It’s an interesting time to be a writer. On the one hand, we have more opportunities than ever to make money online, either through freelance work or creating passive sources of writing income, and we have the online tools to help us do it. On the other hand, there is such an overload of online writing tools and services that it can cause choice paralysis and make it difficult to know which are worth using.
Some writing tools, such as grammar checkers and free book cover creation services, can assist the writing process and let you focus your time on the actual act of writing. Other tools, such as ghostwriting services, blackhat marketing methods, and fake reviews, can be tempting to use but ultimately do not benefit the writer.
In this article, we will explore how to use online writing tools the right way and to avoid some of the common pitfalls writers fall into.
Online Writing Tools Rule 1 – Would You Be Happy For People To Know?
One of the best rules to judge an online writing tool by is whether you’d be happy for your fans or clients to know you use it. For example, almost no one would be ashamed to admit they use the spellcheck feature on whichever word processor app they favor. However, if you had someone write almost all of an ebook published under your name, would you be happy for that information to be made public?
After all, the most common consequence to doing something underhand with your writing is for it to be made public and your reputation to take a hit. If you are considering using a new writing tool and you are questioning the ethics of doing so, imagine the information being published to your Facebook friends. How does it feel? Could you handle it? Because there’s always a chance of things getting out in this day and age. Be careful.
Online Writing Tools Rule 2 – What Is The Reputation Of The Service?
The overwhelming number of options online can be a good and a bad thing. Although it allows you to find almost anything you are looking for, including any number of writing tools and services, you run the risk of falling victim to scammers or underhanded people. It’s therefore vital to look into the service of any given writing tool you are thinking of using – particularly if it is a paid tool or asks for personal information.
Ask around any writing groups you are a part of on your social networks in order to see if anyone has any experience of using an online writing tool or has heard about it. Any legitimate tool should have a good reputation online and should be spoken about positively on multiple forums and groups, not just praised on its official site! Ensuring the positive reputation of any given online writing tool ahead of using it is vital to protect your personal data and not fall victim to scammers.
Online Writing Tools Rule 3 – Consider Suitability
It is so fashionable these days for an online writing tool or service to get some hype and publicity online and for everyone to jump on its bandwagon. For example, when Evernote first became popular, many people started using it without question. Don’t get me wrong – Evernote is a great tool which is right for many people. It’s not right for everyone, however, and using any tool without considering this is a grave error.
You need to ask a couple of questions before investing your time in learning any particular writing tool – “is this suitable for my particular work?” and “what is the benefit I will gain by using this tool?”
If, for example, you are planning on using a book title generator, you need to make sure that it is suitable for your genre. Here’s a complete guide to book title generators that will help make sure the online title tool you use is appropriate.
Often, a tool that is being hyped online does not offer any benefit over something you’re already using. For example, if a new grammar checking service becomes popular, you need to ask whether it actually does anything your word processor does not do. This is especially important if a tool is charging a one off fee or a subscription. Will you actually be able to generate more money by using this paid tool? If not, it is not profitable, and not worth your investment.
Online Writing Tools Conclusion
Don’t be closed off to the potential benefits that online writing tools represent. By using the right ones, you can do excellent things such as ensuring your grammar is perfect, or finding a catchy title for your new piece of genre fiction.
Do be cautious about wasting your time or, even worse, your money on the wrong tool. Always make sure a tool is both reputable and worth your time to use.