Grammarly Review: Why It’s the Best Writing Tool for Freelancers

By Liz Froment •  Updated: 02/16/24 •  12 min read

I am an awful speller. I also have a comma problem traced back to a private school I went to for elementary school. There, grammar was more of a ‘let’s worry about that stuff later while we build a structure out of sticks on the back lawn instead type of thing.’

We did build a structure out of sticks on the back lawn.

It was awesome.

When I hit junior high, my mom said, ok, enough stick structures. It’s time for math and grammar. So I was introduced to a world of adverbs and grammar rules, and I never in my life felt more lost in school.

I wandered through English class in a daze. What the hell is a participle? How do you spell receive? I had no idea.

Back then, all I had to rely on to fix my problems were those little squiggly lines under a Word doc. 

I needed help.

Today, I have Grammarly.

I use it every single day. And as a writer, I’m not sure how I’d get by without it. For me, it’s an indispensable writing tool

After hearing me rave about it, Sean suggested I write a more in-depth Grammarly review for the blog. So, here I am. 

Here’s a Grammarly review from the perspective of a freelance writer.

Let’s do this.

What is Grammarly?

Grammarly is an AI writing assistant that goes far beyond the red squiggles of typical spell-checkers.

It checks your writing for everything from grammar and punctuation slip-ups to issues with word choice, clarity, and style.

With a browser extension, desktop apps, and integrations within popular platforms, it seamlessly improves your writing wherever you work. Add it to Chrome (it also works on Safari, Firefox, and Explorer), and you can use Grammarly in your email, social media, and Google Docs, you name it.

what is grammarly

In its most basic form, it uses AI features to help spark ideas, fix grammatical and spelling errors, and rephrase text. It’s not a complete replacement for proofreading, but Grammarly is a tool that helps freelance writers deliver cleaner work in less time.

Recently, it’s added a generative AI tool called Grammarly GO. It moves beyond just correction and helps brainstorm, rephrase, and generate text — great for if you’re stuck with writer’s block or working with a sentence you can’t get to sound right.

Is it perfect?

No. It’s hard to replicate a great human editor, especially one that will push you to write better. There are times when Grammarly wants me to make a correction, but I know it’s not right in context. 

So, you’ll still want to read what you’ve written and not blindly accept every single suggestion. Though, in my experience, Grammarly nails it way more often than not.

I think it’s helped me improve my writing.

Not to mention catching embarrassing spelling mistakes — I no longer have fears of sending something spelled wrong when sending LOIs, firing up posts on LinkedIn to attract clients, or submitting freelance writing job applications.

Another thing I love about Grammarly is they send me a personalized email every week with my writing stats.

grammarly weekly email

It’s one of the few brand emails I open up every single time I get it. The emails have some gamification, giving you badges for hitting weeks in a row (easy when you are a professional writer), some stats about where you stand compared to other users, and an overview of your most common mistakes (always commas). 

I love seeing how many words I’ve written over time. 

Grammarly Features

There are two versions of Grammarly: free and paid.

The free version on its own is a no-brainer for any writer. Just the basic writing suggestions help ensure you’re not making basic spelling and grammar mistakes. You’ll also get 100 uses of Grammarly GO. 

Let’s talk about money.

How much does Grammarly cost?

The premium version costs $12 a month or $140 a year if you pay all at once. Here’s a quick and dirty list showing what you get with Grammarly Free vs. Grammarly Premium.

how much does grammarly cost

Personally, I splurge for Grammarly Premium. The free tool is great, but the premium tool has some additional features that really level it up for freelance writers

Plus, honestly, I love the product. I’m happy to pay for something I use and enjoy.

But the premium features do help. And if you want to try premium, we can hook you up with it free for a month to give you a test run.

Here’s a rundown of some of my favorite Grammarly features:

Real-Time Grammar and Punctuation Checking

Grammarly detects a wide spectrum of errors including subject-verb agreement, incorrect pronoun usage, misplaced modifiers, faulty parallel structure, typos, missing commas, and much more. So it goes beyond basic spelling and grammar.

Once I started using it, I realized I wrote comma-heavy, complex sentences with a lot of passive verbs. Seeing the same errors again and again helped me get better.

Errors are typically underlined with colored hints (red for grammar, blue for punctuation). Clicking on the error gives you an explanation and suggests a correction. You can choose to accept or decline the suggestion.

writing in grammarly

Benefits for freelancers: Reduces proofreading time, helps catch subtle errors that you may miss on the first read, and ensures professionalism in emails, social media posts, and general communication.

Style and Tone Suggestions

I tend to default to overly wordy phrasing. Grammarly highlights this and suggests better alternatives.

It even understands tone. As you write, it will suggest alternate word choices that better fit the tone you’re going for in your piece. That helps you be more consistent throughout the article and just reads better for the audience.

Benefits for freelancers: Maintains a consistent writing voice, makes articles more compelling, and ensures your intended message comes across clearly.

Seamless Multi-Platform Integration

Whether it’s in your browser, desktop apps, or directly within GDocs or Word, Grammarly operates in the spaces where you actually do your writing. All you need to do is install the plugin. This consistency is a major time-saver for freelancers.

Install Grammarly on your phone, laptop, or desktop, and you’ll have the edits you need in real-time. Most of my daily use comes from emails and social media. Now, when I write something on X or LinkedIn or an email, I don’t have to worry if I misspelled something.

grammarly on social media

You can write within the Grammarly dashboard too. Everything is saved in the cloud, but if you need to download work to send it as a doc to send to clients, you can.

grammarly platform

Benefits for freelancers: You won’t have to start fresh on your projects, and whatever tool you use for writing, it works.

