73 (Mainly) Under The Radar Digital Marketing Tools

**Last Updated Feb 2017**

Every six – eight weeks we put on a little digital marketing event in Nottingham called Drink Digital. It isn’t a vast lavish affair, just a bunch of people interested in the industry getting together.

Whilst the event is mainly a laid back affair just hanging out with people who have similar interests we do share some of the stuff that we find interesting useful. We share what has been happening in the industry since the last meetup in a small presentation and then we go on to share some tools that can make your life as a digital marketer (or person responsible for digital marketing) that little bit easier.

A few things:

• All of these tools have been tried and tested by me.
• Most of them will have been used by other team members at Boom.
• Some stay in the tool set and some drop out but all are worth knowing about.
• This post is intended to gather up every tool we have shared at the Drink Digital events so that there is a handy record of them all. All of the past tools are here. I will be adding to the list every few months with recent additions. I may even throw in the ones that didn’t make the final cut.
• Most are free or have a freemium option (there is the odd one that is paid but was included because the value of the tool brings easily outweighs the cost).

Enjoy.

Writing Tools

Hemingway App (http://www.hemingwayapp.com/)

Price: Online version is free, desktop app is a whopping $9.99

This is one of the more famous tools in the list and one that has been around for some time now. Simply copy and paste your chosen text and the app goes to work highlighting how you might improve your writing style with clarity and brevity.

hemmingway1

They have recently added a couple of new features in ‘Write for the Web’ and ‘Write for Microsoft Word’

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Social Media Tools

Bioischanged (http://bioischanged.com/)

Price: Free

Bioischanged nearly disappeared from the web recently and I was glad that it was saved. It’s an incredibly simple tool that does pretty much one thing. When one of your twitter friends someone’s bio or profile changes it lets you know. You can get notifications if you want but I use the old fashioned email version. Each weekend I get a nice compact little email telling me who has changed their bio. Sometimes you have to look hard to see that someone has swapped a comma for a full stop – but, when people swap jobs you know. If you are using it as part of an outreach/relationship strategy you can see how that might be useful.

Or, like me, you might just be a little bit nosey.

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MetaReddit (http://metareddit.com/)

So this doesn’t appear to be available any more.

metareddit

Price: Nothing any more

Let’s give you some extras because this one is no longer live:

http://snoopsnoo.com/ – Enter your username below and get insights on your reddit activity.

http://www.redditinvestigator.com/ – check out stats on usernames

http://www.redditinsight.com/ – We downloaded the Reddit. What we found will surprise you. (they wrote that – not me!!!)

Did you know that if you add /about/traffic to the end of a reddit URL you get the stats? Hat Tip Chris Dyson.

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360SocialMe (http://360social.me/)

Price: Free -although the pricing page suggests that there will be a subscription model later

A handy little chrome extension that surfaces people’s details based on their social profiles. For example when in twitter you can select 360socialme to grab as much data as possible based on a person’s twitter handle. Useful for outreach, influencer marketing, lead generation and a whole host of other applications.

360socialme

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Content Harmony Sharemetrics (http://www.contentharmony.com/tools/sharemetric/)

Price: Free

A nifty little chrome extension from Kane Jamison. Incredibly powerful as well. It quickly gathers up data for the URL that you are on so that you can see how popular it is. It pulls in social, link and organic search data right into your browser.

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Data comes from decent sources as well:

• Facebook
• G+
• LinkedIn
• Twitter
• Reddit
• StumbleUpon
• Pinterest
• Moz
• Ahrefs
• SEMrush

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Uprise.io (https://uprise.io/)

Price: Free and then one price for all – a reasonable $49.99 a month

If Buzzsumo is a little too pricey then this is a great alternative. Like Buzzsumo it is a content discovery tool that can assist in finding sites for outreach, finding people who can help you amplify your content and clusters of sites in a given niche. I found it particularly useful for the latter – especially if you have just picked up a client in a niche that you have never worked in before.

upriseio

 

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It has some nice little surprise features as well like the ability to create Trello cards based on the content that you are discovering.

Also I like Lee who works there cos he bought me a beer.

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Pull Quote (http://bit.ly/1Jup4n2 – only a bitly cos it was a long URL!)

Price: Free

A handy little chrome extension that takes quotes that are too big for twitter and turns them into a little image for you to share instead. It definitely beats screen grabbing and you get an account that saves all the quotes you have shared.

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Nice.

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Buzzsumo Chrome Extension (http://buzzsumo.com/blog/twitter-share-counts-in-your-browser-new-buzzsumo-chrome-extension/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free

By the time this goes live Twitter will have removed their share counts  from their Twitter buttons and providers will have to pay a fortune to get them into their tools. Well fear not.  Buzzsumo’s new chrome extension (get it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/buzzsumo/gedpbnanjmblcmlfhgfficjnglidndfo?hl=en) comes to the rescue.

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Impactana (http://www.impactana.com/**Added Nov 2015**

Price: Toolbar Free and App form $39

Still looking at social and content tools we have Impactana – from the guys that brought you Link Research Tools. Whilst it has a pretty steep learning curve it is quite handy as an alternative to Buzzsumo or Uprise.io. The toolbar is pretty cool as it gives you a combines impact score – moving away from different counts into a concept not dissimilar to Moz’s 1 Metric.

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SEO Tools

Image Raider (https://www.imageraider.com/)

Price: Free – paid when you have a load of images but it still unbelievably good value for money.

Image Raider has been around for ages but I just don’t see it mentioned that often. If you produce image based content in any form it is a great tool for helping you surface the places that they have appeared. The most obvious use for image raider is for tracking when people are sharing or using your infographics. Whilst you are going to be picking up the people that link using your favourite backlink tool what happens with the places that share but don’t give you a link?

Sure you can pop into reverse image search but doing things by hand is laborious and costly. Let image raider do it for you.
There are other potential uses as well:

1. Use it to keep track of people that have used your logo – potential link opportunities
2. You can use Stacey McNaughts image link building technique and keep track of the places that they are used and not given link attribution.

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URL Profiler (http://urlprofiler.com/)

Price: Starts at a very reasonable £15.95 a month

This is probably my favourite tool on this list. The problem is I always struggle to describe it. So I’ll let them do that for me:
“URL Profiler doesn’t just do one task; it can be configured to retrieve a large array of link, content and social data for almost ANY task. Thousands of URLs at once – with no limits or constraints – just the data you need, when you need it.”

It does so much stuff that I am just going to have to link out to it all from here – seriously if you don’t have, you need it. Now. And no there aren’t any affiliate links in here.

How To Use The Google Indexation Checker
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/google-indexation-checker-tutorial/

Building Competitor SEO Profiles
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/competitor-seo-profiles/

Pimp Up Your SEO Reports with Import & Merge
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/import-merge/

How to Use the Duplicate Content Checker
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/content-checker-tutorial/

Bulk Screenshot any Website or Webpage
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/bulk-screenshots/

How to Find Every Link to Your Website (For Free)
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/find-links/

How To Build a Content Inventory
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/content-inventory/

Combining Screaming Frog Data with URL Profiler Data
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/screaming-frog/

How to Classify Thousands Of Unnatural Links (Really Quickly)
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/classify-unnatural-links/

How to Classify 6800 Links in Minutes with URLProfiler
http://tripleseo.com/link-auditing-urlprofiler/

Revolutionising your Buzzstream Database with URL Profiler
http://www.blueclawsearch.co.uk/blog/2015/04/08/revolutionising-your-buzzstream-database-with-url-profiler/

How To Do a Content Audit – Step-by-Step
https://moz.com/blog/content-audit-tutorial

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FAQFox (http://faqfox.com/)

Price: Free

If part of your job is creating content then you know the importance collecting data to show that there are people out there that are interested in what you are creating. Whilst there are a bunch of suggest style tools (some of which no longer have the data that they used to – thanks Google) there are others that base their data collection on other sources. FAQfox is one of those.
In fact you are in the driving seat here because whilst FAQfox has defined sites to scrape (mainly reddit) you can enter the sites that you choose – super handy if there are a lot Q and A or forum type sites that are concentrated on the niche that you are interested in.

