I’ve been freelance writing for a little over 1 year. Since then, I’ve relied on some great resources to help me improve grammar, style, and to deliver the content in the manner my clients need. As a freelance writer, you often don’t have the resources to invest in premium tools to advance your writing. So getting some powerful, free tools can be the difference between a longterm gig and your client heading in another direction.
Make sure you get these tools as part of your writing process and you’ll be impressing your clients and readers in no time.
All the content you’re writing is for the internet. And your writing should be Search Engine Optimized; no exceptions. Some clients may have detailed SEO guidelines you need to follow. Others may just want the basics. In both cases, that’s where Yoast comes in.
Yoast SEO is a plugin used in Wordpress to help optimize content to rank effectively. The plugin helps with readability, passive voice, and keyword density. It also helps you with keywords and your descriptions so you can appear search engine ready. But sometimes you may not have access to Wordpress or you may be submitting content via Google Docs or Microsoft Word. With the Yoast Real-Time link, you get all the optimizing power of the plugin straight in your browser.
Just copy and paste your completed content, add your keywords and description and you’ll get the analysis you need to complete an SEO ready blog for your clients. Yoast does have a premium version in Wordpress, however, the free plugin and webpage are just as useful.
When it comes to writing, Yoast merely suggests you improve it and points it out in some cases. But the Hemingway Editor tells you exactly where the edits should be made. The objective of Hemingway is to get you writing clearly. The app picks up on faux pas like passive voice, long-winded sentences, and weak words. You can also gauge your readability. I often write and edit in Heminway instead of Google Docs. There’s a downloadable app for $20, however, the online freemium version works well.
If you’re trying to get a bit more granular with your SEO and writing style data, Word Counter gives you keyword density by length, paragraph length, sentence count, spell checker, and a host of other important details. You can also set writing goals within the webpage. It’s a great tool if you have specific requirements from a client in terms of the number of keywords, frequency of keywords, and paragraph length.
Sometimes you find yourself using words repeatedly. And although it may not be intentional, it can come across as keyword stuffing. With the One Look Thesaurus, you can quickly plug in a word and find some quick alternatives. This tool also has a reverse dictionary. If you’re not sure of the word but can give a description, it will find your word with amazing accuracy.
Bonus: The Elements of Style video
Check out this short video on 10 principles of writing, based on the famous book, The Elements of Style.
While there are powerful, paid tools online, there is equal value in the free resources around. If you’re new to online writing or looking for some ways to up your game, these tools could be what you’re looking for.