The Best Content Writing Software and Tools for Online Writers
Many content writers will tell you humbling stories about the first years of their careers, and while some felt like quitting, others actually quit! The lesson is, the initial bumps and grind in any writing career is normal and should never be reason enough to stop you from pursuing writing excellence.
With years of repeated frustrations and the spirit to walk on, you and I can learn to present written work in better style and taste.
Aside from the spirited perseverance above, you should also get your hands on a pack of great article writing software and tools.
A good pack should contain software that eases writing complexities, and leaves you motivated.
Like many dreaming writers, I continue to learn from my experience, and during the process, have spotted a number of software and tools that should one day steer me off the bumpy road:
- Google Docs
- Grammarly and Ginger
- Google Trends and Keyword Planner
- Google Analytics
1: Evernote for Voice and Text
Evernote is an excellent IOS and Android app for noting down worthy concepts that occasionally flash through your mind. That great idea about butterfly habits will probably come to you while walking by the seaside, and so will the idea from a one-year-old child mimicking a comedian. Any concept can help formulate into some of the best-written contents.
Evernote is an excellent app to help you record these ideas when they come to your mind. It is amazing how fast an idea cooked out of nothing can vanish.
One other cool feature with Evernote is its ability to use voice recognition technology to convert your words straight into the app as text.
The voice to text mode is particularly cool when you are on the road, and don’t want to stop for whatever reason. Just speak to your mobile device and Evernote will convert your words to text.
The Evernote voice to text mode is available both for iPhone and Android, and in both platforms, takes advantage of Siri and Google Voice.
I make use of the iPhone Evernote app to help remember the tiniest of ideas. Before Evernote, I used the Notes app; and before that I carried a typical notebook with me.
Another plus or Evernote is the ability to synchronize your data, allowing you to explore them further on your laptop, when you get back home.
2: Google Docs and Microsoft Word for Word Processing
Every content writer will somehow have to use word processing software, and making the right choice is not hard today. There is plenty making the rounds, with Microsoft Word and Google Documents leading the way.
Of course there is scrivener for content writers of long and winding scripts, books and research. Probably the best composer of lengthy discourse out there.
The good old MS Word is a great word processor, but how well it fairs today is a question for mouth watering debate. With increasing number of online word processers, users now have a wide range of choices to make.
I personally switch between Google and Microsoft as the situation demands. When writing content that is not dependant on internet services, I will use Microsoft Word or Atlantis, but will switch to Google Documents when my writing demands online research. It is worth noting that Microsoft too runs a free version of Word Online and other Office apps.
In addition to other features, Google makes it possible to define words and expressions within its word processor. This becomes useful when you cannot readily explain phrases that are integrated within your content.
As a final note, Google Documents can also be used offline, except that integrated Add-Ons will be turned off once your computer is offline.
3: Grammarly and Ginger for Language and Proof Reading
I am amazed by grammatical and other structural errors that exist in many of my articles, hours after I have written them. The errors do not make me less human, but are embarrassing enough especially when already published.
In order to cut down the frequency of such errors, you and I can choose to hire individuals with good command of language who will go through our drafts before they get published. This way, embarrassing expressions are reduced to a minimal.
Alternatively, like I am learning to do, seek the services of online software tools like Ginger and Grammarly. Both software types and others in the market do basically the same thing or more; help spot errors in written content.
Once installed in your computer, these tools will merge with your favourite word processor and help highlight different errors in your articles.
Either of the above software is capable of some or all of the following checks:
- Word definitions
Do not always take suggestions by these tools on their face value. Learn to read between the lines. Human insight is sometimes better than contextual interpretations of computer software. Always have the last say, unless of course your language is genuinely lacking.
Beware that Ginger for desktop can sup out resources in your computer pretty fast, slowing down the response time of your word processor.
To use Ginger in Chrome browser, first install and enable Ginger Chrome extension.
4: Skitch from Evernote, for Capture and Markup
Skitch is a screen capture tool that will help you edit your images better than you can ever do with a bare word processor and Windows Snipping tool. Above all, it is free.
Ever gotten stuck with images you captured from your desktop that needed additional markup, and illustrations? Of course you can do this with Adobe Illustrator and Gimp, but that is not exactly what you are looking for. You need to accomplish this task fast, with convincing illustration.
Skitch is extremely light and capable of many features, and once hooked you will never let go.
Skitch can assist in doing the following in your captured images:
- Draw arrows
- Add text
- Draw boxes and other shapes
- Draw and highlight text and art
- Place stamp tools
- Pixellete tool
You can then save your new images to Evernote or straight to your computer, and then integrate them in your online content.
Do you find tools in Evernote useful?
What is your favorite word processor for content writing?
5: Content Topics and Keywords Using Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner
Content writing is all about selling your work to the world ruled by search engines. Your article needs to be crafted in good language, well illustrated, and most importantly contain expressions that make Google and other search engines like it. But that is not all.
You also need to make good use of keywords. Keywords are basically expressions and queries that online users type onto browsers when searching for targeted content and other products.
The more you get to know what keywords online users love, and the more you integrate them well in your content, the higher your chances of being placed higher in search results by search engines.
• Google Trends and Google Ad Words Keyword Planner
Google Trends is a Google tool that lists stories that are making headlines around the globe.
Google trends also lists trendy keywords according to geographical locations.
Typically, Google Trends avails you popular topics, and indirectly tells you what you can write about.
You can as well input keywords and expressions in Trends Explore search and it will analyse their popularity, giving you options to make informed decisions regarding keywords.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner is not a direct keyword tool but a keyword planner with a twist. It is actually meant for advertisers but can be used to get clues here and there.
Content writers can use the planner to read between the lines and get insight into keyword popularity, and tell how Google values them.
Apart from the basic keyword ideas, the Ad group tool gives you a glimpse into the popularity of phrases and expressions that are associated with your keywords. In so doing you get to know better how keywords get integrated in expressions used in sentences.
Have you ever used Google AdWords for content purposes?
6: Google Analytics to Help View and Assess Online Performance
No matter what site you write for, Google Analytics is a must use tool. It is a statistics delivery service by Google which analyses traffic to websites and web pages. Your site or content page can be analysed as well.
When you successfully link your account with Google Analytics, you will be able to assess the performance of your articles at all times.
Having mentioned that, it is important to note that Google Analytics is actually meant for internet marketers, for performance and sales purposes.
Apart from assessing traffic behaviour to your pages, (important to me) the remainder of the tool may not actually be of use to you.
In a nutshell, Google Analytics provides a handful of traffic details in relationship to your pages. Some of them include:
- Live feed of viewership
- The nature of your readers: organic, direct or referral traffic
- Individual articles being viewed
- Geographical location of your readers
- The name of browsers used by readers
- The technology platform i.e. desktop or mobile
More Writing Software and Tools
Feel free to add writing software and tools you are fond of, in the Comments section.