550+ free and royalty-free stock photos. Whether or not it is a distinctive picture wanted for an e-book or that excellent picture you need to add to a weblog publish, that assortment ought to have you ever lined. This is one in all our “across the kitchen” inventory photographs — yum.
Supply: The Free Stock Photos You’ve Been Searching For
PlaceIt serves a really particular objective: It permits you to add photos of your website or product into real-world environments of individuals holding telephones, tablets, and laptops. PlaceIt will robotically alter the picture to make it seem pure with the angle of the cellphone’s display screen — which is able to prevent time studying and/or enhancing in additional superior software program to get the angle proper.
You will should pay per picture to get actually massive or high-resolution variations, although I’ve discovered free photos work simply fantastic for weblog posts and product web page content material. The paid downloads additionally take away that PlaceIt watermark from the underside proper.
Searching for the right GIF to incorporate in your weblog publish? If it does not exist already on Giphy, you may make one your self utilizing LICEcap. Movie a screenshot and switch it right into a GIF utilizing this useful, free instrument — we use LICEcap for our blog posts, too.
35) & 36) The Noun Project & HubSpot’s Resizable Icons Collection
Like with inventory photographs, one other problem content material creators face is discovering elegant icons that resize with out getting all fuzzy. There are a couple of sources on the market for excellent, resizable icons.
The Noun Project is an in depth library of 1000’s of icons uploaded by contributors. With a free account, you need to use icons so long as you both give credit score to the creator or buy them royalty-free for $1.99 apiece.
HubSpot has a library of resizeable icons, too, which you’ll be able to obtain at no cost and with none licensing or attribution. The equipment comes with a free information for find out how to change the colour of the icons utilizing PowerPoint, Photoshop, and Illustrator.
To that, we are saying …
(From HubSpot’s Free Icon Collection.)
It is Not the Wand, It is the Wizard
The instruments and sources listed above may help you create, but it surely’s in the end as much as you to manage the standard of your content material. You continue to must know your buyer extremely effectively, perceive what challenges they face that your services or products solves, and create content material that helps them deal with these challenges.
The brains and coronary heart behind the content material creator trump the code behind any instruments and know-how — and that is a great factor for succeeding in advertising and marketing at present.
What different instruments or apps do you utilize to create content material extra simply? Go away them within the feedback so we are able to lengthen this checklist proper right here!
Editor’s Be aware: This publish was initially revealed in December 2013 and has been up to date for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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