Although you have to spend money on setting up your blog hosting and domain there is an abundance of free resources to help you grow your blog! Check out these 10 free tools to boost your blog performance.
1. Keywords Everywhere
The Keywords Everywhere extension is a free SEO keyword research tool. I use Keyword Everywhere for my Pinterest and social media posts and hashtags. Whenever you type something into the Google search bar, Keywords Everywhere will suggest other relevant keywords (you can export them into Excel, too).
Now you have a list of hashtags or keywords that you can use in your pin description!
As a non-native speaker, I still make a lot of grammar mistakes. Luckily, I can do some damage control with this free little tool called Grammarly! It points out any grammatical errors you make while you type and suggests corrections and synonyms.
You can just add an extension to Chrome and Grammarly will be with you every step of the way helping you to be a better writer <3
3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
Headlines are hard! No matter how good your writing or your content is if you don’t have a good headline chances are not a lot of people will ever read your post.
This tool will help you create the perfect title every time! Type in your headline and receive a free analysis of the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your headline. Is your headline too long? Too wordy? Does it convey positive emotion to your reader?
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer will tell you all that and so much more!
The holy grail of all bloggers, graphic designers, freelancers etc. You can do EVERYTHING on here for FREE! Resize images, design social media graphics, find pictures, add text, create logos, lead magnets, templates, worksheets, icons, banners etc. etc. I spent so much time on Canva and I can’t get enough of it.
My blog and social media presence would not be nearly as good without it. It’s easy to use and they even have an app that works really well.
5. Stock Photos!!
I LOVE a good stock photo! Creating Pinterest and blog graphics is so much more fun (and successful) when you have a beautiful picture to use.
There are so many photos out there that are crazy gorgeous but protected by copyrights. Unless you’re a professional photographer who takes her own blog pictures I recommend the following stock photo services that let you use their pictures for free! No attribution required either (although appreciated).
Some of them have a search bar so you can be really specific about the image you need (for example, laptop, desk, white space, pastel etc.) and others have general themed picture packages.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Unsplash (SO.MANY.PICTURES)
- Ivory Mix (my favorite! She sends out free themed pics every month)
- Styled Stock (my other favorite – you will find lots of their pictures on my Pinterst and my website)
6. Yoast Seo Plugin
This free WordPress Plugin helped me to optimize all my posts for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) from the start. It makes it so easy and breaks down every SEO element step-by-step.
Every time you write a post you can optimize it before publishing with Yoast. Whether its meta description, slug, focus key phrase or even how easy it is to read your content – Yoast will be there to guide you through it.
They even use sad, neutral or happy emojis to show you how well your post is doing. Easy peasy!
Another tool that has been with me since the beginning. Every blogger should have an email list (and use different strategies to constantly grow it).
Collecting email addresses from your subscriber has never been easier than with MailChimp. And it’s free up to 2,000 subscribers.
I have used MailChimp to set up my email lists, create opt-in forms and pop ups, write an email sequence and analyze click through and opening rates.
I love how user-friendly it is and if you’re just starting out on your blogging journey this is a great alternative to paid email services such as ConvertKit.
Evernote has been my friend ever since I bought a new laptop and decided that a subscription to Microsoft Office was too expensive. I needed a platform to write and edit my notes on and found the perfect one.
Not only does it synchronizes all my notes with all my devices and let’s me add tags to my notes but I can also search my notes and clip content from the web directly into Evernote. My favorite writing and brainstorming tool!
BONUS WRITING TOOLS:
Google Docs and Google Sheets are also great alternatives to Microsoft Office products. I use Google sheets to keep track of my pin descriptions, affiliate marketing programs etc. – all for free, no pricy Microsoft Office required!
If you’ve been blogging for a while you know it can get super overwhelming to do ALL.THE.THINGS. There is just so much to do on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Every month there is more and more I want to try and take on, create, write, schedule, post etc.
Trello lets you break down all those big goals into a bunch of smaller tasks which helps with all the overwhelm. Keyword – FOCUS! I stay with one task until I finish, then I move on to the next and my focus is insane. Blog smarter not harder.
One tool I plan on utilizing a lot more in the future once I figure out how to be more strategic about my social media. It’s great for batching your work since you can schedule out your social media posts for a whole week (or even month) in advance all at once and be done.
You can also create different channels to monitor mentions, different hashtags etc.
BONUS Social Media Tool
Here is an essential blogging tool that has a monthly fee but offers a FREE TRIAL – Tailwind!
Because of Pinterest (more spcifically Tailwind) I was able to drive more than 5,000 page views to my brand new blog! I now have more than 400,000 monthly viewers on Pinterest.
Page views in December 2018: 538 (before Tailwind)
Page views in January 2019: 5,161 (after Tailwind)
SO WHAT MAKES TAILWIND SO AMAZING?
Scheduling & Automation, Tailwind Tribes and features such as SmartLoop – add your Pins once and SmartLoop will re-circulate them for you indefinitely, detailed insights about your pins, impressions, followers etc. There are too many awesome tools to count.
I wrote an entire post about How I grew my Brand New Pinterest Account to 250,000 monthly viewers in 2 months with Tailwind.
Give Tailwind a shot. You can try it for FREE, no credit card required. It’s completely risk-free. All new users get 100 free pins. I highly recommend it (especially for new bloggers who are trying to increase their blog traffic).
- Ready for more resources? Check out my other tools and recommended courses and books on my Resources page.
- Learn how to start your own blog in this detailed step-by-step tutorial.
I hope you find these tools as useful as I do! Let me know in the comments if I missed any.
Really helpful post Julia.
Love your post and all of the tips regarding tools to use.