When you’re a newbie to the blogging world or don’t have a stream of income yet, there is no need to invest in expensive software and systems quite yet. Once your pageviews start ticking upwards and you begin earning $$$, the best thing to do is utilize these free blogging tools available to you.
Here are my favorite free blogging tools for beginning bloggers who are just starting out and looking to improve the appearance and performance of their blog.
Grayson Bell who is a tech genius and my go-to guy for all things WordPress, Hosting and every technical aspect of blogging has put together this super comprehensive (and FREE) tutorial to help you understand self-hosted WordPress.
In blogging, you need to be very intimate with your WordPress dashboard and this course will teach you all the ins and outs of the platform.
Grayson is always the guy – and the only person – I recommend to help with the technicalities of blogging!
Always have several opt-in boxes and freebies on your site to collect email subscribers. Remember, you can never keep your social media lists but the one thing you do own as a blogger is your email list. These are your loyal fans – the ones you talk to, help, nurture and communicate with. They trust you and will be the backbone on your blogging journey.
MailerLite is free for up to 1,000 subscribers, and once you surpass this, you have the choice to upgrade with them or move your list to another provider with more features. MailerLite offers free landing pages, tracking reports (totally necessary!) and split A/B testing (you’ll love this feature for headline creation.)
Grammar & Structure Editors
This editor downloads onto your computer so when you’re writing your next blog post whether it’s in WordPress, Gmail, Facebook, Linkedin and anywhere else you write on the web, your writing will be mistake-free. This is the best proofreader to make sure your posts are up to snuff.
Polish your prose with the Hemingway App. The app offers advice to rid your writing of unnecessary adverbs, run-on sentences, passive voice and useless words. There’s no guarantee you’ll crank out the next Farewell to Arms—but the goal is to get you closer to Ernest Hemingway’s clear, minimalist style. I like to write in Word and copy and paste my posts into the Hemingway App for the final, super edit.
These plugins are FREE and I highly recommend them when you start out blogging.
- Social Warfare gives your blog social proof! These are the number of shares on all your posts across social media platforms like Facebook, pinterest, twitter, etc.
- The only social counter that can move with you during URL changes, redirects & theme updates.
- Helps with keyword optimization
- Guides you to produce SEO optimized content for google and search engines to pick up and help index your blog
- This is a google approved pop-up that can advertise your Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or You Tube account to viewers of your website. You can also connect them to your opt-in/newsletter.
- MiloTree is free if you don’t mind the company branding on your pop-up box or you can pay $6/month to add customization.
- Create your pop-up on the website, download and zip the file and upload to your plugins – super easy!
Visual content is the king of online marketing. Here are some great tools to help you create quality and engaging content without photoshop or adobe illustrator.
You don’t have to be a designer to create stunning images and products. Canva has pre-made templates, social media-ready images and lots of funky fonts and embellishments.
I love Pic Monkey to create all my graphics, social images and even products. Templates for products, social sharing and a huge directory of graphics and fonts make it easy to create unique and one-of-a-kind visual content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
These are the keywords and bones of every post and picture you have on your site – this is what will draw the bots to your site and ultimately rank you in search engines. The more organic traffic you have from search engines (Google, bing, yahoo, etc.) the better!
Other Great Blogging Resources
- Huge pictures slow the speed of your site down significantly
- Be sure to drop your photos into Tiny PNG before you add them to your blog and reduce the size up to 90%
Easily create a headline that’s going to pop! The score of the headline analyzer will tell if your post title is juicy enough to stand out from the crowd.
Evernote is the perfect tool to collect and curate all your ideas in one place while you piece together your content. Easily add text, images, video, screen grabs, and hyperlinks. It’s great for creating draft content, checklists, saving links from the web, taking notes and more.
Buzz Sumo is a great tool to see what’s hot in your niche so you can write to what’s in demand. Simply enter a topic to see what sort of content is being shared, style of writing and sticks out on social media to find new topics to tackle. Or just surf around for inspiration!
As if you didn’t already have a bajillion things to remember already! 1Password is an online storage system for all your passwords and super helpful when you get locked out of a site you really need to a access.