Last updated on August 30th, 2018 at 11:44 am
Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step to creating your financial freedom. What you’re about to realize that blogging is hard work. That’s why I wanted to take the time to share 25 free tools and resources for bloggers.
*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you
As new bloggers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything online. There’s so much information telling you that you need to buy this or buy that to help you grow.
I’m NOT an advocate of trying to do everything for free. However, I do love using free tools whenever possible.
Why Bloggers Want to Do Everything for Free
If you’re just starting your blog, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of money. Hopefully, you made the right move and started your blog on a self-hosted blog. If NOT, I suggest that you check out my tutorial on how to get your blog set up on SiteGround.
It’ll walk you through step-by-step on getting your blog set up properly. Plus, I’ll give you a copy of my JumpStart WordPress guide which will take the guesswork out of setting up your blog foundation the right way.
Articles in 11-day series:
- 11 Sites With Free Images for Your Blog or Social Media Posts
- 7 Best Free Plugins That Will Make Your Blog Successful
- 11 Amazing Pinterest Group Boards to Grow Your Blog
- 3000 Sites That Accept Guest Posts and How To Get Started
- Top 20 YouTubers That Will Make You A Smarter Blogger
- 11 Facebook Groups to Join That Will Help New Bloggers
- 6 Best Podcasts of All Times That Will Help You Become A Better Blogger
- 5 Best Blogging Courses That Will Help You Overcome Writers Block
- 7 Bloggers That Will Show You How to Build A Website You’ll Love
- 5 Blogging Courses That Will Help You Overcome Writers Block
- 200 Tailwind Tribes That Will Help You Skyrocket Your Blog Growth
Start On A Self Hosted Blog
Don’t make the mistake of trying to start your blog on a free platform. Yes, it’s possible to start for free, but why would you want to?
If you’re serious about creating a profitable blog, you need to start on a self-hosted blog.
Plus you won’t have to worry about migrating to a self-hosted blog later. If you’re completely new to WordPress and don’t know which version you’re set up, then it’s time to find out which version of WordPress you’re using.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to get into the 25 free tools and resources for bloggers.
25 Free Resources for Bloggers
I know there are tons of blogging resources available on the Internet. These are just a few of the ones that I personally use or have used. These tools are helping me grow my blog, without having to spend a lot of money or time.
Is My Site Down: Have you ever wondered if your site is down? All you have to do is type in your domain and this site will tell you whether your blog is down for you or for everyone.
Pingdom: I’m on the free account, this site monitors my site’s downtime. At one point I was having issues with my hosting CPU overages. (I’ll tell you more on that later). Well, Pingdom was able to quickly notify me if my site went down.
Uptime Robot: This is another site that will monitor the downtime of your site. I personally use Pingdom, but Uptime Robot does have a free service.
Peek User Testing: Ever wonder what people think of your blog? This site will give you an inside review of what real users think about your blog.
It’s definitely worth entering your blog for a review of your blog. I submitted mine when it was about 3 months old and I got a lot of great feedback I then used to improve my blog.
I still haven’t spent any money on for a designer. Don’t think that you need to invest a lot of money for the design of your blog. People care more about the content than the design.
Google Analytics: One of the first things you need to do is install Google Analytics on your WordPress blog. This will help you keep track of important blog metrics every month. You can then use this data to improve your marketing techniques and your blog content.
Google Search Console: Another free Google tool that you need to use. This tool will provide you with useful information. You can then use that important information to help you grow your blog.
Cyfe: I just started using this all in one dashboard about two weeks ago. I am in love with it because it allows me to check all my stats in one place. (I use the premium version)
If you find yourself wasting too much time logging several different sites to check your website stats, this tool will save you a bunch of free time. With the free version, you’ll get 5 free widgets you can set up. It’s worth setting up the free version to see if you like it.
Google Drive: I can’t imagine running my blog without the help of it. I use it to help me keep track of my blog metrics files and so much more.
Most bloggers use some type of editorial calendar plugin to help them keep track of their blog content. Personally, I use Google Drive to help me organize and maintain my editorial calendar.
Trello: This tool is amazing and it helps me keep track of my daily blogging tasks that need to be completed every day. Trello helps me keep track of what’s been done and what I need to continue working on.
