We’re living in the age of information overload. As a content creator, curator or copywriter your job is to cut through the clutter and find what is most relevant to your audience. Whether you are writing original content, curating information for social media or just need to keep an eye on your entire industry, you need tools to help you.
Unfortunately, finding the right tools can be just as overwhelming as trying to find the information in the first place. There are dozens of RSS readers, social search tools and curation platforms that all beg for your attention.
If you want to build authority, you need to provide top quality information – whether you’re simply sharing it or using it to create original pieces. I keep tabs on several industries – including the content marketing field as a whole – so it was important for me to find something that did a little more than the standard RSS reader. I use Feedly Pro as my go-to subscription platform, but for more insight, new sources and industry overviews, here are my essential tools.
Zite is a neat little app that I discovered a week ago – and I find I open it on my phone far more than my mobile Feedly. Zite curates and finds information in your top areas. You can add topics based on their suggestions or search for your own.
I like Zite because of its interface and its sources. Just within a week, I’ve found new authority blogs that I trust to share from and to learn from. I can easily share to social sites directly – although I wish there was a one-click integration with Pocket or Buffer.
BottleNose is like a social search engine on steroids. As much as Google has tried to integrate social activity into its search results, it just doesn’t compare to this tool. The full version offers some pretty advanced social campaign and analytics tools – but for research purposes, lite works just fine.
BottleNose connects with your social accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) and shows you which topics and sources are most popular. You can also use the Sonar feature to find out which keyword phrases are most popular in your social circles. Right now, my Twitter community is interested in social media, Netflix, Halloween and #contentmarketing. You can dive deep into those topics, which can spark ideas and lead you to new sources for content.
I went back and forth on whether to list this source or PearlTrees as the third tool in my trifecta. But ScoopIT edges PearlTrees out just slightly. ScoopIT is a curation tool, but it can also be used for discovery.
There’s a better quality-to-noise ratio on ScoopIT compared to other sites because the topic boards are personally curated by experts. They take the time to find the best articles on ACT test prep, content security or small business accounting (or any other topic I might be researching for clients). That means the research time is a lot less than it would be if I were trying to research these topics on my own. It’s also a social network within itself – you can follow other curators and engage with their content within the ScoopIT platform.
These are my top three picks for staying on top of things – how about you?
About the Author ~ Courtney Ramirez
Courtney Ramirez is the Director of Content Marketing Strategy for Endurance Marketing. She’s an SEO Copywriter and content marketing specialist who creates clickable content for clients in both B2B and B2C markets. As a proud graduate of SuccessWork’s SEO Copywriting Certification training program, she geeks out on algorithm updates and content marketing metrics. She’s always in the mood for a good cat-based meme. You can connect with Courtney on Google Plus, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski (Librarian)
Why do some freelance copywriters rake in the bucks while others struggle to make ends meet? Hint: It’s all about tightening up the back end of your business. Learn how to make more money, faster with the Copywriting Business Bootcamp. Save 10% until 11/13/13 with coupon code SECRETS.