Throughout the past few years, I’ve been researching and testing a variety of tools that aim to improve my effectiveness and enrich my work process. I’ve used multiple apps (both free and paid) and have concluded. This list is likely to be different in a year, so test it out while it’s not too old. Around that time next year, I will have a new blog post to update this version.

Start with an inspirational topic.

This might be something that has been stuck in your mind for quite some time or an idea that turned into a trend.

This is where I get fresh ideas if I run out of some, or when I check the latest trending topics if I feel the need to cover something that’s been under the radar. You can write your interest and check the latest and most popular posts that cover it.

Similar to Buzzsumo, Google Trends can give you an overview of what the search volume for a specific topic is. Bonus – it’s free. And you can make it as accurate as their geostatistics are.

Include specific keywords in your search.

Search for long-tale keywords. Believe it or not, but folks often look for the simplest things in the weirdest way. Ensure that you include those, opening an easier and direct path to your ideal buyer persona.

KWFinder is a great tool I came across during my SEO training with Tommy Griffith. It was just one of many valuable tools I discovered through the ClickMinded SEO training and I still use to this day. You can get fantastic insights into SERP results, and LinkMiner, and a complete SiteProfiler.

Pros: it gives the opportunity to deep dive into a certain topic and discover top-performing keywords that will boost your online content.

Cons: you get only 3 free searches per 24 hours. If you purchase a pro account (Basic, Premium, Agency), you get 100+ lookups per 24 hours, depending on your pricing plan.

I’d say it’s not as good as KWFinder, because:

  1. It doesn’t give you an accurate number for search volumes unless you put cash in ads.
  2. It defeats the purpose of helping the organic traffic improvement if it requires you to spend cash to get accurate data.

But still, Google Keyword Planner is a good enough tool to give you some feedback and do a reality check, based on previous research with different keywords. It’s not a waste to use it, but unless you have money for Google Ads, don’t fully rely on it either.

Start drafting. Then proofread and improve.

For drafting, I use two tools only. Depending on what device I’m working on (either my laptop or someone else’s computer), I use Evernote and GoogleDrive.

Usually, Evernote is my primary content draft and storage place and I find it extremely diverse, functional, yet easy to use. I have it installed on all of my devices and sure does come in handy if you are on the go and you want to draft something quick.

What’s cool about it:

  • You can create as many notebooks as you wish.
  • You can divide content by hashtags, which is also awesome for filtering and searching throughout that same content.
  • You can share notebooks with others and work collaboratively.
  • You can integrate Evernote with other apps (for instance, I have Penultimate integrated on my iPad).

GoogleDrive is cool for everything else. I love the seamless and easy way they made the table and graphics integration inside your text or presentation files, and the ability to work collaboratively and simultaneously on one document without having to re-save it as a different version each time.

Then comes the editing.

Proofread all you write. Proofread it twice. Then run a spell and style check. For that purpose, I use two apps.

Grammarly is easy and gives me a quick fix to common mistakes, such as extra comma here and there and mixed up spelling. For style suggestions, I rely mostly on ProWritingAid. Unlike Grammarly, it does have a bunch of other goodies, such as overuse detector, cliche detector, readability score and real-time check. Its dashboard looks a bit outdated, but honestly, feels cosy (don’t laugh!)  and convenient to use.

Check for plagiarism.

Always. That’s a mandatory step before posting anything online, really. I used to use ProWritingAid’s Plagiarism Checker, but found other free alternatives, that are quite good, too.

  1. Plagiarism Checker by SmallSEOTools

I find their tool bundle quite useful, including the plagiarism checker. It’s probably my go-to tool when I run my content for matching text with other internet resources.

  1. Quetext

Super sleek and simple website. Loads fairly fast. In my opinion, it gives a somewhat accurate plagiarism feedback. Free to use.

  1. Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Not much different than the other plagiarism checkers, it’s convenient and a good enough option.

Now it’s time to polish the title. Make it catchy.

Decide on what keyword you want to focus on and think of a catchy and effective way to include it in your headline. To check the quality of your title drafts, you can use a few services that I find quite cool:

EMV stands for Emotional Marketing Value. I find this tool quite simple, yet quite cool. The tool lets you check the value of your headline by pasting the actual content in the text box, and then specifying what the purpose is. It ranks it from 0 to 100, in three main categories – intellectual, empathetic and spiritual.

The CoSchedule headline analyser is my go-to tool when I draft my blog titles. Very simple to use, it calculates the word balance and divides the words by common, uncommon, emotional and powerful. It automatically detects the type of headline (for instance, this one is considered a list, because it suggests a list of things), and executes a length analysis.

I’ll give you an example with this title and how it evolved to the way it is at the moment.

This headline suggestion was the lowest rated of all of the three I will display as a test. It was way too long and didn’t have enough powerful and emotional words to drive the user to click.

Then I decided to change it a bit by using my favourite word. You can tell that’s the unicorn, right? It instantly (not sure if it’s the word itself or the magic hides someplace else) increased the total headline score.

Still, the headline was way too long. So I did what I do best. I simplified it. And despite it being classified as “generic”, it does hold the highest SEO headline value by being the perfect length and mixing up just the right amount of emotional, powerful and common words.

Check out my proven tips on how to improve your creative process.