Professional Copywriting Tools For Freelancers and Agencies
Creating a persuasive message is the most important part of marketing, and copywriting tools can help you to plan, draft and deliver it more effectively. A good toolbox could save you time, enhance your content and help you scale your content marketing.
This article shows you:
- The best tools for researching topics and developing tone
- Ways to translate strong copy into powerful SEO content
- A professional technique that separates experts from amateurs
The 20+ Best Professional Copywriting Tools
Writers are often suspicious of new software and copywriting tools. At the same time, start-ups and businesses underestimate the value of great copywriting. This miscommunication means that businesses fail to communicate their value, whilst copywriters miss out on time-saving shortcuts.
Copywriting is an essential part of Conversion Rate Optimization. However, what works for a one webpage might not work for another. Professional copywriters use different styles depending on the context and their goals, for example:
- Landing Pages tend to feature direct sales-copy, focusing on the benefits that a product or service can offer the customer. High-converting landing pages are built on clear, compelling value propositions.
- Product Pages use a passive voice and focus on information, with lots of detail crammed into a small amount of text. A/B testing has shown that product descriptions can significantly increase sales, and a recent survey showed that 98% of shoppers had abandoned a purchase due to poor content.
- Emails often adopt a more conversational style than landing pages, but also focus on benefits for the reader. Personalising the subject line for an email can increase open rates by up to 50%.
- Blog Articles can vary quite a lot in style, but they tend to be less formal and reflect their subject matter.
Whilst varying their content to suit the medium, professional marketers still apply contrasting styles in order to maintain their brand’s “tone of voice” or achieve a specific goal. The copywriting tools in this collection can help you to produce the highest standard of written content with less time and effort.
There’s no point writing something well if no-one is going to read it. So, before you start writing, you need to make sure you’re tackling a hot topic. The research stage is also critical for ensuring that your content appears high-up in the Search Engine Results Pages. Your SEO strategy should incorporate long-tail keywords (more specific terms that receive regular, if modest, traffic) as well as broader higher-traffic terms.
These are the copywriting tools that can help you to pinpoint viral subject matter with the potential to rank on page one.
1. Google Trends/Adwords
Free to use
Google Trends shows you how many times a particular topic has been “Googled” in recent months. Whilst that may not sound exciting, the insights that this free tool can give you are remarkable.
In his 2017 publication Everybody Lies, the sociologist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz highlighted some of the things that Google Trends reveals about internet audiences. For example, people make fewer searches with “jokes” in them on Mondays, when it is raining, or when something worrying has happened in the news. In other words, people look for jokes when they are happy – rather than when they are sad.
Google Adwords is the advertising network that businesses use to feature on SERPs and create Display Ads. But, even if you don’t have a business, you can still use the platform’s built-in tools to do audience research. Unlike Google Trends, which only shows relative increases or decreases in searches, Adwords show the total number of searches for a particular term in any region.
So, if you are deciding between two different topic to write about, Adwords can help you choose the most popular one. It can also show you how many other people are likely to be writing about the same thing.
30 day free trial – $79-299/month
BuzzSumo is a platform designed for every aspect of content marketing. It shows you the most shared and “liked” content on a given topic and provides a selection of tools for doing keyword research. You can also use the platform to find the most influential channels, pages and websites for your industry.
Free version available – 7-day free trial – $40-$135.59/month
UberSuggest is and all-purpose SEO and content marketing platform, that shows you search data, SERP rankings and other technical details about your competitors’ websites. However, it also has a number of interesting features that make it a powerful copywriting tool.
One of the most useful features is the “Keyword Ideas” tool, which provides suggestions for questions and prepositions based on your keywords.
14-day free trial – $41-416/month
Similar to BuzzSumo, SocialAnimal helps you to plan new posts, articles and pages by showing you the best-performing content on any topic. The platform ranks all the relevant content according to social sharing metrics, such as “likes” and “shares”.
The tool also allows you to track competitor domains, showing you which topics, articles, and event authors are gaining the most traction.
Free to use
Goodreads is an online catalogue of books and literature with some additional social features. However, what makes it so useful as a copywriting research tool are the previews it gives (these often contain far more than the Google Books preview) and the user-generated collections of quotes.
If you need a quick snippet from an author, or a specific book, you can search for quotes in a specific publication and sort the options using filters.
6. Google Analytics
Free to use
Google Analytics is a free analytics platform that shows you information about your audience, how people behave on your website and which of your marketing platforms is earning you the most visitors. However, whilst these functions make Google Analytics one of the most popular digital marketing tools in the world, the platform also has features that make it perfect for copywriting research.
First of all, your writing should reflect your audience. Google Analytics provides detailed demographic data on the people who visit your site, including age, gender and location. Finding out that your audience is different to the one you imagined could have a big impact on the register you adopt and the tone you develop.
