Grammarly Review (and a Giveaway)

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Remember when someone not very nicely told me I sucked at writing?

Instead of using that experience as an excuse to quit, feel bad about myself or any other negative outcome that could have occurred, I decided to do something positive instead. First, I wrote about it so that I could share the experience with y’all and let you know that I’m far from perfect.

Then I decided to challenge myself to become a better writer. One of the ways that I did this was to try Grammarly. There’s no shame in my game, and I’m never too proud to work on my skills and try to become a better writer.

Today I’m going to share with you what I liked (and what I didn’t), as well as give you the opportunity to win a six month membership to Grammarly to help you improve your own sweet grammar skills.

Are you feeling lucky?

What Is Grammarly?

From their website:

Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10× more mistakes than your word processor.”

Grammarly is basically an online writing tool that integrates with your current programs to check your writing for common grammar mistakes and help you to correct them. I’ve found it to be hugely beneficial.

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How I’ve Used It

You can log into your account (try it for free for 30 days!) or use the “easy button” method of adding the Google Chrome extension like I did. By adding the extension, it automatically works with my current platforms to check my work.

I can be in my Gmail email inbox and see it functioning. Or keep track of how many critical errors are in a blog post (like I’m writing right now in the back-end of WordPress) and see Grammarly working its magic in the bottom right-hand corner.

As I’m typing this post, right now I have two “critical errors” BTW. I just fixed them both; one was to place a hyphen between right and hand, to make it right-hand and the other was a misspelling (which I would have caught w/spellcheck).

When I first started, I copied and pasted text from a post directly into my Grammarly account after I wrote it. That way I could edit AFTER I was done writing it. Lately, I’ve been correcting errors as I’m writing, which I prefer (I’m way too type-A for my own good!).

What I Like about Grammarly

1. It’s easy to use.

After I figured out how to add the Google Chrome extension (which isn’t hard BTW), then Grammarly just became a normal part of my workflow.

2. There’s a second set of eyes on my work.

It’s helped me to see some of the common grammar errors that I make (like too many commas) and I’d like to think that I’m becoming a better writer due to using it.

What I Disliked

1. It seems to slow down processing speed.

I’m sure it’s because it’s working in the background constantly, but it’s a drawback nonetheless.

2. It appears to duplicate my copy.

I can’t say this with 100% certainty, but the timing of when it started happening (only in WordPress BTW) is curious to say the least. Now I know to watch out for it, so it’s not a huge deal, but I’ve published posts that I’ve had to go back and correct due to this. It could look really unprofessional if I didn’t catch it!

Want to Win Your Own Six Month Membership?

Grammarly graciously offered to give one reader their own free six month membership of this great tool. FYI, this post wasn’t underwritten (meaning I didn’t get paid to write it).

I chose to try Grammarly on my own after I read about it somewhere. Then the company reached out to me to write a review and I did get an extended trial. The company is also comping the giveaway prize, which is how you benefit.

To win:

Simply leave a comment asking me a question about writing, my freelance business or anything else you’re curious to know (this way I can collect some blog fodder;-). I’ll input the comments into a random number generator a week from today (midnight CST on 4/30/15) and email the winner on May 1st, 2015.


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34 thoughts on “Grammarly Review (and a Giveaway)”

  1. How do you decide what rate to charge when you’re just starting out? When would you increase your rate?

    • I calculated what my hourly wage was and inflated it:-) I started increasing it over time, as I learned what was expected, how much time it took and whether I thought the client could afford it! Start raising rates sooner than later. Believe you are worth it and ASK!

    • Hmmm…good question! I think the biggest benefit was seeing my common errors over and over, so that I can correct them. I don’t use quite as many commas for instance;-)

  2. What would you consider was the number 1 obstacle you faced when starting your freelance writing business? How did you overcome it?!

    • Time and fear (sorry, that’s two)! For overcoming lack of time, I got up earlier and scheduled it in so that it was a priority in my day/week. For fear, I just got comfortable being uncomfortable and measured what was the worst that could really happen? And what was the likelihood of it actually occurring?

