The Best Writing Tools For Becoming a Freelance Writer

By Liz Froment •  Updated: 07/01/23 •  14 min read

Writing isn’t always easy.

A lot of budding freelance writers learn that firsthand.

But there’s no denying that writing is one of the most important skills anyone can have.

And no, that doesn’t only apply to freelance writers.

Everyone can benefit from becoming a better writer.

Improving your writing skills can help you land more clients, sell your stuff, and communicate more effectively with others.

So, it’s something everyone has to work on.

One way to do it?


Thankfully there are some writing tools out there that can help.

If you want to start a daily writing habit, work on that novel you’ve been dreaming about, or craft better headlines to grab more readers, we’ve got you covered.

In this post, we’re sharing the best writing tools out there. These are our favorites. They can help you become a better writer and take your freelance writing career to new heights.

Ready to dig in?

Let’s do this.

The Best Writing Tools for Freelance Writers

You may think you don’t need to step up your game when it comes to writing, but here’s a little secret: you do.

So much of building your brand is based on your ability to communicate effectively, so the sooner you start working on your writing skills, the better.

These tools can help you start habit forming a consistent writing habit and improve your writing along the way.

1). Hemingway


I’ve heard tons of writers swear by the Hemingway App. It’s a simple tool for cutting the bad from your writing and tightening up your message. You can also get a desktop version for distraction-free (i.e. no WiFi) writing.

Best Writing Tool For: Remote workers who do a lot of writing work and tend to be on the wordy side.

Key Features: 




Hemmingway editor offers an incredibly helpful free version and a very reasonable premium version for $19.99 lifetime access.

Grab it here.

2). Scrivener


I was first introduced to Scrivener by Lise Cartwright, who uses it to write Kindle books. Since she has about a billion of them, I listened. Scrivener is a monster writing tool that allows you to keep everything from research to outlines all in one place. PC Magazine rates it as the number one writing app on the market.

Best Writing Tool For: People who do long-form writing, such as books, and want their entire writing process to take place within a single tool.

Key Features: 




With Scrivner, you purchase a one-time license. The standard rate is $59.99, and a discounted $50.99 is available for educational licenses. Minor updates are free, but major version upgrades do have additional fees.

Download it here.

3). 750 Words


If you struggle to write much at all but want to form a daily writing habit that’s manageable, check out 750 Words. What I like about it is the gamification aspect. It gives you points for writing, plus tracks everything.

Best Writing Tool For: Remote workers who struggle to get their daily words in and enjoy a gamified experience. 

Key Features: 




750 Words is free for the first 30 days. Then it costs $5/month.

Learn more here.

4). Blank Slate

Blank-Slate (1)

Sometimes, you just want to jot down ideas quickly. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles. In that case, Blank Slate is the tool for you. With a clean and super simple interface, you can find a spot to get your notes, ideas, and outlines down.

Best Writing Tool For: People who want a simple way to get thoughts and ideas out quickly. 

Key Features: 




Blank Slate is free.

Learn more here.



The last thing you want to worry about when you’re conducting an interview is to find out the recording crapped out halfway through. That’s where helps. It’s an easy way to record interviews and notes and it has a built-in AI that will transcribe your conversation too. Check out our thoughts on Otter and other AI writing tools here.

Best Writing Tool For: Freelance writers who need to get expert quotes or interviews for articles and blog posts. 

Key Features: 




The basic plan offers 300 minutes of recording a month for free. The Pro plan is $16 a month and allows up to 1,200 minutes of recording in 90 minute blocks. The Business plan is $30 per user per month for 6,000 words and has all the features of the Pro plan plus additional business features.

Learn more here.

Related: 23 Places to Find Online Transcription Jobs – This works if both if you’re looking for an alternative to or if you want to make money as a freelance transcriptionist.

6). Write or Die


Basically, you set a word limit, a time limit, and if you want a consequence, reward, or stimulus, and then you’re off to the races. If you don’t hit your word count at the time limit, the Write or Die will let you know (loudly).

Best Writing Tool For: People who want a way to stop overthinking and write quickly. 

Key Features: 




It hasn’t been updated in a little while, so both versions 2 and 3 are free.

Learn more here.

7). Reedsy


For authors who are looking to self-publish but want a tool that’s a bit more user friendly than Scrivner, Reedsy is a great choice. It helps with the formatting and conversion of documents. You can export your manuscript directly to ePub and Kindle ready formats with just a few clicks of a button.

Best Writing Tool For: People who want to write a book. 

Key Features: 




Reedsy for book writing is free.

Learn more here.

8). Google Docs

google docs best writing tools

This one is obvious. A lot of people don’t think about using Google Docs for writing practice, but it makes sense. Google Docs is a free writing tool. It’s also easy to use and can be accessed from pretty much everywhere.

Best Writing Tool For: People who want something free, easy to use, and cloud-based.

Key Features: 




GDocs is free.

Learn more here.

9). Grammarly

grammarly tools for writers

I love Grammarly. You can check out my review of why I think it’s the best writing tool for freelancers. Even if you use the free Chrome extension and you’ll be able to dramatically improve your writing right away. Basically, Grammarly looks at everything you write, from blog posts to emails to social media, and lets you know any basic grammar and spelling mistakes.

