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Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Free Is Good: More Free Resources For Writers

When it comes to tools that help me do my job better, free is always good in my book. When writing web articles, writers often need to know how many times they have used particular keywords and keyword phrases. Some employers specify a particular keyword density, while others ask for some keywords to be used a certain number of times in a written article. There are hundreds of keyword density analyzers online, some of them free, some not. These are great if you want to analyze an existing web page but no use at all if you want to check keyword density before you've uploaded a piece of writing. But a bit of searching uncovered a couple of tools that allow writers to do just that.

Enter The Textalyser

Textalyser is an online text analysis tool. Near the top of the page is a box where writers can paste their text. They can then set a minimum number of characters per word, ask it to analyze a particular number of words, and apply a stoplist (words to be ignored such as 'and' and 'but'). Then just press 'analyze the text' and wait for the results, which arrive quickly. The results include a word count, lexical density percentage and readability assessment as well as a frequency count and listing for words and two, three, four and five word phrases.

I have found this incredibly useful and there are features I haven't even used. I could, for example, ask for a particular word or phrase to be analyzed.

Textalyser also analyzes French text, for those who need it, though I haven't tested that function myself.

Marking Time

Although I prefer Textalyser, there's also an alternative that I've used from time to time. Mark Horrell's Keyword Density Analyser does exactly what it says and it works almost the same way as Textalyser. Paste the text into a window and you get a simple table which shows the word, frequency and density. However, it does not show phrases, so this limits its usefulness in my view. That said, there are a number of other free tools on Mark's site, including another spell checker. I haven't used any of the other tools, but some of them seem worth a look.

So those are my recommendations for keyword analysis. And if you really want to analyze an existing web page, both these tools will do that too.

My other posts on free tools and resources

Free Ezine For Your Site
Resources for Freelance Writers - What's The Job Worth?
Writing Tools Online: Resources For Freelance Writers
Keeping Track Of Your Writing
Freelance writing - how much to charge?
Doing The Maths
Without Word: Free Online Tools For Writers

Free resources outside my blog

Freelance writing articles
Writing skills articles
Free writers' forum

PS. Thanks to Haven for the title, which came from this comment.

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