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Whether you're crafting a short slogan or creating a long article, your words matter. Well-written content can serve as an important cornerstone for your business' digital marketing campaign. Of course, the trick to earning this campaign is to write well.
At Aztek, we've written before about the importance of blogging and how typos can wreak havoc on your digital efforts. This time, I'd like to focus on a few tools that can help you avoid mistakes and create quality content that will help your business. A few good writing and editing tips can help, but online resources can also help you craft some great content.
You don't need to write in Microsoft Word to enjoy a good spelling and grammar checker. Grammarly is a writing-enhancement platform that's available as an online text editor and a browser extension. Once you sign up, Grammarly will proofread whatever you write in an email, on social media, or wherever else you need to type out a few words.
Grammarly does more than just catch misspellings. The software is designed to make context-specific suggestions, allowing it to highlight problems that a standard Microsoft word checker won't catch. Grammarly can also teach you more about grammar and writing. When Grammarly's AI flags a potential issue, it'll also offer an explanation of why it should be changed. This can help you clean up your copy and learn about exciting errors like comma splices at the same time!
Longer isn't always better. The Hemingway Editor is inspired by Ernest Hemingway's famously simple writing style. Appropriately, the online editor and the desktop app allows you to copy and paste your words into a field to learn if you should pare down your prose.
The Hemingway Editor looks for a few different issues that can complicate your messages, such as an overuse of passive voice and adverbs. It also judges the readability of your work. In general, lower grade levels are more accessible to a wider audience.
To be fair, the Hemingway Editor is not perfect. An ideal grade level can be subjective, especially for businesses that need to use technical information. The Hemingway Editor is best used as a visual reminder that you rely too much on passive voice or unnecessarily complex sentences. From there, you can rework your words and make your writing bold and clear.
The internet is full of shiny objects. These distractions are the mortal enemies of your deadlines. They will take you away from your lovingly-crafted sentences and leave you in a dizzying spell of cat videos and emails. Even if you manage to do some work, these distractions can cause you to not spend as much time to evaluate your work and see if it can be improved. Calmly Writer tries to eliminate these threats to productivity and quality.
Calmly Writer is a text editor that eliminates the clutter and lets you focus solely on your words. The tool provides writers with a blank slate with no distractions. It even hides formatting options unless you highlight a specific word or phrase. All you need to do now is turn off your phone, turn off email notifications, and ignore any other tabs. Fighting distractions is an uphill battle, but Calmly Writer is a great start.
Purdue Online Writing Lab
You don't need to be a student to take advantage of the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University. This site houses a multitude of articles on a variety of writing subjects.
If you have a specific grammar or style question, OWL should have an article for you. If you're wondering how to properly cite sources, OWL can help. If you wanted more to learn more about the writing process, OWL... well, you get the picture.
Merriam-Webster and AP Stylebook Online
This may seem like cheating, but it's hard to go wrong with a few good books. I've kept a copy of both the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and AP Stylebook at my house since my journalism professor made me buy copies of each for a class. Both have been worth every penny.
While I may keep physical copies of both the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and AP Stylebook, you don't have to. Both Merriam-Webster and AP Style can be found online to help you determine the true meanings of words and figure out exactly when you're supposed to spell out a number and when to use a numeral (that's a post for a different day).
The online Merriam-Webster Dictionary is free and easy to use; just plug in a word in the search field to see results. Like a physical copy, you'll have to pay for the AP Stylebook Online. OWL does have a convenient page with some of the more commonly searched AP Style questions, although the full Stylebook will have more for you to peruse. Also, both AP Style and Merriam-Webster are active on Twitter if you like accounts that share helpful language tips and throw shade in quick succession.
Writing isn't always easy. Some people have an ability to weave words together at will, while others just don't word good. Either way, creating good content takes time and effort, but it can lead to great results for your digital marketing efforts if done right.
If you're struggling to create quality content or just don't have the time, Aztek can help. Reach out to us today so that we can work with you to bolster your business' digital marketing campaign through quality content.