Since I write almost exclusively for the internet, I would like to share my list of favorite online writing solutions/tools. These tools are classified in two categories.
- Firstly online writing tools for improving and checking the quality of content written, and
- Secondly online business tools for facilitating communication with clients and other freelancers
Most of these online tools are free.
Online Writing Tools
1. Copyscape (paid): I write on a diverse range of topics and the research is almost entirely internet based. To ensure that I don’t inadvertently plagiarise content, I always pre-check the article on Copyscape. For $5 , you can buy 100 credits which is equivalent to 100 checks. You can combine shorter articles and check content of about 1300 -1500 words in one go to save on credits (although the website recommends up to 2000 words) .
2.Google Adwords Keyword Planner: I use this to identify, keywords and keyword phrases. Enter the basic search criterion – country, industry, proposed keyword / keyword phrases, to identify words that have the maximum searches and lowest or medium-competition.
3. Keyword analysis – Some assignments require the keyword to figure with a certain density. Check the keyword density by simply pasting the article draft and keywords in the boxes provided to get a keyword ratio.
4. Bitly: Use this to truncate lengthy links. Simply paste the extended link and the site populates a shortened link. Here’s what it does
5. Dictionary.com – When stuck for words, this is a helpful online dictionary.
6. PDF converter – Nitro Cloud allows five free PDF conversions in a month. Use this software to convert word, excel and PowerPoint files into PDF. For a higher number of conversions, the Nitro paid plan starts at $5 a month.
Online Business Tools
7. PayPal : PayPal makes it really easy to receive and track payments from international clients. While it does not have a transaction fee for withdrawal, the exchange rate is marginally lower than that of a bank remittance. I prefer PayPal for its reliability. Most payments are credited to my Indian bank account within 4-5 working days. The PayPal transaction report is also a useful feature.
8. Vistaprint: I like the fact that Vistaprint is so easy to use. I have designed business cards and stickers on the website and was more than happy with the quality, delivery timeline and cost of using the service. Much more efficient and reliable than the local business card printer. They have a host of options including letterheads and business card holders.
9. Dropbox : This is a great way to share large number of files via a shared folder. I also use it to back-up files.
10. WordPress: I recommend WP for anyone looking to start a business website along with a blog. It’s easy to use and can be customized to a large extent. You can have a formal business website running for as less as $18 for the year ( domain name registration charges), assuming that you use one of the free templates.
11. Skype: I use Skype quite a bit for speaking to international clients. Their screen sharing option is a paid service which is why I use a software called ammyy.
12. Remote-desktop sharing: Ammyy is easy to download and use. I use this software for desktop sharing especially for conducting trainings and simultaneously rely on Skype for the discussion.
I hope you have found this list helpful. Do add your suggestions to the list in the comment box below.
Have a great week ahead 🙂