You can follow SEO best practices down to the last detail, and you can pour hours into research before you write a single word – but it won’t matter much if your content is hard to read.
And that’s where content editing tools come in.
Editing helps you make sure that your manuscript is free of errors, clear, and concise. Most importantly – by editing, you can confirm that your text conveys your thoughts in the right way. The result is a polished product ready to be published and read.
But there’s that common caveat that we tend to forget about: it’s a fact of life that the chances of catching typos in a text you wrote are quite low.
Because of that, I never rely on re-reading alone but use a very particular set of editing tools. Here are the best resources for content editing I came across!
Content Editing Tools For Stealthy Writers, Bloggers, and SEO People:
1. Human Proofreaders and Editors
Honestly, the AI technology used in automatic editing tools is still quite new and for the time being, inferior to good, ol’ human editors.
Of course – human editors are slower and more expensive – but no program can match the organic, natural way people use language and understand the intricacies of expression.
If you have a well-developed, ongoing writing business, I highly suggest hiring an editor to go through all of your work. But if you don’t, you can simply hire a person to proofread and edit that super important guest piece you’re writing for a big publication.
If that’s the case, you can turn to Wordy, a company offering editing services in particular, or seek help from the editors working for an essay writing service like FreeEssayWriters or Boom Essays.
Used by millions of pro writers around the world, Grammarly is perhaps the best-known text editing program out there.
It has a plethora of in-depth text analysis options, and it’s well developed, making it the most popular text editing tool for pros.
You can get a free Microsoft Word add-on or the recently launched Google Docs plug-in, use it as a browser extension that does grammar checks as you write (anywhere on the web) for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge, or simply access it by opening the Grammarly website.
When it comes to editing features, even the free version brings a lot to the table. But if you wonder whether it’s worth it to pay a monthly fee for the premium version, consider your needs for extra features.
The premium option has a well-made style suggestion system for reader engagement and delivery quality. You gain access to a built-in plagiarism checker, and even human editors (although pricey) to help fine-tune your writing.
Grammarly checks not only your spelling and grammatical accuracy, but it also analyzes the context to give you suggestions for better word use and adherence to style guidelines.
When you first load your document, it lets you tweak your target formality level and tone of voice, so it can score your text accordingly.
Once you’re done editing, you can download the document in one of the many text file formats out there, and it’ll keep all of its original formatting like hyperlinks and headings. This is genius if you’re publishing stuff around the web because you don’t need to add all of these elements separately.
Personally, Grammarly is my go-to editing tool because it has the highest correction accuracy among the similar programs I’ve tried. However, you should take each suggestion with a grain of salt since the program is not infallible giving incorrect suggestions from time to time.
Use common sense when considering the corrections, and combine it with a tool like Ludwig (no #8 here) if you’re not sure if you said something the right way.
3. Yoast Real-Time Content Analysis
Yoast is one of the plug-ins that content specialists around the world love for its high-quality SEO features.
If you want your website to rank high on Google, you’ll come across recommendations for Yoast sooner or later. But this service doesn’t only deal with the technical parts of optimizing for search engines – they offer a really good, free-to-use content editing tool as well.
With Yoast, you can optimize your content for search engines even if you don’t know much about SEO. The tool will tell you about keyword density and distribution, analyze your paragraphs and headings, and even help you set up images and links.
You can use the Yoast content editing tool through their website or as a WordPress plug-in.
Yoast Real-Time Content Analysis tool checks your text to give you suggestions in two important areas: Readability and SEO.
The readability analysis checks your sentence and paragraph length, and it gives you a Flesch reading ease score. It’ll highlight the use of passive voice, and make sure your sentences contain a nice amount of transition words.
4. Hemingway App
This app was built to help writers achieve the simple, straightforward, and concise writing style that was popularized by, you guessed it, Ernest Hemingway.
The app doesn’t have super intricate contextual analyzing features like Grammarly. However, it’s one of the best tools for those who suffer from lengthy sentences and tend to get tangled up in complex explanations.
