Writing is EXACTLY the same as any other profession in that a few great tools can make a world of difference in the results you get. I’m compiling a list of some of my favorites to get you started.
OK, you probably saw this one coming right out of the gate. Writers have flocked to this tool for years to keep their basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation as buff as The Rock. But it’s the paid versions of the plans that really set the tool apart for serious writers. The premium version, for instance, can help you with tone, fluency, or the inclusivity of your language, as well as formatting. The business version, which you might want to consider given that *cough* self-publishing really is a real job, offers additional support like analytics, snippets, and brand tones. It’s great if you consistently work with a team on your content.
The key with Grammarly is that you have to have the courage to ignore it as much as you trust it. You likely will have positive idiosyncrasies in your writing that the tool keeps wanting to destroy. Don’t let it. Always ask yourself if the suggestions are actually an improvement instead of just being “different”.
In the age of social media where writers are expected to do a lot of their own marketing, these tools are your best friends. Ritetag can give you hashtag suggestions and also lets you compare hashtags to ensure you pick the ones that get seen the most. You can set up hashtag sets, as well, so if you’re posting lots of content on similar themes or to the same groups, you can just click your set and have the hashtag preset auto-populate. Ritetag also will suggest tags based on a chunk of text, so you don’t have to wonder which words in your post to tag.
Riteforge is from the same company as Ritetag. It’s a social media scheduler that allows you to schedule posts to many different accounts, including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. You even can group different accounts, such as if you have three personal accounts and three business ones. Riteforge supports cool features like emoji enhance, URL shortening, and automatic image and social media handle pull from articles (you WANT other authors to know you’re tweeting their work, and images dramatically include click-through rates).
AWeber is an email list service. It’s ideal for communicating with your fans, as well as sending out newsletters or writing-related promos/offers. It integrates with many other services, too, such as Captivate (a podcasting service) and WordPress. You also can use it to create landing pages for just about anything, such as free digital downloads, writing course signups, etc.
People often tout Canva as an art tool, since it lets you create lots of fun images. But the Pro version opens up other options, too, such as audio and video. You also easily can resize images so different platforms don’t present them in wacky ways. This makes it perfect to create engaging social media or blog posts to sell your content. You even can create templates for like calendars, Bible studies, or courses, which work great to sell or offer as freebies when building your email list.
Scrivener is like a word processor, planner, and publisher all in one tool. It’s designed for long-form writing like novels, and it provides a lot of organizational and motivational support for that. For example, you easily can drag and drop scenes or chapters and label them with colors or statuses, and the program lets you set word count goals for individual sessions and the entire manuscript. When you’re ready to share your project, you can export it in popular formats, such as Word. You even can include cover art and publish the document on platforms like Amazon. So lots of writers see Scrivener as a one-stop-shop they can use from start to finish.
Got your own tool you can’t live without? Share it in the comments below and let me know why it’s earned your love.