The 2016 Ultimate Resource List for Content Marketers

By zhiyuan on September 2, 2015

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2016 resource list for content marketers

[Updated 6/15/2016]

If you’re a content marketer or blogger like me, you probably spend a huge chunk of your time looking for good resources to use for your blog.

However, the problem we often face is not scarcity, but overabundance. There are just too many SEO tools, too many stock photo websites to choose from, too many writing tools, too many plugins or extensions to install.

There are just too much of everything!

And this has made our lives difficult because if we had to spend our time reviewing and comparing each and every tool available or waste our time looking for stock photos in bad quality websites, we wouldn’t have enough time to finish our blog posts.

This is why I have rounded up a huge list of blogging resources you can use to help you with the creation of your blog, from beginning to end.

I’ve only included resources that are high-quality (consensus from other content marketers) and a brief summary of it so that you can easily pick the one best suited for you and your blog.

For easy navigation, just click on the section you want to go to:

Backend Resources

backend resources for content marketers

If you have not set up your website yet and you’re planning to do so, here are the few things you should be looking at:

Content Management System

The first thing you’re going to need to choose is the CMS you plan on using to host your blog. A CMS will allow you to publish, edit, organize and modify your blog content. The following are some of the CMS services that you can choose from:

  • WordPress – WordPress is an easy to use hosting platform for blogs that provides excellent support to users via email, live chat, forums and more. WordPress is the most popular option with roughly 24 percent of all blogs and websites using its platform.
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • SquareSpace

Server Host

In addition to choosing a CMS, you’re also going to need to find a place that will host your blog. The following are a few server hosts worth checking out:

  • GoDaddy – GoDaddy manages over 59 million domains, making it the biggest registrar in the world.
  • HostGator – HostGator provides a 99.9 percent uptime guarantee as well as a 45 day satisfaction guarantee.
  • BlueHost
  • WP Engine

WordPress Backup Products

Although these backup products do cost money, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. All of the following plugins are very effective at backing up your blog:

  • Back-Up Buddy – Back-Up Buddy allows you to schedule complete database and files backup that is quick and easy to restore. Also allows you to send your backups to offsite storage. The cost ranges from $80 a year for two sites to $100 a year for ten sites.
  • BlogVault – BlogVault provides migration, auto restore and test restore capabilities. The cost ranges from $9 a month for one site to $19 a month for multiple sites.
  • VaultPress – VaultPress performs automated backups and provides easy restores in addition to doing daily security scans.

Download The Complete List of Blogging Tips Now

  • List of more than 70 blogging tips
  • Genuine tips that you can actually apply
  • Link to relevant articles included
  • Tips that bring actual results

Design Resources

design resources for content marketers

Even though they say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, your visitors are most certainly going to judge the look of your blog page. If it looks hideous, they’re going to assume that your content isn’t going to be much better. The following are the different design elements you’ll want to consider and numerous sources where you can obtain them:

WordPress Premium Themes

WordPress premium themes are basically templates that you can download and use for your blog if you are using WordPress that provide the basic look and function of your blog. While basic WordPress themes are free, premium themes will cost you a little bit of money. The advantage of using premium themes? They lend your blog a more unique and official look and feel. The following are sites offering WordPress premium themes.

  • SomoThemes – SomoThemes offers beautiful WordPress themes that are optimized for social media, mobile-use, SEO and Google Authorship.
  • Thesis
  • Genesis

Web Based Design Tools

You’re going to need access to numerous design tools in order to design and tweak the layout of your blog as well as edit your photos, build your charts and infographics, and more. The following are all excellent design tools that you should make use of:

  • Canva – Canva lets you design your blog layout with ease through the use of their drag and drop tool. They even allow you to search for fonts, photos and graphics or upload your own.
  • Infogram – Choose from multiple templates in order to create charts and infographics. You can then add maps, videos, icons, images and much more before easily publishing it to your blog.
  • Piktochart
  • Pixlr
  • Skitch
  • Sumopaint
  • Venngage
  • Easelly

