Free Resources That Will Make You A Better Writer

Writing can be both challenging and rewarding. From finding writing communities and great jobs, to citation resources and sites to help you stay organized, here are over 50 free resources to help you become a better writer.

5 Great Ways to Stay Focused

Staying focused is a struggle for many writers. Getting rid of distraction and creating a work environment tailored to your needs can be beneficial. Here are five sites that will help you boost your productivity.

  • A Soft Murmur: A Soft Murmur has ambient sounds that will help wash away distractions. You can choose from sounds like rain, waves, fire, birds, coffee shop ambiance, and singing bowls to create the perfect mix of background noise to help you relax, focus, and write.

  • BlindWrite: BlindWrite is a great way to start your writing process. You type in what you want to write about, choose how many minutes you want to write for, and then write for that allotted amount of time. BlindWrite makes it so that you cannot see what you are writing, which allows you to write more freely.

  • FocusWriter: FocusWriter creates a distraction-free writing environment for users. It uses a hide-away interface so that you can immerse yourself in your work. It is available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and has been translated into many different languages.

  • Marinaratimer: Marinaratimer is a custom productivity timer. The timer gives you a prescribed interval of 25 minutes of work, followed by a 5-minute break. After four work intervals, there is a 15-minute break. You can also use their custom timer button.

  • StayFocused: StayFocused is a Google Chrome extension that helps you increase your productivity and stay focused on your work by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day.

7 Great Sites to Help You Stay Organized

Regardless of the genre that you are writing in, being organized is critical. An effective piece of writing clearly communicates ideas and is easy to absorb, which can be harder to do if you lack organization. The following seven resources will help you stay organized.

  • Evernote: Evernote is a single place for your notes, ideas, lists, and reminders. It allows you to take notes anywhere and stay organized effortlessly. With Evernote, you can also share ideas with anyone.

  • Google Drive: Google Drive allows you to store, share, and access your files from any device. Google Drive is a great tool to help you organize every aspect of your business. It can store all of your files and has an excellent search capability that allows you to find what you need in very little time.

  • MindMeister: MindMeister is an online mapping tool that lets you capture, develop, and share ideas visually. More than 13 million people use this award-winning mind map editor for brainstorming, note-taking, project planning, and tons of other creative tasks.

  • Outline Maker: You can use the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Outline Maker to create a quick and easy outline. Just fill out your subtopic, first and second points, and supporting evidence to create one.

  • Todoist: Twenty million people and teams use Toodoist to organize, plan, and collaborate on tasks and projects. Toodoist is a task organizer that helps you regain clarity and calmness by getting tasks out of your head and onto your to-do list. Remember, small steps every day add up to big achievements over time.

  • Trello: Trello is an easy and visual way to manage your projects and personal tasks. Millions around the world use this site. You can add comments, attachments, and due dates to Trello cards.

  • WorkFlowy: WorkFlowy is a web-based outliner that offers users a simple way to stay organized. If you have an ambitious writing project and are feeling overwhelmed, they will be your trusty sidekick and get you through it.

Top 7 Research Websites

Researching is an important step in the writing process. You want your content to have relevant and have up to date information. Here are a few search engines that you should know about.

  • arXiv: arXiv is a free distribution service and an open-access archive with over 1.6 million scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.

  • Google Scholar: Google Scholar is a web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.

  • Project Gutenberg- Free eBooks: Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks that you can either download or read online. Their thousands of volunteers digitize and diligently proofread the eBooks with a focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.

  • ProQuest Dissertation Search: Whether you are looking for specific graduate work or want to find out what dissertations or theses have been written on a particular subject, ProQuest provides a variety of tools to help. ProQuest’s Dissertation and Theses Database has more than 2.3 million entries and is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world.

  • PubMed: PubMed is a search engine comprised of more than 30 million citations and abstracts for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. From biomedicine and health to life, behavioral, and chemical sciences, it is easy to find what you are looking for.

  • The Free Library: The Free Library is one of the largest online libraries in the world with millions of news, trade publications, newspapers, magazines, and journals. It is a fast and easy way to locate useful information on virtually any topic.

