Writing copy for your flyers, product manual or website is a daunting task. Each communication channel needs a different approach to mirror the reader’s commitment. For this reason, copywriting is a great skill to have but takes training and practice to get right. Unfortunately, hiring a professional is expensive, more fees businesses can do without.
For those of us that write for ourselves, it can be challenging to nail the style and tone. Thankfully there are tools available for various writing requirements and budgets. I introduce 3 different programs you can use. They start free and go up to a £100 annual subscription depending on your needs.
I am using this app to write this blog. It is simple to use and free through the browser. It has all the basic requirements for the simpler writing tasks. Hemingway is ideal for blogs, copy for print and website updates. The program will help you write concisely, making simple bold sentences to hold the reader’s concentration.
In Hemingway, you can write, upload or paste your piece and alter any spellings and typos as you go. There is the option to add text style (H1, H2 etc), format the text and add bullet, indents and links. Then when you switch to the editor mode the program highlights any problems. This includes sentences that are hard or very hard to read. It will offer simpler alternative words, adverbs and passive voice.
You can buy the desktop version for just $10 so that you can work offline. It will also let you upload Office Word documents and export finished copy as docx, HTML or Markdown.
This program is the most expensive of the bunch but you get what you pay for. If you are blogging frequently, this could pay for itself in no time. You can take a monthly subscription or save with the annual plan, currently on offer at $140. If that level of financial commitment worries you, there’s a 7-day money back guarantee.
Grammarly is an excellent proofreader. It has highlighted more errors than other programs and allows you to set the writing style. This means you can tell the program what you writing for, a blog or an essay, and the program will adapt. It also tells you what you have done wrong so you can learn from mistakes. This is handy, but it could be in plainer English.
Scrivener is different to the others. If you’re writing an eBook or product manual, this program is great for the first draft. You won’t get the proofreading like the others. The formatting options are also more restrictive but there are plenty of benefits.
Here you can skip through sections and pages using the ‘Binder’ bar, or navigation panel. You can also import resources, like reference material, into the program to store together. If you are contemplating a larger writing task this is a great program and it is reasonably priced too. Scrivener is currently a one-off payment of $45 dollars, so no subscription fees.