This article is part of a series on tips, tricks, and tools to help businesses better manage their content online and get the most from their content marketing strategies. Click here to view other articles on CMS Tips
In this article, we’re going to look at five tools that will help you publish better content faster than ever.
While we all know content like quizzes, videos, and photos all do REALLY well for audience engagement, the backbone of all content is going to be words. And with Grammarly, it’s easier than ever to find the right ones.
It’s a tool that runs either as a plugin through your browser or as a standalone web or desktop app, and checks your spelling and grammar for anything you’re writing.
Whether you’re posting a Facebook post through Hootsuite or uploading a blog entry through WordPress, Grammarly will interact with it and catch all your ugly typos and misspellings.
And that’s just the free version.
For the paid version ($11.66 per month, if you pay annually), you’ll get access to some nice features that look at your sentence structure, writing style, and vocabulary, making helpful suggestions as you type.
Even for the Hemingways out there, Grammarly is a key tool to keep in your arsenal. Partially, it means that you won’t embarrass yourself by using the wrong ‘your’. But more importantly, it means you can write much quicker, with less need for that second set of eyes before you hit ‘publish’. And when you’re staring down the barrel of a packed content calendar, you need every bit of speed you can grab.
And speaking of scheduling…
CoSchedule is a piece of software that makes scheduling and managing a content calendar easy.
Like Grammarly, CoSchedule works hard to integrate with as much of your existing software as possible, and especially WordPress.
So, what is it?
It’s basically a calendar app. But a really, really good one.
- It can help you manage your content with a drag and drop calendar view (a bit like Trello cards)
- It integrates with social media as well, so you can run your blog and social media calendars all in one place
- You can assign tasks, set deadlines, create workflows, and build checklists for each piece of content
- It lets you schedule and re-schedule content automatically (so you can promote something you wrote last week again)
Small teams might benefit less with the current entry price point and feature list, but where CoSchedule can add tremendous value is for teams working with several content managers, especially when contractors or freelancers are involved. The ability to share a view of what’s coming up and track multiple pieces at the same time saves oodles of project manager time and keeps your writers on track.
3. Yoast SEO
Yoast SEO is the number one SEO plugin for WordPress. Put simply, is excellent at what it does.
Yoast SEO is a plugin that overlays your standard publishing view in WordPress and automatically ‘grades’ you on your SEO for each and every thing you publish.
If you set a focus keyword, it will check if you’re using it often enough and if you’re going to rank. It also helps you create an SEO-friendly title and meta-description, and includes a snippet box so you can actually see what your post will look like in a Google SERP.
But where Yoast really shines is its readability checks. It will provide a red, amber, green indicator to let you know the status for each piece of copy, letting you know how easy it is to read. Now it’s not perfect and shouldn’t be relied on completely, but it will give you a general indication of whether what you wrote is any good, or if it’s completely terrible.
Finally, Yoast SEO will help with other more mundane (but important!) on-page SEO factors like breadcrumbs, canonical tags, whether you want to set a no-follow tag, and XML sitemaps. Plus, all this is free!
You can buy the Premium version for $69 per site, which will get you more keyword help, help with internal linking, and better support, but frankly, the free version gets you a lot of the way there.
If you’ve ever tried to explain how to use a computer over the phone, you know how valuable a screengrab can be.
Gyazo is a piece of software that makes taking and keeping screengrabs quick and easy.
All you do is install the software (totally free) and you’re all set to go. Just click and capture, then you’re provided with a link that you can drop in and share wherever you want. You can even do video grabs and save them as gifs, so you can show how a button works, what a screen transition is like, or what an expanding menu will look like when it expands.
Plus, they have a Chrome extension, so you can quickly snap screenshots online as you go. There’s also an image categorization system, so you can quickly find the screenshot that you’re looking for when you want it.
Finally, we have Unsplash. Unlike these other tools, Unsplash isn’t a piece of software. It’s just a simple database of beautiful, totally searchable, free stock imagery.
You can use it all without violating copyright rules (although you may have to provide credit on some images) and the pictures they curate are 100% amazing. They tend to focus on big sky drone images at the moment, but their selection will change over time with changing photography trends.
For easy access to amazing stock images, bookmark this site!
Think we missed a great tool for content managers? Let us know in the comments below!