As bloggers, we all are guilty of making occasional spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Or using complex language and sentence structures that may be complicated for our readers. Yes, we do edit our content before publishing. But it’s almost impossible to find out every mistake on our own.
This is because we are subjectively involved with it and our brain tends to ignore these errors. Therefore in this post, I thought of sharing with you some free editing tools that can help us write better, error-free content.
Why is Content Editing Important?
Before we dive straight into these tools, let us understand why editing content is important. Flawless writing shows professionalism and establishes credibility. I think we all agree with that. But is there more to it? Well, there is!
According to Bing’s Duane Forester,
Why would an engine show a page of content with errors higher in the rankings when other pages of error free content exist to serve the searcher?
If your content is packed with errors such as spelling mistakes and typos, it will not only put off readers but search engines as well. And you sure do not want that to happen. In addition to getting rid of these mistakes, editing can also help improve the readability of your content. As per Backlinko, grammar and spelling, along with readability level are among Google’s 200 ranking factors. What is readability, you may ask?
Readability and Flesch Reading ease
Readability is the ease with which users understand your content. Flesch Reading Ease is one of the popular formulas used to determine the readability of text. According to Flesch Reading Ease formula, short sentences make text easier to understand. Research also shows that people prefer to read short sentences online. Use simple language, short sentences for easy reading. This way your writing can reach a larger set of people.
Some of the tools listed below use Flesch readability test to calculate the reading level of your post. You can use results from these tools to better your sentence structuring.
Free Editing Tools & Readability Calculators
The first on this list is WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. Surprised? Well, it essentially is not an editing tool. But this plugin is an easy way to determine reading level of your post from within WordPress. It uses Flesch Reading Ease as one of the parameters to give SEO score to your post. A higher Flesch reading score means better readability and better SEO as seen in below screenshot.
We use this plugin to optimize content for search engines and is one of our recommendations for must-have WordPress plugins. This plugin makes sure you do not forget about SEO optimization of images as well.
Hemingway is an easy-to-use online editor. It analyzes text based on readability, number of adverbs, use of complex words and passive voice. It flags overly long or difficult to read sentences. The app suggests to aim for a readability grade below 10 for bold and clear writing. You can buy its app for Windows and Mac if you want to use it offline.
Readability Score calculates reading ease and grades based on different tests. You can either paste your text or enter the URL of a web page. Apart from Flesch readability tests, it uses Gunning-Fog score, Coleman-Liau Index, SMOG Index and Automated Readability Index to evaluate your text. It is a useful tool to compare reading levels according to different formulas.
ProWritingAid evaluates your writing and provides a detailed analysis. It highlights overused words, grammar mistakes, diction, sentence length, writing style and much more. As you click each problem area, you can see its suggestions to improve your copy.
Readability Test tool is another online readability calculator. It grades your text based on different readability indices mentioned earlier. Type in your text or enter the URL of your web page for a quick assessment of your content.
After the Deadline flags and gives suggestions for spelling errors, grammar and style. Created by the people behind WordPress, it comes as a part of Jetpack WordPress plugin. AtD is also available as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
EditMinion copy editor identifies use of passive voice, overuse of adverbs, frequently confused homonyms and more in your writing. It also generates a report card for your reference.
Grammarly is an online spell and grammar checking application. Its free version points out incorrect spellings with possible corrections. Other features like passive voice usage, writing style suggestions and plagiarism check are available when you upgrade to premium plans. It also has free extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari. When posting to Twitter, Facebook or writing e-mails, Grammarly extension is a pretty nifty tool for correcting basic grammar mistakes, spellings and typos.
Word Counter Online tool by SDR comes packed with bunch of handy features for bloggers and content creators. I entered the first few paragraphs of this article to test out this tool and you can see the results in the screenshot below.
Upon entering your text, the tool automatically displays the count of words, characters, sentences, paragraphs and its reading time which gives an indication of the average time an user will spend reading your content.
The tool also calculates the readability and grade level of your content using Automated readability index. To target a wider set of people with your content, you should aim for a lower readability index. The text I entered was given a readability index of 5 which implies it is easy enough to understand for fourth graders.
Another nifty feature that I like about the tool is that it lists down the top 6 most used keywords in your content and this does not include stop words such as the, a, is, which and on. This should help you to write your content around the focus keyword you want to rank for in Google search results. In my case, it listed the top keywords as content, editing, free and tools which is pretty much what I want to cover in this post.
Overall, I found this tool quite easy to use with easy instructions and is much more than an online word counter. The site also has an online Markdown writer if you prefer writing your blog in Markdown.
Part of running a high quality blog requires two things. First, you need to produce well researched high quality content. Second, you need to back it up with high quality writing. Thanks to these free readability and editing tools, all of us can work upon and improve the ‘writing’ part of blogging.
What tools do you use for proofreading and editing your blog posts? Any editing tool you would like to suggest to our readers? Let us know in the comments below.