On top of creativity, content writers also need tools to maintain high quality standards in every piece that they write. So I thought I’d share with you these seven free tools that every content writer (whether a professional blogger, ghostwriter, or someone simply writing for the love of it) should use: 1. Google Trends Category: Research Google Trends helps you gain excellent insights on your topic or subject matter, particularly if there has been a high volume of web surfers who have searched about such information. Google Trends is available for international (English) and regional searches. 2. Google News Category: Research Google News aggregates the most up-to-the-minute newsworthy people, events, and places from all over the world. Like Google Trends, Google News is useful to content writers as a source of reliable, timely, and authoritative information that can be the basis of various kinds of content. Google News is also available for international (English) and regional searches. 3. After the Deadline Category: Spelling, Style, and Grammar Checker After the Deadline is a language tool that checks content for compliance with spelling, style, and grammar standards based on the Plain English style. Plain English aims to make content highly readable by simplifying complex sentences and identifying instances of Passive Voice usage, as well as the use of bias, clichés, or redundancy. Checking of the content is contextual, and explanations of the suggested corrections are given. This tool is available on Wordpress, and as a downloadable plug-in for different platforms. A web interface is available at http://www.polishmywriting.com for those who want online access instead of a download. 4. Keyword Density Analyzer Category: SEO Keyword Density Analyzer lets you check your website content or your raw content for the frequency of usage of your keywords. This tool is very useful to make sure that you are not keyword-spamming. A list of Stop Words is built-in to the tool. To analyze raw content, copy-paste it into the analysis box. Remember to select “Plain Text” on the menu tabs before hitting “Submit,” or you will get errors. 5. Readability Calculator Category: Style and Readability This tool can check both raw content and live content. After checking against the Coleman Liau Index, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, ARI (Automated Readability Index), and SMOG (Simple Measure of Gobbledygook), the tool shows detailed statistics about your content regarding style and readability. The tool also gives exhaustive suggestions for improving the checked content. 6. Copyscape Category: Anti-Plagiarism and/or Anti-Duplicate Content Copyscape is the mother of all online tools that promote originality and fresh content on the web. The free version checks existing websites, while the premium version can check raw content. Premium requires a sign-up. Current cost per check is 5 cents. Plagium is a good alternative to Copyscape. It can check raw content for free, but only allows 25,000 characters per check. You can split your content into sections to be able to check it fully. The Plagiarism Checker is another useful alternative. Developed by a student of the University of Maryland, this tool has a free and premium version. The premium version is subscription-based (currently USD 8 per month for 50 uses, 25 cents after), but is reputed to be more strict in checking than the free version. 7. Scribble Category: Productivity Scribble, self-advertised as “stickies on steroids,” is a Chrome browser application that lives up to its slogan. This tool allows you to copy paste or write notes on virtual stickies that you can save offline for easy retrieval. You can also attach notifications to each note that you create, perfect for increasing the efficiency of content writers who are forgetful about assignments and schedules.