I have been asked many times about the different programs, services and software I use to help me write this blog and market my books and services. This post on Grammarly is the first about those things. I intend to give you insights into why I use these particular products. I will show you how I use them and tell you why you should consider using them, too.
If you write copy you need help proofreading. I know for sure I do. Undoubtedly, if you have been writing your copy for any length of time, you already know how difficult it is to get your words just right without the aid of another qualified person’s fresh eyes on it.
Short of a paid human proofreading service, Grammarly is the best alternative. The easiest way to see what it does is to go to Grammarly.com and give it a free try.
Once you have seen and re-read your copy a few times, you invariably will miss obvious mistakes such as omitted or misspelled words and grammatical errors.
It’s true, just as with creating art, the more you do it, the fewer mistakes you make as you go along creating your work. However, there is nearly always room for improvement. If you are like me, you may be producing your blog posts close to your deadline for publishing. Besides the added expense of having a human proofreader, the time constraint is also potentially a problem.
To be completely forthcoming, I am reviewing my entire workflow process, including how I get blog posts written. Part of that process includes creating a plan for blog posts. The idea is to make sure I am providing you with the best possible, most topical and useful information. Right now, I keep a list of topics about which I want to write blog posts for you. It is rather informal, and often my plans change as I encounter new ideas—you know, like the ones that come to us in the shower.
Part of that strategic plan is to get a better handle on my schedule. The other part is to have the option to send copy to a paid proofreader so I can improve my writing and the content I serve to you.
I have had an idea for creating the “Stuff I Use” series for some time. Let’s get clear on the products I suggest to you with affiliate commissions attached to them.
Some of the things I will cover in this series are going to have affiliate commissions associated with them. That means if you click on any of the links to Grammarly that you find in this post and buy the service, I will receive a small affiliate commission for having told you about it.
If you read to the end, I believe you will come to the conclusion my first intention is to help you rather than make a couple of bucks referring products to you.
Affiliate marketing is a heavily used way of generating sales on the Internet. There are ways for some artists to establish an affiliate program to encourage others to refer potential buyers to you. That is the subject of another post.
I have personally used affiliate marketing to help sell my books and services in the past. Right now, I am not encouraging affiliate participation because I am transitioning my website and e-commerce to a new platform. It includes a built-in affiliate marketing component. Once I have made the change, I will publish a “Stuff I Use” post to let you know all about it.
I will be straight up. Grammarly is not perfect. It will miss catching some things. You cannot rely on it to make your copy perfect, just better. If you need as close to perfection as possible, use a human copy editor or proofreader. I have often used the services of Gramlee.com (not an affiliate link) with great satisfaction. It is an affordable service with a guaranteed 24-hour turnaround. As much as I like Grammarly, this service runs circles around it.
I realize giving you a free alternative may cause you to pass on buying Grammarly which could cost me an affiliate commission. The fact is I would rather help you get better at writing, and presenting and marketing your work than worry about a few extra dollars. Besides, we are not talking about making house payments, or even car payments with affiliate commissions generated by clicking anywhere on this site.
Ginger Software offers a free version that you can download and install. I used it to check the same copy as I used in the Grammarly example. It did not catch as many mistakes, but it is free. Perhaps the premium version is more powerful, I can’t say.
If you are on a budget, using Ginger Software is still better than trying to do your own proofreading. It does have built-in Chrome browser extension, which I like.
Those are my tips for services to help you write better copy. If you have questions about the technology or other services you are using, or that I am using, let me know. I will do my best to give you an honest answer with the intention of helping you get more from whatever it is you have questions about.
Here is a video I made about Grammarly. My video editing skills are admittedly a work in progress.