I firmly believe there has never been a better time to get started writing online.
The pandemic means more people are at home, in front of a computer, consuming content online. Make that your content by publishing on Medium or finding blogs to writer for!
But I don’t want you to get overwhelmed and quit before it gets good — because trust me, if you stick with it, you can find success writing online.
These 10 writing tools helped me go from broke writer to earning more than $100,000 in the past few years.
Here’s the thing, there is a big difference between a writer making a few hundred bucks vs. making $5,000+ per month.
Because as a writer, you’re trading your time for money. But if you’re spending your time correctly, it’s a lot of money and well worth the tradeoff.
Needless to say, you need to spend your time efficiently — otherwise, you are losing money, clients, and wasting time.
These tools can help you reorganize your day and set yourself up to win. Once I made these shifts, my freelance writing income soared.
Seriously, I was able to 10X my monthly income in 12 months!
But I made plenty of costly mistakes along the way.
Here’s an example…
One of the biggest mistakes I made early in my freelance writing career was not proofreading very well. In fact, I was an awful proofreader.
Early on in my writing journey, my lack of proofreading cost me my biggest client at the time — ghostwriting for a multi-millionaire, best selling author.
But since I didn’t use very many of the best writing tools, it cost me big time. And I don’t want you to make this costly mistake so learn from my mistakes.
Keep reading to learn the best tools for writers in this epic post.
In my opinion, meditation is one of the best resources for writers (and really anyone). Now more than ever it’s so important to monitor your thoughts and not fall into all the negativity in the world.
As a writer, meditation has helped me in so many ways! Because here’s the thing, as a writer, it’s so easy to get isolated and in your head when you’re working alone at home.
But if you need to edit your work or switch to a new project, you need a clear break. While an exercise break can help, I’ve found meditation to give you a jolt for creativity and energy levels.
I’m not suggesting one type over another either — do what works for you.
Personally, I use transcendental meditation, Primed Mind, and tracks on YouTube. I’ve found that meditation lets me get out of my head, relax, recharge, and focus for whatever is up next.
Not to mention, the benefits of meditation are nearly endless, including:
- Reduces stress
- Controls anxiety
- Enhances self-awareness
- Lengthens attention span
- Promote emotional health
Meditation and hypnotherapy have made me a better human being and entrepreneur. Without them, I’m not sure I would still be writing online or even an entrepreneur — they’re that beneficial.
If you’re already doing it, keep at it. If this sounds foreign, keep an open mind and see how it can positively affect your life and business.
2. Paid Hosting and Paid Theme
If you want to build a successful writing business, the best writing tool is a writing website.
Free portfolios and free WordPress domains won’t give you full control of your brand online and make you look like a rookie writer.
Yes, a does cost money but no online business is 100% free. You have to invest in your business so clients will invest in you and your services.
To get started creating your writer’s website, I recommend using Bluehost and WordPress. Bluehost is the website host and WordPress is where you upload content to create the actual website.
Bluehost — #1 Writing Tool for Your Website
Please use WordPress, not any other platform.
I say this because I used Weebly for the first year of this blog. It was the biggest one of the biggest blogging mistakes I’ve made.
When I eventually had to transfer to using WordPress in 2017, it cost me an obnoxious amount of money.
Please don’t make this mistake by trying to avoid WordPress or feeling intimidated by it. There are so many tutorials out there that can show you how to navigate your dashboard.
3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
“On average, five times as many people read the headline as they read your body copy. When you have written your headline, you should spend eight cents out of your dollar.” — David Ogilvy
Writing effective headlines are crucial to your writing business.
It doesn’t matter if you write the best content in the world, no one will read it with a boring headline.
To help you avoid this crucial mistake, I highly suggest using the Coschedule Headline Analyzer tool. This is a free tool that will instantly tell you how to improve your headline.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer will teach you how to write powerful headlines backed by tons of data. The reason I think this is one of the best tools is that it gives your headline a score.
Plus, CoSchedule makes it easy to tweak it until you find that one capitvates your audience.
So if your headline “fails,” it’s easy to adjust it with a few clicks. In my two plus years of writing online, I’ve found that clients love it when you include the CoSchedule score as it shows that you’re committed to delivering a high-quality blog post.
Just like writing amazing content, the more you write headlines, the better you will get.
Do you remember how I mentioned in the intro about losing a writing client from a lack proofreading? Well, it’s because I didn’t have a proofreading app.
Instead, I was using only myself and used to edit right after I finished writing. That was a huge mistake!
My top recommendation is to use something like Grammarly. As the name implies, the tool helps you correct your punctuation.
If you’re writing 10–15,000+ words per week like I am, this tool is essential.
And best of all?
It’s 100% free. Add it to your browser today. It will help you send better emails, write better blogs, and hopefully, retain more clients.
If you want even more editing, grab the paid version as I just did and I love it!
5. Binaural Beats
Another expert writing hack is listening to binaural beats when you’re plugging away behind the keyword.
