Writing exceptional content for your business is only ever half the battle. The rest of the battle is split in half, into two bite-size tasks. The first task after creating content is proofreading it and the second task is promoting your content.
I say bite-size tasks, but both these need considerable attention, especially proofreading. To proofread your content, you need a keen eye for detail, an excellent grasp of the English language and the ability to practice patience.
Checking your content doesn’t have to be overcomplicated, as there are several free content marketing tools that you can use. And because I want your proofreading process to be smooth-sailing, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite 15 free proofreading tools.
Skip a Comprehensive Proofreading Process at Your Own Peril
Before we dive into the tools, there might be some marketers and business-owners thinking a quick glance over the content will suffice. But that simply isn’t the case. If you don’t want to check your content, then you do so at your own peril.
That sounds a little dramatic, doesn’t it? However, out of over 1,000 UK consumers, 42.5% of them stated that poor spelling and grammar would most likely damage their opinion of the brand on social media. That’s almost half of consumers asked, imagine losing half of your profits because you couldn’t find time to check the spelling in your Tweet.
And it’s not just social media where you need to avoid making grammatical mistakes and check your spelling. 91% of respondents reported that they would lose trust in a website if they spot spelling mistakes.
Let’s face it, proofreading is an important part of creating content and promoting your business. As such, it deserves the right care and attention.
Give These 15 Free Proofreading Tools a Try
Spell check tools are everywhere, so there’s no excuse for you not to do simple proofreading checks. Not sure which tools to use? Then give these 15 free proofreading tools a try.
One of my favourite proofreading tools is Grammarly. This handy free tool can be used as an extension in your browser or you can add it into your Microsoft Office suite. It helps you spot your spelling mistakes and highlights any grammatical errors.
A particularly useful feature of Grammarly is you can select the type of English you want to check. I make use of this feature plenty, as I write in both US and UK English.
Another feature I love about Grammarly is that it provides more detail about the content. For example, it gives you a performance score and rates your content on clarity, engagement, correctness, and delivery.
Another useful tool that can help you pick up on writing mistakes is 1Checker. This free proofreading tool offers a spell check, grammar check, vocabulary enrichment, and style review. You can also make use of 1Checker’s dictionary and translation tools to help improve your content even more.
A great feature of this tool is that you can check the readability of your text, which means you can improve your SEO. You can use 1Checker online or download it onto your Windows or Mac. It’s also possible to install a plugin for Word or Outlook too, so you don’t need to ever worry about making silly mistakes again.
Ginger is similar to Grammarly, in that it offers a free version and a premium version. However, unlike Grammarly, the free version of Ginger offers a wider range of features. It’s free to install on Chrome and can be used for everywhere you create content.
So yes, like most proofreading tools, Ginger offers spell check and checks your grammar, but it also offers much more. Ginger can correct your text as you type and help you rephrase sentences. The most useful feature of Ginger is that it can also read out your text for you, which can help you spot spelling and grammatical mistakes instantly.
4. After the Deadline
Grammar and spelling checks are all very well, but another part of proofreading is consistency and style. Luckily, After the Deadline is at hand to help improve your content.
This great tool can help you improve sentence structure and make your text flow better. After the Deadline can also suggest syntax improvements.
Other features that make this tool helpful during your proofreading process include detection of passive voice (and other stylist choices) and the ability to provide detailed feedback on how you can improve your writing. After the Deadline is available to download as a plugin on WordPress, or you can add it into your writing software, or even use it as a browser extension.
5. Hemingway App
Those who don’t want to download a plugin or add an extension can instead make use of the Hemingway App. Even those who do have spell check and grammar software on their computers should consider using this free web app. Out of all these 15 free proofreading tools, this is the one that I use the most.
A simple copy and paste of your content into the app will reveal some potential problems with your text. For example, the Hemingway App details the number of adverbs and how much of the text uses a passive voice and whether you need to cut back on these.
The Hemingway App also offers you a readability score for your text, a word count and the number of sentences that are hard and very hard to read. And for those who fill their content with jargon and complicated words, this app also offers suggestions for simpler alternative words and phrases.
6. ProWritingAid Proofreader
Is your vocabulary limited? Well, ProWritingAid Proofreader might be able to help you change that. One of the practical features of this tool is that it flags words and phrases that are overused in the text. Another useful feature is that the tool picks up on complex sentences.
Many of the features of ProWritingAid Proofreader can be enjoyed for free, however, if you want to pair it with Microsoft Word or Google Docs then you need to upgrade to the premium version. The premium version also provides more detailed reports and can proofread longer texts.
If English is your second language, then remembering all the different grammatical rules can be difficult. Enter Ludwig, this proofreading tool can help you improve your English and writing skills by offering writing examples. Ludwig offers definitions, synonyms, and examples, so you can make your content better.
Other features include the ability to compare the frequency of two sentences, the chance to paraphrase your sentences and compare the frequency of the words you use in a text. Even if English is your first language, this cool tool might be worth a try.
