You don’t have to be Einstein to come up with a few killer content ideas. But if you write articles day by day, it won’t take long until you find yourself stuck in creative block. It happens to everyone at one time or another, whether you are a content marketer or CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation. The worst thing is that mental stagnation can last for weeks. Obviously, the company you work for won’t wait that long. Time is money, right?
So, how can you overcome your creative block? Ideas for epic content don’t come out of nowhere. It all starts with research. You need to figure out what topics gain the most engagement in your niche and develop content strategies based on them. But as tons of new articles go live every day, the chances are you’ll get stuck in loads of content sooner than creative block will hit you. Having good content research tool at hand can help you out.
Check out ten tools that will keep a constant flow of relevant content in front of you.
Ahrefs Content Explorer
Ahrefs Content Explorer provides a massive content database with filters, advanced searches, and interactive charts. The daily amount of new posts it discovers can reach 5 million. That way, every relevant topic will stay on your radar. Ahrefs is also a go-to tool for multipurpose content campaigns. You can analyze what kind of content goes viral on social media, drives a lot of traffic, and draws backlinks like a magnet.
There are detailed stats on how well each post performs – social shares, backlinks, their anchors, organic keywords, and traffic each of them generates. The other use cases of Ahrefs include discovery of competitors’ best-performing posts and link building opportunities. As a bonus, Ahrefs contains a handy SEO toolbar that overlays search results with various metrics. It will let you do content research right in SERP.
ContentGems gives timely content suggestions by scanning thousands of posts daily. It’s up to you whether to place all the top blogs and news sites under monitoring or only your favorite sources. To boost a relevancy score, you can specify the terms your target content must or must not contain. The tool also suggests what keywords can give you results of higher value in your niche.
ContentGems provides a high level of content feed personalization. There are multiple boxes to check – post type, media, popularity score, and word count of the title and body. To keep your feed cleaner, you can exclude content that is very similar, sexually explicit or related to specific fields like eCommerce or formats like job postings. You can also block articles from sources you don’t trust.
Social Animal gives deep insights into content performance, allowing you to make data-driven decisions. It reveals the best day to publish your article, length to keep it within, and social network to share it afterward. If you post content on Facebook, you can check what kind of sentiment (negative, positive, neutral) works best there and what kind of engagement (shares, likes, comments) different posts receive.
This tool goes the extra mile in content research. It has built-in functionality to compare two articles by keywords, word count, and shares. You can also analyze headlines from different angles – wording, sentiment, and truncation in mail clients. That’s how you’ll come up with practical content formulas.
Feedly is a simple yet insightful platform for content research. It will show you how A-list publishers and industry experts cover hot topics in your industry. You can either choose a general content category or type in a specific keyword and set desirable search parameters like timeframe, media type, title match, etc. Each post comes with a popularity score estimated by users’ engagement on Feedly and social networks.
For convenience, you can organize articles into easy-to-read feeds. The dashboard has four layouts to choose from – cards, magazine, title, and article views. You can also tweak your feeds to skip irrelevant content. If you have no time to read all the suggested posts at once, there’s an option to save them for later.
ContentStudio lets you explore not only trending articles, but also viral content on social media and platforms for sharing GIFs, images, and videos. The dashboard also has a stand-alone section with quotes that you can use to engage your readership. Depending on your needs, you can monitor topics from the extensive ContentStudio library or your own RSS feeds.
The tool has a social engagement graph illustrating how posts have performed for the last few hours and days. For each post, you can check similar content, Twitter influencers, and trending score. Supplied with a rich set of filters, this tool is ideal for picky content strategists.
Curata gives access to a wide range of sources with flagship content. You can subscribe to RSS feeds from specific publications or monitor sites that have no feeds at all. If you are interested in the latest scoops, the tool will deliver articles from news sites only. Social media addicts can also source posts from Google+ and Twitter.
As Curata is based on self-learning technology, topics of your interest will always come first on the list. To get more granular, you can specify authors, include or exclude some terms, add hashtags, whatever. Thanks to the quality-over-quantity approach, the system will weed out content that is duplicate, outdated, and written in languages you don’t speak.
PublishThis will keep you up on content trends in your niche. This user-friendly platform contains hundreds of thousands of sources refreshed 24/7. If you know a cool blog or online magazine that’s not in the PublishThis database, you can add it yourself.
The platform has a complex search functionality with multiple filters and sorting options. You can switch between different content types, set the date range, and specify whether you want articles to have embeds from YouTube, SlideShare, etc. Irrelevant sources can be removed from search, when necessary.
Triberr is a perfect tool for location-based content research. Its dashboard has an interactive map to check how many clicks a specific piece of content generated in different countries. As Triberr users can leave comments under each post, you’ll learn what others think about it without having to search elsewhere. Triberr can help you not just discover killer content, but also engage with other users to generate more shares and traffic to your blog.
EpicBeat is a multipurpose content tool with a special focus on analytics. You can analyze what content types, domains, authors, and publication days are the most popular among readers. Each article also has a section with people who shared it in the last seven days, i.e. your target audience.
EpicBeat provides many ways to personalize your search experience. Whether you’re interested in slideshows, listicles or how-to guides, you can focus on your preferred content type. If you are involved in SMM, you can also include social media posts to your content flow. As EpicBeat reveals the top niche players across the major social networks, the tool will come in handy for influencer marketing campaigns as well.
Scoop.it crawls millions of web pages a day to maximize the portion of information you get. Loads of content in your stream won’t make the process any difficult if you disable irrelevant content types. Let’s say you’re looking for documents, but have to scroll through lots of videos. Just uncheck the box with videos, and you’ll get rid of irrelevant suggestions.
By analyzing your actions, Scoop.it will give priority to the content you enjoy the most. Thanks to predictive analytics, you will get tips on how to improve the efficiency of your upcoming posts regarding traffic and leads.
Content research, a seemingly tedious activity, will become a pleasure with these tools. Each of them has its own filters to let you zero in on topics that best suit your needs. Not will you be able to digest more relevant info in less time, but also create engaging content for SEO and social media. Do you use any other tools to explore trending posts? Share your choices in the comments, please.
About the Author
Nick Campbell is a content creator and marketer at Ahrefs with a passion for technology, SEO, and copywriting. Work up every idea from chaos to clarity is his motto.