Personalization for Your Writing Needs

You can tweak Grammarly to customize some of your needs. It has a couple of different language options, allowing for British vs American English, for example. And on the back end, you can click all sorts of different customization features on and off. For example, if you don’t want it to use the Oxford comma, give more ‘diplomatic’ suggestions, or spell out numbers, toggle those off.

That can help with client work. For example, if you have a client that doesn’t want Oxford commas, toggle that off, and it won’t give you an error every time.

One of my favorites is the personal dictionary. If you’re in an industry with lots of specific terms that always pop up as incorrect, add them to your dictionary, and they won’t show up as errors anymore.

grammarly personal dictionary

Benefits for freelancers: Allows for customization to your needs, including a personal dictionary and grammar-specific features that may align with client requests.

Plagiarism Checker

Another feature I use a lot is the plagiarism checker. Now, I know I’m not fully lifting big blocks of text from other publications. But, in some industries, like financial services, you have to cite sites like the IRS or cover dry, complex topics that don’t leave much wiggle room beyond the facts.

So I use it to ensure I’m keeping it original without just copying it directly from the source. If something does pop up, Grammarly highlights it so you can cite it in your work to cover your bases. It’s just a nice piece of mind.

And if you need to cite sources, it has a citation feature that makes it really easy to keep everything formatted in the correct style — a major time saver.

Benefits for freelancers: Ensures you aren’t turning any work in that’s plagiarized and acts as a backup for peace of mind and catching anything that should be cited and you’ve missed.

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What About Grammarly GO?

AI tools are all the rage now, and Grammarly recently released its generative AI tool called Grammarly GO, which builds on the Grammarly platform.

So it moves beyond just correcting your grammar and spelling and into helping you brainstorm, rephrase, and generate text. You can use it on the platform on the desktop or the browser-based version.

How does Grammarly GO work?

How can freelance writers leverage Grammarly GO?

Here’s a quick example:

I highlighted the word indicators, and you can see the little GO tool pops up. The pencil icon will re-write it automatically, and you can refine it from there. The lightbulb icon brings up a pop-up box that asks you what you want to do. Then you talk to it like a chatbot.

grammarly go example

Next, the GO tool pops up and asks me what I want to do.

ai writing tool grammarly go

I typed in that I’d like other words to replace indicate, and it gave me a bunch of options.

Screenshot 2024 02 17 at 3.15.33 PM

So that’s a quick example of how it works. You can highlight words, sentences, and even a paragraph of text and ask it to play around shortening, expanding, simplifying, or adjusting the tone.

It’s a pretty cool feature to help you brainstorm or get out of rut.

What are the Cons of Grammarly?

Ok, you’ve heard me rave about Grammarly, but are there any cons?

Sure. It’s not perfect. But most of the things I find as cons are probably just little things that would make the tool work better for me. 

For example, I’d love if there was a way to integrate style books into what I was writing and have it checked for that, too. If I have a client who wants AP style, for example, I’d love to be able to check a box and have Grammarly make sure what I’m writing lines up with the little details that AP style requires.

Here are a few more cons:

It’s essential to view Grammarly as a valuable tool rather than a magic solution. But, for someone like me, who writes for a living, the benefits of Grammarly far outweigh the cons. 

Is Grammarly Worth It?

For me, 100% yes. I use Grammarly dozens of times a day. So the cost of premium is a drop in the bucket per use. 

I’d highly recommend it to anyone who does any sort of writing. If you’re a freelancer or copywriter, it’s essential. And even if you aren’t directly a writer, but you compose emails, manage social media, or write reports for your job, it will save you from a lot of mistakes.

I think the free version is still great, so if you’re on a budget or just starting your freelancing journey, it will be good enough for right now. However, if you want to get serious and really work on improving your writing for engagement and clarity, I think Grammarly Premium is pretty much a no-brainer. 

I love Grammarly, and I’ve been singing its praises for years. It’s one of my most trusted tools, and I can’t imagine using anything else. If you’re looking for an online editor and grammar tool, Grammarly is the first place you should look.

You won’t regret it!

This page contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and buy one of the products on this page, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you!) This doesn’t affect our opinions or our reviews. Everything we do is to benefit you as the reader, so all of our reviews are as honest and unbiased as possible.

Liz Froment

Liz Froment is a full-time freelance writer and the one who keeps Location Rebel running like a well-oiled machine. If she's not writing something informative or witty for her clients, she can most likely be found reading a good book.
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Comments on "Grammarly Review: Why It’s the Best Writing Tool for Freelancers"

  1. Ubai says:

    Hello Liz
    You hit the nail on the head. I have been using Grammarly for a long time now. I feel that it is an essential tool for writers.
    Once you get used to the little kinks, it becomes your best writing friend. And yes, my writing has improved over time because of the suggestions. As I use the tool, I notice that the number of suggestions slowly decreases, giving me hope that I am “really” improving.
    I especially appreciate the clarity and conciseness it suggests.
    I began with the free version, but I have been using the premium for a long time. For the amount of words I write, “So the cost of premium is a drop in the bucket per use,” as you aptly put it.
    Grammarly is a true game-changer for anyone who wants to take their writing to the next level.

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