Not all people who produce content in a business setting feel confident in their writing abilities. Without confidence — something that comes from experience and continuous improvement — people can feel anxious and fearful when they send freshly written content out into the universe.
If you’re like most, you probably cringe a little when you hit the send button on an email campaign going to hundreds or thousands of people. You may be filled with self-doubt as you submit a five-page report to the local print shop. You probably read and reread social media posts before they go live out of fear that you’ve made a grammar error that will be called out publicly.
Most of the times you catch errors, but sometimes you don’t. That is totally normal. Mistakes happen; we’re all human! Still, there are tools and strategies you can use to improve your skills and confidence and boost the likelihood that content will be error-free when it goes live.
Here at Bellingham PR & Communications, our team runs critical content by each other. It is a collaborative approach that helps reduce errors and increase confidence in the messaging being sent out.
I know that not every small business marketer or content writer has another person who can review content to make sure it is polished before distribution. That is where free grammar apps come in.
Grammar apps one-up traditional spell checker tools like those in Microsoft Word and Google Docs. You’ll be surprised at what they catch that those word processing programs don’t.
Here are two of the best free writing apps that you can explore. Test them both and see which platform meets your needs.
This grammar, spelling and punctuation checking tool runs on a complex artificial intelligence system. It scans your text in search of typos, common misspellings, punctuation errors and even sentence structure problems. The app then shows you how to fix them.
Grammarly offers a free browser extension that is used by more than 30 million people. The company also offers apps for Microsoft Outlook and Word. Of course, there are premium levels of Grammarly — available for a nominal monthly fee — but you can start by testing the free version.
Ginger — with a motto of “Make No Mistake!” — promises to help you write better and faster everywhere, including email, social media and Microsoft Office apps. Sounds good, right? This software’s focus is on correcting punctuation, sentence structure and style.
As part of its premium plans, Ginger offers a sentence rephrasing tool that shows alternate ways to say what you’ve written. As a bonus, Ginger has a text reader and a personal trainer to help improve your English as you write. Ginger also is available as a browser extension.
One added benefit to using online grammar and punctuation apps is that novice writers can begin to learn and correct frequent mistakes. The apps can teach you things like appropriate comma placement and whether to use the word “who” or “whom.”
Of course, there may be times when you’ll need the help of a human editor, such as when you’re getting set to order 3,000 company brochures or when you’re producing a 20-page corporate newsletter. In those times, having another person review the content for accuracy and clarity of messaging can be critical. In those cases, a professional editor would be the right tool for the job.
Regardless of which service you choose, you’ll soon be taking steps to help improve the accuracy of business communications and increase your confidence as a writer.