10 Tools Every Content Creator Should Try with Melanie Ferguson

melanie ferguson
Episode 65: Melanie Ferguson

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Today I want to share with you some amazing tech tools that have made a huge difference in my business. I personally use these tools for content creators every single day and they’ve saved me countless hours of frustration. It was honestly difficult for me to choose just ten! I want you to be aware of these tools because sometimes the challenge is just discovering them in the first place! The goal of this episode is not to overwhelm you with everything you could be implementing, but to help you be aware of what’s out there and encourage you to just try out one or two of these tools and see if they might just revolutionize your business!

In this episode, we cover:

  • How to avoid creating content that no one is searching for
  • Things to consider when choosing an AI platform and why you should definitely be using one
  • Increasing your chances of being ranked on the first page of google
  • Where to get beautiful, royalty-free images and graphics for your site
  • The tool I use to write perfect blog titles
  • Why I use FloDesk to promote my content instead of other platforms
  • The best content scheduler out there and why I couldn’t live without it
  • My favorite tools for YouTubers

Tools for Content Creators

Links and resources mentioned during this episode:

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Complete Transcript of this Episode including Links

Welcome back to the podcast. This week I wanted to take a minute to just share with you some amazing tech tools that really have made a huge difference in my business. So I’m calling it Ten Tools Every Content Creator Should Have in order to work smarter and not harder because that is always our goal. We have so much on our plate and just having some simple tools in place can really, really, really help move the process along and not make it so super overwhelming.

So before I dive into these tools, I just want to say a couple of things. Number one, do not feel like you need to add every single one of these tools right away. I just want you to be aware of them because isn’t half the battle knowing what we didn’t know we needed to know or all the things we didn’t know we wanted to know. So this is going to be just informational. I want you to maybe pick two or three of these tools and put one in place at a time so that you can get familiar with the tool and really get good at using it in your business and letting it save you time, which we all know time is money in your business before you add another one.

The second thing I want to share about these tools that I’m going to reveal to you is that a lot of them have a free version. I recommend, even though I’m going to be sharing with you, of course, some affiliate links throughout the process, you should start with the free version. If you’re not sure what you think about the tool or you’re not sure if it’s going to work for you and your business, definitely start with the free version. There is no shame in doing that. All right.

And the third thing I want to tell you before I share these tools with you is that some of these may not be for you. Maybe you don’t have some of these. Parts of your business that would utilize these tools. But for me and my business, I use every single one of these tools every single day. So I could not live without these tools. I am a little bit of a tech nerd and geek with tools, so this was really hard to narrow down. But I wanted to make sure that I shared with you tools that I feel like every single creator could benefit from. So let’s get started.

I’m going to do these in order, a certain order and I hope that that helps make sense for you. So the first one is going to be Keyword Research. So if you are a content creator, you are probably a blogger. You’re listening to this podcast blogging Creatives on Fire, maybe because you’re a blogger or you hope to add blogging to your business in the near future. So you’re going to always want to start your content out with Keyword research. This is super crucial because who wants to work for hours on a piece of content just to find out that no one’s really looking for that? No one’s really searching for that. So this is crucial. Now there are some free keyword research tools out there. You can download extensions off the internet for creative for your content research. One of them is, I think, keywords everywhere and it is just google that and you’ll find all the information on that.

Another free one is Ubersuggest and I wanted to let you know also all of these tools will have links down in the Show Notes. So if you’ve never gone to the Show Notes portion of one of my podcast episodes before, it is over on the blog, right underneath the audio recording of this podcast, you should also see Podcast Notes and Show Notes in the Apple and Spotify versions of the podcast right below the podcast recording. So all the links will be here so you don’t have to worry now. So Ubersuggest is a free one. They also have a paid version. The free Keyword Research version is a little limited. I think you get three free searches a day and if that’s all you need, then that might work for you. It did work for me at the very beginning. I’ve my business, so it might help you.

There are also paid tools like SEMrush and AHrefs. I personally use a little bit of SEMrush with AHrefs and AHrefs is pretty much my go-to too. So I think that keyword research is super important. You definitely don’t want to be spinning your wheels creating content that no one is searching for. Trust me, I’ve done that for years. It’s called selfish content. I’m like, Oh, I want to make this. And we’re so creative and we have all these ideas and I’m like, but then I write about it and maybe no one is searching for that, but if I just would have tweaked it a little bit with some keywords, then it would have exploded my content, maybe even made it go viral. And that is what we are in business to do. So keyword research is number one, definitely.