  • Zotero: Zotero is a free, easy-to-use tool that helps you collect, organize, cite, and share research. It is the only software that automatically senses research on the web. Zotero also lets you co-write papers with colleagues and build collaborative bibliographies.

5 Amazing Citation Resources

Many genres of writing require you to use citations. Citations allow you to back up your claims and show your audience that you have done the proper research. Some writers, especially scholars, use dozens of citations in their work. Here are five great sites that will make citing your sources faster and easier.

  • BibMe: BibMe has automatic works cited and bibliography formatting for MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian citation styles. BibMe also checks your writing for grammar errors, missing punctuation, unintentional plagiarism, and more.

  • Citation Machine : Citation Machine uses smart technology to create citations. They also have a tool where you can scan your paper for unintentional plagiarism and get advanced recommendations for sentence structure, writing style, grammar, and more.

  • Easybib : Easybib allows you to create new citations or manage an existing project. It also has a plagiarism checker where you can scan your paper for plagiarism and grammar errors, and other citation-related guides and resources.

  • EndNote : EndNote is an online service that allows you to store, share, and organize your citations. You can also install their Microsoft Word plugin so that you can cite references from your library and automatically create your bibliography as you write.

  • Purdue Citation Resources : Purdue University allows you to cite your source automatically in MLA or APA format. If you like to do things yourself, they have a page of resources that outlies various citation styles and explains how to cite sources manually.

8 Best Editing Sites

Editing and proofreading your work is a crucial step in the writing process. However, when you have been writing the same piece for hours, days, or months, it can be hard to detect errors in your work. The following eight sites are great for editing and improving your writing.

  • After the Deadline: After the Deadline is a language checker with contextual spell checking, advanced style checking, and intelligent grammar checking. They use artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to find your writing errors and offer smart suggestions.

  • a rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” href=””>Draft: o Draft makes collaboration easy for writers while keeping them in control. When you share your document using Draft, any changes your collaborator makes are on their own copy of the document, and you get to accept or ignore each individual change they make.

  • Cliché Finder: Cliché Finder finds and highlights clichés in your writing with their unique algorithm and overused phrases dictionary. It allows you to improve your writing by identifying and eliminating words, expressions, and phrases that are trite, stale, or overused.

  • Ginger: Ginger helps you write better and faster. It makes sure that your work is mistake-free on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MS-Office, and everywhere else you write. It corrects all types of grammatical mistakes, including punctuation, sentence structure, and style. You can add it to Safari free today.

  • Grammarly: Twenty million people use Grammarly to improve their writing. Grammarly’s writing assistant helps you compose clear, mistake-free writing. It goes beyond grammar and spelling and helps you improve your tone and style and to find the perfect words to express yourself. You can get corrections from Grammarly while you write on Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many other sites.

  • Hemingway Editor: Hemingway Editor helps you make your writing bold and clear. The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors. Hemingway makes editing easy by using different colors to highlight various errors.

  • Slick Write: Slick Write is a free application that makes it easy to check your writing for grammar errors and stylistic mistakes. Slick Write helps writers from all walks of life take their writing to the next level. It goes beyond spell checking to teach you the habits for effective writers.

  • Viper : Viper is a plagiarism checker. Thousands of people use Viper every month to scan their work for free. With Viper, you will receive a clear and concise highlighted plagiarism report, showing exactly where your document has matched to other existing content.

Top 9 Writing Communities

While writing can be a fulfilling profession, it can also be lonely, challenging, and emotional taxing. It can be beneficial to find a community of other writers who can support, encourage, and provide you with helpful advice and tools.

  • Absolute Write : Absolute Write is a comprehensive informational Website and community for writers of all levels. Absolute Write offers users articles and information about fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, freelancing, and copywriting. They also provide people with information about editing, publishing, agents, and market research.

  • Critique Circle : Critique Circle is an online collaborative writing workshop for all genres of writing where you can improve your writing and meet other writers. They have a credit system where you “pay” three credits to submit a story and receive credits for writing critiques for someone else’s story.

  • Critters Workshop : Critters began as an online workshop for writers. Today, writers and creators use it to get together and review each other’s’ work. The goal of Critters is to help improve your craft, not only by having your work dissected by other members but also by learning to dissect others’ work and your own.

