Who doesn’t like free stuff? In my opinion, unless you’re giving away used socks, chances are I’ll take it. Recently I found myself in quite the conundrum. I had maxed-out my hard drive with free blogging tools, and was standing at a computer-crossroads. With so many free tools available to bloggers, who is to say what’s worth the go, and what’s not. So there I was, mouse in hand, an endless supply of free blogging tools, and not a clue on where to begin. I decided that if there was going to be any hope in freeing-up some gigabytes, I was going to have to systematically review all of these tools and decide once and for all what’s getting used, and what’s getting purged.
So after many months of fiddling around with free online goodies, I finally settled on my best of the best. What most drew me to these specific tools, was that each one was developed with the sole purpose of helping you, the blogger, improve your website. This list is my greatest hits compilation. These are the tools I believe any blogger needs in order to succeed in becoming a pro blogger without breaking the bank. All of the blogging tools on this list are completely free, so Ho! Ho! Ho!, I do believe Christmas has come early this year.
Great Free Blogging Tools, No Matter What Platform You Are On
Before you start questioning my credentials, hear me out. Email is essential to blogging. Imagine that your blog is Batman, and your email address is your Batmobile. Without your sleek set of wheels, you aren’t going to get anywhere fast.
Ultimately, a good blogger knows how to use his email account to his advantage, and Gmail is a great free email account that can help you organize your blogging world. Google’s calendar allows you to manage your day-to-day schedule, and remind you of important upcoming deadlines and meetings, while Google Drive is a great place to neatly store published, and unpublished works.
It should come as no surprise that Google controls almost all aspects of the internet world. Although it may be easy to huff and puff about all of Google’s rules and regulations, the Big Guy does provide some pretty nifty free tools, that can help make any blogger’s life that much easier. Google Adwords is a great free way to market your blog, or business through an online campaign. With this free service, you provide some keywords from your website, and Google provides the platform to allow you to start gaining more recognition, and dollars with CPC and CPM campaigns.
If you are looking for some fast cash, Google Adsense is not a bad bet. However, in my experience this money maker isn’t always worth the effort. The ads you get with Google Adsense, will take up some serious space on your web pages. So while it is free to use, and easy to start earning with, keep in mind that you will be selling your space for intrusive ad banners.
Yes, you caught me, I love Google. But really now down to business, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster are two free must-haves for any blogger. First off, Google Analytics allows you to monitor and understand your traffic. Any good blogger knows that the key to success is knowing his or her audience. With Google Analytics, you can spy on what your users are up to while they are perusing through your website. Find out where your traffic is coming from, how long your readers stay on your blog, and what posts your readers love most. On the flip side, Google Webmaster let’s you keep a watchful eye on your blog’s blueprints. With this valuable free tool, you can search for any links that lead to dead ends, as well as pages that aren’t getting high scores on Google search.
In order to be a pro blogger, you have got to have your ear to the ground. Now I don’t mean grabbing your laptop and blogging in the fetal position on the floor. Being a pro blogger means being in-the-know with what is going on on other websites and letting your followers easily gain access to your work as it’s posted. In order to become a pro blogger it’s essential to think about your feed. Google’s free tool Feedburner is an easy way to create RSS Feed for your blog. The blogger who allows users to follow his feed, is setting himself up on a path to great exposure on the web. There is an endless amount of free tools that are similar to Feedburner, but in my humble opinion this is the most simple and efficient tool to get the job done.
- Related read: How to Setup feedburner for WordPress blogs
- Change Feednburner Email subject to make it more effective
If you’ve got the cash, then Photoshop is the smart way to go. For us penny pinchers, Paint.Net is a great free blogging tool that allows you to edit your images like a pro. The tool requires a bit of patience and know-how before you can really get rolling, but your time and effort will be well spent once you start banging out some National Geographic-worthy photos. Another plus to this free image-editing fun-time, is there are a bunch of informative YouTube tutorials available to help you sharpen your skills.
If you thought they were strict about plagiarism in school, try re-posting someone’s work on the internet. The World Wide Wide doesn’t think too highly of a stealer, so to make sure you don’t accidentally get caught in the wrong crowd, here’s a free blogging tool that is sure to become your new best buddy. Plagium allows you to be sure that the new guest post you are about to publish hasn’t already been posted somewhere else. This free tool will let you stay one step ahead of the game, by allowing you to post with confidence that the content you are putting out for the world to see is unique. By being sure your new posts haven’t been copied from somewhere else, you are also ensuring that your SEO won’t take a sudden hit. Here you can find 10 more tools to check content theft.
