Free blogging tools and resources for beginner bloggers.
I don't know any blogger that doesn't use them when they get the chance. Even when you have an older blog, it's good to find some free stuff to learn something new, try new tools, or keep costs down.
So in this blog post, I am going to give you a list of free blogging tools. They are ideal if you are a beginner blogger and don't know what tools are going to be the most useful to you.
Heads up, though, I am going to also include the odd tool that is not free but offers a free trial to see if you like them.
This blog post was originally published in Feb 2019, but was updated in December 2020.
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[Disclaimer: Some links in this post contain affiliate links. This means I get a commission if you purchase the product through my link at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.]
This blog post was originally published in December 2020, but was updated in July 2021.
FREE BLOGING TOOLS: WORDPRESS THEMES
You already have some available directly from your WordPress dashboard. To access them, go to Appearance, Themes and then click on Add New to see a range of free themes.
You can also do a Google search for FREE WordPress themes, or download them from somewhere like Athemes.
But if you still don't feel very confident with WordPress and can't code, stick to one of the ones that come already installed or, if you really need a new theme, check out these:
3 of my favourite places for WordPress Themes
Free PLUGINS FOR BEGINNER BLOGGERS
Here are some FREE plugins you can use on your WordPress site. You can find these from your dashboard.
Some of these plugins are completely FREE, but others offer a paid plan as well.
- Coming Soon Page - To create a coming soon page while you're getting your blog ready.
- Elementor - to create landing pages.
- Thirsty Affiliates - when you're ready to start making money with affiliate marketing you need this plugin to keep your affiliate links organised.
- Wordfence Security.
- W3 Total Cache.
- Imagify - To optimise your images. They have a FREE plan so you can optimise a number of images every month but if you want to do bulk optimisation, then you have to pay.
- WP-Smush - Also an image optimisation plugin.
- ConvertKit Plugin - If you want to use ConvertKit to collect your leads, you can use their plugin and manage which forms appear in which posts from your WordPress dashboard. It's quite easy to use.
Free social media tools for bloggers
- Hootsuite - The FREE plan is a bit limited, but it can help you get started. Plan and schedule your posts for the week with it.
- Tweetdeck - To monitor your Twitter feeds, mentions and lists. It's easier to see everything than in Twitter.
- Smarterqueue- Try it for a month, it's one of the best for keeping your tweets varied and you can also use it to monitor other profiles and take advantage of what works for them.
- Tailwind - Did you know you can now use Tailwind for FREE both for Instagram and for Pinterest? Start using Tailwind here.
- Planoly - If you're not on Instagram yet, Planoly is a great tool to schedule your first posts until you get the hang of it. Start using Planoly for free here.
free sEO and Research tools for beginners
SEO is something you should start doing from the beginning, but I know some of the paid tools are quite expensive, so here are a few SEO tools you can use for FREE. You should start becoming familiar with your Google Analytics and your Google Search Console, but here are some other tools you can start using for FREE.
- Buzzsumo - They offer a 30-day FREE trial.
- Moz - Use the Moz Bar Extension when you do your keyword research.
- Keyword Hero - You can start for FREE, but they currently have an offer to do a 90 day FREE trial. (July 2021)
- Keyword Surfer
- Frase - Frase will help you speed up your SEO and content research. It's also great to revamp your older blog posts and improve their SEO ranking. Start using it for FREE here.
- LSIGraph - LSI means Latent Semantic Indexing and LSI keywords are the related words that search engines look for to understand your content. You can do a few searches every day.
- Ubersuggest - Also a good starting point to do your SEO research when you're a beginner blogger.
Free stock photos and images for bloggers
There are many places that offer free images, but you will find that most of the images in these sites are the same.
If you want something slightly different subscribe to a site that sells images but offers a few free images every month.
- Creative Commons
- GetStencil - this is a design tool, but it includes images and icons from Unsplash already, so I had to put it here.