Stock Photos

Visual content, such as images, not only helps to draw the eye of your blog’s visitors and to help break up the text of your content, it also helps to give readers a clear idea of what the blog content is about when they glance over it. Taking your own photos can be time-consuming and hiring a professional to take photos specifically for your blog is typically way too expensive. Instead, you can nab free stock photos from one of these sources:

Typography

While you don’t want to go overboard with the font you use for your blog (please stay away from Comic Sans or Papyrus!), you can find fonts that are unique without being unreadable or distracting at some of these sites:

  • Font Squirrel – A great library of designer approved fonts. Plenty of them are free as well.
  • Google Fonts – Google fonts boasts hundreds of free, open-source fonts that are optimized for web use.
  • DaFont – Only come here if you can’t find the font you want from Font Squirrel.
  • ReadyMag – A great guide and recommendation of font pairings.
  • Typegenius
  • TypeKit
  • Typewolf

Icons

Adding icons is a good idea for a number of reasons. They help to provide information via a small picture, summing up what your text is about (an icon of a house directs visitors to the homepage, the icon of a magnifying glass indicates the search box, etc.), it helps draw attention since it differs from your website’s text and can help increase the readability of your blog.

Patterns

Don’t forget about the background of your blog pages. You’ll want something that adds visual interest and depth without detracting the reader from your actual content. You can also use these patterns to design the cover photos of your blog posts.

Color

You’ll want to use colors for your blog’s design that are representative of your brand. The following site allows you to download colors for your text, icons, dividers, backgrounds and status bars:

  • Google Material Design Color Palette – Download their color swatches for free and customize your color palette by choosing three hues from a primary palette and one accent from a secondary palette.

Writing Resources

writing resources for content marketers

So now that you’ve got all your design elements, you’ll actually want to get to what your blog is all about – the content. The following are some of the best resources for writing your blog:

Writing Tools

One of the toughest parts of writing content is making sure that you’ve used proper grammar and that you’ve spelled everything right. Additionally, you’ll need to worry about things such as whether the content reads naturally, if your title is effective and more. These tools will do just that:

  • Blog Title Generator – A free tool that generates titles for your blog that you can use for your posts or even for inspiration for other content.
  • Hemingway App – The Hemingway App will actually make suggestions for improving your writing in order to make your blog posts more readable.
  • Headline Analyzer – A neat tool that analyzes your headline and suggests things you can do to improve it.
  • Grammarly
  • Evernote

Outsourcing Sites

Not every marketer has the resources available to them to write their own content. Writing content is a difficult task, and one you may not have the time or resources to do yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites – often referred to as content mills – that allow you to outsource your content to writers, such as:

  • Zerys – You can use this site to find freelance writers for your blog posts, whether you do so through an open job board or via direct orders to writers you like.
  • Dribbble – You can use this site in order to hire designers to craft visual content, such as infographics.
  • Fiverr
  • Contently
  • iWriter
  • Constant-Content
  • Upwork
  • Awesomeweb

Outreaching Resources

outreaching resources for bloggers

Guest Blogging and Blogging Outreach Networks

Guest blogging is an excellent way to reach a new audience, strengthen your brand authority and create a strong and beneficial relationship with other companies within your industry. The following are a number of sites that can help you find relevant blogs on which you can contribute guest posts:

  • Guestr – Not only can you use Guestr to find guest blogging opportunities, you can also use it to find guest bloggers for your site. Guestr contains hundreds of sites to browse through.
  • BloggerLinkUp – This free community helps to connect guest bloggers to blog owners. You can even advertise for the kind of guest blog content you’re looking for.
  • Inbound.org
  • MyBlogGuest
  • BlogDash
  • GrowthHacker

Email Marketing

You can use the content you create for your blog to nurture the leads that have opted into your email list as well. Or you can simply alert leads on your email list about new blog content they might find beneficial. The following are some of the more highly regarded email marketing tools you can use:

  • MailChimp – MailChimp provides a ton of features, such as in-depth subscriber profiles that lets you see what their activity on your website is (thereby determining what kind of blog content they read), automation and personalization, advanced analytics and more.
  • Hubspot – Hubspot’s email software will help you grow your email list by sending targeted emails with smart content that includes text, images and calls-to-action that are based on the recipient’s past behavior and interests.
  • Aweber – Aweber makes it easy to do email marketing with autoresponders, email templates and mobile apps that allow you to track your emails’ performance on the go.
  • GetResponse
  • Constant Contact
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Vertical Response

SEO Resources

seo resources for content marketers

SEO is a big part of content marketing. You’ll want to optimize your content in order to make it easy for Google’s algorithm to identify, thereby increasing your chances of boosting your page ranking, which in turn brings in more readers.