 

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Keywordtool.io (http://keywordtool.io/)

Price: Free and paid for if pulling search volume data

When we shared this at Drink it wasn’t on the horizon that Google would be pulling the autosuggest API. When I tested this tool recently it was working but I can’t say for sure that it will be when you try!! This was one of my go to tools for long tail keyword research (along with AnswerthePublic – also still working at the time of writing).
Using the research from tools like these and the application of the techniques described in here by Cyrus Shepard you can build content that ranks for dozens and dozens of keywords – and more often than not – hundreds and hundreds.

keywordtoolio

Smart application of the research helps you create content that people want, fills a need and ranks.

Simple.

Ish

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Siteliner (http://www.siteliner.com/)

Price: The free Siteliner service is limited to monthly analyses of sites up to 250 pages. The Siteliner Premium service allows you to analyse websites up to 25,000 pages, with no limitations on how often analyses are run.

Made by the guys behind copyscape this is a great way to get a trove of valuable data for free. The limitations, of course, mean that you are limited to the smaller sites – but this isn’t designed for agencies.

sitelinedr1

 

siteliner2

Get quick data on:

Duplicate Content – Duplicate content can lower your site’s search engine rankings, reducing the traffic to your site. Siteliner systematically checks your site for internal duplicate content, highlighting it on each page, intelligently excluding common content such as menus and navigation.

Broken Links – Broken links can damage your site’s user experience and lower your site’s search engine rankings. Siteliner checks all internal links on your site to ensure they are working, and highlights the broken links so you can fix them easily.

Page Power – Siteliner identifies the pages that are most prominent to search engines as they crawl through your site based on the link patterns between your pages.
Reports – Siteliner crawls and analyses the pages on your site, revealing key information about each page. It provides a standard XML Sitemap for your site, as well as a more detailed Siteliner Report.

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KWfinder (https://kwfinder.com/)

Price: Free and then from $29 a month.

A lot of tools are now including some kind of keyword difficulty tool (Moz, SEMrush etc.) but you may not have access (nor want access) to all of the things that these tool sets offer.
KWfinder is a nice little alternative for small businesses. Whilst it is missing some key features (ability to upload lists of keywords, queuing for keywords rather than waiting to click the next keyword to get the scores) and some frustrations (occasionally hangs up, looks solely at on page data rather than including some domain data) it is one tool that we use sometimes internally.
The interface is pretty cool and has the Keyword Planner data on the left, Google Trends top right and then the current SERPS bottom right. Having all the data in one easy to use interface is pretty cool. If they fix their little problems they are heading from a nice little tool to an essential tool.

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WikiGrabber (http://wikigrabber.com/)

Price: Free

From an SEO point of view many dismiss Wikipedia links as unnecessary, useless, not as good as they used to be, nofollowed – why would I want nofollowed, yada yadda yadda.
Speaking from experience a citation on an oft visited Wikipedia page for your content (we aren’t talking company profiles here) can bring you a steady stream of traffic day in day out (until some mod removes it!! ;))

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WikiGrabber helps you identify those opportunities where key Wikipedia pages in your industry have broken links or need citations – you just need to head over there and show them your valuable treasures.

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AlchemyAPI (http://www.alchemyapi.com/)

Price: Free

Drop a URL into the tool and get related entities, concepts, relations and more.
Really helps with optimising pages beyond the old way of keyword targeting. Using this helps guide what you include in your content helps your pages appear for much more than a money keyword.

alcemyapi1

Keep an eye for a new tool from Boom that uses this API!

In the meantime you may want to cast your eyes over this great post by Bill Sebald – How To Work Relationships and Concepts Into Your Copy

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Million Short (https://millionshort.com/)

Price: Free

Remove the top search results to find the gems that are hidden on pages much further down. Helps you find sites and blogs to outreach to that don’t get bothered by SEO and PR folk too much – yep I’m looking at you guys. Can remove top 100, 1000, 10k, 100k or million results.

millionshort1

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RankTank SERPitude (http://www.ranktank.org/serpitude-serp-rich-snippet-testing-tool/)

Price: Free

A free downloadable tool for checking whether a site has implemented Rich Snippets correctly. Enter the domain and use an advanced Google search query to specify the kind of page that you want. In the example we have the inurl:recipe command because that is where food.com stores all of its recipes.

serpitude

 

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RankTank Domain Address Finder (http://www.ranktank.org/find-business-address-by-website-domain/)

Price: Free

Another Google Doc, this time for finding business addresses and phone numbers from a list of domain names. Could be useful in outreach, product giveaways and PR.
Doesn’t have a massive hit rate but will save you some time.

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RankTank Mobile SERP Tester (http://www.ranktank.org/mobile-friendly-serp-testing-tool/)

Price: Free

A cool little desktop app to check for mobile friendly tags when you need to do it more than one by one.

mobile serp tester1

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SeeRobots (http://bit.ly/1JIVcqu – bitly again because the URL was soooo long)

Price: Free

Chrome extension for displaying Meta robots information in your chrome browser, (index, follow – index, nofollowed – noindex, follow – noindex, nofollowed)

seerobots2

 

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Ayima Pulse (https://www.ayima.com/pulse/)

Price: Free

A nicely presented web app for tracking SERP volatility by sector – top 100 sites. A visualisation of Google rankings, showing how big and small algorithm changes are affecting the major sites within each industry. Over 50,000 non-brand keywords are assessed across ten sectors, showing fluctuations from the past 30 days.

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RankTank Infinite Suggest (http://www.ranktank.org/infinite-suggest-google-autocomplete-keyword-tool/) **New Sept 2015**

Another handy tool from Sean over at RankTank. Since Google shut off the access to the Autosuggest API there has been a bit of worry in the SEO world. Turns out that Ubersuggest, AnswerthePublic and Keywordtool.io are still working but not firing off as many suggestions. Enter Infinite Suggest. A handy desktop tool for getting the suggest results back from Google.

infinte1 inf2

Using it is super simple:

  1. enter keyword
  2. choose country
  3. go get em
  4. get results
  5. filter them down
  6. drag em across
  7. export them for winning the Internet

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Compressor.io (Compressor.io) **New Sept 2015**

  • Reduce the size of your images whilst retaining high quality
  • Help speed up your site

comprerssor

WP-Backlinks (http://wp-backlinks.com/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free

A handy little WordPress plugin that allows you to see your backlinks inside or WordPress. It runs on Majestic and the data is updated regularly. If you have access to your site Webmaster Tools Search Console you can get all of the data pulled in.

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Productivity Tools

UnrollMe (https://unroll.me/)

Price: Free

One of the biggest time killers nowadays is all the emails you get. We get swamped and it doesn’t help that we have to subscribe to email lists every time we want a free tool or report. Free. Huh?

Unrollme is a great little tool for pulling all those emails together into one roll up so you can see what you want to read and when – you can also unsubscribe en masse – helpful.

 

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ProjectNaptha (https://projectnaptha.com/)

Price: Free

“Project Naptha automatically applies state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms on every image you see while browsing the web. The result is a seamless and intuitive experience, where you can highlight as well as copy and paste and even edit and translate the text formerly trapped within an image.”

Well that was easier than trying to explain it myself.

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Link Bubble (http://bit.ly/1JzdLfz – see all other bitly links!)

Price: Free

A major time saver. Navigating around the mobile web can be a frustrating experience as you open a link from Twitter and then twiddle your thumbs whilst you wait for the link to load up. Link Bubble helps you get round this with a simple solution. It opens up multiple tabs in the background whilst you are still in the native app.

linkbubble2

 

If I am 100% honest I have stopped using this since I shared it – I found a better alternative (for me anyway):

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Flynx (https://flynxapp.com/)

Price: Free

 

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Writers Block (http://writersblock.io/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free or $10 one off download fee

These kind of tools come and go and this isn’t the first one that I have used.

Essentially what this tool will do is lock down your computer whilst you crack on with your work. If you have issues of getting distracted easily then this is handy little addition to your tool set. I find this kind of tool helpful for writing blog posts outlines – or something else that doesn’t require immediate research on the internet.

You can set it to lock your computer down based on word count or minutes worked – great for productivity.

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Blockspring (https://www.blockspring.com/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free for single users This has been changed to  14day free trial and then you need to subscribe for it continue to work

So this is cool.

It allows you to pull in data from a number of web services into Excel or Google Sheets – or even Slack. It cuts down the amount of grunt work that you have to do.

I won’t talk about it too much as I am planning on writing a full post about it in the future.

Here are some of the APIs and services that you can hook up into it.

