Freelance Writer: Your Free Writing Tools
There could be some of you looking for other writing tools. I'd like to share some of the free tools I use to write for my clients whom I've been writing for since 2007.
Sources of Articles and Ideas
To get ideas or information for your article, subscribe to Google Alerts and Yahoo! Alerts and submit the keywords or topics you often write about. Google and Yahoo will send you alerts about new information depending on how often you'd like to receive new information.
You can also subscribe to big sites that are focused on your topics. From time to time, check also the sites of Wall Street Journal, USA Today and New York Times and other popular city newspapers. Oftentimes, you can pick interesting information that you can write about.
There are also now a lot of news aggregator sites that focus on one particular topic or geographical area. You will discover these sites as you use Google and Yahoo! alerts.
Alexa is also a good source of ideas for writing. It lists the hottest topics and hottest pages and updates them every 5 minutes. Of course, you can also check hot topics in the top sites, the ranking of which Alexa is known for.
For Writers in Brown-out Prone Areas or with Low-Battery Laptops
Have you experienced pouring your all into an article only to be inaccessible because of a brownout? or because of a laptop that suddenly goes off? And you need to submit your work in an hour?
So that you can immediately access your work in another laptop or in another place where there's electricity, use Google Docs for writing. Since this is online, your work can always be accessed anywhere there's an Internet connection.
While you type, your words are saved automatically every few seconds. Additionally, many of the features of Microsoft Word are available on Google Docs.
Tools to Ensure You Are Not Committing Plagiarism
Copyscape is arguably the most ofted used tool to check
plagiarism, and is also the one used by clients. Its paid
version charges $5 for 100 checks or $0.05 for every
check. What I do is to check 5 to 8 400-word articles at
one time to stretch my check count and I use Copyscape
only for my strict clients.
For most others, I use the free ones: Article Checker,
which does not require registration, and
Plagiarism.Detect, which requires registration, but more
thorough and accurate in detection.
Dictionary for Quick Look
WordWeb is free to download, install and use. If
you're looking for a better word while writing,
just click your W icon.
Free Photo Editing
Many times, you need to resize, edit or mix your pictures, but just like me, you don't have the time to learn Photoshop.
Among the free online photo editing tools that I've tried using, Fotoflexer is the easiest to use and the most complete. You can crop, resize, mix pictures, add effects, and do many more.
Don't worry about making mistakes because you can redo many times. You can also use this tool immediately without registering.
If you like to edit photos on your PC, you can download the free software tools Picasa 3 or Windows Live Writer. They're also easy to use.
Writing HTML easily quickly
There are times when you need to use HTML for some of
your writing, and many of you may have HTML cheat sheets
on your PC for easy access.
But if you need to do a lot of HTML, the easier and
quicker way is to use the Create New Post feature of your
Blogger account. Write your article in the way you'd want
it to appear, and then click Edit HTML. Voila, you have
your article ready in its HTML glory.
- Healing Calm
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