I think you’ll agree with me when I say if you’re just starting out as a blogger, keeping business expenses to a minimum is absolutely necessary!
Sure there are a few costs to getting your blog and website up and running, but most of us don’t have the budget to hire virtual assistants and pay for expensive schedulers right away.
The good news is there are tons of free resources for bloggers that can improve your productivity. It’s just that hunting them all down and learning each one can easily become overwhelming.
Free Blogging Tools
Since I started blogging a few years ago, I have tried pretty much every tool out there. I’ve explored every blogging tool for beginners and pro bloggers that I could find.
So in this post, I’m sharing the best free blogging tools for everything from writing to making videos.
Whether you’re looking to create your own marketing materials for social media or you just need a spell checker for your posts, you’ll find every kind of website blog tool in this list…and they’re all FREE!
Here are 65 free resources for pretty much everything you need to get your blog posts online, viewed, shared, and ranked in Google search.
Blog writing tools
There’s a lot of work to be done when you blog, but writing blog posts is the main activity that defines you as a blogger. So the first set of tools I’m going to share are will help you build your website and check your posts for errors and readability.
WordPress is the number one free open source blogging tool for bloggers. It’s essentially just a content management system that makes it super easy to build, update, and write posts for your website. The best part is, WordPress is and always has been completely free!
You can create a free site with wordpress.com, but you don’t have access to a lot of the functionality of the WordPress software that way.
The better way to build a website with WordPress is to first get yourself a domain name and a web host (this is who I use). Unfortunately, hosting isn’t free, but you can get a domain and hosting for a really good price with 1 and 1.
Then you install WordPress on your site (your host may do this for you).
From there you work within the WordPress dashboard to change your theme, customize colors, adjust settings, set menus etc. You can find some good free themes, but purchasing your theme gives you more options for customization.
Purchasing a theme is usually a one time fee. Any of these themes would be good choices, but I would avoid ThimPress themes. In my experience, they malfunction often and support is super cruddy.
You can also add plug-ins (like apps for your website some free, some paid) to add functions to your site like forms, shopping carts, and membership accounts.
Grammarly is a chrome extension (they’re like apps for the Chrome browser) that will automatically check for misspellings and grammar while you’re writing. It’s not perfect, but it makes it easy to write without having to worry about missing a lot of mistakes.
There is also a version for your desktop and a paid upgrade plan. I’ve only ever used the free Chrome extension, and it works great!
Pro tip: Don’t let misspellings, typos, and little edits slow down your writing. Just ignore all the warnings and keep typing. It’s more important to stick with your train of thought. You can go back later and let Grammarly check the whole document right before you publish it.
3. Hemingway Editor
Hemingway Editor is a great place to write or paste in your text and get ideas for improving the flow, readability, and grammar. You can choose to use the web-based editor or download their desktop app.
Yoast is one of those blogging tools for WordPress that every blogger should install right away. It’s used mainly for helping optimize your post for search engines, but it includes other cool features as well.
If you’re already using the Yoast plugin for SEO, then you’ve got a readability analyzer right underneath your text editor. Down in your Yoast widget area within your post, click on the ‘Readability’ tab for recommendations to improve the flow and user experience of your blog post.
Blog post ideas & titles
In order to get traffic to your blog, you have to be able to write compelling titles and shareable content. Sometimes you have a good idea for a topic but need to find an interesting angle to take on it.
It’s always a good idea to figure out what your reader is already looking for and write a blog post about that. Here are some free blogging tools to help you find post ideas and craft clever titles.
Free tools for finding blog topics to write about
5. Google trends
Google provides a ton of blogger tools for you to use for free, and Google Trends is one you don’t hear a lot about.
Who better than Google to give you ideas about what people are searching for? Cruise through their top posts on the homepage or narrow it down to topics in your niche with the search bar.
Use the graph that pops up to determine when to post and promote your articles.
Quora is a question and answer forum and is a great place to find topics for your next blog post. Search for a topic within your niche and look for questions that would make a good blog post.
Here’s a great guide on using Quora for blog ideas.
7. Portent’s Content Idea Generator
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a fun tool to play with when you’re stuck for ideas. You simply enter your keyword and let this tool give you some cleverly clickable blog post ideas.