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Phrase Express (http://www.phraseexpress.com/) **Added April 2016**

Text expanders have been around for ages and I have been meaning to set one up since – well, about ages. When I got round to it I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.

If you haven’t heard of text expanders before the concept is simple. You set some shortcodes for things that you write regularly. These could things like salutations or quick response emails. I have added a bunch of these along with shortened versions of digital marketing jargon that I type each day (think Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and the like). I have even gone to the lengths of saving answers to common questions that clients ask – now two paragraph answers are served with three letters.

It takes time to set it up – but when you have…well I’ll let you treat me to a drink next time I see you.


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Process Street (https://www.process.st/**Added April 2016**

Every business has processes and check-lists that they need to follow. They could be as mundane as how to book a day off  or they could be a check-list of the 27 things you need to do before you press publish on a blog post.

Most of us have some of these. Thing is – they tend to be in word documents. And some are Google Docs. And accounts did theirs in excel. In different folders in your system. Without out any naming system.

To combat at this at Boom we have started to organise it all into different folders in one place and following a strict format.

We are a long way from completing it (Rome and all that jazz) but Process Street is where we are building it.

What Process Street allows is the documents to become living entities that can be adjusted easily and quickly – sections can be taken out and changed. Any team member can run the process as a check-list – you cant do that in a word document (they also get the satisfaction of ticking things off).

You can also export them to word documents if you want (excel is coming I hear).

You can easily add images or videos.

Processes aren’t fun. But they are necessary.

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Convo (convo.com) **Added April 2016**

Slack this. Slack that. We tried slack ages ago. Twice. It didn’t work for us.

We tried loads of collaboration tools to get rid of email chains and other stuff that actually slows you down and causes you stress.

We used to use Yammer but they got rid of the image commenting collaboration tool.

So we moved to convo and haven’t looked back.

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Todoist (https://todoist.com**Added April 2016**

All of work in tracked in a project management tool called Liquid Planner – its great for the high level stuff that has to happen in a digital marketing agency. For smaller on the move tasks that wouldn’t class as a real trackable task in Liquid Planner several of us use todoist. Its a bit like Astrid was before Yahoo bought and shut it down and never mentioned it again. The beauty of todoist is it as simple as you want it be – or you can file everything away with OCD precision – the choice is yours.

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Go F***ing Work (http://bit.ly/defnoswearinginthislink**Added April 2016**

Get distracted easily? Get your computer to block and the offend you when you try and visit pre-configured sites.

Get offended into working!

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PPC Tools

Moat.com (http://www.moat.com/)

Price: Free

So we all like to know what our competitors are up to and whilst tools like SEMrush can give us competitive data on where our PPC competitors are showing up and Spy Fu can dig deep into what they might be spending, Moat is a nice little tool to see what is happening with image based ads.
Surface trends or new ways of presenting your ads and find inspiration.

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Email/Outreach Tools

Conspire (https://www.conspire.com)

Price: Free

Conspire is a tool that does a couple of things – and does them really well. Firstly it keeps track of your emails and gives you stats regarding how many you receive, how many you send and then digs deeper for more actionable stats like how long you take to respond to emails.

conspire1

That’s all cool but there are other services that do that – I used to use Gmail Meter

What conspire offers in addition is an introduction tool – something that is helpful for outreach and just business in general. If you need to get in touch with somebody how cool would it be if you had a tool that told you how you were connected with them? Sure there is LinkedIn and the introduction feature but we are inherently connected to more people via email – or at least I am. This is where conspire comes in – look for connections to get introductions.

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Email Breaker (http://www.emailbreaker.com/)

Price: Free

A database of some of the bigger sites on the Internet. If you know the name of the journalist but don’t have an email you can search their database for the most used formatting of emails for that domain. Not got loads of sites in there at the moment but one to look at for the future.

Combine this tool with an email validator like ValidateEmailAddress (http://validateemailaddress.org/) or Verify Email Address (http://verify-email.org/).
Price: Most of these are free.

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Email & Social Media Account Matcher (http://mackwebsolutions.com/2014/01/email-social-media-account-matcher/)

Price: Free

A Google Doc tool that uses the FullContact API to help you match social media accounts to any emails you have. Let’s say (for example) you are running a social media competition that requites people to enter their email, you can then take their emails and find out what they are or where they are on social media and maybe do some super targeted twitter advertising or similar.

The Google Doc is limits you to 50 searchers at a time so you may have to copy and paste a few times.

The FullContact API is free for 250 matches a month so you can only run small list. If you want more the API is $99 a month.

If you are going to use the API I suggest you use the Excel sheet in the next item below rather than the Google Doc.

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Full Contact Person Enrichment Tool (https://builtvisible.com/fullcontact-api-excel/)

Price: Free

It has nice reports and can do more searches than the Google Doc – you will need the API though or it bombs out.

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Crystal Knows (https://www.crystalknows.com/)

Price: Free and then from $19 a month

Crystal Knows hasn’t been around that long and did a great job of gamifying their sign up process. Crystal Knows pulls in data from around the web and then ties it in to standard personality profiling to give you a deeper understanding of the people that you are communicating with via email.

crystalscreenshot1

Improving communication and knowing what makes other people tick is crucial is persuading them to read your email or undertake that task.

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Mailtrack.io (https://mailtrack.io)

Price: Free

What? People are tracking when you are opening their emails without you knowing? Crazy!
Okay it sounds a little creepy but wouldn’t you like to know when people opened an important email? If you are conducting outreach knowing which subject lines lead to an email being opened and which don’t is super helpful information. Knowing what time you send emails leads to them being opened is helpful information.

If your work going live relies on others answering emails or approving work then knowing that they are receiving and reading your emails is important. Mailtrack.io gives you insight into who opens emails in a timely manner and who leaves them to fester in their inbox. You can then take action based on this insight.

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Boomerang (http://www.boomeranggmail.com/)

Price: Free and then from a very reasonable $4.99 a month.

Boomerang has been around for ages but is still one of the best on the market (although I used the features in Mixmax to do this now).
Schedule emails to go out a later time – you will be surprised how much you can improve your outreach through timed emails – set to land in peoples inboxes at the right time.
Set yourself a reminder in case you don’t hear back from a client on that important brief by 4pm on Thursday – or whenever, obviously).

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Gmail Undo Send (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1284885?hl=en)

Price: Free

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When we shared this at Drink Undo Send was hidden away in the labs section of Gmail – that little place where cool features live for about 73 years before being promoted to the main features section.

Well after only 34 years in Labs Undo Send has finally made it to the main features of Gmail.

It does what it says on the tin, if you have clicked send on email and then spotted the mistake you can quickly recall it before it is too late.

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Here is how to make sure it is enabled (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1284885?hl=en)

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MixMax (https://mixmax.com/) **New Sept 2015**

This has to be one of my favourite new(ish) discoveries. I can’t belive you get so much for so little (free and then super reasonable)

mixmax

  • Gmail productivity add on – that does loads of stuff:
  • Tracks outbound emails
  • Meeting availability scheduler
  • Schedule emails to send later
  • Email templates
  • Link and document previews inside email
  • Polls inside emails
  • Surveys inside emails
  • Ability to include code in emails
  • Dropbox/Drive integration
  • Free version does the job – then from $9/pm

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Anymail Finder (http://anymailfinder.com/) **New Sept 2015**

  • Used to be thrust.io
  • Improved backend
  • New chrome plugin
  • Find emails of potential contacts as you traverse the web
  • Free for 15 searches a day

anymailfinder


Find That Email (https://findthat.email) **Added Feb 2017**

Price: Free and then very competitively priced

I have recently been playing around with this relative new email finder. There are lots on the market now but this is giving some of the others a run for their money with some great usability, competitive pricing and a high accuracy rate.

Well worth checking out. It has a nice find feature and then email verification as part of the same service. It has a really user friendly bulk upload feature which can save you a bunch of time if you have “obtained” some emails from somewhere else.

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CRO Tools

Peek (http://peek.usertesting.com/)

Price: Free for a quick go – then upgrade

User testing is great. I can say that because we have done it in the past. What if you haven’t? Wouldn’t it bee cool if there was a free service where you can get a sample of how it works? Well that’s what Peek does. It gives you a little, err, peek into what user testing is all about and whether it will be right for you.