Blog Content Tools
Uber Suggest: I’ve recently started using this tool to help me find more related long tail keywords for ranking my blog posts. The great thing about this keyword is that it brings up the keywords that people are actually searching for in Google.
I use this tool along with Long Tail Pro and they both work great together.
Moz Beginners Guide to SEO: If you’re new to blogging, chances are you have no clue on how to optimize your blog posts. This guide will help you learn the basics of optimizing your blog posts.
If you’re like me who started blogging before the Panda update, a lot has changed. I am constantly reading and improving my SEO to make sure that I am dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s.
Yoast SEO: I currently use the premium version of this plugin. However, the free version will work just fine. The Yoast SEO plugin will help ensure that your blog posts are properly optimized.
Remember, you won’t know which blog posts will actually rank well in Google. However, you can take the all the necessary steps to properly optimize all your posts. This will give you a better chance to increase your organic traffic.
Grammarly: This tool has helped me improve my writing for both my blog and my guest posts. I never realized how much my grammar sucked until I started using this tool. I just use the free version.
Feedly: This site helps me organize my favorite blogs quickly and easily. One of the things that I love doing is commenting on other people’s blogs. This blog promotion strategy has helped me create some awesome friendships online.
Plus, by taking the time to comment and build relationships with other bloggers, I’ve been able to land some guest posting opportunities.
WordPress Plugins and Tools
Social Warfare Plugin: I currently use the premium version of this plugin. If you’re not ready to spend money on plugin yet, then start off with the free version. This plugin is responsible for the growth of my blog. It makes it extremely easy for others to share my content, you can read my Social Warfare Review here.
These emails freaked me out, especially, when I woke up one day and received an email saying that my site was limited due to overage. (I’ll have to write a post later on it) This plugin has been a lifesaver.
Since installing the Bad Bots plugin, I no longer get those CPU emails.
Revive Old Posts: This is another great plugin that has helped me promote my posts that have been forgotten. You probably don’t have a huge archive of old blog posts. As your blog starts to grow, those once killer blog posts start getting buried in your archives.
No one sees them if you don’t keep putting them out in front of people. This plugin makes it easy for you to do that.
Blog Design Tools
Free Images for Bloggers: Every blogger needs images to use for their blog posts. There are literally tons of sites that you can use to help you grow your blog. If you do use royalty free images, just make sure that you’re abiding by the license agreement.
Canva: Personally, I use Photoshop more than I do Canva. However, I use Canva to help me create my custom thumbnails for my YouTube channel. If you can’t afford Photoshop, you might want to use Canva to help you create your blog post images and your social media images.
TinyPNG: I always run my images through TinyPNG before I upload them to my site. You’ll be amazed at how much this site will optimize your images to help you keep your blog running as fast as possible.
ShortPixel: When I first started this blog, I was using the WP Smush plugin to help me optimize my images even further.
However, I was asked to try out Short Pixel and I have to say I was impressed. Needless to say, I made the switch and optimized all the images on my blog.
Mobile Friendly Tester: Google is cracking down on sites that are not mobile ready. It’s hard enough to grow a blog if you’re doing everything right. The last thing you want to do is work your ass off and realize that your theme is not mobile ready.
There are plenty of themes that are mobile friendly, I currently use and recommend the Genesis Framework.
Create a Blog Signature: If you’ll notice my blog posts all have my blog signature on them. I think this makes my blog more personable and I love the way it looks.
Here’s the site that I used to create my blog signature. Of course, this won’t work for your blog if you accept guest posts. There’s probably a workaround, but I wouldn’t know how to do that 🙂
Social Media Automation
Buffer: By now you know that social media is extremely important for the growth of your blog. If not, you’ll quickly find that out. When I started my blog, I didn’t want to pay for an automation tool, until I got a better understanding of how to use social media.
I started out with the free Buffer plan. This tool helped me make my presence known on social media. It’s definitely a great way to start out with automation without paying a dime. Buffer was great to help me get started, I now use SmarterQueue for my social media automation.
Tailwind: While this tool isn’t necessarily free, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s the same tool that I use to put my Pinterest on automation. In fact, there’s no way that I would be able to grow my blog using Pinterest without using Tailwind.
