Free Tools for Bloggers
When you first start a blog there can be a lot to learn. From content and artwork, to social media and hosting, it can be very overwhelming. But there are tons of (mostly) free tools that you can utilise when developing your blog. Here are my favourite blogging tools…
WordPress is (in my opinion) the easiest blogging and website content management system there is & they also have a comprehensive user support guide (so perfect for beginners)! Before I bought my own domain I used the free version of WordPress (this means that you’ll have a “.wordpress.com” domain name). I’ve tried other free web hosting alternatives but honestly WordPress is the best one for customising your blog in a quick and simple way.
When I decided to buy my own domain TSOHost was recommended to me and now I can see why! Not only are they super cheap (I paid £20 or my domain) but their customer service are very quick to respond and can support you with most things (e.g. free migration of your blog from WordPress & SSL certificate for free). If you do decide to buy your own domain with TSOHost use code “BeeMoneySavvy” for a 10% discount!
Want to improve the speed of your blog and keep your readers happy? One of the easiest (and free) ways to do this is with image optimisation. Having your page loading speed reduced means more page views, a pleasant user experience and better search ranking! ShortPixel takes care of this process for you without reducing the quality of your pictures.
I’ve always used Dropbox; either for backing up university work, personal projects and now for blogging! Dropbox lets you store all your files in one central place. They’re safely synced across all your devices meaning that you can access them anywhere! You can also share files making super easy to collaborate on projects!
Canva is a graphic-design tool website. It uses a simple drag-and-drop format and provides access to photographs, graphics, and fonts. It’s use by both new bloggers and seasoned professionals. I use Canva for all the infographics, banners and social media artwork that I produce.
Grammarly is a free writing app that automatically checks your content for grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes and suggests ways for you to make your posts more clear and effective. I have the Chrome extension and check my writing before I publish it.
Twitter is easily the highest driver of traffic to my blog! If you’re new to the blogging scene I would suggest creating a branded blogging account on Twitter and encouraging friends/family to follow your account. Another great way of promoting your blog on twitter is engaging with other bloggers through #followtrains and #commentthreads, @bloggingbees tweets these regularly!
If you blog about a specific niche (e.g. money) then Instagram is great for engaging people of the same interests. Like Twitter, if you’re new to blogging i’d highly recommend opening an Instagram account dedicated to your blog! Hashtags are an important promotional tool on Instagram so make sure to include lots of related hashtags in your posts. TagBlender is good for copy and pasting a large amount of #’s. Another great (and free) tool that I use on my Instagram is Linktr.ee, link tree lets you have a single link in your bio that links to multiple blog posts, sign up pages and affiliate links.
Hootsuite is a automatic social media management platform. It lets you queue social media posts in advance (perfect for busy bloggers). It currently allows you to queue 30 posts (on the free account) to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. This is great for when you’re heading off on holiday and you want to keep your blog promotion going while you’re away!
The Crowdfire app lets you track your Twitter and Instagram stats; displaying your followers, unfollowers, inactive users, admirers and more in one shot.
I use Mailchimp to send out a monthly newsletter including new blog posts that I’ve published that month. I try to make my newsletter as topical and engaging as possible so that my readers don’t think that I’m spamming them with my website all the time.
PayPal is easily the best way to send and receive money both locally and internationally which you’ll need to do if you want to earn money through your blog. Some affiliate programmes and sponsored advertisers will pay you through PayPal. You can also download PayPal business to send out invoices to brands that you work with (you do have to pay a fee unfortunately).
If you have a website or blog, it’s likely that you’ll need quality photos to use on your site. The cost of buying stock photos can add up, but fortunately Pixabay makes it possible to get quality photos for free.
InLinkz is a widget that is inserted into your blog and allows you to receive link submissions from your readers, offering you the opportunity to host link parties and blog hops. This is a really great way to generate traffic to your blog!
If you want to improve your content and delve into SEO (search engine optimisation), then you should try a tool called BuzzSumo. Buzzsumo provides you with the top ranking content for your blogging area. Allowing you to create better content and attract new readers to your site.
Aspiring Blogger? Add these to your reading list
Have I missed a completely amazing free tool that you use all the time for your blog? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add it to this list!