PRODUCTIVITY

2023 Tech Stack as a B2B Content Writer for Hire

Quality content requires quality tech tools. With more and more tech tools available and with ChatGPT in the mix, here’s how my tech stack as a freelance content writer has changed.

Azelle Lee
8 min readJul 14, 2023

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The last time I made a similar post was in 2021. A lot has changed since then, including the releases of game-changer (or threat, as some say), ChatGPT.

Here’s how my tech stack looks like in 2023 as a freelance B2B content writer for hire.

Project and client management

Pitches and contact management

Ever since I started freelancing 10 years ago, I’ve hopped around job marketplaces and changed devices a number of times. In that process, I have lost contact details of previous clients I may have kept in touch with for potential opportunities today. Some months ago, I started learning about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms and have come to appreciate it more as the days go by for exactly this concern.

Currently, I use HubSpot. One of their products is a CRM platform that is easy to use and enough for the needs of most freelancers in its free plan. It lets me view contact information, see historical conversations and contact activity, and monitor pitches and opportunities I pursue, among many other features. Another key benefit I found helpful as a content writer is its ability to track when your clients or prospects have opened an email you sent. It makes it easy to know if they haven’t gotten to your message yet or telling you they’re not interested with their silence.

HubSpot offers a lot of products, and another interesting feature is being able to automate certain activities (like sending a follow-up email) with a paid plan, which makes some of the more mechanical tasks manageable.

Note-taking

Similar to 2021, the note-taking app I use is still Microsoft OneNote. Typical use case includes jotting down notes from discovery calls and quickly listing down ideas or to do’s.

Monitoring hours worked

I don’t usually bill hourly projects as I prefer working in my own time. But it’s helpful to know how much time I’ve spent on certain tasks or projects, so I can regularly revise my rates and become aware of where I’m spending most of my time on daily.

I’ve tried a lot of apps for this, and most of them require the user to click or toggle a specific button to let the app know that it’s time to track. I didn’t like that extra step because forgetting to do it will lead to inaccurate data. I previously used ManicTime, a time tracking app that automatically tracks your computer usage through the windows you have open or the webpages you visit — exactly what I want. Its free version is enough for my use case, but it’s user interface and experience could really use some work.

At some point, ads hit me, and I came across Rize. They offer a free trial so I ended up signing up. It has a clean UI and is easy to use once you get the hang of it. It’s not perfect but it’s good enough for what I need it to do. So when they offered a whopping 60% discount code before the trial ended, that sold me to the product immediately.

Preview of how a day looks like for me, tracked by Rize.io

Site health monitoring and optimization

My portfolio website, Content Wordsmith, is hosted in Wix. It’s a whole other conversation on what the best host is, but making sure it functions well is one thing that is consistent across any platform you choose.

Aside from built-in analytics of Wix, this is how I use the SEO tool Ubersuggest by Neil Patel. It tells me what is wrong with my website so I know what to look into and update, instead of checking each one by one.

In addition to this, Hotjar is also a great help to know how visitors interact with my website — like what they click, or where on the page they decide to leave my site. It lets me understand which CTAs visitors are responding to, and which ones I need to revisit.

Sample of heatmap in Hotjar for my site, www.content-wordsmith.com

Research

Keyword Research

Keyword research is the backbone of content writing, especially in today’s world where there is so much media to consume. Content can easily become clutter and people typically go on autopilot to scroll through content they see online.

Knowing what people want to read about and providing the value they are expecting is key to any type of content writing. Google Keyword Planner is one of my go-to applications when it comes to getting a quick overview on search volumes and gathering keyword ideas. When I want more granular information, SEMRush provides comprehensive information for the same purpose and more — including performance of your own website, similar to Ubersuggest mentioned earlier. SEMRush also gives you a sense of how your competitors are doing and what you can do to improve your own SEO. As a content writer, this is imperative to writing content that works.

Outlining

Writing content becomes easier if you first create the flow of the information. ChatGPT is seen as a threat by many, and it may be is. But it can also make some parts of writing a little bit easier, like creating outlines. What normally takes several minutes to think through can be done in a couple seconds. Then tweaking it to make sure it is actually valuable for the target audience is much easier than starting from scratch.

Using it alongside Thruuu, a tool that analyzes Search Engine Results Pages (SERP), makes content ideation faster and more intentional. It scrapes results in Google and gives you helpful information about what the top results contain — like average lengths of the content, or the keywords most used.

ChatGPT can of course also write content. But the creativity of a human writer can’t be easily replicated.

Organizing thoughts

Microsoft Edge’s Collections is still my go-to for keeping relevant pages together. It’s easy to use, and lets me quickly open all the URLs I’ve saved during research. Then I can simply a Collection once I’m done with a project.

For more long-term ways to house important links, I’ve recently come across Papaly. It’s a minimalist and straightforward system that lets you save links across the web for bookmarking. Compared to Collections, this makes it easy for me to see everything from a bird’s eye view.

Preview to my Writing Board saved links in Papaly

Writing

Finding words at the end of my tongue

Sometimes, you know there is a specific word that captures the message you want to send across but couldn’t find. This is where OneLook Thesaurus shines. If you know the description, you’ll likely be able to find the word.

Sample of using OneLook Thesaurus

When running out of similar words

Not repeating the same word is a challenge for many writers including experienced ones like me. A thesaurus is a given choice for this purpose. Personally, I use this cute app called WordHippo, which I’ve been fond of for the past 6 years or so.

Checking for effectiveness of headlines

Aside from the photo, the headline is one of the most important parts of a content. If it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t matter how good the content is.

Headline Studio by CoSchedule dissects titles and headlines and suggests ways to improve them. Even the free version does a lot!

Preview to Headline Studio by CoSchedule

Editing

Spelling and Grammatical checks and improving readability

Using spell checkers and tools that spot grammatical errors makes editing easier. It’s not to say that a writer is lazy, it’s simply easier to spot errors using tech when your eyes have seen the same content for several hours when writing. Aside from built-in tools within word processors like Microsoft Word and Google Docs, I use ProWriting Aid to check for mistakes.

Writing for B2B clients can sometimes become long-winded due to the nature of the industry and amount of industry jargons and acronyms. But it doesn’t matter how technical the subject is, a good writer can articulate the message while balancing complexity and ensuring clarity for the target readers. To do this, I’ve been using the Hemingway Editor. A website that helps writers create simpler, clearer, and shorter texts that is easy to understand. It’s a free tool that has existed for a while, and the only reason for that is because it’s simple yet reliable.

How does your tech stack look like?

About Azelle
Azelle is a freelance digital marketing professional and content writer for hire. Visit her site at www.content-wordsmith.com or send her an email at hello@azelle-lee.com, and she’ll be glad to help you out with your goals and challenges!

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Azelle Lee

A B2B content writer for hire who found yet another medium to write posts about a specific niche. Visit my website: www.content-wordsmith.com