Still confused about the difference between “there” and “their”? After The Deadline is a free blogging tool that makes sure you come out sounding smart. Any pro blogger knows that the key to online success is to write like a professional. When it comes to double checking your grammar this free tool is the best for bloggers. After The Deadline can be used as a browser extension, WordPress Plugin or Open Office, so this guy can be around to help you out no matter where you are blogging from.
As a pro blogger, you email inbox can quickly spiral into a never ending list of unfamiliar names, and contacts. Before you let that scare you, know that there is an easy free tool that can help make your life a little less complicated. Rapportive allows you to get an inside look at who is behind the email address. This free blogging tool can allow you to manage your email contacts, and allow you to get easily connected to the social media profiles of the emailers. Rapportive is sure to cut the investigating time in half, or perhaps get you a closer look at who has been sending you all those e-love letters.
Before you start mail blasting, I would recommend you give this free blogging tool a look. Email marketing can be a tricky game, and unless you have a pocket full of gold coins to spend on a professional campaign, making your emails stand out can be a challenge. With MailChimp, you get a free, and creative tool that allows you to design the perfect email to shoot to your followers. So whether you are an amateur or semi-professional blogger looking to go pro, MailChimp is definitely worth a try so that your emails don’t get overlooked.
A new post without the buzz is like competing in a contest with no judges. Disqus is a great free tool that enables your users to easily comment on your posts. Any pro blogger will tell you that the easiest way to boost a posts popularity is to get people buzzing about it. With Disqus, you will be creating a professional comment section for your users to voice their opinion. The hype around your posts will certainly add the extra oomph to your pages, and this free tool also allows you to benefit from some extra cash on the side. Now what’s not to like about that? If you are using WordPress platform, I recommend to use comment evolved for WordPress plugin, which not only let you add DISQUS commenting system, but also adds Google plus, Facebook, Default WordPress commenting system too.
While some pro bloggers may not agree, I am a firm believer that backing-up your work in a cloud storage is a must. Any of these three free storage sites let’s you be sure that your work will never get lost. The choice is yours on which storage space works best for you, and in my opinion these three are your best possible bets. Perhaps you are among the few who likes living on the wild side, and not backing up your posts, so if that’s the case don’t say I didn’t tell you so if one day you open up your computer and find something missing.
No matter how great a Word Wizard you are, sometimes spelling it out just won’t get the point across. With Awesome Screenshot you can take a picture of the image on your screen, add in some snazzy circles and arrows in order to make sure the message you are trying to convey is clear. This free tool is especially useful for the tech blogger, or reviewer who is planning to post a step by step tutorial. Whatever the point may ultimately be, sometimes a picture is in fact worth a thousand words.
This is a great free tool desktop editing blogging tool for any blogger who gets a little trigger-shy before hitting the publish button. With Windows Live Writer, you can easily add photos to your pages, preview your post, and double-check spacing and fonts so that when you hit that publish button you are confident that there will be no turning back. This is an essential tool that works well to enhance any blogging platform. Let’s be fair, doing one last proof read before the publish is never a bad idea. Do remember, this is Windows only free blogging tool.
Before I get into all the pluses this free tool has to offer, I must mention its one downfall. SEOquake will slow down your browser experience, so if you plan on testing out this essential tool, my recommendation would be to give it a go on a browser you seldom use. Now for the good part, SEOquake allows you to analyze other websites quickly and efficiently. This tool let’s you see how to other blogger is faring and how he got his website to where it is. In my mind, the key to success is to learn from the best and stay different from the rest. With SEOquake you can learn from your online peers and develop new blogging strategies based on what your competition is up to. Do you need more free SEO tools?
So there you have it, my top 15 free blogging tools to help you become a pro blogger. Of course, there are so many other tools out there, and just because they didn’t make it onto this list doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Ultimately, becoming a pro blogger takes more than just downloading a few good services from the net. Although, for any blogger on the road to going pro, this list of freebies will certainly help you along the way. Here are some more blogging tools for your reference:
- Blogging tools that I can’t live without
- Huge list of useful tools for bloggers
- Useful WordPress tools for every blogger
Do let me know which one of these tools for blogging you are using? And if you want to add your favorite tool, you can add it via comments.