There are two popular but conflicting proverbs: "The best things in life are free," and "There’s no such thing as a free lunch." Which one is true? In the world of content marketing, the former definitely wins out.
For website managers and blog owners, there are dozens of free tools used by professionals to assist in writing high-quality posts. In this article, we will examine eight of them. Let's get started!
1. Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator
Hubspot is a leader in the content marketing world: over 215,000 people are subscribed to their newsletter, and the company has built a solid reputation among online marketers. Their blog topic generator is very useful for content creators.
All you have to do is enter three nouns, and it will give you engaging ideas for a week’s worth of blog posts. Don’t underestimate the usefulness of catchy and unusual blog titles! It's important to bear in mind that 80% of readers will see a headline, but only 20% will read your blog posts. The headline is often your best and only chance to impress readers, so spending time on it is worth the effort.
2. The Readability Test Tool
To this day in some parts of Britan, people say "Lord love a duck." This idiom is used as a placeholder in situations when the speaker cannot think of anything else to say. While unusual for some people, the phrase serves a purpose in some contexts.
There is a trend in modern writing that you should careful of: the minimalist school. According to this school of thought, writers should avoid expressions like "Lord love a duck" to avoid confusing readers. But by abolishing idiomatic speech, your writing becomes bland and starts to look the same as everything else.
Every writer has their own unique style, and special signature. That being said, it’s a good idea to make your writing accessible to the masses. One way to do that is via the Readability Test Tool, which scores your writing from 1 to 100. If you score from 60-80, then your writing can be comfortably read by the average 12-15 year old.
This tool is a great way to make sure that your content is both unique, and understandable.
3. Paper Rater
Many people have heard of Grammarly, a paid service that helps writers to write in grammatically proper English. Grammarly is a great tool, but it's not free; Paper Rater is a wonderful alternative.
These days, most writers use Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or Libreoffice, meaning they have free access to spellcheck, but not to a grammar check. Blog readers trust websites that use accurate grammar, so checking your work is important. Paper Rater doesn’t require any downloads, like some other free grammar checkers, making it very easy to integrate into your workflow.
4. The Hemingway App
The Hemingway App is also excellent software for improving your writing. This post is all about free tools, so value-hunters should seek out the desktop version of the Hemingway App, which is free.
One of the best features of the Hemingway App is the way it pushes you to use stronger verbs. The tool highlights certain adverbs in blue, unearthing opportunities for you to replace an adverb and a weak verb with a strong verb.
For example, if you wrote "quickly ran", then "quickly" would be highlighted in blue. You could replace the phrase "quickly ran," with the verb "sprinted," spadework which can make sentences pop. Hemingway has plenty of use case scenarios which can be found on its own website.
5. Tomato Timer
Much has been written about the Pomodoro System implemented by Tomato Timer. Simply put, the tool breaks down your work into segments, typically consisting of 25 minute intervals. Science has found that concentration tends to wane after that amount of time. The system is proven to enhance willpower and reduce stress, perks which can easily enhance your prose.
Quora is both an unusual and invaluable website. It has a treasure trove of good information. Yet, that information is hidden behind a sign-in wall, which hurts its SEO efforts. Also, because it’s a platform where answers are crowdsourced, the best answer doesn’t always have all the pertinent information.
But for bloggers, there is an opportunity for arbitrage. If you unearth under-explored questions on Quora, you can use them as inspiration for your own blog writing, a move which can propel you to the top of the search engines.
There are quite a few rules to remember when it comes to capitalization in titles. For instance, you must always capitalize the first and last word of any title. Also, short prepositions are not capitalized, but long prepositions (those longer than four words) typically are.
There are many rules: enough to make a beginner's head swim. Fortunately, there’s an amazing tool called TitleCap which eliminates unnecessary busywork. Just copy your title and paste it into the software: it will instantly make autocorrections, allowing you to publish your headline with confidence.
Why should you use the Wordcounter website in the first place? If you’re using Google Docs, then there’s a word counter under the "Tools" section in the menu bar - it’s the fifth one down.
But Wordcounter is simply better. Not only does it count the number of words in your article, but also provides you a tally of the words that you use most frequently. This is a handy feature. Imagine that you used the word "smart" 21 times in a 1,000 word article. "Smart" is a fine word, but there are better options in some cases. A quick look at a thesaurus shows refreshing alternatives: shrewd, clever, astute, quick-witted, intelligent, bright, brainy, savvy, sharp-witted, and perceptive.
Pumping up your writing with these synonyms has two benefits. First, it helps your prose stand out from the crowd. Everyone’s blogging these days, and wordsmiths have a better chance of building an audience. Second, it helps you express yourself with more precision. For example, let’s say you’re writing about an employee who is skilled at resolving conflicts, an officemate that is very good at reading the emotions of others.
"Smart" is a decent adjective for her, but you’d go even farther with “perceptive”. Wordcounter helps you to make strategic decisions like these on the fly.
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