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February 25, 2016

50 Tools You Need to Succeed as a Content Writer

Writing, Blogging
Photo Credit: Michael Heilemann via flickr

Content is the path towards success in today’s digital world, putting pressure on content writers and bloggers to regularly produce top-notch work. Even for the most prolific and experienced writers, writing is a talent that can always be improved upon. The following 50 tools can help writers of all skill levels generate, write, edit, and publish the high-quality content needed to stand out among fierce competition.

Ideas Generators

Most writers are all too familiar with writer’s block. No matter how hard you try, there are times you just don’t have any idea what to write about or how to get started on a specific topic. If you’re stalled when putting pen to paper (or fingers to keys), here are a few tools to get you out of the slump.

1. Portent’s Content Idea Generator

Just like the name says, this is a great tool that produces content ideas. You just enter a keyword and the generator does the rest. While it may offer some ridiculous combinations, it won’t take long to come across a word or phrase that inspires you.

https://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker

2. Plot Generator

Plot Generator is an outside-the-box brainstorming tool that’s fantasy oriented. It breaks away from traditional content strategies and uses genres like science fiction and fantasy to help content writers develop a different perspective and generate new ideas when constructing a plot. You never know, maybe your next post will be “Haunting Algorithms by Google.”

http://www.plot-generator.org.uk/

3. Reference.com

One of the biggest errors a content writer can make is misusing a word or phrase. With the help of reference.com, you can double check the meaning of terms you’re unfamiliar with to not only enhance your knowledge, but ensure your readers take you seriously as well.

http://www.reference.com/

4. Quora

You can gain insight from other writers and experts in different fields using Quora. When you visit Quora, you can ask questions about anything from movies to politics or SEO to any other query that comes to your mind. Millions of answers are shared, edited, and organized by its users. In their own words, “Quora is built by people like you who write answers to share their knowledge.”

https://www.quora.com/

5. Buzzsumo 

Buzzsumo provides the latest buzz on what’s hot and what’s not in any industry. It’s ideal for finding up-to-date and trending information on topics you’re interested in writing about.

http://buzzsumo.com/

6. Encylopedia.com

This site is a reliable source that aggregates information from more than 100 trusted resources, including encyclopedias, dictionaries, and thesauruses with facts, definitions, biographies, synonyms, pronunciation keys, word origins, and abbreviations.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/

7. Fact-Index

If it’s hard facts and stats you’re looking for, Fact-Index is just the thing for you. It has a bank of statistics and factual information you can peruse.

http://www.fact-index.com/

8. Brainy Quote

Whether it’s a new post about a Google Update or a spring cleaning guide for your website, Brainy Quote has the right quote to add a little extra inspiration to your post.

http://www.brainyquote.com/

9. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is the ideal tool for searching keywords. It not only gives you the perfect suggestion for suitable keywords, it also filters results thoroughly from Google Suggestions and gives you comprehensive insight into the hottest trends.

http://www.ubersuggest.org/

10. Feedly

Feedly is “a single place for all the knowledge you rely on to think, learn and stay ahead.” It allows users to aggregate, customize, and organize content from their favorite sites in one place. It’s also a great platform for discovering new, interesting, and useful content.

https://feedly.com/i/welcome

11. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator

Just enter a few nouns into the boxes and you will get a list of topics. Some ideas are guaranteed to be hilarious, but it will help you discover creative and fresh topics for your content strategy.

http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator

Headline and Title Generating Tools

No post is complete without an impressive and catchy headline or title. A good title is like a display window of your content. If your readers are tempted by the headline, they’ll make the effort to read (or at least skim) the article.

