Content marketing has grown to become a significant cornerstone of every digital marketer’s campaign strategy. It has been proven to be an effective way of developing organic search traffic. If you can consistently produce great content, you will be able to generate leads, build followers, enhance your reputation and increase your online visibility.

The truth is writing great content consistently is easier said than done. The most successful bloggers and the best writers are still human beings. They go through rough stretches where inspiration cannot be found. Ideas come in trickles. Worse, they hit the dreaded “Writer’s Block”.

The good news is the Internet has ushered in an era where apps are developed to meet the needs of all people; writers included.

Here are 5 of the best, most essential tools writers can use to create consistently better content:

  1. Grammarly

Coming across a misspelled word and errors in grammar is like drinking a Slurpee with a cracked tooth. It can be a painful experience. The only difference is that with spelling and grammatical errors, the pain is long-lasting. In fact, you may never recover from it.

Grammarly is an online tool that searches your content for possible errors in spelling and grammar. It is very easy to use. You can either upload your file or copy and paste your content unto Grammarly. Within a few seconds, it will mark potential mistakes in your writing.

All you need to do is run your cursor over the underlined word and if you agree with the suggestion, simply click the mouse.

Why “if you agree”? If you are writing in British-English, it may identify words such as “favour” and “stabilise” as misspelled. Grammarly will also track down errors in punctuation. It may not seem much, but using the wrong punctuation mark will affect the context of your content.

Grammarly is an indispensible tool for writers. Word processing programs have spelling and grammar checkers but they are not as accurate as Grammarly. Its free, downloadable version is good enough to get the job done.

  1. Feedly

One of the most important rules in content writing is to write for your audience and not for yourself. People will patronize content that provides the best information or solutions to pressing concerns. If you want to build an audience, you must know what issues are trending in your niche or industry.

Feedly is a content aggregator. It is a virtual archive of the best, most respected and widely patronized blogs in any industry. With Feedly, you can stay on top of the latest trends and developments in the industry. You will have an idea of what issues are of interest to your target audience.

When you are frequently writing content, there will be a time ideas will be hard to come by. With Feedly, you will never run out of ideas. Not only will you have available references, but you will also have sources of inspiration.

Great content isn’t just about having the right keywords, topic relevance and usability. It must also engage the audience and compel them into action. Many of the blogs that are aggregated by Feedly feature writers that inject their heart and soul into their writing.

  1. Google Adwords Keyword Planner

Every content writer worth his/her salt has used or continues to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner. It is not only an essential tool for keyword research. Google Adwords Keyword Planner will also produce data on the number of searches being made on your proposed topic on a monthly basis. You will know if the topic generates high or low search volume.

Google Adwords Keywords Planner is easy to use. You just need a Gmail account. If you want to search for keywords in your industry, choose “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category”. Then enter your product or area of interest in the field marked “Your product or service”.

Another interesting feature of Google Adwords Keyword Planner is that it allows you to set the parameters of your keyword search.

If you are writing for the Australian market, simply indicate “Australia” as the desired location for your search. It will look for keywords that are popularly used by Australians when launching a search query on your industry.

Once you have entered all the important data in their respective fields and you have set the parameters of the keyword search, all that’s left for you to do now is click “Get Ideas”. Within a few seconds, you will see the results of your search.

  1. SEMRush

When it comes to Internet-based content, it’s not enough to be a prolific writer. There are many good writers competing for the same audience as you. With more than 1.8 Billion websites operating on the Internet, how can your content get found?

The answer is keywords. The strategic use of keywords is one of the cornerstones of a solid content optimization plan. Keywords are the words or phrases that are frequently used by people to launch a search query. If you want your content to be found, you must embed it with the right keywords.

SEMRush is an essential tool for keyword research. Once you become comfortable with it, keyword research becomes fast and easy to do. The best approach is to use SEMRush in combination with Google Adword Keyword Planner.

Start out your keyword research by using Google Adword Keyword Planner to find the most relevant topics in the industry. Pick out the topic that has the highest monthly searches. Then run a Google search query on the topic.

Copy the link of the first website that appears on the SERP and paste it on the entry field in SEMRush’s home page. SEMRush will search and collate all the organic keywords from the article and present it in spread sheet format. Repeat the process for the next 3 to 5 website links.

You now have a list of the top ranking keywords on your proposed topic. If you are writing an article with a length of 1,000 to 1,500 words, choose no more than five keywords. Do not use each of the keywords more than three times within your content.

ReadablePRO

A factor that is often overlooked when writing content is readability. For your content to be appreciated, it must be easily understood by the reader. You may think it is an easy read but then again, remember the important rule we mentioned earlier: Write for your reader and not for yourself.

So how will you know that your blog or article is readable? This is where ReadablePRO comes in.

ReadablePRO is an essential online tool you can use to determine if your content can be easily understood by your reader. Like all of the other online tools we have discussed, ReadablePRO is easy to use. All you have to do is copy your content and paste it on ReadablePRO’s blank page.

Within seconds, the program will grade the readability of your content. Grades are given as “A”, “B”, “C” or “D” but what you need to pay special attention to is the Flesch Readability Score. Generally, your content should score above 50 to be considered readable by the general audience. A score of 50 and above will be given a grade of “A” or “B”.

ReadablePRO will also highlight areas in your content where it feels you should improve upon. Common suggestions are to shorten sentences to fewer than 20 words and to cut down on the number of syllables.

Conclusion

Writing is a skill that we learn as soon as we can hold a pencil between our fingers. To become a good writer, you must keep practicing in order to sharpen your skill. However, to become an effective and successful content writer, you must embrace technology.

The Internet-based programs we discussed here are must-have, essential tools in every content writer’s arsenal. They will help you find new ideas and topics. These software programs will also show you how to make your content better, more readable, and searchable.

The biggest challenge about writing better content is consistency. When you are competing for the same audience with other amazing writers you need every advantage you can get. Using any of these online tools will further sharpen your content writing skills.