Free stuff is something I just can’t get enough of, it’s always welcome.
After all, deep down we all love free stuff, don’t we? And this is especially true if the resources you get for absolutely free can help you build a blog – and business – that will actually make you money.
That’s why I put together this incredibly long list of free resources for blog and business owners (120+ resources & tools) that will help you in almost every step of blogging (from learning to creating content and editing).
As you might imagine, due to the vast amount of resources in this list, I had to split them into different categories, to make this article more enjoyable and easier to navigate.
Also, there’s a summary above including links, so that you can directly skip to the part that interests you the most – if you want to.
Now go out there and enjoy one of the best Internet miracles: free stuff!
Everything you need to take proper care of your site: from compressing softwares for images to the different tools you need to track your demographics.
1. TINYPNG – useful online software to compress pictures before uploading them to your blog. This will help you avoid your site from slowing down in the future
I also talked about it here: “How to write – and publish – a blog post in 1 hour”.
2. Uptime Robot: it monitors your website and informs you when it is down via email for free.
4. Gtmetrix: analyze your website’s performance and makes recommendations on how to improve it.
5. Google Alerts: it keeps you alerted when your website name is mentioned on the web.
6. Updraft Plus: from the bottom of my heart: please backup your site! …Or you might lose all your content in a blink of an eye. And I’m sure you don’t want that, do you?
7. Google Webmaster Tools: this one allows you to see what keywords you are ranking for.
8. Buzzsumo: Find out what’s the most shared content online at the moment.
10. Sumome Heatmaps: this shows you what people are clicking on at your blog.
11. Statcounter: it shows you who has visited your website, where they’ve come from and all in chronological order (mostly recommended for small blogs).
SEO & KEYWORD RESEARCH
13. Semrush: The very best SEO tool available. Research on your competitors, do keyword research, and much more.
14. Long Tail Pro: Find Long-tail keywords with this software.
16. Revive Old Tweet – sends out automatic tweets to promote your newest blog posts.
17. WP Super Cache– caching engine for WordPress.
18. Yoast SEO – Best plugin for SEO on WordPress.
19. Disqus – probably one of the best (and free!) plugins for comments management on WordPress. It’s really easy to set and it’s worth the switch from the basic WordPress commenting system!
20. Social Warfare – a user-friendly plugin to quickly (and efficiently) set your sharing buttons.
21. Click to Tweet: it allows you to generate a link that when clicked on will bring your reader to twitter with a pre-populated tweet for them. All they have to do is click to tweet and it’s done!
22. Coschedule Click to Tweet Boxes: use this to generate amazing looking click-to-tweet boxes on your blog (this will definitely encourage your readers to share your content!).
23. Shareaholic: Great, appealing social sharing plugin.
24. PopupAlly: you can use this to craft beautiful popups for your website.
(including how to write nice titles!)
25. Cold Turkey Writer – this is the one program I use when I need to write a looong blog post and I don’t really ‘feel like doing it’. In other words, it helps me avoid procrastination, which is a huge theme for me (as you can read here: “Stop procrastinating now!”). What it does is blocking your access to any other app on your computer until you reach a certain words writing goal. Life changing, I promise. I can’t even believe it’s free!
I also shared with you my top tips to write every day here (because inspiration is just a myth!) – “How to write every day – for your blog, book or college queries”.
26. Open Live Writer: Open Live Writer is a free, powerful blog editor that allows you to write and edit blog posts (including adding photos or videos) to publish them remotely to your website.
27. PDF Escape: useful to create fillable forms on your PDFs.
28. Getblogo: desktop publishing tool for Mac.
29. Transcribe: Audio to text transcription service. This is what they write on their site: ‘And if cost is the only reason you won’t be able to continue using Transcribe, shoot us an email and we can work something out’.
30. Portent’s Content Idea Generator & (31.) Tweak Your Biz Content Generator: If you’re running out of ideas, these are what you need. These title generators will come up with amazing titles for your blog posts, helping you brainstorm some ideas for awesome new content!
32. Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer: Just another amazing headline analyzer (to tell if your blog post title is as effective as you want it to be!)
33. Portent – post title generator
34. Thesaurus – this website provides words’ definitions and synonyms (warning: this is not a keyword search tool!). I included it in this list, because it usually helps me brainstorm ideas for courses or freebies titles (I even used it to create my domain name. Fun story: this blog was supposed to be called ‘here comes the sun’ instead of ‘where comes the sun’ at first!). So it’s useful if you’re looking for a catchy and original title for products!
35. Grammarly– I just couldn’t thank Grammarly enough for all the times it saved me from an extremely ashaming grammatical error. Grammarly is an AI text-editing app that checks for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and irregular verb conjugations. It’s one of my favorites – and best – blogging tools out there! Especially if English is not your mother language. It also comes in handy when writing emails!