Best Writing Tool For: People who want to stop making spelling and grammar mistakes. 

Key Features: 




Basic Grammarly is Free. You can upgrade to a Premium plan for $12 a month. It offers more features like plagiarism detection, tone and clarity adjustments, formality level, and you’ll get up to 1,000 AI prompts a month.

Learn more here.

10). CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

coschedule headline

If your headlines are boring, then no one is going to want to read your blog posts. That’s an ancient copywriting prophecy, but true. Fix your headline problems with CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.

Best Writing Tool For: People who want to get more clicks for the content they create

Key Features: 




The headline analyzer is free.

Learn more here.

Best Books for Writers

There’s an axiom you’ll see as you get more and more into writing.

Basically, it goes like this:

If you want to be a better writer, read more.

Well, you never have to tell me twice when it comes to reading. Jokes aside, this is true. You will absolutely become a better writer by not just reading amazing writers but also books on writing.

Don’t think that just because these are books, they don’t count as writing tools too.

There are plenty of amazing books out there that can help you get better at writing. Here are a few of my favorites.

books on writing

On Writing by Stephen King

Everyone knows Stephen King. When he’s not busy scaring the bejesus out of you with some of his classics (I couldn’t sleep for days after deciding to read Misery during homeroom in junior high), you’ve got to be amazed by his writing output and ability.

His book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft blends his unconventional life story and invaluable writing tips and advice.

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Since I create a lot of B2B marketing content in my freelance business, I’ve always paid attention to what goes on over at Marketing Profs. When I saw that head Prof Ann Handley had a book about writing, I grabbed it right away.

I’d consider her book, Everybody Writes, essential reading for anyone who is looking to learn how to write amazing content for the online world.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

I never expected to fall in love with this book, but it didn’t take long before I couldn’t put it down.

In Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott manages to weave her own biography with these incredible little gems about how to tell stories and write better. This is one of the few books I’ve seen and every single person I know who has read it recommends it.

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

This one might be an odd choice, but I just recently got Save the Cat, and am loving every page of it.

In it, Blake Synder uses his years of movie scriptwriting experience to tell you exactly how to craft a story that people will love. While it’s written as an instructional book for budding screenwriters, anyone who wants to be a better storyteller should pick this one up.

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Getting into a Writing Mindset

10 productivity tips

Hopefully, these writing tools are going to help you get into the practice of creating content a lot more often.

That’s one part.

The other is keeping the mindset going. Because there are going to be days when you’d rather throw your laptop out the window instead of writing.

Here are a few tips to help you make writing a part of your schedule.

Start Small

You don’t need to start with 1,000 words. In fact, don’t do that. Start with the smallest number of words that will get you writing, and then up the ante every month. Maybe it’s 100 words or 250 words. Or set a timer for 2 minutes. It doesn’t matter what number you start with. Just write.

Remove the Pressure

While consistency is key, being a freelancer is stressful enough, so don’t add piles more to your life. If you miss a day, you miss it. Just make it up, or start fresh the next. It’s fine.

Set a Schedule

On the days I wake up and bang out my words, they flow much more easily. On the days when I have it weighing on me all day, I can sit staring at a blank page. Understand when during the course of your day, your brain is best wired to write.

Some of Your Words Will Suck

No matter how amazing of a writer you are, every word you write isn’t going to be usable. Don’t go in expecting you’ll be able to write something and it will all be awesome. You won’t. It’s ok.

Alright, got those tips down? Let’s look at some of the tools.

And If You Really Want to Go All In?

And if you’re ready to take all of these tools and really go all-in on your writing practice, then you might consider doing a daily blog for a set period of time.

When I got out of the habit of writing on a regular basis, I said I’m going to write every day for a month. I told everyone I knew I was going to do it, for accountability, and was been incredible for both my creativity and building the habit.

Start Writing 

Ok, enough procrastinating.

I’ve given you a bunch of different writing tools that are going to help kick your butt into gear and get you to start writing. There is no better time than right now.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to just build a daily writing practice or you want to make a serious run at being a B2B writer, getting into the mode of writing a lot is always a good thing.

What are you doing to build your writing habit? Comment below and let me know what writing tools you’ve found that have made it stick, I’d love to hear more about them.

Note: this post has been updated as of October 2021 for accuracy.

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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30 comments on "The Best Writing Tools For Becoming a Freelance Writer"

  1. Michael says:

    Thank you for this post. Excellent resources.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks, Michael.

  2. Great set of tools!

    My favorite tool is actually writing to an album. Nearly every post on my site since 2013 has been written while listening to this album and I am now trained to go into writing mode about my topic as soon as the first song comes on.

    I recently started using another album just for editing. The training effect hasn’t picked up in quite the same way, but it’s useful and building.

    The important thing is that the album contain no songs you desperately want to skip and all songs should be approximately the same tempo. Mine has lyrics, but they are sung more as a form of instrumentation so aren’t really disruptive. Where they do grab my attention, it is in a positive way.

