Setting up a blog is an exciting experience. But it also requires many moving parts and unique tools. Fortunately, new bloggers can use many free (or nearly free) online tools to get started. In this post, we’ll show you (and talk through) the essential free blogging tools that all new bloggers should use!
But first, to get a few related questions out of the way…
Can you start a blog for no dollars? Is it really possible to start a blog completely free?
Technically, yes. But there are limitations to free blogs (mainly, limits to what and how you can earn money!).
But, if you’re willing to invest just a little bit of money (less than $50!), you could make your blog better from the start.
Related: Start Your Own Blog
Is WordPress blog free?
The next question I get often is, “Is WordPress blog free?”.
Yes! WordPress.org is completely free to start your blog with. But it has its limitations (like the layout of the blog) that you may not like. That’s where certain tools and paid features come in handy. But there are many free blogging tools out there that can make your blog better. Let’s talk about them!
Essential Free Blogging Tools To Use Right Now
What are the best essential blogging tools to use right now? Here are our 7 favorites.
If you want your blog to stand out, you need to make it as eye-catching as possible. Canva is a graphic design platform that enables you to create everything your blog needs, including:
Customized Images – Add pizzazz to your photos with colors and drawings. You can make sure that all of your blog’s images are special and captivating. Canva also allows you to add watermarks so that no one steals your pictures.
Website Graphics – You can create graphics from scratch to enhance various posts and content. For example, you can make an infographic to share on social media instead of a lengthy text post.
Marketing Materials – Once you have some content on your blog, you need to promote it as much as possible. Canva empowers you to create ads for search engines, social media platforms, and more.
So, start designing your blog graphics today and see how Canva can upgrade your blog’s appearance.
Tailor Brands Logo Maker
While Canva makes it easy to design everything from blog posts to marketing materials, the foundation of your designs should be your blog’s logo. And, having a logo makes it much easier to promote your work.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to come up with an award-winning graphic logo design. Instead, you can let Tailor Brands develop it for you.
Best of all, because the logo maker uses artificial intelligence software, you can get results in seconds, not hours or days.
All you have to do is follow these steps:
- 1) Create a Tailor Brands Account – You can use your Google or Facebook account for convenience.
- 2) Enter Your Blog’s Name and Slogan – If you don’t have a slogan yet, don’t worry – it’s optional.
- 3) Enter Your Industry – What kind of blog do you have (fashion, food, current events, etc.)?
- 4) Choose Your Logo Type – Do you want a graphic image or a logo based on your blog’s name?
- 5) Choose a Font Type – The font you choose can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your blog. Examples include curly, fun, textured, trendy, and more.
Afterward, you’ll get tons of unique logo designs. Once you pick one you like, you can customize it further to ensure that it reflects your blog. Even better, you can see how your logo looks on various products, including your website, business cards, and swag.
Making a logo for your blog is just the first step. Tailor Brands offers a full suite of graphic design services to meet your needs. So, feel free to utilize their in-house design team as much as necessary. Visit them online to see what they have to offer.
Related: Confessions of a Seasoned Blogger
One of the best ways to keep your audience engaged is through email marketing. As a blog, it’s much easier to build a substantial subscriber list. Since your readers will want to stay up-to-date on your posts, they’re more willing to subscribe.
Then, all you have to do is reward that loyalty with fun and engaging emails, including newsletters, updates, exclusive content, and more.
Mailerlite makes it easy to manage your subscriber lists, especially once you get a substantial following. The best way to ensure continued engagement is to segment your lists and pay attention to stats like open and click-through rates. By focusing on the most engaged followers, you can build a much stronger audience, enabling you to generate more revenue.
As a new blog, you can create a free Mailerlite account. The company charges based on the number of subscribers you have, starting with 1,000. Even then, you only have to pay $15 per month. So, set up your first email campaign and see how email marketing can help your blog.
Related: 10 Ways to Monetize Your Blog
If you want your blog to get as much traffic as possible, you must invest in search engine optimization.
A core component of SEO marketing is knowing which keywords are getting the most results. Knowing these words ensures that you can tailor your content to match them as much as possible. Then, when someone searches for the keyword, your blog can pop up in one of the top five results pages.
Serprobot helps you maximize your SEO outreach by analyzing your blog posts and pages for specific keywords. Best of all, it will tell you which keywords are bringing the most traffic already so that you can incorporate them more into your content. Over the long term, Serprobot can track how well each keyword is doing so that you can see whether your SEO tactics are gaining steam or not.
While it’s not free, Serprobot only costs $4.99 per month per bot (one per keyword), and it will update you up to 300 times every 24 hours. So start checking your rankings today!
While Serprobot can monitor specific keywords, it’s better to optimize your content as you go. Yoast SEO is a free WordPress plugin that can help you craft optimized posts in real-time. All you have to do is put the primary keyword into the plugin, and it will offer recommendations of what you should do to ensure that your post ranks as highly as possible.
Suggestions can include:
Meta Title – Adding a meta title ensures that search engines crawl and index your page for the right keyword.
Meta Description – This description gives some brief insight into your article and what it’s about. If you don’t write a separate description, search engines will just use the opening paragraph of your content.
Images With Alt Text – Alt text is a text description of the image, which serves as a backup if the file fails to load. Alt text can also help optimize your pages because search engines pay attention to your photos. So, if your images have generic filenames like IMG_89, they won’t add value to your SEO strategy.
Yoast SEO will also tell you whether your headlines are optimized and if you need to increase or decrease your word count. Overall, this plugin ensures that each of your posts gets optimized before publishing, saving you time and hassle later.
You can use the free version of Yoast SEO, or you can pay $89 for a full year of the premium software. Either way, let Yoast help you set up your SEO.
Did you know that up to 80% of online visitors only pay attention to content “above the fold”? The fold is the main header of your content, and only about 20% of new visitors will scroll below it. So, you have to create a pretty captivating headline to entice readers to see what you have to say.
Fortunately, you don’t need a degree in headline writing. Instead, you can use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer tool. This tool uses AI to scan your headline and make suggestions about how to improve it. This way, you can capture your reader’s attention before they even read anything else.
Getting more clicks and more visitors enables you to generate more revenue, so this tool practically pays for itself. Or, you can use the free version and still get decent suggestions. That said, upgrading to the Pro software does give you more insight and tools, so it’s worth it for serious bloggers.
Keyword research is essential for search engine optimization. Unfortunately, most bloggers only pay attention to individual words and not how they relate to each other. Twinword helps alleviate this problem by grouping similar keywords so that you can understand user intent better.
Twinword uses AI software to figure out patterns and trends that can help you rank higher in the search results.
The basic Twinword package is only $18 per month, and you can upgrade to premium versions if you need to conduct more research. However, as a new blog, the basic version should be more than sufficient.
Now start finding keywords that matter to your audience.
Essential Free Blogging Tools: Which Will You Choose?
As you can see, there are many different tools out there for bloggers. But these are the essential free blogging tools (unless you upgrade) that are likely the most valuable for you.
Are you ready to start using these blogging tools? Tell us which ones are your favorite!!
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.