Possibly even more powerful are the insights that Google Analytics gives you into your audience’s interests. Using the same audience targeting categories as their advertising platform, Google shows you granular information about the people who access you content. This could take the form of “Affinity Categories” (people whose online behaviour matches a particular pattern) or people whose online presence suggests more specific life events (recently moved, recently married, etc…)
7. Google Search Console
Free to use
Google Search Console is another free tool that any website owner can use to do research on their audience. The Console allows you to monitor your performance on Google’s search network, showing how your content ranks by page or search term. The most useful feature for copywriting is the “Queries” tab, which shows you which search terms people enter into Google in order to find your website.
By finding the terms people use to search for your website, you can tailor your content to match their needs. For example, if the search term “best copywriting tools” is used frequently, you can guess that your audience wants technical information relating to professional copywriting.
There are hundreds of online guides to copywriting and they all miss the point. Great copywriting depends on context.
Writing effectively requires you to understand your readers, create a story that compels them, and deliver it in the brief moment given to your words. In other words, it’s difficult. Whilst there is no secret trick that will replace your time, effort and genius, there are plenty of copywriting tools that can make your life easier.
8. Hemingway App
Free to use – desktop app for $19.99
The Hemingway App is a fantastic way to develop self-awareness as a writer. It is a very simple app, in which you enter text to see which bits are highlighted as too long or complicated. The app even identifies words with more appropriate synonyms and gives your writing a score for readability.
Since the text analysis is based on simple mathematical formulas, it is easy to “game” the app to get a better score without really improving your writing. There is also a more fundamental question about what makes writing good or bad. Adam and Ben Long, the app’s developers, admit a preference for certain kinds of writing.
Alongside this, it’s important to remember that the app does not have a semantic understanding of text; it can’t identify how information and ideas are structured. However, the interface is an effective sounding board for a finished content, and the simplicity makes this one of the most user-friendly copywriting tools available.
Free version – $69-89 CMS plugins
Yoast is another text analyser that gives you visual feedback about your writing. Unlike Hemingway App, though, Yoast is mainly concerned with making your writing Google-friendly. To do this, it applies an alternative set of mathematical formulas, based on keyword density and other metrics.
The plugin for CMS like WordPress comes with additional features that check your posts and pages for important SEO elements (like H1 and H2 tags, internal and outbound links, meta content and alt tags). Unfortunately, it’s one of the few copywriting tools that you have to pay to use.
10. Thesaurus.com vs Power Thesaurus
Free to use
Thesaurus.com and Power Thesaurus are both excellent online tools for finding synonyms. Both tools also give you antonyms and allow you to sort results according to word type. Thesaurus.com has a built-in writing tool that checks your grammar and lets you swap words for synonyms by hovering over them.
11. Coschedule Headline Analyser
Free to use
Coschedule provides a number of tools that help you to workshop titles and subject lines, but the headline analyser is their most popular copywriting tool. The tool uses the same kinds of mathematical formulas that the Hemingway App uses, but it also draws from a database of word categories.
Free to use
Readable allows you to check the reading age of your writing, either by typing in a URL or entering the text manually.
Unlike some of the other mathematical copywriting tools, Readable gives detailed information on how all of its metrics are calculated. For example, your position on the “Flesch Kincaid” scale is given by applying the following calculation:
Your Score = 206.835 – 1.015 x (words/sentences) – 84.6 x (syllables/words)
So that a number between 60 and 80 is considered easy enough for a 12-15 year old to understand (a higher score means your text is easy to read).
Free to use
Rhymezone works like a thesaurus for rhyming words. However, it is much more flexible than that simple application; you can also generate quotes, synonyms, common phrases and literary references from your original word.
14. Stack Edit
Free to use
StackEdit is a Markdown Editor, allowing you to create Markdown files without spending hours pouring through a reference index.
What is Markdown?
Certain platforms, such as Github, use a type of document in which the formatting is defined by codes in the text. For example, the document’s main heading (which would be a “H1” tag in a html file) is labelled with a single hashtag. Subsequent headings (“H2” tags in html) are designated with two hashtags.
The platform also stores your files, and allows you to collaborate with a colleague. Using the “handlebar” templating shortcut, you can turn your Markdown files into html files.
Copywriting presents a set of distinctive challenges, especially when it comes to web marketing.
- You only get to publish one version of your content
- There’s no way to know if it’s actually working
- It’s hard to prove how valuable your work is
Because of these three problems, copywriters struggle to command the same authority (and, let’s face it, the same fees) as a top web-developer or programmer. However, in the past decade, professional copywriters have begun to use a tool that instantly solves all three problems.
