While there is no way that Letter Whiz will ever put freelance writers out of business, it does provide a valuable resource for anyone who doesn’t know where to get started with a number of standard letters. In terms of paid reviews, I can think of very few sites which would be more appropriate to my freelance writing blog than Jasen Maminski’s Letter Whiz.
They Really Are Free
You’ll find many similar templates out on the web, but most websites cater to one particular niche rather than offering a variety of free letter templates like Letter Whiz. For example, if you hop onto Google and look for sample cover letters, you’ll get inundated with countless sites offering innumerable cover letters for you to peruse. When you’re ready to leave the 9-to-5 in favor of becoming a dot com entrepreneur, you can probably find some decent resignation letter templates too.
The trouble with this strategy is that you’re constantly searching for new templates, visiting unfamiliar sites for possibly unreliable information. With Letter Whiz, you have a fairly sizable database of letters spanning all kinds of situations. Jasen has these letter templates sorted into five categories: business, love, educational, career, and personal.
Yes, there’s even a template for saying I don’t love you anymore.
Site Layout and User Interface
Honestly, Letter Whiz has a very web 1.0 feel to it. When I hit up the homepage, it feels like I stepped back into the 90s, back to a time when people were still grabbing free websites from Geocities and when The Simpsons was still innovative. I’m not really sure what it is about the site that gives me that impression — maybe it’s the font choice — but that’s the feeling that I get.
At the same time, I’m thinking that Letter Whiz could very well be running on WordPress. The layout looks sort of like a blog, particularly the navigation tabs under the header image. On a side note, the Adsense integration is fantastic.
In terms of usability, the templates are shown as open text boxes that you can edit to suit your needs. Alternatively, the quickest and easiest way to use the template is to highlight all of the text, cutting and pasting it into your preferred word processor. There’s no messy file conversion or compatibility to worry about. In this regard, Letter Whiz is quite good.
Writing Tips and Useful Links
But wait, there’s more. In addition to a family of free letter templates, Letter Whiz also offers two other sections that may prove useful: There are 5 letter writing tips to help you out in case my 5 writing tips aren’t enough; and there is a page filled with links to writing sites, “other” sites (some with affiliate links), and sponsors.
How About Following Your Own Advice?
I’ve been known to make the odd mistake here and there in my blog posts, but when the whole point of your (static) website is to offer free letter templates for both personal and professional purposes, you would think that some intense editing would be in order. Apparently not, as evidenced by this example.
This is from one of the love letters and I’ve highlighted mistakes and possible revision areas in red. For crying out loud, allot means to assign or distribute, whereas a lot means many or several. It’s ironic, really, the first writing tip is to check spelling and grammar.
Great Idea, But It Could Use Some Work
I like the concept behind LetterWhiz.com, but there are several areas that could use some serious improvement. The variety of letter templates is good, but there could always be more. The layout of the site is also quite bland and could use some jazzing up. Perhaps most importantly of all, the free letter templates need to be completely error-free for Letter Whiz to have any credibility. Good start, Jasen, but you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.