11 essential tools to polish your blog post

11 essential tools to polish your blog post

If you're a blogger or copywriter, then you'll know how important editing and proofreading is.

Nothing can be more damaging to a blogger than having consistently incorrect or badly written posts, and there is nothing more frustrating when you're reading something interesting on the internet to see a spelling or grammar mistake. Thankfully, you do not need a degree in editing and proofreading to be a successful blogger – all you need is an imagination (that is a given), and one or more of the following writing, editing and proofreading tools. So whether you are after a comprehensive program to edit large pieces of writing, or something simple and free to check basic spelling and sentence structure, there will be the perfect tool.

Below is a brief overview of 11 of the best essential writing and editing tools to polish your blog posts.

1. Whitesmoke

Cost: Choose between a one-time purchase, or to pay yearly, quarterly or monthly

Platform: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, IOS app and Android app

Whitesmoke is more than an editing tool, it's actually considered to be writing enhancement software. It checks your spelling, grammar and syntax. The only feature that it doesn't offer is the capacity to check for plagiarism. Perfect for those wanting a program to check their writing, while also providing suggestions and corrections in real time. Requires a purchase.

2. PaperRater

Cost: Free

Platform: Browser

Perfect for those who do not want to download an app or pay for software. PaperRater is able to check grammar, detect plagiarism and make writing suggestions all from your browser. Simply visit the PaperRater site, and either upload a file or paste what you would like to be checked into the text box. It not only checks your spelling and grammar, but will also make suggestions and offer corrections.

3. GingerSoftware

Cost: Free basic version, with the availability of paid upgrades on yearly and monthly plans (app is paid)

Platform: Windows, Chrome, Safari, IOS, Android.

Ginger Software was designed for serious writers that want more than just their spelling and general grammar checked. Ginger is one of the most in depth editing tools available, checking your use of nouns and verb placement, as well as sentence flow. Ginger is an app that is available on your mobile and your desktop – and rather than just checking a completed piece of writing, it will actually offer spelling and grammar suggestions as you type.

4. SlickWrite

Cost: Free

Platform: Browser

SlickWrite is a web interface writing tool that not only checks your writing for spelling, grammar and structure errors, but it also offers provides useful statistics such as the total number of adverbs used. It also has a unique word association game, which actually assists in identifying and learning new phrases and metaphors. SlickWrite is free, you'll just have to put up with adverts in the background as you use it.

5. Assignment Masters

Cost: Depends on how much work is required and the timeframe

Platform: N/A – Service Provider

Editing and writing tools are great, but they have one small yet important flaw – they are automated and use artificial intelligence. Therefore, the editing is never going to be complete and is incapable of understanding the intention behind what you are writing. So Assignment Masters are best for those who require a professional to edit, proofread or even write their content. Basically, you request what you would like completed – whether it be a basic spelling and grammar check, or a complete write or rewrite of an entire paper or blog.

6. Polish My Writing

Cost: Free

Platform: Browser

Polish My Writing is also known as After the Deadline, and is a simple yet effective web interface that will quickly check your writing for spelling, grammar and style. Perfect for last minute checks as it is super quick, and provides very clear and concise suggestions for improvement. Clearly shows the areas in the writing that looks like it needs improvement and offers suggestions to help.

7. PerfectIt

Cost: Purchase licences – one licence per computer or device

Platform: Microsoft Word (Windows)

PerfectIt is a professional program developed by Intelligent Editing, which is utilised by universities and writers in the health field. If you have a blog that requires the use of a house style, then PerfectIt is well suited – it can be customized with a chosen style guide, so you can be sure the writing and tone is consistent. It can be downloaded on a Windows operating system and used in conjunction with Microsoft Word.

8. Phrase Express

Cost: Free for personal users, licences required for professional organisations

Platform: Windows, IOS, Android, MAC (Safari)

Phrase Express goes much further than simply recognizing spelling and grammar errors, it specialises in completing and correcting phrases (and full sentences). This is particularly useful for bloggers as it stores your commonly used phrases, therefore you do not have to manually type them out every time. It offers cross-platform support, so can be downloaded to the desktop, as well as on as an IOS or Android app.

9. Jargon Buster

Cost: Basic web interface is free (very low yearly subscription available for use in Microsoft Word)

Platform: Web interface or use in Windows Microsoft Word

The overuse of jargon is a blogger's nightmare, but it is surprisingly easy to do. Jargon Buster exists purely for this reason – to spot the overuse of such language and suggest different ways of wording it. Along with jargon, which can be difficult for readers to understand, this web interface tool also identifies potentially unwanted buzzwords and overused phrases.

10. Pro Writing Aid

Cost: Can be used for free as a web interface (premium available for yearly subscription)

Platform: Web interface (can purchase software for use with Microsoft Word and Google Docs, Chrome)

Pro Writing Aid is a progressive editing tool, which has different levels depending on what you need it to do. If you're after a simple spelling and grammar check, and don't have too much to check at the one time, then the free version will work (edits up to 3000 words at a time). If you were after a more comprehensive edit and require a plagiarism checker, then you can purchase the premium content that is a lot more in-depth.

11. EditMinion

Cost: Free

Platform:Web interface

EditMinion could possibly be the most comprehensive and feature-packed editing tool available for free as a web interface. It only checks smaller pieces of writing at one time, so needs to be done one or two paragraphs at a time. However, it checks a lot more than just spelling – it will identify any passive sentences and homonyms. These things are not necessarily going to be errors, but they have the potential to be incorrect. Therefore, highlighting them can be advantageous.

Whether you’re producing traditional ads, brochures and direct mail, or creating e-shots or content for digital media, be sure to check out CIM's Principles of Great Copywriting course. 

Kate Simpson Managing Editor Assignment Masters
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