Freelance writing can be difficult, especially when you don't have the tools you need to get started with your career of choice. In today's post, I will go over some of my favorite freelance writing tools with you so that you can make smart decisions and pick up the right tools.
*This post containtains affiliate links.
1. A Computer
It may be possible to be a freelance writer without a computer of your own, but it would be harder than it needs to be. I love writing content from my MacBook Pro, but any computer will work, as long as it connects to the internet and it lets you have access to software for writing. For a while when my MacBook was on the fritz, I freelanced from a Google Chromebook! It can be done; you just need to be a bit more creative.
This is the one freelance writing tool that I cannot replace or let go of. I have to have a computer to find clients and work on writing projects. Some people may be able to write out assignments on their phone or a tablet, but I like having my laptop.
Grammarly is one of my favorite freelance writing tools. I have tried to write without using Grammarly, but I always go back to it. I started using this tool when I was in graduate school, and it ultimately stuck with me as I finished that up and got into the working world as a freelancer.
Grammarly has a free version that you can use, but I find that I love the paid version best. There is just something so great about it and all the mistakes that it catches. It goes far beyond just catching errors, though, as it offers advice on how to dramatically improve your writing.
Grammarly isn't perfect. The mistakes it catches don't always make sense in the grand scheme of things, but you can always reject errors it finds that you don't agree with. Overall, I feel it's a worthy investment, and I never turn anything into a client without letting Grammarly rip it apart first.
3. Google Drive
If you work from multiple computers, this is the favorite of my freelance writing tools for you. When I am writing a piece for a client, I always write it using a Google Doc in my Google Drive. I have a freelance related folder, and if I have a client that I work for a lot, I create a subfolder specifically for their company.
My Google Drive process is a bit clunky, but it works for me. To create freelance documents in Google Drive, I:
Write the post in a Google Doc.
Download the post as a Word document.
Upload the post to Grammarly, edit the post, and download it as a Word doc again.
Take that Word doc, upload it to Google Drive, then resolve all the changes Grammarly made.
Download it once more as a Word doc and send it to the client.
Sometimes if the client uses Google Drive, then I won't download it the last time, and I will just add the client to the Google document. If I upload directly to the client's site backend, I also won't download it as a Word document the last time.
I don't know about y'all, but I am constantly distracted when I am trying to get work done. I recently found this amazing website called Freedom, and I think it's the bee's knees. Essentially, Freedom blocks you from visiting distracting websites throughout the day. I love this application because there are so many ways that you can use this. You can set up your Freedom sessions:
Manually so you can give yourself some time away from distracting sites when necessary.
Automatically so you don't even have to think about being distraction free. For example, you can set up a block of time in the morning to get rid of distracting sites from 9 AM-12 PM, or any time frame that you can think of.
Freedom takes the guesswork out of blocking distracting sites by offering SO many resources to block them. Plus you can access it on things like your iPad and iPhone as well as your computer.
5. FocusKeeper Pro
This is one of the freelance writing tools I have been using the longest, but I adore this application! FocusKeeper is an iOS application that is a dedicated pomodoro timer, but I love how in-depth you can get with it, especially when you get the paid version (there is a free version, located here.)
The paid version is only $1.99, and I think it's well worth it. You can customize the colors, the length of your pomodoros, and you can even change the songs that play during your pomodoros. I don't have music playing during my pomodoros or my long breaks, but I play "Sorry" by Beyonce during my short breaks, and it always gets me excited and pumped to start working again.
I love how versatile it is, and I can even get it to remind me to do focus sessions each day if I wanted to.
6. Google Alerts
The next freelance writing tool is perfect if you are working with a client longterm and you need ideas regularly. Google Alerts is another fantastic tool from Google that sends you daily emails when a topic you care about is in the news.
So, here's how it works. You go to the Google Alerts site, and then in the box at the top there is a place to "Create an alert about." You enter the subject you want an alert about there, and at a particular time of day (if there is news) you will get an email with all sorts of excellent news stories. You can also access all this information from the Google Alerts website if you don't want to wait to get the email.
The alerts can be as complex or as simple as you'd like, and you can have multiple alerts for the different clients that you write content for. It's also always a good idea to keep an eye out for your name and website info.
Oh, my goodness. I couldn't imagine blogging without Canva's help. I am not an extreme Photoshop person, so Canva allows me to create stellar images for my posts, without all the pesky issues. Canva has a drag and drop interface, and I would suggest this site to anyone.
I currently use Canva For Work, and I adore it. There is a free version, but it's just a tool that I have learned to love and pay for over the years. With Canva For Work, you can have unlimited folders on your account which is perfect for storing all of my stock photos (and the images I produced for myself.) You can also save multiple fonts on Canva For Work as well as numerous color palettes.
With Canva's free plan I believe you can only store up to three brand colors, have like two folders, and I don't think you can add brand fonts at all (although they have plenty of fonts to choose from!)
I trust Canva on all the websites that I own, for example, I used Canva to create the image for this post as well as all my posts on The Happy Arkansan.
8. Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
I used to be all about using CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer, and while I think it's a suitable analyzer, I think it focuses a bit too much on SEOifying stuff, and not enough on human connection. I feel like the only thing CoSchedule ever thought was a good headline was a short listicle title or how to. A recent freelance tool I learned about is Sharethrough Headline Analyzer, and I love how thorough it is.
I wrote today's headline with Sharethrough Headline Analyzer, and it truly made me think when I was creating the headline. I went through multiple variations of this headline trying to find the one that spoke to me and the potential audience for this post. By using the analyzer, I ended up with something I love, and it's all thanks to Sharethrough. It goes for the human connection element over the SEO your post to death element, which I love.
I think both CoSchedule and Sharethrough's headline analyzers have merit, but right now I am crushing on Sharethrough's Headline Analyzer.
9. Ambient Mixer
Next on our list of freelance writing tools is a site called Ambient Mixer. Sometimes I need a little bit of white noise to be productive, and this is when I turn to Ambient Mixer. Ambient Mixer has multiple rooms on the site that create the perfect environment for a freelancer who wants to get a lot done in one day.
One of my favorite rooms on the Ambient Mixer website is Belle's Library; it has so many soothing sounds like pages shuffling, raindrops, and a grandfather clock ticking. You can change up so much about the site, even if you are in a room that was pre-built for you. As you can tell by the photo below, you can change up things like the volume, the crossfade of the elements, and even the randomness of the elements, so they don't happen continuously.
There are so many rooms to explore; I just know that Belle's Library happens to be my favorite room.
10. Answer The Public
Last, but not least on my list of freelance writing tools, is the site Answer The Public. If you are at a loss for what to write for your freelance clients, or at a loss for what to write on your freelance writing website, Answer The Public is the perfect place to go.
Answer The Public consolidates information from multiple Google searches to help you better understand the questions that people are asking about your topic of choice.
For example, if you were to search for freelance writing on Answer The Public, it would give you topics in a few categories:
Questions: This is a list of questions that people ask search engines about freelance writing.
Prepositions: This is a list of prepositions people ask search engines related to freelance writing such as freelance writing is, freelance writing for, and freelance writing can.
Comparisons: These are the comparison things that people search for online like freelance writing versus, freelance writing or, freelance writing like, etc.
Alphabeticals: A list of freelance writing phrases searched in alphabetical order by letter of the alphabet.
There are so many freelance writing tools out there that will help you become a better or more productive freelance writer. I hope that you got something out of this list of freelance writing tools because I put a lot of love and joy into this post.
I would love to know in the comments below: what are your personal favorite freelance writing tools?