36. Hemingway– use this other text editor to furtherly improve your blog post’s readability!
If you want to know more about these two bad guys here, you can read about them here: “How to write – and edit – a blog post in 1 hour”
37. Canva– simple and easy-to-use program for designing your blog – and/or Pinterest – graphics. This is what I use 90% of the time!
38. PicMonkey– another in-browser editing app you can use to edit photos and design graphics (I don’t personally use it this much, but I’ve heard it constantly improves and adds new features to the program).
Being a blogger means shedding your skin very frequently (for all the Riverdale fans like me: please comment telling me you get it!) : you often need to master a million different skills at the same time (writing content is just the tip of the iceberg!) so why not making it a little bit easier and let someone else light up the road for you?
And it’s not even better if someone does it at absolutely no cost?!
I hope you enjoy free courses as much as I do, because here is a list of 26 of them!
HOW TO START A BLOG
39. The Part-Time Blogger – This email course (by Jade and Oak) is perfect for bloggers who struggle with managing both their blogs and their busy lives.
40. Smart Profitable Blogging From Day 1 – If you are a complete newbie, this course can help you! It also includes these topics: WordPress details, blog promotion and making money from blogging.
HOW TO SETUP YOUR WEBSITE SETUP (ON WORDPRESS)
41. Create Your Own Website – This step-by-step guide by Marina Lotaif is perfect for non-techy individuals who want to build their own professional website from scratch (actually, this is the only tutorial on this list to set up a site with Wix – instead of Wordress!)
42. Free Beginner WordPress Course – Shortly, this is a complete guide of WordPress Blogging: you can learn how to install WordPress correctly plus all the ins & outs of using it.
43. Worry-Free WordPress Course – This 5-day course includes lessons on security, backups, updates, performance, and the legal side of blogging (which is crucial and hard to find in free blogging courses!).
HOW TO WRITE BETTER BLOGGING CONTENT
44. Writing For The Web – Frankie Madden absolutely knows how to create good content. So don’t skip on this one!
45. Intentional Blogging Course – In this course, Jeff Goins helps you make a better blogger in 12 days through his impressive and effective content techniques.
46. Blogging: Generate 100s of Blog Topics – One thing blogging definitely needs is consistency in writing blog posts. This course covers generating blog topics, irresistible headlines, and even how to overcome writer’s block!
GROW WEBSITE TRAFFIC
47. Free 7 Day Turbo Your Traffic + Email List Starter Course: Need more traffic and subscribers? This free 7-day traffic & list building course will help you get more traffic & subscribers rapidly. It also includes a small guide on how to set up your compulsory list building systems.
48. Mini-course: 5 Simple Ways To Increase Website Traffic – This mini-course discusses 5 ways to boost up website traffic (with a free strategy). It will increase your knowledge on Google search engines and how it works to bring traffic to your site.
49. 5 Days and 5 Ways To Boost Your Blog Traffic – The 5-day traffic course by Darci includes actionable lessons to help you get more traffic to your blog.
HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG
50. Build A Profitable Blog – This wonderful course by Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur covers significant topics to help you make money online: from growing traffic techniques to affiliate marketing, this 8-day course is a must.
51. Start A Profitable Blog/Biz And Monetize – This 6-day course created by Sonia Hale covers content creation tips, SEO, social media and much more!
52. Passive Income Course – This course by House Of Brazen will help you build a profitable sales funnel. It defines action packed information plus a proven marketing strategy. This is a blog course I honestly loved (since I’m really a newbie when it comes to email list)!
53. Affiliate Marketing 101 – I think affiliate marketing can be very lucrative if you can do it right. And even if I’m not ‘there’ yet, this free course by Oh She Blogs definitely helped. It showed me the basics of affiliate marketing and the different ways it can be used to make money.
54. 30 Day Blog Transformation Challenge – this is definitely a course – and challenge (!) – you want to take!
HOW TO GROW ON SOCIAL MEDIA
55. Social Media 101 – This course by Daily Femme is great for those bloggers who want to grow their social media reach. This free social media course includes the most important social media channels: facebook, twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
56. Pinterest Power – In this Pinterest course from Summer Tannhauser you’ll get the viral pin formula, a pinning plan and the trick to generating ‘SEO juice’ through a good Pinterest group boards strategy. In other words, this is a pure gold mine.
58. How To Sell On Pinterest – This is another amazing email course to increase your sales through Pinterest. It will also help you create gorgeous pins that become viral.
HOW TO: BRANDING
59. The Strong Brand Mini Course – If you want to build a strong brand online – and you’re a newbie – this free course by Wonderlass is the perfect place to start.
60. Blog Like A Mag(azine) – This free course gives you a digital workbook with a 4-hour video training.
HOW TO BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST
61. Email List For Newbies – You definitely need to check out this incredible course by Meera Kothand (especially if you are completely new and have no experience in email marketing). A quick list of what you’ll find in this course: exact content for list building, templates to use, the secret for passive income and critical email list mistakes newbies do.