Want a proofreading tool that is effective and speedy? WordRake might be the one for you. You can add WordRake into Microsoft Word or Outlook and use it as you’re writing your content.
All you need to do is select the ‘rake’ button and the tool will rake through your content. Shifting through what you’ve written, WordRake will underline, cross out, and suggest edits for your text. The only downside is that it comes with a 7-day free trial, after which you need to pay for it.
9. Stack Edit
Stack Edit is a useful tool for those who have written their content elsewhere but need to make it HTML friendly for the web. This tool lets you see the live preview of your content and checks for spelling mistakes as you go.
This tool has a variety of layouts and themes that’ll help you customise your content. Once you’re happy with the content, you can upload it straight onto your blog (such as WordPress or Tumblr) or onto your online drive (such as Google Drive or Dropbox).
10. Edit Minion
Another of my top favourite out of these 15 free proofreading tools, is Edit Minion. And not just because it has minion in the title, and it makes me think of the little happy yellow chappies on Despicable Me.
Along with traditional spelling and grammar checks, Edit Minion also offers a range of useful features that can help bring your writing to life. For example, at the top of the page, you’ll find options to turn on or off several features such as passive voice, weak words, cliché, and homonyms. The tool will then analyse your text and provide a detailed report of things that might be wrong in it, such as homonyms that spell check might’ve missed (e.g. there/their/they’re).
11. Intelligent Editing
If you’re trying to develop consistency in your writing, then you’ll need to implement a house style and a tone of voice. But how can you proofread your content and ensure consistency? By using a tool such as Perfect It on Intelligent Editing.
Perfect It can check your spelling and grammar, but it also can assist you with your structure and instruct you on how to adjust it to fit your house style. Unfortunately, this tool isn’t free, although you can make use of the free 14-day trial to see if it’s right for you and your business.
A lot of proofreading tools struggle to pick up on every mistake. But this is where Reverso can help.
Reverso is designed to come up with solutions for your writing, to ensure that you correct any issues so that your text makes sense. You can copy and paste your text into the box and the tool will highlight and fix any mistakes. If you hover over the changes, then it will also provide information about the fix, allowing you to see if Reverso was right to correct it and Reverso also offers details on why it corrected it.
13. Natural Reader
One of my most favourite proofreading techniques is to have it read aloud to me. Which is why I rely on the ‘Read Aloud’ feature in Microsoft Word, but when I’m not creating content in Word, I use Natural Reader to recite my text.
This text to speech tool can read your content aloud (in various voices and speeds). I find that having your content read aloud is particularly useful for catching pesky errors that other proofreading tools and that my own eyes miss. Seriously, if you don’t already use this proofreading hack, give it a go!
If you’ve already read my Improve Your Content With These 15 Free Writing Tools blog, then you’ll have noticed I’ve already mentioned this tool. But who doesn’t want an all-in-one tool that can help you create and edit content?
Well, WordCounter offers just that. Along with details about the reading and speaking time, this useful tool also gives you a reading level and insight into the keywords you use. WordCounter also provides spelling and grammar checks and comes with a thesaurus, so you can effortlessly proofread.
The final tool I recommend using isn’t focused on improving your proofreading but nonetheless, it’s important to use before you hit publish. Copyscape is a place where you can check that your content is plagiarism-free.
If you want great content that provides value to your customers and ranks highly in the search engines, then you need to make sure your content is original. A simple and easy way to double-check that your content is original is by using Copyscape.
More Tips to Help You Proofread Your Content
Remember, spelling matters, and grammar is undoubtedly important. But these aren’t the only two things you need to look out for when checking your content for errors.
While the 15 free proofreading tools above can help you check your content and build trust with your customers, they can’t always pick up other mistakes. You also need to think about your tone of voice, consistency (in terms of layout and content), and double, then triple-check that it all makes sense.
Here are some other things you can do to make sure your proofreading process is comprehensive and foolproof:
Tip 1: Ensure that your content makes sense. To do this you need to read over it. Not just once but again and again. Before you hit publish, make sure you’ve slept first and have proofread it again with a fresh pair of eyes.
Tip 2: Speaking of a fresh pair of eyes, it can be useful to have someone else in your team check the content for spelling and grammar mistakes. They might also have more insight when it comes to the text’s consistency and tone of voice.
Tip 3: If possible, print out a copy of your text and read over it. I always find reading over a physical copy of the text is easier than reading over a digital one. And while you’re reading it, be sure to mark down any mistakes with a pen.
Stop Making Mistakes and Start Producing Flawless Content
We’ve established that spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in your content can cost you. So, the lesson to take away is that once you’ve written your content, always, always, always make sure you proofread it thoroughly.
Want to save time during your proofreading process? Then start using some of the 15 free proofreading tools that I use. But remember these tools can only pick out some errors, so if you want flawless content, you’ll need to manually proofread your content too.
Can’t find the time to create and proofread your content? You’re not alone, many businesses choose to outsource their content marketing needs. Looking to recruit a freelance copywriter to create and proofread your content for you? Then I might be able to help.