How valuable is Quora to you

Even those who have been writing for years should now and then resort to one or the other tool. The following helpers and tools are indispensable for every content marketer: to get inspiration, to measure success and to optimize your own writing style.

Tools for research and inspiration 

The web is full of valuable information that will help you create and strategically align your content. The following tools give you a lot of information about which topics are of interest to your target group and which exciting aspects are still hidden behind these topics.

1. Quora: A first-class service that provides answers to specific questions. Users exchange questions and answers in all conceivable areas and industries. In contrast to German counterparts such as gutefrage.net, pictures are also diligently shared here, and the entire portal looks very lively. In addition, as a new user, you indicate which topics, industries and areas of life are of interest and are only shown new questions and answers that are really interesting. Quora is a great resource for research and ideas for new formats and topics.

2. Google Trends: Nobody wants to publish content on their blog that does not interest anybody. Google Trends gives both a quick overview of the popularity of individual topics and the opportunity to discover and compare developments such as growing or falling hypes. A great tool from Google that many journalists also use in their classic editorial work.

3. Twitter: Most companies use Twitter to distribute content. The social short message service is also a first-class tool to find popular topics and to get new questions from the target group. On the one hand, you can follow opinion leaders on Twitter and stay up to date with their posts - many journalists are active on Twitter. On the other hand, you can simply search Twitter and, thanks to the short messages, have a quick overview of what is currently being written on a particular topic.

4. Buzzsumo: The service is actually its own little news search engine that examines topics (keywords) for social popularity. The tool lists the most popular content for a search term or desired topic, content that has received the most likes on Facebook, for example. In this way, the editor can quickly grasp what is currently being said and written publicly about a topic and what interests the reader.

5. 10000flies.de: The portal shows which articles are currently being shared and read most often. 10000flies thus offers valuable insights into the content that is currently working well.

Tools for writing

With the following tools and helpers you not only increase the quality of your texts, but you can also create and publish content much faster.

1. Word league text analysis: This useful helper checks texts for understandability. The tool uses the rules of the Hamburg comprehensibility model as a benchmark for appealing and understandable texts. The analysis warns if sentences or words are too long or complains about passive formulations that disrupt the flow of a text. Of course, text analysis does not replace the final editing through the experienced eyes of a text professional, but it does reduce work and save time when editing texts.

2. Google Docs: The office application from the search engine giant Google is much more than a free word processor or Excel alternative. Instead of writing texts in WordPress, for example, it often makes sense to work in Google Docs first. In addition to a grammar and spell checker, the great advantage of GDocs is that several people can work on documents together and, above all, at the same time. A must for creative meetings at a distance.

3. Visual.ly and Infogr.am: These services enable marketers to create inexpensive infographics, charts, and diagrams. The infographics from visua.ly are impressive - but of course live from the content. For example, the exciting and, above all, attractive displays from Infogr.am can take care of that. Ugly graphs and diagrams should be a thing of the past. Incidentally, the better and more attractive data is prepared, the higher the chance of social signals from the audience.

4. Editorial calendar: With this plugin for WordPress you can plan your content and keep track of which posts are pending or have already been published in the coming days. Particularly practical: The plugin directly uses the WordPress design function. If you create an article in the calendar and plan it in advance, the draft also appears in the article overview. You can also add notes and descriptions to the draft article without having to switch to the article management.

5. Portent: This English language tool takes you to topics and headings that you would not have thought of before. You simply enter a term and the tool spits out new content ideas and headings with a click, which sometimes make no sense, but usually provide valuable impetus.

Content dissemination tools 

Just as important as online PR and seeding campaigns is the preparation of your content so that you automatically gain more reach.

1. Yoast: The most famous plugin and SEO expert is Yoast. Since WordPress offers only a few optimization options “ex works”, Yoast makes sense for everyone who wants to generate traffic via search engines. From equally simple and important settings such as meta titles for posts and pages to professional measures such as canonical tags or 301 redirects, the plugin masters the keyboard of OnPage optimization in order to improve rankings on Google.

2. Editorialized tweets: With this WordPress plugin, the number of tweets about your content should increase significantly. With the tool, you can make passages of your texts “tweetable” - users can distribute the prepared passages on Twitter with just a few clicks.

3. Slideshare: The platform for online presentations can be a heavy traffic channel. Slideshare appears again and again for search terms in the Google results, while daily newspapers or company pages cavort above and below it. Turn your content into presentations and create an additional point through which users can find you.

4. Google Webmaster Tools: This collection of tools is your most important and direct line to the search engine. Sometimes, for example, it takes Google a little longer to index a new blog post. You can submit new content manually via GWT. This even works for very new pages that do not yet have any links. Google then checks whether the content is suitable for indexing. In the Webmaster Tools, however, Google shows you many other important options and data about the performance of your website in Google search. Among other things, you can see whether the Google bot has access to all areas of your website or what the average loading time of your website is. Make working with the Webmaster Tools a matter of course.

More tools than you can use

The aim of this post is to introduce you to the really most helpful tools for your content marketing. There are of course countless other applications and digital helpers on the market that you could use as a content marketer. That is why it is important not to depend on individual solutions, but to find the optimal workflow for creating content, to which the tools adapt and not vice versa.

For example, you could make a habit of still running your texts through the word league text analysis after they are finished. One or the other point for optimization almost always comes to light. Perhaps you would prefer to have your texts edited by hand or by a colleague with a fresh eye.

When doing research, you should also pay close attention to which tools are particularly helpful. If you are more comfortable with Twitter when researching, you can often save yourself the look at Quora or other communities, because the news service provides more than enough inspiration and links on great topics. Services like Buzzsumo are impressive, but they also have a financial impact. The Google Webmaster Tools are indispensable for marketers who want to stay up to date on the status of their website and for whom Google plays a role as a traffic provider. It's also nice to create great infographics with visua.ly, but only if the content of the graphics is really worth something. Every tool is only as good as its user.

Originally published November 26, 2014, updated November 22, 2019

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