  • Inked Voices: Inked Voices is a platform for writers who want a community of support and learning while working hard at writing, revising, and rewriting. With their platform, writing groups and workshops can collaborate intimately despite distance and strange schedules.

  • Insecure Writer’s Support Group : Insecure Writer’s Support Group understands that writing can be a lonely business. Their goal is to offer assistance and guidance to writers in all stages, from unpublished to bestsellers. They want to help writers overcome their insecurities, and offer encouragement to create a community of support.

  • Scribophile : Scribophile is an online writing workshop and community. Writers of all skill levels join to improve each other’s work with thoughtful critiques and by sharing their writing experience. You can receive detailed critiques, learn from a vast collection of free resources, and make lifelong friends in their community of writers.

  • She Writes : She Writes is an online community for women writers at every stage of their writing lives regardless of genre. She Writes supports, encourages, and educates writers. They have more than 32,000 members and more than 350 groups, making it the largest online social community of women writers in the world.

  • TheNextBigWriter: TheNextBigWriter combines a dynamic community of thousands of writers with cutting-edge tools, contests, classes, and communication to help members achieve their writing goals. When you join their site, you can post your writing and receive detailed feedback, learn from and connect with others, and get motivated.

  • Underlined: Underlined is a writing community of teen book lovers and aspiring writers. They share book recommendations, videos, quizzes, writing advice, and more on their platform.

Top 6 Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Tools

Being a full-time writer is a difficult profession, and it can be hard to pay your bills with it. Succeeding in this field is much harder if you do not understand marketing. Here are several incredible resources that will show you the ropes of marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

  • Can I Rank: Can I Rank is the first SEO software that uses AI to give you a specific action recommendation instead of just data. With a free account analysis, you can get hundreds of keyword recommendations, competitive analysis reports, on-page SEO, and more.

  • CoSchedule: CoSchedule is the number one free headline analyzer. It helps you write powerful headlines that drive traffic, shares, and search results. The right amount of words and characters can make all of the difference in how your audience reads your headlines.

  • Portent’s SERP Preview Tool: Portent has a search engine result preview page. You can enter your title tag, meta description, and URL, and see how they will appear in an organic Google search result.

  • Screaming Frog: Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a website crawler trusted by thousands of SEOs and agencies worldwide. It allows you to crawl websites’ URLs to analyze and audit technical and onsite SEO. You can download and crawl 500 URLs for free.

  • Seed Keywords: Seed Keywords helps users find valuable keywords. It lets you create a search scenario and ask your contacts to type in keywords they would use to solve it. This tool can potentially provide some great keyword ideas when you are trying to establish what search terms to optimize for.

  • SEO Tools: Google has incredible free SEO tools. They have a keyword planner where you can find the right keywords in your Google Ads campaigns. You can discover trends and explore what the world is searching for with Trends.

Writing Jobs

You can find incredible writing jobs at Zippia. To help narrow down your search, we have several filters that you can use.

  • Date Posted: You can filter through jobs based on when the employer posted the opening.

  • Distance to your home: You can narrow down your search by selecting how far from your home you are willing to travel.

  • Highest level of education: You can select your highest level of education, and Zippia will filter out jobs that require a degree that you do not have.

  • Job type: You can look through internships, full-time, part-time, or temporary work.

  • Career Paths: The journey to becoming a writer often starts with an entry-level job. These jobs will give you relevant experience and teach you the skills that you will need to succeed. There are dozens of paths that you can take to become a writer. Below is a career map where you can see different paths that you can take as a writer

    Source: Zippia Logo

  • Additional Resources

    • HubSpot: HubSpot has a great blog idea generator. All you have to do is enter up to five different nouns and HubSpot will generate blog ideas for you.

    • OneLook: OneLook is a tool that lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. The interface is also available in Spanish.

    • Read-O-Meter: Read-o-Meter estimates the amount of time it will take an individual to read what you wrote. Their calculation is based on standard reading speed.

    • Transcribe: Transcribe is a free web app that takes the pain out of transcribing recorded interviews. You can choose an audio or video file, or a YouTube Video to transcribe. It is private and your audio file and transcript never leave your computer.

    Devon Feuer