Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by Issa Mirandilla, who writes about freelancing, writing, marketing, careers, personal finance and other business-related topics. Give her a nudge on Twitter or visit her website here.
After hours of researching facts and figures, organizing your notes like crazy, and hammering away at your keyboard, you’re finally done with your killer blog post. Congratulations for making it that far. Not all blog post ideas get turned into working drafts. Now, all you have to do is edit. That might take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the quality of your draft.
Seems like a lot of work, eh? That’s not really an issue if blogging is nothing more than a hobby to you. But when your entire livelihood depends on your ability to churn out posts on a daily basis, spending too much time polishing each post is impractical and dangerous to your business.
Of course, quality isn’t something you should sacrifice, no matter how clogged up your blogging schedule is. To solve this dilemma, you can either hire an editor to clean up your work, or purchase editing software online.
But then, in those cases, there’s no real guarantee that you’ll get what you pay for. So what’s a blogger who’s strapped for time and cash to do? Why, use these free editing tools available online, of course!
Recommended Reading: Capture Your Readers! 8 Tips To Writing Engaging Blog Posts
1. After the Deadline
After the Deadline (AtD) doesn’t just flag and give suggestions for your spelling, grammar, and style. It also concisely explains the reasons behind the corrections given. That means that the longer you use AtD, the better a blogger you become!
According to the developers, AtD can:
- Recommend the right word 90 percent of the time;
- Detect approximately 1,500 misused words;
- Help you write clearly and concisely using thousands of rules in "Plain English" style
- Use statistics to find exceptions to grammar rules.
AtD is available as a plugin, add-on, or extension for platforms like WordPress, bbPress, Firefox, Google Chrome, OpenOffice.org Writer, and the IntenseDebate comment system.
Like AtD, ProWritingAid not only tells you what to improve, but also how to improve. It has the ability to generate a detailed analysis on overused words, sentence length, writing style, plagiarism, clichés, redundancies, "sticky" sentences, consistency, and the like.
Although you need to download the Premium version to enjoy all of its features, ProWritingAid’s free version is enough for most types of blog posts.
Don’t let the site’s inelegant design fool you. EditMinion takes only a few seconds to check your work for the usual signs of weak writing, like adverbs, overuse of "said", passive voice, ending with prepositions, tricky homonyms and more.
EditMinion generates a report card for your reference, and allows you to add "hashtags" for easier editing. As of this writing, though, the site is still in Beta stage, so use it with care!
Ever wish you had Hemingway’s terse yet punchy writing style? Well, your wish can come true now, thanks to the brilliant minds behind HemingwayApp. Here, your copy will be assessed based on readability, number of adverbs, number of complex words, and number of times you use the passive voice.
The app also detects spelling errors, although it’s not much help in the grammar department. In case you need to use it offline, a desktop version of the app is also available for $ 5.
Whether you want to check for keyword frequency, or you just have a tendency to be repetitive with words, WordCounter.com is the answer. As its name suggests, WordCounter counts and ranks words according to frequency. The apps is great for reducing redundancy and/or repetitive writing in your copy.
You can also include "small" words, use only root words, and adjust the number of words listed by the app. You can use this primarily as an analysis tool, checking your drafts as you keep honing them to perfection.
Do cliches drive you crazy? If "Yes", ClicheFinder might be a godsend for you. Just paste your post in the space provided, click the "Find Clichés" button, and presto! Every cringe-worthy phrase will be highlighted in red. You can either rewrite these phrases to make them sound simpler and fresher, or toss them into the back-burner like the blights on language that they are (har har)!
If you experience the message "Unhandled Exception: An unhandled exception was thrown by the application," don’t be alarmed. It’s possible that your text doesn’t contain any clichés at all, so the system’s going all wonky on you.
Naturally, all these programs have their pros and cons. Tools are only as good as the people who use them, and these six editing tools for bloggers are no different. It’s still up to you to decide whether their suggestions/corrections to your blog post are worth it or not. In any case, here’s to effective and efficient editing!
Do you know other free, downloadable, and/or safe editing programs for bloggers that haven’t been featured here? Share them in the comments section!