25 Tools Every Writer Needs To Succeed
Today’s aspiring writers have a lot of obstacles to overcome before they can be successful. The online world is one that is full of noise and competition. Whether you’re trying to become a writer for an online business, a blogger, or simply an author, you’re going to need some help.
Join us as we look at 25 tools that every writer needs in their toolbelt. Regardless of your chosen writing profession, these tools will give you the assistance, the knowledge, and the reach that you need to succeed.
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25 Tools Every Writer Should Have in Their Toolbelt
I love being a writer, but it took a long time to get here. Honestly, I wish I had known about a lot of these tools years ago. The internet is full of useful tools and websites. Here’s hoping this list can propel you into the success you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
1. Google Drive
Our first tool is one that I use every single day for both personal and professional purposes. Google Drive compiles everything you need into one place. You’ve got your word processor, spreadsheets, presentations, it’s all here.
It’s also all in the cloud and autosaved constantly. If your computer crashes or complete dies on you, everything can be accessed somewhere else via your Gmail account. Trust me, this is the way to write and store your content. I trust Google much more than Microsoft Word on an old laptop.
Spell Check is so 2003. The new tool you need to be using is Grammarly. This can be added an extension to your web browser, or there are other options on their website. In any case, it’s an excellent tool that points out spelling and grammar errors. It also suggests useful fixes and changes, unlike most spelling checkers out there.
3. A Blog
All writers must have a blog. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger by trade, it’s an integral part of your long-term career. Some writers like to use their blog to showcase their portfolio, while others build a business around a blog. The choice is yours, but you need some sort of online presence if you want to stand out.
I recommend WordPress as the best platform for this purpose, but you’ll find that there are a lot of choices out there.
4. Write or Die 2
This is a fun tool for those who like to have a little competition in their lives. It allows you to set a goal for both time and a word count. The tool then tracks how quickly you managed to reach this goal and even allows you to be placed on a leaderboard.
It’s a fun way to give yourself motivation to work quickly and efficiently. If you’re a competitive type, this is one you have to try out.
Speaking of productivity, this is the tool to beat all tools. Using the proven Pomodoro method, this free tool gives you a structure to your day that keeps you engaged and refreshed throughout those long work hours. The concept is simple: work for 25 minutes without interruption, then take a five minute break.
Repeat four times and then take a longer, 10-minute break. This tool helps you time out the cycle, but each mini-break keeps you alert and gives you a chance to stretch and grab some water or tea.
6. RawPixel & Pixabay
All writers need a good image library to pull from. Plain text just isn’t going to cut it in today’s online world. You need visuals to keep people interested and reading. These two resources are excellent ways to get high-quality, royalty-free images.
There’s no obligation to pay for them either. You can donate if you like, but otherwise you have an unlimited selection of images for your needs.
7. Text-to-Speech Software
Some writers can type really fast, and others need some help to get the word count up where they need it to be. Even if you are a fast typer, but you need to give your wrists a break, there’s some excellent software out there that can let you talk and it will type for you.
Dragon Naturally Speaking is the one I’ve linked to above, but even Google Drive has its own built-in program for this. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, the art of storytelling is one that can be spoken or written, or in this case both.
Hemingway is an online app (or a software if you prefer) that analyzes your writing for a number of different things. Namely, it points out instances of passive voice and overly complicated sentences. It helps you trim your writing down and concentrate it into a cohesive message that’s easy to understand.
9. Yoast SEO
If you’re using WordPress, this is the first plugin you should have. All writers may not be SEO experts, but they all need to know about it. This is the science behind how Google ranks content, and if you want to be seen and heard, it’s something you need to have some knowledge about.
Enter Yoast SEO. This tool gives you a full breakdown on your content’s optimization and how you can improve it. It’s a great first step towards an understanding of the concept, and it does a whole lot more once you dig into the software.
All writers need inspiration. Depending on your profession, you’ll also need to curate content from others to fill in the spaces between your own content. This is where Pocket comes in. This tool allows you to quickly store content you find on your internet travels and access it later for the purpose of reading it, sharing it, or just revising it.