As Medical News Today article said, “Binaural beats therapy is an emerging form of soundwave therapy in which the right and left ears listen to two slightly different frequency tones yet perceive the tone as one.”
Some of the benefits include:
- Reduced stress
- Increased focus
- Increased concentrations
- Higher motivation levels
- Improved psychomotor performance and mood
If you consider yourself a writer or blogger, you know how important it is to stay focused and motivated when creating content. And binaural beats are a free resource to help you do just that.
So next time you have a big writing project, search on YouTube for binaural beats. Then, plug in your headphones (otherwise they won’t work), remove distractions (like your cell phone) and start typing.
Switching it up from the “woo-woo” stuff, another one of the best writing tools is Contena. This is a paid job board that can help you land clients quickly.
Unlike normal writing job boards that are free, this is a paid resource that searches all platforms to create one central job board. This way you have a personal dashboard to search and filter for exactly what you’re looking. No need to search on 10–15 different sites per day and waste your precious time.
When I first started using Contena, I landed a client within 2 weeks that I probably wouldn’t have found otherwise. As of this post, I’m still working with him today & he’s paid me over $30,000 to write about golf!
So yes, it does cost money but it will save you time. Not to mention, all it takes is one client to pay for the entire annual membership.
7. Stupid Simple SEO Course
If you want to become a six-figure writer and really impress clients, learn SEO (search engine optimization) ASAP. This is one of the most vital skills as a freelance writer.
Because Google traffic is one of the best kinds of traffic out there. While they have algorithm changes, Google is where 90% of people do their online searches form.
If you can learn to rank your clients’ work on Google, you will never have a problem landing writing gigs.
Because here’s the thing, social media traffic is very fickle. All it takes is your client’s Instagram or Youtube to get shut down and lose followers instantly. Then what do they do?
But if they have an email list and articles that rank high on Google, they will always get site traffic. So if you can create epic content that ranks high, you will be a valued part of the team — not just a pen for hire.
While SEO is too massive of a topic to write about here, there is one tool that helped me more than anything else.
Stupid Simple SEO
So what’s my ninja trick to getting clients (and my blog) content to page one?
It’s an online course called “Stupid Simple SEO” by Mike Pearson. The name is ironically perfect as SEO is feared by so many bloggers and writers.
Mike does an amazing job teaching you exactly what it takes to write epic content that Google loves. If you’re a blogger and writer, this is a double win as you can learn how to rank your own content as well.
Mike is a master of SEO and created a website that made $95,000 in passive income from Amazon affiliates in 2017. Did I mention he did that while still working a full-time job? Clearly, he knows his stuff. And he did it all through SEO.
Trello is another free organizational tool that I absolutely love. I couldn’t recommend it enough and use it for a lot of different freelance writing clients. Plus, I also use it to manage my Medium posts after learning this expert hack from Tim Denning.
Trello is a great way to keep all your projects, assignments, and task in one place instead of to-do lists, handwritten notes, etc. You can easily access it across all your devices so you never miss out on an idea.
9. Google Drive
I won’t lie, Google Drive runs my life. But as a writer, Google docs specifically should become your best friend.
Google docs are a great free resource that all writers should use to protect your work. They make it easy to store your files, organize, and share with clients as you work on drafts, projects, or shared documents.
The scariest thing for a freelance writer is to have your precious work somehow get deleted. This is why I write all of my content in Google Drive and never in Pages, Microsoft Word, or within WordPress. Just a few weeks ago I learned my own lesson when I lost a 2,000 word Medium article :(
Instead of wasting your time, leave it to the cloud to protect your epic work. Doing this also makes it easy to collaborate with clients or an editor and allow them to edit or comment directly as well.
10. Fiverr or Upwork
The final tool is a cheap service to outsource things that aren’t in your zone of genius. If you’re struggling with little things like logo design, custom images or setting up your website, check out Fiverr or Upwork.
I’ve used both of these websites for all kinds of projects and hiring is super cheap!
One thing I recommend for all new writers is a freelance writing website. But if you aren’t techy or don’t want to spend time making it — outsource to someone for $100-$200. This way you can focus on the freelancing and writing and leave design to people who excel at it.
And another example is this pricing sheet I had made on Fiverr for $20! I added this to my writing website and send to clients when cold pitching.
This would’ve taken me a long time (and probably wouldn’t have been very good) if I had done it. Instead, I’ve used this as a negotiating tool with clients to use the standard or premium packages.
Remember, when pitching clients it’s always beneficial to give them more than one option when working with you — this way, they’re more likely to say yes!
I’ve made a lot of mistakes since starting my writing journey online in 2016 so I hope these writing tools help you speed up success.
Remember, as a freelance writer, you are trading your time for money. So you need to be mindful of this and treat every minute as if it’s worth a certain amount of money.
The more that you value your time, the more that clients will as well. Use these tools to save time, make more money and grow your freelance writing business.