If you want to be on Pinterest without actually spending all day on Pinterest, then I recommend signing up for a free trial.
Want More Tools
There are literally tons of tools available for bloggers, listing them all would be impossible. That’s why I am going to point you to some other bloggers who have compiled a list of their own tools.
This will help you get familiar with other tools that you can use to help you grow your blog.
Should I Pay for Blogging Tools?
Most of the tools that I’ve shared with you are free to use. You’ll notice that I mentioned whether I use the premium version or not.
Don’t feel like you need to pay for any of the tools above. If you’re just starting out, I recommend that you save your money and work on growing your blog and focusing on writing awesome content.
I am a true believer that you can’t do everything for free. I also believe that it’s important to spend your money wisely. Do your due diligence and see if it’s the right tool for you.
If you’ve tried out the free version and want the full features of the upgraded version, then you can choose to upgrade. Don’t feel like you need to pay for a blogging tool just because someone else says it’s the right tool.
Which Blogging Tools Would You Recommend Paying For?
One of the scariest things for a new blogger is to start paying for a new blogging tool or resource only to find out that they wasted their money.
I wish I could tell you that if you just pay for this blogging tool or pick up this blogging resource, it will help you grow your blog. However, it’s not that easy. Sure people can recommend stuff to you, but the truth is that what works for me may not work for you.
The only thing that I can tell you is that you’ll have to find out what actually works for your blog. It may take time for you to figure it out, but there’s no rush and you shouldn’t spend a lot of money at the beginning of your journey.
Below you’ll find blogging tools that I recommend. If you’re wanting to start a self-hosted blog, then these tools are a must.
Blogging Tools I Recommend for Beginners
SiteGround: I use and recommend this hosting service to help you get your self-hosted blog started. Yes, there are cheaper ones like Bluehost but remember you get what you pay for. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about Bluehost.
Just spend some time in some Facebook groups to see what others have to say about their experience with BlueHost. However, if you do want to sign up with BlueHost, I do have an affiliate link, you can sign up here.
Domain: If you’re starting a self-hosted blog, you’ll need to invest in your own domain. I get all my domains from Namecheap and I highly recommend them.
You can literally start your own self-hosted blog with just these tools. Of course, this is just like buying a basic model of a vehicle. You won’t have any extra amazing features to work with.
The great thing is that you can always add more blogging tools later. If you’ve been putting off starting a blog because you’re scared that it costs too much, read this.
How to Use These Blogging Tools
Personally, what I have found that works for me without having to pay for something is to get a free trial of the tools that I think I’ll want to pay for. Of course, you need to make sure that they offer a free trial.
Use that trial period and really figure out the tool. If you think that it’ll help you then go ahead and pay for it for one month. After a month of really using the tool, you’ll know whether or not you should pay for it.
Don’t waste your time trying to sign up and download everything just because someone says it’s cool.
As a new blogger, there’s way too little time and so much to do. If you try to learn every tool on this post or any of the other ones that I share, you’ll waste too much time.
Remember tools are great and can help us increase our productivity and help us grow faster. However, take it from me, there’s no tool out there that will grow your blog if you’re not working on it.
It’s up to you to treat your blog like a business. This means that you need to write content, promote your content and do whatever it takes to grow your blog.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you buy this tool or download that free tool, your blog will automatically grow. Sorry to break the news to you, but it’s not that easy to grow your blog.
5 Free Blogging Must-Have Tools for Every Blogger
If I could only choose 5 tools from the list above, I personally would choose the following:
- Yoast SEO
- Google Search Console
- Google Drive
Just by starting off with these tools, you’ll be able to start creating content that your readers will love. As your blog starts to grow, you’ll learn which blogging tools you’ll need to invest in or sign up for free.
Remember, just because these blogging tools help me grow my blog and stay organized. Doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the right tools for you.
Hand Picked Articles for You
- Lessons I’ve Learned In My First Year Blogging
- Day in the Life of A Part-Time Blogger
- 7 of My Favorite WordPress Plugins
Have a question? Want to share your own blogging tool that you absolutely love, share it in the comments below!