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Content Marketing Tools

Niice (https://niice.co/)

Price: Free

If you work on visual content in anyway (web design, email marketing, content marketing) then you will know that finding visual inspiration day after day can be a major pain in the bum. Niice takes the concept of the swipe file and builds into a place that you feel like you want to go back to. As they put it:

“No clip art, no porn, no ‘Like this!’ or ’Share that!’… Just beautiful, inspiring design from hand-picked sources.”

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Death To The Stock Photo (http://deathtothestockphoto.com/)

Price: Free or $15 a month for additional packs and access to the whole library.

Death To The Stock Photo is a service rather than a tool. A simple idea and well executed. Not all small businesses or bloggers can afford a stock photo account – and to be fair a lot of them are terrible anyway. Digging through Flickr is a great way to find royalty free images but it can take forever to find good ones. What Death To The Stock Photo does is provide you with a free pack of royalty free photos to use on your blog (or wherever) that don’t look like everybody else images (unless everyone signs up to this service of course!)

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Wiki MindMap (http://www.wikimindmap.org/)

Price: Free

This nifty little tool allows you to build mind maps based on keywords and scouring Wikipedia articles for related words and topics. Helpful for helping brainstorming content ideas, finding new avenues to explore for content curation, keyword research and on page optimisation.

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Storyform (https://storyform.co/)

Price: Free (unlimited page views, 3 domains, editor) Business Plan $99 a month

WordPress plugin that helps create engaging narratives instead of blog standard posts. Uses AI to perfect layouts for you, add pictures, video, text and captions, multi device friendly, goes full screen, here is a demo: https://storyform.co/demo/rainier

You can also see this in action on this blog post from Kane Jamison – 2015 CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS: BULLISH & BEARISH REPORT

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Updated Content Strategy Helper (https://builtvisible.com/content-strategy-helper/)

Price: Free

A Google Doc that pulls in data of trending stories and topics from around the world. This has been around for a few years now but it was recently updated.

Includes trending data from:

• Twitter (users, hashtags, phrases)
• Google Search Trends
• YouTube Trends
• Reddit (front page)
• Google News
• Rad URLs (top trending on Facebook & Twitter)
• All Things Now (top trending on Facebook)
• Hacker News (front page)
• LinkedIn Pulse (top shared content in the last 24hrs w/ view count)
• Digg
• ONS.gov.UK (latest research)
• YouGov

Input a keyword and get ideas from:

• Google News (UK & US topic related news)
• Hacker News (top performing topic related articles)
• Reddit (top)
• Digg (top)
• YouTube (most viewed topic related videos)
• ONS.gov.uk
• Yougov
• Data.gov
• Google Scholar
• How Stuff Works
• Yahoo Answers (most answered)
• Also pulls influencer data from Followerwonk

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YouGov Profiles (https://yougov.co.uk/find-solutions/profiles/)

Price: Free (requires account)

Build personas for content, for marketing, for outreach or whatever you want using YouGov data – do it yourself instead of paying £1000’s and £1000’s

Always take with a pinch of salt and alas they do not have a download option so it is screenshots and handwritten notes all the way.

Screenshot_090115_113149_AM

 

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EpicBeat (http://epicbeat.epictions.com/) **New Sept 2015**

A cool little tool in the vein of Buzzsumo:

  • Content marketing discovery tool
  • Currently free
  • No sign up required
  • Good for social media post discover
  • Good for content creation idea seeking

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The Section Of The Er, Content Section That Was All From June 2016

So in June of 2016 we did a themed version of the tools section of Drink Digital. It all stemmed from this piece of content:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-e8c6cbab-da44-4a3c-8f9b-c4fccd53dd24

1

Not only is an interesting read – you should read it – but it is also indicative of a type of content that has slowly made its way into the bigger news sites in the last few years.

Snow Fall was the first time I remember seeing something like this and many have popped up since:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/may/26/firestorm-bushfire-dunalley-holmes-family

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/05/upshot/how-the-recession-reshaped-the-economy-in-255-charts.html

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/07/21/silk-road/

But we, you, us don’t have that budget so how can you create stuff like this for next to nothing?

Body on the Moor was made with this:

https://shorthand.com/

It’s cool but can get quite expensive:

screenshot-shorthand.com 2016-06-17 13-33-05

So here are some tools for you to be able to create similar stuff on a budget.

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Storyform (https://storyform.co/) **New June 2016**

Price: Free for 1 domain, 1 story a month and %k views – then fro $8 a month

A viable alternative to Shorthand at a fraction of the price.

You can see a live demo here: https://storyform.co/demo/rainier

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TimelineJs (https://timeline.knightlab.com/index.html) **New June 2016**

Price: Free

A free tool for creating beautiful timelines from your own data and a Google Doc – it really is that simple.

Want to see it in action?

Nelson Mandela’s Extraordinary Life: An Interactive Timeline

World Wine History

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Juxtapose Slider (https://juxtapose.knightlab.com/) **New June 2016**

Price: Free

Basically a free way of creating before and after sliders – often used in news stories:

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StoryMapJs (https://storymap.knightlab.com/**New June 2016**

Price: Free

Made by the same guys as Timeline this takes the same concept and allows you turn the story into a map. Great if you are telling a story that follows a map based narrative.

Here are some live examples of it being used:

Hockey, hip-hop, and other Green Line highlights

ISIS’s Road to Baghdad

Explore Christo And Jeanne-Claude’s Works Of Art

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Graphiq (https://www.graphiq.com/) ** New June 2016**

Price: Free

A handy – a quite in depth free data search engine. Comes with embeds that you can drop directly into your new stories.

 

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DataWrapper (https://datawrapper.de/) **New June 2016**

Price: Free

If you have your own data to upload to tell your story you can take it over here. The free version gives you all functions and allows you to download the charts as pngs. The paid version gives you the option to embed as well.

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Analytics Tools

Quill Engage (https://quillengage.narrativescience.com/)

Price: Free for 10 Analytics profiles

So that is what it WAS

You can now find it here https://www.quillengage.com/

Price: Now free for 1 Google Analytics view and a reasonable price for multiples (see below)

So this was free for 10 profiles – enough for a lot of us. This has just changed in the last few weeks.

Analyses your Analytics accounts and sends weekly and monthly reports on their progress. Uses Narrative Science AI to write a report for you that lands in your email inbox. Genuinely useful data insight delivered as if it was written by a human.

quillengage1

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PR Tools **New Sept 2015**

Hey Press (https://www.hey.press/) **New Sept 2015**

A great little tool for finding journalists based on keywords.

  • Free account
  • Find journalists by keyword
  • You have to pay to export
  • Use link clump or scraper for chrome to get data instead 😉

heypress

It is super simple to use as well!

  1. enter keyword
  2. see people
  3. see emails and twitter handles
  4. see most recent articles

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Anewstip (http://anewstip.com/**New Sept 2015**

  • Find journalist by what they are tweeting
  • Useful for research
  • Free account
  • Pay if you want email addresses ($79 a month)

anewstip

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Pressfarm (https://press.farm**New Sept 2015**

  • Essentially just a big unorganised list of journalists
  • Free version gets you their twitter handles
  • Pay $9 (flat fee) to see emails for 30 days

pressfarm

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Design Tools

Industry Specific Lorem Ipsum Generator (https://www.boom-online.co.uk/lorem-ipsum/) **Added Nov 2015**

So I wont wax too lyrical about this one. Our Pete made it. He wrote about it here: https://www.boom-online.co.uk/industry-based-lorem-ipsum/

Basically it calls up Wikipedia based on your choice and gives you lorem ipsum that looks better than the standard or Samuel L Jackson lorem ipsum.

Picture5

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….and breathe….

That is it for now. Hopefully you have found something useful within that stack of tools! Bookmark this page because I will update it following each Drink Digital event.

**Last Updated June 2016**

Every six – eight weeks we put on a little digital marketing event in Nottingham called Drink Digital. It isn’t a vast lavish affair, just a bunch of people interested in the industry getting together.

Whilst the event is mainly a laid back affair just hanging out with people who have similar interests we do share some of the stuff that we find interesting useful. We share what has been happening in the industry since the last meetup in a small presentation and then we go on to share some tools that can make your life as a digital marketer (or person responsible for digital marketing) that little bit easier.

