Bloggers, article writers, ebook writers and copywriters all have at least one thing in common – the need for various online tools to run their businesses. Whether you are new to the online writing world or a seasoned writer just looking for ways to increase your productivity, there are tools and resources available to help you.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best 73 resources for online writers.
Do you use a resource or tool that we left off the list? Tell us about it in the comments.
Improve Your Writing
Regardless of the writing platform you focus on (online or offline, blogs or magazines, etc) there is always room to improve your writing:
Confident Writing – Named one of the top 10 blogs for writers for two years in a row, confidentwriting.com offers advice for finding your voice, and becoming more confident in your writing ability.
Bad Language – Blog offers a variety of “how to” advice for blogging, PR, writing, interviewing, and general tips for improving your writing.
MIT Writing Courses – Online writing courses offered through MIT, and many focus on writing for the web.
Open University Grammar Course – Grammar workshop through Open University.
Grammar Book – Everything you need to know about English grammar rules.
Writing Fix – Writing lessons, tips and writing prompts to increase your creativity.
Freelance Copywriters Blog – Excellent blog with tips to make you a better writer. Topics generally focused on copywriting/sales writing but sometimes you’ll find general writing tips, too.
Grammar Girl – Podcast for better grammar from Grammar Girl.
Economist Styleguide – Styleguide given to all writers of the Economist.com, this is a very useful tool that all writers could use to improve the quality of their writing.
Lousy Writer – Free online resource with tips for improving your writing, communicating better, and information about various writing styles.
Establishing a Writing Business
Some people write for the pure enjoyment of writing. Some people want to earn their living from writing. If you’re a writer looking to make it a career – you’ll want to establish a writing business to generate consistent income and reliability. Here are tips for finding clients and setting up a writing business:
Make Money From Writing – An online mentoring course for writers looking to establish online writing businesses and earn income writing from home.
Keep Your Copyrights – Sample freelance writing contract
Freelance Zone – Tips for self employed writers.
Writing.com – Create a profile to store and display your writing online, and read fantastic articles about the writing business.
Fab Freelance Writing – Angela Booth regularly posts tips for freelance writers on her blog. She also offers a mailing list of tips and a number of ebooks designed to help writers establish a profitable writing business.
Chris Blogging – Great resource for freelance writers and people who want to make writing their full-time career and only source of income. Offers a one-on-one freelance writing course.
Freelance Write – About.com’s freelance writing guide offers a wealth of information for aspiring freelance writers in the blog, and an active forum with topics ranging from where to find work to people seeking advice.
Get Paid to Write Online – Sharon’s blog covers just about everything you need to know about writing for the web and running a freelance writing business.
Plan HQ – create a working business plan online and achieve your goals.
Organized Writer – tools designed for the business of writing – articles, blogs, research links, and marketing tips.
Where to Look for Writing Jobs
There are a number of websites and newsletters that feature writing jobs for subcontractors and freelance writers. You may need to weed through a number of job offers that are offering ridiculously low pay for your hard work – but don’t get discouraged. There ARE many opportunities hidden among the low-paying gigs and many writers have built full-time incomes around writing for online clients. Here is a list of sites to start your search for writing work:
Writing for the Web
Online writing jobs are everywhere you look, and many professional writers are turning to internet writing to increase their income. Writing for online markets is a little different from writing for traditional publications. Here are some tips for developing a style of writing that is preferred on the web:
Copyblogger – Copyblogger helps you get more traffic to your website or blog, increase newsletter subscribers, attract links to your site and sell with words.
Handbook of Journalism – Reuters “handbook of journalism” isn’t only useful for professional journalists. Web writers can benefit from their ethical journalism tips, too.
Dana Prince – Comprehensive resource for freelance writers, with many topics focused on writing for the web.
Useit.com – Terrific article about how to write for the web, because it’s absolutely different from writing for offline sources!
iStock Photo – Often bloggers and online writers are asked to include copyright free images with their work. You can purchase images from istockphoto.com inexpensively and ensure you are using copyright-free images on all of your work.
Public Domain Photos – all photographs on this site are part of the public domain and can be used for any purpose, including commercial – making them perfect for including on blogs and any other online writing assignment that requires images.
Content Strategy – All inclusive tips for writing for the web, whether writing for clients or writing for your own website.
Website Tips – Tutorials and tips for writing web- based content.
Copyscape – an online tool that checks for plagiarism.
SEO Tutorial - An online tutorial that gives you all the basics of search engine optimization. All online writers should have at least a basic understanding of how SEO works; the more you know the more valuable you are to your internet clients.
Software and Tools to Increase Efficiency
Serious writers need tools and software to help organize their business and increase efficiency. Whether you’re running a one-person writing service or have a team of 20 writers, the tools and software in this section will help you manage your business:
Basecamp HQ – Online project management software lets you set up deadline milestones, to-do lists, individual projects (or clients). You can allow your clients to access their projects, and manage multiple writer schedules through the intuitive online interface.
ProjectTurf – Web based project management software with discussions, calendars, task lists and more.
Blinksale – Easy and inexpensive way to invoice clients with professional looking online invoices. You can accept paypal or credit card as payments.
Mind42 – Mind Mapping tool. You can use it alone or with other writers to formulate ideas.
Open Office – OpenOffice.org is like Microsoft Office, except it’s free.
Paypal – Easy method to accept payments from clients. You need a regular bank account to link your Paypal account to, but you can accept credit cards, debit cards, and paypal payments.
Writeboard – Online tool that makes it easy to collaborate with other writers online.
Mozy – Don’t let your hard work go to waste! You need to back up your writing regularly to protect your files from accidental deletion or disaster. This is an affordable online backup service with plans for individuals or multi-users.
To Do – Online to do lists to keep you on track.
Paymo – Online time tracking tool perfect for writers who bill by the hour, or for keeping yourself on a time schedule.
Client Scribe – Web based application that helps you keep track of your customers, contact information, and all communication between you and your clients.
88 Miles – Time tracking tool that lets you keep track of time spent on multiple projects, and on screen timers to show how much time you’ve put in.
Writers Communities, Forums, and Groups
Writing can be lonely. Participate in online communities, forums and groups designed for writers and not only will you relieve some of the loneliness, but learn from people who are also writing for a living:
Backspace – Backspace is “the Writer’s Place”. An online community for writers, and one of WritersDigest.com’s 101 Best Sites for Writers, more than a third of the members of Backspace have been published. Some are even on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Some of the members are agents.
Writers Digest - WritersDigest.com is a little of everything for writers. Learn to write better from their many articles and tips; participate in their discussion groups and forums and learn from other writers.
Internet Writing Workshop – Email discussion lists and opportunities to have your writing critiqued by other writers.
Absolute Write – AbsoluteWrite.com’s forums are a good place to meet other freelance writers, bloggers, screenwiters and novelists.
Freelance Writing Organization, International – Freelance Writing Organization, International. One Of The World’s Largest, Free, Online Writing Resource Sites
Freelance Writing Gigs - Excellent online community for writers with job listings and informative articles about writing, and the business of writing.
Freelance Folder- Community for all types of freelancers, includes forums, an informative and well-written blog, and job boards.
Writing Career – Everything you need for turning writing into a career.
Writers FM – Radio station for writers by writers.
Freelancers’ Union – National membership for all freelance workers.
Make Money From Writing Community – Online community where you can start a free blog, and interact with other writers who want to make money from their writing.