Sometimes, developing a great piece of content is as simple as sitting down at a keyboard, opening up a word document, and letting your fingers fly.
Usually, though… not so much.
More often, you’ll need to do some homework before you know what you want to write about. Researching can definitely be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and resources, you find and gather information and inspiration quickly and effectively before turning it into content gold.
Here are some of our favorite tools and resources for doing research before we set out to create content:
Google Reader may have shuttered a while ago now, but RSS feeds are very much still a thing. There’s no better way to keep up with all of your regular websites in a single space, and for our money, there’s no better RSS reader than Feedly. Some sites like Pulse and Flipboard add a more visual experience and add an element of suggested content, but Feedly’s clean, simple design and easy browsing experience both through the web as well as in their mobile apps, make it the top choice for staying current on all your favorite newssites and blogs.
Twitter can often feel like an endless firehose of information, spraying you in the face. Tweetdeck can help you tame it. Tweetdeck gives you the ability to set customized feeds as you want, based on any combination of search topics, users, mentions, trends, etc. Save as many of these custom feeds as you want, and watch the wall of tweets roll forth like a Twitter command center.
Sometimes as you are perusing your way through the internet, you come across an article that you know you want to read, you just can’t read it right now. For just these times, there is Pocket. Pocket lets you save these “read later” articles in a centralized location – but there are lots of tools that can do that. What makes Pocket great is the ability to tag these articles as you save them, create customized lists, search everything you’ve saved, and read in a stripped down, distraction free environment that shows you just the content. Pocket also has great mobile apps and mobile browser integration.
While sites like Digg and Reddit can be great for discovering content on the internet, there’s nothing quite like being able to see what people are searching for on Google. Using Google Trends, you can see what topics are trending across the whole web, as well as what is trending for specific topics. View top charts, organize by time and location. You can even use the “explore” option to compare data for multiple search terms, and get suggestions from Google for related topics and queries.
Inbound.org gives you feeds of trending topics and content curated by and for marketing professionals. When it comes to creating content for content marketing, it’s always good to keep up with what the other content creators are doing. Inbound.org does a lot of the work of finding great inspiration content for you, and gives you the tools to organize it either in feeds or a regular digest sent to your email account. It also has a great community of marketing professionals in their discussion forums, which can be a great resource for getting questions answered, or seeing what others are asking.
Too busy keeping the wheels turning with your day-to-day business tasks or don't feel content creation is really your thing? The team at 10twelve can help craft strategic, keyword rich content to help grow your business and establish you as an expert in your industry. Contact us today!