You know what I like? Things that massively help me with my blog. You know what's even better? When it's free. But it can be hard to find things that actually help your blog. I want to save time and money so, I've compiled a list of resources to help you grow your blog. Whether your aim is to monetize, gain followers, more pageviews, or just build a better blog these 35 totally free resources will help you grow your blog.
I hope these tools will help you drive more traffic and also save you the headache of scouring the internet for the best tools – I've got them all in one place! We can't do it all alone, we need help, and these resources and strategies will help put your blog on the right path.
35 Totally Free Resources to Help Grow Your Blog
1. The Resource collection – I have to start off with my free resource library, The Resource Collection. Full of dozens of ebooks, downloads, templates, and more. It's chock full of awesome stuff.
2. Convertkit– This is my top recommendation. If you take me up on only ONE tool, may it be this! My email list is how I've grown my blog and made an income. Convertkit has a free option for you to have up to 500 subscribers on your email list or newsletter and the plan is totally free. This is THE tool created for bloggers by bloggers. Here's how to create a newsletter for your blog + why I recommend it.
3. Blog Scheduling– I am ALL about scheduling blog posts. But you need a tool that will help you schedule your social posts. I know there are other tools (Buffer, Edgar) but I'm a big fan of Hootsuite's interface and it's ease of use. Need a boost on scheduling? Read how to schedule your blog like a BOSS (I scheduled 17 posts for the month we were in Asia!)
4. Analyze your stats – Google Analytics is the single best resource to get an in-depth look at where your blog's traffic comes from. It can be overwhelming, so here's a tutorial on how to use it.
5. Facebook Boost – I truly feel like Facebook groups are some of the best ways to grow your blog and find your community. Here is a great list and I also run a Facebook page (come join!) called Boost Your Blog. You can click that link and request to join our group over 5,500+ awesome bloggers or click the image below.
6. Blog Design – I think your blog design can make or break your blog. It's the first impression, and it can lead to people sticking around and subscribing, or clicking the road (did that pun make any sense?). I love these free designs for WordPress. For blogger, I LOVE these and recommend them to anyone just starting out. I do have some inexpensive but gorgeous options listed at the bottom of this post. But since those are paid, I didn't include them here.
7. Make Money Blogging – There are LOTS of awesome companies that pay bloggers to post and recommend their products. A lot of companies also have very difficult rules and tough to understand terms. That's why I love Izea for sponsored posts. They have great opportunities and a staff that is just truly incredible (for instance, they sent me a card when Michael's mom passed away. Just a top notch company that cares.) As for affiliate links I think Share-A-Sale is my favorite. They work with 1,000s of retailers and it's so easy to drop a link in your posts about products you already love, then make a small commission. It's a win-win for sure.
8. Free photos – You might not always have the perfect, ground breaking photo for your blog post. No sweat! I love Unsplash for free stock photos. I also compiled list of all the best site for free stock photos here.
9. Design it – Every Monday I get an email that I can't wait to open. It's FREE goodies (fonts, graphics, designs, and more) from Creative Market. They do have fonts and others graphics you can purchase, but I still love all their free goodies, too. I also like DaFont for free fonts too, any old time. One more, because you never have enough fonts, is FontSquirrel.
10. Organize – I use Evernote EVERYDAY. Not only to jot down post ideas, store photos, content, images, text… you name it, it's a great way to organize everything. I used this for years when I worked in the corporate world for meetings and notes. Now I use it to store blog contracts, organize posts, and more. It's just the best. And it's freeeee.
11. Track it – Whether you need some time management help or you just want keep track of your hours, My Hours is the best tool out there. This is an online time-tracking tool to help you find out where all those hours in the day seem to go and figure out which tasks take up way too much time. It's so awesome for productivity.
12. Email help – Do you ever wish you could re-send yourself an email to remind yourself of something? ME TOO. Boomerang for Gmail answered my prayers on that one. It's seriously the coolest and easiest and freest (word?) tool to use.
13. HTML help – No coding skills whatsoever? Don't even worry about it, y'all! CoffeeCup is an HTML editor that does the work for you. You could literally design a whole site with this bad boy.
14. Design It – Canva is an incredible tool to create graphics and text overlays and even edit photos. It's very user friendly and makes creating graphics for your posts a cinch. They even have the right social share size for you, ready to go. Here's how you can use it like a pro.
15. Color your blog – What colors will work on your blog? And how will they pair together? And what is that color code anyway? Girl, I got you. Colorzilla is a plugin for Chrome and Firefox that let's you easily find the color code for any color on any website. If you want to see what colors go well together, check out Coolors. It's the perfect way to help boost your creativity and design your site or come up with gorgeous graphics. Plus, it's just a fun tool in general to play around with.
16. Font Combo – I gave you some options for color schemes, but what fonts pair well together? This is an area I absolutely struggle with. Which is why I LOVE Canva's app called “TypeGenius“. You pick a starter font, then it gives you a variety of fonts that pair well. How nifty is that? Also check out these font pairing options.
This image below shows TypeGenius at work. I chose the Vast Shadow font and they paired it with Playfair Display, then created a graphic so I could see how it would look!
17. Store it – I love Dropbox to store all of my photos. It is just the best solution for cloud storage and allows me to access my photos from anywhere. And, you can store other documents as well.
18. Memorization – There is nothing I hate more than a forgotten password. I will go to 0 to 100 real quick (meaning, I'll get mad, Mom). That's where LastPass comes in. It keeps track of all your usernames and passwords. Hallelujah.
