One of the most popular ways to earn money from home is through owning and operating your own blog. As a blogger, I can tell you one thing — you get out what you put in. Success doesn’t happen with writing a couple of good articles. It can be frustrating, depressing, and oddly enjoyable. There have been plenty of times that I have thought, “why bother?” but all in all, I am happy that I have stuck with it this long.
With that being said, I can guarantee you one thing: I would not still be blogging if it weren’t for some of the incredible freebies that I have come across. I mean, you’re constantly putting cash into your blog by setting up a domain name and hosting. Then, if you want to jazz it up with a cute theme and a one-of-a-kind logo — you’re spending even more money, rather than jumping in the mounds of cash that you’d thought you'd be earning.
So, yes, freebies have been my little ray of sunshine when things have seemed somewhat impossible through my blogging journey.
BTW, if you haven't set up your blog yet — here is an easy step-by-step tutorial.
Here are some of the best freebies for bloggers:
If you want to up-level your Pinterest game, my numero uno pick for creating awesome images is Canva. Everyone knows that beautiful pictures are a must-have for blog posts. You can do a million different things on Canva and they make it so incredibly easy for bloggers. They have templates already designed for your favorite social media sites, blog posts, and tons of other important layouts that you may need for your blogging business.
While a good majority of their photos and clipart are free, there are also a handful of options that you would be required to pay for. Luckily, they’re still cheap (only $1 per image). But there are so many great options for freebies that you can definitely do without paying for anything.
With social media and search engine algorithms changing constantly — you need to be building an email newsletter list from day one. With email marketing — you own your list and can connect with them at any moment. One of the best free email marketing services is Sendinblue. With Sendinblue, you can send up to 300 free emails a day and you get unlimited contacts, mobile-friendly designs, professional-looking templates, customizable sign-up forms, and lots more! If you need a larger plan, their next plan up, the LITE plan offers 40,000 emails per month for just $7.00 — which is a great budget-friendly option for new bloggers!
Pixlr was one of the first websites that I needed to familiarize myself with when I was hired for my first blogging job (before owning my own!). Pixlr is a great tool for basic editing, cropping, resizing, creating .png files, and more. If takes some time to get used to, but there are many great tutorials on YouTube that explain the basics of using Pixlr if you're new to the platform.
Got trouble with your organization? Yeah, you and me both! Evernote has had an enormous impact on how well I am organizing and staying focused on my blog. I like to use it as my space to store my ideas and inspirations, rather than have things written here, there, and everywhere.
Grammarly is a free online platform that you can use for editing your blog posts. It catches spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and it even counts the words that you have typed. This is essential for SEO purposes and especially important when you are writing articles as a freelance writer. It’s free and easy to use. Just download the extension to your web browser and it will highlight any areas of concern, allowing you to easily fix any mistakes or typos.
6. Google Analytics
I have a love/hate relationship with Google Analytics. First, it took me a while to understand what it’s all about and honestly; I still feel overwhelmed when I log onto their site.
It can also become an obsession that can lead you down a negative path, especially in the early days. The results can make you feel hopeless one day but inspired by the next morning when you see them improve.
But the good thing about Google Analytics is that it provides you with the important data that you need to know about your blog. It illustrates the who, what, when, and where of the people visiting your blog.
Just don’t obsess over numbers. Period.
Want to know how to get more traffic to your blog? Check out this post on 20 ways to get traffic to your blog!
7. Other Bloggers
It may sound cheesy, but other bloggers can be one of the best free resources that are available. It’s always good to make “blogging buds” with some of the other bloggers out there because you can help promote each other, swap guest posts, and share experiences with each other.
Not sure where to find other bloggers? Check out this list, it contains 15 Facebook Groups for WordPress bloggers.
I briefly mentioned the importance of SEO above, but it really deserves its own category. SEO is just that important. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is an acronym that you’ll end up very familiar with, whether you like it or not. To put it shortly, SEO helps people find your blog through the search results. Without it, you’ll be lost in the never-ending internet galaxy, never to be found. To help up your SEO game, get the free Yoast plugin, which makes SEO simple implement and easy to understand.
9. Blogging Education
As a blogger, you'll want to learn how to write killer content, organize your blog structure, use social media, as well as the best monetization practices. Luckily, there are some great free blogging courses and e-books that can help boost your game.
Here are a few that are worth checking out:
- Blogging Success: Tips for Creating Content, Getting Traffic and Monetizing Your Blog
- The Blog Structure Blueprint
- 7 Surefire Ways to Boost Your Blog Income Overnight
- 120 Awesome Blog Post Ideas
- 11 Ways to Boost Your Blog Reach Overnight
10. Manage Your Money
As soon as you spend your first dollar on becoming a professional blogger, you'll need to manage your finances by tracking your income and expenses. Yes, you can do this on a spreadsheet, but I highly suggest using a professional platform so that tax time is a breeze. Wave accounting software is not only free, but it includes unlimited bank and credit card connections, income and expense tracking, as well as the ability to run multiple businesses from one account.
Just because you're a new blogger, doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money to look like a pro. Use some of these blogging freebies and watch your blogging empire grow!
What free blogging tools do you use? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
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Emily Belcher is the blogger behind TheUnextreme.com, where she enjoys writing about various topics from toxic mold to life as a work at home mom. She also writes for some of the top coupon and nursing websites as a freelance writer and editor. Some of her hobbies include hiking with her husband and young son in beautiful North Carolina, practicing yoga, and reading tarot cards.
Originally published on September 24, 2015. Content updated by Holly Reisem Hanna and republished on August 17, 2018.
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