I am one of those girls who is not in the mood to spend lots of bucks in buying keyword tools for my research. After all, if i cant earn thousands of dollars then it makes no sense to spend money. If i would have been lots of bucks, then probably it wouldnt matter to spend a few dollars in such work.
Anyways, these days i am using Market Samurai free version for finding backlinks and page ranks. Yes, it is free for only 12 days, i have dowloaded it and i am using it day and night. So, this way i am using most of my time in making a collection of keywords and then i would be writing articles based on those keywords. I hope this strategy works out.
However, if you ask me for free tools for keyword research, then i use ubersuggest.org and google keyword planner tool. Both help me in finding low competition keywords in small niches. Which tools do you prefer to use for keyword research?