I have loved creating content since I was 10. If I wasn’t creating homemade comics, to blogging, I was making music (glad that never made it to the internet!).
I never dreamed I could use those skills to connect and close deals though (until recent years).
It’s not hard to close deals when people know who you are and like you. People treat you like a celebrity when they have followed you and have fallen in love with your work. At this point they will do anything for you.
With content marketing, you can make all this happen.
However, we’re human and we need ways to improve our weakness. That’s why tools are so important. They save us time, correct errors, they’re consistent, and they make you money.
That’s why investing in these is great. However, there are thousands of tools. Which ones are best for you? I’ll go over what I use and you can decide if it’s a great pick for you.
Why is content marketing important
Let me state this real quick for those who are asking this question: Why do content marketing? It’s a question many ask. Is it worth the time?
The answer is yes, however, you must put time up first. You must put the highest energy first, and you must be willing to stick with it for the long haul. If not, you’ve wasted your time. The goal is to build a brand, to build the email list, and to increase sales.
Content marketing isn’t just for any business model though. Such as for the freelancer model, this model collapses under content marketing. If you get too much work, you must stop marketing and do the work.
This is a failed business machine and that’s why you must first create a system that can handle any amount of customers. With content marketing you can’t stop just because the workload is full, you must keep going.
Once you hit the wave you don’t stop creating content, you keep going. That’s a common mistake. So before focusing on content marketing, make sure your company can handle the work it brings.
Neil Patel (@neilpatel) has stated that 60% of leads come from content marketing for those that use it. Neil Patel himself uses the method of content marketing and he keeps the content rolling while making millions.
His articles can range but are usually 2k-3k in word count for each post. He understands the power of content marketing and also the promotion side of that aspect.
If people are impressed, moved, and encouraged by your content, they will buy. It’s a known fact, people buy when feeling something. Images, words, videos, and audio can make those emotions come alive to the reader.
Movements have been created from the content marketing. Empires have been built simply because someone took the time to create epic content.
With tools, it only helps you get that message out more and more consistently. Tools help fill the gap of weakness for humans.
If you love to cook, you would write about recipes and the best ways to prepare food. You’d solve the problem of what to cook and make the lives of people easier. I mean, who doesn’t like to eat!
However, people who are struggling with food preparation may love your blog the most, because you made it easier for them and showed them what to do.
I interviewed Allison at Prep Dish (@prepdish), and this is what she does for a living. She focuses on gluten free products and helps people with this diet find the meals of their dreams and how to prepare for those a week ahead of time. She turned this into a business and it’s doing 6 figures. All from content marketing.
That’s why content marketing is important and it’s how it can make you money. But what can make this easier to write and create amazing content like this?
Tools. Tools. Tools. Didn’t I say that! 🙂
Let’s go over that list.
What tools help us with content marketing
Content marketing is full of many steps. You have content creation, promoting that content, connecting over that content, you have to proofread that content, and you have to make sure that content is going to make you money. Tools help with that, but you must make sure you don’t break the bank!
Now understand I’m not listing all the tools I use here simply because some are very obvious and you already know about them. I tried to list the most important ones here to help you.
The biggest (and free) one that I use would be Google Drive. I don’t like promoting Google tools because everyone is using them, however, it’s such big part of content creation, I had to list it here.
So let’s go over the rest of my list of tools I use for content marketing and see if you’d like to try any.
The WordPress Scheduling Tool
When it comes to scheduling content I use the WordPress scheduling feature within the post. I set the date and that really works for me.
It’s already built within WordPress and requires no plugin. This simple tool is simply the game changer.
By staying ahead it will give you time to create amazing content, it will give you more time to promote past content, it will leave you stress-free, and it will help focus your energies where they belong. This is a major failure for most bloggers.
Scheduling a month ahead of time is what boosted John Lee Dumas (@johnleedumas) with his podcast within WordPress. Before he knew it, EOFire was really on fire in the business world, and it’s all because he was ahead of the game.
To me scheduling is most important within content marketing besides the content itself.
Email Scheduling Tools
Using the scheduling program within your email provider is also huge. All of your email platforms have the ability to schedule and you need to use it! By staying ahead of with this, you’re not having to stress about it.
I don’t prefer you putting the whole blog post in your email post by the way, you want them to go your site. Michael Hyatt (@MichaelHyatt) spoke of this recently on his blog how this simple change helped him a lot.
I first made this recommendation at Pat Flynn’s (@PatFlynn) site for bloggers, but the Gmail Algorithm hadn’t hit hard at this point. But when bloggers were losing open rate, they began to notice my post.
Simply write something short in your email and compel them to click your link. After you test many templates you’ll see which one your list likes most. After they see your content is great, they’ll keep clicking.
Here are some email providers I hear good stuff about:
I’m using Connector the online mentioner. Creator Sujan Patel (@sujanpatel) & Colin Mathews (@colinmathews) built it and I’m loving the cool little tool they made.
By referring to people in my post using their twitter handles, this tool picks up on it and automatically sends them a tweet letting them I know I referred them.
