9 Top Free Tools and Services
It sounds simple at first. You set up a blog on your site, get a Facebook page and Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and start creating content – content that is educational, that solves problems, that inspires, or that entertains. If you are a good writer, this should be relatively simple, right? Not so much. Pretty soon you are running out of topic ideas; your Facebook post are not generating the shares you want; and people are not linking back to your site or blog from Twitter “teasers.” Traffic is not increasing enough, and you realize that you have to add more enticing and engaging content, and you have to generate some great topic ideas. Instead of relying on yourself or a tiny team, none of whom is terribly tech savvy, get these 9 top free content creations tools and services to do some great work for you.
This is a free cloud-based storage solution for saving content, links, images, etc. that you want to look at later for potential topic ideas. As you surf, looking for ideas and such, you may find articles or posts that you want to read later; you may find free images that could work into a post in the future. Just dump them in your Pocket account. Then, when you have the time or you need an idea for a post, you just access your account from any device, and look through what you have.
Here is a website that has a huge amount of customer comments, information, questions on a wide range of products and services. You simply search by your business niche, and you will find essays online, articles, news, blog posts, website links and more. You can use these to quickly come up with new ideas for your own posts.
3. Google Discussion Groups
Looking for topic ideas on Google is nothing new. However, there is a content search feature that most people don’t know about. You can type in the search bar anything related to your niche, product or service, and once the results show up, look for the tab that says “more” at the top of the results. If you click on it, you will see an option for “discussions.” Click on that and you will be taken to actual discussions about what people have had to say about your industry and questions they are asking. This will give you some ideas for posts, both on your blog and Facebook.
You should shoot for a new post everyday on your social media pages. And you should try to alternate among things that are educational, promotional, and fun. This is a “tall order.” If you head over to Alltop, you will able to search by your industry and get all kinds of content. The added bonus here is that you can actually submit your blog to Alltop for consideration. If they accept it, they your blog will come u when others search your niche – more exposure for you!
5. Slide Share
Slide presentations are popular with readers and followers because content is divided up into small chunks for easy reading. This is an open sharing community site, so you can type in a keyword and see what others are creating for slideshares related to your product or service. This is a great idea generator for your own slide share. And once your presentation is complete, you can load it on the site and then share it on your social media pages, or place it on your blog or website.
If you are fond of those short animated videos that you see on others’ social media pages, and believed that you were not capable of producing stuff like this, think again. Once you access the Powtoon site and set up your account, you will watch a tutorial that walks you through the entire process. Anyone with only minimal skills can create an animated video quickly and easily. As with any of these tools, there are fee-based upgrades that you might want to consider as you get better at this.
Another really easy-to-use service for creating videos – perfect for the novice. You can upload pictures, short video clips, choose one of the style options, add text and music, and click “produce.” In a few minutes, you will have your free video. The free version let you produce an unlimited number of 30-second videos. You can upgrade for longer ones as time goes on.
8. Pic Monkey
A pretty versatile tool here. Upload an image and follow the easy instructions to crop, filter, frame, and add text or special effects. This is the perfect solution if your skills are a bit limited.
Interactive user experiences are a really important trend now. The more you can entice you visitor to engage in an active way, the more popular your social media page, site, or blog becomes. PollSnack lets you create polls, surveys, and quizzes and post them anywhere. Create them with a serious topic or come up with some just for fun. Results are published in real time too.
Great tools and services are now making it easy for content writers to add so much more to that content – great media, videos, animation, and interaction – as well as have an almost endless supply of topic ideas. There’s no excuse for boring posts anymore!