This RESOURCES page is where the JMcontent team shares some of the tools, reference books, websites, or articles we have found helpful in building our business and in running it every day. This page is under continuous revision, as we continue to grow, as resources change, and as new ones are added.
Any resources we include with which we don’t have personal experience will, in each instance, be identified as such but most are listed here because we find our experience with them has been outstanding.
A few of these are links to our special partners known as “Affiliates.” If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase from its site, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Our affiliate recommendations are based on deep experience with and knowledge of these companies and their products. We recommend them because we have found them to be genuinely helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we may receive.
Please don’t spend any money on these products unless you believe they will help you achieve your goals.
*JMcontent, LLC is the parent company of the blog, “Write the Story of YOU”
PerfectIt is a tool for editors and proofreaders to check any content for spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and consistency.
We like it because you can modify it to do its many tasks tailored to the specific needs of a single person, project or company’s style preferences, and it is one of the most inexpensive annual subscriptions of any tool we use.
For example, let’s say you have written ten pages of document or manuscript (your memoir? A case study for your boss?) and you decide to check it for consistency using PerfectIt.
One or two clicks at the top of your MS Word page lets you run the program through its paces. You simply make choices as it asks for your preferences for consistent use of a term, spelling of a word or an abbreviation, certain punctuation marks and so on, one-at-a-time.
(Want to see a two-minute video demo? Check this link): http://www.intelligentediting.com
GoDaddy is the service we have used to host our sites online for the past six years. We switched to them when we were about to lose all our online content because our previous hosting company wouldn’t communicate with the one that registered our domains.
GoDaddy’s superb support team switched both the domain and the hosting to its service, and we haven’t had a problem since. Of other popular hosting services online, some are less expensive than GoDaddy, but we feel sincerely that the superior support it offers is more than enough to justify any price difference.
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest: https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/
If you’re trying to optimize your site so it will rank higher on the search engines, researching for the best keywords is a good place to start. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) uses many approaches, including use of the best keywords and Neil Patel’s “Ubersuggest” offers a good (FREE) keyword search tool to start with.
Neil’s site goes well beyond just keyword searches – including a staff who will handle all your optimization tasks (for a price). His free tutorials are a plus, especially if you’re just getting into SEO for the first time. Ubersuggest is the main tool we’re using for SEO at this time and, even though we are not an affiliate with Neil, we think you can’t go wrong by checking out his site.
There are more high-tech SEO tools we’re looking at, including some that use “AI” (Artificial Intelligence) programming. We may be adding them to this list as we gain more experience in their use.
“The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,” by Jane Straus
This is an easy-to-use reference guide and workbook we keep, not on our bookshelf, but on our desk, within easy reach. It is a 100-page paperback good for quick-reference, and well-organized for rapid responses to questions on major grammar and punctuation issues.
We get ours on eBay for just a few dollars. They are used, but we rarely find a mark on them, and they serve us well.
“GRAMMAR RULES,” by Craig Shrives
The subtitle of this 250-page hardback book is, “Writing with Military Precision,” and its author is a military man who put it together after learning to appreciate the critical need for clear communication in battlefield conditions.
The volume is a little bigger than pocketbook size, but small enough to fit easily in the average briefcase. For its small size, though, it is remarkably thorough as a refresher of the rules you forgot from or ignored in High School.
It has been in print since 2011 but, like so many of our references, we usually get them (used) from eBay for just a few well-invested dollars.
BookBaby is our publisher of choice, for eBooks, paperbacks and services related to both (e.g., editing, formatting, proofreading, cover artwork, marketing, etc.). They’ve done superior work for us at reasonable prices, and we’re always pleased with their support throughout the process.
Even though we do some of the things they do, like editing and proofreading, it’s still nice to have them on hand to help when we can’t do something and, if we need something they don’t do (like filing for copyrights), they’re our “go-to” guys for a recommendation.
GRAMMAR LION: https://www.grammar-lion.com
Writing well starts with good grammar, and this “Grammar Refresher” course gives you the foundation every writer and editor needs! It covers commonly misused words, contractions and possessives, punctuation, run-on sentences, and much more. You can enroll anytime.
The Grammar Refresher Course is most valuable as an interactive tool but, for less than 20% of its cost you can get the transcript (“Grammar Lion to Keep”) of the entire program. We were so pleased with the course we also bought the transcript the day it became available, because it is such a valuable reference on the bookshelf.
The FREE Comma Mini Course and the FREE Pretest are a good place to start, if you want to get a feel for how well Ellen, the Instructor, does her job. We think the world of her.
GRAMMAR MONSTER: https://www.grammar-monster.com/
This is a great (FREE) site that reinforces what you know about grammar and punctuation and, at the same time, coaches you on where you might need some improvement. It can be useful for all levels, from newcomers to the language to professors on the subject.
If you’re interested in publishing an eBook, Smashwords is the FREE way to go. This link introduces you to its founder, Mark Coker, whose program is not only everything you’ll need to get your book online, but it also offers excellent training on the marketing and publishing steps necessary. And, once you publish on Smashwords, Mark pays higher royalties on your sales than does Amazon, and is easier to work with, overall.
FREE HELP WITH YOUR WRITING SKILLS!
If doubting your skill as an author is holding you back, here’s a free course in writing from my favorite blogger on the subject:
Not only will this blogger, Henneke Duistermaat, offer you this FREE 16-part writing course, but she’ll also invite you to join her mailing list, which I most highly recommend.
Henneke is one of my most favorite writers, and her periodic posts and newsletters are always a fun read, and a great source of ideas on how better to express yourself. Once you start receiving her notes, you’ll begin to look forward to them, like an old chum, coming in for a friendly visit.