5 Free Software Tools For Content Creation
It's been said many times before, but the single most important thing for driving traffic to your site is content. Good, solid, unique content is what will attract visitors, invite backlinks, and help you to rank well with the search engines.
It doesn't matter if you're creating blog posts, ebooks, reports, articles, podcasts, software or videos, your content is what will attract visitors to your site, and convert them into subscribers or customers.
Now, creating content will take a little bit of effort, but the great news is you can do all this with free software. Of course you could spend thousands of dollars on high end tools if you want to, but the free ones I recommend here will be more than enough to get you started.
Open Office for text based content
Open Office is an office suite similar to Microsoft Office. It has a word processor and spreadsheet along with several other tools such as an image editor and database https://toolcollector.net/. What we want it for however is for creating reports and ebooks. The reason Open Office is so powerful is that it has native ability to export any document to PDF. That means you simply type up your eBook or report and hit the export button and bam, you have a product ready to sell or give away!
Nvu for web pages
Nvu is a WYSIWYG HTML editor. It allows you to create and edit web pages without knowing any HTML code. You simply design and edit just like you would edit a word processor document, and Nvu writes all the HTML code for you). The option of getting your hands dirty with the HTML is there for those times when you need to do some tweaking, but for the most part you can get away with leaving that up to the software.
GIMP for images
GIMP is an acronym for Gnu Image Manipulation Program and essentially it's an open source 'Photoshop'. You'll turn to this software when you need to edit or prepare images for your website, or create an eBook cover, or put screenshots into a report. It's a very powerful piece of software which is capable of doing a lot more than you'll probably ever need it to. Don't let the complexity put you off however, just learn the basic functions you need and this will be a real workhorse application for you.
Audacity for audio
Audacity is used for recording and editing audio. Whether you're doing an interview, product review, podcast or testimonials for your sale page, Audacity is quick to learn, easy to use and produces great results. Just plug a microphone in, hit record and you're away.
Camstudio for screen video
Video is by far the most powerful medium to get your message across, and it's fast becoming the most popular method of distributing content on the web. Until quite recently, producing and publishing video on the Internet meant expensive software, specialist equipment and high end hosting accounts. Not any more though... Camstudio is free, and easy to use. Just a few mouse clicks and you can record whatever you're doing on screen along with a voiceover and let your visitors watch over your shoulder to give great tutorials and reviews. Combine this with YouTube hosting and you have a winning formula for low cost video publishing.
It's not exactly a hidden fact that the Internet has the ability to reach billions around the world. Websites and social media accounts have become a must for many brands looking for fame.
But for a website to gain some renown, it must first have quality content.
Content writing for websites is a well known line of work among freelancers and outsourcing companies. Many businesses hire these professionals to be their ghostwriters. This is because web writing deals with a wide range of jobs-- from blog posts, articles, and copywriting, among various others.
For a small price, these businesses can have content made in their name without going through the trouble of writing it themselves.
To maximize online exposure, however, the outsourcing team must promote their content through other platforms. Increasing site traffic through optimizing written content for SEO alone is not a feasible idea. It takes too much time and wastes the work put into writing content.
But outsourcers do not need to make costly expenses to maximize their content's reach. There are tools that are available to content marketers for free or a minimal fee, such as:
Social Media Management
This type of tools generally allows for the monitoring of social media channels. Marketers can schedule the time of posting for online content. They also provide analytics for the best time for posting on their pages, allowing users to maximize their content reach.
Most managers provide support for sites such as:
Some of the current widely used tools are:
Hootsuite - currently the most popular management tool. This all-around tool has features such as
link shortening, and
responding to content in Hootsuite
However, despite its widespread use, newcomers to Hootsuite may be overwhelmed by its dashboard and may find it unfriendly to users at first glance.
Buffer - specializes more in scheduling and publishing content compared to Hootsuite. It connects all social media profiles together for more streamlined scheduling. One significant difference between Buffer and Hootsuite is that Buffer does not allow its users to respond to comments on their posts.
IFTTT - allows automate sharing. For example, if a writer publishes a new article on their site, an update is automatically posted on the site of their choice. This can enhance both Hootsuite and Buffer experiences.
Sharing Button plugins
Sharing Button plugins are widgets that allow readers to immediately share any interesting posts they find onto their profiles.
It is a subtler way of promoting an article in contrast to posting updates on social media after every new created content.
Many share button plugins also have customization, share tracking, and mobile display optimization features.
Some of the most well-known and affordable plugins are:
Aside from their self-explanatory definition, most link shorteners also provide basic analytics. This allowing marketers to monitor which posts on social media have more impact than others. Some also have a monetization feature.
Bitly API - the most well known URL shortener, known for it bit,ly and j.mp extensions.
Short.st API - Features a monetization system, allowing marketers to earn money when users click on links. The downside to this is that the links look like spam.
Sniply - creates call-to-actions to shortened links (CTA), but the free version is limited to 1000 clicks per month only. It also does not feature conversion tracking.
Owly - Hootsuite's built-in link shortener, but has no other features aside from shortening URLs.