When blogging, great tools can make all the difference. Here are three free tools I cannot live without:
It won’t matter how great your blog post is if no one bothers to click on it. Make your title a top priority to pull your readers in. I use the limited free version of Headline Analyzer. It may mean that I need to click through their advertising every time, but it’s a great tool. I aim for a headline that scores 72 or higher and confirm that it identified the topic of my post.
Headline Scoring Factors:
- Word Balance – Plenty of free word lists online to balance your headline
- Word Count
- Character Count
- Type of Headline
- Reading Grade Level
- Skimmability – I want to be sure it highlights my topic!
This isn’t any old Thesaurus. You can describe a concept and it will find words and phrases related to that. It is excellent for brainstorming or trying to remember that word you can’t quite recall. It’s also a fantastic thesaurus.
What is it best for?
- Exploring synonyms and related concepts
- Finding a word by describing it
- Solve crosswords using the pattern operators (only use certain letters, etc.)
I cannot live without Hemingway! I learned about it in a copywriting course I took this winter. Where has this been all my life!? This completely free tool helps you visualize the readability of your writing. In a rainbow of colors, you’ll immediately see what you need to correct. Along the side, you’ll see your readability score. For most blogs, you’ll want a 5th-7th grade readability score. This changes if you’re working on technical or scientific documentation.
I’ll usually copy my final work into it for a final review. One frustration is that it gives the text odd formatting. To correct this, I copy the text back into my word document (I use Google Docs). I’ll select all, go to the format drop-down menu, and select “clear formatting.” This leaves me with plain text, which is ideal for copying and pasting into my blog post.
- Readability Score
- Word Count (letters, characters, words, sentences, and paragraphs)
- Color-coded grammar check with recommendations
To Wrap It Up
I am hooked on these tools. Especially Hemingway! These go far beyond blog posts. I use them for crafting emails, product descriptions, and homepage copy. Any time I want to double-check my writing, I go straight for these tools. Hopefully they will help you as well! And don’t forget to get free quality images from these great resources.