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Bloggers with months or years of experience creating content might think their pieces are doing well, but are they performing to the best of their ability? Are you sure that your writing is clear and you’re choosing the best keywords and influencers for the greatest value? The key to growth is continuous improvement, and these tools can help with that. Here are six programs, sites, and apps to take your writing to the next level and wow your audiences.
Buzzsumo has taken the content marketing world by storm because it’s easy to use and incredibly useful for achieving most of your goals. At the most basic level, BuzzSumo helps with keyword research. By looking up a specific topic, you can find the top-performing content for the past few months or year. The social sharing data and limit by time frame actually gives it a leg up over Google, which is typically trying to answer your queries, not show you which pieces performed best.
BuzzSumo can also be used for influencer marketing purposes. Once you find a few articles that went viral last year, check to see who shared them. By identifying who has the most followers and who drove the most traffic, you can find people to target with your outreach efforts. For example, a BuzzFeed article is going to generate thousands of shares on its own. But a company blog could quickly go viral if an industry leader shares it with their thousands of followers.
Image via Flickr by zimpenfish
Headlines take a matter of seconds to write, but they can have a dramatic impact on your content’s performance. After all, if you can’t get readers to click on your headline, then the rest of your content goes unread. All of the time and effort you spent researching and writing is for naught.
When you run your headline through the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, you’re given a score based on effectiveness. The software tool highlights uncommon words that attract attention, emotional appeals that make readers want to learn more, and power words that drive change. The tool also offers headline tips to make sure you hit the right length and reading level for your audience. The best part is that you can adjust and improve your headlines in just a few minutes, and in turn, see an increase in the number of clicks and eyes that see your content.
Anyone who has looked into the works of Ernest Hemingway has experienced his penchant for long sentences. What actually became known as “the Hemingway style” introduces a short sentence followed by a long one. Interestingly, this form is also known for its lack of clarity, something content marketers try to avoid.
The Hemingway Editor runs your text through a program and reports on reading level and word count. It then takes the next step to highlight confusing sentences that are hard to read, passive voice, and phrases with simpler alternatives. This helps writers hone their writing to make it more concise and more effective. While there is a time and a place for long, flowing sentences, clarity is key in the worlds of sales, marketing, and business.
Once your content has completed the content life cycle, it’s easy to forget that it exists. While it probably continues to drive small traffic levels and generate links, it’s not an active part of your daily blogging experience. If you publish daily, or a few times per week, then you could have hundreds of blog articles in your archives.
Unfortunately, these forgotten articles can actually hurt your experience when they go stale. Not only can broken links ding your SEO value, they can also frustrate your users who want to keep clicking around. A dead link might occur when a website deletes a post or page, and for the most part, that is completely out of your control. A review of your link profile can find areas on your site where a broken link has valuable link juice you are missing out on. LinkResearchTools Link Juice Recovery can help with finding and recovering the value of the broken link.
Google Analytics has myriad tools for diving into your customer base, following their behavior, and monitoring products, but you don’t always need these tools for your content. Depending on your company and blogging goals, you might need a simpler version of Google Analytics, preferably one that plays well with WordPress. This is where Google Analytics for WordPress comes in.
This plugin has almost 13 million downloads and helps bloggers track their ads, popular posts, and conversion events. It is also presented in a clear way, which helps people who aren’t familiar with the full Google Analytics suite. This is ideal for looking beyond the content that went viral into content that generates leads and revenue for your brand.
In a world of stock photos and Flickr images, blogs that want to stand out and improve their content need to create unique graphics that look professional. Unfortunately, this is no easy task for writers who have never opened Photoshop before or marketing teams that don’t have the budget for a full-time graphic designer.
When you’re in a pinch and need something designed that looks original and wows your audience, consider Canva. It’s a free program that allows people to start with a blank template or a set design. For there, you can customize your images to create amazing pieces that match your brand and blog. This is a great option for content creators who are looking to set up their blogs and stand out from the crowd with their own characters and designs.
The next time you’re creating a piece of content, try a few of these tools to see if they make the writing process easier. After you publish, check back to see how the piece is performing compared to other works. You might find that a few seconds of saved time has a dramatic result.