A blog should be an important and integrated part of any company's marketing strategy. A well-maintained and well-written blog helps drive traffic to your website, can convert that traffic into leads and gives you another platform to share information with potential customers. For some, however, writing a blog can seem daunting and for others, their writing may have become predictable and formulaic.
Luckily there are some great free tools you can use to help with your blog writing. I've highlighted my five most-used writing tools below. And don't forget, check out our blog post on choosing a blog post topic.
Power Thesaurus is a free online thesaurus tool. What makes it different from its competitors is that it is data-driven. By crowd-sourcing information on which synonyms and antonyms users were looking for, this tool makes it easier for you to find the word you were likely looking for. This helps save time compared to other online thesaurus tools that present all synonyms and antonyms as equal. PowerThesaurus is simple to use, just type in a word. The website also allows you to filter options by parts of speech and topic, and can point out options that are "broader" and "narrower". It is also available as a Chrome extension for even simpler use.
If you're easily distracted when writing, ZenPen may be the app for you. It is a minimalist writing zone that helps keep you focused on the task at hand. In its full-screen mode, all you can see are the words in front of you. ZenPen does have helpful features that make it more than just a blank space. You can invert the colours if you prefer writing in white on a black background, set a word count target and download your text when you're complete. If you're finding writing a blog is taking you too long, this tool can improve your efficiency by cutting down on distractions.
ClicheFinder is a simple online app that does just that. You can paste your copy into ClicheFinder, click "find cliches" and it will highlight any offending phrases (they'll "stick out like a sore thumb".) Avoiding cliches is important for your content to remain specific and clear. For example, if I used ClicheFinder on this paragraph, I would be prompted to rewrite the statement in parentheses in my second sentence; it would be highlighted in red for easy identification.
If you're writing your content in a web browser, rather than a word processor, you may not have the best grammar tools available to you while writing. Grammarly solves that problem. It is a browser extension that goes beyond spellchecking to find grammar mistakes, syntax errors, confusing clauses and more. It then allows you to accept its suggested change, ignore the change or rewrite. Grammarly isn't a website that needs to be visited; instead, it remains active so long as the plug-in is turned on. That means it can aid more than just your blog writing by checking your tweets, posts, emails and anything else you write in your web browser.
This online app is inspired by and named after famed American author Ernest Hemingway, who was renowned for his minimalist style. The app is available for free online or for purchase via download. The app helps keep your writing concise by highlighting superfluous elements for removal. This is more than just a fun app; using it will help you deliver a maximum amount of information without risking your message being missed or misunderstood.
If you are looking for help with your blog writing, try out some of these tools. They may help you break out of a bout of writer's block or simply make your blog writing more efficient. Our bonus tool is the experienced content writers at H&C Inc. poised to support your blog with search engine optimization and publication-ready content. Contact us today to learn more about the advantages of having your blog managed by a marketing agency.