Is Grammarly Worth It? A Writer Reviews This Popular Editing Tool

How do you write faster with fewer errors?

No matter how long you’ve bonded with your keyboard, it’s almost impossible to avoid errors, typos and grammatical mistakes. 

While working with an editor is usually the best option, it’s not always in the budget. And even if you have an editor to review your work, it’s a good idea to ensure your copy is clean before you submit it to that person.

So what about using an editing tool like Grammarly? Whether you’re a blogger, content marketer, author or student, using a grammar checker can help you avoid embarrassing typos and improve your work. 

What is Grammarly?

Grammarly is an AI-powered product that checks online grammar, spelling and plagiarism. 

While our writers have tried a number of the best grammar checker tools, Grammarly is different because of its ability to check subject-verb agreement, article and modifier placement, punctuation and irregular verb conjugations. As an added bonus, it helps you improve your writing by offering synonym suggestions. 

Creating a Grammarly account is free. A free account includes basic grammar and spelling checks. When you upgrade to Premium, you get access to advanced grammar checks, vocabulary suggestions, a plagiarism detector and style checks ⁠— which we’ll discuss in-depth in this review. 

Here’s an overview of what’s included in the free version vs. Grammarly premium:

A side-by-side comparison of Grammarly's free and premium account options.

A premium plan costs $29.95 per month, but the price per month can go as low as $11.66 if you opt for an annual plan of $139.95. 

Although the company used to offer a free trial, that’s no longer an option. If that’s something you’re interested in, we recommend downloading the free version of Grammarly.

Is Grammarly Premium worth it?

There are lots of free online proofreaders and spell checkers. Microsoft Word and Apple’s Pages can even detect grammatical errors, so is Grammarly worth the bang for your buck? 

We tried out a premium membership, and here’s where we found the tool to be most helpful.

Polish your writing and eliminate grammar and spelling errors

There are a lot of ways to edit text based on context, tone or purpose ⁠— and Grammarly delivers on all fronts. Once a document is scanned by the AI assistant, suggestions are organized based on spelling, grammar, punctuation and clarity. 

Spell check

Like most word processors, Grammarly identifies spelling mistakes in your document. If the word it spots isn’t an error, just add it to your personal dictionary. 

Grammar

View mistakes on your articles by clicking on text with a yellow or red underline. You’ll see errors on subject-verb agreement, suggested corrections and the rationale behind those suggestions. Incomplete sentences and rewrites are highlighted in yellow. Here’s what that looks like:

An example of Grammarly showing grammar mistakes

How does the tool help you rewrite a sentence? Grammarly’s suggestion includes examples and sample rewrites: 

A screenshot of Grammarly’s suggestion includes examples and sample rewrites

I personally think their grammar suggestions are useful, especially for students and professionals who want to improve their writing. It’s often hard to pinpoint grammatical errors and why they’re a mistake in the first place, so I appreciate that once you download Grammarly, it provides detailed explanations.  

Punctuation

We know most sentences end with a period, so when do you add commas, em dashes or colons? Not only can Grammarly suggest punctuation, it also detects inconsistencies like different styles of apostrophes or quotation marks. And it comes with an “update all” option so the entire document uses a consistent style.

Here’s an example:

A screenshot of Grammarly's punctuation suggestions.

Vocabulary 

Have a tendency to use certain words again and again? Grammarly underlines those commonly used words and suggests specific synonyms to improve your work.

Grammarly makes suggestions based on variety, clarity, conciseness, consistency and so much more. Most online editing tools don’t go so far as to explain the rationale behind the mistake, so that’s a Grammarly feature I really appreciate. If you’re an aspiring grammar aficionado, this tool will help you learn! 

Plagiarism checker

Ever received a guest post for your blog? How do you make sure some parts weren’t plagiarized? 

Grammarly’s plagiarism checker scans the article and determines whether the text has a match with any page on the web. It also underlines the plagiarized text and determines its original source, so you can make sure you’re in the clear.

Here’s what the plagiarism checker looks like: 

A screenshot of Grammarly's plagiarism checker

Grammarly Chrome Extension

Marketers who often send email or create social media posts will be happy to know that Grammarly has a Chrome extension. Grammarly for Chrome is pretty brilliant — it lets you use the tool while writing emails and crafting social media posts. 