19. Shopping – When I shop for my blog I like to go through Ebates. The reason being is that I can get paid BACK and have access to coupons right when I'm shopping online. It's a free service and it's just plain awesome.
20. Send it – You can't always send HUGE files (full blog posts, powerpoint presentations photos, videos, etc) over email. But WeTransfer makes it super easy to send files.
21. Does it all – To me, Google Docs is an all encompassing tool. You can send surveys, polls, collect info, and more. I used it as a t-shirt order form, an annual blog survey, and a place for photos so that people could download them. I also love that I have access to it from wherever, so I can check in or add anything to the forms.
22. Calendar – Let's keep it rolling with the Google stuff. I mean, Google is just everything right? (if only their phone was as cool as iPhone). I don't think there is a better online calendar out there than Google Calendar.
23. Commenting – The best commenting system for all blogs and all platforms has to be Disqus. I can't believe I didn't have it! It makes it so much easier to respond and even keep the conversation going. AND I love that I can easily click on a user to get to their profile. See how to use comments effectively and build a community to boot.
24. Build it – If you ask me, one of the best ways to get blog traffic is via Pinterest. The Pinterest Widget isn't just for the “pin it” button anymore. You can make buttons, yes, but also custom images and more. They make it incredibly easy to share your content in a simple, aesthetically pleasing way. Make sure you're signed up for a business account on Pinterest and find out the Pinterest strategy that changed the game for me. Also check out how to use Pinterest Analytics.Game changing! 35 totally FREE resources to help you grow your blog. >>> Click To Tweet
25. Focus – If you want your productivity to magically become better you need to check out Focus Booster. It uses the “Pomodoro” technique to increase your productivity. Focus Booster times you for 25 minutes then gives you five minutes off. This just works! Must be science.
26. Feedback – I do love Google docs for creating forms, but nothing can beat TypeForm. These gorgeous templates are so easy to use. I especially like them when I'm going to do a lengthier questionnaire.
27. Just write – Are you the type of person that does well under pressure? Or maybe you just need a boost to complete a goal. Write or Die forces you to write within the allotted time or all your work will be erased. Eek! But also, sometimes pressure can be good. At the very least, give it a go and see how you do! (If you are working on a book, I highly suggest this.)
28. Rank – I'm slightly obsessed with stats and how I am ranked online. SEMrush is my go-to tool to analyze my domain name and also you can see how your competitors are doing too! The best way (in my opinion) to grow your blog is to write great content.
29. New Reads – If you want to find a new blog to peruse or just in the mood to read something in a different category, check out StumbleUpon. I also think it's a good idea to use StumbleUpon to increase your own pageviews.
30. Plugin – I LOVE Click to Tweet to highlight a phrase within a post and make it clickable (I even used it above!). I also can't live without SumoMe (it's what I use for the share buttons you see on the left side of my blog). If you're looking for more plugins that I love, check out Game Changing Tools – the best plugins, programs and tech for your blog.
31. Spell Check – Well, I'd say Hemingway is more advanced than good ole spellcheck. This free tool allows you to proofread your posts and check for errors. It even gives your article a reading score.
32. Grade it – Want to know how fast your website loads, if you have broken links, and your overall SEO score? For years and years I've turned to Website Grader. I used to offer one on one blog consultations and the very first thing I would look at is how a website scored here. If you're ready for more pageviews see how 10 simple ways to drive traffic to your blog, right now.
33. The recipe – One of my all time favorite apps is “IFTTT” which stands for IF This Then That. Basically it let's you create recipes for simple tasks. For instance “If I publish This new post, Then tweet That out to Twitter.” It has lots of recipes you can choose from or you can create your own. This is a product I've been using for years and I highly recommend it! Here's a snapshot of what it can do:
34. The short of it – Bit.ly is the perfect URL shortener, but the best part is that is also lets you easily track your url's clicks. Why shorten a url? Well for one it can be hard for people to remember something very lengthy. OR you can use it when you have a character limit. Or when you just want to track people coming to your site or specific link. For example, you want to see the direct hits coming from Instagram.
35. Ideas for days – I hate being in a writing rut. But have no fear, you'll never run out of content ideas with the Blog Topic Generator. If it sounds like some kind of weird mad scientist experiment, then you know it's gotta be good. Also, here's a BUNCH of blog post ideas for you!
BONUS: Paid for Resources that are totally worth it
Some resources are too good not to mention. Yes, these cost money, but wanted to share!
For blog design on WordPress, Restored 316 is so lovely (this is what I use for my blog design). For Blogger, these etsy templates are the bomb.
Y'all Photoshop and Lightroom has changed the game for my photos. I can't believe what you can actually do. It's incredible. It's a little technical to learn, but once you do, it's a game changer!
This is a paid for program, but MAN is it a game changer. Tailwind has changed my Pinterest game. I am confident that they are the reason my account went from 6,000 to now 12,000 followers over the past year (with little effort on my part!).
Here are the best blog investments of all time!
Here is a list of ALL the recs and resources I use on my blog.
Do you have a favorite free resource?
And if you're looking for even MORE free resources from me, check out my resource collection full of dozens e-books, videos, downloads and more.
FREE Blog Resources!
Get access to the resource collection! Free tools, ebooks, downloads, and more! Join 35,000 others who have access to this exclusive library!