So now that you have your keywords, you know that people are searching for this content online, it’s going to be worth your time and effort to create the content. Then you’re going to want to make it a little easier for yourself with an AI tool. You’ve heard me talk about this before if you listen to the podcast. But I really, really like using Jasper AI. This is a tool that is priceless to me in my business. Now, they do have two different. Pricing structures. One is the Starter at $49 and one is called Boss Mode at $99. You just have to dive in there and see what works best for you.

There are a couple of other AI tools out on the market. I believe if you Google for a free one, you can probably find a free one. The problem I found with trying out the free ones is they don’t have like the protection that Jasper does against copyright infringement, where maybe it’s copying something it found on the web word for word. With Jasper, I always know I’m getting fresh content and that is going to be reliable. Also, a lot of the other AI version platforms I’ve found aren’t as intuitive as Jasper and you have to go back and pretty much change almost the entire portion of wording that they give you. But with Jasper, it’s not the case. A lot of times Jasper knows immediately what I’m talking about and how to put it into just the perfect wording.

Now, if you’ve never used an AI tool, I’m going to let you know right now. It is not scary and it will totally revolutionize your business. It will change everything for you. I used to spend hours trying to decide how to start the post, or what to write for the title, or how to get an intro paragraph going for a blog post. And this takes all the guesswork out of it for me. It completely changes your writer’s block mentality. It gives you prompts that you can use for, like I said, even social media posts, emails, subject lines for emails, titles of your blog post. It’s just super duper powerful. So check that out. I’ll put the link below.

After you have some content, you might want to go a little bit deeper. Now, this tool is definitely for more serious bloggers and bloggers who really want to take their blogging to the next level and make sure that they are going to rank. And when we say rank, we mean land on page one of Google in the top ten of the searches for Google. And in order to do that, you have to have a lot of different aspects of your blog post in perfect order. So I use a tool called Surferseo.com. It’s Surfer SEO. Now, this one has several platform pricing choices. They have 49, 99 and a 199. I use the 99 you could probably start and I did start with the 49. Plan.

And basically what Surfer does is amazing. It gives you a little extension that you click on once you’re in your blog post in WordPress, and it pops up on the side right alongside to your blog post. And it will tell you kind of how it ranks according to the competitors on page one of Google. It will help you know if you are missing any keywords that you need to add to the post, and it will also tell you how many times you need to be mentioning that keyword, and then it’ll tell you if you’ve mentioned another keyword too many times. So it’ll actually guide you through the process of composing an amazing post that Google cannot help but putting you on page one for. So I love Surfer SEO.

Now, for the fourth tool that I want to share with you, I’m seeing my notes here. You’re going to want to always add images to your post. So if you’re struggling with how to use images, where to find images, I would recommend that you definitely lean into Canva Pro. I know a lot of you may have canva the free version, but Canva Pro offers so many images that you can use and copyright-free video that you can grab. And I absolutely would be lost without my Canva Pro membership. So Canva Pro is a really, really good place to find your content for imagery.

But I would also recommend you check out Pexels.com. P-E-X-E-L-S. So, Pexels.com has a lot of freelancers who come together and put their content there. I love it because you’re guaranteed that everything on there is free. Now, they do ask if you’d like to donate to the creator, but there is nothing more frustrating to me than going and just googling for free, royalty-free imagery and pulling up a bunch of paid sites or being confused as to what’s actually royalty-free and what’s not. And I’ve just found that this site is one of the easiest ways to find free. 1s Photos and video content. For my piece of blog content or my piece of video content. I’ve created entire videos off of these other pieces of videos. So just keep in mind that you’re always going to want to add imagery and that you want to use a tool that’s going to make your life easier and you’re going to be comfortable knowing that it is royalty-free and you are good to go with using it. Alright?

So once you have your keywords, your content and your specific page ranking tool in place with imagery, you’re going to want to go back. This is the last thing I do for a post which is to add that title. And I love this tool. It is completely free. They do have paid versions, but I still use the free version and it’s called Headline Studio. This is by a company called CoSchedule. You may have heard of it before, but Headline Studio offers me the ability to type in different versions of a title until I get a green score. And I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the green lights, red lights. It makes me crazy if I can’t get the green light on something. So I love this tool. It will help you figure out your title based on several aspects like word balance, word count, character count, headline type reading, grade level, sentiment, clarity, and skimmability. So all of these things go into this analyzing Headline tool for you and I would be lost without it. So I absolutely love this and I will put the link below for it.

