The Virtual Gadgets Every Blogger Needs–Part One: Grammarly

Along with publishing DIY projects and reviewing my favorite doll related products, I want to help other doll bloggers by showing them ways to create content and improve their writing skills–and what better way to do that than by writing a mini-series reviewing some of my favorite blogging tools!

If you’ve visited our Blogging Resources page, then you’ve seen the list of blogging tools and apps we use to run this site.  But, I want to do more than just list these products and expect you to trust they’re beneficial.  I want you to see them in action so you’ll know what to expect if you choose to try them.  That’s my purpose for writing this series–to help you blog better by giving you an honest opinion of some of the most popular resources in the blogosphere.

Don’t worry!  We still have plenty of DIY projects and doll reviews coming up, but I think you might enjoy learning a few blogging tips as well.

So let’s open up our blogging toolbox and get started!

The Virtual Gadgets Every Blogger Needs: A Mini-Series Reviewing Popular Blogging Resources.

Full Disclosure: I am required by law to tell you that I am an affiliate for Grammarly, and ALL Grammarly links are affiliate links. If you buy a product via my link, I will receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you. It’s not much but allows me to keep this site up and running! Please check out our Disclosure Policy for more information.

Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell?

I spend way too much time fretting over the quality of my posts.  I worry about whether the content is relevant to my readers, whether a post is too short or too long, or if there are too many images.

The number one thing I agonize over, though, is spelling and grammar.  It doesn’t matter how many times I proofread, little typos and grammar goofs still manage to sneak past my critical eye.  Simple things like confusing it’s and its or spelling you’re as your.

It’s not uncommon for me to spend half a day proofreading a draft only to have Sister (or Mother) look over my shoulder and say, “you need a comma between these two words” or “you misspelled ‘lose.'”

What’s even worse is when they find these writing bloopers in an already published post!  Eeek!  How many people have seen that😳?

So, what’s a girl to do to make sure her content isn’t littered with misplaced commas and passive voice overuse?

Well, fellow bloggers, let me introduce you to my copyediting BFF, Grammarly.

Grammarly: The Blogger's BFF For Proofreading!

What is Grammarly?

Grammarly is an online grammar checking app and, for many bloggers, a life saver.  It checks your written work for over 250 grammar and style mistakes.  Imagine having a virtual proofreader right at your fingertips.  Well, that extra set of digital eyes is Grammarly.  The best part about Grammarly, though, is it’s FREE.

What’s the catch, you say?

There is no catch!  Once you sign up for an account, you can use Grammarly’s basic editor to proofread all your online articles.

I know how much time it takes to craft a good post (especially if it’s something in-depth like a tutorial).  Grammarly, however, cuts down the number of hours I spend proofreading, which means I have more time to write, sew, or browse eBay looking for more Ever After High bargains😉.

How do you use Grammarly?  It’s easy!  Follow me while I take you on a tour of this nifty little tool.

How To Use The Grammarly Editor:

The first thing you need to do is sign up for a free account by entering an email address and choosing a password.

After that, you can log in to the My Grammarly Editor.

Login in to view your Grammarly Dashboard.

The Grammarly Editor is your account’s main dashboard and where you will:

  • Upload articles for editing.
  • Download Grammarly’s browser extension and desktop app.
  • Upgrade to Grammarly Premium.

To upload a post for proofreading, just click the Upload button under the blank page:

Either copy and paste or click the upload button, to start proofreading your draft.

After uploading or pasting your document, Grammarly will begin analyzing it for misspelled words, punctuation errors, wordiness, even plagiarism (however, that last feature is for Premium users only).

Errors are listed to the right of your document, and all you need to do is click the highlighted word to correct it.

Grammarly will highlight mistakes in your written work.

If you’re wondering why Grammarly flagged a particular word, just click the down arrow to find the answer.  I love this feature because I love learning.  Knowing why a specific word is incorrect or why a comma is needed helps to cement the rules of proper grammar in my head.

I would like to note that you shouldn’t breeze down the list accepting every correction.  Case in point: look at the image above.  Grammarly says I need to change its to it’s; however, doing that would totally confuse the sentence.  So, in this instance, I’m going to ignore Grammarly’s suggestion.  Using Grammarly (or any online editing service) doesn’t nullify the need to proofread. It just simplifies the process, so you don’t spend all your time searching for typos.

You can see how easy it is to revise your drafts in the Grammarly Dashboard, so let’s move along and explore the rest of Grammarly.

Your Grammarly Profile:

Click the Profile icon to view and edit your My Grammarly settings.

Click on the Profile tab to view and edit your settings.

