As a marketer, content creation is something unavoidable. Be it your blog post or social media advertising campaign, you will be writing content and there will be times that you will be stuck with coming up with a new topic or headlines.

So here are some free content creation tools that can clear away your writer’s block and make your life a little easier.

Tool #1: Linkedin Groups

Linkedin Groups is like a as Facebook Groups, except it’s in a professional setting. It is where people with similar interest gather to share the latest news and ask for advice from one another.

Use This When… You Need Inspiration For A New Article/Post

When I run out of topics to write, I would usually read posts or comments inside Linkedin Groups, that I have subscribed, to draw inspiration.

This article is an example of this process. I was reading one of my subscribed groups online one day and came across a member who was sharing a list of free websites that SMEs owners may find useful. I thought the idea was interesting, so I adapted it into a content creation context. And there I have it – a new article!

To be honest, even without a writer’s block, I will go into Linkined Groups to see what kind of challenges my potential readers meet or the type advice they find useful. Linkedin Groups is a place where many professionals will go to seek advice so it makes a great place to stay updated with your readers.

So the next time you see something interested in your Linkedin Groups,  you can address these concerns and challenges in your next article/post. And I can tell you,  it’s going to be well-received.

How To Subscribe To Linkedin Groups?

Step 1: Go into Linkedin > type the key topic of your content article or the likely topics that your readers would search for .  For me, these keywords are social media or SME-related.Step 2: Instead of clicking into any of the search results, scroll down to the bottom and click ‘See all results for …’.Step 3: You will be directed to the page that reflects all results. This is where you click the ‘Groups’ tab and look for the group that fits your criteria!Step 4: Click “Ask to join” to subscribe.

Tip: Do look at the number of members as an indication of activeness of the group. Choose groups that hit at least 1,000. This doesn’t guarantee the activeness and quality of content/comment in the group, but it helps you to filter out some groups.

Tool #2: Google Alerts

Google Alert is a tool that allows you to follow the latest and trending news post, blogs and websites of a specific keyword. What it does is to track and consolidate all the website related to the keyword that you keyed inside Google Alerts and sent it to your email on a daily basis.

Use This When… You Need To Find Out The Latest Industry Trend

Google Alerts works similarly to Linkedin Groups, in the way that both of them can help you to find new content topics. But Google Alert specialises in showing you the hot and trending news and articles.

With it, you can see what kind of articles are ranking well on Google and what is the latest talk in your industry, which you can then share on other channles. If you are writing blog articles, you can even analyse the top ranking articles for possible SEO keywords that you can use in your article!

How To Subscribe To Google Alerts?

Step 1 & 2: Log into your Google account > go to Google Alerts > search for your content topic > click create Alert.

Tip:  Change the frequency of your emails from daily to weekly. Some people find daily emails a little too spammy for their liking.

Tool #3: SimilarWeb

SimilarWeb allows you to find websites that you similar your company. And, it’s a great place to find out what your competitors are doing in their digital marketing.

Some of the interesting information that you can see through Similar Web are:

  •  where your competitors’ online traffic come from, specifically who are referring to the website (under Referral tab)
  • which social media platform do they use (under Social tab)
  • what display ads do they use (under Display Ads tab)
  • and much more for professional account…

Use This When… You Want To Find Out Your Competitors’ Content Marketing Strategy

In the context of content creation, the useful informations SimilarWeb provides are the topic that their readers are interested in (under Audience Interests tab) and the other websites these potential customer visit.

By looking into their search tab, you can see the organic and paid keywords that your competitors are scoring in. There is a limit to the number you can view through the free, non-professional version of SimilarWeb, but knowing some of these keywords is really helpful in giving you inspiration on new content strategies that you can explore.

Do also check on your website and see how it is faring. It is a great indicator of how you can steer your future content strategy to be better positioned for the different traffic sources.

 How to Use SimilarWeb?

Step 1: Go to SimilarWeb> click on the search button and key in your company’s or competitor’s URL. Step 2: Look at the data that you have and analyse it as you wish!
Tip: If you are an SME and keyed in your company URL, the image on the right is likely to appear. If you intend to use your URL to find your competitors, it wouldn’t work as well since your traffic needs to be at a certain number before SimilarWeb pick up more information. MNCs and well-known brand are less likely to face this problem (image on left). So for SMEs, you can only rely on your knowledge on your market to “spy” your competitors.

