Nowadays, most savvy business owners know that blogging is just about the most cost-effective marketing tactic out there for achieving fast growth.

But there’s a huge difference between blogging and smart blogging.

While some brands have a killer content marketing strategy and consistently create amazing and popular content, the majority of us struggle.

We’ve read a lot of strategy, but we flail around a little wondering why we’re not seeing tangible results from all our hard work.

Sometimes, life’s not fair is it?

You’ve heard that content marketing is the next big thing. So you spend hours, sometimes days, on creating an amazing blog post.

You’ve sweated over every word and continually fine-tuned your copy for what seems like an eternity.

You reach the end of your journey and you hit ‘publish’.

You post your article on a few social media platforms, tweet it about a handful of times, that sort of thing.

And then…

… nothing.

Literally nothing happens.

It all feels like a colossal waste of time and effort.

Does that sound familiar?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

But today, that’s about to change.

I’m going to reveal 3 great business tools that will help you create and publish the sort of content that works hard for your brand 24/7.

And not only that, but I’m going to walk you through how to use them in a simple step-by-step fashion.

These 3 tools have helped me create multiple blog posts that have transformed my business by boosting my website traffic and generating many new leads.

Tool 1: Buzzsumo

What does it do?

It reveals the popularity of different content topics.

Why do you need it?

Because the first mistake that most bloggers make is that they pluck a topic out of thin air and write about it.

By contrast, Buzzsumo offers some validation for your idea.

For instance, I’m a copywriter. Suppose I fancied writing a post about grammar. Instead of just writing it and rolling the dice, I can use Buzzsumo to see if there are any pieces of content about grammar that are popular.

If there are, then it’s probably okay to go ahead.

What Buzzsumo does is remove the element of guesswork that comes with blogging. It offers vindication. And that alone will immediately put you a step ahead of your competition.

How do you use it?

There is a free version and a paid version. The free version just returns fewer results that’s all.

But regardless, the process is simple.

You head to Buzzsumo and the search bar hits you in the face:

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Enter a topic and the results will fire up just below:

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You can see what articles have earned the most shares and, importantly, which platform those shares took place on.

Tool 2: Canva

What does it do?

Canva makes it really easy to create graphics and images for your blog posts.

Why do you need it?

Because every good piece of content includes images.

Everyone loves reading a blog, but no one enjoys being confronted with huge blocks of intimidating text.

In order to get the maximum engagement from a blog post, it needs to be visually attractive.

And Canva can help you. It makes life very simple for you, even if you’ve no experience of image design whatsoever.

Oh and one of the great things about Canva is that all their image templates are separated into loads of different categories. They all have different, automatically set properties, depending on how you want to use them.

For instance, let’s say you want a Facebook cover.

Their image templates are the perfect size for Facebook covers.

The same goes for Twitter headers, YouTube thumbnails… etc.

No matter why you need an image, they have every scenario under the sun covered. And because these templates are set at the correct size, you’ll never have to worry about optimal image dimensions ever again.

How do you use it?

You need to register an account. Many of the images are free, but in any case, the paid ones only cost $1.

Let’s start at the beginning and suppose you want to create a heading for your blog post.

(By the way, I used Canva to create the feature image for this blog post.)

Firstly, you click on Create a design:

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Then you scroll down and choose Blog Title:

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Pick one of the layouts on the left (either free or paid):

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Then just click on the different sections and edit at will:

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When you’ve finished, just hit Download in the top right-hand corner (then it’s yours to use wherever you want):

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Tool 3: Ahrefs

What does it do?

Ahrefs is a versatile SEO tool, but one great thing is does is help you get exposure for your blog post after it’s published.

Why do you need it?

Whenever you publish a piece of content, you need to use tactical outreach to promote it.

So, after using Buzzsumo to identify published articles that are similar to yours, you can use Ahrefs to see which websites have linked to them (and thus promoted them).

Then, assuming your piece of content is better, you can reach out to those third-party sites and pitch your post.

How do you use it?

You need an Ahrefs subscription. It does cost, but it is worth it.

Log in to your Ahrefs account and click on Site Explorer:

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Next, enter the URL of the content you want to examine and click on Search.

I’ve entered the URL of one of the popular grammar articles that I found via Buzzsumo earlier (one that earned over 300,000 shares):

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From the results, we can see that 331 other sites have linked to this article:

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The number 331 is a hyperlink, so click on it to see who has linked to it. There are too many results for one screenshot, but here’s a selection:

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Now we have a list (a long list in this case) of targets that we can contact and promote our blog post to.

(Our better version of the original grammar article.)

But the point is, these are targets who have an active interest in our topic. They’ve shown that.

Now it’s your turn.

Try out these tools for yourself on your very next blog post.

 

Now if you excuse me, I’ve got a blog post about grammar to write…