March 1, 2017 Sid No Comments on Best Web Tools and Services for Writers
Best Web Tools and Services for Writers
For writers, the tools we need can be as simple as a word processor and the internet. Equipped with those, we can gather as much inspiration, ideas, and information from the web and type our piece into the word processor or directly into the CMS to publish as blogs posts. But just like any creative professional, life is easier with tools that help us with boosting productivity and creativity, as well as help us with project management.
Below are 20 of the best web tools and services aimed to improve our writing quality and all other aspects of being a professional writer, including content and keyword strategy, image search, and more.
If your blog or website caters to a specific niche (for example, our blogs at MicroCreatives focus on creativity, web and graphic design, writing, and web development), then you need something to help you build a strategy when creating blog topic schedules. Ahrefs Site Explorer helps you “track your backlinks, keywords, brand mentions”, and it also generates a report on your competitor’s search traffic. Furthermore, Ahrefs also lets you know the content that works best in your niche as well as the SEO issues on your site that you should take note of. Ahrefs Site Explorer is a paid tool that has a 2-week free trial.
Our designers at MicroCreatives handles all types of web and graphic design projects, including small tasks like creating images for blogs and social media posts. But if you want to do it on your own and instantly at that, check out Canva. It is an online application for editing photos for use in blog posts, social media profile images, resumes, and more. Canva also makes the process easier by offering different image templates to help you get started.
When publishing a post on your site that comes from an outside source, say a guest post or a purchased article, it’s best to ensure that the article is not plagiarized. Copyscape helps verify if an article is original or copied. Copyscape also has a feature that lets you know if another site has stolen your content.
Most word processors boast their extensive features and menu options. Dark Room, on the other hand, gets rid of these features to eliminate distractions and let you focus on your text only. Dark Room is for PC users.
Like a Pinterest for writers, Feedly enables users to subscribe to news from prominent blogs. You can also subscribe to particular blog topics as well as create collections to arrange your feed into categories. What sets Feedly apart from similar sites is its ability to send its users notifications when their blog or brand is mentioned anywhere on the web.
If you like listening to music while writing, then you should try Focus@Will. This web app has a collection of instrumental music to help you focus and improve productivity.
For creatives, distractions and procrastination are our worst enemies. While procrastination is unproductive, taking short breaks, on the other hand, can help refresh the mind. To help you keep track of time and manage tasks better, the online timer Focus Booster uses the Pomodoro time tracking technique lets freelancers stay on top of their workload by working as an online timer that uses the Pomodoro time tracking technique to “maintain focus and manage distractions”, promoting better work habits.
Keeping all services in one platform is convenient in many ways. If you’re a Google products user, just signing in to your Google account lets you access a lot of applications. If Google Chrome is your primary browser, get the Google Keep extension to quickly create notes and checklists. This full-featured app is also available for web, Android, and iOS.
Proofreading your own work comes as second nature for writers, but it’s still better to have assistance to ensure that you won’t miss any spelling and grammar mistakes. Grammarly is an accurate grammar checker that works wherever you type your text, both online and offline.
As a general rule, the headline should be the most captivating part of an article. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer checks your headline score. It lets you know how effective or powerful your headline is and how it is going to look in Google. Furthermore, it also gives suggestions on improving your headlines.
Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator is ideal for when you need to create different articles out of one topic. You just simply enter one to three keywords then the generator will provide a list of possible blog topics out of those words.
More than showing off your writing prowess by using popular catch phrases and a wide vocabulary, an article is deemed effective it is easy to understand. Hemmingway is an app that highlights phrases that you can change to expound or shorten. It also suggests alternative words to make a sentence easier to understand.
Content writers not only come up with the text, but they can also suggest an accompanying image that supports the content. You can easily search for images through Pexels, a free image directory of high quality photos.
Skitch by Evernote is a tool for Mac, iPhone, and iPad that allows the user to easily annotate a screenshot, document, or image. Not only you can draw on them, you can also add arrows, text, and stamps.
If you’re anxiously waiting for an important email, install the Streak extension to you Gmail to notify you when the receiver already opened your email. More so, Streak is also great when you want to set a specific time to your emails if you don’t want to send them right away.
You know the feature on your phone where you set a keyboard shortcut and the feature automatically translates it into a phrase? For example, when you type “omw” it will be changed to “on my way”. TextExpander works exactly the same. It aims to let you work and type faster by setting snippets or keyboard shortcuts, best for when you have to use the same words, phrases, or email address more than once. The snippets are also saved in a cloud and are synced across all your devices.
Adding social media widgets to your blog is a great way to increase engagement. It also extends your contents reach by letting readers instantly share the article on social media. TweetDis is a WordPress plugin that helps your content increase traffic through Twitter. The plugin makes readers tweet your content without having to copy the text and leave the page. Right on the article, you can highlight important or notable text that people can tweet by just clicking the tweet button below it.
WordCounter helps you avoid redundancy. Enter a block of text to the designated box and WordCounter will rank your most frequently used words so that you can replace them.
Crowdsourcing is not uncommon these days, including finding someone who will proofread and edit your work real-time. Luckily for us in MicroCreatives, we have a team of writers who cross-checks each other’s work for quality assurance. You can also send us an inquiry so we can edit your copy. But if you want it real-time, you can submit your content to Wordy, giving you access to editors from different time zones.
The inspiration for Dark Room, WriteRoom is a distraction-free word processor for Mac. It gets rid of any menu options and features, and only features a black background so you can focus on writing.