Top 3 Affordable (or Free!) Proofreading Tools for Freelance Writers
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Top 3 Affordable Proofreading Tools for Freelance Writers

In the rush to meet deadlines and churn out newsletters, social copy, articles, and blogs for your many clients, it is not uncommon to lose track of the minor details. Whether you have made a grammatical error or missed a meaningful punctuation mark, it does not take much to lose credibility as a writer if these mistakes become a habit.

As a freelance writer, you can easily write hundreds of thousands of words in a given week, so it is crucial to have a safeguard or two to protect you from a dreaded typo. Here are a few proofreading tools to ensure your writing is flawless. Best of all, many of these tools are free unless otherwise noted. Check out the pros and cons of each to make your choice!

As a #freelancewriter, you can easily write hundreds of thousands of words in a given week, so it is crucial to have a safeguard or two to protect you from a dreaded typo. Here are a few proofreading tools to ensure your writing is flawless.… Click To Tweet

Write cleaner content with these three proofreading tools.

Write cleaner content with these three proofreading tools:

1. Google Docs

Looking for an app that allows you to write, share, and edit in real-time? Google Docs is a great tool.

  • Pricing breakdown: Free; requires a Gmail account
  • Platform: Desktop, mobile app,

Pros:

  •  Jot down notes, feedback, and inspiration wherever you are via mobile or desktop.
  • Google Docs saves documents in real-time and allows you to invite members to collaborate and edit the document as well. It even keeps track of any notes and comments that have been added throughout the editing process.
  • Mobile-friendly, as long as you download the app!
  • Pre-created templates that you can use to spruce up your blog, newsletter, or article.

Cons:

  • You must be connected to the internet to access Google Docs
  • Grammarly is currently in beta-testing for Google Docs, so you will need to copy and paste your content into Grammarly or Hemingway App directly if you want more thorough quality control.

2. Grammarly

If you’re looking for a great tool for checking grammar and plagiarism, Grammarly is the perfect option. As many of you already know, Grammarly is a great tool to use to double-check your grammar and punctuation. They offer a free and a premium option. Whether writing for work, school, or the next great American novel, it is always a great idea to get your grammar checked.

  • Pricing breakdown: Free for limited features or monthly: $29.95/month; quarterly: $19.98/month (billed as one payment of $59.95); annual: $11.66/month (billed as one payment of $139.95)
  • Platform: Online, desktop app, and MS Word add-in

Pros:

  • If you are looking for basic grammar suggestions and feedback, then Grammarly’s free subscription model will highlight critical grammar and spelling errors.
  • The premium option rates the overall tone of your content so you can make any adjustments to appeal to your target audience.
  • Premium subscription features a very helpful plagiarism detector.
  • The browser extension allows real-time grammar corrections almost anywhere on the web. So you’ll be able to check grammar in any browser while drafting copy or writing an email.

Cons:

  • Grammarly is only beta testing its services in Google Docs, which means that it is not quite compatible with your favorite writing platform… yet.
  • As great as the free subscription is, it is extremely limited. Grammarly pushes you to buy the premium subscription in order to take advantage of its full gamut of tools.
  • Logging in can be glitchy. When logging into Grammarly using my Google Account, I am often booted off or it refuses to let me sign in. This happens occasionally as there are still a few bugs.

Hemingway App is a great tool for freelance writers to catch typos and grammatical errors.

3. Hemingway App

For a tool that provides a more detailed breakdown of grammar, readability, and feedback, try the Hemingway App. It is a great desktop tool that provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to make your content better. What makes the Hemingway App slightly different from Grammarly is that it highlights your text with direct feedback.

Additionally, the free subscription includes features such as a readability rating and a number of words. You can edit directly within the Hemingway desktop app too.

  • Pricing breakdown: Free; $19.99 for more features
  • Platform: Online and desktop (Mac and Windows)

Pros:

  • Publishes directly to WordPress and Medium. It is wonderful to see that Hemingway eliminates some unnecessary steps with one-click integration with WordPress and Medium.
  • Hemingway App helps with HTML too. If you want to embed your blog somewhere that reads HTML code, Hemingway formats H1 and H2 title tags, bullet points, and links so your content functions correctly on your blogging platform or CMS.

Cons:

  • Is the rating correct or not? I feel that the Hemingway App is not a great judge of tone, voice, and overall quality. It might be able to tell if you have written in a passive voice, and will vigorously highlight in yellow, red, purple, and other colors if it notices run-on sentences, but what are they rating your writing against? I’ve tested out some editorial content from highly acclaimed writers and the rating can be misleading.
  • Like Grammarly, you have to pay for the good stuff. It makes sense, but many of the fancy features listed out in the pros portion are only provided in the paid subscription.

You are probably asking now if I ran this blog post through each of the apps! You bet I did, and here are the results.

Grammarly proofreading results

Hemingway app proofreading results

Based on the following results, both provided different feedback. I would suggest using both to understand more of how you can edit your content and write stronger copy. Don’t make the common mistake of missing subtle grammar errors, and yes, good grammar is still very important.

With Grammarly, you receive an overall score and suggestions on making edits to improve readability. With Hemingway, you receive a more in-depth breakdown that informs you of the number of adverbs, passive voice, and phrases that can have simpler alternatives.

If you are still running into issues after copying and pasting your document into either Grammarly or Hemingway, start listening to some great writing and grammar podcasts to help catch common mistakes that are easily avoidable.

To summarize, my recommendations for the top three proofreading tools have made drafting my blogs, articles, and social content so much easier.

Google Docs has become my real-time content writing tool. Grammarly has become my go-to auto-corrector because it is synced up with Chrome, which automatically makes suggestions while I’m writing an email or drafting a LinkedIn post.

It is always great to get a second pair of eyes, even if it’s an online tool, to easily elevate your copy. Try them out and see which ones you prefer using!

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Sing Weist

About Sing

Sing Weist has over 8 years of social media marketing, digital media, and brand development experience. Skilled in measuring and analyzing ROI, and content calendar management across multiple social media platforms for B2B, entertainment, non-profit, education, hospitality, and healthcare companies. She loves being on the cutting edge of social and digital media, as well as traveling, running, surfing, spending time with family, and indulging in: cinnamon rolls, donuts, ice cream, and lots of sweet treats.

Follow her on social: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

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