- Death to the Stock Photo
- The Hungry Jpeg - Weekly freebies and premium Graphic design resources. Great for Fonts and Design bundles for creative entrepreneurs.
- FontBundles - For Free Fonts and Design Bundles, great for seasonal campaigns.
- DepositPhotos - I've just started using this site. You can get free images every week as well as vectors and short videos. Not sure you'd get something you can use every week but it's worth checking out.
Free blogging tools: Graphic Design and Photo Editing
- Picmonkey. Not free but it's worth trying doing a free trial. I have included it because of the collage maker and its photo editing capabilities, which some of the others do not do.
- Gimp - Poor man's Photoshop, according to one of my designer friends.
- Visme - Visme is similar to Canva, but it's light years ahead when it comes to infographics and presentations. If you want to be able to do infographics in minutes, this is the tool to use. It has a FREE plan, though it's a bit limited. Try it for FREE here.
- Crello - Similar to Canva, too.
Free video tools for bloggers
You can create short videos and Gifs with Canva, Visme and Crello, but they're quite simple. They're fine for social media quotes and simple ads, but if you want a video tool that's gives you a bit more control and you want to make longer videos easily, try a tool that's specifically designed for making videos.
If you don't mind having their branding on your videos try these:
- Animoto - Animoto has lots of templates you can use to create your videos and they're all easily editable, so you can change them to match your brand easily. Start using Animoto for FREE here.
- InVideo - With InVideo's FREE plan you can export up to 60 videos per month with a watermark. Start using InVideo for FREE here.
- Rawshorts - For explainer videos. This is the tool you need if you want to create animated or whiteboard videos for your products. Find out more about Rawshorts here.
If what you want is to record videos of your screen, have a look at these free tools:
- Loom - Create short recordings of your screen (up to 5 mins) with their FREE plan. Try it out here.
- Awesome Screenshot - This is also a Google Chrome extension you can use to record your screenshots (up to 5 minutes). You can have one project and 30 screenshots with their FREE plan, but their paid plan is very economical. Sign up to Awesome Screenshot here.
Free Productivity and time management tools for online entrepreneurs
Here's a range of tools to help you organise your projects and your to-do lists.
I have also included a few tools that can work with your gmail.
- Todoist - For To-do list lovers. Simple and effective task management app. It has a Premium plan with more features, but if you're a beginner and want to get started with Productivity Apps, it's a good starting point. Start using Todoist for FREE here.
- Asana - One of the most popular project management tools out there.
- Trello - If you like using Boards but being able to change to other views, Trello is quite good, but it doesn't have the complexity of other tools.
- Kanbanflow - One of my favourite Kanban tools, but it only does Kanban. For smaller projects.
- Momentum - This is an extension and it stops you from going straight to the Google search screen. Plus, it looks nice.
- ClickUp - If you've tried Asana but want something that has a lot more power, try ClickUp. Learning how to use it can take longer, cos it's more complex, but well worth it. Sign up to ClickUp for Free here.
- Airtable - Airtable is not a project management or productivity tool per se. You can use it for project management or to keep information in it, as you would in a spreadsheet, but it's much nicer looking than Excel and you can easily modify it, set different view styles and use it for different purposes without having to code. Start using it for FREE here.
- Focuster - If you need a bit more help to focus, you might want to try this tool and see if it helps. It does not have a free plan but you can learn a few productivity tips and strategies when you use it for the first time.
- Yanado - Task Management inside gmail.
- Shift - For Marie Kondo fans. Declutter your desktop and tabs and access everything from one place. Great for people with more than one account and profiles.
- Toggl - Great for time tracking.
Free Affiliate Programs
Free Learning Resources for beginner bloggers
- Udemy - You can find lots of free courses on just about anything on Udemy. But I would also recommend their almost free courses. The courses are usually on offer, so you can get some heavily discounted courses for $10.99 or £10.99.