A few things:

• All of these tools have been tried and tested by me.
• Most of them will have been used by other team members at Boom.
• Some stay in the tool set and some drop out but all are worth knowing about.
• This post is intended to gather up every tool we have shared at the Drink Digital events so that there is a handy record of them all. All of the past tools are here. I will be adding to the list every few months with recent additions. I may even throw in the ones that didn’t make the final cut.
• Most are free or have a freemium option (there is the odd one that is paid but was included because the value of the tool brings easily outweighs the cost).

Enjoy.

Writing Tools

Hemingway App (http://www.hemingwayapp.com/)

Price: Online version is free, desktop app is a whopping $9.99

This is one of the more famous tools in the list and one that has been around for some time now. Simply copy and paste your chosen text and the app goes to work highlighting how you might improve your writing style with clarity and brevity.

hemmingway1

They have recently added a couple of new features in ‘Write for the Web’ and ‘Write for Microsoft Word’

hemmingway2

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Social Media Tools

Bioischanged (http://bioischanged.com/)

Price: Free

Bioischanged nearly disappeared from the web recently and I was glad that it was saved. It’s an incredibly simple tool that does pretty much one thing. When one of your twitter friends someone’s bio or profile changes it lets you know. You can get notifications if you want but I use the old fashioned email version. Each weekend I get a nice compact little email telling me who has changed their bio. Sometimes you have to look hard to see that someone has swapped a comma for a full stop – but, when people swap jobs you know. If you are using it as part of an outreach/relationship strategy you can see how that might be useful.

Or, like me, you might just be a little bit nosey.

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MetaReddit (http://metareddit.com/)

So this doesn’t appear to be available any more.

metareddit

Price: Nothing any more

Let’s give you some extras because this one is no longer live:

http://snoopsnoo.com/ – Enter your username below and get insights on your reddit activity.

http://www.redditinvestigator.com/ – check out stats on usernames

http://www.redditinsight.com/ – We downloaded the Reddit. What we found will surprise you. (they wrote that – not me!!!)

Did you know that if you add /about/traffic to the end of a reddit URL you get the stats? Hat Tip Chris Dyson.

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360SocialMe (http://360social.me/)

Price: Free -although the pricing page suggests that there will be a subscription model later

A handy little chrome extension that surfaces people’s details based on their social profiles. For example when in twitter you can select 360socialme to grab as much data as possible based on a person’s twitter handle. Useful for outreach, influencer marketing, lead generation and a whole host of other applications.

360socialme

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Content Harmony Sharemetrics (http://www.contentharmony.com/tools/sharemetric/)

Price: Free

A nifty little chrome extension from Kane Jamison. Incredibly powerful as well. It quickly gathers up data for the URL that you are on so that you can see how popular it is. It pulls in social, link and organic search data right into your browser.

contentharm1

Data comes from decent sources as well:

• Facebook
• G+
• LinkedIn
• Twitter
• Reddit
• StumbleUpon
• Pinterest
• Moz
• Ahrefs
• SEMrush

contentharm2

 

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Uprise.io (https://uprise.io/)

Price: Free and then one price for all – a reasonable $49.99 a month

If Buzzsumo is a little too pricey then this is a great alternative. Like Buzzsumo it is a content discovery tool that can assist in finding sites for outreach, finding people who can help you amplify your content and clusters of sites in a given niche. I found it particularly useful for the latter – especially if you have just picked up a client in a niche that you have never worked in before.

upriseio

 

upriseio2

It has some nice little surprise features as well like the ability to create Trello cards based on the content that you are discovering.

Also I like Lee who works there cos he bought me a beer.

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Pull Quote (http://bit.ly/1Jup4n2 – only a bitly cos it was a long URL!)

Price: Free

A handy little chrome extension that takes quotes that are too big for twitter and turns them into a little image for you to share instead. It definitely beats screen grabbing and you get an account that saves all the quotes you have shared.

pullquote1

Nice.

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Buzzsumo Chrome Extension (http://buzzsumo.com/blog/twitter-share-counts-in-your-browser-new-buzzsumo-chrome-extension/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free

By the time this goes live Twitter will have removed their share counts  from their Twitter buttons and providers will have to pay a fortune to get them into their tools. Well fear not.  Buzzsumo’s new chrome extension (get it here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/buzzsumo/gedpbnanjmblcmlfhgfficjnglidndfo?hl=en) comes to the rescue.

Picture1

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Impactana (http://www.impactana.com/**Added Nov 2015**

Price: Toolbar Free and App form $39

Still looking at social and content tools we have Impactana – from the guys that brought you Link Research Tools. Whilst it has a pretty steep learning curve it is quite handy as an alternative to Buzzsumo or Uprise.io. The toolbar is pretty cool as it gives you a combines impact score – moving away from different counts into a concept not dissimilar to Moz’s 1 Metric.

Picture2

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SEO Tools

Image Raider (https://www.imageraider.com/)

Price: Free – paid when you have a load of images but it still unbelievably good value for money.

Image Raider has been around for ages but I just don’t see it mentioned that often. If you produce image based content in any form it is a great tool for helping you surface the places that they have appeared. The most obvious use for image raider is for tracking when people are sharing or using your infographics. Whilst you are going to be picking up the people that link using your favourite backlink tool what happens with the places that share but don’t give you a link?

Sure you can pop into reverse image search but doing things by hand is laborious and costly. Let image raider do it for you.
There are other potential uses as well:

1. Use it to keep track of people that have used your logo – potential link opportunities
2. You can use Stacey McNaughts image link building technique and keep track of the places that they are used and not given link attribution.

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URL Profiler (http://urlprofiler.com/)

Price: Starts at a very reasonable £15.95 a month

This is probably my favourite tool on this list. The problem is I always struggle to describe it. So I’ll let them do that for me:
“URL Profiler doesn’t just do one task; it can be configured to retrieve a large array of link, content and social data for almost ANY task. Thousands of URLs at once – with no limits or constraints – just the data you need, when you need it.”

It does so much stuff that I am just going to have to link out to it all from here – seriously if you don’t have, you need it. Now. And no there aren’t any affiliate links in here.

How To Use The Google Indexation Checker
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/google-indexation-checker-tutorial/

Building Competitor SEO Profiles
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/competitor-seo-profiles/

Pimp Up Your SEO Reports with Import & Merge
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/import-merge/

How to Use the Duplicate Content Checker
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/content-checker-tutorial/

Bulk Screenshot any Website or Webpage
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/bulk-screenshots/

How to Find Every Link to Your Website (For Free)
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/find-links/

How To Build a Content Inventory
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/content-inventory/

Combining Screaming Frog Data with URL Profiler Data
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/screaming-frog/

How to Classify Thousands Of Unnatural Links (Really Quickly)
http://urlprofiler.com/blog/classify-unnatural-links/

How to Classify 6800 Links in Minutes with URLProfiler
http://tripleseo.com/link-auditing-urlprofiler/

Revolutionising your Buzzstream Database with URL Profiler
http://www.blueclawsearch.co.uk/blog/2015/04/08/revolutionising-your-buzzstream-database-with-url-profiler/

How To Do a Content Audit – Step-by-Step
https://moz.com/blog/content-audit-tutorial

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FAQFox (http://faqfox.com/)

Price: Free

If part of your job is creating content then you know the importance collecting data to show that there are people out there that are interested in what you are creating. Whilst there are a bunch of suggest style tools (some of which no longer have the data that they used to – thanks Google) there are others that base their data collection on other sources. FAQfox is one of those.
In fact you are in the driving seat here because whilst FAQfox has defined sites to scrape (mainly reddit) you can enter the sites that you choose – super handy if there are a lot Q and A or forum type sites that are concentrated on the niche that you are interested in.

 

faqfox2

 

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Keywordtool.io (http://keywordtool.io/)

Price: Free and paid for if pulling search volume data

When we shared this at Drink it wasn’t on the horizon that Google would be pulling the autosuggest API. When I tested this tool recently it was working but I can’t say for sure that it will be when you try!! This was one of my go to tools for long tail keyword research (along with AnswerthePublic – also still working at the time of writing).
Using the research from tools like these and the application of the techniques described in here by Cyrus Shepard you can build content that ranks for dozens and dozens of keywords – and more often than not – hundreds and hundreds.

keywordtoolio

Smart application of the research helps you create content that people want, fills a need and ranks.

Simple.

