I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important fabulous content is for your business – from fantastic Facebook ads to brilliant blog posts, high quality content can help you to up your game and get the conversions that you deserve.
That’s all well and good but, even the most experienced copywriters occasionally hit a brick wall in terms of consistently coming up with unique and engaging topics for their content. Luckily, there is help available in the form of online writing and research tools and, in this review, I’m going to take you through the ins and outs (and the shake it all abouts) of one of the best of these – Usetopic.
Founded in 2011 in Los Angeles, Usetopic (or just Topic as it’s known) is the brainchild of co-founders, Ryo and Nik, who met at university and who formed the company through their shared passion for SEO. Topic is a research and writing tool which helps users to create great, SEO rich content by generating ideas and improving written content, ultimately getting your organic search increased.
Who uses Usetopic ?
This tool is used by a huge number of businesses across the globe and, some of the company’s clients are TrustRadius, WSI, Elementor and Bigger Pockets. This tool is suitable for individuals and businesses who want to scale their content program, make their content teams work more efficiently for them and to get more organic traffic and conversions.
How does Usetopic work?
Topic is 100% online and is really easy to use. Once you’re all signed up, you’ll have access to some great tools to help you make the most of your content. As with similar tools, you can work directly on the site so there’s need to fiddle about with cutting and pasting. Take a look at Topic’s video to see what it’s all about.
How much does Topic cost?
Topic has three simple and straightforward price packages to choose from, and these are:
Starter Package $99 per month
As you may have guessed, this one is ideal for, erm, starters – ie those who are just starting out on their content journey. For your $99 a dollars a month, you’ll get:
- 10 content briefs and optimisations every month
- 1 month rollover
- 1 user
- Access to the keyword research tool
- Research assistant
Plus Package $199 per month
If you’re happy to pay a bit more wonga for more bells and whistles, the Plus Package will give you everything included in the Starter Package plus:
- 25 content briefs and optimisations every month
- 3 users
Premium Package $299 per month
For the content big hitters, the Premium Package pulls out the big guns with everything we’ve already mentioned, plus:
- 50 content briefs and optimisations every month
- 5 users
Before you get clicking to choose your package, it’s a good idea to take advantage of Topic’s $7 trial to see if this tool is right for you.
How do I get started with Topic?
Getting yourself up and running with Topic is super easy and takes just a few minutes – here’s how it’s done:
- Get clicking over to https://www.usetopic.com/
- Hit the black ‘Try It For Just $7’ button on the top right hand side of your screen
- Fill in your details (you know the drill) and choose a password
- Click onto the black ‘Start Now’ button
- Enter your payment details
- Verify your email address
What are Topic’s features?
This is, of course, the bit you’ve been waiting for – Topic has some fantastic features to take your content to the next level and, these are:
You can probably guess what this one is about. Topic’s Research Assistant feature is one of the stars of the show. It effortlessly extracts key topics to write about, without having to trawl the internet for ideas, reducing manual research to zero. AI analyzes topics to cover that are around the main keyword, letting you write content that ranks higher.
After you’ve done your research, simply give the content brief to your writer, and let them do the rest. Or, you can audit your existing content and improve it in accordance with the suggestions. Of course, it all comes with an interactive editor that lets you create top-performing content while looking at the progress in real time.
It seems that Topic is a fan of straightforward titles and names as, again, this one is pretty much self-explanatory. This feature helps you to quickly put together an outline for your article or blog post, ready for you to work your writing magic.
SEO Content Grader
This is where things get exciting – Topic’s Content Grader leaps into action to give you real-time feedback on your content, including gaps, word count and readability. This forward-thinking feature identifies weak points in your content, including headings, and provides actionable suggestions that enable writers to produce quality posts.
Topic is available in English, French, German, Portuguese and Italian.
Topic is able to target briefs and marketing linking to any location in the world to help you to expand your audience and create comprehensive content – pretty impressive, huh?
Sharing & Collaboration
Rather generously, Topic offers unlimited sharing to its users, allowing you to share your Content Grader with as many writers as you like as these are not counted as users within your plan.
Topic’s proactive support system allows you to contact the founders directly through in-app chat and Slack.
What are Topic’s integrations?
Topic comes with plugins for WordPress and Google Docs to allow you to seamlessly work within your chosen content workflow.
Topic Pros And Cons
Sounds pretty cool so far, right, but is Topic a tick or a cross? Let’s find out:
- Price – Not only does Topic offer three different price packages but, these include the budget busting Starter Package at just $99 per month. Additionally, you can road-test Topic for seven days for a mere $7.
- Sharing – Being able to share your Content Grader with multiple writers is a definite bonus of this tool – particularly for those with large teams.
- Intelligent Interface – Topic’s interface is delightfully intuitive and straight-forward – which means that you need zero technical know-how in order to get started with this tool.
Functionality – While the interface for Topic is a dream, the actual drag and drop functionality can be a little cumbersome and could use a little updating.
Integrations – At the moment, Topic’s integrations are quite limited and I’m hoping that we’ll see some expansions to this in the near future.
Are there alternatives to Topic?
Yep, if you’re one of those fussy, hard to please types, there are some really good alternatives and, here are some of them:
Powered by AI, Clearscope is an increasingly popular writing tool used by some of the big hitters including Shopify, Adobe, HubSpot and IBM. Offering very similar features to Topic, Clearscope will set you back between $170 and $350 per month (unless you’re after a bespoke package, in which case pricing is available on request.
Probably one of the more well known tools that help create content, Surfer SEO was founded in 2016 and, has since gone from strength to strength due to its straightforward and easy to use writing tool. As with Topic, Surfer SEO offers on-page SEO and tips for your writing and, if you decide that Surfer is the one for you, you’ll be handing over between $59 and $199 per month, making this one of the most cost-effective writing tools out there.
Founded in Boston in 2016, Frase is primarily an SEO tool which has been created to deliver internet answers quickly and effectively – and without any fuss. If Frase is right up your street, you’ll be paying either $44.99 or $114.99 depending on which package you choose.
Specialising in SEO, AI and content strategy, MarketMuse harnesses the power of the latest AI technology in order to provide writing prompts and super intuitive SEO. Created by content writers for content writers, MarketMuse costs $179 or $999 per month.
Another one that you’ve most likely already heard of, SEMRush was launched in San Francisco in 2008 and offers a suite of 40 writing, reporting and SEO tools to help you make sure that your content shines above the competition. Getting your hands on SEMRush’s toolbox will cost you between $119 and $449 per month (and a free trial is available).
As with most online tools, Topic has a fair amount of competition, some of which are pretty good – and some of which are not. I’ve chosen Topic because it ticks a lot of boxes for me in that it has a great price and offers tons of really useful features which allow me, and my fellow users, to generate topic ideas and to produce fast, valuable SEO rich blog post and article content both for myself and my clients for top results.
As you’ve seen, there are some cheaper writing tools out there and, if price is your only priority then, do go forth and choose one of these. However, if you prefer to have a tool which gives you that little bit extra in a tool which really drives results, then you really should consider getting onboard with Topic. From generating ideas to supersizing your content, this clever little tool is a great investment for any content marketer.