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I'm a big fan of any tool that can help me get more work finished in less time. One tool freelance writers might not think to use is a word count tracker. (By the way, we offer two free word count trackers here for our readers.)

But word count trackers are more for authors, right? Sure. They're great for tracking your progress on a book. But there are also plenty of ways you can use them with typical freelance projects.

For example, you might use a word count tracker to:

  • Work toward blogging word count goals for the week or month;
  • Track word counts for e-books for clients or marketing;
  • Document your monthly word count for total magazine submissions you write;
  • Note word counts across all of your projects as a whole to see how prolific you are each month.

How does tracking your word count potentially make you more productive?

  • It lets you break large projects up into smaller, more attainable goals so they're less intimidating.
  • Reaching daily or weekly word count goals can keep you motivated -- small successes lead to larger ones.
  • You can track your typical progress and turn it into a game, always trying to beat your most productive period with higher word count goals.
  • A word count tracker can help you hold you accountable if you publish it on your own website or blog for others to see.

Do you use a word count tracker? What kinds of projects do you use it for (or what projects would you consider using one for)? Do you share your word count trackers publicly or keep that data private for your own evaluation? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, NakedPR.com, and BizAmmo.com.

Jenn has 18 years experience writing for others, around 13 years experience in blogging, and over 10 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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