Do you want to reach your target audience using video, social posts, emails, or long-form sponsored content? Writing is a fundamental building block in crafting all these messages.
Every writer has a process that works for them. The tools I use may not be the same tools that another writer uses. But whether we’re putting together 80 or 1,800 words, some useful resources can help any writer ensure that the finished product is well constructed.
I have some favorite writing sites that I return to almost daily. I also checked with other members of our strategic communications team to see what apps and web pages they rely on to kick-start their process, fine-tune copy, and keep their writing on point.
Check out our list — you may find new resources for your writing toolbox.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Here are seven writing tools that can help you choose the perfect word, craft a compelling sentence, and keep an eye on the fundamentals.
Audiences have a lot of information competing for their time. Copy that is simple and direct is easier to read and conveys the message faster. A general rule of thumb is to shoot for a sixth-grade to eighth-grade reading level, but this varies by the type of content and the intended audience. This site gives you the grade-level readability of your copy and flags lengthy, complex sentences. It also shows your adverb count and points out passive voice.
This popular go-to helps you trim unnecessary words and find grammatical errors. An overall performance score gauges writing quality. You also get character and word counts, average sentence length, reading time, and a readability index. Plus, you can input your goals for better feedback. Are you writing for a beginner or an expert audience? Want to sound formal or informal? You can tailor those preferences.
3. AP Stylebook
Grammar nerds unite! For many writers, the Associated Press Stylebook is the OG writing tool — the definitive word on style and grammar. Many publications and companies follow AP style, including a lot of the trade magazines and websites we work with. Old-school writers may still thumb through a hard copy of the stylebook, but the online subscription version has a great search function.
4. Chat GPT
This growing technology (and other similar artificial intelligence tools) is the 800-pound gorilla in the content room. These tools can generate many types of content in an instant. But the results may fall short of what’s expected for professional writing. Still, AI can play a valuable supporting role. For example, writers may use AI tools to jump-start a blog outline, generate headline ideas, or find ways to trim copy. Check out this recent blog to learn how our agency is exploring the potential of using AI tools for copywriting.
There’s not just a right word and a wrong word for every situation — there’s also a good word and the best word. Pro writers obsess over finding the latter. This dictionary and thesaurus website helps writers discover the perfect word to make each sentence sing.
6. Word Counter
Knowing the word count of your copy is often important. If social posts or article submissions have maximum word counts, you don’t want your message cut off. This site goes beyond a simple word count. It also shows you the top 10 keywords and keyword density in your writing. This prevents overusing certain words and ensures proper keyword distribution in your copy.
Maybe you just need to know how long it would take someone to read your content. Then Read-o-Meter is the handy site for you. Copy and paste your text, and you’ll get the estimated reading time for your word count.
CREATE COMPELLING CONTENT
Our experienced strategic communications team stays on top of the latest writing tools and industry trends so we can help ensure that your content does the work of moving audiences along the buyer’s journey. Are you ready to build upon the solid foundation that great writing provides? Connect with us today!