Speaking of inspiration, BuzzSumo is here to help you decide if your idea is worth pursuing. You can place keywords or even websites into this tool and see which content is performing best around the internet. An excellent way to see if your idea has some spark behind it.
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12. Blog Topics Generator
Having trouble coming up with an idea? It’s on the tip of your tongue, right? This free tool lets you put in three nouns and get some ideas for blog posts. Writer’s block is a thing of the past with tools like this one to help you through it.
13. Google Calendar
Another Google tool to the rescue (and not the last one we’ll be discussing). A writer’s life is a series of events where focus is key, surrounded by other events where chaos is the word of the day. Google Calendar lets you put everything into an organized planner that notifies you when events or milestones come along.
It’s the perfect way to stay on top of your responsibilities without forgetting those tiny deadlines that always creep up on you.
14. Keyword Planner
Our next tool comes from Google once again. This is an excellent keyword research tool that lets you get tons of keyword ideas, including long-tail variations, from simple search queries. While you don’t need to force keywords into your writing, they can provide good jumping points for topics of discussion in your writing.
If you’re wondering where all the time is going, you need this tool. Writers (like myself) often lose track of time as we try to fly through our tasks. Sometimes, distractions can also dig in and use up a lot more time than we think.
Toggl is a tool that allows you to track exactly how much time you’re spending on specific activities throughout your day. This is great way to examine your time management and see where you can improve.
16. Just Writing
This tool is an excellent distraction free plugin for WordPress that takes away the clutter from your screen, without sacrificing basic functionality like spell check. As writers, anything that uses terms like “distraction-free” or “focus” are all things we want and need.
17. Meme Generator
Memes are an amazing part of internet culture. You’ve probably seen your fair share, but they can inject an excellent dose of humor into your content if you use them correctly. This tool is easy to use and allows you to not only see examples of how memes are used, but also create one yourself in mere seconds!
Try it out and see how it improves the mood by adding a pinch of humor to the proceedings.
Canva is one of my favorite tools, mostly because I’m not much of an artist. This free service allows you to create your own custom images with a simple drag-and-drop interface. It’s truly awesome, and if you want to use some of their premium elements, it’s just $1 per element that you use.
You can even upload your own images and elements to use in your creations.
Buffer is the perfect tool for managing your social media. Writers need to promote their content and engage their readers, but it can be difficult when you’re trying to manage everything else. This tool lets you schedule social media posts up to a week in advance and it will automatically publish them for you so you can focus on more important matters.
20. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
What makes a great headline? Good question, but not an easy one to answer. Thankfully, we’ve got this tool to help us. Simply place your headline in and click the button to get a full breakdown. You’ll be able to see which types of words you’re using, if the length is right, and get plenty of tips on how to improve it.
It’s a small thing, but proper title capitalization is the difference between a professional looking post, and an amateaur one. This tool allows you to put in your headline and immediately have it capitalized to meet this standard.
While not specifically for writers, this tool is something all writers should have. Even in today’s technological world, there’s still a chance for things to go wrong. There’s nothing more painful than losing your work.
With BackupBuddy, you can have automated backups of your website, your blog, your portfolio, and anything else you need to keep safe.
Images are great and all, but if they slow down your website, then you’re back to square one. Compressing your images with a tool like this one will keep the file size small, the loading times quick, and it will prevent any complaints from your hosting company that you’re using too much storage space.
While many word processors have word counting tools, this tool offers a couple of extra features. For starters, it gives you keyword density, and it also shows the average time it takes to read or speak your text. These are all valuable things to know for when you’re planning the layout and structure of your content.
25. Cliche Finder
Cliches are probably the worst culprits of making you roll your eyes. You don’t want tired phrases in your writing, so use this tool to spot them and make some changes so your writing sounds unique, interesting, and original.
The tools a writer uses can mean the difference between success and failure. These tools provide all the various resources that a writer needs to be their best every day. Which tools can you not live without? Let us know in the comments!
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