Ish

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Siteliner (http://www.siteliner.com/)

Price: The free Siteliner service is limited to monthly analyses of sites up to 250 pages. The Siteliner Premium service allows you to analyse websites up to 25,000 pages, with no limitations on how often analyses are run.

Made by the guys behind copyscape this is a great way to get a trove of valuable data for free. The limitations, of course, mean that you are limited to the smaller sites – but this isn’t designed for agencies.

sitelinedr1

 

siteliner2

Get quick data on:

Duplicate Content – Duplicate content can lower your site’s search engine rankings, reducing the traffic to your site. Siteliner systematically checks your site for internal duplicate content, highlighting it on each page, intelligently excluding common content such as menus and navigation.

Broken Links – Broken links can damage your site’s user experience and lower your site’s search engine rankings. Siteliner checks all internal links on your site to ensure they are working, and highlights the broken links so you can fix them easily.

Page Power – Siteliner identifies the pages that are most prominent to search engines as they crawl through your site based on the link patterns between your pages.
Reports – Siteliner crawls and analyses the pages on your site, revealing key information about each page. It provides a standard XML Sitemap for your site, as well as a more detailed Siteliner Report.

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KWfinder (https://kwfinder.com/)

Price: Free and then from $29 a month.

A lot of tools are now including some kind of keyword difficulty tool (Moz, SEMrush etc.) but you may not have access (nor want access) to all of the things that these tool sets offer.
KWfinder is a nice little alternative for small businesses. Whilst it is missing some key features (ability to upload lists of keywords, queuing for keywords rather than waiting to click the next keyword to get the scores) and some frustrations (occasionally hangs up, looks solely at on page data rather than including some domain data) it is one tool that we use sometimes internally.
The interface is pretty cool and has the Keyword Planner data on the left, Google Trends top right and then the current SERPS bottom right. Having all the data in one easy to use interface is pretty cool. If they fix their little problems they are heading from a nice little tool to an essential tool.

kwfinder1

 

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WikiGrabber (http://wikigrabber.com/)

Price: Free

From an SEO point of view many dismiss Wikipedia links as unnecessary, useless, not as good as they used to be, nofollowed – why would I want nofollowed, yada yadda yadda.
Speaking from experience a citation on an oft visited Wikipedia page for your content (we aren’t talking company profiles here) can bring you a steady stream of traffic day in day out (until some mod removes it!! ;))

wikigrabber1

WikiGrabber helps you identify those opportunities where key Wikipedia pages in your industry have broken links or need citations – you just need to head over there and show them your valuable treasures.

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AlchemyAPI (http://www.alchemyapi.com/)

Price: Free

Drop a URL into the tool and get related entities, concepts, relations and more.
Really helps with optimising pages beyond the old way of keyword targeting. Using this helps guide what you include in your content helps your pages appear for much more than a money keyword.

alcemyapi1

Keep an eye for a new tool from Boom that uses this API!

In the meantime you may want to cast your eyes over this great post by Bill Sebald – How To Work Relationships and Concepts Into Your Copy

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Million Short (https://millionshort.com/)

Price: Free

Remove the top search results to find the gems that are hidden on pages much further down. Helps you find sites and blogs to outreach to that don’t get bothered by SEO and PR folk too much – yep I’m looking at you guys. Can remove top 100, 1000, 10k, 100k or million results.

millionshort1

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RankTank SERPitude (http://www.ranktank.org/serpitude-serp-rich-snippet-testing-tool/)

Price: Free

A free downloadable tool for checking whether a site has implemented Rich Snippets correctly. Enter the domain and use an advanced Google search query to specify the kind of page that you want. In the example we have the inurl:recipe command because that is where food.com stores all of its recipes.

serpitude

 

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RankTank Domain Address Finder (http://www.ranktank.org/find-business-address-by-website-domain/)

Price: Free

Another Google Doc, this time for finding business addresses and phone numbers from a list of domain names. Could be useful in outreach, product giveaways and PR.
Doesn’t have a massive hit rate but will save you some time.

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RankTank Mobile SERP Tester (http://www.ranktank.org/mobile-friendly-serp-testing-tool/)

Price: Free

A cool little desktop app to check for mobile friendly tags when you need to do it more than one by one.

mobile serp tester1

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SeeRobots (http://bit.ly/1JIVcqu – bitly again because the URL was soooo long)

Price: Free

Chrome extension for displaying Meta robots information in your chrome browser, (index, follow – index, nofollowed – noindex, follow – noindex, nofollowed)

seerobots2

 

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Ayima Pulse (https://www.ayima.com/pulse/)

Price: Free

A nicely presented web app for tracking SERP volatility by sector – top 100 sites. A visualisation of Google rankings, showing how big and small algorithm changes are affecting the major sites within each industry. Over 50,000 non-brand keywords are assessed across ten sectors, showing fluctuations from the past 30 days.

pulse1

 

 

pulse2

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RankTank Infinite Suggest (http://www.ranktank.org/infinite-suggest-google-autocomplete-keyword-tool/) **New Sept 2015**

Another handy tool from Sean over at RankTank. Since Google shut off the access to the Autosuggest API there has been a bit of worry in the SEO world. Turns out that Ubersuggest, AnswerthePublic and Keywordtool.io are still working but not firing off as many suggestions. Enter Infinite Suggest. A handy desktop tool for getting the suggest results back from Google.

infinte1 inf2

Using it is super simple:

  1. enter keyword
  2. choose country
  3. go get em
  4. get results
  5. filter them down
  6. drag em across
  7. export them for winning the Internet

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Compressor.io (Compressor.io) **New Sept 2015**

  • Reduce the size of your images whilst retaining high quality
  • Help speed up your site

comprerssor

WP-Backlinks (http://wp-backlinks.com/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free

A handy little WordPress plugin that allows you to see your backlinks inside or WordPress. It runs on Majestic and the data is updated regularly. If you have access to your site Webmaster Tools Search Console you can get all of the data pulled in.

Picture3

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Productivity Tools

UnrollMe (https://unroll.me/)

Price: Free

One of the biggest time killers nowadays is all the emails you get. We get swamped and it doesn’t help that we have to subscribe to email lists every time we want a free tool or report. Free. Huh?

Unrollme is a great little tool for pulling all those emails together into one roll up so you can see what you want to read and when – you can also unsubscribe en masse – helpful.

 

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ProjectNaptha (https://projectnaptha.com/)

Price: Free

“Project Naptha automatically applies state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms on every image you see while browsing the web. The result is a seamless and intuitive experience, where you can highlight as well as copy and paste and even edit and translate the text formerly trapped within an image.”

Well that was easier than trying to explain it myself.

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Link Bubble (http://bit.ly/1JzdLfz – see all other bitly links!)

Price: Free

A major time saver. Navigating around the mobile web can be a frustrating experience as you open a link from Twitter and then twiddle your thumbs whilst you wait for the link to load up. Link Bubble helps you get round this with a simple solution. It opens up multiple tabs in the background whilst you are still in the native app.

linkbubble2

 

If I am 100% honest I have stopped using this since I shared it – I found a better alternative (for me anyway):

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Flynx (https://flynxapp.com/)

Price: Free

 

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Writers Block (http://writersblock.io/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free or $10 one off download fee

These kind of tools come and go and this isn’t the first one that I have used.

Essentially what this tool will do is lock down your computer whilst you crack on with your work. If you have issues of getting distracted easily then this is handy little addition to your tool set. I find this kind of tool helpful for writing blog posts outlines – or something else that doesn’t require immediate research on the internet.

You can set it to lock your computer down based on word count or minutes worked – great for productivity.

Picture4

Blockspring (https://www.blockspring.com/) **Added Nov 2015**

Price: Free for single users This has been changed to  14day free trial and then you need to subscribe for it continue to work

So this is cool.

It allows you to pull in data from a number of web services into Excel or Google Sheets – or even Slack. It cuts down the amount of grunt work that you have to do.

I won’t talk about it too much as I am planning on writing a full post about it in the future.

Here are some of the APIs and services that you can hook up into it.

Picture6 Picture7 Picture8

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Phrase Express (http://www.phraseexpress.com/) **Added April 2016**

Text expanders have been around for ages and I have been meaning to set one up since – well, about ages. When I got round to it I kicked myself for not doing it sooner.

