These writing tools will take your copy from good to great.
If you're a seasoned writer, the chances are good that you already use the writing resources we have listed below - and probably a few more. However, to those who are new to content writing or those who may be trying to move content writing in house, any combination of the resources listed below will help your writing process tremendously.
While you can use Google Docs to write and share content, GatherContent is just better at it. It's robust, has more tools, and offers seamless collaboration.
When we write blog posts, we always start here. Well, technically, we start by looking at our blog plan (a crucial portion of an Inbound Marketing strategy) to see what blog topic and keywords have been assigned to the week (e.g. Week #45 - out of 52 weeks in the year). Once we got this, we move to GatherContent.
In GatherContent, we write, refine, edit, and approve each blog post, website page, etc. before it's published. Content creation workflows can be set up so that it moves through the writing process with assigned deadlines. Our workflow looks similar to this: writing round #1 > technical review > writing round #2 > SEO review > writing round # 3 > final approval > ready for publishing > published (yay!).
When you write day after day, producing content for blogs, websites, email templates, publications, and more, you can feel sluggish, stuck even. You've used multiple words too many times, and your brain is exhausted; digging into the recesses of your creativity to find alternative words is not gonna happen. This tool provides the quickest and easiest way to "unstuck" yourself. And it's free!
Grammarly is the world’s leading automated proofreader. It checks for spelling, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and plagiarism. Just copy and paste your text into the editor or install the free browser extension for Chrome, and Grammarly’s algorithms will flag potential issues in the text and suggest corrections. This software even explains the reasoning behind each correction, so you can make an informed decision about whether, and how, to correct an issue. Pretty rad, right? Clearly, it's a great tool.
Before sending anything into the "review" phase of the writing process (remember the workflow mentioned above?), we plop all content into Grammarly first.
4. LSI Keyword Generator
LSIGraph is a free SEO tool that allows you to generate Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. This is a simple tool that anyone can use, even those with no SEO skills. Just enter your target keyword, and the program will generate all associated LSI keywords for you. Using this tool should prevent you from overstuffing your content with keywords which, we all know, Google hates.
Not sure what LSI Keywords are? Read Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords Explained to gain a better understanding.
LetterCount.com is a free online tool that counts the number of characters, letters, or words in a text - you choose which you want. Whether it's Twitter, LinkedIn summaries, or Reddit titles, the number of characters matter. To start counting calculations, simply write or paste your text into the text area and click the "count" button. Voilà!
6. AP Stylebook
The two most common writer's manuals are the AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style. The Chicago Manual of Style is for authors, editors, and publishers of books, periodicals, and journals. The Associated Press (AP) Stylebook is the prime reference for those in the news and public relations fields. Both are trusted resources, so there's no wrong choice. It's really a matter of preference. We have a bent toward the AP Stylebook because it's created and maintained by American journalists working for or connected with the Associated Press, the most trusted source of independent news and information in the world, who have worked to standardize mass communications over the last century.
Regardless of your preference, having a standardized resource is essential to any writer.
7. CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule is a useful online content marketing calendar. Whether your team uses this software or not, it has an incredible free tool that anyone can use - Blog Post Headline Analyzer. You should try it out. It grades your headline based on the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline. While it doesn't take SEO potential (or lack thereof) into consideration, it's a great tool that provides valuable feedback.
8. Grammar Girl's Podcast
Mignon Fogarty's Grammar Girl Podcast is amazing! It's fun and incredibly insightful. Covering the grammar rules and word choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers, Grammar Girl makes complex grammar questions simple with memory tricks to help you recall and apply troublesome grammar rules. The tips in this podcast will make you a better and more successful writer, hands down.
Need more help?
If you need help creating great content that drives your marketing strategy, we can help! By joining writing efforts, we can create incredible content that will help your potential customers find you when they search online. Contact us today to get the ball rolling.
If you feel you need to take a step back and evaluate your whole marketing strategy, consider taking advantage of our free marketing assessment.