12. Title-Generator

True to its name, Title-Generator generates more than 700 headlines, titles, and ideas for content writing. Enter your desired keyword, and take your pick.

http://www.title-generator.com/index.php/best-online-title-generator.html?qs=Meeting+International+Standards&page=1

13. Seopressor

This is a free title generator that’s about as simple as they come. You enter your keyword, choose from the descriptors available, and Seoppressor comes up with dozens of titles.

http://seopressor.com/blog-title-generator/

14. Impactbnd

An excellent tool to help you generate some insightful and persuasive titles. It generates titles when you fill in the blank, and it also has a section where you can doodle if your writer’s block is particularly bad.

http://www.impactbnd.com/

15. Upworthy Generator

Upworthy Generator is a not your average brainstorming tool — it generates titles for viral posts. It isn’t related to Upworthy, the viral content site, rather it suggests Upworthy-style titles at random.

http://www.upworthygenerator.com/

16. Title Generator by TweakYourBiz

Tweak Your Biz is a business community with resources for business professionals, researchers and content writers. Read about what’s going on in the business world and beyond, and use the title generator to discover a number of worthy titles for your content.

http://tweakyourbiz.com/tools/title-generator/

17. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer makes it easy for you to analyze your headline. It scores the grammar, structure, and readability of your headline on a scale of 0 to 100 to give you a fair idea of how impressive the headline is. It also takes into account your use of emotional and power words.

http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

Writing Tools

Even if you have an attractive title and amazing ideas, they don’t mean anything if your post is poorly executed. Make sure you’re writing something worth reading with help from the following tools.

18. ProWritingAid

This software helps turn good writing into great writing by telling you how to improve your writing. The best feature of this tool is that it analyzes your writing and notes overused words, sentence length, writing style, plagiarism, clichés, redundancies, “sticky” sentences, and consistency issues.

https://prowritingaid.com/

19. FreeMind 

Freemind is a basically a mind-map software written in java. It helps you organize and reorganize your ideas.

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page#Screenshots

20. Creativity Portal’s Imagination Prompt

This tool is the nemesis of blogger’s block thanks to its variety of prompts, like “What are you feeling right now?” and “What’s one skill you’ve wanted but don’t have?” You can shape these prompts to fit the topic at hand or simply use them as an exercise to get writing.

http://www.creativity-portal.com/prompts/imagination.prompt.html

21. Evernote

The free version of Evernote is very helpful in a number of ways. It allows you make to-do lists, research, and write complete portions of articles. The best part is that it is mobile friendly and all your data syncs easily among the mobile, desktop and web apps.

https://evernote.com/?var=2

22. Mou

Mou is the ideal application for writing in Markdown, full of keyboard shortcuts, live previews, and custom CSS.

http://25.io/mou/

23. Clipboard Cleaner 1.1

This is the perfect tool to use when you want to remove all formatting. For Web writers, it is a godsend as it makes moving the text easier. While not free, the service costs just a dollar.

http://www.macworld.com/product/1177637/clipboard-cleaner.html

24. FreeArticleSpinner

Sometimes you’re just not impressed with your own use of words. Simply insert your writing into the article spinner and you will get an alternate version of your text. Choose the words and phrases that you want to use and continue with your writing.

http://free-article-spinner.com/

25. Byword

Byword makes writing with Markdown a more enjoyable experience and allows you to easily export your content to HTML, PDF, and rich text. The app also syncs to iCloud and Dropbox.

http://bywordapp.com/

26. Quabel

Quabel is a diversion-free composition tool that lets you set goals and measure your progress and performance. It automatically creates a backup copy of your work as you type along.

https://quabel.com/

27.Written? Kitten! 

If you intend to write a long post, this tool is perfect for you. Written? Kitten! It is very simple but extremely helpful. When you reach the word limit you’ve set, an image of a kitten appears, helping you keep track of the number of words you’ve written.

http://writtenkitten.co/

28. Scrivener 

Scrivener organizes your documents, files, and folders, keeping all your writing in one place and making it easy for you to manage your works.

https://www.writersstore.com/scrivener/

29. Draft 

This tool marks all the changes that have been made to a document whether by you or your editor. It also allows you to share your writing in a variety of presentations.

http://docs.withdraft.com/

SEO Tools

30. Zemanta

Zemanta is like a genie in a lamp. This plugin offers content creators and publishers relevant link suggestions to related articles and images in addition to tags and keywords.

http://www.zemanta.com/

31. Keyword Planner

Most of you are probably familiar with Google’s keyword tool. You can find keywords appropriate for your niche organized by subject, popularity, and level of competition.

https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

32. Soovle

SEO and keywords go hand-in-hand. Soovle generates excellent keywords once you enter your topic. All the keywords hold value with popular search engines including Google and Yahoo.