62. Double Your Email List – This is a 30-day online course from email marketing experts who have actually grown their lists to million subscribers. Believe me, you don’t want to miss it!
63. The Email List Building Course – The ultimate guide to building an email list with Leadpages. It teaches you the basics of email marketing + some easy-to-follow Leadpages tutorials.
HOW TO: PHOTOGRAPHY FOR BLOGGERS
64. Basic Photography Course – This photo course by Mona Shee will help you learn the basics of photography for your brand. It includes 6 modules, containing video tutorials and tips.
GROUP BOARDS CHECKLIST
I think that group boards on Pinterest are one of the most powerful resources EVER to bring traffic to your blog!
And here is a downloadable list of 75+ of them (divided by niche) I created for you!
All you have to do is click below!
65. Brain Focus: this is basically the app on my phone I use 90% of the time to beat procrastination. Whenever I need to accomplish a task I hate – or I don’t ‘feel’ like working at all – I use this app (which is basically based on The Pomodoro technique) to create a workflow. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it!
Related article: Stop procrastinating now! (in number #5 I talk more about the Pomodoro Technique!)
66. Evernote: this well-known app is useful for keeping all kinds of notes or pieces of information on things you want to remember, collecting screenshots, pictures and much more! In other words, it’s a great tool to organize the mess that’s in our heads.
67. Google Keep – more than a valid alternative to EverNote if you ask me!
68. Momentum: This one is awesome! This free Chrome extension replaces your new tab page with a personal dashboard featuring a stunning photo backdrop, the time, and your personal to-do list. If focusing is what you need, this tool will definitely help you!
69. Self Control App: A free Mac application that allows you to block your own access to websites.
70. Cold Turkey: this basically works the same as Self Control App, but for both pcs and macs.
71. Meistertask: Great for getting things done in a kanban dashboard style which I find really useful.
72. Trello: An alternative to Meistertask.
73. Google Calendar: Free calendar by Google to schedule your time.
74. My Hours: this helps you to keep track of where all your time is going (again, for free!)
75. Unroll.me: use this to easily unsubscribe from multiple mailing lists you are currently subscribed to. Go on an email inbox detox today!
76. Sidekick: this app will notify you when a person opens the email you sent them.
77. Dropbox: free 2gb cloud storage for your files. You can also use Dropbox to store your freebies/pdfs/ videos and send the link to your readers to access it!
78. Google Drive: an alternative to Dropbox.
(free to join)
79. Amazon Associates– Amazon Associates is an easy to use and understand affiliate program. Linking to products is a breeze and it’s also a trusted brand that everyone recognizes and uses.
80. ShareASale– This is another affiliate program I love. Once you sign up, you can search for merchants and/or products and apply for programs you’re interested in. They have merchants from pretty much every niche. Each brand/merchant pays different commissions.
81. ShopStyle– What I love about this affiliate program is the ease of searching for a product and copying a direct link – or creating widgets – that you can insert into your posts.
FREE, STYLED STOCK PHOTOS WEBSITES
QUICK NOTE: All the websites in this list offer their photos under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license which means that you are free to use their photos for any purpose as long as it’s legal.
94. New Old Stock (great for a particular vintage vibe!)
107. I’ d pin that! (the title says it all!)
114. Google Hangouts: it could be used for webinars on a budget (aka free), or even to talk to clients.
I think that podcasts are one of the best free resources out there to learn, in general (not just about blogging!).
That’s because you can listen to podcasts while still doing more ‘mindless’ and ‘automatic’ tasks, like doing the laundry or washing dishes.
Whether you’re a blogging newbie or an expert you can learn very powerful techniques or tips in podcasts. And all this while still being productive with other ‘mindless’ tasks!
I mean, what better – and easiest – way to learn?!
124. THE BLOG MILLIONAIRE WITH BRANDON GAILLE – my favorite one!!
This podcast is not blogging-related, but I wanted to include it anyway because I think is one of the best and most valuable podcasts you can find online (and for totally free, which is crazy for me!). I personally listen to it every morning while having breakfast and taking a shower (not at the same time – of course! – although I must admit it would be cool lol).
Tim Ferriss is such an inspiration: I mean, he is a best-selling author, angel investor, public speaker and even holds a Guinness World record in Argentine tango (not to mention he won the USAWKF national Chinese kickboxing championship in 1999)! Oh, and I almost forgot! He speaks 5 languages! (English, Japanese, Spanish, German and Chinese!)
So just imagine how much valuable information he has to share!
I already talked about The Tim Ferriss show podcast here: “7 most inspiring podcasts for millennials” (it’s number #3!)
I’d like to share a quick last thought before you go:
I spent many hours working and searching (more than a week) to put together these resources and content to make this blog post as useful as possible (because I know it’s something I would have LOVED to read when I first started blogging!).
And don’t get me wrong I love doing so – and most of all I love sharing it with you! – but if you want to give back, I’d honestly appreciate if you shared this with your friends on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even with a handwritten letter!
(As always) Thank you for the amazing support!