29 Free Writing Tools and Resources

While improved technology and empowered customers have heralded the rise of content marketing, the importance of communicating well with others is as old as humanity itself.

Luckily, unlike the caveman, we have at our disposal an array of writing tools that can make our communication even better. Whether you are struggling with your productivity, are unable to come up with ideas, or can’t write with the sounds of a busy office, there is a tool for you.

Title writing tools

Title Case

Not sure which letters should be capitalized in your title? Simply copy and paste your headline into this tool and it will convert it into perfect title case.

Headline analyzer

CoSchedule’s headline analyzer breaks down your headline, segmenting different types of words, and giving you hints on how to improve it.  It gives you a score each time so you can try various combinations and pick the winner.

Writing productivity tools

Focus Writer

This writing app focuses on an uncluttered interface and has a hidden menu that you access by moving your mouse to the edge of your screen. Over 20 languages are supported, it features daily goals, timers and alarms, customizable themes, spellcheck and autosave.

Calmly Writer

Does too much clutter distract you? Maximize this writing tool and you are faced with a sea of white and a blinking cursor. Hidden in the menu is a nice feature which estimates reading time. Available as a browser extension or online.

StayFocusd

Sometimes it’s not the clutter that distracts you, but the lure of lolz on Twitter. This highly customizable browser extension increases your productivity by allowing you to limit the amount of time that you can spend on certain websites.

The Most Dangerous Writing App

Even its creators call this app sadistic. If you stop typing for more than about 3 seconds it deletes everything you have written up to that point. It could force you into completing your work before that looming deadline, or it might just make you destroy your laptop in a fit of rage.

Ilys

A unique take on a writing tool that will help anyone who is too precious over their first draft. You set a word limit at the start. When you start typing, the screen flashes up one letter at a time. You can only see what you have written, and edit that copy, once you have exceeded your set number of words.

Otranscribe

Anyone who has had to transcribe some audio will know how painful it can be, especially when you have to switch between an audio player and a word processor. This tool allows you to upload your audio or video file and features a word processor with controls for the audio on the same page.

Style and grammar tools

Hemingway editor

The Hemingway editor allows you to paste your content into the tool and it will analyze it sentence by sentence.

The point is to make your writing bold and clear. It’s like a spellchecker, but for your style. It makes sure that your reader will focus on your message, not struggle through your complex prose.

ProWritingAid

This writing tool features a large number of checks on your writing, from vague words to sentence length and overused words.

Grammar girl

Don’t know if you should be using effect or affect? Struggle with semicolons? Grammar girl has your back, with a library of clearly worded tips that will help clear things up.

UK vs US spelling

For anyone educated in the UK but writing for the US market, here is a comprehensive list of the variations between the two versions of the English language.

Wordcounter

This tool ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. You can use it to discover words you overuse or to extract the keywords from a great piece of content you’ve found.

Thesaurus.com

If Wordcounter has revealed you are overusing the same words, head over to Thesaurus.com to find alternatives.

Grammarly

Basically a very good spelling and grammar checker. Grammarly says it corrects over 250 types of grammatical mistakes. It also covers contextual spelling errors and poor vocabulary usage.

Cliche Finder

Enter a body of text and this tool will find a cliché faster than a speeding bullet.

SEO writing tools

Yoast WordPress Plugin

If you are writing content optimized for search engines, this WordPress plug-in will score your efforts based on several factors and ensure you don’t forget any vital components of SEO.

SERP title tool

Enter your title tag, meta description, and URL to see how they’ll appear in a Google search result.

Collaborative writing tools

 

Google Docs

You can choose who to share your documents with, both inside and outside your organization, and decide on their level of access to allow editing or comment only input.

Research & Idea generation

Alchemy Text

If you want to extract the important topics from a great piece of content, this is the tool for you. AlchemyLanguage is a collection of APIs that offer text analysis through natural language processing. It can analyze text to help you understand its concepts, entities, keywords, sentiment, and more.

Google Trends

Discover trends and see if the subject you are thinking of writing about is taking off or fading into obscurity.

Portent’s Content Idea Generator

A writing tool for when you’re stuck staring at a blank page. Simply enter a topic and it will suggest a title, and provide some resources for further reading.

HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator

Another tool to help when you’ve got writer’s block. Add three nouns to this tool and HubSpot will return 5 blog headline ideas.

Brandwatch

Excuse us for blowing our own trumpet, but Brandwatch has several useful functions for a content marketer. Discover relevant trending content, research your audience and what they are talking about and unearth influencers to amplify your content. We’ve written a free SEO and content guide if you’d like to know more.

Miscellaneous writing tools

Read-O-Meter

Want to give your readers an estimated reading time? Simply copy and paste your text into this tool for an estimate.

A Soft Murmur

If you find the noise of the office too distracting and wish you were on a beach instead, this tool has a variety of ambient sounds out to help with distraction free writing. You can mix your own sounds, so if you find a burning coffee shop relaxing, they’ve got you covered.

A proofreading tool

Natalie Meehan

Our blog editor, who reads everything before it is published. Having a second pair of human eyes is invaluable. You will probably have to get your own human, as Natalie is very busy and doesn’t have time to read your content as well.

Content marketing resources

To end this list in the most helpful way possible, we thought we’d leave you with some further reading to brush up your content marketing knowledge.

Beginner’s Guides

You can find all sorts of beginner’s guides to SEO and content across the web, but I’d recommend Moz as a great place to start. Their guides are thorough while being easy for anyone to understand.

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Content Marketing

Blogs

These five blogs are all leaders in the content marketing blogging world. Keep an eye on these for expert advice.

Content Marketing Institute

Convince and Convert

Marketing Insider Group

The Content Strategist

Copyblogger

With these writing tools in your arsenal, your content should receive that extra boost to help it stand out from the competition.


Brandwatch Analytics

Use social data to drive your content marketing research and lead the conversation.

Find out more