One of the most popular ways to earn money by working from home is through owning and operating your own blog. As a blogger for only the past two years, 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 all of 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 paying someone to host your site. Then, if you want to jazz it up a bit with a cute layout and one-of-a-kind logo, you’re digging yourself a hole, rather than jumping in the mounds of cash that you’d imagined prior to becoming a blogger.
So, yes: freebies have been my little ray of sunshine when things have seemed somewhat impossible through my blogging journey.
Here are some of the best freebies for bloggers.
My numero uno pick 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 us. They even have templates already designed for our favorite social media sites, blog posts, and tons of other important layouts that you may need.
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 could definitely do without paying for anything.
2. Mail Chimp
Mail Chimp is a mail service provider that enables you to send group emails to a list of subscribers. You can choose from several plans, but there is a “Forever Free” plan that has suited me perfectly!
Check out this post for more FREE email marketing options.
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 great for basic editing: cropping, resizing, creating .png files, etc. There are a lot of great videos on YouTube that explain the basics of using Pixlr if you’ve never tried it before.
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.
5. Word Count Tool
I use it on every article: including this one. Word Count Tool simply 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. Simply copy your text and paste in the provided box on their website.
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 into 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? Grab a copy of Blogging Success; it's FREE!
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.
Looking to connect with other bloggers? Check out this group!
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. Without it, you’ll be lost in the never-ending internet galaxy, never to be found.
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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.