With the ever-growing need for digital marketing and promotions, freelance writing is a more profitable career path than ever (so that Communications degree will prove useful). Whether it’s writing a description for a face wash or just blogging about your latest adventures (which, if you’re lucky, will prove to be quite a well-paying past time), being a skilled freelancer is a more than noble aspiration. But with such a wide variety of freelancers already out there, it can be tricky to find the motivation to create amazing content on your own. Fortunately, we’ve found 10 free writing tools that can be accessed on your phone or laptop that will both give you feedback on your writing and prompts to keep your creative juices flowing. Here are 10 free writing tools that are necessary for freelance writers.
If you haven’t heard your Professors, friends, or Youtube ads claim that Grammarly is a total lifesaver, you’re about to hear it from us. Grammarly is an online word processing system that does so much more than point out typos and grammar mistakes- it suggests replacements for your existing words and even tells you if your work is clear, engaging, and see if your delivery is right. And all of that is free! By installing Grammarly into sites where you know you’ll be typing a lot (such as Facebook or LinkedIn), you and rest assured knowing that your wedding posts are mistake-free and convey the message you want to get across.
A nearly equally helpful but much less famous word analyzer goes by the name of Wordcounter.net. By simply copying and pasting your latest document on the site, it’ll not only tell you how many words there are but will also go into the number of characters, paragraphs, and sentences. While these are all great insights, our favorite feature of this tool is that it’ll automatically tell you which level your document reads at (or which grade group it’d be best suited for), as well as approximations on how long it takes to read or speak. Your 1000 page article may only be a three-minute read!
Need a fire underneath you to get you in the writing spirit? NaNoWriMo‘s got your back! The month of November has been declared National Novel Writing Month, and this site has users attempt to write 50,000 words between November 1st and 30th (enough for a good-sized novel)! If you’re more drawn to long-form prose, hope to be a published author one day, and could benefit from a community of likeminded individuals who share your goals, NaNoWriMo is perfect for you. Plus, after graduation when you’re in between career hunting, reaching daily goals on this site during November would be a productive way to spend your spare time!
Need practice writing and formatting short-form articles before doing them for money? Head over to WordPress.com, where hundreds of writers just like you report on their University’s events, local endeavors (such as the city of Escondido expanding its soup kitchen), and everything in between. Despite popular belief, the growth in technology has only increased the number of viewers to platforms such as Magazines and Newspapers, the only difference is that many of these sources are now online (and likely free). Plus, if you’re interested in working for a print company one day, adding your freelance articles to your resume is a great career move.
Need some serious inspiration before diving into the world of blogs and articles? Bloglovin‘ may be your new best friend. This site allows readers to discover and organize blogs, helping them discover their style in the process. For example, if you’re constantly looking up and organizing blogs such as Wendy’s Look Book, you may find you have a calling for fashion blogging, too. After discovering the Pinterest for blogs, you’ll be hooked!
6. Language Is A Virus
Language may be a virus, but it sure can be a cure for your writer’s block! Named after the song by Laurie Anderson, languageisavirus.com has a plethora of writing prompts, exercises, and games to get your creative juices flowing. Plus, it also acts as a detailed Encyclopedia for different writing techniques and definitions that may have gotten a little rusty since you learned them in High School (like what “Iambic Pentameter” really implies in poetry). After a few prompts, you may find yourself the next Emily Dickinson!
7. Writer’s Digest
Sometimes, information can be the best tool out there. Writer’s Digest is a U.S.-based magazine (and website) that contains how-tos, calls for manuscripts, prompts, resources, and a close-knit community of aspiring authors such as yourself. They even offer webinars (most likely free) and help for screenwriters and poets, as well as publishing insights. By visiting the site regularly, you may end up saving hundreds that you would have spent on another college writing class otherwise!
8. Purdue Owl Writing Lab
While grammatical norms may occasionally seem restrictive to your writing style, they can greatly set you apart in the publishing industry (both freelance and otherwise) as a true professional. Purdue Owl Writing Lab is a website complimentary of the folks at Purdue University, and their online assistance and education for writers across the globe may provide the extra polish your skills need for your passion to become your career. O.W.L. may stand for “online writing lab”, but we predict that after using the site for a while, you may end up as wise as the beautiful bird!
9. Poets & Writers
Want to take your work to a place it can truly be appreciated? Head over to the Poets & Writers website (pw.org), where you’ll be able to apply your writing in contests, request to be featured in the Poets & Writers magazine, keep an eye out for local events, and even search for unique writing jobs.
10. Create If Writing
The last tool on your list is ideal for those who have established their niche as freelance writers and are now looking into the business side of their field (ie how to make money). This site not only provides limitless edification on how to establish a strong online community and connection with readers but also how to work your way around (and occasionally utilize) internet algorithms to successfully market yourself as a freelancer.
Which writing tools would you most benefit from? What are your plans for your writing passion? Tell us in the comments below!
Author’s Instagram: @shes_an_autumn
featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/FHnnjk1Yj7Y
Anna Livia is a Junior Communications student at John Paul The Great Catholic University. Her hobbies include reading how-to guides on being an adult, exploring the many pockets around North Country (San Diego) and attempting whatever new pasta recipes appear on Pinterest. She hails form Los Angeles but aspires to live in Houston one day for a career in Magazine Editing (not to mention the low housing prices). Her perfect afternoon would include cats of any kind, hot cider, and Malcolm In The Middle.