The pricing is amazing and it really saves me some time. Major time. This is the only tool I know that does this at a great price.
The To Do List Tool
I really didn’t know where to categorize this. However, it’s so good I had to list it. It’s called Todoist (@todoist). It’s a tool I’ve reviewed on the blog and love the whole idea behind it. It’s very simple but it has saved me so many times with projects.
It pretty much helps me scratch out projects for that day when I complete them. I have most days scheduled ahead of time and when they show up, I must do the short projects and click it or my list gets fuller.
That drives me crazy when I see this and therefore makes me complete each project quickly.
Each task I assign myself I make sure to be small so that I can make sure to do every task. It’s very fulfilling and helps me maximize in getting my work done quick and on time. Therefore, I’m not putting “write book” as a task. It’s more like “write first chapter”.
It comes with an app and I can add to the list at any time and syncs whenever I have connection. This is the greatest tool in this category (whatever that may be).
There are many ways to research a great topic for your next blog post. That’s where most fail though (research). The above image came from a presentation by Larry Kim (@larrykim), the genius behind online advertising strategies.
He states that we need to spend 80% of our time researching and 20% actually creating the post.
That means, if it takes 1-2 hours to write an article, you should spend 4-8 hours researching your topic! That brings stuff to perspective, doesn’t it?
SEO Research Tools
When researching my competition in SEO, I like using the Moz bar. It gives me the metric they call Domain Authority. This number I use when trying to predict how old and powerful my competition is.
It’s actually helped me land front page before. You can thank creator Rand Fishkin (@randfish) behind Moz (@Moz) and all their amazing products.
Ahref has a cool SEO feature that I Iike called the “rank tracker”. Whenever my site gains rank in the search engines it lets me know based on the keyword I’m targeting.
For free I can track 5, the rest is part of the paid program. I receive these emails in my email and I Iove getting them.
Content Research Tool
Buzzsumo (@BuzzSumo) is another famous tool that almost every blogger uses. Brian Dean (@Backlinko) raves about this software along with Bryan Harris (@Harris_Bryan). They’ve used it for their own purposes and reaped success.
Brian is heavy in SEO and Bryan is always looking to snag another email subscriber. Both have made money using this tool while researching for great content ideas along with who shared those post they’re researching.
With this tool, you can actually retrieve info about each person who shared that specific post. Buzzsumo is higher in price than most tools, but definitely worth the money.
Here are some other ways to study what people are asking about:
Grammar Check Tool
Grammarly (@Grammarly) is a plugin I use with in Chrome, and it saves me headache. I currently use the free one, but they have a paid one that goes even deeper within grammar levels.
I love this tool and works very well for me. Every great writer needs this plugin. To me, this is the greatest plugin out there for Chrome within the grammar world.
Gaining Contacts Tool
I use Ninja Outreach plugin to gather emails for contacts. Without having to scramble on the whole site, I simply use this plugin to find it within seconds. I interviewed the creator behind @ninjaoutreach and he tells me his vision behind this product and it’s definitely a good one.
Dave Schneider (@SelfMadeBM) is his name and I love his spirit of outreach. I’d try this product out before going to the others, it’s cheaper and will get you in the mode of outreach.
What’s the hard part about content marketing
The hardest part about content is staying committed at the beginning. When there is zero viewers and you’re having to write these crazy long post. I mean how do you know people will actually read this stuff?
Well, it’s something you just believe will happen. It comes down to what you love. It comes down to the pain that drives you. For some, this is their last resort and nowhere to turn.
Also, you must stick with a schedule and you must get ahead of the game. Cool thing is, you can be on vacation and not worry about your content. It will roll out and everything will fall into place just as scheduled. However, I’m still bringing the laptop to make sure:) But no biggie on that.
A good tool to help you stay focused is actually one online. It’s just the simple Tab Time tool. As I’m writing this, I’m timing myself. No checking Facebook, Twitter, or anything like that.
I must stay focused, and that’s why I time myself. I can see it counting down in my tab and I realize I got to get this done soon. Keeps me focused.
How to stay committed to content marketing
I simply love to write and help people. I love being that person who brought resource and I love building an audience. It’s something I was born with. I’ve always wanted an audience I could respond to.
Answering emails and helping people isn’t a hassle for me. Reaching out on Twitter isn’t a hassle. Engaging with people brings energy to me. I can’t explain it, but I know I’ll be doing this for a long time. People keep me committed to this.
I’ve always wanted an audience I could respond to. Answering emails and helping people isn’t a hassle for me. Reaching out on Twitter isn’t a hassle.
Engaging with people brings energy to me. I can’t explain it, but I know I’ll be doing this for a long time. People keep me committed to this.
Watching the email list grow helps me, and watching my income grow (that’s a plus). Just remember it begins with a personal message within. You must remind yourself why you’re doing this.
When your content is a personal message of your beliefs to the world it helps you throughout the whole journey. You’re building a movement and all the tools in the world won’t help, if you don’t put your best energy behind it. You must believe this work, and it will if you simply keep going at it.