You can download it for free from the Chrome web store

A screenshot of Grammarly for Chrome

When you click the icon, a pop-up window comes to life on the screen. Here, you can view the performance, set goals and check grammar on the popup without heading back to the Grammarly website.

A screenshot of Grammarly within WordPress

I love that it also works on WordPress and Google Docs. To view the grammar suggestions when you’re within either of those programs, click the Grammarly icon and view the post from the pop-up window. 

A screenshot of Grammarly within WordPress

Set goals for writing 

Here’s a feature that sets Grammarly apart from other grammar checkers: it suggests edits based on your content’s goals and audience. 

Before you start writing an article, you can specify whether you’ll target general or expert readers. Choose the level of formality, and the editor can accommodate slang for informal pieces. You can even select multiple options to describe the post’s tone, domain and intent. 

Here’s what it looks like in Grammarly Premium:

A screenshot of how to set goals within Grammarly

Your chosen goals will have a direct impact on your post’s perceived performance. 

For example, if I target a general audience and opt for an informal tone, I’ll get a high performance rating when the text is readable for younger audiences: 

A screenshot of Grammarly's performance rating for a piece of writing

You can see I got a readability score. It prompts me to choose a tone, audience, formality and domain.

But the writing suggestions you get based on these goals are minimal at best.For instance, academic writers could choose an analytical writing style for their thesis. However, Grammarly won’t offer feedback on how you’ve explained your research results. It can’t beat the touch of a human editor. 

Grammarly Review: What I like about Grammarly

I’ve tried several online editors — and I have to say that Grammarly is the best I’ve used so far. 

I love the detailed explanations for grammatical mistakes because it helps me improve my writing in the long run. If I’m not a master of subject-verb agreement? Not sure where I should add commas? Grammarly’s got my back.

I frequently write lifestyle articles for news sites, and it’s a hassle to switch to an online thesaurus to find synonyms of commonly used words. With Grammarly’s suggested synonyms, there’s no need to find a thesaurus, which saves me time and effort.

The plagiarism checker is also useful, especially for online editors. It can be hard to spot bits and pieces of copied text, and this is the perfect solution, without needing to purchase a separate tool for this function.

What could be better about Grammarly?

No tool is perfect. One disadvantage is you can’t paste an image within the text editor. This could be a letdown for writers who create articles that rely on visuals.

You also can’t add hyperlinks to text within the editor. And when you copy and paste text with a hyperlink, the link is removed which is a downside for bloggers who like to place links within the text.

On the bright side, if you’re writing in WordPress, you can view images and make edits.

A screenshot of using Grammarly within WordPress

The goals and performance metrics could also use some improvement. And as I mentioned above, the app doesn’t (yet) make significant changes or suggestions based on the goals you set. 

Also note, Grammarly requires an internet connection to work, so you can’t use it offline. That’s a downside if you’re completing work on a plane or camping in the great outdoors. 

How to use Grammarly: The bottom line

The free version of Grammarly is ideal for checking spelling and basic grammar. 

If you want to get in-depth and detailed suggestions, I recommend downloading the Premium version. The grammatical suggestions it offers can beat most word processors. And it’ll make you feel like your writing was vetted by a professional. 

The bottom line: Grammarly doesn’t replace a human editor. But it does provide useful tips for grammar, punctuation and spelling, and will help you discover bad writing habits, revise faster, and produce better work.

If you want to give it a try, here’s where to download Grammarly

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!

Photo via crazystocker/ Shutterstock 

The post Is Grammarly Worth It? A Writer Reviews This Popular Editing Tool appeared first on The Write Life.

10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

If you’re a freelance writer, the task of finding quality, well-paying gigs can be a daunting one. Where do you even start? How you can guarantee the jobs you’re looking at are legit instead of scams?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the Internet is chock full of people who are willing to pay pennies on the dollar for hours of your highly skilled time. (Keep reading for some words of warning about these people.)

The good news is that we’re here to help you weed out the dreck and find the sites that are actually worth your time and effort. Whether you’re a copywriter, editor, creative writer or anything in between, these sites offer the well-paying, reputable freelance writing jobs you really want.

So where should you look for freelance writing jobs online?