For crafting killer headlines
8. Coschedule headline analyzer
Coschedule is an online blogging tool that uses a formula to predict how many clicks and shares your headline will get. Anything over 70 is good, but it’s not always easy to get a high score.
Challenge yourself to get at least a 75 for each new blog post, and see if you start getting more clicks.
9. Hubspot’s Blog Idea Generator
If you’re really drawing a blank for blog ideas, try typing in some keywords related to your niche and let Hubspot generate ideas for you. If you use this a lot, you’ll notice there are a lot of repeats and the ideas work best with more general topics. But, you never know what kind of inspiration you’ll get when playing with a tool like this. So it’s worth a few searches to see if you come up with something really cool.
10. Blog About Blog title generator
This is one of my favorite tools for coming up with headlines. If you’re totally stuck, click on the let Blog About suggest a theme and then click next to use the headline generator. Simply fill in the blanks with relevant keywords for your niche and you’re sure to come up with some great ideas.
11. Emotional Marketing Value headline analyzer
We all know that headlines that evoke emotion are more likely to get clicks and shares. This free online blogging tool analyzes your headline for its emotional value.
For creating images:
For every blog post, you’ll want to create a set of images that can be shared on Facebook, Pinterest, and other social networks. With these programs, you can edit, overlay text, and change the shape of your pictures to create gorgeous shareable graphics for your blog.
Stencil is one of the easier programs you can use for creating social media and marketing images. They offer great templates, free stock photos, and you can share directly to Pinterest and Facebook right from within the program. No need to download and upload.
Another great free program for creating marketing images. I don’t know a blogger who hasn’t used Canva for making marketing images. It’s a fairly straightforward to use drag and drop editor. The free plan includes 1 GB of online storage for uploading images and logos, 8000 templates, and up to 10 team members.
Although it’s not as popular as others, Piktochart is a cool tool you can use to create some really great infographics. It’s easy to use for beginners, and the free plan still offers lots of features.
For stock images
There’s a great selection of free stock photos available at Pexels.com. Their photos are free to use for any legal purpose without attribution.
There are tons of free photos, vectors, and even some videos at Pixabay.com.
Unsplash has some really nice looking stock photos with modern styling.
18. Flickr creative commons
If you have the patience to sort through them, there are some really good finds in the creative commons section of Flickr. I’ve had luck finding useable images here when I couldn’t find relevant images anywhere else.
19. Death to the stock photo
Death to the stock photo is not my favorite free photo site, but it’s another option if you’re having trouble finding unique pictures to use for your blog.
For social media scheduling
At some point, you’ll want to upgrade to a paid scheduler, but fortunately, there are some great free social media tools for bloggers who aren’t quite ready to invest in a premium tool.
Buffer.com is a great free blogging tool you can use for scheduling your social media posts. You can connect up to 3 accounts and schedule out up to 10 posts on their free plan.
HootSuite offers up to 3 profiles and 30 posts with their free plan. Plus they integrate well with other tools you might use like MailChimp and Dropbox.
Within Facebook, you can schedule out as many posts as you’d like for free. Simply click the white triangle next to ‘Publish’ and choose ‘Schedule.’ Read my free guide to getting more likes and shares on Facebook for more tips.
For social media sharing from posts
You need to make it easy for readers to share your content. The simplest thing is to use a social media sharing plugin. There are a bazillion options, but here are a few favorites.
23. Social Pug
Social Pug is my favorite tool for social media sharing. I prefer to use the paid version so I can have even more control over how my posts are shared, but the free plugin still gives you lots of options.
You can choose from the most popular social media platforms, where you want your sharing buttons placed, display your social share counts, enter click to tweet quotes, and use their popular posts widget to display your most shared content. And that’s all for free!
The Jetpack plugin has some great features. Their social sharing feature is easy to use and gets the job done!
A lot of bloggers love the Sumo WordPress plugin. It has a lot of great free features only one of which is the social sharing icons. I prefer the simplicity of Social Warfare, but the Sumo plugin offers a lot of other options that are worth checking out.
For sharing your posts
Never miss an opportunity to share your post on a free social platform. Below are a few of the most popular places to add your posts for free exposure.
Create your own magazine style collections with Flipboard, and let others add your posts to their own collections. It’s not as powerful as Pinterest, but if your post gets added to a popular board, you can expect a lot of viewers!
