Free Writing Tools
An amazing online text editor that shows you when your sentences go too long or you're leaning on filler words. Invaluable.
Like Hemingway but on steroids, goes way into the grammatical weeds, pointing out non-obvious things that cloud your writing.
Ranks your headlines and provides very cool bank of uncommon, power, and emotion words to amp them up.
Idioms Free Dictionary
Easily searchable index of every idiom under the sun.
A crowdsourced thesaurus that leaves every other one in the dust.
Search words by their definition, for when the perfect word is on the tip of your tongue.
A tool that helps you find words related to a specific word or phrase.
A tool that helps you find adjectives for things you’re trying to describe.
Casts the net beyond pure synonyms and allows you to filter words by their deep inter-relationships.
Search engine for the English language, pulling from nearly every online dictionary out there.
The OG grammar checker, and still the gold standard. Tons of value even in the free version.
Shopify Slogan Maker
Sometimes this outputs nonsense, but it’s actually been super helpful to get my mind going when writing high-profile tagline.
Voice and Tone Guides Compilation
Extensive list of brand voice and tone style guides. Great inspo to learn from. Includes many of the other guides listed below, and many, many more.
Mailchimp Content Style Guide
The authoritative brand guidelines from one of the most sharply written brand on the web. Worth reading.
A List Apart Style Guide
Great style guide from the amazing writers at A List Apart
Google Material Style Guide
Google’s innovative Material Design framework also has a very interesting portion for writing. Relevant for copywriters of all kinds.
Starbucks Voice Guidelines
One of the world’s most iconic brands, one of the most distinct brand voices out there. Discover the method behind the magic.
Shopify Tone and Voice Guide
Incredibly valuable tips from one of the clearest, crispest brands in tech.
Uber Tone of Voice Guide
Super confident, powerful guidelines for one of the coolest tech brands out there.
Lectures + Videos
The Art of Rhetoric - Simon Lancaster
Brilliant, thought-provoking lecture, from a world-class speechwriter and speaker.
The Craft of Writing Effectively - Larry McEnerney
Like ice-water but for your preconceptions about writing, the lecture you wish you’d gotten ten years ago, from U Chicago’s resident writing expert.
Linguistics, Style and Writing in the 21st Century - Steven Pinker
World-famous neuro-linguist Steven Pinker sheds light on the finer points of writing, style and language.
Art and Copy
Beautiful, inspiring documentary about the history of copywriting and advertising.
TEDx - George Lois
Equal parts irreverent and inspirational, legendary ad-man George Lois spits straight fire for 18 straight minutes.
How Donald Trump Answers A Question - Nerdwriter
Eye-opening analysis of the warped way in which former president (then candidate) Trump twists language to make a powerful, primal point.
Everything is a Remix - Kirby Ferguson
Polished and provocative mini-documentary on the true nature of creativity, and how to truly take inspiration from the great works.
The Story Circle - Dan Harmon
Delightfully disheveled creator of Rick and Morty, Dan Harmon breaks down his blindingly clear formula for powerful storytelling.
The Shape of Stories - Kurt Vonnegut
Literary titan Kurt Vonnegut breaks down his amazing distillation of all storytelling. Brilliant and wicked funny.
How I Wrote The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin's Writing Process)
Brilliantly edited series of interviews, from legendary screenwriter Aaron Sorkin on his approach to writing The Social Network. Every video on this channel is gold as well.
Very Good Copy
Copy guru Eddie Shleyner puts out top notch content for free. Amazing stuff.
Seth Godin’s Blog
The OG digital marketing guru Seth Godin puts out refreshing, Zen Koan-like content daily. Remarkable.
Legendary guides to everything from copywriting, to brand naming. Awesome.
Maciej Ceglowski Talks
Not necessarily about copywriting, but Maciej is such a clear thinker and storyteller, there’s boatloads to learn from this passionate, Polish nerd.
Another mega-guide style author. Crisp, clear writing that is super instructive and is a joy to read.
Gregory Ciotti - How to Write With Substance
A couple thousand words of pure writing gold. Soak it up.
Morgan Housel - Collaborative Fund Blog
Runs a huge VC
can write like a boss. I hate this guy! But I still love reading his blog.
The Adweek Copywriting Handbook - Joe Sugarman
In this practical guide, legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman provides proven guidelines and expert advice on what it takes to write copy that will entice, motivate, and move customers to buy.
The Brand Gap - Marty Neumeier
In 2003 Marty Neumeier, the first expert to call for the hiring of chief brand officers, or CBOs, redefined a 'brand' from being a logo to being 'a customer’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company'. In other words, 'It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is'.
Purple Cow - Seth Godin
Absolute classic from a marketing legend.
Ogilvy on Advertising - David Ogilvy
A candid, jam-packed memoir/guide to advertising from one of the greatest advertisers who ever lived.
Reality in Advertising - Rosser Reeves
Advertising pioneer whose successes inspired Don Draper breaks down the myths of advertising and proposes powerful new axioms with brutal efficiency. Legend.
Scientific Advertising: 21 advertising, headline and copywriting techniques
Published in 1923, but still as relevant and sharp nearly 100 years later as it ever was. Timeless.
Influence - Robert Cialdini
Classic on the psychology of persuasion. Incredibly relevant for copywriting.
How to Write a Good Advertisement - Victor O. Shwab
It’s like this guy figured out Buzzfeed decades before it happened. You’ll hate how well these weird headline tricks work.
They Laughed When I Sat Down - Frank Rowsome, Jr.
Fascinating history of the early world of advertising. Tons to learn.
When Advertising Tried Harder - Lawrence Dobrow
Amazingly well-researched, written and photographed history of advertising’s golden age: the sixties.
Made to Stick - Chip & Dan Heath
Why do some ideas just seem to catch on? Brothers Chip and Dan Heath answer this question with surprising brevity and wit.
Writing That Works - Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson
Think of this like Strunk and White for business writing. Extra points because David Ogilvy famously said to read it twice in a memo to his staff.
The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
If you don’t have this on your shelf, are you even a writer?
The Sense of Style
Neuro-linguist Steven Pinker offers a refreshing take on the classic style guide ー adding his own linguistic flair and literary flourish.
Anything I Missed?
Want to see more stuff like this?