Here are our picks. These are some of the best places to find online writing jobs:

1. FlexJobs

One of the top job boards for remote work, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs. Select your categories (there are several under “Writing”), your preferred work schedule, your experience level and more to hone your search results down to those that best fit what you’re looking for. You can also set alerts so you’re notified when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.

2. Behance Jobs

Powered by Adobe, Behance is an online platform for creative professionals to showcase their work, find inspiration and connect with companies looking to hire. Behance allows you to upload your past projects to quickly create a visually-pleasing online portfolio, making it a great resource for writers without a website. It has its own job board which you can browse to find your next career move or freelance gig!

3. MediaBistro

Be sure to check out the freelance section of the site for a wide range of jobs from industries like TV, PR/marketing, magazine and book publishing and social media — a little something for everyone.

4. Morning Coffee Newsletter

This weekly e-newsletter provides a nice compendium of freelance writing and editing jobs of all shapes and sizes from around the Web with competitive pay rates. Save yourself the time of scouring numerous sites and let this newsletter bring the decent jobs right to your inbox.

5. ProBlogger Job Board

Created by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, an authority site on blogging, you know jobs listed here will be from serious employers who have an idea what good writing is really worth. Plus, given ProBlogger’s high profile in the blogosphere, you can often find jobs posted by some big-time blogs here. They also list a healthy dose of copywriting jobs.

6. FreelanceWriting.com

With exclusive job opportunities as well as posts pulled from sites like Indeed and Craigslist, this board consolidates a variety of gigs for everyone from newbie to seasoned freelancers. If you don’t want to see jobs from a certain source (Craigslist, for instance, can sometimes be sketchy), you’re free to narrow your displayed results to exclude them.

7. Who Pays Writers?

Who Pays Writers? is a crowd-sourced list of publications that pay freelance writers — and it’s a small goldmine. The list has hundreds of publications for you to explore, and not only shows you which publications are accepting submissions, but tells you how much they pay per word. These are primarily journalistic features, but there are some online blogging opportunities as well (depending on the publication). Maintained by an anonymous volunteer collective, the list is updated monthly.

8. The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs

Freelancer Sophie Lizard compiled a free ebook listing 45 blogs that pay $50 or more per post, broken down into sections like Writing Blogs, Food Blogs, etc. She also includes some good tips on how to approach these blogs, how to promote yourself once you’ve landed a post, and more.

9. LinkedIn Jobs

If you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile (and you really should), don’t let it just sit there. Networking goes a long way in the freelance world, and LinkedIn is a great resource to do some networking through common connections.

While you’re doing that networking, check out the Jobs section and sign up for email alerts when jobs are posted that match your interests. Many will be location-based, but who’s to say you can’t approach these employers with a proposal for freelance writing services? Maybe they need someone to fill the gap in the hiring interim, or maybe the job could just as easily be done remotely but they hadn’t considered that.

10. Freelance Writing Jobs for Beginners

If this list is helpful, you’ll get even more out of The Write Life’s ebook: 71 Ways to Earn as a Freelance Writer. We suggest dozens of different ways to earn income online as a writer, including information on how much each gig pays and tips for how to land those jobs. The bulk of the jobs we suggest are ones you can do from home. The ebook is just $19, so landing just one freelance assignment will cover the investment.

Sites to avoid if you want high-quality freelance writing gigs

Especially if you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to be lured into content mills and free-for-alls like Guru, Upwork and Fiverr, where it looks like you might stand a better chance to land something even if you don’t have the biggest portfolio yet.

Don’t fall into that trap.

While it may seem like these sites are your best best when you’re a newcomer, they’re largely a crapshoot when it comes to winning a project. These sites are a rush for the lowest bid, and you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other desperate freelancers prepared to sell their firstborn for the chance to write someone’s 250-page ebook. (Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork, but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen.)

Even if you’re brand-spanking new to the game, no one deserves a gig that pays one cent per word. And chances are if someone is looking for the sort of writer willing to write a word a cent, they’re not going to be the best client to work for.

Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re new. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you.

This post was updated in July 2019 so it’s more useful and relevant for our readers! It was originally written by Kelly Gurnett and updated by The Write Life team. 

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you purchase through our links, you’re supporting The Write Life — and we thank you for that!

Photo via marvent/ Shutterstock 

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