18 (Mostly Free) Tools To Help You Write Better Content, Faster

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You know you need to write a lot of content for your business to keep humming. And you need to write it all the time. But as anyone who's ever started a blog knows -  it's not easy to keep feeding that content beast.

People often think that sitting down and getting words on the pages is the most difficult part - but what goes into the process before (finding the right ideas, organising your research, getting into the mood to write) and after (creating the catchiest tagline, cutting the fluff and finding better words) is a lot more challenging than the actual act of writing.  

What most successful writers, bloggers and content machines won’t tell you is that they take help from tools which make it a whole lot easier to create a large volume of content - without burning out.

Lucky for you - you’re pretty much guaranteed to get better results when you start using these 18 mostly free tools created by the gods of the Innertubes, designed to make your writing process incredibly efficient.

So here are the amazing free tools that can help you crate a crap-ton of content, without ever burning out. Enjoy! 

WHEN YOU WANT TO WRITE FASTER

1) Airstory (I wrote this post on Airstory!)

Airstory is a writing software that makes creating content (roughly) 3X faster. It’s what we use here at ZAG while crafting copy for our clients. My favorite part of the tool is that it allows you to organize your content as cards - which can be dragged and dropped  into different places on the website. It helps writers become more efficient with re-using content rather than typing it out multiple times.

  • The Airstory Researcher Chrome Plugin: Clip content directly from the websites you are researching (along with the citation) and save them as cards into the right project. Drag and drop cards into the main document. It’s a total gamechanger.

  • The Template Library: Get high-performance copywriting templates from the stellar team at Copyhackers for free.

  • Other awesome features like outline view, team + sharing + comments, Google Drive integration, and publishing to WordPress.

Price: $25 per mo | www.airstory.co

 2) Google Voice Typing | Free

 This tool is going to change your life. For realz. You can just narrate your post directly into Google Docs and have a whole piece of content you just need to edit and publish - ready to go. (In fact, this sentence was typed using Google Voice Typing.

 Go to “Tools > Voice typing…” to enable it.

 Next, click on the microphone icon that pops up. Once you do, it should turn red-orange to indicate that it’s recording.

Just speak into your mic and let Google capture your words (It’s incredibly good). It’s not perfect - but it’s able to recognise certain words (like “period” to enter a full-stop, and “new line” to move to the next line).

It’s as good as it gets when it comes to creating transcripts and just being able to narrate your content and create a kickass blog post from it. It can help you cut your writing time significantly - it takes half as much time to create awesome content with voice typing. And it’s free!

 Free | drive.google.com

 WHEN YOU WANT TO WRITE BETTER

3) Grammarly

Proofread your content like a boss - without having to pay a proofreader. Grammarly helps you spot grammatical errors, typos, and awkward sentences. The web extension is pretty great and works with most types of content (like Tweets, Facebook posts and more) - but unfortunately doesn’t integrate with Google Drive yet.

Grammarly web + desktop app are also able to track plagiarism, word repetitions and incorrect use of words. We use it to do a final check on all the copy we create before it goes into our client’s hands. Easiest way to ensure your writing is 99% flawless (and creates the right impression).

Free & Paid Version Available | Grammarly.com

4) Hemingway App

This app is perfect for writing clear, simple and impactful content. If you didn’t go to writing school or don’t enjoy learning (and thinking) about writing constantly - Hemingway is perfect for you.  It checks for readability and highlights weak adverbs, long sentences, passive voice, and dull, complicated words.  

It’s available as a desktop app (paid) and online version (free).

 Free & Paid | www.hemingwayapp.com

7) EMV Headline Analyzer

Want to know what emotions your headlines trigger in your readers? Create better headlines which beg to be clicked, read and shared? Then EMV is the tool for you. EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) checks for emotional words in your headline, and the analyzer tool returns a score of EMV words compared to total words in the headline.

 You can re-work your headline multiple times and find the right one that clicks. Aim for a score over 60%+ to ensure brag-worthy results.

 Free | aminstitute.com/headline/

 WHEN YOU NEED IDEAS

9) Portent Title Maker

Stuck trying to come up with witty blog post titles? Let Portent do the job for you! Enter a subject into the Portent tool, and you’ll get a sample blogpost title, complete with helpful and witty breakdowns of why the title might make for a good read. Refresh as many times as you’d like for new ideas.

 Free | https://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker

 13) Cliche Finder

 Cliches suck. If I read one more ‘New Year, New You’ ad from a fitness company over Christmas - I’m gonna cut a mother. Your audience feels the same way (and ignores the crap out of) trite expressions, idioms and phrases. The easiest way for you to avoid cliches like the plague is linked up below. You’re welcome.

Free | http://cliche.theinfo.org/

14) Plain Language (AKA The Jargon Killer)

 If you are someone who uses a lot of jargon and you don't know how to simplify your language - this is the tool for you. Tighten your writing, de-mystify your work and eliminate brain-pain for your audience - easily. We recommend this tool to anyone who works in a complicated industry (like law, medicine, finance) and doesn’t want to be a boring, old grouch.

 Free | http://www.plainlanguage.gov/howto/wordsuggestions/simplewords.cfm

15) Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator

Sometimes it’s just difficult to come up with Blog Post topics for your own industry. “What do my clients actually want to read?”, we wonder. Well - wonder no more.  

Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator helps you come up with a weeks and weeks worth of relevant blog post titles in a matter of seconds (and a few keystrokes). If you’re facing writer’s block, just pop in your keywords and let HubSpot do the thinking for you.

 Free | www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator

16) CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

Not sure if your headline has the SEO magic to bring people back to  your website? The persuasive powers to get lots of clicks, and shares goin’ for ya? Let CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer do the hard work. It’s an excellent way to learn how to craft irresistible headlines for your blog posts, easily. And keep repeating what works for your audience.

 Free | https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

 WHEN ALL YOU NEED IS FOCUS

17) Draft

Distracted by all the other tabs while writing in Google Docs? Draft is the one for you. The clean interface allows you to focus on the one thing you need to accomplish right away. It also tracks how many words you write per day and sends reminders to help you meet your word-count goal. Perfect for authors, bloggers and people whose livelihoods depend on writing every day.

Paid | https://draftin.com/

 18) Ulysses

Another distraction-free writing app for Macs. It also has cool features like word-count, simple markup and direct publishing into WordPress. Organize your writing with colour schemes and file them in a library. Sync to iCloud and Dropbox.  

Paid | https://www.ulyssesapp.com

 There you have it! Now go write some words, you smart cookie!

xo, Satya