Content is king. If you run a blog, most of your content is language. For an ecommerce site, you write promotional copy, product descriptions, policies, procedures, and more. You need tools to check your grammar, perfect your punctuation, and hone your craft.
Here is a list of tools and resources to improve your content. There are style guides, grammar checkers, word tools, and more. All of these tools are online and most are free.
Here are writing sites to help you with your copy. Some are tutorial sites, others offer quick tips and practical advice on style-related issues.
- Copyblogger. This copywriting blog features a ten-step tutorial on the basics of writing great copy. It also covers how to write effective copy for search engine rankings.
- Grammar Girl. This is a grammar blog on Quick and Dirty Tips. It provides answers to common grammar questions, as well as a grammar newsletter and daily tips.
- The Tongue Untied. This blog covers basic grammar, sentence structure, and word choice, as well as rules for punctuation. It was developed by the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon.
- The Writer Underground. This site is a great source for articles on style-related issues. It features articles on writing, copywriting, writing tools, ebooks, text editors, and creativity.
- Fuel Your Writing. Fuel Your Writing seeks to be an essential site for writers: business writers, technical writers, advertising, fiction, and more. It contains editing and copywriting tips, and provides practical tips for writers.
- English Practice. English Practice is a free online resource to learn and practice English. It covers basic English grammar, as well as more advanced topics, such as style and business writing.
After you’ve written the draft, use these grammar and spelling checkers to perfect your copy.
- Grammarly. Grammarly is an automated proofreader. Check your writing for grammar, punctuation, and contextual spelling errors. Grammarly also features a plagiarism checker, which can automatically generate references.
- SpellCheckPlus. SpellCheckPlus is an online spelling and grammar site that features English as a second language tools, such as SpanishChecker.com. It also offers SpellCheckPlus Mobile.
- After The Deadline. After The Deadline is another automated proofreader to check contextual spelling, style, and grammar. Check your grammar on its site, or download the plug-in to add After The Deadline to your blog or website.
Here are tools to help you with words. There are dictionary and thesaurus tools to locate words, and vocabulary resources to broaden your language.
- Dictionary.com. This is a dictionary site with definitions, synonyms, spelling, audio pronunciations, example sentences, and translations. It also offers several fun learning tools, such as a daily crossword and word games.
- Thesaurus.com. This site is the thesaurus companion to Dictionary.com. Find synonyms and antonyms to your words. It offers tools to test your knowledge and features a word of the day.
- Wordsmyth. This dictionary and thesaurus tool provides quizzes, antonyms, real audio pronunciations, example sentences, and more. Choose your desired dictionary level.
- WordThink. WordThink is a “word of the day” site that focuses on words you can use every day. It gives daily reminders to use words you may already know.
- Coolest Words. This site features the coolest words found in the English language. While not a practical resource, this is a fun tool to broaden your vocabulary.
- Google Translate. Use Google Translate to translate words from over sixty languages.
Finally, here are tools to perfect the images in your blog or on your ecommerce site. Pictures are worth a thousand words, but pictures with words are worth even more.
- Pixlr. Pixlr is a free online photo editor. Upload an image and alter it with a variety of tools, or create a new image from scratch.
- Picnik. Picnik offers fast and easy tools to make your photos look their best. Edit your photos from wherever they are: Picasa web albums, Flickr, Facebook, and more.
- Flickr. Flickr is a photo-sharing site. Upload your photos, add rich information like notes and locations, and easily share them through your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you are.