Under this tab you can:

  • Add words to your personal dictionary (Grammarly will no longer mark these words as misspelled.)
  • Choose your language.
  • Edit your account details like your name, email, and password.

Edit your Grammarly account details under the Profile setting.

Now let’s check out the extra features Grammarly offers.

How To Use Grammarly’s Browser Extension, Microsoft Add-In, And Desktop App:

Navigate to the Apps icon to install one (or all) of Grammarly’s available apps.

Click the Apps tab to download Grammarly's plug-ins.

Here you can:

  • Install the Grammarly plug-in for your browser.
  • Download Grammarly for Microsoft Office.
  • Download Grammarly’s Desktop app.

Grammarly’s browser extension is free to use and works with Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.  It will proofread and underline slip-ups in your writing all across the web.  Whether you’re chatting with friends on social media or responding to a blog comment, Grammarly’s got you covered!

If an error is spotted, all you need to do is hover over the underlined word or click the red circle to fix it.

Install the Grammarly plug-in to ensure all your online writing is error-free.

While the browser extension does a great job of polishing my social media posts, I’ve had to disable the plug-in because of a conflict between it and my favorite browser, Firefox.  For some reason, the plug-in causes an “unresponsive script” error and prevents web pages from loading.

However, this doesn’t deter me from using Grammarly because I prefer proofreading in the Grammarly Editor anyway.

Besides the browser extension, Grammarly also has an Add-In for Microsoft Office.  This feature lets you correct your Microsoft Word documents using Grammarly’s powerful algorithm.

After downloading and installing the Add-In for Microsoft, Grammarly’s green icon will appear in the toolbar the next time you open a Word document.  When you click the icon, a tab with a list of suggested corrections will appear.

Grammarly's add-in for Microsoft will proofread all your Word documents.

Finally, you also have the option to download the Grammarly app directly to your desktop.

Download the app to access the Grammarly Editor right from your home screen.

The desktop app lets you access the Grammarly Dashboard directly from your home screen.  You can also drag and drop a document into the app to have Grammarly automatically check for mistakes.

*Note: Since Grammarly is ultimately an online editor, it will not work without an internet connection.

What Is Grammarly Premium?

What you just saw and what I use on a daily basis is the free version of Grammarly.  However, if you need something more robust, you may be interested in Grammarly Premium.

With Grammarly Premium you’ll have access to a ton of extra features such as:

  • In-depth checking for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure.
  • Vocabulary suggestions.
  • Writing style checks (find passive voice overuse, colloquial verbs, and double subjects).
  • Plagiarism Detector.

One month costs $29.95 and a full year costs $139.95.

Grammarly Premium is a powerful grammar checking service.

I know $140 annually is a lot (especially for those who don’t monetize their blog) which is why I recommend starting out with Grammarly’s free plan then upgrading if you find you need something more thorough.

Final Thoughts–Is Grammarly A Useful Tool For Bloggers:

It doesn’t matter if you’re blogging about dolls, giving out fashion tips, or working as a freelance writer, the fastest way to drive away readers and lose credibility is to publish hard to understand content filled with misspelled words and bad grammar.

However, it’s also easy for writing errors to slip by unnoticed when you’re the author, editor, and proofreader of your own articles. That’s why I believe in using a grammar checking tool, and Grammarly is one of the best available.  That right there makes it a useful to bloggers in all niches.

Using Grammarly doesn’t eliminate the need to proofread.  You should always proofread before publishing.  What Grammarly will do is scan your work and alert you to problems you may have overlooked.  It also streamlines the copyediting process so you can spend less time revising and more time creating.

The Pros and Cons of Grammarly.

I hope this review of Grammarly was helpful to you.  If you’re interested in trying Grammarly, just follow the link below to sign up for a free account and start refining your writing skills!

Now, it’s your turn to chime in!  Do you use an online proofreading tool to check for mistakes?  How important are readability and proper grammar to you?

2 Comments

  1. I was an excellent writer in high school and college, and I was also a proofreader as part of a job, so I’m pretty comfortable proofreading my own stuff. I do best when I can type stuff up ahead of time, instead of pushing a post out because of time constraints. I find reading the post after I actually put it up live also helps me catch mistakes. For some reason, reading it in the two different forms makes me see things that I hadn’t caught. If worst comes to worst, Mr. BTEG is my favorite proofreader. It just matters when he can actually find time to read what I post.

    1. Author

      I totally agree with you about reading a post in two different forms. It helps a ton! I’ll proofread a post two to three times from the computer and at least once from my tablet before publishing. I have no idea why, but writing errors seem to show up quicker on the tablet¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I’ve also found that reading a post out loud helps pinpoint hidden errors in my writing.

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