Whether you’re starting a blog or already have one, this list of tools will help you optimize productivity, streamline your process, or just assist with content creation. And most of all—THEY’RE ALL FREE!
Ya girl loves to be as resourceful as possible and cut back on expenses where I can. The more you grow your blog, the more costs can start adding up. Why not save where you can?
Not only will your pockets thank you, but you’ll feel more accomplished + organized.
Allows you to create graphics for social media—YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram. You can also use this to create flyers, logos, or whatever you need for your blog.
What I love about Canva is their templates. You can tweak the colors, add new images, stickers, etc. You can accomplish so much on the free version. But if you want to take it up a notch, they have a paid version that includes more features and free stock photos.
iMovie or DaVinci Resolve
For those with an iPhone, iPad, or any Apple products—iMovie is the perfect tool for editing videos. You have all the basics you’d need and can add texts, effects, audio. If you’re looking for a clean-cut video editing software, iMovie is for you.
But what if you don’t have Apple products? Don’t you fret.
DaVinci Resolve has a free version that allows you to edit videos on any computer system. I downloaded it, but didn’t have time to fully use it. From what I saw, there are more editing features on here than most free software.
For those wanting royalty free music for YouTube or IG videos, Thematic is your best bet. There are plenty of instrumentals and songs to choose from. You have to—of course—give the artist credit in all your posts. But the free version has some limitations, so if you want unlimited access to songs, you’ll have to upgrade. I’ve been fine using the free version.
Planning + Organization
I’ve used both, so either choice is perfect for sending out emails to your subscribers. They both have free versions when you have under a certain number of subscribers. This will help you as you’re growing your blog and working towards monetizing it.
I more recently switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit because the user experience was better for me. Other than that, they’re both great tools to use.
Trello helps you organize your goals or to-do list in a way that’s easy to read and you can add to it or check off items. Some people don’t like using physical planners, or maybe it’s not feasible to take them with you everywhere.
It’s also a great tool to help you map out your Blogging goals—big, small, weekly, daily, whatever.
Scheduling post the day of, or setting reminders on when to post next can get overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to think smarter, not harder, with blogging.
Take one day out of the month (or the week, if you prefer) and schedule all your posts out. It’ll take a few hours max, but it’ll save you the headache of trying to do it during the week or scrambling to do it, not on a schedule. Hootsuite offers a free version that allows you to add up to 3 social media accounts and schedule up to 30 posts at a time.
For those moments when random ideas pop up in your head or even if you’re someone who organizes your thoughts on notes. Evernote allows you to add audio, images, scan documents, sketch and add reminders. They also have templates you can use to track your projects, social media calendars, agendas, etc.
You can also access your notes on your computer and share with others to collaborate.
I recently found out about Toggl, and I am so thankful I did. It allows me to track how much time it’s taken me to complete certain tasks so I can better manage my time. You can create a project, start the timer, pause it, and then pick back up.
They have analytical tools that create reports and give insight into your productivity.
If you’re looking to collaborate with others, there’s a project management feature that helps you to streamline the process.
Every blog post I’ve written has been edited using ProWritingAid. They offer plenty of tips to enhance your writing and catch some of the grammatical errors you otherwise wouldn’t have. They also let you know words that are overused, sentences that are too long, and grades the overall writing.
For those who have a WordPress.org or WordPress.com blog, YoastSEO is a MUST-HAVE TOOL. The plugin is free, of course you can upgrade for more options. It scores your SEO and readability, which can help people organically find your content.
Figuring out SEO can be overwhelming, but having a tool like this will increase your blog’s visibility.
Plug in your sites URL and it’ll rank your speed. It also suggests areas to increase your speed and optimize your website for mobile. This is something that also affects traffic to your blog, so make sure it’s up to speed.
This allows you to see the demographics of visitors to your site. It also gives insight into areas you’re doing well in and areas for you to improve. You can see which post generates the most traffic and where it’s coming from—Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook—and use that to your advantage.
It breaks EVERYTHING down for you.
Pinterest is how many bloggers generate massive traffic, besides Google. Pinterest allows you to reach a market you wouldn’t have just from Facebook or Twitter. You can go on Canva, create a graphic from the templates, write a description, then link it to a post or your site.
I’ve been able to tap into a new market just from using Pinterest.
For high quality royalty-free stock images and videos, these sites have it all. I especially like Pexel because they have diverse people throughout their photos. Depending on what I need photos for, all use all three of them.
This saves you from having to take pictures yourself, especially if you don’t have the time or equipment.
G Suite (drive, Gmail, etc)
The interconnectedness of it all makes it easy + convenient to use. Just being able to store your posts, info, or create new material—Google suite is that place. It’s also perfect because it autosaves everything and you can access things from multiple devices.
I would encourage you to set up a Gmail for your blog, and if you use a self-hosting site like SiteGround—you can forward [email protected]yourwebsite.com to your Gmail. That’s what I’ve used for my blog email. But even if it’s [email protected]gmail.com, that works!
Writing on google docs helps you to store your material in the cloud and saves room on your computer. Get on it.
Everything I’ve wanted to learn about blogging I’ve done through extensive research and YouTube is the primary source. You can find any, and everything you need to get your blog started—FOR FREE. Want to learn how to code? YouTube it! Have a question about how to start? YouTube it! Want to know the difference between Wix vs WordPress.com vs WordPress.org? YouTube it.
You’d be surprised at how much you can learn from YouTube.
If you’re wondering what content to create, or just needing ideas—Answer The Public is the spot. As a travel and wellness blogger, I can type in “travel solo” and questions people are wondering about that will pop up. This gives me insight about what my readers would want to know.
Remember when you’re blogging, you’re offering solutions and/or helping others. Think customer first.
Part of blogging is creating a captivating headliner. CoSchedules headliner analyzer ranks your headlines likeability and tells you areas you can improve in. What I also like about Coshedule is that they have blog title templates you can experiment with. This will ultimately get you more traffic.
You can also search their site for other free tools—trust me, there’s plenty.
These are all the tools I use to make my process easier, generate more ideas, stay organized, and increase my traffic.
Have you used any of the tools before?