For many of us, getting started is the toughest part. The cursor blinks. The ideas linger. But, somehow the two just don’t come together on the page when we need to get some writing done.
It happens to all of us.
Sometimes when I’m not sure how to get started on a content marketing piece, webpage content or a social media post, I’ll dig into my cache of writing tools to get inspired and meet my deadlines.
All it takes is one spark to find direction.
Here are four tools I work with weekly to help shape the unique angles, effective keyword choices, relatable tone, appropriate grammar and best format for my content.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you amazing content. Thank you! ~Angela
1. Answer the Public: Wonder what’s getting searched for online? Need a new way to come up with writing topics? Answer the Public creates word clouds of questions and popular phrases using the word(s) you type in the search box. This website can become a black hole of inspiration. Use it wisely (and maybe with a timer!).
2. Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer: Figuring out a topic and direction are important, now it’s time to dig deeper and see if your approach will actually make people care or take action. This tool analyzes your headlines (and subheadings) for intellectual, empathetic and spiritual effectiveness. Yes, we’re talking about emotions. For those who are curious, this post’s headline received an EMV Score of 55.56 percent, a nice bump above the usual 30 to 40 percent.
3. Grammarly: I love shifting, morphing and arranging words. Sometimes that leaves my grammar in shambles and I feel stuck. I’m thankful that Grammarly follows me around the web to fix my mistakes (and refresh my memory on writing rules!) so I can keep composing. Grammarly offers both free and paid versions of their editing/proofreading/plagiarism checking service. (Affiliate)
4. Google: Yes, I’m adding your everyday Google search box to this list. It’s often overlooked even though it’s filled with the most current topics your readers are actively seeking. Go to the box, start to type in your topic and let Google auto-populate a drop-down list of ideas. Then, pick the topic you like, and see what else has already been written. Can you do it better or in a new way?
A few writing friends also recommended bookmarking an online Thesaurus to add variety to your prose, Unsplash for royalty-free visual needs and Copyscape to be sure you don’t accidentally plagiarize yourself, especially if you’ve been writing and publishing for several years.