- Build a Powerful Online Presence by Bluchic
- Pinterest Primer by McKinzie Bean from Moms Make Cents
- Getting Started With Asana by Dani Fairhurst from Organise and Grow
- How to build a Free Resources Library by Kimi Kinsey
- Affiliate marketing course by Ana Skyes from The She Approach
Copywriting for Social Media Guide by SocialBee
3 Steps to Make More Sales in Less Time by ConvertKit
3 Steps to Raving Fans + Customers by ConvertKit
3 Steps to Your First 1000 Subscribers by ConvertKit
Free Automation Tools
Free tools to sell your digital products
- Payhip - Pay a commission when you sell. You can have unlimited and also use ti for membership plans. You can create discount coupons and have affiliates too. It's one of my favourite free tools for beginner bloggers and online entrepreneurs. Try it here.
- Woocommerce Plugin. I am not familiar with it, so I can't give you any info about how it works, but if you want to create your online shop, it's an option you need to investigate.
- Selz - Good, but limited.
- ConvertKit - ConvertKit helps you create simple landing pages and check out pages for your products. Start selling your digital products with ConvertKit here.
Free blogging tools: Lead Generation
You can start growing your email list with free lead generation tools. They all have limitations if you use them for free, but they are a good start and you get the chance to play and try new things so you can learn what works for your blog and for you. Here are some I have tried.
Before you try one check that it integrates with your email marketing tool.
- Elementor - You can use the FREE version of Elementor to create your Landing Pages and also to create pop ups for your website.
- HelloBar - If you're looking for a lead generation tool to add a notification bar at the top or the bottom of your website, this is good. You can also use it to redirect people to other pages or posts.
- Gleam - For running giveaways, though it's a bit limited.
- Kingsumo - Also for running giveaways.
- ConvertKit - I am putting ConvertKit here as well, because you can create simple landing pages to collect leads with ConvertKit even if you don't have a website.
Free tools to manage your email list
- Mailchimp - It's a popular choice for people wanting to send newsletter broadcasts, but I find their automations are not as user-friendly as some other tools.
- Mailerlite - Another FREE email service provider that offers automations. I haven't tried Mailerlite, so I can't say much about it.
Sendinblue - I tried Sendinblue a while ago, and it's OK for basic automations for beginners, but I find ConvertKit much more user-friendly.
I still prefer the next two choices:
- ConvertKit - ConvertKit now offers a FREE plan. It doesn't include automations, but if you're a beginner and want to grow your list with a reliable tool, start with ConvertKit here. ConvertKit also allows you to sell your products directly from ConvertKit.
- Moosend - Moosend is a superb choice if you want a FREE email marketing tool that will allow you to have automations and you're planning to sell your products with its help. With a good range of features available in the FREE plan, I also find it easier to use than Mailchimp. Start using Moosend for FREE here.
Miscellaneous free tools and resources for bloggers and online entrepreneurs
- Grammarly - One of the most popular style and grammar checkers.
- ProWritingAid - Another grammar editor. Personally, I prefer ProWritingAid because you get a lot more out of it for their FREE plan and the editor does really help you to improve your writing. Best for would-be authors. Also, their paid plan is cheaper than Grammarly's. Try ProWritingAid here.
- Evernote - Evernote is a knowledge management system where you can save everything (and I mean everything) if you want to go paperless. You can use it as a productivity tool as well, but I prefer to keep my project and task management separately. Try Evernote for FREE here.
- NimbusNote - NimbusNote is like Evernote, but you have a lot more control over your Work Spaces and your folders, as you can have folders within folders. So it's easier to keep your personal and your work stuff separate. Try NimbusNote for FREE here.
- Lastpass - To keep your passwords safe, though you are limited in the number of devices you can use.
- Bitwarden - Also a password management tool, with no restrictions.
- Free Optin Page Template - By Kimi Kinsey. If you want a beautifully designed page for your lead magnet, you can get this FREE template from Kimi.
Have I missed any?
These are some of the free blogging tools and resources I could think of when I was preparing the blog post. So I will probably have to add more later on.
Want to help? Tell me in the comments your favourite free tools for bloggers.