Content creation is one of the biggest challenges marketers face today.
According to the 2019 Content Marketing Institute Content Management & Strategy Survey, 45% of marketers cited content production workflow as one of their biggest strategic challenges, and 44% bemoaned lack of budget.
Of course, cash is crucial, but there’s plenty you can do to elevate your content production—even with a tiny team or a barebones budget. Try this slew of handy tools (separated by category, for your convenience) to get more bang from your content marketing bucks.
- AP Stylebook: AP’s Twitter feed, which provides style and usage tips.
- Capitalize My Title: A useful guide to capitalization (for multiple styles).
- Chicago Manual of Style: An easily searchable style guide.
- Common Errors in English Usage: A comprehensive list of common writing mistakes and misunderstandings.
- Copyscape: A tool to check writing for plagiarism.
- Grammar Girl: Helpful grammar and writing tips.
- Grammarist: Another handy guide to grammar and colloquialisms.
- Grammarly: A tool to catch grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Headline Analyzer: A tool to write compelling headlines for SEO.
- Hemingway Editor: A tool to cut copy and spot errors.
- Lousy Writer: A helpful resource to become a better writer.
- Merriam-Webster: The online dictionary.
- Paradigm Online Writing Assistant: Information on everything about the writing process, from structure to editing.
- Punctuation Made Simple: A simple guide to master punctuation.
- Ragan and PR Daily: Helpful guidance, advice and support for communicators and PR pros.
- Time to Write: Great tips to break through writer’s block.
For more terrific tools, check out 101 resources for writing great copy.
Data sources and data visualization
- 104 Free Data Sources: An extensive great roundup of public data sources.
- CDC.gov: Tremendous stats about public health concerns.
- CIA World Factbook: Comprehensive facts on every country in the world.
- The Data Visualisation Catalogue: A great way to learn about data visualization.
- Data Visualization 101: A guide to designing charts and graphs.
- Data.gov: A comprehensive collection of U.S. government data.
- Data360: A roundup of data-driven news stories.
- Data Catalogs: Open data catalogs, curated by open-data experts.
- Gallup: A top source for public opinion polls.
- Google Charts: A handy tool to visualize data.
- Google Scholar: A roundup of academic research.
- Library of Congress: A huge, rich archive of American history and information.
- Pew Research: Public opinion polls, demographic research, social media studies and more.
- RefDesk: A handy fact-checker.
- U.S. Census Bureau: A massive trove of data about U.S. population trends, demographics and more.
- Adobe Creative Cloud: Pro tools for making everything from infographics to animated videos.
- Adobe Spark: An easier tool to transform your ideas into stunning visual stories.
- Visage: A design tool that makes branded content creation simple.
- Adobe Capture CC: Useful way to turn photos into color palettes.
- Colorhexa: Resource to find information about any color.
- Colorhunt.co: A curation of hand-picked color palettes.
- Flipping Typical: A tool to let you review multiple fonts at a time.
- Font Pair: Lets you experiment with fonts to see what blends well together.
- Font Squirrel: A roundup of free fonts.
- Palettable: A tool to help non-designers generate attractive color palettes.
- Pantone Color Finder: A library of splashy colors.
- FlipHTML5: An e-book tool to design images, links, buttons, videos, slideshows and more.
- Kotobee: For designing and publishing e-books.
- My eCover Maker: A simple way to create e-book covers.
- Bee: Software that creates beautiful emails—quickly.
- GetResponse: Helps you craft emails, automate marketing, design landing pages and more.
- Hubspot: The all-inclusive marketing platform for email marketing, CRM, social media management and more.
- Mailchimp: Elegant, easy-to-use design tools for marketing automation.
- PoliteMail: The “internal communication platform that plugs into Outlook.”
- Sender: A free email marketing tool to create attractive newsletters.
- Icons8: A comprehensive design resource and library of icons.
- Iconmonstr: A database of simple icons.
- The Noun Project: A vast icon library.
- Streamline: The world’s largest collection of premium icons.
- Daily Infographic: A great resource for infographic inspiration.
- Infogram: Helps you create engaging infographics and reports.
- Piktochart: A tool to create infographics, presentations and flyers.
- Ultimate Guide to Infographics: A roundup of tips for every stage of the infographic production process.
- Venngage: Free infographic maker—and loads of design tips and tactics.
- Visage: A handy DIY infographic tool.
- Visme: A free infographic maker.
Inspiration and ideas
- Alltop: A roundup of the internet’s most popular stories.
- Answer the Public: Offers content ideas around specific keywords.
- Feedly: A tool to aggregate all your favorite publications, blogs and keywords.
- Google Trends: A data-rich resource to explore what people are searching on Google.
- Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator: A tool that brainstorms and generates topics for you.
- How to Create Interactives in 4 Steps: A convenient guide to get you started.
- 101 Visually Stunning Interactive Infographics: A roundup of interactives to inspire you.
- Apester: Lets you blend visual stories into your content.
- Ceros: An experiential content creation platform.
- Playbuzz: Enables you to write, distribute and monetize interactive stories.
- ThingLink: A platform to create unique experiences with interactive images, videos and 360° media.
- Quizmaker: A simple app that helps you craft quizzes.
- All The Free Stock: Free stock images, including video, music and icons.
- Death to Stock: A unique stock photo resource for creative pros looking to stand out.
- Depositphotos: A library of vectors and images.
- Fotor: A simple photo design tool.
- GIFMaker: Enables you to create animated GIFs, slideshows and video animations.
- Giphy: A fast and easy way to create GIFs.
- Raw Pixel: A free image library with PSD mockups and vectors.
- Pexels: A collection of free stock photos.
- Pikwizard: A roundup of high-quality, people-centric photos.
- Pixabay: Stunning free and royalty-free stock images.
- Unsplash: Adds 10 new photos every 10 days.
- Emaze: A tool to create and share presentations.
- Google Slides: A simple way to create slides.
- Prezi: Features designer templates and millions of reusable presentations.
- Animaker: An easy way to make animated videos.
- Lumen5: A tool to make simple videos in minutes.
- Powtoon: A tool to create stunning videos and presentations.
- RawShorts: A way to transform text into animated videos.
- Renderforest: An online video, animation, logo and website maker.
- Soapbox: A simple tool to create videos in-house.
This article ran on PR Daily in November of 2019.