Using the right tools for your small biz is vital to developing an effective content marketing strategy. So don’t just jump on any old fad or flail around in the dark! I have compiled a list of the BEST tools and resources to get you started.
And how do I know they are the best? Because I research them and use them every single day in my own business (as well as for my many happy clients). I have done the hard yards for you. All you need to do is sit back with a cuppa and read through this list! ☕📝
Grab the handy list of tools here:
Always a first port of call for me! When you type in a question, keyword or key phrase not only will you see what people are searching for and asking but SO MANY articles pop up. It is a great source of inspiration and also helps clarify your own keywords.
Have you heard of “social listening”?
It is very simple. You listen to what your audience is saying on your social media profiles and what types of content they are engaging with. Take note of what questions they are asking as this will help you identify what they want and need!
Bonus: jump onto your competitors social media profiles and see what their audience is saying too!
Public forums, Quora, Reddit and Answer The Public
These places are a great spot to see what people are asking and provide insight into what they NEED.
I love BuzzSumo! Not only does this powerful tool provide insight into your own social media, it provides you with heaps of information about trending topics in your niche/industry! BuzzSumo can also give you insight into your competitors and what content is performing well.
70 Blog Post Ideas.
What sort of small biz owner would I be if I didn’t plug my own content?
You can head to the blog post here outlining 70 blog post ideas, or download them here. They are categorised into the 4 EASE pillars, designed to step your target audience through from complete stranger to a loyal and repeat customer….cha ching!
Keyword Research and Planning:
Google Keyword Planner
This one is totally free, and usually the first one I turn to. Google Keyword Planner helps you find out which terms generate the most traffic, or are searched the most.
This is a handy tool to find out what search phrases are trending, where they are trending and how often it is searched.
Neil Patel is a content marketing guru! He is Ah.Mah.Zing.
He created UberSuggest for keyword research. It is so easy to use, yet so powerful.
Another powerful competitor analysis and keyword research tool. SEMrush is a fantastic tool to help your SEO.
Moz is a great tool to monitor keywords on your website and where you rank for them. You can also check out your competitors!
Once you have researched and chosen your keyword, Yoast is a great website plugin that helps you boost SEO and readability scores. This will not only improve your writing, but your website content and search rankings!
Yoast is one of my all time favourite tools to use! They also have fantastic tips and blog posts to help you learn more about SEO.
Your headline is one of the most important parts of content to nail. It is what makes people stop scrolling and hit read, so you have to get it right.
The following headline generator and analysers help you create a powerful and compelling headline:
- Sharethrough headline analyser (my personal favourite)
- CoSchedule Headline analyser
- Emotional Market Value Headline Analyser
- SEOPressors Blog Title Generator
You need somewhere to publish all your amazing blog posts and showcase your webpages, right?
Here are the two that I use (and love):
WordPress – great blog content and website platform. Has a HEAP of tools to help you build an amazing website.
Siteground* – I love this platform for hosting my website. It is SO easy to use, and their customer service is amazing.
*Please note this is a REFERRAL link. But don’t let that deter you. I would not recommend a product I have not used and did not love myself!
Content and Project Management Tools:
Asana (my personal favourite)
Asana is a planning and organisation tool to manage workflow and project management. I use it for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! The best part…it is free. You can upgrade to the paid version, however you have so much functionality with the free option why would you?
Trello is similar to asana, however I found it wasn’t as user friendly.
Everybody is different, so your best bet is to try them both and see which appeals to you the most. (cough, Asana).
A note-taking software that can help you keep track of ideas and resources. You can break them up into “notebooks” for different categories and purposes. I find Evernote is super handy for when you are on the go. I have the app on my phone and can quickly add notes and ideas without having to open a document or pull out a diary and pen.
Everyone should have Google Drive! This is where I store all my files and documents (backed up on an external hard drive of course). But the best part is you can share documents, spreadsheets etcetera with others.
Content Planner Template
Asana helps with due dates and breaking projects down, but a content planner is where you can get an overview of your content ideas and plan when you will publish them.
Anybody who is creating content for their business NEEDS a content planner. Grab this handy one that I use every single day in my own biz (as well as for many happy clients).
Having an Email Service Provider (ESP) is vital for every small business. You need to start cultivating an engaged list so that you ALWAYS have access to your audience (because we cannot rely on social media platforms).
Email lists are an amazing way to connect with your customers, give them discounts and loyalty bonuses and market your business. Have you started an email list yet?
I am a recent convert to Kajabi, and love, love LOVE it! It is an all-in-one platform where I can create landing pages, thank you pages, courses, email sequences, emails and so much more!
Their customer service is amazing and it is so easy to set up automations and email campaigns.
*Please note this is an AFFILIATE link. But don’t let that deter you. I would not recommend a product I have not used and did not love myself!
I have used Mailchimp in the past. It is free up to 1000 subscribers so is great for when you are just starting out. I found it difficult to get started due to the learning curve, but once over that initial hump it was great.
Another email provider I have used in the past (right before Kajabi) was ConvertKit. It was easy to use, and again free up to 1000 subscribers. It was easy to set up branding, landing pages, free offers and OptIns.
Graphics, Images and design:
Create amazing images for your blog posts, social media posts and Pinterest:
- Canva (my personal favourite)
Social Media Scheduling:
Later is a great tool for Instagram scheduling! I use the free option and love it.
You can preview what your feed is going to look like so it helps keep it on track and consistent.
*please note this is a REFERRAL link, where if you sign up we both get a few extra free posts per month. But don’t let that deter you. I would not recommend a product I have not used and did not love myself!
I use the native scheduling tool. It is free and simple to use! Two of my favourite things. 🤣
I organise my content planning using Asana and then Facebook to schedule the posts.
Editing is just as important as actually writing!
These apps make it so easy to edit and check your blog posts or website content:
- Grammarly – free or paid, doesn’t matter! Grammarly is amazing. You can use it online or download the app. You can even add it as a browser extension!
- Hemingway App – an amazing tool to check the readability and grammar of your content.
- Copyscape – this one is not so much about editing, but it is a great tool to check you have not accidentally plagiarised. This is an important one for if you are writing a research-heavy piece of content. Sometimes, without meaning to, you may “copy” someone else’s work.
Tools and Templates
And here is a list of the EXACT tools and templates I use all the time!
(Just a heads up: these are templates and tools I have developed, so some of the links will ask you to sign up to my subscriber list before you can gain access.)
- Buyer Persona + Buyer Journey Map.
- Content Planner.
- Content Creation for Small Biz – A Community for Boss Ladies.
- Mastering Content Marketing: an essential guide for small biz mums.
- The 4 EASE Pillars mini-course.
And if you want this amazing list of tools and resources, you can download it here!
Loved this post? Found it helpful? Don’t forget to share it, Pin it and/or drop into the comments! I love to hear from you all (plus who doesn’t love the extra SEO juice from having you all share and comment). 🤭😉
May your days be full of joy, compelling content, and plenty of coffee! ☕😊