Want to know about a stunningly simple but powerful free tool that not only will delight your clients, if you’re freelance copywriting… but dramatically help your writing too?  Today, I’m going to share one of my most potent Secret Weapons as a writer: Let me introduce you to ArticleChecker.  I use it on the rare occasions I write blog posts or articles for clients. (I usually specialize in information products and sales letters but, every once in a while, a regular client will want a batch of articles and blog posts to go along with his ebook or special report.)

ArticleChecker advertises itself as a “plagiarism checker” – and that is indeed its primary purpose. Plagiarism consists of copying another writer’s work and claiming it as your own.

So does that mean I want to catch myself plagiarizing someone else’s work?  Is there even such a chance?

Heaven forfend!

What I use it for is to detect a far more insidious writing evil: The dreaded “duplicate content” that Google penalizes bloggers and website owners so heavily for using.

“Duplicate content” is not always material that is deliberately plagiarized. It can occur organically and naturally, when you unconsciously resort to using clichés… or just mundane, habitual phrases.

When I enter a blog post like this one in ArticleChecker, I will usually find anywhere from 0-4 sentences that either contain a cliché or a really over-used, mundane phrase. The chances are far more than one in 1,000.  So let’s copy-paste what I’ve typed, so far, and see what nasty duplicate content it “catches”… article-checker-results

Wow!  Surprised me!  I thought for sure it would nail me for “one in 1,000” but apparently there are 15 other instances of the phrase: “Of course not, silly!” on what the Corner Gas dude likes to call “the interweb”.

You remove the offending phrase, or change it.  Copy-paste into ArticleChecker’s textarea box again, and Voila! New results!

article-checker-results-cle

If you’re not already using ArticleChecker (or its paid professional equivalent, CopyScape) seriously consider doing so, next time you write a blog post or article.  Get in the habit of running your finished post through either of these services, and you’ll not only always delight your clients with clean, fresh content – you’ll lose those clichés, grow more aware of over-used, boring phrases – and become a better writer!