5 Free Online Tools for Freelance Writers
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.
The freelance writing market is probably one of the most crowded. It can be almost impossible for writers to get their names out there and start bringing in regular paid work. However, there are many resources and tools available for writers to use for free. These can make all the difference when they’re used on a regular basis and to the full extent of their capabilities.
Social media plays a massive part in the ability of freelance writers to secure new gigs, but it’s not always easy to take full advantage of it. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and personal blogs all have roles to play in terms of spreading awareness about writing services and making contacts with potential employers.
Ivory Research, an academic research facility, has produced a comprehensive and extremely useful guide to utilising the different, most relevant forms of social media to promote oneself and to gain more work, featuring tips and advice from people already making a living from freelance writing.
An immensely valuable resource that teaches you how to make the most of other immensely valuable resources? Sounds good to us!
Renowned as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Ernest Hemingway was trained as a newspaperman, giving him a lifelong appreciation for the simplicity of factual writing with no need for subtlety or hidden meaning. This makes his style perfect for imitation in blog posts, advertising copy and a multitude of other writing tasks and assignments.
The Hemingway App can be downloaded to a desktop or accessed online. It allows users to strip their writing back to a Hemingway-esque format by highlighting aspects like adverbs, unnecessarily long sentences and use of the passive voice. Although you might not agree with all the changes it wants you to make, it’s a vital tool when it comes to clarifying what you’re trying to say.
Writers can often feel as though they’re stuck between a rock and a hard place when trying not to use clichés. They’re so difficult to avoid sometimes! However, they don’t make for great writing, so they should generally be avoided.
Cliché Finder allows users to copy and paste their writing into the system, and then highlights any clichés for easy removal. This instantly make writing look more professional and less reliant on gimmickry to create interest – if the subject is worth writing about, it will be interesting enough without clichés.
The freelance worker’s biggest issue (once they’ve secured work) is almost always productivity and procrastination. This is problematic because good time management ensures that more work can be taken on if necessary, thus maximising income, while bad time management means you may miss deadlines.
RescueTime is a service with a free version that records the time spent on various websites and allows the user to see where their time online is being spent. They can then cut that down and make the most of the time set aside to work.
Although Wrike’s strengths really come into play when used by teams on big projects, it’s no less effective for individuals. Months of tasks can be scheduled if necessary, but at the very least it will help users stay on top of the different tasks and projects that they might have at any one time. They can see which jobs are due to be completed when, break projects down by listing sub-tasks, and also create folders for repeat clients so that work records are kept in one place.
Freelance writing tools are immeasurably effective – especially when they’re online and free! Make the most of them to maximise the quality of your work, your ability to find more work, and reduce the amount of legwork you have to do on a daily basis.
Swap more tips for better writing and better writing gigs: Join the Authors, Editors, Journalists, and Wrtiers Hive!
Alex Sebuliba is a digital marketing expert who is passionate about self improvement. Alex loves to read, write, and share anything to personal development and one day homes to be a renowned motivational speaker. You can get in touch with Alex via Twitter: @AlexBradnum.