Today’s “Guest Post of the Month” was sent in by Diana Siame of Chitenge Stories, a fantastic blog for aspiring bloggers and entrepreneurs.
Almost a year ago I started my blog on impulse. It hasn’t been all rosy but I love what I do. I don’t write as often as I would love to because of lack of time but that is changing soon.
Writing is not always a walk in the park but if you want to make it your source of income then you just have to ‘show up’ every day.
As a freelance writer or blogger, there will be days when you won’t feel like writing but won’t have the luxury to just sit back and relax because your client is waiting.
I stumbled upon some must-have online tools and apps for every blogger or freelance writer and decided to share them with you.
5 Tools that every freelance writer or blogger needs:
1) A website.
A freelance writer needs a website to showcase their writing skills. It serves as a portfolio if you are just getting started and have no previous work to show to potential clients.
It also helps you to improve your writing skills. The more you write, the more creative you become.
There are a number of website platforms out there that are easy to work with. I always recommend Squarespace or WordPress. Squarespace is my favorite.
To get started with Squarespace, go to get started and then pick a template. Don’t let it stress you. You can change later. Squarespace has a lot of beautiful and clean templates to pick from.
After choosing a template, create an account. Enter your names, email address, and password.
You will then be logged in. You can now customize your website to your liking. Upload a logo, add a tagline and set up pages and navigation.
Guess what?! You are ready to launch.
2. Grammar Checker.
There are a lot of grammar checker apps out there that ensure that your writing is without mistakes. One such tool is Grammarly.
Grammarly checks grammar, spellings and also detects plagiarism. With this tool at your fingertips, you do not have to send your blog posts or articles to that friend who is tired of reading your posts to check for errors. I was that culprit.
Grammarly has a free and premium version. You can download Grammarly App on your phone. Grammarly also has a Chrome extension that you can use on your desktop. Once you install Grammarly, it scans the words you type, highlights errors and gives you suggestions. All you need is to create an account to get started.
3. Cloud Storage.
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to store your work in a cloud.
About half a year ago, someone broke into my house and got away with my laptop and phone. I lost stuff I had saved on my laptop over a period of 5 years.
I use Google Drive (Google docs) and DropBox to type my blog posts and store my files.
You can create word documents using Google Docs, spreadsheets in Google Sheets, and presentations using Google Slides. As long as you have a Gmail account, you have Google Drive.
4. Email Marketing Tool.
As a freelance writer, you need to build an email list. This can help you build trust and eventually land you clients.
There are a number of email marketing platforms out there. I am currently using MailChimp which is free up to 2000 subscribers. MailerLite is another good platform that is free up to 1000 subscribers. They are both good and I would advise that you pick one based on ease of use.
5. Organization tool.
When it comes to project management or organization tools, I have tried Trello, Asana, and ClickUp. I decided to go with Trello because I found it user-friendly. It is really just a matter of preference. You can use Trello to organize your ideas, plan and manage your tasks, you really just have to get creative. You can do just about anything with Trello. After creating an account, click The plus sign to create a board. A board represents a project. Add lists and cards to your board. Lists can represent different parts or sections of your project and cards are like tasks. If you are writing a book, your lists can be named chapter1, chapter 2 etc. and your cards what is to be written in each chapter.
Trello can be used to organize anything. People are using Trello to organize their day, plan meals, manage a budget, plan a wedding and the list goes on. Trello is also good for collaboration. You can invite your colleagues, friends or family to your Trello boards easy collaboration.
I hope you found this post useful. If you are planning on starting a freelance writing business, these tools shall come in very handy.