Let readers stumble on your posts by submitting your posts to StumbleUpon. You can’t necessarily predict when your posts will get views, but even if it’s just here and there, we’ll take it!
If you’re not using Pinterest for pageviews, then you’re missing out! Sharing your posts on Pinterest is THE FASTEST way to get readers to a brand new site!
Here are 3 quick tips for getting traffic from Pinterest:
- Create perfectly pinnable images – learn how
- Share your content every day (a scheduler makes this so much easier – sign up for a free trial with Tailwind)
- Pin popular content from other sites to gain followers
With their recent changes, Facebook can be a challenge to get your content seen. But if you have a page and some followers, it is worth sharing at least a few times per week.
You can also share your posts in Facebook groups – just make sure you’re following the rules for that group. There are also really great groups for bloggers to join share threads, get advice from other bloggers, and share links for roundups.
To find groups, just search for the type of group you’d like to join in the Facebook search bar.
It’s worth at least creating a profile on LinkedIn and connecting with your peers. It’s a great way to get referrals, grow your network and get page views. Learn more about using LinkedIn as a blogger here.
For growing social media following
31. Simple Social Icons
Just as the name implies, this plugin makes it easy to send people to your social media profiles. Simply add to any widget area and customize with your preferred color and shape.
Nothing more. Nothing less.
This is a clever little popup that recommends the social media profiles of your choosing to anyone who visits your site. The free version gives you everything you need to increase followers on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and add subscribers to your mailing list.
For a few bucks a month, you can customize colors and display behavior.
Free tools for keyword research
When you’re hunting for free tools to do keyword research, the name of the game is diversifying your assets. Sign up for free accounts with all the paid sites, and get as much as you can from each of them. Then combine what you’ve learned in the end for a killer SEO strategy that gets your post on page 1 of Google.
Doing keyword research is as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. At it’s most basic form, it’s simply coming up with a word or phrase that other people are searching for in Google and writing an article on that topic.
With Google being super smart at figuring out user intent, it’s best to find a group of keywords that are all similar and sprinkle those throughout your post. It’s no longer necessary or recommended to use the same single phrase over and over in your blog posts.
Yoast is a free plugin that’s super helpful especially when you’re just getting started with SEO. Definitely use it to fill in your meta description (the info that populates under your blog title in Google search). And use its suggestions as a free SEO checklist for your blog posts.
Don’t worry so much about making sure your keyword is in the post a certain percentage of the time. You can easily end up stuffing your keyword in unnatural ways trying to get a green light from Yoast which ultimately won’t do you any favors for ranking with Google.
33. Moz Link Explorer
A big part of how you rank on Google has to do with your domain’s authority within your niche. You gain authority over time by gaining backlinks to your posts which tells Google that you are an authority on your subject. The higher your domain authority, the easier it is to rank on page 1 for desired keywords.
If you’ve just started a blog or website on a domain that has never been used before, your site will not have any authority. Over time, as you gain readers, shares, and links to your site, your domain authority will rise.
For reference, Wikipedia has a DA of 85. Google.com scores 94. As you’re trying to gain authority, look for opportunities to gain links from sites within your niche that have an authority score of 30 or higher.
Gaining backlinks is usually done through writing guest posts, sharing for roundup posts, and by writing killer content that other writers can’t resist linking to.
ProTip: When you’re researching topics or sites to guest post on, use the MozBar to quickly screen sites based on domain authority. You’ll be able to see the DA in Google search without affecting your 10 free searches per month.
34. Google Search Console
Make sure you’ve set up your site with Google Search Console. Get step by step directions here. Once you have that going, you have some truly valuable information.
Within search console, you can see what keyword terms your site is ranking for including position and click through rate.
35. SEMrush free
SEMrush is my favorite keyword research tool. On the free plan, you get up to three searches per day. That’s not a lot, but you can still use the free plan to do lots of keyword research.
ProTip: Sign up for their 7 day free trial. Do all of your keyword research, download it as a .csv file and use it to plan out your content for the whole year without paying the $99/mo fee.
Try it out here:
36. KWfinder free
KWfinder is another awesome keyword research tool that you can use for free. Again, you’ll get limited access on the free plan, but by combining your free searches from all of these tools, you can get a lot of research done without having to pay the monthly fee.
What I really like about KWfinder is their difficulty score. It makes it super easy to identify keywords that are easier to rank on page 1 of Google.
