Are you looking for ways to grow your blog without spending a fortune?
After starting your first website, it can be a little difficult learn the ins and outs of growing your blog. Whether you started your blog to make money or you just wanted to have a place to share your thoughts, getting your blog to be seen by more people is the ultimate goal.
(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS HOWEVER, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND ANYTHING THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR USE MYSELF. YOU CAN READ MORE ABOUT MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE)
The problem is that once you have already invested in starting a blog, choosing a good hosting service (I HIGHLY recommend this one!) and setting up a responsive theme, (here’s my favorite theme) your wallet may be looking a bit empty. This is why many bloggers start using FREE tools to start getting their blogs shared to more people.
I am definitely one of those bloggers that try to save every penny that I can. In the blogging world there truly are some tools worth paying for and some that are just as good for free.
The Best Free Blogging Tools that I use Everyday to Boost My Blog
Google Analytics gives you an insight into what your readers want from you. For example, I am a mom blogger and my target audience is young married mothers who are interested in reading about motherhood topics, as well as saving money and green living.
Now from the picture below of my recent analytics, you can see that I also write a little here and there about blogging for moms. However, my readers seem to prefer my blog posts about parenting, motherhood, and etc. So by Google Analytics so easily accessible, I can determine where to spend my time writing and what topics my readers would like best.
This takes the guessing game out of choosing what topic to write about after you have started writing on your blog.
If you don’t know about Gmail, you are living under a rock.
- First of all, Gmail is one of the easiest email providers to use.
- Secondly, I love that Gmail allows you to personalize your email address to be more formal and match your website if you desire. For example, when I first started my blog almost two years ago, I knew nothing about blogging. So I started a Gmail account for my blog and it is – [email protected] But I wanted to make the email address that I was sending from and giving out to companies more professional so I went into my Gmail settings and chose an option that allowed my email to reflect as – [email protected] It was super easy and all of my emails still go to the same inbox.
- Just about anyone has a Google account for other services. Why not have them all in the same place. I literally use my Gmail account for everything- my Apple account for my iPhone, my sign for websites, and more.
3. Google Docs
While I am on the subject of Google, let’s cover Google Docs. Google Docs for me is basically like the Microsoft Word but for Google and on the internet. I use it when I write blog posts, create products and freebies, and even just for typing up resumes. Once again if you have a Google account you can use Google Docs.
Google Photos is the app I use on my phone to get all of my photos on to my computer. I take most all of my blog photos with my phone and then my Google Photos app backs them up to Google. Then when I am ready to write a blog post, I just head over to Google Photos and download my photos from there. It makes my life so much easier and I don’t have to plug my phone in or anything.
This also makes it super easy to access my husband’s photos as well to use for blog photos. He has his own Google account and they back up as well.
Grammarly is a really cool and super easy app that you can add to Google Chrome. I love it because it shows me any grammatical errors that I have made for FREE. Of course, I am human so I make quite a few. Sometimes when I get caught up in a thought, I don’t have the time to be grammatically correct. I just need to get it all down and I can go back later to make it correct any errors.
And with Grammarly, I can do exactly that. It puts a little red underline under any grammar that is incorrect and you just have to hover over that word to select a correction. I also love that Grammarly can offer synonyms at times when you need to use a different word in place of one you have already typed.
As you may already know, keywords are super important for bloggers. Google and other search engines rely on keywords and phrases to help readers find what they are searching for.
It wasn’t until I took this incredibly cheap but mindblowing course that I learned more about keywords and where to find the correct ones.
That’s where KeyWord Finder comes in. You can use this site for free to look up your keywords, however, you can only use the search feature five times in a 24 hour period. If you want to use it more than that you do have to purchase the paid option. But for me, the free option gives me just what I need.
Keywords Everywhere is similar to KWFinder but a little different in how it is used.
Keywords Everywhere is an app for Google Chrome that gives you keywords on the side of the Google search page when you enter something into the search bar. It gives you relevant keywords and phrases that have been searched along with your keyword.
You know when you are trying to write that perfect headline that will jump out at your audience?
That’s why I use CoSchedule’s headline analyzer to help me create the perfect title to each blog post.
Now let’s talk about SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, that means using the right keywords, images, and other media to make it catch Google’s eye.
