Even the most experienced writers make mistakes. Once I wrapped up writing this article, I went back through it and I found more than a few spelling and grammar errors. That’s coming from someone who’s been writing full-time for years, and it’s still all too normal.
One of the essential parts of being a freelance writer is delivering articles that need as little work as possible. Your clients shouldn’t need to correct your mistakes, so you need to focus on editing your freelance articles. Make sure you edit all your work thoroughly and clean things up as much as possible.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to my four favorite tools for editing your freelance articles. Some of them focus on grammar and others on readability, so I’ll talk about when it makes sense to use each. Let’s get to it!
Spellcheckers are nothing new. Ever since I used Microsoft Word for schoolwork as a kid, spell check has been a part of word processing software. However, spell checking and grammar correction software has come a long way since then.
For at least a couple of years now, I’ve been running every article I write past Grammarly. Usually, it helps me catch at least a handful of spelling and grammar mistakes I might’ve otherwise missed. At its best, it also helps me with my word choices when I start repeating the same terms or using convoluted phrases.
Nowadays, Grammarly is also experimenting with individual scores for different aspects of your writing. While running this article through the app, it showed me individual scores for clarity, engagement, correctness, and delivery.
If you don’t mind paying for software, Grammarly should make an excellent addition to your writer’s tool belt for editing your freelance articles. You get access to browser extensions, in-app editing for platforms such as WordPress and Google Docs, and more.
Price: Grammarly Premium starts at $29.95 per month.
There are a lot of similarities between Grammarly and Ginger. Ginger enables you to correct your writing and it also offers recommendations for word choices and rephrasing sentences. All that happens through browser extensions, its web app, or downloadable software (if you’re an OS X user).
As far as differences go, Ginger offers a slightly cheaper alternative to Grammarly. Plus, it also enables you to translate your text to other languages on the go. However, machine translations are still a long way from being fully accurate, so that doesn’t make for a big selling point in my book.
Nowadays, Grammarly is more focused on providing you with scores for different aspects of your writing. Ginger, on the other hand, doubles down on correcting your grammar and it sometimes catches mistakes the former doesn’t.
Overall, if your primary concern while editing is catching spelling and grammar mistakes, Ginger makes for a reliable option you can use within your browser.
Price: Starts at $20.97
ProWritingAid packs a lot of same features for editing your freelance articles that we’ve already gone over with the previous two applications. It offers a browser extension you can use to catch spelling errors and helps you craft better sentences. On top of that, ProWritingAid includes built-in thesaurus functionality you can use to look up word definitions, synonyms, and more, which is useful if you’re editing another person’s work.
What sets ProWritingAid apart is its free version, which you can use as an online app. Both of the editing tools we’ve gone over so far are greatly limited unless you pay a subscription. ProWritingAid, on the other hand, enables you to edit up to 500 words at a time using its web version.
As you might imagine, however, the app’s free version doesn’t provide you with unlimited reports for your work and it doesn’t include browser extensions. However, it’s still a useful tool to clean up your writing if you’re on a budget (as most new freelancers are).
Price: The premium version of ProWritingAid starts at $70 per year.
4. Hemingway Editor
Hemingway was famously fond of brevity in his writing. If he could make a sentence shorter or in any way more concise, he’d do it. That fondness for simplicity is at the core of the Hemingway Editor.
What this app does is takes your writing and helps you identify convoluted phrases and paragraphs. Mainly, it helps you pay attention to the length of your sentences. However, it also keeps an eye on your word choices, and when it makes sense to do so, it can recommend alternatives.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with a ton of word processors. From the minimalistic to the feature-filled, such as Google Docs. However, for the last couple of years, I’ve been a steadfast user of the Hemingway Editor. I’ve used the editor to write hundreds of articles, and I have no plans to change anytime soon.
The Hemingway Editor doesn’t help me catch any spelling or grammar mistakes. However, it helps me pay attention when my writing isn’t as concise as it could be. Plus, it helps me keep track of my word count, which is key for writing as a freelancer.
If you’re fond of a more sophisticated writing style, the Hemingway Editor might not be a good pick for you. However, you must understand that when it comes to online content, readers have very short attention spans. That means that walls of text and long paragraphs often don’t play well, so you might want to adjust accordingly.
Price: You can use the Hemingway Editor online for free or pay a one-time license fee for a downloadable version.
So far, after hundreds of published articles, I still haven’t managed to write a full piece that didn’t need any editing. The truth is, as good a writer as you are, all your work can benefit from at least a superficial once over.
As a freelance writer, you need to clean up your writing and catch as many errors as possible to make your client’s life easier. Here are my four favorite tools for editing your freelance articles:
Do you have any questions about how the editing process works? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
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