ProTip: Look for terms that get 100-5000 searches monthly with a difficulty score under 40. You can also see seasonality of your keyword terms and check out who is already ranking on the right half of the screen.
Try KWfinder here:
37. Ahrefs Content Explorer
ProTip: Use the free plan at Ahrefs to do some killer keyword research. Watch this video to learn more – you’ll be glad you did.
Use this tool to hunt down keyword suggestions for free. While you’ll get plenty of suggestions that you can sort by search volume, you get no information about how difficult it will be to compete with other sites that are already ranking for that word. So you’re limited in how much you can accomplish with this tool.
Visit KeywordTool.io and look through their keyword lists as well. You won’t get info about search volume or competition, but they have a unique feature that will let you search for keyword suggestions specific to Amazon, YouTube, eBay and more.
Google will tell you A TON of information that you can use to improve your chances of ranking well just by performing a search on your target keyword. Make sure you do this every time you find a keyword you want to write about.
Perform a simple Google search and look at:
- Who is already ranking? Don’t try to compete with Dr.Oz, duh.
- Suggested questions. Your article should answer those questions directly.
- Suggested searches. Scroll down to the bottom and see what Google suggests for additional searches.
- Use those keywords in your article and repeat these steps with each one.
41. Google Office Suite: Docs, Sheets, & Slides
I don’t know what I’d do without Google Docs or Sheets. I use this free word processor and spreadsheet software to create and store all of my blog posts, outlines of ebooks and courses, and custom blog planning tools in one place with easy access from any device.
And I’m really loving Slides for making presentations for creating online courses. You can even find free themes to use to create unique and lovely presentation slides for free.
Their 4th tool, Google Forms, is also incredibly useful. Use it to for anything from polling your readers to taking orders.
A lot of bloggers use Trello to keep track of ideas, create schedules, and plan out blog posts. Their free plan offers unlimited boards for organizing all of your thoughts.
Basically, it’s just an app for making to-do lists, but with Wunderlist you can access your list from any device. And you can create reminders and even add to your to-do list simply by forwarding an email.
The free plan for Evernote allows you to save ideas, take notes, and clip sites to keep all your thoughts organized. You can sync across 2 devices on the free plan.
This is a cool Chrome extension that will help keep you on track. If you’re like me, then you’re prone to having tons of tabs open in your browser window. With Momentum, you are greeted with a gentle reminder of your goals for the day every time you open a new tab.
ProTip: Tell it your name is Beautiful and feel like a Goddess with every new tab.
44. Focus booster
If you’re a fan of the Pomodoro technique for productivity, you’ll love using Focus Booster. It keeps track of your work sessions and gives you a built-in timer to keep you on task.
If you really struggle with distractions like social media or even obsessively checking your Google Analytics every 10 minutes, download this free app for Macs. You can set up blocks for specific sites during specific times of the day. Perfect for the person who has no self-control.
For email marketing
Even if you’re simply sending out links to your blog posts, maintaining a regular email newsletter is essential to your online business. Down the road, you don’t know what opportunities you’ll have to make money from your list by selling your own or affiliate products.
But if your readers haven’t heard from you in 6 months, chances are they won’t remember who you are or be interested in what you’re trying to sell. So it pays to offer an email newsletter and get on a regular schedule of sending something to your email subscribers.
I love MailerLite! You’ll get 1000 free email subscribers with full automation features and an easy to use drag and drop editor. You can create gorgeous landing pages, segment and add labels to your subscribers, and add a pop up to your site all on the free plan.
Once you hit the 1000 mark, you’ll find the monthly fee very affordable (as little as $10 for up to 2500 email subscribers).
MailChimp is another very popular email service provider that offers a free plan up to 2000 subscribers and now includes automation.
Cloud storage for images/docs
Bloggers usually offer freebies as incentives for joining an email list. To deliver your freebie, you’ll want to use a form of cloud storage so you don’t have to host it on your site.
Upload files to your Dropbox account and send your subscribers a link to download the file.
49. Google drive
You can use Google Drive as the hub for all your blog planning tools. Create or upload a file and create a shareable link to put in your welcome email series.
50. Amazon s3
Although it is a bit confusing to use at first, Amazon S3 is an excellent choice for housing your files. You can encrypt your files and set them to auto download so your subscribers can’t simply forward the link to their friends.
