Updated 9/10/18. Please note: this post contains affiliate links.
Haven’t heard of Grammarly? Then they’ve failed in their efforts to target you with various, persistent display ads. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a writer or not—there’s an ideal use case for Grammarly regardless of what you do for a living.
That said, and though you’ve probably heard of Grammarly before (perhaps through their extensive advertising strategy), do you actually know about all of the capabilities it holds specifically for content marketers?
Here’s what you need to know about Grammarly, in the form of an extensive Grammarly review.
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What is Grammarly?
The most simple definition of Grammarly is as freemium tool for identifying major issues in your writing. The free version of the tool takes the form of a Chrome browser extension. Paired with a logged-in Grammarly account, it’s possible for Grammarly to learn from your writing style—not automatically red-flagging items that actually make sense in the context you’re using them.
Using Grammarly’s free Chrome browser extension, it’s possible to spell check writing across many different mediums, including email, social media, WordPress, and Microsoft Word (via the Grammarly add-in, which is Windows only).
Through Grammarly’s paid Premium product, you can get document-specific recommendations for categories that include:
- Academic writing
- Business writing
- Technical writing
- Medical writing
- Creative writing
- Casual writing
As far as process goes, Freelance Writer Amanda Cross says, “I run all of my blogs through Grammarly before I pass them over to my clients and it works fantastically.”
Here’s where this Grammarly review becomes a bit of a head-scratcher:
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no Grammarly support for Google Drive.
Image Source: Giphy
UPDATE 9/10/18: I’m slow to report this but I’ve been trying out Grammarly Premium’s new Google Docs beta integration for the past few months. This may have been because of pressure building because Google is testing out built-in advanced grammar checking. Since so many teams collaborate in the cloud, it’s been a long time coming. It doesn’t offer complete information yet – like Grammarly’s web app. But it’s a noticeable improvement over Google Docs current set of built-in tools.
Instead, you’ll have to upload the work you’ve started in Google Drive directly to Grammarly’s backend interface. This pain point can’t be understated as a hold up for some content marketers interested in a Grammarly review of the paid version of this tool, so hopefully Grammarly takes note and fixes this huge missing element soon!
How do Freelance Writers Use Grammarly?
According to Grammarly’s website, “Millions of writers worldwide trust Grammarly’s products, which are also licensed by more than 600 leading universities and corporations”.
When it comes to Grammarly’s use by content marketers, the perceptions are largely positive. Here’s how content marketers use Grammarly to make their writing better:
Fizza Naseem uses the free version of the tool to fix her punctuation problems. She says, “I’m kinda dependant on it to place my commas right!”.
Marija Pajković is a content editor gives a very positive Grammarly review. She says, “One of my writers always had a typo in “Sign up” (his version: Sing up). Because Word won’t underline misused words, I only realized it was an actual trend in his writing thanks to Grammarly. Before that, I’m sure I missed it at least a dozen times and was saved by our designers/developers”. To simplify this point, she adds, “It catches all of those mistakes you just don’t see when you’re rereading something for the nth time”.
On the topic of working with many writers, Sandy K Mickey shares this Grammarly review, “I am currently planning and editing a state’s long-range plan that has 10+ authors we are combining into one 700+ page document, and Grammarly has helped us combine everyone’s writings for flow and context”.
Kelsey Jones is the previous editor of Search Engine Journal who says that the tool has really opened her mind. She adds this to her Grammarly review, “I thought I was good at grammar until I started using this tool. Now I am constantly not only fixing some of my mistakes (and the work that I edit), but I’m also becoming a better writer because I’m learning the nuances of grammar that it points out to me”.
Here’s an interesting use case of Grammarly by a non-US writer writing for a US brand or audience:
Kitiara de Montparnasse says, “I use the free version for Americanisms. I’m a British writer but have a lot of American clients so after I finish the piece I’m working on, I paste it into Grammarly and it shows me where I’ve used British English and what it should be changed to.”
Heinrich C. A. Rich is another content marketer who uses Grammarly to bridge the gap between his German language and English content creation. He says he uses Grammarly and that, “In our team we have a mini competition about word count and diversity of vocabulary”.
When it comes to industry-specific writing, Mike Strauss has a bit of a bone to pick in his own Grammarly review:
“The Good: it’s wonderful for really mentally-intensive work like medical trade magazine assignments where your brain is focused entirely on the content and 1 or 2 grammatical errors might slip past you.
The Bad: With trade mag stuff you have to teach it a lot of industry-specific terms otherwise it’ll label them as errors.
The Ugly: It’s a real pain to use it with more creative, personality-driven stuff where you’ve got some creative license.”
Of course, it’s important to remember that Grammarly is a computer program. Just as Google is constantly tweaking their search algorithm to better represent the needs of the humans that use it, so too is Grammarly constantly tweaking their ability to edit for human grammar rules.
Elizabeth McIntyre says, “I love Grammarly and I use it regularly. But you have to use common sense with it too. It will sometimes make changes that aren’t totally necessary”. Kathy Krueger adds to this Grammarly review, “I’ve used the full paid version in the past, but found it cumbersome to sort through which of their recommendations were correct and which weren’t. I think you need to know your grammar rules pretty well yourself to know when to override it”.
On a final note, specifically with regards to Grammarly’s free version, Alison Rakotonirina says, ”I am a sucker for the weekly reports. I try to make fewer mistakes each week (type more accurately, quickly!) and I love the “pat on the back” as it always tells me my vocabulary is bigger than 99% of users.”
Why Should Content Marketers Use Grammarly?
The aforementioned content marketers shared their own Grammarly reviews and a number of situations where Grammarly has helped to improve their writing. Having an awesome editing process means sharing the cleanest possible document with an editor, reducing the amount of time they might have to spend making your content publishable.
In general, improving your content marketing efforts can have a measured effect on your company’s bottom line. So if there’s an easy way to do that, why not give it a try?
An internal survey of Grammarly users found that:
How Much Does Grammarly Cost?
In this Grammarly review, it’s important to call out the fact that the free version of Grammarly covers the most critical grammar and spelling checks and is very functional on its own.
However, Grammarly Premium is supercharged for taking a content draft from “meh” to truly great, thanks to 400+ complex writing checks. Grammarly’s Premium version includes elements such as:
- Advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure
- Suggestions to improve vocabulary
- Genre- (and format-) specific writing checks
- A built-in plagiarism detector
Like many other software tools on the market, Grammarly’s pricing for Premium in many ways reflects how much you trust in them, and how risk-averse you are. There’s a huge gap between the monthly subscription price of $29.95 and the annual subscription price, billed as one payment of $139.95 ($11.66/month).
Try Grammarly’s free browser extension and note the frequency with which it recommends changes that make your writing stronger. If it ends up being a better editor than you can be on your own, opt-in for the annual plan, which is almost $20 cheaper per month than the monthly subscription plan.
Grammarly Review: Should Content Marketers Use Grammarly?
I don’t think that there should be any question at this point—the answer is a resounding, “YES!”. As Grammarly offers a freemium model, you can take the editing tool for a limited test spin before deciding if it’s worth it to you to have access to the extended premium features.
Ready to take the plunge? Purchase access to Grammarly Premium.
Do you use Grammarly? What are your favorite or least favorite features of this tool? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below!
Also published on Medium.