    I recommend this technique to any writer, even though it can take time to find the right album and create this kind of Pavlovian outcome every time you put it on.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      I love this, Anthony. I also have a very specific playlist of instrumentals and classical music I listen to when I write and edit. It really does help to get me in the flow, and I don’t get distracted by the words.

  3. Great post. I’ve been wanting to put more time into writing and this is a very timely blog for me. Thanks!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Good to hear, Alex. Start small, even if it’s like 250 words or 10 minutes of writing and move up from there. I always struggled when I started with something big like 1000 words.

  4. Imtiaz Hassan says:

    Really, a great & helpful post, who want to start as a writer. I was just thinking about writing blogs in the marketplace but was afraid about my mistakes over the English language. But hopefully, these tools will really help me a lot & your post also provides me a huge of confidence.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Good to hear. The biggest thing is just practice, practice, practice. The more you write the better you will get.

  5. Loren Nally says:

    Really useful list of tools. I had no idea there were tools out there to help. I have to admit to not having a single post yet (I’m a terrible procrastinator!). I will investigate a few of these as I suspect they will kick me into action.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks, Loren. Hope you find a combination that works for you. The biggest key for me is starting small, even if it’s free writing for just 5 minutes a day to start.

  6. Jake Nix says:

    Thank you, Liz. These are great resources for someone looking to cultivate a habit of writing. I’m going to hit the library today and see if they’ve got any of the books you recommend.

    My favorite resource is a good old fashioned spiral notebook. I’ve pushed myself over the last year to journal every morning while I sit down for breakfast. It helps me sort out my thoughts while developing skills in structure and flow. I think the most important thing about it for me is the discipline required. Sometimes I don’t feel like writing, but success isn’t measured by what you do when it’s easy.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Hey Jake, journaling every day is a great place to start. I always have a small notebook on hand, especially when I travel, to jot down notes and ideas. I do think that once you keep doing it daily, it becomes much easier. It’s those first few weeks that are hard.

  7. Thanks a lot for the inspirational post.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      No problem, good luck!

  8. JJ Monzon says:

    I’ve been relying on Hemmingway and Grammarly ever since I started writing.

    I’ll definitely give 750 words a try. Desperately need to get my writing speed up.

    Great post Liz!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks, JJ! I think as you practice more and do a bit of freewriting you’ll write faster. Once I got out of my head a bit I was able to write much more quickly.

  9. Once again I would like to point out that the Blog is absolutely fabulous!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Glad you enjoyed!

  10. Tonya Garcia says:

    These tips and tools are really good. I’m using some of them, but about an existing majority of them, I have never thought. They seem useful, I’ll try it as soon as have time for experiments;) Thank you a lot for sharing, you’ll make my life much easier.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully, you’ll find one that works for you.

  11. Jeff Hiseley says:

    Brilliant post, Liz. I’m definitely going to start using some of these tools this week to improve my writing routine and efficiency. I think the most important step is to just get cracking. I write for a living as an Account Director at a big fancy communications firm, and I never feel particularly inspired or motivated when I get started. But usually, about 10 minutes later, the cogs in my brain begin turning and I become fully engrossed in the topic at hand. Then I start tapping away with a newfound purpose!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks, Jeff. Totally agree, for me, the hardest part is just starting too. Once I go for a few minutes I’m fine, but it’s the build up to actually get writing that was my struggle. Now that I do it daily, it’s helped to get this to be almost automatic.

  12. ColeN says:

    Thanks Liz for this great article. Personally I open a blank doc and start typing. Sometimes using notepad++ and copy paste into WP to fix errors and formatting before publishing. As someone says “practice makes it perfect” write every day and your writing style will become great and your content too.

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Totally agree, Cole. After just over 2 months of daily writing, I’m really starting to see and feel a difference in my writing. Now it’s practically an automatic habit.

  13. R. P. says:

    This post is extremely helpful. Thank you so much!! I’ve really been needin some tools to help me with my writing. I love doing it, but I’ve started to get out of routine. I’ve been in need of some motivation for a while, so this is much appreituated. I’ve used Grammarly before, however I noticed that it, in fact, does not get all the errors. It is a computer system after all, so there’s bound to be a few mistakes that slip through. My suggestion to anyone using those type of tools is to go through it even after you check using that tool to make sure you get everything. Also, as for books on writing, it’s really a good idea to think about what skill you need to work on and search for a book that specializes in that. For example, I got a book on writing more words in less time, as emotion guide, and a guide to writing short stories. They’re all very informative, and also it’s a good idea to just think about where you are at. Hope this helps, and once again, thank you so much for this post!!

    1. Liz Froment says:

      Thanks RP. Agree about Grammarly, it’s great in getting most of the errors out but I never blindly accept all the suggestions. I usually use a combination of Hemingway Editor and Grammarly for my writing now, plus an extra few read throughs just in case.

  14. Wow! This is helpful. Thanks

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  16. Patty says:

    “I love Grammarly. Period. It is a vital tool for me. I use to all day long and honestly, I don’t know how I’d function without it now.” I don’t think you used it on this article!

    But thank you for some good information. 🙂

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