1.  4 Helpful Tools to Help You Generate Content Ideas

    The biggest challenge in online writing is brainstorming ideas of what to write about. Another challenge is that you can’t sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity, even when producing regular posts is the end goal. Before going into some of the tools to help you with this challenge, I want to address two basic strategies that every online writer should follow. First and foremost, it is a good idea to have a notebook, spreadsheet, or other accessible method to write down ideas as they come (see my #1 tool, Evernote, if you are like me and think that organization is key). Having a list will help you generate more ideas more often. Secondly, try to do regular research on new and upcoming information for content you are producing. Here are four of the top tools to help you generate content ideas. 

    1. Evernote

    Like I addressed in the introduction, this is my absolute favorite for content development. Although it may not be the place to gather ideas, it is certainly the best way, in my opinion, to stay on-task and organized. One of the most essential aspects of content development, is to stay organized and keep track of your ideas. Evernote allows you to sync virtual notebooks to your computer and mobile devices so that any time you arrive at an idea you can store it for future articles. This is particularly helpful while you are searching the internet and doing research on a topic. It allows you to save screenshots and take notes as you go. 

    2. Trap!t 

    Trap!t is an online site that allows you to pull up web based research on your topic and scan through articles quickly to save time in the initial stages before writing. We all need to gather a ton of information before deciding what to write, and once we choose a topic. We all need to find information already out there, but it is critical to maintain authenticity with your writing. The key is making sure that using this tool for content development does not lead you to lack original information of your own! Add in interesting information and things that are unique to your findings. 

    3. Quora

    Definitely one of my favorite sites for brainstorming is, Quora, which is more than just a tool for content development. The start point here is looking through questions that your readers want answered. With Quora, you can search by topic and then see a list of questions that people want answered within that topic. It is asocial forum where you can ask questions or read questions by Quora users, and also ask questions yourself to people in your industry. This tool is definitely worth trying out to get questions for content generation! 

    4. Google Keyword Planner

    Google Keyword Planner can help you focus your effort when you are struggling with content development, especially if you have a general idea of what you want to write about. Ultimately, it allows you to search for terms and core concepts related to your focus. This will allow you to focus on specific phrasing and highlight the most important aspects of what you are writing about.

    What this means to you…

    These 4 tools are my favorite for content development. With so many different tools for online writing, it is no where near an exhaustive list. However, sometimes it is better to start with a few tools and use them well, rather than trying to learn and utilize everything that is out there. Content development is a challenge for most online writers, but I’ve fund that staying organized, using good research strategies, and considering user feedback are the best approaches. 


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