SEO Tools

As a WordPress plugin for SEO ourselves, of course we’re going to recommend using SEOPressor. But aside from SEOPressor, there are plenty more useful tools that I will (try to) recommend without being biased. The following tools in order to optimize your blog effectively:

  • SEOPressor Connect – SEOPressor Connect is the complete WordPress SEO plugin for content marketers. With a price of only $9 per month, SEOPressor Connect is arguably most worthy WordPress SEO plugin in the market right now.
  • LSIGraph – LSI keywords are one of the most important factors in SEO and this tool will generate tons of LSI keywords that can help to strengthen the keyword optimization of your blog content.
  • Google Mobile Friendly Checker – Make sure your blog is mobile friendly by running it through this tool. Google will even tell you what aspects of your blog are not mobile friendly so you can fix it.
  • Ahrefs Backlink Checker
  • SEMRush
  • Soovle
  • Ubersuggest
  • Keywordshitter

SEO Browser Extensions

Make it easier to keep an eye on your blog’s search engine ranking by downloading some of the following SEO plugins, thereby allowing you to have instant access to a number of SEO-related metrics:

Analytic Tools

You won’t know if your blog is performing the way you want it to unless you are using analytics. Analytics will allow you to judge your blog’s performance and determine how you can adjust your content strategy to make your blog more successful. The following are a number of analytics tools well worth using:

Other Resources

ultimate resource list for content marketers

Social Sharing Buttons

Social share buttons will help you to gain exposure for your blog content by basically allowing readers to promote it for you. By clicking on a social share button, they’ll share your blog post on their personal social media pages where their friends and family can see it. Use these two sites to obtain social share buttons for your blog:

  • Cresta Social Share Buttons – A popular WP plugin that offers nine different button styles and shows a social counter, fade animation, floating social buttons and more.
  • Simple Share Buttons Adder – It does what it says, it simply adds share buttons to your blog pages. You can, however, upload your own custom images to use as well.

Social Engagement Tools

Making sure that your readers engage with your content should be an important priority. The following are a few tools that will help you do this:

  • Disqus – Around 3.5 million websites use Disqus to implement a community platform that powers comments and encourages engagement.
  • Livefyre – This content marketing platform leverages huge amounts of native and social network user-generated content that discuss or mention your brand, thereby allowing you to engage in real-time conversation as well as through social curation.
  • Buffer – Buffer allows you to manage your social media accounts and schedule your posts for an affordable price.
  • Flipboard Extension – Flip articles to your Flipboard account easily by installing this extension.

Statistics and Tables

Including charts and statistics into your content is a great way to back up your statements using hard data. The following are great tools for this:

  • Statista – Statista is one of the biggest sources for statistical data in the world. It’s easy to search for a list of statistics, reports and studies that are relevant to your content. Not to mention that there are more than 18,000 sources available that include over 10,000 studies and one million statistics, meaning that you’re bound to find something helpful that you can use. You can obtain your statistics in visual form as well via infographics.
  • Tables Generator – If you ever need to create a table for your data, use this tool to generate a HTML table.

Enjoy The List and Stay Resourceful

These are all the resources that I recommend and I hope you find them useful as well. If there are any other resources that you think should be on the list, let me know in the comment section below.

Download The Complete List of Blogging Tips Now

  • List of more than 70 blogging tips
  • Genuine tips that you can actually apply
  • Link to relevant articles included
  • Tips that bring actual results

Updated: 21 July 2017

Zhi Yuan

About Zhi Yuan

Zhi Yuan is an inbound marketer who has expertise in both SEO and content marketing. He is on a never-ending quest to understand the mysteries of the search engine world, and sometimes, on his way to the ice-cream parlor.

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