So you’ve just read a mind-blowing article/blog post and went “God when?”. As in, “God when will I ever be able to write something this smooth and easy to comprehend?” Perhaps this is God saying – “Now!”.
Writing, even for the most talented writers, can be very hard. There are lots of things involved in coming up with that write up that hits home. From the title to the body; grammar, spelling, and tone, the list is almost inexhaustible.
While it’s important to develop yourself as a writer by constantly reading articles by your favourite writers and writing often yourself, there are tools that can complement your effort and ensure your end result is flawless. These 5 writing tools will help you write like a professional.
Nothing turns your readers off like an article riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Even you would probably have stopped reading if you came across errors before this point. You would have said something like “you know all these tools and you’re not using them yourself?”
No matter how smart you are and your academic qualifications, little errors can make you appear untrustworthy before anyone. And everyone commits those blunders sometimes.
“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun…No Collusion.” @FoxNews That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2018
Spot “Smoking” misspelt twice as “Smocking”? Trust me, this is no shade at anyone. Just using it to drive home the point that “everyone commits those blunders sometimes”.
Though similar to Microsoft Word’s Autocorrect function, Grammarly is a bit more advanced. Plus it’s not only available for your Microsoft Word editor, you can also add it as an extension to your Chrome Browser. That way, it goes with you anywhere and anytime you are writing.
Grammarly also has a new Mood Detector feature which helps you understand the tone or mood of your writing. With this, you can predict the effect of your article on your potential readers and make adjustments if the effect is not intended.
One thing every good article has in common is simplicity. Writing an article filled with jargons and complex sentences means you have only succeeded in writing for yourself. This is why you need Hemmingway in your life.
I remember recently telling someone on LinkedIn that I consider Hemmingway “Advanced Grammarly”. And I totally mean it.
Hemmingway Editor is an online tool (free) that is also available as a Desktop app on Mac and Windows (paid). To use the online tool, you can paste your article on the page and it will highlight:
- Number of adverbs
- Passive voice
- Complex phrase
- Hard to read sentences
- Very hard to read sentences
The app doesn’t just highlight, it also recommends suggestions to help you fix the highlighted issues.
By the way, it’s important to understand your audience and know what works for them. In other words, you don’t have to take all the recommendations from this tool or any tool if you’re not convinced it’s the best for your audience.
Carpenters have hammers and nails, Barbers have clippers, Developers have Codes and Writers have Words! Your only tools of achieving whatever aim you have as a writer are words (it can be spiced up with some graphics sometimes). So, what happens when you run out of them?
Oh yes, we all run out of words sometimes. We all have been in that situation where we have the description of something in our heads, but not sure of the right word for it. That’s where One Look Reverse Dictionary comes in.
As the Reverse in the name implies, it does the opposite of what conventional dictionary does. You go to your regular Oxford dictionary to find meaning to words. But with this tool, you are able to find words that match a meaning you already have.
This tool also helps avoid repetition of words (which is another turn off) by giving you a list of similar words.
As the name suggests, word counter counts the number of words, characters, sentences and paragraphs in your article. But what do you need it for since your word editor does all that already? Well, simple – it does a lot more.
It helps you to spot words you overuse and measure reading level so you know whether or not your writing is easy to comprehend.
One other thing word counter does is to estimate reading time of your article. You want to know how long your reader is going to spend reading your article and probably reduce it if you think it’s going to require too much time commitment.
This is coming on the last spot because your headline should actually be the last thing you write. But this does not mean it’s the least important part of your work. As a matter of fact, it’s the most important.
According to David Ogilvy, acclaimed father of advertising;
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”
In other words, your headline is the first and often the only impression you will have on people. So, you want to make sure you make good use of it.
EMV Headline Analyzer is one tool that can help you make sure you write the best headline. It helps you analyze your headline using Intellectual, Spiritual and Empathetic metrics. It would then grade your headline over 100.
You want to write as many headlines as possible, run them through this tool and eventually settle for the one with the highest score.
Like I said earlier – these tools will help you, but the bulk of the work is with you. Keep reading and keep writing. The more you do anything, the better you become at it.
One other thing worthy of note is that; these tools will help you create amazing contents, but not necessarily optimize your content for search engine. Read up on free tools that can help your search engine optimization.
Perhaps there are other tools you use for your writing that we didn’t capture in this one, drop it in the comment section so we can also learn from you.