As content marketers, we’re constantly tasked with churning out lots of quality—and I mean real quality—content. With the influx of businesses investing in content marketing this year, you can bet all of us writers are going to have to be on top of our game and invest in ourselves to become better writers and content generators. That means taking the time to learn more about our craft, become more technically savvy and think about new ways to woo our audiences with the written word.
Maybe one of your goals this year is to become a better editor, or maybe you’re looking for new ways to generate content ideas. Whatever your personal goals may be, you probably have an arsenal of resources to reference during the content ideation and creation process. Here are nine more resources to add to your online repository to help you become a better and more effective content marketer in 2014.
If you aren’t new to blogging and content marketing, you’re probably already familiar with Copyblogger’s magnetic blog posts and insights on the world of online content marketing. But did you know Copyblogger has an entire library full of marketing, copywriting and SEO resources? Membership to access these resources is completely free, giving you answers to the many questions about marketing strategy. If you’re looking for ways to improve areas of your writing, sell your boss on the business benefits of content marketing or educate a newbie on the ins and outs of online marketing, Copyblogger is your one-stop shop.
Your brand is too valuable to push out content before it’s been peer reviewed for a variety of things—audience, messaging, sources and, of course, style and grammar. That’s why you have an editorial process to make sure only your best work goes out the door. But even if you’re a rock star writer with a keen editing eye, there’s still a lot to consider when reviewing and editing your own content. This handy editing checklist is a great resource for you and your peers to use as you finalize any piece of content.
My editor friends and I secretly wish we could be BFFs with Mignon Fogarty, i.e. Grammar Girl. She makes grammar fun with her short, friendly tips that help answer some of the most annoying and complex grammar questions. Also, the best editors will try to educate their writers and clients about why they made a particular edit to build trust and ultimately help them become better writers. Referencing Grammar Girl’s tips is an easy and effective way to explain some of those pesky grammar rules.
We’ve all had to input blog and web content at some point in our Internet marketing careers, and we’ve all had our fair share of bouts with HTML and troublesome content management systems. It’s just part of the game. But knowing a thing or two about advanced HTML can help you survive those source code battles and, hopefully, come out on top. Ted’s special HTML characters and HTML tutorials are worth the time, which you’ll eventually save with fewer HTML headaches.
This dictionary needs no introduction, as it just so happens to be my favorite all-in-one dictionary and thesaurus. But Merriam-Webster also inspires users to discover new words. Subscribe to Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” and learn a new word or two to make your content shine.
Speaking of dictionaries, OneLook is a new one for me, but I know many writers and editors who sing its praises. Simply type in a word and the tool will pull results from many dictionaries at once. Another unique feature of OneLook is the reverse dictionary—describe a concept with a few words, a sentence or a question, and then you get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept.
From simple writing mechanics and grammar to resources for conceptualizing content and revising, the Purdue Online Writing Lab is another useful site for content creators at all levels. Plus, the folks at the Purdue Online Writing Lab have already pulled together some of the best writing resources online, including dictionaries, style manuals, grammar handbooks and editing resources for easy reference.
Many of us are guilty of over-using particular words when we speak. What’s even worse is being redundant and repetitive in our writing! Wordcounter can rank the most frequently used words in your blog post, eBook or any body of copy so you can see what words you overuse or identify keyword opportunities.
We trained with legacy style guides like the AP, Chicago Manual of Style and the classic Elements of Style. But the World Wide Web is a different beast, and there’s one style guide that’s answering some of our most pressing questions about writing for a digital audience: the Yahoo! Style Guide. Sadly, the Yahoo! Style Guide is no longer available online. Oddly enough, this style guide that focuses on online writing can only be purchased in print for now and in the foreseeable future. But for anyone who writes for the web on a regular basis, I’d say it’s a valuable resource for a small investment.
We hope these resources will help you on your way as you develop engaging content in the New Year! But I’m curious to know what other writing and editing resources you use on a regular basis. Please share in the comments below!davebarger