Hemingway app can help make your manuscript simpler and easier to read.
It does a lot more besides providing spelling and grammatical mistake checking. The app also identifies problems like run-on and wordy sentences and repetitive words and phrases. If it detects an unnecessarily wordy explanation, it’ll give you suggestions for ways to make it more concise. If you dislike passive voice and adverbs – Hemingway will detect those too.
Ginger is one of the few content editing tools that can challenge Grammarly.
Ginger will follow you where you need it – as a desktop app, as an extension for your browser (Google Chrome and Safari), in Microsoft Word, and on Android and iOS devices (find it on the App Store as PAGE Grammar Spell Checker).
The app is designed to detect and help you correct mistakes, allowing you to edit all simple spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors with a single click. However, it doesn’t dive deep into the contextual analysis of your text and word usage, so you might want to use it along with another tool.
There are also some features that this app lacks, most importantly a way to retain original text formatting, so I’d recommend formatting after editing.
If you use Ginger as you write, it’ll detect issues in real-time, so you can catch errors on the spot. A feature that sets Ginger apart is its high-quality automatic translator that supports over 40 languages. The premium version even offers a fairly well-made text-to-speech feature that can be quite helpful to those that speak faster than they can type.
6. Thesaurus.com Grammar Coach
You know that feeling when the right word is just at the tip of your tongue? Well, the best way to work around that pesky problem is to check out Thesaurus.com – the synonym dictionary. Personally, I use Thesaurus for at least a few words in every single article I write (another quick tool is OneLook Dictionary).
Well, this super handy website recently launched its own content editing tool that I’m really stoked for: Grammar Coach. While it’s still in beta, the tool is already quite good.
For the time being, the free version also contains formality and engagement checkers, though those are supposed to become premium-only features in the future.
The tool does fall short when it comes to specific explanations for corrections, and the interface is a bit confusing – for now. Like Ginger, it also doesn’t let you keep document formatting, so you’ll have to re-do your headlines and hyperlinks later.
Grammar Coach gives you all the basic spelling help and grammar check features of a regular editing tool. But the company also leveraged its biggest strength – the well-developed, huge synonym dictionary, and implemented a synonym swap feature into the editor.
It lets you browse synonyms for every single word in the text by simply hovering over it.
Related Article: 10 Best Online Thesauruses for Writers
7. Sharethrough Headline Analyzer
You already know that a catchy headline is the most important factor in getting people to click on your articles.
But did you know that there are tools that help you optimize your headline and make it as captivating as possible? My personal favorite is the Sharethrough Headline Analyzer.
The way to use the tool is pretty self-explanatory: You simply need to type in your headline and let the program tell you what it thinks. It gives you actionable, straightforward suggestions to make your headline stronger, catchier, and more impactful.
Did you ever confidently write a sentence, and suddenly started second-guessing everything about it?
If “Is this how you say it?” and “Does this idiom even exist?” sound like questions you asked yourself in the past, Ludwig is the tool to go to.
What Ludwig does is search the reliable sources around the web for contextualized usage examples. So, say, for example, you wrote “it costs a hand and a leg”, but something just seemed off.
Well, Ludwig automatically recognizes that you should’ve said: “It costs an arm and a leg”. It also gives you examples, where top-notch publications like The Guardian, The New York Times, TechCrunch, and Huffington Post used that or a similar phrase in their articles.
Ludwig can also be used to compare the frequency of word use, help rectify the wrong word order, and even figure out a missing word you just can’t seem to remember. It takes a little bit to master its commands, but it’s definitely worth it.
When you encounter the flourishings of your creative output after they’ve become sufficiently time-steeped, you realize the horror of your grammatical missteps.
To confidently share your beautiful work with the outer world, first, wring it through the gears of a decent tech-enabled language cruncher.
Please don’t forget to add all of your favorite tools to the bookmarks bar in your browser. After a while, you’ll instinctually know where they are and will be able to access them in less than a second.