We all know content is king, and that’s why the people who write them do their best to come up with stuff that is worthy of the tag. Sometimes, however, even the best writers need a little help with their work, particularly those who are a one-man editorial team who comes up with article ideas and proofs their own work. If you write regularly for your company’s website (you have a blog on it, don’t you?), the following sites and tools may be helpful to you:
One of the things that stuck with me from my writing classes in college is the idea of not repeating words—if possible—in the same article. That, however, is proving to be a little cumbersome especially when you’re writing rather lengthy articles. A website called Wordcounter makes it easier for you to spot all those oft-repeated “ifs,” “ands” and “therefores”. Better yet, if you’re doing SEO, the Wordcounter can help you keep track of keyword density which search engines like Google have been pretty strict about recently.
2. AP Style Book and Briefing on Media Law
There are a number of style books out there that claim to be the industry standard as far as editorial writing is concerned, so this can get pretty subjective. If you ask me, it’s the AP Style Book and Briefing on Media Law that fits the bill. Whatever kind of help you need about grammar, punctuation, syntax, reporting techniques and even ethics, this style book will lay it out for you clearly and (mostly) alphabetically. More amazingly, it shares tips on how to become a more politically correct writer. If you prefer using “alien” to describe an illegal immigrant, for example, the AP Style Book will tell you that the latter is more preferable.
3. The Internet Archive
Let’s say you’re writing an article about something that happened more than a decade ago, and you want information straight from sources that actually wrote about it as it happened all those years ago. There’s no better way to do this than to ride the virtual time machine that is The Internet Archive.
Based in San Francisco, this non-profit website has already indexed more than 400 billion web pages since 1996, and that allows you to look at what any given website looked like at any point between 1996 and a few hours ago. Sure, not all websites and not all days are actually that available. Accuracy can also be an issue, but there’s no denying it’s a really cool tool for writers who their articles to sound a bit more authentic than usual.
4. Write or Die
So you’re a one-man editorial team, which means no one is doing anything to motivate you. Being stuck in this kind of situation makes you prone to writer’s block. Lucky for you and other one-man editorial teams out there, there is an app out there that will motivate you with fake consequences, rewards and stimuli. The app is called Write or Die, and using one is like having a supervisor standing right behind you as you work who reminds you to get back to work or else. Consequences include virtual spiders and unpleasant alarm sounds that should push you to finish your work before they materialise. You’ll also get a ‘reward’ in the form of cute puppies and pleasant-sounding bells or chimes.
If you have a tendency to space out and just stare into nothingness while writing, this app should help you snap out of it and finish your work.
Your credibility as a writer depends heavily on the quality of your work and how good you are at meeting deadlines. Hopefully, these tools can help you come up with great and timely content at all times.