  3. I have noticed that at times Grammarly suggestions seem to leave my writing flat. You seem to not have this problem. Do you think this because I was using the free portion and not paying for it?

    • No, I don’t take all of their suggestions as hard and fast rules that I MUST apply. I write the way that I write and then just correct things I absolutely must. Still be you!

    • Schedule writing time when the kids don’t need your attention or are sleeping. Get up earlier if possible. Hire a sitter (if applicable). Treat it like a paying job – even if it isn’t at first:-) Do a little more or a little better EVERY DAY!

  4. Grammarly is a good place to check grammar and spell errors. It’s a good service and I’m now using it to check my articles daily.

  5. I’m not sure if you were ever a ghostwriter, but I think it would make a great topic for a blog post — answering this question: How does a person successfully move from ghostwriting to writing with a byline? This is especially significant if the only samples a writer has are ghostwritten, which normally can’t be shared. Thanks!

    • Sure, Alison! Feel free to email me this question in the meantime:-) I think it can be a bit individual, but I’d figure out how to get some samples with a byline ASAP. Then start pitching and either only accept jobs w/a byline or mark up your prices significantly for ghostwritten pieces. It all starts with one sample – which can come from your own blog, guest blogging on someone else’s site or getting an unpaid/paid writing gig. You can do this!

  6. Wow! What a cool giveaway! I love Grammarly!

    I want to know how to break into “the paid writing game?” I’m not sure the first place to start. I see the potential, but would love a step-by-step breakdown.

    • I would just start pitching Amy! Start pitching job board ads, businesses without blogs, sell yourself to friends/family that might need writing work. Put yourself out there and see the universe respond!

  7. What kind of schedule do you follow for writing content, doing your VA work, as well as marketing?

    • I wish I had a really precise answer for this, but lately I don’t. I usually do VA in the morning and at the end of the day and writing/other stuff during the rest of the day. But each day tends to be REALLY different! I keep trying to find a set schedule that works for me though:-)

  8. Though I certainly think being grammatically correct is important – particularly if you’re writing for clients – I sometimes wonder if being too focused on grammar can take some of the casual, conversational feel out of a blog post or copy. Do you ever feel this way? If so, how do you go about commanding authority while infusing character into your writing?

    • Sure, I get that! I just write how I write (see my response to Susan above) and sometimes break grammar rules, because I like the way I wrote it and how it sounds – it sounds like how I’d talk, which is my favorite way to write!

    • Congrats Kara! You’re the winner:-) I’ll email Michael from Grammarly and copy you on it!

      That it’s going to be hard, take a lot of guts, time and energy, but it’s completely worth it and above all else, POSSIBLE!

  9. Your writing definitely does NOT suck Gina!

    While I agree that grammar and spelling is important, I’ve seen several blogs with just par grammar and spelling that do just fine! Once your writing is at least slightly above average, I think the message is far more important than being 100% error free.

    • Thanks Daryl – I appreciate that! And I agree with you:-) Typically the knit picky people miss the message and I’m not sure they were “open” to receiving it anyhow!

  10. It sounds like Grammarly has altered your writing process, leading you to edit as you write. I’m concerned that would distract me.

    Has that been a positive change for your work?

    • Yes and no. It depends on the mood I’m in. I do agree that it makes sense typically to just get through a piece for your first draft, especially if words are a flowing! Do what works for you Scott!

  11. What’s the most embarrassing typo you’ve ever made? My parents still won’t let me live down the time I messaged them about the “Super Bowel” game.

    • Great question! In my course somewhere, it says “asses,” instead of “assess!” Someone told me about it, but didn’t remember what lesson it’s on. I’ll pay someone $50 to show me;-) That’s probably the most embarrassing and I’m wondering how many people have noticed, LOL!

    • Try writing as if you were speaking in a conversation. Just cut it if it’s not absolutely necessary or it doesn’t add anything. Does that help?

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