By Andrew Teoh
Have you ever thought of writing a piece of article and then have the feeling of,” Hmm,
“Hmm, nah. Might just drop the idea.”
“Probably no one will read it.”
“I have no one to double check on my grammars.”
“People might find my content boring!”
Well, to be honest, these were all my worries and concerns when I first began writing. The fear of having my work rejected, worst ignored. As if that this article is none existence, rotting in a corner where nobody cares.
Those were my fears, but it did not keep me from getting my butt off the couch and do something about it. I remember the initial step was pretty tough, but luckily I had some pretty good people that I know in the writing industry.
It took me quite awhile but I manage to ditch my pride and my ego and went to get proper advice on how do I begin my writing career. And the conclusion I came out with is,
If you need help just go ahead and ask!
And of course, ask the right person. You might think that people might not want to share about how they manage their writing career, but you’ll be surprised what you can learn when you ask these people.
In order to write, there are 5 essential tools that I’d highly recommend you to make use of so that you can improve your writing, your content and increase your audience.
WordPress is by far my favorite blogging platform for my personal and my professional writing. It has all the layout and format set for a user-friendly experience. I first started my blog writing in Blogspot, then I migrated to Xanga, and later on after a good recommendation from one of my friends I tried WordPress. I fell in love with the simplicity of the design and layout of WordPress. It’s user-friendly and it doesn’t take much to learn how to use it.
WordPress has a few category to choose from. You can start basic where everything is free and you can start writing immediately. Further on, there are upgrades to cater your personal and professional needs in writing. Then there is WordPress.org, where you can host your own page, add in plugins and even ads like Google Adsense, Amazon affiliate, and others help boost your income as well.
But for starters, I’d recommend you to go for the basic free account. Create some good content share it and see how to goes from there. Plus, there are around 74.6 million sites that depend on WordPress to host their page. So this platform is a solid and good foundation to start your writing.
This is one of the best grammar & spelling proofreaders I’ve ever used. It really helps especially with my work as a copywriter. From time to time I’ll get jobs that I need to rush for a deadline and when the work is being rushed small mistakes like punctuation, typo error might appear in my documents. But with this amazing proofreader app, it saves up more time for me when I need to double check my documents. Grammarly will highlight some of the grammar, punctuation, and spelling error for me and will suggest me the right one to use. It really saves my time, like A LOT of it! Moreover, Grammarly can be integrated into WordPress, so as you write it’ll help you to proof read at the same time.
For those who are planning to write professional articles, you can opt for the premium account where they also provide you with a plagiarism checker to avoid your content for having possible content of plagiarism. It’s really good to use especially when you’re writing based on certain resources and reference.
Nowadays, you’ll see blogs, articles, or social media posts that come with a good visual design. With the huge amount of information flowing around audiences, it’s important to create a title that has a good visual stimulant to attract readers attention.
Canva is an online platform that provides such services to you. At Canva’s website, you can find templates for all kinds of visual; ranging from Facebook covers, blog titles, presentations, flyers, Instagram posts and much more. It’s a simple and friendly user platform for you to create any form of visual to spice up your content.
Personally, I’ve been using this platform for the majority of my social media postings and blog titles. I’m not that good at visual design but with Canva, I’m able to create something decent with just a few clicks.
4. Word counter
When I first started writing, I rely on word counter heavily. I have a tendency to overuse certain words in my articles which made it annoying for many of the readers to read. With word counter, it helps to identify my habits of writing. For example, the over use of the word, “Moreover, however, personally, & etc”
This platform really helped me in grounding and correcting certain of my writing habits. If you’re still quite new in writing you can copy your writings onto this platform to see are you facing such problem as using a redundant word too often.
Besides that, this platform is good for those who are writing to increase keyword searches on the web. Writers that need to write for SEO can refer to this platform as well. It’ll show the keywords that you often use and the density of it. This will help you to figure whether the keyword is being placed properly throughout the whole content or is it being heavily abused.
All good writing consists of a balanced use of words, even though the heavy use of certain keywords may help you in getting more searches but it’ll bring a certain level of discomfort for the readers as well. You want readers to love your content, but not just reading it one time and not visiting your page ever again.
Evernote is often the top choice for many of the people that take notes all the time. As a blogger and a creative writer, I often get ideas and inspiration at places where I don’t have access to my laptop or tablet. With Evernote, I’m able to jot down important notes and ideas and review it when I’m back to my office or home.
What made me fell in love with this app is its availability across all platforms, from Mac OS to PC, iOS to Android. You can sync and transfer your notes seamlessly across multiple platforms. Plus, you can create unlimited notes in Evernote and still find all your notes easily with its search feature.
For advanced users, the Evernote business is a good platform to share your on-going work progress and ideas. I often work with people that use different platforms. (I’m a Mac user and often I work with PC users) Evernote helps as all the notes and attachments can be shared across different platforms which reduce the hassle to send short notes through email. It’s a one stop solution for me while I need to get my things done.
Here you go, these are some of the essential tools that I use to help start up my writing space. And I’m still using all of these platforms until this present. So, take some time and check all these platforms out and I wish you good luck and all the best for those who are starting their new writing career & hobby.
All you NEED to KNOW is,
HOW to start,
WHEN to start!