5 min read
Before I started using editors, grammar/spelling checkers, and other writing tools, I thought I was writing good copy.
I never realized the level of insight you can get when checking your writing in these ways. Now that I use them it further increases my writing quality in ways I could not have imagined.
Having an arsenal of writing and editing tools is like having your own world-class editor at your disposal (for free).
Don’t make my mistake, use these tools as well as any others you’ve researched and find helpful.
Here’s a list of the tools I use for my editing and proofreading.
Tool #1. Answer The Public
Having trouble coming up with questions for new topic or title ideas? Simply type a keyword or string of keywords and this website will show questions users have been asking over the web (based on your input).
Here’s an example of article topic ideas from the query “writing better”:
Using this free service to get your topic, you’ll know there will be some readers genuinely interested in what you have to say.
Tool #2: Title Capitalization Tool
For those unfamiliar with all the rules associated with proper title capitalization, this tool can help. There are also 6 different styles that may have different rules for your title, so it wouldn’t hurt to check out.
Keep in mind, it’s important to note that – if you’re guest posting for example – certain sites have a particular style for their titles.
They could capitalize every word no matter what, only capitalize the first word, do all caps, or a different style, so keep an eye out for that.
Tool #3: Headline Analyzer
This is a great tool on the same website that rates your title by readability, SEO, and sentiment. It will explain best practices for title length, what words will appeal most to readers, and what will be ideal for search engine optimization.
Testing this analyzer on certain blog sites can show surprisingly low scores for some articles so it clearly can make a difference for some online writers.
Here are the results from the title of this post:
Tool #4: Hemingway Editor
Whoever isn’t using this editor needs to check it out right now. It’s clear that readability is an important aspect of writing.
Hemingway Editor will break down each sentence for you, pointing out the difficult ones. Not only that, it keeps your writing active (not passive) and fixes overuse of adverbs or difficult phrases.
Tool #5: Sentence Length Analyzer
This tool from Plain English checks your sentences for length and points out the longest one you have. Since readers’ attention can drop off drastically after 26 words in a sentence, it is important to work on shortening your mammoth ones.
On top of this, make sure to vary sentence lengths. when sentence length is variable, your writing goes from sounding like a broken record to a symphony of different frequencies. Plus, shorter sentences have bold effect.
So, make sure to check this one out!
Tool #6: Gunning Fog Index
This is an incredible tool for knowing the type of readers that can understand your writing. For example, if your content returns a rating of 12, you need 12 years of schooling to understand it.
Wikipedia has more information on Gunning Fog Index if you want to check it out. To have your content understood by everyone, aim for an index of 8.
Above all, understand your target demographic and appeal to their rating.
Tool #7: Writer’s Diet
The Writer’s Diet is an editor that determines if your writing is flabby or fit. It shows the proportion of verbs you have in relation to the rest, plus the frequency of terms like ‘it, this, that, there’ that can make your writing too vague.
Make sure to have primarily verbs in your writing (powerful ones) and it will have a much stronger effect on your readers. Here is the result of editing this section:
Tool #8: Up Goer Five
This is a special tool for when you want your writing to be extremely easy to read. It pushes you to use the 1000 most common words to explain something.
The example of how they describe a rocket’s parts in simple terms opens up your mind to possibilities about simple writing for complex topics. Highly recommended.
Tool #9: The A to Z of Alternative Words
This resource helps keep your words and phrases easy to understand. When writing content – especially about complex topics – it’s easy to slip into difficult wording and sentences just to get a point across. Unfortunately, you will lose interest from readers if it is too difficult to digest.
Not only that, if you can explain difficult topics simply, this shows you really know what you’re talking about. It will keep readers engaged and willing to learn.
Tool #10: Power Verbs List
There are many lists of quality verbs to strengthen your writing. I use the one from Jerry Jenkins when I need a certain verb, but find the one that works best for you.
Tool #11: Grammarly
I used to avoid this software. I don’t know why, but now I love using it and it edits everything I do.
When you start writing a lot, it’s inevitable you’ll run into some grammatical or spelling errors from simple carelessness.
Grammarly will instantly catch these errors and suggest how to fix them. They have a high level of attention to detail.
I hope these tools will be of some help to you, and good luck with your future writing!