15. A/B Testing – Convertize
14 day free trial – $49-199/month
Convertize is an A/B testing tool used by content marketers and copywriters to add value to their work. It allows you to create multiple versions of the same content, compare their performance and then choose the best version.
How Does Convertize Work? See “What Is A/B Testing“
A/B testing compares two versions of the same page. Your visitors are divided into two groups, each seeing one version of the page, and the data from each version is compared. An A/B testing tool does all of this automatically, so you only have to focus on writing alternative versions of your content.
Professional copywriters use A/B testing in a number of ways:
- As a way to test risky content with an automatic back-up (Convertize includes a fail-safe Autopilot feature that steers traffic towards your best content).
- To make a marketing slogan or headline more powerful – using real visitors as test cases.
- To prove, with clear evidence, that professional copy is more effective.
Despite the controversy surrounding its existence, most professional writers have experienced “Writer’s Block” at some time in their career.
Writing for the psychoanalytical journal American Imago in 1950, Edmund Burgler proposed genetic and neuroscientific explanations for the “blocking” effect. By contrast, in 1984, the cognitive psychologist Mike Rose published a monograph arguing that the effect was caused by inflexible planning, strategy and assumptions.
However, regardless of the cause and nature of the problem, professional writers still need a way to overcome the “blank page effect”. Luckily, there are copywriting tools that can help you over the barrier.
16. Copywriting Forums: Warrior and Copy Chief
Free to use
Warrior Forum is an online platform displaying simple questions, threads and topics that any copywriter can participate in. It also contains useful tools and training resources, including “Ask Me Anything” sessions with marketing experts. Some of the most widely-recognised digital marketing gurus, such as Brian Dean (Backlinko), Brian Massey (Conversion Sciences) and Hiten Shah (KISSmetrics, CrazyEgg), have contributed interviews.
Copywriting Forum is a similar kind of platform to Warrior, with a slightly more collaborative tone. It also has games, downloadable guides and a section for discussing great historical copywriting.
If you’re struggling to put one word in front of another, these forums are great places to workshop content and steal some ideas.
Free to use
Social Media is a seriously under-rated tool for professional copywriters. If you get stuck writing a headline or composing some ad copy, you will be amazed at how willing your followers are to contribute ideas. Just ask them to complete the tagline and watch your hive-mind get to work…
There’s more to being a professional copywriter than just writing. You also have to find clients, pitch content and manage a business. These copywriting tools help you to do all of that with zero hassle – so you can focus on writing.
18. Tools For Finding Clients
Free to use
You are now a B2B marketer, advertising your services to potential clients. But, until you have developed your own professional niche, you need to make yourself as visible as possible. You’ll need a website, a targeted LinkedIn profile and a selection of listings.
- ProCopywriters – signing-up gives you a profile on the platform and access to a curated list of copywriting jobs. You also get access to these professional copywriter resources.
- Indeed – the largest UK job listing website for freelance copywriting.
- Worksome – connects freelancers to clients using an AI algorithm to improve matches.
19. Tools for Pitching
Free to use
Once you have found a potential client, you will have to pitch new ideas and content to them. These are not conventional copywriting tools, but they can help you to grow your copywriting business.
- Inspect Element – this universal tool, provided by every web browser, allows you to change the text on any website. If you are playing around with different H1 titles or CTAs, the Inspect Element tool lets you see exactly what it would look like.
- Gyazo – a simple tool that generates gifs and short videos from screen recordings. If you are discussing a project with a potential client, Gyazo will allow you to share an idea or give an example more quickly. It is especially effective when combined with the Inspect Element tool.
20. Tools For Running Your Business
Clearbooks from $6.16-13.56/month
Managing invoices, expenses and tax can be a hassle, so any tool that does some of that for you is useful. For a very small monthly fee, these tools can give you more time and improve your peace-of-mind.
- Clearbooks – a reasonably-priced option for small business.
- Freshbooks – highly-rated for both usability and depth of features.
- Sage – comprehensive accounting platform with a wide range of pricing plans
Copywriters are often suspicious of digital technologies, regarding them as a professional threat. This idea has been encouraged by software companies who claim that their programmes write text that is indistinguishable from human content. In truth, neither of these ideas bear scrutiny.
A/B tests comparing AI-generated copy to written text highlight the limitations of machine learning when dealing with ideas. Whilst the copy produced by this kind of software often reads well, it doesn’t reflect human decision-making priorities and it relies on the same linguistic formulas used by tools like Grammerly or Yoast. Machine learning is not a realistic alternative to copywriting because, when you’re trying to persuade, the meaning of words really matters.
However, this doesn’t mean that AI-generated text is not useful; it’s a fantastic new copywriting tool. Like A/B testing, which allows writers to prove that one headline is better than another, machine text can make the writing process easier.