You need a bit of instruction to get started with Amazon S3, but once you get the hang of it it’s not big deal.
ProTip: When you’re uploading a file, set encryption to AES-256, add metadata as follows: content-disposition attachment and content-type pdf (if appropriate). Grant public read access or else no one will be able to see it.
To send your freebie to subscribers, simply share the link to your file in your email automation, and it will automatically download when clicked.
For page speed
51. EWWW optimizer
The bigger file size of your images, the longer they’ll take to load for your visitors. So make sure you’re not uploading full size pictures from your phone or camera. Use an editing program like mentioned above and get a plugin like EWWW optimizer to automatically shrink your images as they’re uploaded.
ProTip: Mac users, you can also shrink your images without any plugin at all. Simply open the image on your computer, click on Tools > Adjust Size and adjust the settings from there.
A lot of bloggers may disagree with me on this one, but in Jetpack there’s a really cool feature that will minimize your images as well as serve them from an external host to drastically cut your page load time.
53. WP Fastest Cache
You need a caching plug-in for your website to increase site speed. Caching stores a version of your website in the cache and serves it to returning visitors to your site to minimize page load time.
There are many out there that work great, WP Fastest Cache is just one.
For creating videos
There’s simply no easier way to create videos for your blog posts than Lumen5. This software will pull text from your post and autofill slides with your text and try to grab related images.
You can then edit each slide, change the colors, add music, and add a call to action at the end of the video. And this is all for free.
On the paid plan, you can make square videos, remove the Lumen5 branding, and add a custom outro. See a video I made with Lumen5 in this post.
If you want to make screenshot videos for your blog, this is a great free program for recording on Macs. You can easily record videos from the camera, take screenshots, or just grab audio.
If you’re not using a Mac, here are some great alternatives to Quicktime.
56. Mouse click highlighter
This is a cool free tool I found. It allows you to highlight your mouse so you can create videos showing how to use programs and software on your computer.
It’s a free Chrome extension with limited features, but if you just want a plain circle around your mouse it does the trick.
For hosting videos
If you’re making videos for your posts, you don’t want to just upload them into your media files. It will take up way too much space on your site. There are a couple of options for hosting your videos offsite. Then you can embed them into your posts without slowing down your website
I like using Vimeo for hosting videos. In my experience, videos are much faster to upload to Vimeo compared to YouTube. Plus on the pro plan you can control which websites your videos can be embedded and played.
You already know what youtube is, right? 😉
For editing videos
Mac users have video editing built into their computer. There’s a slight learning curve, but it’s not hard at all to create videos with intros, titles, transitions, voice-oversa, and more with iMovie.
I work on a Mac so I didn’t really know what to suggest for editing videos on a PC. But I couldn’t leave you hanging! I found this article on Hubspot that goes over some free programs you can use.
Stock music for videos:
It can be hard to find good royalty free music for your videos. You can definitely get in trouble if you use someone’s music without permission – just like with images. So I save a couple of websites in my bookmark bar for grabbing music when I need it.
These are 2 of my favorites, but there are lots more options. Here’s another great resource I would bookmark for later.
Great selection of royalty free music, you just have to give credit.
61. Scott Buckley
Another excellent resource for free music that just requires credit to the author.
62. Google analytics
If you blog, then you must be using Google Analytics. It’s very easy to install Google’s analytics on your site with a short code in your <head> section. A plugin like GADWP will even do it for you.
63. Pinterest Analytics
Pinterest can tell you some great info about the people who are interested in your content. Click on ‘People You Reach’ and browse the demographics of your audience. Expand on that with the ‘Interests’ tab to learn about other things your audience likes.
64. Facebook Analytics
Did you know Facebook offers analytics for your website? Yeah, I just figured that out accidentally the other day. There’s some cool info in there, too! Here’s a link to an article that walks you through getting FB analytics for your site.
65. Stat Counter
StatCounter is analytics program that is built to help you better understand who is visiting your site and what they’re doing while they’re there. Take a look at the features – most are available for free.
Get More Done With These Free Blogging Tools
I hope you found these free resources helpful for your blog. Make sure you save this post to come back to it later as you need more tools for your blog or website.
In case you missed it, make sure you sign up for my newsletter. I’m always finding cool new things to share with my subscribers. Plus whenever I create a freebie, I send it directly to my closest friends.