Remember those days you thought writing would require a cup of tea, blank Google Doc or word page and some rain on the windows? Ah—such deceit.
If you’ve gotten into content writing, you know it’s much more chaotic than that. It requires a lot of focus, inspiration, Mbps and most importantly—tools.
A good content writer has a lot of skills in their mind to create marvelous content and copy. A great one uses tools to make that easier. Tools that make them work faster. Tools that free up a lot of their headspace, so they can focus on their writing—or other hobbies, maybe.
We’re all in this together, so in this article you find eight top tools content writers use, like, all the time. You find some of the classics in there, but also some tools that might surprise you and are what you’ve been looking for all along. Ready? Set. Write!
Try finding a content writer that hasn't heard of Grammarly. There’s a misconception about content or copywriters being great at grammar all the time. While content writing does require a high level of language skills, you’re not expected to be flawless.
Grammar can sometimes be bent and spun around like Baby in Dirty Dancing, just for the sake of a good show. It’s not like your 8th grade English teacher would love you using structures like ‘Got Milk?’ all the time.
Now, once you’re done with the creative part of grammar, run your copy through Grammarly. It’s one of the most powerful tools out there that will help you catch mistakes. Not just misspelled words and wrong grammar, but also sentence structures.
It doesn’t just highlight your mistakes—in one click, you can correct them too. Another thing your teacher wouldn’t love, but here we are. Grammarly is really a must-have for any content writer.
There’s a free version, but if you want to catch all mistakes, take the monthly subscription for $25 per member per month. Trust me, it’s worth it.
The average American has the reading level of a 7th/8th grader. While content writers love being creative with language, long sentences and wordplay can confuse a lot of readers.
If you need help keeping things simple, ask Hemingway. No, not that one.
Hemingway is a free tool used by all kinds of writers to make their writing more understandable. It looks at the use of adverbs, passive voice, the length of a sentence and structure. Thanks to Hemingway, a lot more people will be able to enjoy your writing.
Writer’s block is not only for grand novelists. Content writers often churn out a lot of articles, and inspiration doesn’t always come to work with them.
Content writing is all about answering questions—some your reader didn't even know they had. The perfect tool for that is Answer The Public.
According to their website, there are 3 billion Google searches every day. 20% of those have never been seen before. Google is almost like a direct line with your readers’ minds—except you don't actually have to talk to them. Phew.
In Answer The Public, you can type in anything in any language, and it will show you what people have been asking about this. Based on these outcomes, you can come up with new ideas. Not only for entire blog posts but for sections within an article, simply by knowing what questions to answer.
They provide over 500k free searches a month when you can trial run and swipe a few content ideas on us, but you're limited based on their traffic. You can get unlimited searches for $99 a month.
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If an article is published, but nobody is there to read it, is it really that great?
You’ll need SEO to get people to find your writing. But it can be hard to guess what the Search Engines want today, with all their updates and algorithms. While you stay focused on your writing, tools like SurferSEO work on their tool that will guide you towards the first place on Google.
Based on what you’re writing about, you get a list of keywords to use—and how often to use them. You’ll see how long the article should be, how many paragraphs, how many images—everything you as a content writer is responsible for SEO-wise.
Their most basic plan starts at $59 a month.
A little cliché never killed nobody. But some articles are so cliche-dense they come dangerously close to it.
To be fair: whoever writes for a living, sometimes just runs out of creativity. At 1000 words an hour, you can't reinvent the wheel all the time.
So, before you send your next article over to your editor, copy and paste it into the cliché finder. This is the most straight-forward, harsh tool you’ll find on this list. It looks like it was designed by absolutely nobody, but boy, does it work.
Cliche finder is a tool that will highlight all cliches you've hidden in your copy, so you can easily replace it with something more original. Or at least some of them.
Because a piece without any well-known clichés isn't necessarily better. Some might even argue that clichés make your copy more easy to understand—because well, we all know those cliches. So, pick wisely.
The best writing doesn’t sound like writing when you read it aloud. Many people struggle with putting their thoughts on paper or screen. Meanwhile, they are perfectly fine one-on-one or even speaking about a topic to hundreds of people in an auditorium.
People tend to freak out when they know they need to write about something they talk about all the time. The writing doesn't sound natural, it's stiff or hard to follow.
If you’re struggling with that, stop writing, and start talking. To yourself, yes, With a tool like HappyScribe you translate audio to text. The result? Writing that sounds human, is easier to understand and more lively.
Their automatic transcribing works for €0.20 a minute. Their humans do it for €1.70 a minute.
Good writing requires a lot of reading. Content writers spend a lot of time reading other articles to find great sources, inspiration, and information gaps.
Now, most of us don’t do that one tab or link at a time. We dive into Google or Scholar, click everything that sounds remotely interesting and before you know it, we have 45 tabs open. In the distance, sirens.
If you find yourself doing this a lot but hate the way it looks, it’s distracting or you just want to get more organized—try One-tab. It’s a simple solution that puts all the tabs you have open under one tab, where you have a list to pick from (instead of tiny images that are supposed to mean something).
The makers needed it as much as you do, and decided to give this blissful extension away for free. Thanks guys!
Content writing should be chock-full of informative, valuable information. But in order to get people to read all that, your writing needs to be interesting, fun and creative as well.
It can be hard to focus on delivering information and being witty at the same time, so a lot of content writers separate these parts. If you’re looking for a tool that will help you with the creative part of writing, open Ilys.
With ilys, there’s no looking back. The tool is simple: you give in the amount of words you want to type, and you start typing. You only see each letter you type in at the moment. Now, there are a lot of distraction-free tools out there that eliminate entire interfaces. But Ilysm takes it one step further: you can't even get distracted by your own writing.
The idea behind this is that you get what’s in your head on screen—instead of letting you guide by words you actually see on screen. Scary? Yes. But a lot of fun to try.
You can try 500 words for free. Membership costs $11.11 per month, or you can save 25% with an annual membership for $99.99.
In every content writer’s life, one tool will come along that’ll completely change the game. It allows you to focus, to save time, or to simply become a better writer. Share your favorites with your fellow writers and let's abolish bad, boring content, once and for all.