A writer is only as good as the tools she uses, especially online.
I’ve been writing for a some time and have learned quite a lot, the most important lesson being; I wouldn’t be able to do a fraction of what I do today without the right tools. This is why I’ve decided to compile a list of some of the tools I use, which I know will make you a more productive writer.
I’m an affiliate for some of the tools recommended so I get paid if you purchase them through me, but I use them nevertheless and I’m very happy to recommend them without reservation. New tools will be added to this list as soon as I discover them, so make sure to check back every once in a while.
Most of the tips on this blog are geared towards writing online and a key part of my approach is having a website. Here are hosting services I recommend.
Hostgator: Probably the best web hosting service online. I recently started using Hostgator and I love how they work. Support is super-responsive and they have a lot more features than you will need. They have my top recommendation! Using the coupon YOUNGPREPRO will also help you get $9.94 off on any package.
OutstandingSETUP: Another of my favorite hosting company, run by a friend. OutstandingSETUP helps you take control of your hosting. They don’t just leave you in the loop, but help you set up your website and ensure it is good to go.
WordPress: The number one blogging platform, which I personally recommend and use. It’s also available online for free.
Google Analytics: Quality analytics service that helps you track visitors to your website.
Clicky Analytics: A simple and clean alternative to Google Analytics.
WebsiteSetup.org’s Blog Installation Guide: This step-by-step guide from WebsiteSetup.org will guide you through the process of setting up a WordPress blog.
Templates make our websites beautiful and more interactive. Here are some of the top blog templates I recommend you use as a writer.
Genesis Framework: Currently the number one theme framework for WordPress, with a clean code and simple interface, it is currently the number one theme framework online.
Elegant Themes: Here’s the top resource online for the best free, and yes, Elegant, wordpress themes online. All for really affordable prices.
Blazersix.com: My very own designer that made this website possible. All of what you’re seeing right now is their work. Their service is mostly tailored towards people who’re ready to spend on a quality design but their work speaks for itself.
Irfan: Most of the graphic design you see on this blog were excellently designed by Irfan, and if you want cheap but quality graphics designed for you, I happily recommend that you check Irfan out!
Renegade Writer e-books: If you don’t buy or read e-books, you should make an exception this time!
Linda Formichelli’s Renegade Writer e-books contain all the motivation you need to get started and continue as a writer, as well as practical tips to help you get the gigs.
There are currently 4 books available, and I recommend you get all 4 of them. This will be your best investment, even if those are the only 4 books you will ever read as a freelance writer.
I mean it!
The Freelance Writer’s Den: This is currently the number one online training program for freelance writers – from someone with writing experience too. It’s not for everybody and it costs $25 a month, but those who are members have raving feedback.
The Writer’s Handbook: How to Write for Traffic and Money: This is my very own e-Book on how to write for traffic and money. I wrote and edited it myself so you might want to check it out.
Physical Books I Recommend
The Elements of Style: This is like the bible of English and my top recommendation for anyone who wants to be familiar with the use of the English language.
The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin: Why are some people so poor and some so rich? This might not be related to writing, but if I were to take only one resource on this list it will be this. It only takes around 30 minutes to read this book but I can assure you will want to read it every day after purchasing it.
Standing Table: In most cases I stand when I write and for good reason. There have been studies on the dangers of sitting for a long period of time and my standing desk helps balance sitting and standing when writing.
An additional Computer: I find myself distracted when working on my main computer connected to the internet, and an additional computer solves this problem. I don’t use the internet on my new computer so I use it whenever I want to write – to alleviate some of the usual distractions.
Scrivener: A newly discovered software that makes writing extremely easy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a novel, a thesis paper or your nest blog post, this tool is for you.
Typingtest.com: I use this to gauge how fast I can type and improve in the process.
Eye Defender: This software application helps protect your eyes by displaying a screensaver at intervals to give you to a break from working on your computer.
Flux: Another software application that helps regulate the brightness and color of your screen, based on the time of the day. This protects your eyes from being overworked by the computer screen.
Evernote: A digital notepad to help you keep track of the important details.
Mozy: Mozy helps you backup your files automatically. You can configure it to backup your writing folders every day so you won’t lose your writing if your computer is lost or stolen.
Freemind: Mind mapping software for writers. Plan your future ahead of you by using this software.