By Stephanie Diamond

The content marketing tools singled out here have free versions that do a good job. These tools help you with six key functions: (1) analysis; (2) optimization; (3) writing; (4) creating visuals; (5) scheduling; and (6) collecting and storing content.

If you want a cohesive content marketing platform, you need to buy one that is constructed to have all its parts working together to accomplish everything you need. If you’re just getting started, and you’re not sure what you want, consider one (or more) of these tools.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a great tool that helps you analyze published content in a variety of ways. You can look at different post topics to see which ones are most popular on the social platforms. You can also find influencers in those topics. By analyzing the content that’s most popular, you get a clear indication of what you should be writing about. Check it out.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a storage tool that helps you sync and share your content. When you store content on Dropbox, you have a local version on your computer and a synched version in the cloud. You can collaborate with others and always have an up-to-date version of your content.

Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer

Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer is a valuable writing tool created by the Advanced Marketing Institute. People make decisions based on their emotions although they believe they are using logic. For this reason, the Institute created a tool that helps you zero in on the “emotional marketing value” (EMV) of your headlines. If your headline is not intriguing, your customer won’t stop to read it. After you type in your headline into this tool, it tells you whether it appeals to the intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual side of your customer.

Evernote

Evernote is a cloud-based online collection tool that provides a central repository for all the content you want to save and review. Evernote calls itself the workspace for your life’s work. It’s great for collecting web research, visuals, and PDFs. You can have content available to review whenever and wherever you want.

Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools are in the optimization category of this chapter, although they are more basic than that. They help Google do a good job of analyzing your site so that you can optimize it. You have to sign up for them, so if you haven’t already, you should.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a great writing tool that finds errors and makes you a better writer. If you use Microsoft Office, you can invoke the software from a plug-in and analyze your writing inside the program. It analyzes such things as style, vocabulary enhancement, sentence structure, and punctuation.

Piktochart

Piktochart is a visual tool that helps you create infographics. Infographics are visual depictions of statistics, and they are hot right now. This tool makes it easy for nondesigners to create professional-looking infographics that can be shared on blogs or other social sites.

Screenpresso

Screenpresso is a visual capture tool that packs a big punch. You can capture images and annotate them. You can capture video in the free version, but it has branding in the content. One great feature is that it lets you capture an image and then extract the text in the image. This works well and saves a lot of time. Imagine that you had to copy the statistics and text from a graphic for a report. With Screenpresso, you get a text file ready to use. That’s easy!

SEO SiteCheckup

http://seositecheckup.com/

SEO SiteCheckup is a tool that helps you optimize your content to ensure that your customers can find you. The free tools include a Meta-tag analyzer, a Google search results preview, a check of the most common keywords on your site, and a keywords cloud that visually shows you the frequency of your site’s words.

WordPress Calendar

WordPress Calendar is a scheduling tool that works within WordPress. You can drag and drop scheduled posts, and the interface makes this tool easy to use.