Want to take your writing from good to great? This blog post is for you!
Good writing skills matter. Want proof? Head over to Facebook and type up a grammatically incorrect status update and then sit and wait for the grammar nazis to swarm in to point out your obvious error. OUCH.
Good writing also matters when it comes to your blog posts. While it’s true that blog-style writing tends to be more conversational and loose, the traditional rules of grammar, spelling and readability are still as in important in your blog posts as they are if you were writing your Master’s dissertation.
I use a set of 3 writing tools on almost all of my blog posts (unless I’m being incredibly lazy..which happens) to ensure that my writing is legible, the grammar is correct and my blog post is actually readable to my audience. Below I’m sharing these free tools that you can take advantage of to become a better writer.
I personally always start off with a headline. Even before I write a single word of my blog post, I like to start off with a compelling headline to give me some inspiration. The first tool that I put all of my writing through is the Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule. Headlines matter. In my opinion, they sometimes matter more than the actual article itself, because the headline is your article’s “first impression”. So you need to make sure it catches the attention of your audience!
Headline Analyzer is a FREE tool and it has a very simple interface that allows you to enter the headline you are thinking about using and then assigns it a grade based on a variety of factors: SEO, Sharability & Increased Traffic.
How Headline Analyzer Works
The first thing you do is enter your potential headline into the interface & click on Analyze Now. It will then spit out a grade (out of 100) for your headline. As you can see below, my first attempt at a headline “3 Tools every blogger needs to take your Writing from Good to Great!” received a grade of 65, a B+, which is good..but it could be better.
The Headline Analyzer tool also gives you suggestions on how to can improve your headline. Some of the reasons that this headline didn’t score higher were because the headline was too wordy and did not include any emotional words.
Armed with that information, I tried again with the headline, “Take your Writing from Good to Great: 3 Tools You Need Right Now”
This time, I scored a 71 which is progress, however, my character count was still too long for a headline. So I decided to take one last crack at it with a shorter headline with more power words.
“3 Simple Writing Tools that will blow your mind”
Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner, winner chicken dinner! I scored in the high eighties and that was good enough for me. So as you can probably tell, by looking at the title of this article, I went with the headline that received the highest score.
Did you know the average person likes to read at a 10th-grade level? So it’s very possible that your writing may be too advanced for the typical blog reader which could cause them to bounce off your website quickly or worse yet…never connect with your writing. Luckily, the Hemmingway app is about to be your new best friend.
Whenever I’m done writing a blog post I like to pass it through the Hemmingway app to make sure that my writing is actually readable. To use the Hemmingway app, all you have to do is copy & paste your blog post into the interface and it will immediately give you lots of great information about your blog post.
For example, I plugged in this current blog post and as you can see in the screenshot above, my readability is good at an 8th-grade level, but there are a few suggested corrections I need to make to increase the readability. Once I make those corrections, my score will increase and I know I’ve got a readable blog post for my audience.
Grammarly is one tool I could NOT live without, it’s like having a built in writing editor for your work. The best part about Grammarly is that it is dead simple to use, if you can copy & paste, you can use Grammarly…and your grammar nerd readers will thank you for it!
Grammarly has a Chrome plugin that you can download and use for FREE. Once you’ve downloaded it, it automatically checks your work when you are writing in WordPress, Facebook, Gmail and just about anywhere you write on the web.
As you can see in the screenshot above, Grammarly finds errors in real-time as you type and indicates the error in a little bubble on the right-hand bottom of your screen. So far, Grammarly has already found 3 grammatical errors in this blog post! In order to see the errors, all you have to do is click on the little icon and it will pop-up a new screen with your revisions.
As you can see in the screenshot above, I apparently have trouble with my commas! All I have to do to make the corrections is click on the revisions and it automatically corrects my grammar. Pretty cool right?
*Full disclosure, affiliate links were used in this post, which means if you make a purchase from my link, I will make enough money to fill up my coffee cup and for that I thank you!