If you haven’t heard of text expanders before the concept is simple. You set some shortcodes for things that you write regularly. These could things like salutations or quick response emails. I have added a bunch of these along with shortened versions of digital marketing jargon that I type each day (think Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and the like). I have even gone to the lengths of saving answers to common questions that clients ask – now two paragraph answers are served with three letters.

It takes time to set it up – but when you have…well I’ll let you treat me to a drink next time I see you.


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Process Street (https://www.process.st/**Added April 2016**

Every business has processes and check-lists that they need to follow. They could be as mundane as how to book a day off  or they could be a check-list of the 27 things you need to do before you press publish on a blog post.

Most of us have some of these. Thing is – they tend to be in word documents. And some are Google Docs. And accounts did theirs in excel. In different folders in your system. Without out any naming system.

To combat at this at Boom we have started to organise it all into different folders in one place and following a strict format.

We are a long way from completing it (Rome and all that jazz) but Process Street is where we are building it.

What Process Street allows is the documents to become living entities that can be adjusted easily and quickly – sections can be taken out and changed. Any team member can run the process as a check-list – you cant do that in a word document (they also get the satisfaction of ticking things off).

You can also export them to word documents if you want (excel is coming I hear).

You can easily add images or videos.

Processes aren’t fun. But they are necessary.

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Convo (convo.com) **Added April 2016**

Slack this. Slack that. We tried slack ages ago. Twice. It didn’t work for us.

We tried loads of collaboration tools to get rid of email chains and other stuff that actually slows you down and causes you stress.

We used to use Yammer but they got rid of the image commenting collaboration tool.

So we moved to convo and haven’t looked back.

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Todoist (https://todoist.com**Added April 2016**

All of work in tracked in a project management tool called Liquid Planner – its great for the high level stuff that has to happen in a digital marketing agency. For smaller on the move tasks that wouldn’t class as a real trackable task in Liquid Planner several of us use todoist. Its a bit like Astrid was before Yahoo bought and shut it down and never mentioned it again. The beauty of todoist is it as simple as you want it be – or you can file everything away with OCD precision – the choice is yours.

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Go F***ing Work (http://bit.ly/defnoswearinginthislink**Added April 2016**

Get distracted easily? Get your computer to block and the offend you when you try and visit pre-configured sites.

Get offended into working!

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PPC Tools

Moat.com (http://www.moat.com/)

Price: Free

So we all like to know what our competitors are up to and whilst tools like SEMrush can give us competitive data on where our PPC competitors are showing up and Spy Fu can dig deep into what they might be spending, Moat is a nice little tool to see what is happening with image based ads.
Surface trends or new ways of presenting your ads and find inspiration.

moat1

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Email/Outreach Tools

Conspire (https://www.conspire.com)

Price: Free

Conspire is a tool that does a couple of things – and does them really well. Firstly it keeps track of your emails and gives you stats regarding how many you receive, how many you send and then digs deeper for more actionable stats like how long you take to respond to emails.

conspire1

That’s all cool but there are other services that do that – I used to use Gmail Meter

What conspire offers in addition is an introduction tool – something that is helpful for outreach and just business in general. If you need to get in touch with somebody how cool would it be if you had a tool that told you how you were connected with them? Sure there is LinkedIn and the introduction feature but we are inherently connected to more people via email – or at least I am. This is where conspire comes in – look for connections to get introductions.

conspire2

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Email Breaker (http://www.emailbreaker.com/)

Price: Free

A database of some of the bigger sites on the Internet. If you know the name of the journalist but don’t have an email you can search their database for the most used formatting of emails for that domain. Not got loads of sites in there at the moment but one to look at for the future.

Combine this tool with an email validator like ValidateEmailAddress (http://validateemailaddress.org/) or Verify Email Address (http://verify-email.org/).
Price: Most of these are free.

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Email & Social Media Account Matcher (http://mackwebsolutions.com/2014/01/email-social-media-account-matcher/)

Price: Free

A Google Doc tool that uses the FullContact API to help you match social media accounts to any emails you have. Let’s say (for example) you are running a social media competition that requites people to enter their email, you can then take their emails and find out what they are or where they are on social media and maybe do some super targeted twitter advertising or similar.

The Google Doc is limits you to 50 searchers at a time so you may have to copy and paste a few times.

The FullContact API is free for 250 matches a month so you can only run small list. If you want more the API is $99 a month.

If you are going to use the API I suggest you use the Excel sheet in the next item below rather than the Google Doc.

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Full Contact Person Enrichment Tool (https://builtvisible.com/fullcontact-api-excel/)

Price: Free

It has nice reports and can do more searches than the Google Doc – you will need the API though or it bombs out.

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Crystal Knows (https://www.crystalknows.com/)

Price: Free and then from $19 a month

Crystal Knows hasn’t been around that long and did a great job of gamifying their sign up process. Crystal Knows pulls in data from around the web and then ties it in to standard personality profiling to give you a deeper understanding of the people that you are communicating with via email.

crystalscreenshot1

Improving communication and knowing what makes other people tick is crucial is persuading them to read your email or undertake that task.

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Mailtrack.io (https://mailtrack.io)

Price: Free

What? People are tracking when you are opening their emails without you knowing? Crazy!
Okay it sounds a little creepy but wouldn’t you like to know when people opened an important email? If you are conducting outreach knowing which subject lines lead to an email being opened and which don’t is super helpful information. Knowing what time you send emails leads to them being opened is helpful information.

If your work going live relies on others answering emails or approving work then knowing that they are receiving and reading your emails is important. Mailtrack.io gives you insight into who opens emails in a timely manner and who leaves them to fester in their inbox. You can then take action based on this insight.

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Boomerang (http://www.boomeranggmail.com/)

Price: Free and then from a very reasonable $4.99 a month.

Boomerang has been around for ages but is still one of the best on the market (although I used the features in Mixmax to do this now).
Schedule emails to go out a later time – you will be surprised how much you can improve your outreach through timed emails – set to land in peoples inboxes at the right time.
Set yourself a reminder in case you don’t hear back from a client on that important brief by 4pm on Thursday – or whenever, obviously).

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Gmail Undo Send (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1284885?hl=en)

Price: Free

undosend1

When we shared this at Drink Undo Send was hidden away in the labs section of Gmail – that little place where cool features live for about 73 years before being promoted to the main features section.

Well after only 34 years in Labs Undo Send has finally made it to the main features of Gmail.

It does what it says on the tin, if you have clicked send on email and then spotted the mistake you can quickly recall it before it is too late.

undosend2

Here is how to make sure it is enabled (https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1284885?hl=en)

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MixMax (https://mixmax.com/) **New Sept 2015**

This has to be one of my favourite new(ish) discoveries. I can’t belive you get so much for so little (free and then super reasonable)

mixmax

  • Gmail productivity add on – that does loads of stuff:
  • Tracks outbound emails
  • Meeting availability scheduler
  • Schedule emails to send later
  • Email templates
  • Link and document previews inside email
  • Polls inside emails
  • Surveys inside emails
  • Ability to include code in emails
  • Dropbox/Drive integration
  • Free version does the job – then from $9/pm

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Anymail Finder (http://anymailfinder.com/) **New Sept 2015**

  • Used to be thrust.io
  • Improved backend
  • New chrome plugin
  • Find emails of potential contacts as you traverse the web
  • Free for 15 searches a day

anymailfinder


 

Find That Email (https://findthat.email) **New Feb 2017**

Price: Free then very reasonably priced

I recently got to have a play with this tool and found it incredibly easy to use with a pretty high success rate. It has a couple of nice features including bulk upload and a separate verify features for those emails that you may have “obtained” from elsewhere.

I can only see this tool improving as the team add more features.

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CRO Tools

Peek (http://peek.usertesting.com/)

Price: Free for a quick go – then upgrade

User testing is great. I can say that because we have done it in the past. What if you haven’t? Wouldn’t it bee cool if there was a free service where you can get a sample of how it works? Well that’s what Peek does. It gives you a little, err, peek into what user testing is all about and whether it will be right for you.

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Content Marketing Tools

Niice (https://niice.co/)

Price: Free

If you work on visual content in anyway (web design, email marketing, content marketing) then you will know that finding visual inspiration day after day can be a major pain in the bum. Niice takes the concept of the swipe file and builds into a place that you feel like you want to go back to. As they put it:

“No clip art, no porn, no ‘Like this!’ or ’Share that!’… Just beautiful, inspiring design from hand-picked sources.”

