Here’s the situation:

  • I’m a freelance copywriter running my own content marketing
  • I don’t have InDesign or Photoshop (and have never used them)
  • I’m booked with client projects, which means I need tools that help me work efficiently
  • I like spending time on my own marketing but I don’t want to spend loads of money on tools

With those 4 elements in mind, here are the 7 apps and tools that make my content marketing easy, fun and effective.

1. Evernote

Evernote is a note-taking app that syncs between your phone and browser. I like it for content planning because it lets you clip from web pages and save the clips in categories. So if I spot a statistic or quote I want to use, I clip it when I see it – and then it’s easy to go back and compile the references when I’m in the writing phase.

2. Ubersuggest

Having a keyword strategy is important for content marketing, but sometimes it’s hard to decide on the best long-tail keyword for a post.

I find Ubersuggest (a free tool) very helpful. You type in the keyword you’re thinking about, and it gives you hundreds of related keywords. You can then click to view each keyword on Google Trends.

3. Grammarly

Grammarly automatically checks spelling and grammar whenever you type online. So for every social update, blog post and browser-based email, the widget is there as a safety net.

You can also download a desktop app and upload Word documents for checking.

I find Grammarly to be smarter than the spell-check you get with Word because it’s better at picking up words in the wrong context.

The free version gives you basic spelling and grammar, and you can upgrade to the premium version for stylistic advice.

4. Canva

Canva is a free graphic design tool, and the results are sleek and professional. It has templates for common sizes like Facebook posts and Twitter cards, but you can also create a custom size.

It has a bank of icons and imagery you can use for free, with others available for a nominal amount.

5. Venngage

Venngage is a neat tool for creating infographics. It’s a new one in my arsenal – they got in touch with me a couple months ago about testing the software, and I’m now a convert.

I find it much easier to design infographics in Venngage than in Canva because it has better themes and templates (which makes the whole process much faster).

The basic service is free.

6. Buffer

Buffer is a social publishing tool that makes it easy to juggle multiple channels. It lets you schedule posts, automatically publishes them at the best time and gives you analytics on reach and clicks.

The basic service is free and lets you connect 5 social profiles.

7. LeadIn

Buffer’s wonderful for promoting content via social, and LeadIn is great for getting blog sign-ups. It’s a free WordPress plug-in that lets you set up lead capture forms on your site. So when people land on a post, a little pop-up appears after a few seconds asking if they want to subscribe to your blog.

It integrates with email programmes like Mailchimp, so your blog becomes a more powerful inbound marketing weapon.

So those are my 7 favourites. Are there any other tools or apps you find useful?

I originally wrote this post for The Professional Copywriters’ Network blog.