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Think back to some of your favorite blog posts. What did they look like? Were there features or formats that engaged you and made you think, “I want my blog to look like that” or “that’s a great title, how did they decide on that?”
When you’re researching and writing about a strong subject, you want to optimize the post as much as possible for clarity, design, and SEO. Sometimes, the actual process of doing that can be tough, and filled with little creative and technical roadblocks that slow you down.
Fortunately, with the advancement of various marketing technology resources, there has come some pretty powerful creative tools that can really aid the process of crafting, drafting, and publishing amazing blogs. The best part is that most of them are free!
These tools offer a brilliant variety of options for both content creation and optimization.
HubSpot created this awesome piece of interactive content that actually produces custom blog subjects right before your eyes. Just type in three different nouns, and five different subjects based on those nouns are created.
Obviously, this tool relies on specific blog tropes to produce these subjects, and the subjects are very hit or miss. But this is a handy little tool if you’re brainstorm-blocked for new topic angles.
Like HubSpot’s, Portent’s generator produces blog and content ideas for you instantly. Simply plug in your subject and hit enter. The difference is that once the title/ subject is formed, Portent gives you tips and explainers for why the idea is presented the way it is.
These helpful tips can really shake up your perspective on the subject and refresh your creativity towards your approach.
For a little more of a data-fueled tool, Buzzsumo offers an awesome title/topic search engine. By typing in your keyword(s), you can see what are some of the top performing article titles, who they are by, and where they are being shared.
This is definitely a powerful resource when ideating on a topic and trying to optimize title strength.
A very easy and useful screen capture extension, Nimbus lets you take screen grabs and video recording with a variety of capture options, like screen scrolling or a just a fragment of a browser.
Once the capture is done, you can annotate the screen grab with arrows, highlights, and explainer text.
Note: For a screen video recording tool that allows you to edit the video easily and quickly, check out Camtasia’sfree trial.
A great stock photo site that is easily searchable and totally free from copyright restrictions.
Sites like Shutterstock may have a more extensive library, but when you just need some setting images to articulate and add some life to your subject points, StockSnap is perfect.
Due to Slacks integration with Giphy where just a few keystrokes produces a random GIF in a chat thread, the SnapApp office is a little obsessed with sending GIFs to one another or on group threads. You know a good one was hit when random pockets of laughter erupt at the same time.
Apart from Slack, though, Giphy is a great resource to add some personality to your posts, because, frankly, GIFs are crowd pleasers.
I use Canva every day for blog headers and body images – just like the one for this post.
It’s a great tool for busy writers and marketers to add strong visuals to their blogs, presentations, text documents, and much more. The uses of Canva are pretty extensive. Create title pages, headers and body images, but also mini infographics, memes, and explainer graphics.
A Chrome extension and resource that gives you your own personal copy editor for all your writing tasks. Grammarly keeps an eye on your writing and corrects typos and grammar mistakes as you go, whether it be in email or for blog drafting.
The extension even works on content from other sites, and you can click on specific words for their definitions.
Sometimes you just want to make sure you got all the big letters in the right spots.
Instead of wasting two minutes double checking rules or second guessing yourself, just paste your title at TitleCap and continue on. This includes subheadlines, too.
10. Hemingway App
The Hemingway app is great for streamlining your prose. Pass your writing through the editor to help identifypotential improvements like simplifying complex sentences, using more concise synonyms, and other helpful tips like avoiding a passive voice and using too many adverbs.
Like the work of Hemingway, the Hemingway App helps make your prose more “bold and clear.”
11. Click to Tweet
A blog tool that lets you streamline social sharing. If you have a particular quote or standout line that is ready to go straight from your blog to Twitter, use Click to Tweet to link the line directly to a reader’s twitter handle. All it takes is one click.
CoSchedule’s headline analyzer allows you to toy around with different options in order to get the optimized title.
The analyzer grades your headline and identifies strengths and weaknesses for both audience interest and SEO factors. Previews of how the headline will look in search engines are also provided.
This list is by no means exhaustive but provides a strong batch of free tools to really help the creative component of drafting and formatting your blogs.
Some of the resources have “premium” versions that have even more features, and there are tens, even hundreds, of other marketing technology tools available to help your content effectiveness.
Let us know some of your favorite free tools that we may have left out in the comments section!
And if you’re interested in seeing what interactive content can do for your blog and content campaigns, check out our Demand Gen Marketers Guide.