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Death To The Stock Photo (http://deathtothestockphoto.com/)

Price: Free or $15 a month for additional packs and access to the whole library.

Death To The Stock Photo is a service rather than a tool. A simple idea and well executed. Not all small businesses or bloggers can afford a stock photo account – and to be fair a lot of them are terrible anyway. Digging through Flickr is a great way to find royalty free images but it can take forever to find good ones. What Death To The Stock Photo does is provide you with a free pack of royalty free photos to use on your blog (or wherever) that don’t look like everybody else images (unless everyone signs up to this service of course!)

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Wiki MindMap (http://www.wikimindmap.org/)

Price: Free

This nifty little tool allows you to build mind maps based on keywords and scouring Wikipedia articles for related words and topics. Helpful for helping brainstorming content ideas, finding new avenues to explore for content curation, keyword research and on page optimisation.

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Storyform (https://storyform.co/)

Price: Free (unlimited page views, 3 domains, editor) Business Plan $99 a month

WordPress plugin that helps create engaging narratives instead of blog standard posts. Uses AI to perfect layouts for you, add pictures, video, text and captions, multi device friendly, goes full screen, here is a demo: https://storyform.co/demo/rainier

You can also see this in action on this blog post from Kane Jamison – 2015 CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS: BULLISH & BEARISH REPORT

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Updated Content Strategy Helper (https://builtvisible.com/content-strategy-helper/)

Price: Free

A Google Doc that pulls in data of trending stories and topics from around the world. This has been around for a few years now but it was recently updated.

Includes trending data from:

• Twitter (users, hashtags, phrases)
• Google Search Trends
• YouTube Trends
• Reddit (front page)
• Google News
• Rad URLs (top trending on Facebook & Twitter)
• All Things Now (top trending on Facebook)
• Hacker News (front page)
• LinkedIn Pulse (top shared content in the last 24hrs w/ view count)
• Digg
• ONS.gov.UK (latest research)
• YouGov

Input a keyword and get ideas from:

• Google News (UK & US topic related news)
• Hacker News (top performing topic related articles)
• Reddit (top)
• Digg (top)
• YouTube (most viewed topic related videos)
• ONS.gov.uk
• Yougov
• Data.gov
• Google Scholar
• How Stuff Works
• Yahoo Answers (most answered)
• Also pulls influencer data from Followerwonk

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YouGov Profiles (https://yougov.co.uk/find-solutions/profiles/)

Price: Free (requires account)

Build personas for content, for marketing, for outreach or whatever you want using YouGov data – do it yourself instead of paying £1000’s and £1000’s

Always take with a pinch of salt and alas they do not have a download option so it is screenshots and handwritten notes all the way.

Screenshot_090115_113149_AM

 

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EpicBeat (http://epicbeat.epictions.com/) **New Sept 2015**

A cool little tool in the vein of Buzzsumo:

  • Content marketing discovery tool
  • Currently free
  • No sign up required
  • Good for social media post discover
  • Good for content creation idea seeking

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The Section Of The Er, Content Section That Was All From June 2016

So in June of 2016 we did a themed version of the tools section of Drink Digital. It all stemmed from this piece of content:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-e8c6cbab-da44-4a3c-8f9b-c4fccd53dd24

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Not only is an interesting read – you should read it – but it is also indicative of a type of content that has slowly made its way into the bigger news sites in the last few years.

Snow Fall was the first time I remember seeing something like this and many have popped up since:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/may/26/firestorm-bushfire-dunalley-holmes-family

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/05/upshot/how-the-recession-reshaped-the-economy-in-255-charts.html

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/07/21/silk-road/

But we, you, us don’t have that budget so how can you create stuff like this for next to nothing?

Body on the Moor was made with this:

https://shorthand.com/

It’s cool but can get quite expensive:

screenshot-shorthand.com 2016-06-17 13-33-05

So here are some tools for you to be able to create similar stuff on a budget.

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Storyform (https://storyform.co/) **New June 2016**

Price: Free for 1 domain, 1 story a month and %k views – then fro $8 a month

A viable alternative to Shorthand at a fraction of the price.

You can see a live demo here: https://storyform.co/demo/rainier

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TimelineJs (https://timeline.knightlab.com/index.html) **New June 2016**

Price: Free

A free tool for creating beautiful timelines from your own data and a Google Doc – it really is that simple.

Want to see it in action?

Nelson Mandela’s Extraordinary Life: An Interactive Timeline

World Wine History

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Juxtapose Slider (https://juxtapose.knightlab.com/) **New June 2016**

Price: Free

Basically a free way of creating before and after sliders – often used in news stories:

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StoryMapJs (https://storymap.knightlab.com/**New June 2016**

Price: Free

Made by the same guys as Timeline this takes the same concept and allows you turn the story into a map. Great if you are telling a story that follows a map based narrative.

Here are some live examples of it being used:

Hockey, hip-hop, and other Green Line highlights

ISIS’s Road to Baghdad

Explore Christo And Jeanne-Claude’s Works Of Art

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Graphiq (https://www.graphiq.com/) ** New June 2016**

Price: Free

A handy – a quite in depth free data search engine. Comes with embeds that you can drop directly into your new stories.

 

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DataWrapper (https://datawrapper.de/) **New June 2016**

Price: Free

If you have your own data to upload to tell your story you can take it over here. The free version gives you all functions and allows you to download the charts as pngs. The paid version gives you the option to embed as well.

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Analytics Tools

Quill Engage (https://quillengage.narrativescience.com/)

Price: Free for 10 Analytics profiles

So that is what it WAS

You can now find it here https://www.quillengage.com/

Price: Now free for 1 Google Analytics view and a reasonable price for multiples (see below)

So this was free for 10 profiles – enough for a lot of us. This has just changed in the last few weeks.

Analyses your Analytics accounts and sends weekly and monthly reports on their progress. Uses Narrative Science AI to write a report for you that lands in your email inbox. Genuinely useful data insight delivered as if it was written by a human.

quillengage1

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PR Tools **New Sept 2015**

Hey Press (https://www.hey.press/) **New Sept 2015**

A great little tool for finding journalists based on keywords.

  • Free account
  • Find journalists by keyword
  • You have to pay to export
  • Use link clump or scraper for chrome to get data instead 😉

heypress

It is super simple to use as well!

  1. enter keyword
  2. see people
  3. see emails and twitter handles
  4. see most recent articles

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Anewstip (http://anewstip.com/**New Sept 2015**

  • Find journalist by what they are tweeting
  • Useful for research
  • Free account
  • Pay if you want email addresses ($79 a month)

anewstip

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Pressfarm (https://press.farm**New Sept 2015**

  • Essentially just a big unorganised list of journalists
  • Free version gets you their twitter handles
  • Pay $9 (flat fee) to see emails for 30 days

pressfarm

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Design Tools

Industry Specific Lorem Ipsum Generator (https://www.boom-online.co.uk/lorem-ipsum/) **Added Nov 2015**

So I wont wax too lyrical about this one. Our Pete made it. He wrote about it here: https://www.boom-online.co.uk/industry-based-lorem-ipsum/

Basically it calls up Wikipedia based on your choice and gives you lorem ipsum that looks better than the standard or Samuel L Jackson lorem ipsum.

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….and breathe….

That is it for now. Hopefully you have found something useful within that stack of tools! Bookmark this page because I will update it following each Drink Digital event.

Wayne Barker About the author

Wayne has been Boom since like forever and specialises in SEO, Content and Outreach. An accidental entry into the world of SEO has left him with little spare time. When not at work or with his family you can find him amidst a pile of records.

Learn more about Wayne Barker

Comments:
  • nice list. must have taken you hours to compile. very handy

    7th September 2015 at 9:53 am
  • John Tomlinson
    Reply

    Hi,

    Just to let you know that Block Spring is no longer free. It is now just a 14day free trial and then you need to subscribe for it continue to work.

    John

    19th April 2016 at 4:48 pm
  • Great List! I love hemmingway app! EpicBeat and UnrollMe look really cool I’ll have to take a look at those!

    19th November 2016 at 2:16 am
  • Great collection! Digital marketing tools, this post reminds me of https://medium.com/super-startups/100-tools-to-promote-startups-through-digital-marketing-d4500af2c9d6

    Thank you.

    24th November 2016 at 6:56 am

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