Four Essential Tools for Freelance Writers

Updated on: by Erica Martin

If you’re a freelance writer, there are a few tools that I consider essential.  These four essential freelance writer tools will help you organize your ideas, check your writing for plagiarism, and provide plenty of material for you to write about.

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Lots of ideas If you write your own blog, or if you write for sites that allow you to submit articles on your own topics, like Yahoo Contributor Network or Triond, you’ll need to have lots of ideas.  Check out this article I wrote on Triond for ideas on how to find inspiration for your own articles or blog posts.

A premium account at Copyscape  If you write your own articles or blog posts plagiarism probably isn’t a problem. But if you write for content mill sites like Textbroker, Helium, or other clients that provide topics to write on that may require research, you’ll want to have a premium account on Copyscape.

Copyscape is the best site I’ve found for checking articles for plagiarism, and it’s the site that a lot of content mills use to check your articles – so why not create your own account and check your work ahead of time?

It’s easy to create a premium account – you purchase a minimum of 100 credits for $10.  You can copy and paste up to 2,000 words at a time for one credit, so if you have a few short articles, you can conserve your credits by copying and pasting a few of them at a time. 

If you see the message “No duplicate content found”  after copying and pasting your article, then you’re all good – however if Copyscape does find duplicate content, you’ll see the  duplicate phrases highlighted, along with a link to the article that Copyscape found them in.

A good word processing program – If you write for private clients, you may have to submit your articles as attachments or upload them to a specific site.  Your client will tell you which word processing program they want you to use, however the standard is usually Microsoft Word.

Microsoft OneNote – This great program is part of the Microsoft Office Suite, and I’ve found it to be absolutely essential if you write for multiple sites or clients.  Microsoft OneNote allows you to create different notebooks that  you can add different tabs to.  Each tab can have multiple pages.  For example, I have a freelance writing notebook set up – each tab in the notebook represents a different client or website that I write for, and then I can add different pages for the articles I’m working on.

These are just a few tools that I consider essential for freelance writers.  I’d be interested to hear about  tools other writers consider essential.

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Leisa Good

January 12, 2012 at 8:26 am

Great ideas! I hadn’t thought about using OneNote, since I use Client Spot and CentralDesktop. It would definitely save money using OneNote.

Katie Jones

January 12, 2012 at 8:59 am

I haven’t thought about using OneNote either, but if I am writing a longer article that requires a lot of information, I’m still a pen and paper kind of gal, lol. I might have to check into that though. Great tips!


January 12, 2012 at 10:59 am

I haven’t experimented with OneNote. Thanks for the suggestion, Erica.


January 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I had the premium account at CopyScape and it was a lifesaver for when I was writing for wiseGEEK. There were a few times it caught some things that were unintentional and had I not had that program, I could have lost my writing job! I highly recommend shelling out 10 buck for the 100 credits, especially if you do any writing for anyone with a zero plagiarism tolerance.

Great post, Erica!

Lisa Mills

January 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I love, love, love Microsoft Word. I use it for transcription, and I can’t imagine writing anything without it. If you set it up right, it catches all your grammar and punctuation mistakes.


January 23, 2012 at 11:52 am

I love this blog just for the fish, John 3:16 alone! GOD bless you, sis!


June 29, 2014 at 2:24 am

I use only copyscape.This one is the most advanced tool.And they are so cheap.