The idea of writing anything from an essay to a report has panicked many people in the past. Much of the time it seems like it would be better to simply hire someone else for the job, rather than do it oneself. Writing is not something that has to be frightening, though.
Writing is a process that involves the commitment of time, proper tools, and a lot of practice, but it isn’t limited to the talented few. Everyone can learn how to write content well enough to have it read like a professionally done piece. It just takes getting a few of the basics together to start.
There really aren’t any big secrets about writing. Writers don’t follow treasure maps to a big chest of writing secrets deep in the jungle! Much of it is about practicing, but there are several tools that can make one’s life easier, and they are offered by the modern age of advanced technology.
Here are ten effective writing tools you can easily use on a daily basis:
#1 A Pen and a Pad of Paper
It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? One expects a person to say that they need a ten-thousand-dollar piece of equipment to get started for just about everything today, but with the modern technologies, we seemingly forget about traditional writing. The best way to get started on any project is to put down the basics for a proposal, a report, or just about anything else!
Yes, a smartphone or a tablet can work, too, but there’s something about a blank pad of paper that helps to get the ideas flowing. This is also important in putting together the basic road map as to where one wants to go. It’s with a simple pad of paper and a pen that one can figure out exactly what they need, what they want to say, and how to execute it.
#2 Reedsy Book Editor
This is a great way to get started if a person finds that their writing abilities are limited. Reedsy is a free word processor, but that isn’t all that it does. Basically, what makes it stand out is that it actually formats your article or proposal as you write it!
It doesn’t act as an actual editor, per se, but it does rewrite a person’s prose into something that looks more professional, making it a great choice for beginners.
As a person advances and becomes more confident in their writing, they’ll probably move on from Reedsy. It is a great set of training wheels for novices, though.
#3 CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
This is a great thing that makes a headline really pop, but it’s not just limited to journalists. For them, it is of prime importance to write an attention-grabbing headline, which makes it an essential tool for a journalist.
The truth, however, is that everyone wants to grab someone’s attention with whatever it is that they’re writing. The title of an article, a proposal, or even a report is something that people want to impress others with.
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer works by having a person put in the title of their piece. They then add a few details about the content, and the program will grade it according to how emotional, unique, and powerful it is. And, yes, it’s free!
This is a good one for increasing and maintaining productivity for writing content. Writing takes a lot of discipline, and it requires adhering to a set number of words written per day.
Fitting that into one’s schedule isn’t easy, but it can be done. The best way to make this easier is to bring in a productivity tool, like Todoist. Todoist is an app that creates a schedule to follow, which is of great importance to writers who are procrastinating about getting that content done!
#5 An Online Dictionary- Lexico
This is part of the importance of having access to those online resources. Although there are still some physical copies of dictionaries lying around, they’re not kept as up-to-date as online dictionaries.
So, why are they an important tool for content writing? Even professional writers keep a dictionary bookmarked because everyone sometimes forgets the exact meaning of a word. So, it’s always a good idea to keep one handy, just in case one isn’t certain that a word means exactly what they think it means!
#6 A Thesaurus
This is also better to access online, rather than by traditional copy, but it is an important tool in content writing. It’s normal to be a bit prideful and claim knowledge of every synonym for every word in existence, but the truth is that no one is that good.
Writing means having to discuss a topic at length. That might be the topic of an article, a report, or a proposal, but it still means a lot of words spent on one subject. That also means that one has to find different ways of talking about the same thing.
As a result, one has to find different ways of calling a car, for instance. It’s a thesaurus that allows someone to discuss a vehicle, an automobile, or a set of wheels! Thesaurus.com is a good choice for an online thesaurus that’s easy to use.
This is in the vein of a word analyzer. What’s a word analyzer? These apps, like Readable, analyze a piece to determine what the audience is for the piece. Then it goes down into a “readability” score, which tells a person if they’re meeting their target audience or not.
This is an important tool in determining if one is hitting the mark. If they aren’t, it does make suggestions on how to fix it! Readable itself even allows a person to customize it for target audiences.
It also claims that it can vastly increase the number of people who will read a piece by making adjustments. This app isn’t free, but it does offer a free trial for those who want to try it out.
#8 A Grammar Checker
This is something to use after online content has been written. But one has to really search for a good one to use. Good grammar checkers will offer a free component that will at least do the basics for anyone.
It’s the bad ones that want to charge for everything. A good grammar checker might require payment for showing a person poor word choice or passive voice, but it will at least check grammar and spelling. The good ones will even do a little more!
As to purchasing the complete package, that is mainly up to just how much a person thinks they need to write content. If someone is a beginner and hasn’t had much in the way of tutoring on how to write, then they might want to get a full subscription.
There is a lot involved in writing, and there are things that people might be doing when they don’t even realize it. That is where a complete grammar checker is a good buy. Grammarly is one of the most popular checkers available online.
#9 Get a Professional Proofreader
No matter how meticulous a person might be. No matter how many times they go over a piece, they’re still bound to miss something! This is a simple truth about every human being, so don’t be ashamed.
Everyone needs a second set of eyes to look over a piece of written content, and it is worth the time to have a person find those mistakes, grammatical or otherwise, and punch that piece up a little more. Not only that, but a good proofreader is also one of the best people to get an opinion on the piece itself.
Getting a proofreader may not always be easy to do in person, but there are people who do offer their services, like retired teachers or professors. The other option is to get a proofreader online. There are even some online proofreaders that offer paper writing services! Be aware, though, that the prices for these online services vary a great deal.
There is software online now that does have a proofreading component to it, but if that is the best option available, then it’s a good idea to be choosy and take some time to find the best one. This type of software usually requires a subscription to use, as well.
#10 A Good Support Community
Fiction, non-fiction writers, journalists, poets, and every other kind of writer usually benefits from the presence of like-minded people, online or in real life.
The reasoning behind this is simple. Writers of all different stripes need to have people to be their cheerleaders, keep them motivated, and be there for them when there’s a need. Having a colleague or an online support forum is always a great step towards ensuring that created content is at its best.
It’s those colleagues and communities that are essential in this case. They have tips and experience that are invaluable to learn from. They’re also great for getting honest opinions on what a person has already created.
It’s with all of these tools that a person trying to become a great content writer can truly excel in this world.
Jennifer Broflowski has been writing articles for as long as she can remember. Her time is spent huddled at her computer or finding new recipes to experiment with. She lives with her two, dear Siamese cats.