I don’t know about you, but sometimes my brain is full of thoughts and ideas that weave in and out of one another and getting down to work isn’t a problem. Then, there are the times where inspiration has deserted me and I don’t know where to start. That’s when it’s really useful to have a helping hand to kick start the thought process.
So, I thought I would share three, free, tools that help me when it feels like there is nothing but tumbleweed blowing through my mind.
Answer the Public
Say hello to the Seeker, a chap who looks like his last job might have been in a Nordic Noir series. Type in your keyword and the Seeker will suggest content ideas, based on what people are searching for across the Web.
What you get is a simple, one page, visualisation of the data. The Seeker does the brainstorming for you, splitting what is found into questions and prepositions, so all you need to do is pick your topic and get to work.
The Content Strategy Discovery Tool - by Builtvisible
There’s no bearded, bespectacled chap here - just a Google spreadsheet fully loaded with potential sources of inspiration. You do need to sign in to your Google account and get it set up but there are easy to follow instructions. Once it’s up and running, you type in your keywords or subject and it pulls in a WHOLE LOAD of data from Twitter, Google, Hacker News, LinkedIn and YouGov to name just a few.
What you get is a curated list of high ranking and trending content relevant to your topic.
This can be used to research what you’re writing about and cross-link to relevant and interesting content. It’s great to play around with and interesting to see what’s already out there.
The #1 Headline Analyzer - by CoSchedule
Once you’ve finished the hard work of writing your blog post or article, you need to tackle the even trickier task of writing an effective headline. That’s where CoSchedule’s headline analyser comes in. It will help you “write headlines that drive traffic, shares, and search results.”
Type in your headline and you get a one-page summary that scores your headline. It looks at the balance of the words used - whether they are common, emotional or power words, how long it is, keywords used and the sentiment.
It doesn’t just ‘red pen’ your headline, there are links to helpful tips and content to help you improve what you’ve written.
These are just three tools that I like and use when I am running a bit low on the inspiration front. I know that there are more out there - let us know which tools you use when you are stuck.