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8 Online resources to make content marketing a breeze.

One thing you will have noticed about the practice of both inbound and content marketing is that it consumes creative content at an alarming rate, and if you follow social media, you already know the difference between the “good stuff”, and the content that just seems limp, tired, copycat or simply poor quality.

The good news is that pin sharp pictorials and incisive, persuasive copy are just a few mouse clicks away, with the help of a plethora of online resources and tools. I’ve gathered together a few of my favourites here, and I regularly use all of these sites to find, create and modify written and graphic content.


Canva

https://www.canva.com/

With an Adobe Creative Cloud account costing upwards of £350 a year, and the complexity of the apps, a simple way of modifying and juxtaposing text and images is a real boon. Canva will lead you by the hand at first, through the process of creating your first graphics. Canva is great for creating visual content for social media posting, and it’s features are simply too numerous to list. Try it for yourself - free!


The Written Word.
http://grammarly.com

Grammarly is an online spelling, grammar and punctuation engine. When you’ve written your text, copy and paste it into the window on Grammarly.com and watch as it picks up your spelling errors and typos, corrects punctuation, capitalisation and even errant double spaces. It will also re-conjugate verbs and pick up other common grammatical errors. Grammarly supports UK English, and even features a web browser plug-in that will automatically check everything you write on the web (e.g, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn).


Expresso App

http://expresso-app.org/

This is a little gem for the word nerds amongst us. This is a text tokenizing tool, and it allows you to perform quite in-depth analysis of the written word. Best suited for longer form writing, Expresso will build a detailed analysis of your text, identifying weak and filler words. Usefully Expresso can find repeated phrases using a process called “stemming” which will pick up not-quite-repetitions like “writing a book”, “write a book”,“wrote a book”, etc.

Great for getting an in depth picture of your word usage, frequency, sentence length, repetitious words and phrases, adjective quotient and many other writing metrics. Too much for some though!


Distraction Free Writing with Q10

http://www.baara.com/q10/

This is a free program for Windows, but I understand there are alternatives for other operating systems out there. It’s called Q10 and it is a distraction free word processor.

Q10
This is what it looks like. As you can see, there really are no distractions, no taskbar, no buttons, nothing but you and the text.

It’s a bit extreme, but if you really need to focus on the text, Q10 is for you!

As an added bonus, if you switch on Q10s vintage typewriter noises, you'll feel like Ernest Hemmingway or Bob Woodward.


Resize large numbers of large images in one operation.

https://bulkresizephotos.com/

As today’s digital image sensors keep piling on the megapixels, those digital images you’re shooting on your phone and camera are getting bigger in both dimensions and filesize. But your internet upload speeds haven’t really kept pace, and uploading hundreds of 20Mb images is still a time consuming proposition.

Bulk-resize.com is a clever offline web application, that will resize and recompress your images without having to upload them. (It uses client-side javascript to do the heavy lifting). It will even watermark your images with your logo or chosen image. Quick, easy, does what it says on the tin. Brilliant.


Advanced iconography

https://thenounproject.com/

When you need an icon, The Noun Project has it! More than a million icons for commercial use. The main problem is finding the one you want, but the noun project has that covered with an excellent search feature.


The right typeface

https://www.fontsquirrel.com/

Typefaces are your voice, and using the right (or the wrong) font can have a huge impact on the look and feel. Pick the right typeface with the help of Font Squirrel. This superb resource lets you browse fonts by style or function, and even has a tool to help you identify an unknown font.


Images with punch.

https://www.pexels.com/

There are hundreds of online image libraries, from Adobe Stock to iStockphoto. Some are free, but the images tend to be a bit tired.

Although it’s not as extensive, this library at has a good quality quotient, and the images are fresh, creative and highly useable in your projects. Made available licence free, for free, this is a great asset to have in the back pocket when you’re looking for an image with pep.


Conclusion.

These are my favourite free content creation resources, but for each one of these there will be a dozen alternatives with different features, so don’t take my word for it - go out and find better ones (and post me a link in the comments!).

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