Tool #4: Google Adwords

Google Adwords is a paid marketing tool that many companies use to increase their traffic coming from Google search engine. Using Adwords, you can create the sponsored search results you see at the top of your search page, and ads at Google websites such as Youtube, Gmail or Blogger.

However, you don’t need to pay to benefit from the keywords planner tool inside Google Adwords.

Use This When… You Want To Optimise Your Blog Article For Higher Traffic

This applies more towards blog articles. One of the basic component when writing a blog article is to ensure that the content can be ranked on the search page of the search engine. The ideal situation is, of course, to have high traffic from the right keyword so that your articles can be seen by more readers and potential customers.

Google Adword Keyword Planner helps by showing you which keyword has high traffic flow within the country that you choose. Don’t worry if the keyword you intend to use has low traffic, Keyword Planner suggests other keywords that you can consider. Just take your pick on those high traffic keywords and include them in your article.

How to Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner?

Step 1: Get into Google AdWords and sign into your Gmail accountStep 2: Click on Tools tab> Keyword PlannerStep 3: Click “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category” and input the keyword that you would like to check. If you are only operating in a specific country, you can also narrow your search according to “Country” or remove keywords that you want to filter out  by including them under “Negative Keywords”.Step 4: Check your traffic volume and don’t forget to explore the keyword suggestion given by Adwords!

Tool #5: Title Generator

Title Generator is a simple website that helps a great deal – it suggests 700 possible content headlines based on the keyword you give them.

Use This When… You Have A Writer’s Block When Thinking Of Headlines

Headlines for content writing is one of the most important element. There is an 80/20 rule for headlines that shows that only 2 out of 10 people will read the content after the headline. So if your headlines do not interest your readers, they are just going to skip it.

Title Generator gives your ideas on the possible headlines that you can use. I can tell you, not all of them are quality headline. But some of them do give great ideas on how you can rephrase your headline to give suspension or to quip enough interest for them to click on.

How To Use Title Generator?

Step 1: Go into Title Generator> key in the keyword for your content article/email/post.Step 2: Get the creative juice boost or select a headline from the 700 options!

Tool #6: Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a free site that shows you the shared websites relevant to your content topic.

Use This When… You Need To Find Out The Most Shared Content On Social Media

Its function is similar to Google Alerts – it gives you the top performing website related to your content topic (under Trending Now tab). However, Buzzsumo offers more insights on websites with high social media shares, which is a rare tool for content writers who mainly focus on content strategies through social media platforms. It even allows you to filter these website based on the different content presentation such as article, infographic, video, etc.

Under the PRO plan, Buzzsumo can let you find out the backlinks of websites and help you analyse Facebook content. That’s the privilege of a paying customer.

How To Use BuzzSumo?

Step 1: Search the content topic that you would like to find out more.Step 2: Once you have your search, you may see results in various languages. You can change it by setting English as the main language through the “Languages” tab on the left-hand side of the webpage.Step 3: Play around with the setting at the left side of the webpage and see what are the most shared content type.

Tip: If you reached your “daily limit” while surfing, don’t worry! Just click “log in” and create a free account. You don’t need to start a free trial immediately to continue your search. Leave it for another day.

#7: Free Stock Photo Sites

There are tonnes of stock photos out there that are free now and it’s just amazing how much you can save from using these sites. There are just so much of these site out there that we decided to put them in another article. Click here to be directed to it.

Use This When… You Need To Photos To Illustrate Your Content

Pictures speak a thousand words. Indeed, a good content can be even more engaging with right photos. That’s why I have created a list of website where you can get free, high-resolution photos for your next content.

How To Use These Free Stock Photo Sites?

Step 1 & 2: All you have to do is to enter the site and search the photo that you want. The proceed to choose the photo you want and download!

Bonus Tool: Free Content Writing eBook

This isn’t exact a website but it can definitely help with your content writing. Based on our agency experience with multiple SMEs and MNCs, we have created a eBook on tips and tricks on creating content that can engage and retain customers.

There you have it….

7 +1 free content creation tools that can help in your next content writing task! Feel free to leave comments on the comment section below if you have any questions.

The following two tabs change content below.
Shirley Yam
Shirley specialises in Facebook marketing and lead generation. Under Tangylab, she has helped local and international companies to achieve their marketing and sales goals through various advertisements and campaigns. She actively seeks to understand customer’s digital behaviour and is interested to share what she has learnt with others to help them optimise their digital efforts.