This list of mostly FREE blogging tools will help you get organized, promote your content, curate even better content and so much more. Whether you’ve just started blogging or you’ve been around for awhile, there’s something for every stage of blogging.
This is part 2 of 3. See part 1 here and part 3 here.
Ready to create images for your blog or social media SUPER fast? Then Stencil is for you. With royalty free images and settings for each ideal size for each social media channel, you’ll be able to create photos with limited photography or editing skills. Upgrades are available for more features including: photos, fonts, images, watermarks, templates and more.
Taking your own photos and using them in your blog posts will always be the best option. They’re unique and much more personable. But sometimes, maybe even a lot of times, it’s much easier to use stock photographs. Depending on the content or even your time availability, stock photographs may be the better option.
Start growing your mailing list right away with Mailerlite. You can send an unlimited amount of campaigns to up to 1,000 every month for FREE and then upgrade when your list gets larger. Their automation and customization options are great.
(Free or the Pro version is $29/year) My favorite social sharing tool for WordPress. Tons of customization options and can highlight social proof. See it in action above any post on Hello Nature.
There is no shortage out there for support/community groups on Facebook. Whether they’re for blogging support (like sharing your content) or networking with others in your niche (like my simple living Facebook group) – you can find a group for nearly anything.
If you’re looking for blogging support, my two favorite ones are Grow Your Blog and Awesome Bloggers. If you’re looking for something more specific, just type in “Mom Blog” or “Homesteading Bloggers” or something similar in the search on Facebook. Expand the groups that show up and then browse for one that fits your niche!
My favorite social media scheduling app for my blog and our shop. I got a lifetime subscription via AppSumo awhile ago and LOVE it. It’s free for their basic account, but I manage social media for my blog, our shop, my facebook group and more with this. This is especially great for teams, guest posts, contributors, etc.
You can also use Hootsuite to schedule, but it’s much less intuitive to me. Hootsuite is great for fully managing your social media profiles as you can respond to people, track ROI, schedule content and more.
Planoly is great for planning out your Instagram feed before you post. You can upload your images, make sure they’re a good fit, and then even schedule and autopost your photos with Planoly. It’s super easy to use and it’s great if you want to schedule via your computer.
I no longer use Linktree, but I still recommend it! (I created my own Instagram page when I switched to a new theme a few months ago instead.) Linktree is great for those that regularly include their blog posts or links in Instagram. Instead of having to change your bio link every time, Linktree creates a list of links that you can easily add to or edit. It’s much easier for your audience to quickly see what you want them to see!
If you want to track your visitors, Google Analytics is the most accurate way to do it. With Google Analytics, you can see real time data (like what pages are being viewed RIGHT NOW) and tons of other information. You can see:
Number of pageviews/sessions/visitors
What pages/posts are being viewed today, this week, this month and more
Demographics of your visitors
Trends for your posts
Who is referring to people to your website
And so, so much more! It’s 100% free to see all of this information which makes it even better.
Yet another free Google tool! In the simplest terms, it allows you to see how Google views your website and allows you to monitor your website. You’ll receive alerts and be able to view errors on pages on your website to help prevent users bouncing when trying to view it. Overall, it helps create a better experience for your audience.
With Yoast SEO, you can optimize your post with little effort. With the free version, you can optimize your blog post for a keyword, check your readability, avoid duplicate content and manage your breadcrumbs. If you upgrade, you can optimize for multiple keywords AND get content insight, see internal link suggestions (crucial for SEO), manage redirects and more. A must have if you’re going to focus on SEO at all.
Trello is kind of an extension of my brain, honestly. Out of all of the blogging tools I use, this is my favorite. My planner is there, my editorial calendar is there, post updates are there, my get things done list is there – the list is endless. I don’t think I could be nearly as productive without Trello. Actually, I know I couldn’t because I was a MESS without it.
Trello is one of those hidden gems that makes life so much easier without making it difficult first. Like some things are so hard to setup, but worth it because in the end, life gets easier. Trello is just easy from the beginning. Their boards, lists and cards allow me to get organized in a way that works for me. The bonus is that you can use it on the web, on your computer, and on your phone. And it’s free!
Want to learn and analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor? Buzzsumo is a great option. Just search the competitor URL and you can see what content has done well for them. It’s a great way to get inspiration for post ideas. (Just don’t copy them!)
This one definitely isn’t necessary. In fact, I didn’t start using it until last month. But if you write lengthy posts like this one, it’s super helpful for your users. It’s a super user friendly, featured focused plugin that allows you to insert a table of contents into your posts, pages and custom post types. (Just like the one you saw waaaay up there.)
($9.99/month) My go-to scheduling app for Pinterest for other people’s content or my own when I can’t manually pin. Plus, their tribe feature is a fantastic way to get your posts circulating on Pinterest. Get a free month to test it out for yourself.
($99/month) The best (in my opinion) SEO tool on the market. It’s pricy, but SO worth it. If SEO is at all a part of your blog plan (and I think it should be, personally) this is where it’s at. You’ll be able to understand what keywords you need in your post to achieve higher ranks in Google to garner more traffic to your blog. I spent way too much time not focusing on SEO and I am kicking myself for how much rework I have to do/the lost traffic that I’ve had for years. Plus you can get a 7 Day Free Trial!
($9.00 a month with 30 day free trial) If you haven’t noticed it yet, I have a little pop-up on my right sidebar area that suggest you follow me on social media. It’s super easy, non-intrusive and is a great way to grow your following with little effort!
I was hesitant to put AppSumo in here because it’s not really a tool, but I have found some of the best deals on tools that I currently use (like Planable and Stencil) with it. AppSumo is a free to join site that has deals on products (software) for entrepreneurs. Usually they’re lifetime deals (no more monthly fees – YAY!) and they’re a steal. I don’t get every deal, but I’ve gotten a few that have made self-employment 100x easier.
I can’t even begin to put into words how much I love Thrive Leads. I’m in the process of switching over to them from my previous opt-in tool and they are SO MUCH BETTER. Thrive Leads is an amazing list building solution that makes list building so easy. No design skills? Little knowledge on growing your list? No problem! Thrive Leads has you covered no matter where you’re at with list growth. I cannot wait to switch all of my opt-ins over and really use the full potential they offer.
I know that’s a lot of info to digest. Like I said earlier, you don’t need all (or any) of these tools to be successful. It all depends on your goals for your blog, where you need help, and what you have time for.
But my hope is that this list gave you an idea of what tools are available and what tools you can use to make your blog life easier.
Did I miss a blogging tool that you’d absolutely recommend? Please share it in the comments below!