If you clicked on this link, there's a good chance you're a writer or that you have to pretend to be once in a while. You may already know of these tools but I love to share a cool resource when I find one.
Here are some of my favs when it comes to honing the craft.
Grammarly - This is an online editor that goes beyond the tools in the Microsoft Office suite. Just copy/paste text to the site. There is also a Google extension and a Microsoft add-in available. It looks for things like; spelling, overly used words, past tense, the Oxford comma, and more.
There is a free version, which you can compare to the paid version. I have found that it sometimes suggests things that aren't accurate. As with any tool, you have the ability to override the suggestion, so it's not a big deal. It's a great resource if you want to go to the next level. Plus, with the add-in features, you don't have to copy/paste text to discover the suggestions.
Hemingway Editor - Grammar is one thing. The structure is another. If you're verbose or have issues breaking down a sentence, you should consider this tool. Everything is color coded. It tells you which sentences are hard to read and which words you can omit. It also highlights passive text as well as strong/weak adverbs. There's a 'Readability' score that tells you what grade level could read your post. --The smaller the better! There is a desktop app that can be installed or you can copy/paste text right into the site. It's about $20 but money well spent.
WriteWords - This nifty site is free. Not only does it count words, it also counts phrases! There are other writing tips on the site, but I found the counting features to be eye-opening. Especially, when you're immune to your article and voice. Just copy/paste your article right on the site.
Google Translate - I once heard that reading your document out loud, will help you detect sentences that are hard to read and words that you've missed. While this is a huge help, you can still miss some errors. Especially, if you're in a hurry or have gone over your document for the tenth time. You know what you mean to say and sometimes your mind still goes with that, even when it's different on the screen. Google Translate has a feature that will read your text back to you. It's free. Yes, it is slow and sounds like a robot. But it has helped me hear how something sounds and I found it to be more helpful in a voice other than my own.
Adobe Spark - All blog posts need a little something to look at. If you'd like to create a graphic but you don't have access to special software or know how to use it, this app is a lifesaver. It's free! There's also an app for the iPhone. You can browse a library of stock images or use your own. You can customize the text, layout, and colors. There is also a style dial that automatically shows you different options as you turn the dial.
Now about the content-
If you're looking for classes on Digital Marketing, the 'Marketing Writers Bootcamp' by Marketing Profs has been very insightful. The sessions by Jimmy Daly have been my favorite! You have a year to take them and you can stop and start at your own pace as well as retake a class as many times as needed. If you're able to grab a pro-membership, you'll gain even more access to ongoing classes and resources.
For personal writing & speaking, check out Andy Stanley's Book 'Communicating for a Change." Andy has a gift with getting right to the point and simplifying a lesson. In this book, he gives you tips on how you can do the same.
What about you?
I hope you found a new resource that you can't wait to try. If there is a 'go to' that you use that is not on my list, let's swap notes. I love to check out new tools myself! Comment below. :)