http://soovle.com/

33. Word2CleanHTML

Word2CleanHTML is a very simple filter to help you avoid all the weird formatting errors that pop up when you export your content from Word to HTML.

https://word2cleanhtml.com/

34. Word Stream’s SEO Content Creation Plug-in

This is a Firefox browser plug-in that helps writers bridge the gap between keyword research and SEO efforts so writers can create better optimized content.

http://www.wordstream.com/seo-for-firefox

35. Free Keyword Tool by WordStream

This is another tool by WordStream that generates more than one billion unique keywords, representing more than one trillion search queries, and hundreds of millions of related terms from assorted keyword resources.

http://www.wordstream.com/keywords

Grammar Tools

We often come across content that has all the right things: A catchy headline, strong content and thoroughly researched, precise keywords. However, upon reading, we realize it is full of grammatical errors and the whole experience is ruined. If you’re not a grammarian, and most of us aren’t, here are some excellent tools to help you polish and refine your content.

36. Grammarly 

Grammarly is your knight in shining armor when it comes to checking grammar. It highlights grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors in your text, explaining the reason for each. It also gives suggestions on how to correct the mistake.

https://app.grammarly.com/

37. GrammarBase 

GrammarBase is similar to Grammarly in its functions. It is a tool developed by linguistic technology experts. However, editing is not free with GrammarBase.

https://app.grammarly.com/

38. Correctica

Just like its name implies, Correctica corrects your grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.

http://correctica.com/

39. Thesaurus.com

Thesaurus.com is a Hummingbird-friendly tool. It appropriately enhances your writing by giving you a wide variety of synonyms (and antonyms) to make your writing more interesting and protect you from Google’s penalties.

http://www.thesaurus.com/

40. Dictionary.com

If you use a synonym or antonym from the above site, always double check the meaning of the word.

http://dictionary.reference.com/

41. Paper Rater

PaperRater analyzes your whole article and highlights grammatical errors, clichés, vocabulary issues and spelling mistakes. The best feature of this app is that it gives you a detailed analysis of your sentence structure, use of passive voice, and overused words. It also checks your work according to the academic level you’ve based your content on.

https://www.paperrater.com/free_paper_grader#

42. PolishMyWriting

This site helps you polish your writing by highlighting all the errors in different colors. It even highlights active and passive voices.

http://www.polishmywriting.com/

Editorial and Proofreading Tools

Before you publish a post or forward it to your editor, you scan it a number of times to make sure that no typos or any other errors remain in the text. For those final touches, here are some essential tools you can utilize as you get ready to publish a fresh and impressive article.

43. Slick Write

This online tool is useful for professionally proofreading your document. The best feature of this tool is that along with proofreading and finding errors, it also suggests tips to improve your writing.

https://www.slickwrite.com/#!edit

44. Ginger 

One of the most comprehensive proofreading services available, Ginger has unmatched accuracy and let’s users fix multiple mistakes with just a single click.

http://www.gingersoftware.com/proofreading

45. Hemingway 

The Hemingway app helps you take out all of the unnecessary words in your content by highlighting them. It makes the text more concise and readable even if someone is only skimming.

http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

46. WordCounter

If you don’t use Microsoft Word, this is the best tool for you. After you’re finished with your post, just copy and paste it and you’ll get the exact word count.

http://wordcounttools.com/

47. Instapaper

This nifty tool saves articles for offline reading. It also extracts all the garbage so you don’t lose your focus. You can access it from just about any device, including iPhones, iPads, Androids, and Kindles.

https://www.instapaper.com/

48. Google Docs

Google Docs allows multiple users to share and edit the same article. With Google Docs, users can also make comments on the document and track changes.

https://www.google.com/docs/about/

49. Cloud Clip 

This smart app saves your clipboard data, just in case you need it later.

http://thinkbitz.com/cloudclip/

50. Smallseotools 

Smallseotools saves you from unknowingly committing plagiarism. It also offers a number of other resources, including a backlink checker, grammar checker, and spell checker.

http://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/


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Mark Long is an experienced content and SEO professional at Saba SEO, a San Diego SEO Company. His results-driven approach to content development helps businesses grow their Web presence and bottom line.

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