Most, if not all, people find writing a mentally taxing task. But it’s a very crucial skill necessary in the world of business. From emails and proposals to presentations – business writing goes a long way in making every step of growing your business a success.
An entrepreneur knows the impact and the value of having excellent business writing skills, but not everyone is endowed with it. The good news is, like any skill, business writing can be learnt and improved. You don’t even necessarily have to spend a single dime to acquire and improve your business writing skill. Here are some free tools and resources you can use:
Online writing courses
The availability of free online courses has been a tremendous help for people who lack financial means but want to advance their knowledge and skills. Below is a list of websites that offer courses on business writing for free:
- HubSpot Academy – Learning practical tips and techniques from an expert business writer and bestselling author is like learning from a master. This is what the HubSpot Academy writing course offers. You can learn about research, outlining, strategy creation, and proofreading. These are extremely relevant skills that make business writing more effective and impactful.
- HyperGrammar – This is a self-paced electronic grammar course by the University of Ottawa Writing Centre. It extensively focuses on grammar, which is a basic essential for business correspondence.
Editing and vocabulary apps
Editing business letters, emails, and other documents can be time-consuming. But you wouldn’t want to send a business letter or an email marred with typographical and grammatical errors to business executives. To save time and effort, here are editing and vocabulary apps that can help you polish your documents:
- Grammar and Spell Checker – These apps automatically identify and highlight spelling and grammar errors on any written document. They then suggest correct or alternative words and sentence structure. The downside of these apps’ free versions is its limited scope. If you want more advanced editing functions, you’ll have to opt for a paid premium upgrade. Another important thing to remember when using these apps is that you’ll have to assess the suggested edits before implementing them. Two of the most effective grammar and spell checking apps are Grammarly and Ginger.
- Hemingway Editor – Named after the famous journalist and author Ernest Hemingway who is known for a clear and simple, yet powerful writing style. A principle which this online editor applies. It can help maintain the brevity and directness of your writing in any business document.
- Dictionary and Thesaurus – Business writing doesn’t utilize a literary approach when it comes to the choice of words. In fact, it’s imperative to be direct when writing a business document. Vocabulary is the key to choosing the proper terms to use in business writing. This is why it’s best to use a dictionary and thesaurus when you’re in doubt about the words to use in your writing. No need to pick up a dictionary at the bookstore as there are plenty of dictionary and thesaurus apps that you can download on your phone and computer. The following are some of the most used dictionary and thesaurus apps:
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus
Websites and blogs
Some seasoned writers are happy to share their expertise on their websites. They’d write blogs and columns that answer some of the most common questions on grammar, structure, and effective writing. These blogs and websites are open for everyone to search and read:
- Grammar Girl – Remembering grammar rules and guidelines can be overwhelming when writing. This is a problem that Mignon Fogarty wishes to address in this website. You can find tips and frequently asked questions about grammar and better writing on this blog too.
- WriteExpress – If composing your first business letter is a difficult task, using a template helps a lot. WriteExpress has tons of sample business letters you can use as your guide. Their articles on grammar, spelling, and composition are also good resources.
- Webfoot – Effective email composition means successful communication for business and marketing purposes. Kaitlin Duck Sherwood expounds on how to effectively write emails from the format, context, intonation, and gestures in this website.
- Instructional Solutions Blog – This website may not be offering their business writing courses for free, but you can still learn a lot from their blogs. Articles written by various expert writers and the founder, Mary Cullen, focus on the important aspects of business writing and training. They also provide useful tips on grammar and sample formats.
These are just some of the free tools and resources to help improve your business writing skills. You can also tap into your network for any potential learning opportunities. Honing your business writing skills is also taking your business a step further. When your clients, business partners, and potential investors see the professionalism that you put into your emails and business letters, they can be sure you also take business dealings seriously.