So if I was writing about “Breastfeeding in Public,” for example, I would want to make sure that those particular keywords are in the headings of my blog post. Make sense?
The Yoast Seo Plugin is a WordPress plugin that you can use when you are writing a blog post.
When you blog to make money you have to have a way to receive a payment. This is where Paypal comes in. Paypal is a super easy tool that I use to receive most of the money I earn from blogging. Although there are some companies that will send your payments to your personal banking account, not every company does this.
Paypal is also used by almost every company you could think of and being paid through this method is completely safe and easy.
When you start writing your blog posts, you have to think about making your posts visually pleasing. For example, if you are writing a blog post about “Baby Item Regrets” it would be a great idea to have pictures of baby items or maybe of babies.
The problem is that you can’t just hop onto Google and grab any image you see. There are laws in place to protect images that are owned by other people. So if you take a beautiful picture of your garden and post it on your blog, it is your property and you own the rights to it. Basically, this means that no one can use it without your permission.
The same thing goes for other images on Google. This is one reason, many bloggers try their best to take their own photos to use for blog posts. But if you aren’t interested in taking your own photos, you can also use royalty-free stock photos.
Royalty-Free stock photos are photos that other people have taken and uploaded to a stock photo website for bloggers like us to use for free. It’s really a great place to find any type of images you can imagine.
Here are a few of my favorite royalty-free stock photo websites to find images for blogging:
There are also so really awesome bloggers who take and sell professional stock photos like Kayla from Ivory Mix. She also gives away completely FREE stock photos on her website and sends more free stock photos to her email subscribers. Check her out here!
Once you choose your images for your blog, you will probably want to do some editing to make the image more unique. I use Canva for editing all of my images. Canva is also completely free and easy to use. As you can see below Canva is set up with a different image sized perfectly for whatever you are working on.
Canva even saves your previous creations so you can recreate images that are similar but maybe a little different also.
Have you ever been designing a graphic for your blog and can’t seem to find just the right colors that match? This used to happen to me all of the time. Of course, now I have this handy ColorPick Eye Dropper extension for Google Chrome. It makes matching up colors so easy.
When you are just starting or rebranding your blog, you have to come up with a few different colors schemes to use as your blog’s brand colors. And with endless possibilities of color combinations, it can be tricky to pick just the right one. That’s why I used Coolers to pick out my perfect color scheme.
You just click the space bar to skim through the different colors and when you find one that you like hit the lock button. Coolers will then try to find matching colors for the one color you have picked. You just continue to do this until you have found your full-color scheme.
When building a profitable blog, one huge asset to have is an email list. You should start this from the very beginning of your blogging journey. Collecting emails from your subscribers gives you just another place to reach your readers – their inboxes!
I have always used MailChimp since I have a fairly small email list. MailChimp offers completely free email services if you have 2,000 subscribers or less which makes it great for newer bloggers.
I like to think of Trello as sort of a daily checklist but more advanced. So you can see from the example below you can select each box to be a different day, week, or whatever you need it to be. I know many bloggers who also use it as a daily checklist as I do.
Trello also allows you to make these task boxes customizable depending on what you need to remember. I love that Trello also has the option for you to include links in each box as well. This frees up so much time and helps me stay on track.
Pinterest is one of the absolute best places to network and share your blog. Hands down I get over 95% of my blog’s traffic straight from Pinterest. The biggest reason is that Pinterest is evergreen. So what I mean by that is Pinterest shares what’s popular and helpful to each individual user no matter how long ago it was shared. This is a huge game changer for us bloggers.
Unlike other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, your pins will continue to be shared on Pinterest as long as they are popular. This is one reason it is so important to pick high-quality images and use great keywords.
Crucial Blogging Tools that offer a FREE TRIAL
Now that I have covered the completely Free blogging tools that I could not live without, I want to share with you some of the blogging tools that offer a free trial for new users.
As I just said before Pinterest has literally changed my blogging game for the better. I have found that sharing my pins that link to my blog posts has made my traffic skyrocket. However, it can be difficult to be active on Pinterest all day and manually pinning takes up a lot of time. That’s where Tailwind becomes so incredibly useful.
Tailwind is an automatic scheduler that sends out your pins for you once you have set up your schedule.
Did I miss any awesome tools? Tell me in the comments. Do you use the tools I listed below? I am interested to know who loves them as much as I do.