When it comes to blogging, there are some amazing resources out there to really polish off your posts! From grammar checks to sentence length, even those that encourage you to blog more, blog faster and churn out content - ideal for when you've got a deadline to meet! There's a couple of sites and resources I refer back to on a daily basis when creating blog content. Though I might be aiming this at bloggers don't be fooled, if you're writing anything, then these will be invaluable resources for you too!
This is a site I discovered way back in my University days and it is fantastic if you want to get into the habit of writing daily. Initially, I used it for working on things like NaNoWriMo and my Masters' thesis. When you know you need to write a minimum amount of words a day, 750 words is your best friend! Blogging and projects aside, if you just want to get into the habit of writing in general, every single day, this is the site for you. Not only does it time how long it takes you to get to a minimum of 750 words, it will keep track of how many days you hit this goal, and tell you the mindset, feeling and concerns your writing indicates! All writing is downloadable in a .txt file and the writing online is kept private - so feel free to pour out whatever words you need to!
The Mr found this one for me on Reddit and I haven't looked back since. I am a bugger for my sentences being long. Not only does it highlight long or complex sentences, it will show if you're overusing your adverbs and if your tone is too passive. It's great for polishing off your content and making it more digestible for your audience.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to have a thesaurus open in the background whenever I’m writing, from blog posts to more personal projects. The Hemingway Editor will highlight adverbs and if I see myself using the same one too many times, I pop it in the thesaurus and look for an alternative. It’s all about giving your writing some variety and finding more interesting and exciting language to use! It makes your content much more engaging. Just steer clear of over complicated, superfluous words!
If you’re a blogger who doesn’t know about Grammarly WHERE have you been? Yes, the caps are necessary! I found this site years ago and haven’t looked back since. It’s a free website that comes with a free plugin for both windows and mac and it checks everything your type. From blog posts in your host's editor to comments on other blogs, Facebook wall posts, tweets, emails. If you’re writing online and you have this installed then it will check it for you, meaning you are always posting professional, well spelled and grammatically correct content!
Not necessarily a resource as such, but hands down one of the most productivity-inducing techniques I have ever used! Simply, you spend 40 minutes on a task (blog post, photo editing, blog commenting, playing The Sims) then you take a 20-minute break. The 20 minutes is spent doing something that is the opposite of what you’ve spent the last 40 minutes doing. I tend to come away from the laptop on these breaks, make a brew and pick up a book. Not only does this give my eyes, neck and back a break from the desk, but it’s meant I’ve got a hell of a lot more reading done too! I did this for around 5 hours one Saturday and managed to get 7 blog posts written!
If you copy and paste your work into Readability, it will give you the reading grade of your work. Most blog posts should be aiming for grades 4 - 8 (based on the American education system) which is around 10 - 15 years old in the UK. You don’t want your content to be too simple, but you don’t want it to be too OTT and deter your audience. This age bracket should mean your content is accessible and understandable by all. Of course, if your writing on a more scholarly topic, you’re going to want to aim much higher!
Until next time,