Since I’ve started blogging, I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for blogging resources to help me create, organize and show off my blog content.
BUT, let’s be honest. Most business and blogging resources can cost a lot of money, and when you’re starting out, you may not have tons of cash to throw at your business!
I definitely didn’t have a ton of money to pump into software and programs, so I went on a journey to find free resources to help- and I mean FREE! Of course most resources will offer a premium package with extra goodies but I have not spent a dime on any of the websites or plugins I’m going to talk about here. I am only using and experimenting with free versions.
I’m sure if you’re a seasoned blogger you will have heard of most, if not all, of these. But if you’re new to blogging or if you haven’t thought about trying to change your blog into a business until now, these resources can certainly offer some guidance.
So, let’s get started!
Visually is a company that creates custom, premium online content for brands, but some people may not know they also offer a free community for the public to post and share their infographics and videos. Anyone is able to go on the community page, peruse through the graphics and embed their favorites into blog posts. Best of all- it’s completely FREE! They have some awesome infographics for almost every niche. Check out the Visually community section at: http://visual.ly/view
2. LinkedIn’s SlideShare
Slideshare is an online treasure trove for presentations, infographics and videos. People from around the world can post shareable content that anyone can download or embed on their websites or blog posts! You can sort by topic and search through favorites to find some really professional looking visual content. Check out the video below I pulled off http://www.slideshare.net/
SEO: Getting Personal from Kirsty Hulse
3. YouTube and Twitter
So I know this one is SUPER obvious but I really think YouTube and Twitter are underutilized in website marketing and blogging. Both websites make it incredibly easy to embed content right into your blog and the amount of amazing content to choose from is endless! Embedding a Youtube video on to your site is not only more interesting for your readers, but it can also decrease your bounce rate and potentially lead to a higher conversion ratio for your website sales.
Very true. pic.twitter.com/T3Up4V4V2C
— Inspirational Quotes (@Inspire_Us) October 30, 2016
I discovered Yoast recently and it’s an awesome way to become aware of how readers will perceive your blog posts and boost your SEO. It’s probably one of the most valuable blogging resources you can have!
I downloaded the free plugin for my WordPress theme and even the free version is great! It helps optimize each blog post by letting you know the “readability” factor and SEO details including tips about length of your post, keywords, and meta descriptions. It also guides you through setting up your search console, social media links, and sitemap. Below is an example of how Yoast gives real-time tips as your write each blog post. It’s a great tool to start improving your blog’s SEO today!
I have heard of so many email automation programs and contact forms for bloggers that it makes my head spin. I signed up for the free version of MailChimp and I have to say- it’s pretty awesome!
With MailChimp, you can design contact forms, popups, and subscription forms to embed anywhere in your website. Once people sign up to be on your mailing list, you can send out an auto-responder or design beautiful email templates/newsletters to keep in touch. All subscribers are set up on a list in your main MailChimp account where you can access them at any time. Although the paid option of MailChimp offers more features, if you’re working with a smaller number of subscribers, the free version has enough options and versatility to get you started! Sign up at http://mailchimp.com/ and don’t forget to get the WordPress plugin.
I really love Evernote for organization and what I love most is that it is connected across all your devices. Link your desktop or Mac to your Evernote app to keep track of your schedule, notes, reminders and photos. There are also some cool features like “clipping” information off the web, creating and saving handwritten images, storing any important documents and archiving all your bills and receipts. Being web based, Evernote is accessible from anywhere! Definitely an awesome tool to organize your business AND your life!
7. Rich Pins
Rich Pins by Pinterest is an awesome way to optimize your content that gets shared online. First off, if you’re not already, you DEFINITELY want to be on Pinterest. Secondly, if you’re using Pinterest as a vehicle to promote your content and market your blog, you will want to upgrade to a business account which will allow you to see analytics (and it’s totally free!). By doing this, you can link your website, add a “Save” button for easy pinning, and upgrade to Rich Pins for cool features and extra detail on your pins.
I think most Bloggers have heard of Canva, but if you haven’t, you really need to check it out!! Canva allows you to design any graphic you could need for your blog, and it’s one of the best FREE blogging resources for creating all your graphics.
They offer tons of free templates and images to get started and you can create some cool stuff REALLY quickly! They make money by offering some templates and graphics for a small charge, but I haven’t felt the need to buy any graphics yet. I’d say 90% of the images on my blog were designed using Canva.
Pixabay is filled with thousands of stock images anyone can use on websites or blog posts. They are amazing quality and there is a ton of selection for all sorts of website themes or niches. You can search through pictures, illustrations, vector graphics or even short videos- all copyright and royalty free! I highly recommend Pixabay if you need to refresh your visual content. Visit https://pixabay.com/
If you’re looking for even more options for free stock photos, I wrote a blog post about it here.
What are your favorite free blog building resources? Let us know!