After I have the headline comes the heavy lifting. So I feel like up to that point, it’s kind of fun. We’re creating content, we’re getting fresh ideas out to the world, but now we’ve got to promote the content. So in order to make my life easier, I use Flodesk. So you can use any email platform. I’ve talked about ConvertKit. I will share that link below again. But FloDesk has an easy way to create landing pages that you can put out on social media. You can use forms in ConvertKit, I mean, in FloDesk. And obviously you can send out emails with FloDesk. I want to mention FloDesk because I feel like for a lot of us, it’s a great place to start because it’s very super affordable and there is unlimited number of contacts that you can add in. Most email platforms have a price per subscriber plan going and with FloDesk, it is a flat rate of $38 forever. It does not matter how many thousands of emails that you add and I do love that. So I feel like it’s worth mentioning that you should check out FloDesk and I’ll put my link below. It should get you a discount too, I believe. And they have a 30 day trial, so if you’re not sure, they have a 30 day free trial that you can use.

Now, I am saving my last blogging tool, the Best for Last, for this. Now, I would be absolutely lost without this tool. This tool enables me to be hands-free on a lot of my social media. It’s called Meet Edgar. You may have heard me talk about it before because it is that crucial to my business. It is a scheduler. We have talked about how schedulers nowadays do not affect the algorithm, it does not affect your reach. I have tested this. This is just absolutely something I could not live without. Now they have two plans, a 29 and a $49 a month plan they actually work on. The platform is different from any other scheduler. I’ve not found a replacement for it anywhere. I wouldn’t even want a replacement for it. But even if there was one, I don’t think there is one.

So basically you put your blog content into this platform and it will segment it into categories and then you actually schedule it out based on the category and you will have timely content dripped out into your social media platforms. Methodically based on the schedule that you set, once you put your blog content in, you do not have to go in there every month and put your blog content back in or put your schedule back together. It’s literally set it and forget it. Like I’ve never seen anything else that was truly set it and forget it. The only thing I have to do in that app is to go and add my new content to it. It serves out your content based on your categories in a round-robin fashion. So I am in love with MeetEdgar and I just have to tell you, I would check it out if I were you. It will definitely it just completely took me from overwhelmed and lost on the verge of quitting it all to being able to function on autopilot for the most part on my social media platforms. It also will schedule your Pinterest and your Instagram, as well as your LinkedIn and any other platforms that you have.

So the next two tools that I want to share are actually tools that have to do with YouTube. So if you’re a serious blogger, you’ve probably found out the benefits of adding a YouTube channel and what that could do for your blog traffic. Google and YouTube work together. So as you can imagine, when you have a blog and Google sees that there are YouTube videos as a part of your blog content, it definitely gives it an automatic boost. So if you are in the YouTube camp, I want to share two tools that made my life super better. Is that a word? Super better? I think so. I think I’m going to coin that. Super better. It’s super better.

So the first one is vidIQ. vidIQ is the tool that I use to come up with my keywords for YouTube. Now some of the keyword tools that I mentioned before also have a YouTube part to them. But I just found that going straight to vidIQ is better because that’s all they do is YouTube analytics. So they do have have a free version. I would definitely check that out. And then I’m on the $10 pro version. It’s $10 a month. I can see all the keywords and where they’re going to rank and help my YouTube videos perform better. I can see competitors. I can also get daily ideas. I love this part of vidIQ. You get daily ideas to prompt you into content creation. You’ll get better insight as to what people are searching for, what based on your channel would be a good idea for you to make a video on. So I love vidIQ and I hope that you’ll check it out.

The next tool that I use for YouTube is called TubeBuddy. Now TubeBuddy is one of those things that is kind of an automatic, like you get to a point where you just feel like it’s part of YouTube, it’s just always on your dashboard. They do have a free version that I used for a long time and then they have a nine, a 19 and a $49 plan as well. But TubeBuddy is great with keeping up with your analytics. It also has other features that will help you with your productivity over on YouTube. It will show you how to bulk add content, reuse descriptions and titles from old videos. I love that part of it. And it also helps you with your end screens and creating those and your thumbnails creating those if you want to use them as well inside of TubeBuddy. But TubeBuddy is just another amazing tool for your YouTube channel to help you with content creation and to grow. So that is it.

That is my ten tools every blogger, every content creator should have in order to work smarter and not harder. I hope that you will have fun checking each of these out. Don’t forget that you do not need to add them all at once and you do not have to do the pay plan for each one.

I would highly recommend you take action today. Grab one or two of them, put the free plan in place, see if it doesn’t revolutionize your business and change your life. Until next time, my friend. I hope that you have an amazing week and stay creative. 

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